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Sample records for active continental rift

  1. Continental rifting - Progress and outlook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, B. H.; Morgan, P.

    1981-01-01

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

  2. Continental rifting - Progress and outlook

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, B.H.; Morgan, P.

    1981-07-21

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

  3. Continental rifts and mineral resources

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, K. . Geosciences Dept.)

    1992-01-01

    Continental rifts are widespread and range in age from the present to 3 b.y. Individual rifts may form parts of complex systems as in E. Africa and the Basin and Range. Rifts have originated in diverse environments such as arc-crests, sites of continental collision, collapsing mountain belts and on continents at rest over the mantle circulation pattern. Continental rift resources can be classified by depth of origin: For example, in the Great Dike, Norilsk and Mwadui magma from the mantle is the host. At shallower depths continental crust partly melted above mafic magma hosts ore (Climax, Henderson). Rift volcanics are linked to local hydrothermal systems and to extensive zeolite deposits (Basin and Range, East Africa). Copper (Zambia, Belt), zinc (Red Dog) and lead ores (Benue) are related to hydrothermal systems which involve hot rock and water flow through both pre-rift basement and sedimentary and volcanic rift fill. Economically significant sediments in rifts include coals (the Gondwana of Inida), marine evaporites (Lou Ann of the Gulf of Mexico) and non-marine evaporites (East Africa). Oil and gas in rifts relate to a variety of source, reservoir and trap relations (North Sea, Libya), but rift-lake sediment sources are important (Sung Liao, Bo Hai, Mina, Cabinda). Some ancient iron ores (Hammersley) may have formed in rift lakes but Algoman ores and greenstone belt mineral deposits in general are linked to oceanic and island arc environments. To the extent that continental environments are represented in such areas as the Archean of the Superior and Slave they are Andean Arc environments which today have locally rifted crests (Ecuador, N. Peru). The Pongola, on Kaapvaal craton may, on the other hand represent the world's oldest preserved, little deformed, continental rift.

  4. 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 17α (H),21β (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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  6. Geothermal activity at continental rift Citala, Western Mexico, where Lake Chapala is emplaced: past and present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zárate-del Valle, P. F.

    2003-04-01

    Lake Chapala is a tectonic lake developed on a continental rift named Citala (CRC) which belongs to a tectonically active zone in Western Mexico: the so-called Jalisco continental triple junction. Fossil sinter deposit, thermal spring, hydrothermal (hy) petroleum manifestation and hy alteration halo characterized the Lake Chapala basin. On the SE shore, outcrops a carbonate deposit named ``La Calera" (LC) which consists of a carbonate fossil sinter that measures 2 km in E-W direction and 600 m in N-S direction and overlays andesitic rock. With a thickness of approximately 5 m and a roughly horizontal attitude, the LC is characterized by a two-fold structure: when massive, it is colored in yellow brownish and grey and elsewhere it shows a pseudo-brecciated structure and when banded, yellow and dark millimetre alternated bands can be seen. The LC is marked by vuggy porosity and silica (quartz and chalcedony) vein lets. Under microscope a pseudo-micritic texture is observed; vugs coated by iron oxides, are filled with calcite, and/or quartz, chalcedony and clay minerals. Six samples of LC were analysed (LODC-UParis VI) for their stable isotopes (δ18O and δ13C): From δ13C{PDB} values we have two sets of data: -8.03 to -8.69 ppm that means a no contribution of organic carbon (oc) and -0.35 to -0.75 ppm meaning an important contribution of oc; from δ18O{PDB} values: -8.5 to -10.27 ppm we deduced a deposit in meteoric water with a temperature deposition higher than the surface. The CRC is characterized also by the presence of hydrothermal petroleum (hp): Inside the Chapala and ˜2 km from SE shore (Los Arcos) there are some small spots made of hp which look like islands (<3-4 m^2) linked to the bottom of the lake which consist of solid bitumen. Thermal springs (ths) occur both inside and outside the lake Chapala: the water in out-shore ths is of carbonate type (69^oC; ˜ 240 mg L-1 [HCO_3]^-; with one exception: the ths at the San Juan Cosalá spa (N shore), which is

  7. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

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

  8. Continental Rifting and Transform Faulting Along the Jurassic Transantarctic Rift, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Dwight L.; Rowley, Peter D.

    1986-04-01

    The Transantarctic rift, an extensional continental rift valley, formed between East and West Antarctica during latest Early and Middle Jurassic time and is represented today by the high Transantarctic Mountains, which contain large volumes of continental flood basalt, diabase, and gabbro. Transantarctic rifting marked the beginning of the breakup of Gondwanaland; it was contiguous and synchronous with continental rifting between East Antarctica-India and Africa as represented by the continental basalt and diabase of Queen Maud Land and the Karroo of southern Africa. During Late Jurassic time, about 150 Ma or slightly earlier, East and West Gondwanaland separated and new oceanic crust of the earliest Indian Ocean formed between East Antarctica-India and Africa. If, as assumed, West Antarctica and South America remained fixed through a tip-to-tip join between the Antarctic Peninsula and Tierra del Fuego, then this seafloor spreading required major right-lateral transform faulting of 500 to 1000 km on the Transantarctic rift system between East and West Antarctica. The Transantarctic Mountains were elevated at about the same time in Late Jurassic; such uplifts are characteristic of active rift margins worldwide. During Cenozoic time, extensional block faulting, independent of the Jurassic rifting, further disrupted large areas of West Antarctica. During the same time, the Transantarctic Mountains were further uplifted.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    parameters of the crustal rocks. Results of the modeling also demonstrate how the lithosphere structure and especially depth to the Moho interface affects the geometry of the propagating rift system. With the same boundary conditions and physical properties of rocks as in the case of the flat continental structure, a rift terminates above the passive continental margin and a new fault system is created normal to the direction of the rift propagation. These results demonstrate that the local lithosphere structure is one of the major key factors controlling the geometry of the evolving rift system, faulting and seismicity pattern. Results of simulations suggest that under wide range of conditions a rift propagating through a continental lithosphere might cease before it reaches the margin where transition to oceanic lithosphere occurs. Close to the margin different tectonic styles might take over the propagation. This behavior has been suggested for the NW continuation of the active Red Sea-Suez rift system and initiation of the Dead Sea Transform (Steckler and ten Brink, 1986). With the onset of the Red Sea opening (about Oligocene) the sub-parallel Azraq-Sirhan rift was also activated and propagated in a NW direction from the Arabian continent toward the Levant basin oceanic crust. By applying our 3-D lithosphere-scale numerical simulations on the Azraq-Sirhan rift system, we conclude that thinning of the crystalline crust and strengthening of the Arabian lithosphere led to a decrease or even termination of the rate of rift propagation next to the continental margin.

  10. Incipient continental rifting: Insights from the Okavango Rift Zone, northwestern Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinabo, Baraka Damas

    In this dissertation aeromagnetic, gravity, and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Digital Elevation Model (SRTM DEM) data from the Okavango Rift Zone in northwest Botswana are used to map the distribution of rift and basement structures. The distribution of these structures provide useful insights into the early stages of continental rifting. The objectives of this study are (1) assessing the role of pre-existing structures on rift basin development, (2) characterizing the geometry of the nascent rift basins, (3) documenting fault growth and propagation patterns, and (4) investigating the border fault development. Potential field data especially aeromagnetic data are used to map out structures in the sediment covered basement, whereas SRTM DEM data express the surface morphology of the structures. The azimuth of rift faults parallel the orientation of the fold axes and the prominent foliation directions of the basement rocks. This indicates that pre-existing structures in the basement influenced the development of the rift structures. NE dipping faults consistently exhibit greater displacements than SE dipping faults, suggesting a developing half-graben geometry. Individual faults grow by along axis linkage of small segments that develop from soft linkage (under lapping to overlapping segments) to hard linkage (hooking, fused segments). Major rifts faults are also linking through transfer zones by the process of "fault piracy" to establish an immature border fault system. The relationships between scam heights and vertical throws reveal that the young and active faults are located outside the rift while the faults with no recent activities are in the middle suggesting that the rift is also growing in width. This study demonstrates the utility of potential field data and SRTM DEM to provide a 3-D view of incipient continental rifting processes such as fault growth and propagation.

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bosworth, W.

    1987-05-01

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

  13. Distribution of fault activity in the early stages of continental breakup: an analysis of faults and volcanic products of the Natron Basin, East African Rift, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J. D.; Kattenhorn, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Recent magmatic-tectonic crises in Ethiopia (e.g. 2005 Dabbahu rifting episode, Afar) have informed our understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of strain in magmatic rifts transitioning to sea-floor spreading. However, the evolving contributions of magmatic and tectonic processes during the initial stages of rifting, is a subject of ongoing debate. The <5 Ma northern Tanzania and southern Kenya sectors of the East Africa Rift provide ideal locations to address this problem. We present preliminary findings from an investigation of fault structures utilizing aerial photography and satellite imagery of the ~35 km wide Natron rift-basin in northern Tanzania. Broad-scale structural mapping will be supplemented by field observations and 40Ar-39Ar dating of lava flows cut by faults to address three major aspects of magma-assisted rifting: (1) the relative timing of activity between the border fault and smaller faults distributed across the width of the rift; (2) time-averaged slip rates along rift-zone faults; and (3) the spatial distribution of faults and volcanic products, and their relative contributions to strain accommodation. Preliminary field observations suggest that the ~500 m high border fault system along the western edge of the Natron basin is either inactive or has experienced a reduced slip rate and higher recurrence interval between surface-breaking events, as evidence by a lack of recent surface-rupture along the main fault escarpments. An exception is an isolated, ~2 km-long segment of the Natron border fault, which is located in close proximity (< 5km) to the active Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. Here, ~10 m of seemingly recent throw is observed in volcaniclastic deposits. The proximity of the fault segment to Oldoinyo Lengai volcano and the localized distribution of fault-slip are consistent with magma-assisted faulting. Faults observed within the Natron basin and on the flanks of Gelai volcano, located on the eastern side of the rift, have

  14. Regional magnetic anomaly constraints on continental rifting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Domal uplifts, volcanism, basin formation and rifting have often struck the same continent in different areas at the same time. Their characteristics and orientations are difficult to reconcile with mantle convection or tectonic forces and suggest a driving mechanism that is intrinsic to the continent. The rifts seem to develop preferentially at high angles to the edge of the continent whereas swells and basins seem confined to the interior. Another intriguing geometrical feature is that the rifts often branch out in complicated patterns at their landward end. In Western Africa, for example, magmatic activity currently occurs in a number of uplifted areas including the peculiar Cameroon Volcanic Line that stretches away from the continental margin over about 1000 km. Magmatic and volcanic activity has been sustained along this line for 70 My with no age progression. The mantle upwelling that feeds the volcanoes is not affected by absolute plate motions and hence is attached to the continent. The Cameroon Volcanic Line extends to the Biu swell to the North and the Jos plateau to the West defining a striking Y-shaped pattern. This structure segues into several volcanic domes including the Air, the Hoggar, the Darfur, the Tibesti and the Haruj domes towards the Mediterranean coast. Another example is provided by North America, where the late Proterozoic-early Ordovician saw the formation of four major basins, the Michigan, Illinois, Williston and Hudson Bay, as well as of major rifts in southern Oklahoma and the Mississipi Valley within a short time interval. At the same time, a series of uplifts developed, such as the Ozark and Nashville domes. Motivated by these observations, we have sought an explanation in the continental lithosphere itself. We describe a new type of convective instability at the base of the lithosphere that leads to a remarkable spatial pattern at the scale of an entire continent. We carried out fluid mechanics laboratory experiments on buoyant

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

    PubMed

    Thybo, H; Nielsen, C A

    2009-02-12

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoback, Mary Lou; Richardson, Randall M.

    1996-03-01

    rift case, because the observed stress rotation only weakly constrains the ratio of the regional horizontal stress difference to the rift-normal compression to be between 0.25 and 1.0, our analysis is inconclusive because the resultant normalized horizontal shear stress may be reduced (for ratios >0.5) or enhanced (for ratios <0.5). Additional information is needed on all three stress magnitudes to predict how a change in horizontal shear stress directly influences the likelihood of faulting in the thrust-faulting stress regime in the vicinity of the Amazonas rift. A rift-normal stress associated with the seismically active New Madrid ancient rift may be sufficient to rotate the horizontal stress field consistent with strike-slip faults parallel to the axis of the rift, although this results in a 20-40% reduction in the local horizontal shear stress within the seismic zone. Sparse stress data in the vicinity of the seismically quiescent Midcontinent rift of the central United States suggest a stress state similar to that of New Madrid, with the local horizontal shear stress potentially reduced by as much as 60%. Thus the markedly different levels of seismic activity associated with these two subparallel ancient rifts is probably due to other factors than stress perturbations due to dense rift pillows. The modeling and analysis here demonstrate that rift-normal compressive stresses are a significant source of stress acting on the lithosphere and that in some cases may be a contributing factor to the association of intraplate seismicity with old zones of continental extension.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

    rift case, because the observed stress rotation only weakly constrains the ratio of the regional horizontal stress difference to the rift-normal compression to be between 0.25 and 1.0, our analysis is inconclusive because the resultant normalized horizontal shear stress may be reduced (for ratios >0.5) or enhanced (for ratios <0.5). Additional information is needed on all three stress magnitudes to predict how a change in horizontal shear stress directly influences the likelihood of faulting in the thrust-faulting stress regime in the vicinity of the Amazonas rift. A rift-normal stress associated with the seismically active New Madrid ancient rift may be sufficient to rotate the horizontal stress field consistent with strike-slip faults parallel to the axis of the rift, although this results in a 20-40% reduction in the local horizontal shear stress within the seismic zone. Sparse stress data in the vicinity of the seismically quiescent Midcontinent rift of the central United States suggest a stress state similar to that of New Madrid, with the local horizontal shear stress potentially reduced by as much as 60%. Thus the markedly different levels of seismic activity associated with these two subparallel ancient rifts is probably due to other factors than stress perturbations due to dense rift pillows. The modeling and analysis here demonstrate that rift-normal compressive stresses are a significant source of stress acting on the lithosphere and that in some cases may be a contributing factor to the association of intraplate seismicity with old zones of continental extension.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  4. Rift kinematics during the incipient stages of continental extension: Evidence from the nascent Okavango rift basin, northwest Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modisi, M. P.; Atekwana, E. A.; Kampunzu, A. B.; Ngwisanyi, T. H.

    2000-10-01

    High-resolution aeromagnetic data from the nascent Okavango rift in northwest Botswana provide an unprecedented view of rift kinematics during the incipient stages of continental extension. Crosscutting relationships between west-northwest trending 180 Ma Karoo dikes and reactivated northeast-trending Proterozoic basement faults are used to document the kinematics of Cenozoic faulting during the initial stages of rifting. Depth estimates to the top of the dikes using three-dimensional Euler deconvolution solutions have produced the following interpretations. (1) The Okavango rift is a half graben with a downthrow of ˜200 300 m. (2) The width of the Okavango rift (100 ± 20 km) is similar to that of more mature continental rifts such as the Tanganyika and Baikal rifts. This suggests that the width of continental rifts is acquired early in their evolution and reflects neither the age and maturity of the rift basin, nor the amount of extension. It is suggested that the cumulative downthrow (sediment infill included) and subsidence may be a better indicator of the relative maturity of rift basins. (3) Preexisting basement faults exert a major control during rifting, and reactivation processes do not occur synchronously along the entire length of preexisting faults. (4) The Okavango rift is defined by normal faults; there is no evidence of major strike-slip faults, thus excluding a pull-apart tectonic model for this nascent continental rift stage. (5) The preexisting Sekaka shear zone terminates the Okavango rift to the south, suggesting that such shear zones represent major barriers during longitudinal propagation of rifts. This probably explains why such shear zones commonly evolve into accommodation or transfer zones during further evolution of continental rifts.

  5. 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.

  6. Generation of continental rifts, basins, and swells by lithosphere instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fourel, LoïC.; Milelli, Laura; Jaupart, Claude; Limare, Angela

    2013-06-01

    Continents may be affected simultaneously by rifting, uplift, volcanic activity, and basin formation in several different locations, suggesting a common driving mechanism that is intrinsic to continents. We describe a new type of convective instability at the base of the lithosphere that leads to a remarkable spatial pattern at the scale of an entire continent. We carried out fluid mechanics laboratory experiments on buoyant blocks of finite size that became unstable due to cooling from above. Dynamical behavior depends on three dimensionless numbers, a Rayleigh number for the unstable block, a buoyancy number that scales the intrinsic density contrast to the thermal one, and the aspect ratio of the block. Within the block, instability develops in two different ways in an outer annulus and in an interior region. In the outer annulus, upwellings and downwellings take the form of periodically spaced radial spokes. The interior region hosts the more familiar convective pattern of polygonal cells. In geological conditions, such instabilities should manifest themselves as linear rifts striking at a right angle to the continent-ocean boundary and an array of domal uplifts, volcanic swells, and basins in the continental interior. Simple scaling laws for the dimensions and spacings of the convective structures are derived. For the subcontinental lithospheric mantle, these dimensions take values in the 500-1000 km range, close to geological examples. The large intrinsic buoyancy of Archean lithospheric roots prevents this type of instability, which explains why the widespread volcanic activity that currently affects Western Africa is confined to post-Archean domains.

  7. Control of initial heterogeneities and boundary conditions on the deformation partitioning of continental rift: a comparison between Rio Grande Rift and Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thieulot, C.; Philippon, M.; Sokoutis, D.; Van Wijk, J. W.; Willingshofer, E.; Cloetingh, S.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding how initial heterogeneities and boundary conditions control the development of fault network and the deformation partitioning mechanisms in rifts that affect continental crust still remains a challenge. Among the active continental rifts affecting the Earth lithosphere, the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) and the Rio Grande Rift (RGR) appear to be ideal natural laboratories to investigate this issues as they share structural characteristics but develop under different geological settings. From a structural point of view both rifts show the same length (~1000km), width (50 to 70 km) and asymmetry. The MER is the NE-SW trending plate boundary between the Nubian and Somalian plates that has been developing for the past 11 Ma above a paleo-proterozoic lithospheric-scale weak zone re-heated by the Afar hotspot, whereas the RGR is the eastern "boundary" of the basin & range system that has been developing for the past 30 Ma in the frame of a westward retreating Farallon subduction zone. However, the RGR shows evidence of low angle normal faulting whereas the MER shows steeply dipping normal faults and conversely the MER shows a larger volume of erupted lavas than the RGR. Combined with a structural analysis of both rifts, we present here a series of preliminary numerical models that allows for a better understanding of the influence of initial heterogeneities such as 1) the state of the crust (craton versus crust affected by "wide rift" type extension); 2) the presence of a crustal-scale to lithospheric-scale weak zone, 3) the effect of the orientation of these weak zones & 4) the effects of the presence of magma.

  8. The position of continental flood basalts in rift zones and its bearing on models of rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazmin, V. G.

    1991-12-01

    Two models of rifting—"pure shear" and "simple shear"—are at present being widely discussed. In this paper attention is drawn to the fact that continental flood basalts (CFB), associated with rifts, usually display a strong asymmetry relative to the rift axis. The Karroo, the Parana, and the Deccan basalts, as well as the Ethiopian flood basalts and the basalts of the Arabian Shield are concentrated mainly on one side of the respective rifts. Structural data indicate that the eruptions occurred on the "upper plates", if the low-angle, simple-shear model of Wernicke (1985) is accepted. It is suggested that the asymmetry of eruptions is caused by the asymmetric position of the asthenopheic rise predicted by this model. The low-angle detachment may serve as a conduit for magmatic fluid. This fits well with data on the existence of large magmatic reservoirs of CFB at subcrustal or crustal levels and explains why eruptions are concentrated in the rift and on one of its shoulders, while being restricted on the other. This asymmetry of volcanism supports models of continental rifting associated with low-angle simple-shear detachment.

  9. Synchronous oceanic spreading and continental rifting in West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davey, F. J.; Granot, R.; Cande, S. C.; Stock, J. M.; Selvans, M.; Ferraccioli, F.

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic anomalies associated with new ocean crust formation in the Adare Basin off north-western Ross Sea (43-26 Ma) can be traced directly into the Northern Basin that underlies the adjacent morphological continental shelf, implying a continuity in the emplacement of oceanic crust. Steep gravity gradients along the margins of the Northern Basin, particularly in the east, suggest that little extension and thinning of continental crust occurred before it ruptured and the new oceanic crust formed, unlike most other continental rifts and the Victoria Land Basin further south. A preexisting weak crust and localization of strain by strike-slip faulting are proposed as the factors allowing the rapid rupture of continental crust.

  10. Early Continental Rifting of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

    In classical models of continental break-up, rifting is immediately followed by seafloor spreading, which implies that break-up can be identified as a specific spatial and temporal boundary. However, this simple concept is not supported by observations at rifted margins. The classical indicators for determining break-up (break-up unconformity, magnetic anomalies, distribution of high-angle faults and sedimentary wedges) may no longer be relied upon to identify unambiguously the location and age of break-up. We studied the spatial and temporal evolution of the deep Iberia-Newfoundland margins, which are the type examples of magma-poor rifted margins. Our study was based on borehole data and on a mapping of the sedimentary and basement architecture in 3D on seismic reflection profiles. Our results allow us to describe the tectono-sedimentary and morpho-tectonic evolution of final rifting and show that continental break-up is complex. In the Iberia-Newfoundland rift system, the tectono-sedimentary evolution of final rifting can be reconstructed back to 145Ma, when the crust was already thinned to less than 10km. Two major deformation phases have been identified: a first, Tithonian to Barremian in age (145-128Ma) and a second, dated as latest Aptian (112Ma). The Tithonian-Barremian phase is characterized by a migration of the tectonic activity oceanwards and a change of the deformation mechanisms from south to north, from zones of mantle exhumed via downward concave faults to classical half-grabens formed by the normal tilting of thinned continental blocks along upward concave faults. This phase terminates with the formation of the first unequivocal magnetic anomaly (M3 128Ma) and the accretion of more than 170km of crust, at rates of about 1cm/yr, that is neither oceanic nor continental, commonly referred to as Zone of Exhumed Continental Mantle (ZECM). The late-Aptian phase is associated with a major tectono-magmatic event and is responsible for the observed basement

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulte, Saskia M.; Mooney, Walter D.

    2005-06-01

    We present an updated global earthquake catalogue for stable continental regions (SCRs; i.e. intraplate earthquakes) that is available on the Internet. Our database contains information on location, magnitude, seismic moment and focal mechanisms for over 1300 M (moment magnitude) >= 4.5 historic and instrumentally recorded crustal events. Using this updated earthquake database in combination with a recently published global catalogue of rifts, we assess the correlation of intraplate seismicity with ancient rifts on a global scale. Each tectonic event is put into one of five categories based on location: (i) interior rifts/taphrogens, (ii) rifted continental margins, (iii) non-rifted crust, (iv) possible interior rifts and (v) possible rifted margins. We find that approximately 27 per cent of all events are classified as interior rifts (i), 25 per cent are rifted continental margins (ii), 36 per cent are within non-rifted crust (iii) and 12 per cent (iv and v) remain uncertain. Thus, over half (52 per cent) of all events are associated with rifted crust, although within the continental interiors (i.e. away from continental margins), non-rifted crust has experienced more earthquakes than interior rifts. No major change in distribution is found if only large (M>= 6.0) earthquakes are considered. The largest events (M>= 7.0) however, have occurred predominantly within rifts (50 per cent) and continental margins (43 per cent). Intraplate seismicity is not distributed evenly. Instead several zones of concentrated seismicity seem to exist. This is especially true for interior rifts/taphrogens, where a total of only 12 regions are responsible for 74 per cent of all events and as much as 98 per cent of all seismic moment released in that category. Of the four rifts/taphrogens that have experienced the largest earthquakes, seismicity within the Kutch rift, India, and the East China rift system, may be controlled by diffuse plate boundary deformation more than by the presence

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

    We present an updated global earthquake catalogue for stable continental regions (SCRs; i.e. intraplate earthquakes) that is available on the Internet. Our database contains information on location, magnitude, seismic moment and focal mechanisms for over 1300 M (moment magnitude) ??? 4.5 historic and instrumentally recorded crustal events. Using this updated earthquake database in combination with a recently published global catalogue of rifts, we assess the correlation of intraplate seismicity with ancient rifts on a global scale. Each tectonic event is put into one of five categories based on location: (i) interior rifts/taphrogens, (ii) rifted continental margins, (iii) non-rifted crust, (iv) possible interior rifts and (v) possible rifted margins. We find that approximately 27 per cent of all events are classified as interior rifts (i), 25 per cent are rifted continental margins (ii), 36 per cent are within non-rifted crust (iii) and 12 per cent (iv and v) remain uncertain. Thus, over half (52 per cent) of all events are associated with rifted crust, although within the continental interiors (i.e. away from continental margins), non-rifted crust has experienced more earthquakes than interior rifts. No major change in distribution is found if only large (M ??? 6.0) earthquakes are considered. The largest events (M ??? 7.0) however, have occurred predominantly within rifts (50 per cent) and continental margins (43 per cent). Intraplate seismicity is not distributed evenly. Instead several zones of concentrated seismicity seem to exist. This is especially true for interior rifts/taphrogens, where a total of only 12 regions are responsible for 74 per cent of all events and as much as 98 per cent of all seismic moment released in that category. Of the four rifts/taphrogens that have experienced the largest earthquakes, seismicity within the Kutch rift, India, and the East China rift system, may be controlled by diffuse plate boundary deformation more than by the

  14. Rifted continental margins: The case for depth-dependent extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2014-12-01

    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 Type 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2016-04-01

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, R. S.; Beaumont, C.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  17. Signs of continental rifting in the southwestern Japanese Island Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernysheva, E. A.; Eroshenko, D. V.

    2016-03-01

    The southwestern margin of the Japan Arc evolved in the geodynamic regime of continental rifting during the Miocene-Pleistocene. This has been verified by broad manifestations of metasomatosis of mantle peridotites that underlie the lithosphere of the Japan Islands and by episodes of deep magmatism (kimberlites and melilitites) in the region. The high enrichment of deep melts in incompatible rare and rare earth elements is partially preserved in melts of regional basalts from smaller depths. In contrast, spreading basalts of the Sea of Japan and subduction basalts from the Nankai trench at the boundary with the Philippine Plate are extremely depleted in rare elements.

  18. A continental rift model for the La Grande greenstone belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skulski, T.; Hynes, A.; Liu, M.; Francis, D.; Rivard, B.; Stamatelopoulou-Seymour, K.

    1986-01-01

    Stratigraphic relationships and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks contrain the nature and timing of the tectonic and magmatic processes in the pre-deformational history of the La Grande greenstone belt in the Superior Province of north-central Quebec. The lowermost supracrustals in this belt are obscured by syntectonic granitoid intrusives. The supracrustal succession in the western part of the belt consists of a lower sequence of immature clastic sediments and mafic volcanoclastics, overlain by pillowed and massive basalts. Further east, along tectonic strike, a lower sequence of mafic volcanoclastics and immature clastic sediments is overlain by a thick sequence of pillowed and massive basalts, and resedimented coarse clastic sediments and banded iron formation. These are overlain by assive basaltic andesites, andesites and intermediate volcanoclastics intercalated with immature clastic sediments. In contrast, in the eastern part of the belt lenses of felsic volcanics and volcanoclastics occur at the base of the succession and pillowed and massive basalts are overlain by komatiites at the top. The La Grande greenstone belt can be explained as the product of continental rifting. The restricted occurence of komatiites, and eastwardly directed paleocurrents in clastic sediments in the central part of the belt are consistent with rifting commencing in the east and propagating westward with time. The increase in depth of emplacement and deposition with time of the lower three units in the central part of the belt reflects deposition in a subsiding basin. These supracrustal rocks are believed to represent the initial rift succession.

  19. Transition from rifted continental to oceanic crust at the southeastern Korean margin in the East Sea (Japan Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, H.; Kim, H.; Jou, H.; Hong, J.; Baag, C.

    2004-12-01

    The southeastern Korean margin documents the processes of continental rifting and seafloor spreading that eventually led to the opening of the southern part of the East Sea (Japan Sea). In this study, we present the transitional structure of the southeastern Korean margin and its formation process from rifted continental to 10 km thick normal oceanic crust. The two-dimensional P velocity model of the southeastern Korean margin was computed from ocean bottom seismometer data by tomographic inversion and distilled by iterative forward modeling. The crustal structure shows the emplacement of high-velocity (>7 km/s) lower crust under the continental shelf and slope area associated with a rapid transition from rifted continental to oceanic crust. The high-velocity lower crust is interpreted as magmatic underplating formed by voluminous igneous activity during rifting. Magnetic modeling confirms its primary correlation with a prominent magnetic anomaly along the edge of the southeastern Korean Peninsula that is assumed to represent volcanic extrusives and intrusives. The continental margin featuring a rapid transition from continental to oceanic crust exhibits a remarkable decrease in crustal thickness accompanied by shallowing of the Moho over a distance of about 50 km. It thus appears that the Korean margin experienced intense tectonism comprising crustal deformation and volcanism associated with the opening of the East Sea and consequently registered the early history of continental rifting and subsequent sea floor spreading. We suggest that the rifting and subsequent seafloor spreading at the Korean margin was significantly controlled by the supply of magma in a region of hotter than normal mantle temperature.

  20. Numerical modeling of continental rifting: Implications for the East African Rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koptev, Alexander; Burov, Evgueni; Calais, Eric; Leroy, Sylvie; Gerya, Taras; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift system (EARS) provides a unique system with juxtaposition of two contrasting yet simultaneously formed rift branches, the eastern, magma-rich, and the western, magma-poor, on either side of the old thick Tanzanian craton embedded into younger lithosphere. Here we take advantage of the improvements in our understanding of deep structures, geological evolution and recent kinematics, together with new cutting edge numerical modeling techniques to design a three-dimensional ultra-high resolution viscous plastic thermo-mechanical numerical model that accounts for thermo-rheological structure of the lithosphere and hence captures the essential geophysical features of the central EARS. Based on our experiments, we show that in case of the mantle plume seeded slightly to the northeast of the craton center, the ascending plume material is deflected by the cratonic keel and preferentially channeled along the eastern side of the craton, leading to formation of a large rift zone characterized by important magmatic activity with substantial amounts of melts derived from mantle plume material. This model is in good agreement with the observations in the EARS, as it reproduces the magmatic eastern branch and at the same time, anticlockwise rotation of the craton. However, this experiment does not reproduce the observed strain localization along the western margin of the cratonic bloc. To explain the formation of contrasting magmatic and amagmatic rift branches initiating simultaneously on either side of a non-deforming block as observed in the central EARS, we experimentally explored several scenarios of which three can be retained as specifically pertaining to the EARS: (1) The most trivial first scenario assumes rheologically weak vertical interface simulating the suture zone observed in the geological structure along the western border of the craton; (2) The second scenario involves a second smaller plume initially shifted in SW direction; (3) Finally, a

  1. The life cycle of continental rifting as a focus for U.S.-African scientific collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.; Atekwana, Estella A.; Keller, G. Randy; Klemperer, Simon L.

    2004-11-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) provides the unique opportunity found nowhere else on Earth, to investigate extensional processes from incipient rifting in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, to continental breakup and creation of proto-oceanic basins 3000 km to the north in the Afar Depression in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti.The study of continental rifts is of great interest because they represent the initial stages of continental breakup and passive margin development, they are sites for large-scale sediment accumulation, and their geomorphology may have controlled human evolution in the past and localizes geologic hazards in the present. But there is little research that provides insights into the linkage between broad geodynamic processes and the life cycle of continental rifts: We do not know why some rifts evolve into mid-ocean ridges whereas others abort their evolution to become aulacogens. Numerous studies of the EARS and other continental rifts have significantly increased our understanding of rifting processes, but we particularly lack studies of the embryonic stages of rift creation and the last stages of extension when continental breakup occurs.

  2. The role of fluids in lower-crustal earthquakes near continental rifts.

    PubMed

    Reyners, Martin; Eberhart-Phillips, Donna; Stuart, Graham

    2007-04-26

    The occurrence of earthquakes in the lower crust near continental rifts has long been puzzling, as the lower crust is generally thought to be too hot for brittle failure to occur. Such anomalous events have usually been explained in terms of the lower crust being cooler than normal. But if the lower crust is indeed cold enough to produce earthquakes, then the uppermost mantle beneath it should also be cold enough, and yet uppermost mantle earthquakes are not observed. Numerous lower-crustal earthquakes occur near the southwestern termination of the Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ), an active continental rift in New Zealand. Here we present three-dimensional tomographic imaging of seismic velocities and seismic attenuation in this region using data from a dense seismograph deployment. We find that crustal earthquakes accurately relocated with our three-dimensional seismic velocity model form a continuous band along the rift, deepening from mostly less than 10 km in the central TVZ to depths of 30-40 km in the lower crust, 30 km southwest of the termination of the volcanic zone. These earthquakes often occur in swarms, suggesting fluid movement in critically loaded fault zones. Seismic velocities within the band are also consistent with the presence of fluids, and the deepening seismicity parallels the boundary between high seismic attenuation (interpreted as partial melt) within the central TVZ and low seismic attenuation in the crust to the southwest. This linking of upper and lower-crustal seismicity and crustal structure allows us to propose a common explanation for all the seismicity, involving the weakening of faults on the periphery of an otherwise dry, mafic crust by hot fluids, including those exsolved from underlying melt. Such fluids may generally be an important driver of lower-crustal seismicity near continental rifts.

  3. Prolonged post-rift magmatism on highly extended crust of divergent continental margins (Baiyun Sag, South China Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Fang; Alves, Tiago M.; Wu, Shiguo; Li, Wei; Huuse, Mads; Mi, Lijun; Sun, Qiliang; Ma, Benjun

    2016-07-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) seismic, borehole and geochemical data reveal a prolonged phase of post-rift magmatism on highly extended crust of the Baiyun Sag, South China Sea. Two volcanic complexes are identified and described in the context of continental rifting and diachronous continental breakup of the South China Sea. Biostratigraphic data from exploration wells BY7-1 and BY2, complemented by K-Ar datings from core samples, confirm that magmatic activity in the Baiyun Sag occurred in two main stages: (1) a first episode at the base of the Miocene (23.8 Ma); and (2) a second episode occurring at the end of the Early Miocene (17.6 Ma). The relative location of volcanic complexes in the Baiyun Sag, and their stratigraphic position, reveals prolonged magmatism inboard of the ocean-continent transition zone during continental breakup. We suggest that magmatism in the Baiyun Sag reflects progressive continental breakup in the South China Sea, with the last volcanic episode marking the end of a breakup sequence representing the early post-rift tectonic events associated with the continental breakup process. Seismic and borehole data from this breakup sequence records diachronous magma emplacement and complex changes in depositional environments during continental breakup.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is an active continental rift and ideal to investigate the processes of rift initiation and the breaking apart of continental lithosphere. Mantle and crust-derived fluids may play a pivotal role in both magmatism and faulting in the EAR. For instance, large quantities of mantle-derived volatiles are emitted at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano [1, 2]. Throughout the EAR, CO2-dominated volatile fluxes are prevalent [3, 4] and often associated with faults (i.e. Rungwe area, Tanzania, [5, 6]). The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between volcanism, faulting and the volatile compositions, focusing on the central and southern Kenyan and northern Tanzanian section of the EAR. We report our analysis results for samples obtained during a 2013 field season in Kenya. Gases were sampled at fumaroles and geothermal plants in caldera volcanoes (T=83.1-120.2°C) and springs (T=40-79.6°C and pH 8.5-10) located near volcanoes, intra-rift faults, and a transverse fault (the Kordjya fault, a key fluid source in the Magadi rift) by 4N-NaOH solution-filled and empty Giggenbach bottles. Headspace gases were analyzed by a Gas Chromatograph and a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer at the University of New Mexico. Both N2/Ar and N2/He ratios of all gases (35.38-205.31 and 142.92-564,272, respectively) range between air saturated water (ASW, 40 and ≥150,000) and MORB (100-200 and 40-50). In addition, an N2-Ar-He ternary diagram supports that the gases are produced by two component (mantle and air) mixing. Gases in the empty bottles from volcanoes and springs have N2 (90.88-895.99 mmom/mol), CO2 (2.47-681.21 mmom/mol), CH4 (0-214.78 mmom/mol), O2 (4.47-131.12 mmom/mol), H2 (0-35.78 mmom/mol), Ar (0.15-10.65 mmom/mol), He (0-2.21 mmom/mol), and CO (0-0.08 mmom/mol). Although some of the samples show an atmospheric component, CO2 is a major component in most samples, indicating both volcanoes and springs are emitting CO2. Gases from volcanoes are enriched in

  6. Misho mafic complex - A part of paleotethyan oceanic crust or a magmatism in continental rift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azimzadeh, Zohreh; Jahangiri, Ahmad; Saccani, Emilio; Dilek, Yildirim

    2013-04-01

    Misho Mafic Complex (NW Iran) represents a significant component of the West Cimmerian domain in Paleo-Tethys. The Misho Mafic Complex (MMC) consists of gabbro (mainly) and norıte,olivine gabbro, anorthosite and diorite with the east- west sereight. MMC has ıntrussıved ın Kahar sedımrtery Infta- Cambrıan rocks, crosscut by abundant basaltic dykes and the overlying basaltic sheeted dyke complex. Kahar sedimentary rocks are representing the northern margin of Gondwana. Misho mafic complex are covered by Permian sedimentary rocks. The gabbros and basaltic dykes have MORB affinities. MMC formed as a product of interactions between a depleted MORB-type asthenosphere and plume-type material. Mafic rocks represent an early Carboniferous magmatic event developed during the continental break-up of the northern edge of Gondwanaland that led to the opening of Paleotethys. Alternatively, these magmas may have been emplaced into the continental crust at the continental margin soon after the oceanic crust was formed (that is the oceanic crust was still narrow). There is no data for discriminating between these two hypotheses. In first hypothesis MMC is a part of ophiolites related to paleotethyan oceanic crust and the rocks that were above this crustal level should have necessarily been eroded. In another hypothesis Misho complex represents an aborted rift in a triple junction. Above a mantle plume, the continental crust breaks along three directions at 120 degrees. But, soon after, the extension proceeds along two of these three direction. Between them is formed the oceanic crust. The continental extension along the third direction is aborted. Here no oceanic crust if formed and there is only rifted, thinned continental crust. But, also in the aborted branch MORB magmatism can occur for short time. In this hypothesis, the Misho complex was never associated with oceanic crust, but was anyway associated with the opening of the Paleotethys. This magmatism was originally

  7. Continental breakup and UHP rock exhumation in action: GPS results from the Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, Laura M.; Ellis, Susan; Little, Tim; Tregoning, Paul; Palmer, Neville; Rosa, Robert; Stanaway, Richard; Oa, John; Nidkombu, Edwin; Kwazi, John

    2014-11-01

    show results from a network of campaign Global Positioning System (GPS) sites in the Woodlark Rift, southeastern Papua New Guinea, in a transition from seafloor spreading to continental rifting. GPS velocities indicate anticlockwise rotation (at 2-2.7°/Myr, relative to Australia) of crustal blocks north of the rift, producing 10-15 mm/yr of extension in the continental rift, increasing to 20-40 mm/yr of seafloor spreading at the Woodlark Spreading Center. Extension in the continental rift is distributed among multiple structures. These data demonstrate that low-angle normal faults in the continents, such as the Mai'iu Fault, can slip at high rates nearing 10 mm/yr. Extensional deformation observed in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, the site of the world's only actively exhuming Ultra-High Pressure (UHP) rock terrane, supports the idea that extensional processes play a critical role in UHP rock exhumation. GPS data do not require significant interseismic coupling on faults in the region, suggesting that much of the deformation may be aseismic. Westward transfer of deformation from the Woodlark Spreading Center to the main plate boundary fault in the continental rift (the Mai'iu fault) is accommodated by clockwise rotation of a tectonic block beneath Goodenough Bay, and by dextral strike slip on transfer faults within (and surrounding) Normanby Island. Contemporary extension rates in the Woodlark Spreading Center are 30-50% slower than those from seafloor spreading-derived magnetic anomalies. The 0.5 Ma to present seafloor spreading estimates for the Woodlark Basin may be overestimated, and a reevaluation of these data in the context of the GPS rates is warranted.

  8. 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.

  9. On the differences in continental rifting at the Earth, Mars and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nikishin, A. M.; Milanovsky, E. E.

    1985-01-01

    During the process of continental rifting on Earth, the lower ductile crust stretches, forming a neck, while the upper brittle crust is broken in blocks by faults, and the blocks sink down the thinned lower crust; if the stretching continues, the neck may break and a newly originated oceanic crust is formed at this place. The rift system structure depends on the depth of the boundary surface between the brittle crust and the ductile crust, the litospheric thickness, the tension value, etc.. The rigid brittle rifting when narrow necks form in the lower crust is characteristic of the contemporary Earth; on Mars the brittle rifting with large subsidence was characteristic of the Tharsis upland formation epoch. The ductile rifting is typical of the Venus. The differences in rheologic features of the lithospheres of different planets causes the variation in types of rifting.

  10. Thermo-rheological aspects of crustal evolution during continental breakup and melt intrusion: The Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavecchia, Alessio; Beekman, Fred; Clark, Stuart R.; Cloetingh, Sierd A. P. L.

    2016-08-01

    The Cenozoic-Quaternary Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) is characterized by extended magmatic activity. Although magmatism has been recognized as a key element in the process of continental breakup, the interaction between melts and intruded lithosphere is still poorly understood. We have performed a 2D thermo-rheological modeling study of continental crust incorporating rheological variations due to melt intrusion-related thermal perturbation. The model is calibrated based on the characteristics of lithologies occurring in the MER and its extensional history, and includes the effect of metamorphism and anatexis on crustal strength and rheological features. During Miocene early rift phases strain in the MER was mainly accommodated through rift border faults, whereas Pliocene-to-recent extension history is characterized by magma assisted rifting with most strain accommodated across magmatic segments in the rift axis. Consequently, very little strain is distributed in the old Pan-African to Paleogene crust during Pliocene to Holocene times. The magmatic activity along the rift axis created ≈ 20 km thick magmatic segments, with growth rate estimated to range from ≈ 3.5 mm yr- 1 to ≈ 6 mm yr- 1. Our model suggests that the strain transfer from Miocene rift border faults to magmatic segments was favored by a moderate increase in crustal strength, due to prograde metamorphism subsequent to the melt-induced thermal perturbation. Under such conditions, crustal stretching may not constitute an effective extension mechanism, thus strain may be preferentially accommodated by melt injection along hot, partially molten magmatic segments. Anatexis has been detected in our simulations, with melt fractions sufficient to break-up the crust solid framework and migrate. This determines local variations of rheological behavior and may induce seismicity. However, resulting melt percentages are not sufficient to induce widespread, crust-derived volcanic activity. Subsequently, volcanism

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tymms, V. J.; Isimm Team

    2003-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Updated models for continental rift zones need to address the role and development of low-angle normal fault networks, episodicity of extension, and interaction of 'active and passive' driving mechanisms. In the Rio Grande rift, USA, low-angle normal faults are found throughout the entire length of the rift, but make up a small percentage of the total fault population. The low-angle Jeter and Knife Edge faults, for example, crop out along the SW and NE margins of the Albuquerque basin, respectively. Apatite fission track (AFT) age-elevation data and apatite (U-Th)/He (AHe) ages from these rift flank uplifts record cooling between ~21 - 16 Ma in the NE rift flank and ~20 - 10 Ma in the SW, which coincides with times of rapid extension and voluminous syntectonic sedimentation. The timing of exhumation is also similar to rift flanks farther north in active margins based on AFT data alone. In addition, synthetic faults in the hanging wall of each low-angle fault become progressively steeper and younger basinward, and footwall blocks are the highest elevation along the rift flanks. These observations are consistent with a model where initially high-angle faults are shallowed in regions of maximum extension. As they rotate, new intrabasinal faults emerge which also can be rotated if extension continues. These relationships are similarly described in mature core complexes, and if these processes continued in the Rio Grande rift, it could eventually result in mid-crustal ductily deformed rocks in the footwall placed against surficial deposits in the hanging wall across faults that have been isostatically rotated to shallow dips. Although existing data are consistent with highest strain rates during a pulse of extension along the entire length of the rift 20-10 Ma., GPS-constrained measurements suggest that the rift is still actively-extending at 1.23-1.39 nstr/yr (Berglund et al., 2012). Additional evidence for Quaternary extension comes from travertine deposits that are

  14. Regional Hydrothermal Cooling During the Initiation of Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buck, W. R.

    2001-12-01

    Thermochronologic data from the uplifted flanks of the Red Sea clearly indicate at least two distinct phases of regional cooling: the first at about 32 Ma and the second at about 21 Ma according to Omar and Steckler (1995). The latter phase correlates well with the rapid subsidence in the rift and uplift of the flanks. Thus this cooling data is generally interpreted to result from tectonic denudation. The earlier cooling is more problematic, since sediments of the same age are not clearly identified in rift basins. A different explanation for the early cooling episode is suggested by numerical models of lithospheric stretching. Those models show that rift initiation can result in a very broad region of lithospheric downbending. This bending produces small magnitude (several percent) surface extension of the sides of the rift. Eventually, these rift flanks are bent in the opposite sense and uplifted. The earlier phase of extensional strain may create a system of cracks and faults of sufficient permeability to allow significant water circulation. Hydrothermal flow could produce cooling of rocks as deep as 5-10 km. The cooling would be recorded in low-temperature thermochrologic systems such as apatite fission tracks. Model thermal histories for different rift and hydrothermal flow histories are compared to fission track data from the Red Sea region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  16. Modelling Sea Floor Spreading Initiation and Depth Dependent Stretching at Rifted Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusznir, N. J.; Tymms, V.

    2003-12-01

    Depth dependent stretching, in which upper crustal extension is much less than that of the lower crust and lithospheric mantle, has been observed at both non-volcanic and volcanic margins and is not predicted by existing quantitative models of rifted margin formation which are usually based on intra-continental rift models subjected to very large stretching factors. New conceptual and quantitative models of rifted margin formation are required. The timing of depth dependent stretching on the Norwegian margin suggests that depth dependent stretching of continental rifted margin lithosphere occurs during early sea-floor spreading rather than during pre-breakup rifting. These observations suggest that the main thinning of rifted margin lithosphere occurs during early sea-floor spreading rather than during pre-breakup rifting. Single-phase fluid-flow models have been applied successfully to sea-floor spreading at ocean ridges. A single-phase fluid-flow model of sea-floor spreading initiation has been developed to determine rifted continental margin lithosphere thinning and thermal evolution resulting from early sea-floor spreading. The ocean-ridge initiation model uses an isoviscous corner-flow stream-function solution (Batchelor 1967) to predict the divergent lithospheric and asthenospheric fluid-flow field associated with early sea-floor spreading. The thinning of the rifted continental lithosphere is calculated by material advection in the newly initiated ocean ridge fluid-flow field. The model may also include the effects of pre-breakup pure-shear stretching of continental lithosphere. Rifted margin lithosphere thinning and thermal evolution is dependent on ocean-ridge spreading rate (Vx), the mantle upwelling velocity beneath the ridge axis (Vz), and the pre-breakup lithosphere beta stretching factor. The developed model predicts the thinning of the upper crust, lower crust and lithospheric mantle of the continental margin, and the history of rifted margin

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  18. Thermo-mechanical modeling of continental rift evolution over mantle upwelling in presence of far-field stresses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koptev, Alexander; Burov, Evgueni; Calais, Eric; Leroy, Sylvie; Gerya, Taras

    2016-04-01

    We conducted fully-coupled high resolution rheologically consistent 3D thermo-mechanical numerical models to investigate the processes of mantle-lithosphere interaction (MLI) in presence of preexisting far-field tectonic stresses. MLI-induced topography exhibits strongly asymmetric small-scale 3D features, such as rifts, flexural flank uplifts and complex faults structures. This suggests a dominant role of continental rheological structure and intra-plate stresses in controlling continental rifting and break-up processes above mantle upwelling while reconciling the passive (far-field tectonic stresses) versus active (plume-activated) rift concepts as our experiments show both processes in action. We tested different experiments by varying two principal controlling parameters: 1) horizontal extension velocity and 2) Moho temperature used as simplified indicator of the thermal and rheological lithosphere layering. An increase in the applied extension expectedly gives less localized deformation at lithospheric scale: the growth of external velocity from 1.5 mm/years to 6 mm/years leads to enlargement of the rift zones from 75-175 km to 150-425 km width. On the contrary, increasing of the lithospheric geotherm has an opposite effect leading to narrowing of the rift zone: the change of the Moho isotherm from 600°C to 800°C causes diminution of the rift width from 175-425 km to 75-150 km. Some of these finding are contra-intuitive in terms of usual assumptions. The models refer to strongly non-linear impact of far-field extension rates on timing of break-up processes. Experiments with relatively fast far-field extension (6 mm/years) show intensive normal fault localization in crust and uppermost mantle above the plume head at 15-20 Myrs after the onset of the experiment. When plume head material reaches the bottom of the continental crust (at 25 Myrs), the latter is rapidly ruptured (<1 Myrs) and several steady oceanic floor spreading centers develop. Slower (3 mm

  19. Magmatic lithospheric heating and weakening during continental rifting: A simple scaling law, a 2-D thermomechanical rifting model and the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmeling, Harro; Wallner, Herbert

    2012-08-01

    Continental rifting is accompanied by lithospheric thinning and decompressional melting. After extraction, melt is intruded at shallower depth thereby heating and weakening the lithosphere. In a feedback mechanism this weakening may assist rifting and melt production. A one-dimensional kinematic lithospheric thinning model is developed including decompressional melting and intrusional magma deposition. The intrusional heating effect is determined as a function of thinning rate and amount, melting parameters, potential temperature, and the depth range of emplacement. The temperature increases approximately proportionally to the square root of the thinning rate and to the square of the supersolidus potential temperature. Simple scaling laws are derived allowing predicting these effects and the surface heat flux for arbitrary scenarios. Two-dimensional thermomechanical extension models are carried out for a multicomponent (crust-mantle) two-phase (melt-matrix) system with a rheology based on laboratory data including magmatic weakening. In good agreement with the 1-D kinematic models it is found that the lithosphere may heat up by several 100 K. This heating enhances viscous weakening by one order of magnitude or more. In a feedback mechanism rifting is dynamically enforced, leading to a significant increase of rift induced melt generation. Including the effect of lateral focusing of magma toward the rift axis the laws are applied to different segments of the East African Rift System. The amount of intrusional heating increases with maturity of the rift from O(10 K) to up to 200 K or 400 K at the Afar Rift depending on the depth range of the magmatic emplacement.

  20. Fault-controlled hydration of the upper mantle during continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayrakci, G.; Minshull, T. A.; Sawyer, D. S.; Reston, T. J.; Klaeschen, D.; Papenberg, C.; Ranero, C.; Bull, J. M.; Davy, R. G.; Shillington, D. J.; Perez-Gussinye, M.; Morgan, J. K.

    2016-05-01

    Water and carbon are transferred from the ocean to the mantle in a process that alters mantle peridotite to create serpentinite and supports diverse ecosystems. Serpentinized mantle rocks are found beneath the sea floor at slow- to ultraslow-spreading mid-ocean ridges and are thought to be present at about half the world’s rifted margins. Serpentinite is also inferred to exist in the downgoing plate at subduction zones, where it may trigger arc magmatism or hydrate the deep Earth. Water is thought to reach the mantle via active faults. Here we show that serpentinization at the rifted continental margin offshore from western Spain was probably initiated when the whole crust cooled to become brittle and deformation was focused along large normal faults. We use seismic tomography to image the three-dimensional distribution of serpentinization in the mantle and find that the local volume of serpentinite beneath thinned, brittle crust is related to the amount of displacement along each fault. This implies that sea water reaches the mantle only when the faults are active. We estimate the fluid flux along the faults and find it is comparable to that inferred for mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems. We conclude that brittle processes in the crust may ultimately control the global flux of sea water into the Earth.

  1. 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.

  2. Influence of heterogeneities within the lithosphere on the deformation pattern of continental rift systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippon, Melody; Thieulot, Cedric; van Wijk, Jolante; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2013-04-01

    Understanding how heterogeneities within the lithosphere influence the deformation pattern in continental rifts still remains a challenge and is of real importance to constrain continental break-up. We have selected the Main Ethiopian Rift in East Africa and the Rio Grande Rift in the south-western U.S. These two rifts are perfect natural laboratories to investigate the effect of inherited as they share similar structural characteristics but develop above different kinds of lithosphere-scale heterogeneities. From a structural point of view both rifts show similar length (1000km), width (50 to 70 km) and asymmetry. The Main Ethiopian rift is the NE-SW trending plate boundary between the Nubian and Somalian plates that has been developing for the past 11 Ma above a palaeo-Proterozoic lithospheric-scale weak zone re-heated by the Afar hotspot, whereas the Rio Grande Rift is the eastern "boundary" of the Basin & Range system which has been developing for the past 30 Ma in the frame of a westward-retreating Farallon subduction zone. However, the Rio Grande Rift shows evidence of low angle normal faulting whereas the Main Ethiopian Rift shows steeply dipping (with a mean close to 70°) normal faults. The Main Ethiopian Rift shows larger volume of erupted lavas than the Rio Grande Rift. Combined with a structural analyses of both rifts, we present here a series of 2D cross sections numerical models that allow better understanding of the influence of initial heterogeneities such as 1) the rheological state of the crust; 2) the presence of a crustal-scale to lithospheric-scale discrete weak or strong zone, 3) the effects of the presence of magma. We illustrate that rheological boundaries are not reactivated if the rheological contrast it too high, which is the case of the Rio Grande Rift that developed to the east of the North American Craton within thinned lithosphere. We also illustrate that the width of the weak zone do no have any influence on the exhumation of the

  3. Rifting his­tory and structural development of the continental margin north of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grantz, Arthur; May, S.D.

    1982-01-01

    Seismic-reflection profiles in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea and onshore geology indicate that the continental margin north of Alaska is of Atlantic type. Rifting appears to have begun in earliest Jurassic time, about 190 to 185 m.y. ago, when crustal extension created a rift-valley system beneath the Beaufort shelf and part of the adjacent coastal plain. Subsequent crustal warming caused rift-margin uplift and erosion, created a breakup unconformity, and initiated breakup and seafloor spreading in the Canada Basin about 125 m.y. ago. Subsequent cooling caused rapid subsidence of the margin, which was followed by vigorous progradation of the present continental terrace of the Beaufort Sea beginning in Albian time.

  4. Insights into the effects of oblique extension on continental rift interaction from 3D analogue and numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwaan, Frank; Schreurs, Guido; Naliboff, John; Buiter, Susanne J. H.

    2016-12-01

    Continental rifts often develop from linkage of distinct rift segments under varying degrees of extension obliquity. These rift segments arise from rift initiation at non-aligned crustal heterogeneities and need to interact to develop a full-scale rift system. Here, we test the effects of 1) oblique extension and 2) initial heterogeneity (seed) offset on continental rift interaction with the use of an improved analogue model set-up. X-ray computer tomography (CT) techniques are used to analyse the 3D models through time and the results are compared with additional numerical models and natural examples. The experimental results reveal that increasing extension obliquity strongly changes rift segment structures from wide rifts in orthogonal settings to narrower rifts with oblique internal structures under oblique extension conditions to narrow strike-slip dominated systems towards the strike-slip domain. We also find that both decreasing seed offset and increasing extension obliquity promote hard linkage of rift segments through the formation of continuous rift boundary faults at the surface. (Initial) soft linkage through the formation of relay ramps is more likely when seed offset increases or extension is more orthogonal. Rather than linking at depth, the rift boundary faults curve around each other at depth and merge towards the surface to form a continuous trough. Orthogonal extension promotes the formation of intra-rift horsts, which may provide hydrocarbon traps in nature.

  5. Fault growth and propagation during incipient continental rifting: Insights from a combined aeromagnetic and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission digital elevation model investigation of the Okavango Rift Zone, northwest Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinabo, B. D.; Hogan, J. P.; Atekwana, E. A.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Modisi, M. P.

    2008-06-01

    Digital Elevation Models (DEM) extracted from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data and high-resolution aeromagnetic data are used to characterize the growth and propagation of faults associated with the early stages of continental extension in the Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ), northwest Botswana. Significant differences in the height of fault scarps and the throws across the faults in the basement indicate extended fault histories accompanied by sediment accumulation within the rift graben. Faults in the center of the rift either lack topographic expressions or are interpreted to have become inactive, or have large throws and small scarp heights indicating waning activity. Faults on the outer margins of the rift exhibit either (1) large throws or significant scarp heights and are considered older and active or (2) throws and scarp heights that are in closer agreement and are considered young and active. Fault linkages between major fault systems through a process of "fault piracy" have combined to establish an immature border fault for the ORZ. Thus, in addition to growing in length (by along-axis linkage of segments), the rift is also growing in width (by transferring motion to younger faults along the outer margins while abandoning older faults in the middle). Finally, utilization of preexisting zones of weakness allowed the development of very long faults (>100 km) at a very early stage of continental rifting, explaining the apparent paradox between the fault length versus throw for this young rift. This study clearly demonstrates that the integration of the SRTM DEM and aeromagnetic data provides a 3-D view of the faults and fault systems, providing new insight into fault growth and propagation during the nascent stages of continental rifting.

  6. Crustal and sub-continental lithospheric mantle decoupling beneath the Malawi Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Njinju, Emmanuel Atem

    We analyzed satellite gravity and aeromagnetic data using the two-dimensional (2D) power-density spectrum technique to investigate the lithospheric and thermal structure beneath the magma-starved Malawi Rift, which forms the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We observed: (1) lack of consistent pattern of crustal thinning and elevated heat flow along the surface expression of the rift. Beneath the Rungwe Volcanic Province (RVP) in the north, the crustal thickness ranges between 40 and 45 km and varies between 35 and 40 km along the entire length of the rift. (2) shallow lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) elevated to ˜64 km beneath the entire length of the rift and deeper than 100 km beneath the surrounding Precambrian terranes reaching in places ˜124 km. (3) localized zones of high heat flow (70-75 mWm-2) beneath the RVP, and the central and southern parts of the rift. The central and southern thermal anomalies are due to the presence of uranium deposits in the Karoo sedimentary rocks. We interpret the crustal thickness heterogeneity to have been inherited from pre-existing lithospheric stretching, while strain during the extension of the Malawi Rift is preferentially localized in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). Our interpretation is supported by 2D forward modeling of the gravity data showing uniform stretching of the SCLM by a factor of 1.5 to 1.8 beneath the entire length of the rift. Our results indicate decoupling of the crust from the SCLM during the early stages of the development of the Malawi Rift.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-06

    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.

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skogseid, Jakob

    2014-05-01

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

  11. Crustal structure of the southern Okinawa Trough: Symmetrical rifting, submarine volcano, and potential mantle accretion in the continental back-arc basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, Ryuta; Kodaira, Shuichi; Yuka, Kaiho; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Miura, Seiichi; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki

    2017-01-01

    Back-arc basins are a primary target to understand lithospheric evolution in extension associated with plate subduction. Most of the currently active back-arc basins formed in intraoceanic settings and host well-developed spreading centers where seafloor spreading has occurred. However, rift structure at its initial stage, a key to understand how the continental lithosphere starts to break in a magma-rich back-arc setting, is poorly documented. Here we present seismological evidence for structure of the southern Okinawa Trough, an active rift zone behind the Ryukyu subduction zone. We find that the southern Okinawa Trough exhibits an almost symmetric rift system across the rift axis (Yaeyama Rift) and that the sedimentary layers are highly cut by inward dipping normal faults. The rift structure also accompanies a narrow (2-7 km wide) on-axis intrusion resulted from passive upwelling of magma. On the other hand, an active submarine volcano is located 10 km away from the rift axis. The P wave velocity (Vp) model derived from seismic refraction data suggests that the crust has been significantly thinned from the original 25 km thick arc crust and the thinnest part with 12 km thickness occurs directly beneath the rift axis. The velocity model also reveals that there exists a thick layer with Vp of 6.5-7.2 km/s at lower crustal levels and may indicate that mantle materials accreted at the bottom of the crust during the crustal stretching. The abrupt crustal thinning and the velocity-depth profile suggest that the southern Okinawa Trough is at a transitional stage from continental rifting to seafloor spreading.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  13. A Joint Inversion for Velocity and Anisotropy Structure Beneath a Highly Extended Continental Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    We jointly invert body wave travel times for anisotropy and velocity variations within the Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea, one of the youngest (≤6Ma) and most highly-extended (≤190km) continental rifts known. We use data from the CDPapua passive seismic array deployed around the D'Entrecasteaux Islands; these islands lie within the maximally-thinned continental crust at the centre of the rift and host the world's youngest (5 - 7 Ma) UHP rocks. We have previously used SK(K)S splitting to identify strong anisotropy within this rift, with fast axis orientated parallel to extension, roughly N-S. Consistency of splitting direction across station, back azimuth and method of analysis indicates a simple anisotropic fabric beneath much of this region. Consequently, we simplify the anisotropic inversion by solving for perturbations to N-S and E-W shear velocities at each node. This work builds on our previous isotropic tomographic study by resolving tradeoffs between anisotropy and velocity heterogeneities. We cross-correlate shear wave arrivals separately on N-S and E-W components, using the Christoffel equations to show that the travel times of these orthogonal quasi-shear pulses distinctly record the fast and slow velocities within our model. We invert these data for velocities on an irregular mesh, using a finite frequency approach with a first fresnel zone approximation. Preliminary results identify the locus of the rift beneath the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, and demonstrate that substantial anisotropy is present beneath the region of major extension. This anisotropy is co-located with low seismic velocities that indicate almost total removal of lithosphere, consistent with gravity fitting. Therefore, we ascribe the anisotropy within the rift to LPO of highly sheared asthenospheric mantle as a result of the large magnitude of extension.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmers, James

    2014-05-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Influence of the mechanical coupling and inherited strength variations on the geometry of continental rifts.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippon, Melody; van Delft, Pim; van Winden, Matthijs; Zamuroviç, Dejan; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2013-04-01

    The geometry of continental rifts is strongly controlled by the rheology of the lithosphere at the onset of rifting. This initial geometry will further control the development of ocean spreading centers and the structure of adjacent passive margins. Therefore, understanding the influence of coupling between the different layers of the lithosphere with and without laterally variable strength in the crust is key when investigating continental rifts. In this study we infer the influence of coupling in the crust on the rift geometry by means of crustal scale analogue experiments, where we characterize the response of the crust to deformation in terms of the strength ratio between brittle and ductile crust. The degree of coupling has been varied for setups containing or not a pre-existing weak zone. To allow a better description of the geometry obtained in our models, some key observations such as: a) the degree of tilting of the blocks, b) the total width of the graben, c) the displacement along the main fault and d) the distribution of thinning in the lower crust are monitored. Models containing a weak zone are compared to natural examples of the inherited Mozambique Ocean suture zones (MOSZ) in the Red Sea rift. The modelling results suggest that deformation is not a-priori localized within pre-existing weak zones unless the coupling between the brittle and the ductile crust is high. With respect to the MOSZ, we infer that: (1) Jurassic NW-SE trending grabens developed parallel to but not within the MOSZ and hence reflect a low degree of coupling whereas (2) Eocene rifting in the Red Sea occurred under coupled conditions as deformation strongly focused within the MOSZ. Models without weak zone shows that large-scale detachment faults can also form within a highly coupled crust, which is at variance to the common perception that detachment faulting demands strong decoupling. Our findings shed light on natural rift systems, which show a wide range of geometries that

  17. Stretching and thinning factors viewed through numerical models of continental extension and rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayman, N. W.; Svartman Dias, A. E.; Lavier, L.

    2015-12-01

    Rifted continental margins share a transition from a thickened crust to thinned transitional crust that can span either modest (i.e. 10's of km) to large (i.e. 100's of km) distances. A longstanding question surrounding rifted margins concerns how the fault-restored extension in the upper crust from fault-heave measurements does not match that expected from crustal thinning observed in seismic data or thinning factors calculated using uniform pure-shear subsidence models, the so-called "extension discrepancy". Here, we revisit this issue at the lithosphere scale drawing on recently completed numerical results. We extract thinning profiles from four end-member geodynamic models with varying width and asymmetry, and propose tectonic models that best explain those results. Moreover, we relate the spatial and temporal evolution of crustal thinning to mantle thinning, something difficult to achieve only by using observations due to the lack of geologic relationships that constrain thinning at different stages between continental rift and lithospheric breakup. Our results support the hypothesis that the upper to lower crust extension discrepancy is overestimated because of the difficulty to recognize both polyphase sequential faulting, and detachment faults in seismic data. But, more importantly, the results support that depth-dependent stretching is likely to predominate at specific stages of rift evolution because crustal and mantle thinning distributions are not always spatially coincident, and at times are not even balanced by an equal magnitude of thinning in two-dimensions. Thus, depth-dependent stretching is an important controlling factor on rifted margins evolution, but not in the manner historically proposed, and its implications in subsidence and thermal histories of margins will likely require integrating results of geodynamic models into kinematic subsidence and heat flow studies.

  18. Back-arc rifting initiated with a hot and wet continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamasaki, Tadashi; Stephenson, Randell

    2011-02-01

    How back-arc rifting is initiated is studied by inferring the tectonic force and strain rate regimes from published subsidence data for nine back-arc basins in the European Tethyan belt and in the western Pacific. The results show that rifting only begins after some particular magnitude of tectonic force is reached. This implies that subduction has already progressed to a point such that the total negative buoyancy of the slab becomes so large that the relevant tectonic force exceeds its bending strength. Once back-arc rifting has been initiated, the force required to maintain it gradually decays. This indicates that the processes governing back-arc extension are fast enough that lithosphere weakening due to an increase in geothermal gradient exceeds strengthening due to the thermal relaxation and crustal thinning. This is achieved, given currently accepted estimates for the maximum force (≤ 7 TN/m), if the thickness of the thermal lithosphere is significantly less than 125 km and if the lithosphere has a wet rheology, meaning that a weak continental lithosphere is required for the initiation of back-arc rifting. The presence of significant strength in the uppermost mantle is not precluded, but it is not required.

  19. Provenance, sedimentology, and tectonic setting of ancient sandstones and conglomerates in a Continental rift basin: Espanola basin, Rio Grande rift, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Cavazza, W.

    1988-02-01

    The Miocene fill of the Espanola basin half-graben is composed of two lithosomes with different provenance, paleocurrents, sandstone and conglomerate petrology, and sedimentary facies. Lithosome A has westward paleocurrents, basement-derived detrital composition, and represents sedimentation in a braid plain-sand flat-ephemeral lake system. Lithosome B has south-southwest-directed paleocurrents, a large volcaniclastic and sedimentary clastic detrital component, and represents a perennial fluvial system. Despite being derived from the unfaulted side of the Espanola half-graben, both lithosomes display upward-fining megasequences (100-400 m thick), comparable to similar megasequences derived from tectonically active basin margins. Thus, vertical arrangement of sedimentary deposits along the unfaulted margin of an asymmetrical rift basin can be determined by tectonism along the opposite, deeper margin. Continental rifts are ideal settings for detailed provenance studies. Variety of lithologies in the sediment source area (basement, sedimentary cover, and volcanic strata) provides petrologic tracers to delineate the sediment paleodispersal system. For the Miocene fill of the Espanola basin, integration of petrologic (sandstone point-counting, conglomerate clast-counting) and sedimentologic (paleocurrent and facies analyses) techniques resulted in identification of two genetically significant rock bodies not corresponding to previously established lithostratigraphic units.

  20. Magma-maintained rift segmentation at continental rupture in the 2005 Afar dyking episode.

    PubMed

    Wright, Tim J; Ebinger, Cindy; Biggs, Juliet; Ayele, Atalay; Yirgu, Gezahegn; Keir, Derek; Stork, Anna

    2006-07-20

    Seafloor spreading centres show a regular along-axis segmentation thought to be produced by a segmented magma supply in the passively upwelling mantle. On the other hand, continental rifts are segmented by large offset normal faults, and many lack magmatism. It is unclear how, when and where the ubiquitous segmented melt zones are emplaced during the continental rupture process. Between 14 September and 4 October 2005, 163 earthquakes (magnitudes greater than 3.9) and a volcanic eruption occurred within the approximately 60-km-long Dabbahu magmatic segment of the Afar rift, a nascent seafloor spreading centre in stretched continental lithosphere. Here we present a three-dimensional deformation field for the Dabbahu rifting episode derived from satellite radar data, which shows that the entire segment ruptured, making it the largest to have occurred on land in the era of satellite geodesy. Simple elastic modelling shows that the magmatic segment opened by up to 8 m, yet seismic rupture can account for only 8 per cent of the observed deformation. Magma was injected along a dyke between depths of 2 and 9 km, corresponding to a total intrusion volume of approximately 2.5 km3. Much of the magma appears to have originated from shallow chambers beneath Dabbahu and Gabho volcanoes at the northern end of the segment, where an explosive fissural eruption occurred on 26 September 2005. Although comparable in magnitude to the ten year (1975-84) Krafla events in Iceland, seismic data suggest that most of the Dabbahu dyke intrusion occurred in less than a week. Thus, magma intrusion via dyking, rather than segmented normal faulting, maintains and probably initiated the along-axis segmentation along this sector of the Nubia-Arabia plate boundary.

  1. 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.

  2. Hydrogeological structure of a seafloor hydrothermal system related to backarc rifting in a continental margin setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishibashi, Jun-ichiro

    2016-04-01

    Seafloor hydrothermal systems in the Okinawa Trough backarc basin are considered as related to backarc rifting in a continental margin setting. Since the seafloor is dominantly covered with felsic volcaniclastic material and/or terrigenous sediment, hydrothermal circulation is expected to be distributed within sediment layers of significantly high porosity. Deep drilling through an active hydrothermal field at the Iheya North Knoll in the middle Okinawa Trough during IODP Expedition 331 provided a unique opportunity to directly access the subseafloor. While sedimentation along the slopes of the knoll was dominated by volcanic clasts of tubular pumice, intense hydrothermal alteration was recognized in the vicinity of the hydrothermal center even at very shallow depths. Detailed mineralogical and geochemical studies of hydrothermal clay minerals in the altered sediment suggest that the prevalent alteration is attributed to laterally extensive fluid intrusion and occupation within the sediment layer. Onboard measurements of physical properties of the obtained sediment revealed drastic changes of the porosity caused by hydrothermal interactions. While unaltered sediment showed porosity higher than 70%, the porosity drastically decreased in the layer of anhydrite formation. On the other hand, the porosity remained high (~50%) in the layer of only chlorite alteration. Cap rock formation caused by anhydrite precipitation would inhibit the ascent of high temperature fluids to the seafloor. Moreover, an interbedded nature of pelagic mud units and matrix-free pumice deposits may prompt formation of a tightly layered architecture of aquifers and aquicludes. This sediment architecture should be highly conducive to lateral flow pseudo-parallel to the surface topography. Occurrence of sphalerite-rich sulfides was recognized as associated with detrital and altered sediment, suggesting mineralization related to subsurface chemical processes. Moreover, the vertical profiles of

  3. Dynamic magmatic processes at a continental rift caldera, observed using satellite geodesy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, Ryan; Biggs, Juliet; Birhanu, Yelebe; Wilks, Matt; Gottsmann, Jo; Kendall, Mike; Lewi, Elias

    2016-04-01

    Large silicic calderas are a key feature of developing continental rifts, such as the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), and are often observed to be deforming. Corbetti is one such example of a Holocene caldera in the MER that is undergoing deformation. However, the cause of the unrest, and the relationship to rift processes such as magma storage, transport and extension remain poorly understood. To investigate, we use InSAR (ascending and descending Cosmo-SkyMed data) and continuous GPS to observe the temporal and spatial evolution of sustained uplift at the Corbetti Caldera. Within the caldera, which was thought to have formed ~200 ka, there is evidence for numerous periods of resurgent volcanism in the form of plinian eruptions as well as effusive obsidian flows. How the sources of these varying styles of volcanism are reconciled at depth and in time is currently poorly constrained. Previous research has shown that pre-rift structures have a significant influence on the strain field, and hence on the magmatic and hydrothermal processes which drive it. The Cosmo-SkyMed data used in this study was specifically chosen such that each ascending image has a corresponding descending image acquired as contemporaneously as possible. This is necessary, given the rate of uplift, so as to reduce the number of assumptions when constructing time-series from multiple look directions, and when incorporating GPS data. We decompose the ascending and descending line-of-site deformation signals into vertical and east-west components and use finite source modeling to constrain the depth and geometry of the source of deformation. These results are then compared to available seismic, dynamic microgravity and magnetotelluric data to better understand this system, and how it is related to the volcanic hazard and local geothermal resources.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Numerical model of the transition from continental rifting to oceanization: the case study of the Ligure-Piemontese ocean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roda, M.; Marotta, A. M.; Conte, K.; Spalla, M. I.

    2015-12-01

    The transition from continental rifting to oceanization has been investigated by mean of a 2D thermo-mechanical numerical model in which the formation of oceanic crust by mantle serpentinization, due to the hydration of the uprising peridotite, as been implemented. Model predictions have been compared with natural data related to the Permian-Triassic thinning affecting the continental lithosphere of the Alpine domain, in order to identify which portions of the present Alpine-Apennine system, preserving the imprints of Permian-Triassic high temperature (HT) metamorphism, is compatible, in terms of lithostratigraphy and tectono-metamorphic evolution, with a lithospheric extension preceding the opening of the Ligure-Piemontese oceanic basin. At this purpose age, petrological and structural data from the Alpine and Apennine ophiolite complexes are compared with model predictions from the oceanization stage. Our comparative analysis supports the thesis that the lithospheric extension preceding the opening of the Alpine Tethys did not start on a stable continental lithosphere, but developed by recycling part of the old Variscan collisional suture. The HT Permian-Triassic metamorphic re-equilibration overprints an inherited tectonic and metamorphic setting consequent to the Variscan subduction and collision, making the Alps a key case history to explore mechanisms responsible for the re-activation of orogenic scars.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Calcium chloride brines: The vital component in the hydrothermal brine-hydrothermal ore deposit-evaporite-basinal brine cycle in continental rift basins

    SciTech Connect

    Hardie, L. . Dept. of Earth and Planetary Science)

    1992-01-01

    Nonmarine evaporites are forming today in chloride-rich saline lakes in a number of arid continental rift and strike-slip basins that are characterized by upwelling of subsurface CaCl[sub 2]-bearing brines driven by forced convection of cool basinal brines or by free convection of hydrothermal brines which reach the surface as brine springs. The compositions of these upwelling brines are distinctively different from that of seawater or typical continental waters due primarily to their high proportion of Ca and low proportion of SO[sub 4]. The most viable explanation for the CaCl[sub 2] composition of these upwelling brines is the interaction between hot convecting groundwaters and bedrock at or above zeolite facies temperatures, as for example occurs in the modern Salton Sea basin. Such upwelling CaCl[sub 2] brines in extensional fault basins can explain the puzzling chemical composition of MgSO[sub 4]-poor potash evaporites, the least understood of all ancient salt deposits. In this regard it is suggested that the following cyclic succession of processes occurs in active continental rift basins during a magmatically-driven thermal event: (1) hydrothermal convection of the ambient porewaters in the rift sediments, (2) dissolution of buried evaporites and hydrothermal metamorphism of the rift sediments, (3) hydrothermal ore deposition in fault-related fractures and within the rift sediments, (4) upwelling brine springs add CaCl[sub 2] and KCl components to the surface lake waters, which on evaporation produce MgSO[sub 4]-poor potash evaporites, (5) decay of the thermal event leads to cool down of the hot brines, which now migrate gravitationally to the deeper parts of the basin to become static Na-Ca-Cl basinal brines.

  8. Evolution of the SW African passive continental margin during the post-rift phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressel, Ingo; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Götze, Hans-Jürgen; Reichert, Christian

    2014-05-01

    The tectonic evolution of the SW African margin and the breakup of the South Atlantic Ocean are still under debate. Furthermore, there are economic interests in terms of hydrocarbon resources. In particular, the understanding of the subsidence history at the SW African passive continental margin can help to investigate the evolution of this margin. For this reason, we aim to reconstruct paleotopographies for three time steps during the post-rift phase (112 Ma to present day). These three time steps are: Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (67 Ma), Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (93 Ma) and start post-rift (112 Ma). We use a recent regional scale 3D structural model (Maystrenko et al., 2013) as base for our subsidence analysis. This model includes the upper mantle, the crystalline crust, four sedimentary units as well as the water column. The sedimentary units comprise sediments of the (1) Cenozoic, (2) base Turonian-base Cenozoic, (3) base Aptian-base Turonian and (4) pre-Aptian sediments. Therefore, our subsidence reconstruction has the particular advantage that we include as much present day information as possible. In order to reconstruct paleotopographies we calculate the subsidence components separately. On the one hand we determine the thermal subsidence due to cooling of the lithosphere. On the other hand, the load induced subsidence exerted by the preserved sedimentary cover is calculated by applying a backstripping method which considers local isostatic rebound and decompaction. Both the amount of thermal subsidence and the amount of load induced subsidence are then subtracted from the total subsidence which is nowadays observed. Subtracting these individual subsidence components leads to the paleotopographies. The paleotopographies provide information about the long-term behavior of the margin area since the beginning of the post-rift phase. Moreover, the paleotopographies provide the opportunity to estimate vertical movements which have occurred during the post-rift

  9. Rifting of the Tyrrhenian Basin: A Natural Laboratory to Study Extension of Continental Lithosphere and Conjugate Rifted Margin Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranero, C. R.; Sallares, V.; Grevemeyer, I.; Zitellini, N.; Vendrell, M. G.; Prada, M.; Moeller, S.; Party, M. C.; Medoc Cruise Party

    2011-12-01

    The Tyrrhenian basin has been created by extension of continental lithosphere above a retreating slab during the Neogene. The basin is not currently extending, but its structure preserves information of the time evolution of the rifting process. The basin opened from north to south with different amounts of extension. The northern region stopped opening after relatively low extension. The amount of extension increases southwards to a region where full crustal separation produced mantle exhumation. The final structure displays two conjugate margins with an asymmetric structure. We present results from a two-vessel seismic experiment that took place in spring 2010. The cruise was carried out with the Spanish R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa (SdG) and the Italian R/V Urania in a first leg. The ships collected 5 E-W trending wide-angle seismic (WAS) profiles across the entire basin using 17 Ocean Bottom Seismometers and 25 Ocean Bottom Hydrophones and a 4800 c.i. G-II gun array. During the second leg the R/V SdG collected 16 Multichannel Seismic Reflection (MCS) profiles using a 3.75 km-long streamer and a 3000 c.i. G-II gun array. MCS profiles were acquired coincident with the WAS profiles, and a number of additional lines concentrated in the central region of the basin where mantle exhumation took place. The seismic data covers the region of the basin that experienced different amount of extension from north to south. In this presentation we compare observations from different transects to study the evolution of the processes of continental margin formation by trading space (different areas with different extension factors) for time (evolution of extension). Each transect provides the tectonic structure, the geometry of sedimentary deposits, and seismic velocity distribution. This information allows to interpret the mechanisms of deformation and to study the symmetry-asymmetry structure of the conjugated margins, and thus of the processes involved in their formation. The

  10. Short-term forecasting of aftershock sequences, microseismicity and swarms inside the Corinth Gulf continental rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Segou, Margarita

    2014-05-01

    Corinth Gulf (Central Greece) is the fastest continental rift in the world with extension rates 11-15 mm/yr with diverse seismic deformation including earthquakes with M greater than 6.0, several periods of increased microseismic activity, usually lasting few months and possibly related with fluid diffusion, and swarm episodes lasting few days. In this study I perform a retrospective forecast experiment between 1995-2012, focusing on the comparison between physics-based and statistical models for short term time classes. Even though Corinth gulf has been studied extensively in the past there is still today a debate whether earthquake activity is related with the existence of either a shallow dipping structure or steeply dipping normal faults. In the light of the above statement, two CRS realization are based on resolving Coulomb stress changes on specified receiver faults, expressing the aforementioned structural models, whereas the third CRS model uses optimally-oriented for failure planes. The CRS implementation accounts for stress changes following all major ruptures with M greater than 4.5 within the testing phase. I also estimate fault constitutive parameters from modeling the response to major earthquakes at the vicinity of the gulf (Aσ=0.2, stressing rate app. 0.02 bar/yr). The generic ETAS parameters are taken as the maximum likelihood estimates derived from the stochastic declustering of the modern seismicity catalog (1995-2012) with minimum triggering magnitude M2.5. I test whether the generic ETAS can efficiently describe the aftershock spatio-temporal clustering but also the evolution of swarm episodes and microseismicity. For the reason above, I implement likelihood tests to evaluate the forecasts for their spatial consistency and for the total amount of predicted versus observed events with M greater than 3.0 in 10-day time windows during three distinct evaluation phases; the first evaluation phase focuses on the Aigio 1995 aftershock sequence (15

  11. 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.

  12. Rift basins - Origin, history, and distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K. C.

    1985-01-01

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

  13. Geothermal measurements in the northern Red Sea: Implications for lithospheric thermal structure and mode of extension during continental rifting

    SciTech Connect

    Martinez, F.; Cochran, J.R. )

    1989-09-10

    The northern Red Sea is a continental rift in the process of transition from continental to oceanic rifting. We present 191 new heat flow measurements from the northern Red Sea forming three traverses across the water covered portion of the rift. The heat flow across the rift systematically increases from values of about 125 mW/m{sup 2} seaward of the coasts to average values greater than 250 mW/m{sup 2} in the axial depression. The heat flow measurements are evaluated for environmental disturbances. These are found to be generally small. The largest estimated disturbance results from the relief of the seafloor and of the top of a subbottom evaporite layer. The relief on these surfaces can account for the 20% point to point scatter typically observed in the heat flow measurements. Limits are placed on systematic disturbances to the heat flow pattern across the rift. The estimated largest systematic disturbance results from sediment blanketing which may cause a reduction in the heat flow on the order of 10%.

  14. Evidences of a Lithospheric Fault Zone in the Sicily Channel Continental Rift (Southern Italy) from Instrumental Seismicity Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, L.; Calo, M.

    2013-12-01

    The Sicily Channel continental rift is located in the African Plate and is submerged by a shallow sea extending from the northern coast of Africa to the southern coast of Sicily (southern Italy). The area is affected by an extensional regime since early Pliocene, which thins the continental crust and produces NW-SE oriented Pantelleria, Linosa and Malta grabens. The rift-related volcanic activity is represented by Pantelleria and Linosa Islands and a series of magmatic manifestations roughly NNE-SSW aligned, from Linosa Island to the Nameless Bank, in proximity of the Sicilian coast. Recent rapid magmatic ascents occurred along the strip near to the Sicilian coast in a region named Graham Bank. The NNE-SSW strip has already been recognised as a separation belt between the western sector of the rift (Pantelleria graben) and the eastern one (Linosa and Malta grabens). Seismic profiles suggest the presence of near vertical structures associated with strike slip fault zones. Bathymetric data show a 15-20 km wide zone characterised by several shallow basins irregularly alternated by topographic highs. However, evidences of a N-S or NNE-SSW orientated faults have not been found. In this work we re-localised the instrumental seismicity recorded between 1981 and 2012 in the Sicily Channel and western Sicily using the Double Difference method (Waldhauser, 2001, 2012) and 3D Vp and Vs models (Calò et al., 2013). The statistical analysis of the relocated seismicity together with the study of seismic energy release distribution allows us to describe the main patterns associated with the active faults in the western Sicily Straits. Here we find that most of the events in the Sicily Channel are highly clustered between 12.5°- 13.5°E and 35.5°-37°N with hypocentral depth between 5-40 km, reaching in some cases 70 km of depth. Seismic events seem to be aligned along a sub-vertical shear zone that is long at least 250 km and oriented approximately NNE-SSW. The spatial

  15. Large vertical motions and basin evolution in the Outer Continental Borderland off Southern California associated with plate boundary development and continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicholson, C.; Sorlien, C. C.; Schindler, C. S.; De Hoogh, G.

    2011-12-01

    The Continental Borderland offshore southern California occupies a strategic position along the continental margin. It was the locus of ~75% of Pacific-North America displacement history, it helped accommodate the large-scale (>90°) tectonic rotation of the Western Transverse Ranges province, and is still accommodating potentially 20% of PAC-NAM plate motion today. As such, it represents an ideal natural laboratory to investigate plate boundary evolution and basin development associated with transform initiation, oblique continental rifting, transrotation and transpression. We have been using newly released grids of high-quality industry multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection data, combined with multibeam bathymetry and offshore well data to map and construct digital 3D fault surfaces and stratigraphic reference horizons over large parts of the Outer Continental Borderland. These 3D surfaces of structure and stratigraphy can be used to better understand and evaluate regional patterns of uplift, subsidence, fault interaction and other aspects of plate boundary deformation. In the northern Outer Borderland, mapping in Santa Cruz basin, and across both Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz-Catalina ridges reveals a pattern of interacting high-and low-angle faults, fault reactivation, basin subsidence, folding, and basin inversion. Subsidence since early-Miocene time is significant (up to 4 km) and is much larger than predicted by simple thermal cooling models of continental rifting. This requires additional tectonic components to drive this regional subsidence and subsequent basin inversion. Farther south, a more en echelon pattern of ridges and basins suggests a distributed component of right-lateral shear also contributed to much of the modern Borderland seafloor topography, including major Borderland basins. Vertical motions of uplift and subsidence can be estimated from a prominent early-Miocene unconformity that likely represents a regional, paleo-horizontal, near

  16. Post-rift influence of small-scale convection on the landscape evolution at divergent continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacek, Victor

    2017-02-01

    After decades of geological and geophysical data acquisition along with quantitative modeling of the long-term evolution of the landscape at divergent continental margins, the search for an explanation for the formation and evolution of steep escarpments bordering the coast is still a challenging task. One difficult aspect to explain about the evolution of these escarpments is the expressive variability of denudation rate through the post-rift phase observed in many margins. Here I propose that the interaction of small-scale convection in the asthenosphere with the base of the continental lithosphere can create intermittent vertical displacements of the surface with magnitude of a few hundreds of meters at the continental margin. These topographic perturbations are sufficient to produce an expressive variability in the rate of erosion of the landscape through the post-rift phase similar to the exhumation history observed along old divergent margins. I show that the vertical motion of the surface is amplified when a mobile belt is present at the continental margin, with lithospheric mantle less viscous than the cratonic lithosphere and, consequently, more prone to be partially eroded by the convective asthenosphere. I conclude that the influence of small-scale convection is not the primary explanation for the formation of high topographic features at divergent continental margins, but can be an important component contributing to sustain a preexistent escarpment. The present results are based on numerical simulations that combine thermochemical convection in the mantle, flexure of the lithosphere and surface processes of erosion and sedimentation.

  17. Middle to late cenozoic magmatism of the southeastern Colorado plateau and central Rio Grande rift (New Mexico and Arizona, U.S.A.) : a model for continental rifting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baldridge, W.S.; Perry, F.V.; Vaniman, D.T.; Nealey, L.D.; Leavy, B.D.; Laughlin, A.W.; Kyle, P.; Bartov, Y.; Steinitz, G.; Gladney, E.S.

    1991-01-01

    The region of the present Rio Grande rift and southeastern Colorado Plateau underwent lithospheric extension during middle to late Cenozoic deformation affecting the entire southwestern U.S. Lithospheric mantle was disrupted, and in many regions displaced or replaced by asthenospheric mantle at depths from which basaltic magmas were derived and erupted to the surface. Study of the igneous rocks erupted or intruded during this deformation yields insights into processes of magmatism associated with extension of continental lithosphere. Magmatic rocks associated with an early (late Oligocene-early Miocene) ductile phase of extension are dominantly basaltic andesites and related, calc-alkaline intermediate to silicic derivative rocks. Mafic magmas were probably derived from isotopically "enriched" lithospheric mantle. Igneous rocks associated with a later (middle Miocene-Holocene), more brittle phase of extension include widespread basaltic rocks and localized central volcanoes of intermediate to silicic composition. Isotopic compositions of mafic rocks, which include both tholeiitic and alkalic basalts, correlate strongly with tectonic setting and lithospheric structure. Basalts erupted in areas of greatest crustal extension, such as the central and southern rift and Basin and Range province, were derived from isotopically "depleted" (correlated with "asthenospheric") mantle. Also, isotopic compositions of Pliocene to Holocene basalts are slightly more depleted than those of Miocene basalts, suggesting that subcrustal lithospheric mantle was thinned during late Miocene extension. Intermediate rocks of the central volcanoes formed by a complex combination of processes, probably dominated by fractional crystallization and by assimilation of upper and lower crust in isolated, small magma chambers. The petrologic, geochemical, and isotopic data are compatible with a model, derived first from geophysical data, whereby lithosphere is thinned beneath the central rift and

  18. The role of rifting in the development of the continental margins of the southwest subbasin, South China Sea: Insights from an OBS experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lü, Chuanchuan; Hao, Tianyao; Lin, Jian; Qiu, Xuelin

    2016-11-01

    The continental margins of the southwest subbasin in the South China Sea mark a unique transition from multi-stages magma-poor continental rifting to seafloor spreading. We used reflection and refraction profiles across the margins to investigate the rifting process of the crust. Combining with the other seismic profiles acquired earlier, we focused on the comparative geological interpretation from the result of multichannel seismic analysis and wide-angle seismic tomography. Our result provides the evidence of upper crustal layer with abundant fractures below the acoustic basement with a P-wave velocity from 4.0 to 5.5 km s-1. It indicates extensive deformation of the brittle crust during the continental rifting and can make a good explanation for the observed extension discrepancy in the rift margins of the South China Sea. The seismic chronostratigraphic result shows the possibility of the intra-continental extension center stayed focused for quite a long time in Eocene. Additionally, our evidence suggested that continental margin of the southwest subbasin had experienced at least three rifting stages and the existence of the rigid blocks is an appropriate explanation to the asymmetric rifting of the South China Sea.

  19. Temporal Constraints on Continental Rifting and the Exhumation of Pliocene Eclogites, SE Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waggoner, A. G.; Baldwin, S. L.; Webb, L. E.; Little, T. A.; Fitzgerald, P. G.

    2008-12-01

    The youngest known HP-UHP rocks on Earth have been exhumed in the footwalls of the metamorphic core complexes (MCCs) of Goodenough and Fergusson Islands within the active Woodlark rift of southeast Papua New Guinea. What can the felsic and intermediate gneisses found in the lower plate of these metamorphic core complexes tell us about the thermal evolution of these HP-UHP rocks? Also, how does their exhumation during rifting temporally relate with the sea-floor spreading history of the Woodlark Basin? Ion-microprobe U-Pb zircon, 40Ar/39Ar amphibole, phengite, biotite, and K-feldspar analyses were performed on gneisses collected from the ductile shear zones of the MCCs of Goodenough and Fergusson Islands. The application of a broad range of thermochronometers permits the detailed determination of the thermal histories of these rocks from eclogite-facies conditions to their exhumation to middle and upper crustal levels. U-Pb zircon data from these lower plate gneisses indicate a period of zircon growth concordant with the timing of eclogite facies metamorphism as previously determined in mafic eclogites. This younger population of zircon occurs as rims on cores; the cores yield ages that range in age from Paleocene to Permian. These older ages indicate an inherited component likely reflecting the nature of the protolith of these gneisses. However, the abundance and degree of this inherited component is highly variable from sample to sample. New 40Ar/39Ar data from samples collected from the northern range-bounding Wakonai shear zone and the core of Goodenough Island MCC indicate rapid cooling of these rocks as recorded by Ar closure in amphibole, phengite, biotite, and K-feldspar (~500 to ~150 °C) at ~2-1.5 Ma. Samples from along the northern range front of the Goodenough MCC indicate a southeastward younging trend that parallels the active Wakonai normal fault from the northwest end of the island to the center of the island. However, no age gradient is apparent

  20. Tectonomorphic evolution of Marie Byrd Land - Implications for Cenozoic rifting activity and onset of West Antarctic glaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiegel, Cornelia; Lindow, Julia; Kamp, Peter J. J.; Meisel, Ove; Mukasa, Samuel; Lisker, Frank; Kuhn, Gerhard; Gohl, Karsten

    2016-10-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System is one of the largest continental rifts on Earth. Because it is obscured by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, its evolution is still poorly understood. Here we present the first low-temperature thermochronology data from eastern Marie Byrd Land, an area that stretches 1000 km along the rift system, in order to shed light on its development. Furthermore, we petrographically analysed glacially transported detritus deposited in the marine realm, offshore Marie Byrd Land, to augment the data available from the limited terrestrial exposures. Our data provide information about the subglacial geology, and the tectonic and morphologic history of the rift system. Dominant lithologies of coastal Marie Byrd Land are igneous rocks that intruded (presumably early Paleozoic) low-grade meta-sedimentary rocks. No evidence was found for un-metamorphosed sedimentary rocks exposed beneath the ice. According to the thermochronology data, rifting occurred in two episodes. The earlier occurred between 100 and 60 Ma and led to widespread tectonic denudation and block faulting over large areas of Marie Byrd Land. The later episode started during the Early Oligocene and was confined to western Pine Island Bay area. This Oligocene tectonic activity may be linked kinematically to previously described rift structures reaching into Bellingshausen Sea and beneath Pine Island Glacier, all assumed to be of Cenozoic age. However, our data provide the first direct evidence for Cenozoic tectonic activity along the rift system outside the Ross Sea area. Furthermore, we tentatively suggest that uplift of the Marie Byrd Land dome only started at 20 Ma; that is, nearly 10 Ma later than previously assumed. The Marie Byrd Land dome is the only extensive part of continental West Antarctica elevated above sea level. Since the formation of a continental ice sheet requires a significant area of emergent land, our data, although only based on few samples, imply that extensive

  1. Regional 3D Numerical Modeling of the Lithosphere-Mantle System: Implications for Continental Rift-Parallel Surface Velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, S.; Bangerth, W.; Hager, B. H.

    2014-12-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is an active divergent plate boundary with slow, approximately E-W extension rates ranging from <1-6 mm/yr. Previous work using thin-sheet modeling indicates lithospheric buoyancy dominates the force balance driving large-scale Nubia-Somalia divergence, however GPS observations within the Western Branch of the EARS show along-rift motions that contradict this simple model. Here, we test the role of mantle flow at the rift-scale using our new, regional 3D numerical model based on the open-source code ASPECT. We define a thermal lithosphere with thicknesses that are systematically changed for generic models or based on geophysical constraints in the Western branch (e.g. melting depths, xenoliths, seismic tomography). Preliminary results suggest existing variations in lithospheric thicknesses along-rift in the Western Branch can drive upper mantle flow that is consistent with geodetic observations.

  2. Lithospheric Velocity Structure of the Upper Rhine Graben; A new Model for the Development of Europe's Largest Continental Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granet, M.; Lopes Cardozo, G.; Herquel, G.

    2003-12-01

    The lithospheric structure of the Rhine Graben, part of the European Cenozoic Rift system (ECRIS), is studied with the help of a regional 3D teleseismic travel time tomography. Joint interpretation of the tomography, the SKS anisotropy, and a local earthquake tomographic study leads to a new model for the rifting and development of the Graben. Two seismic campaigns provided 2696 P and PKP travel time residuals of teleseismic events. The two data sets are combined and inverted together. This inversion yields detailed images of the P velocity structure of the lower crust and the lithospheric mantle down to a depth of 125 kilometers. An absence of strong low velocity anomalies in the region confirms that there is no shallow mantle diapir, this demonstrates the passive development of the rift. The observed velocity structures have an orientation 10° -20° oblique to the graben axis and are interpreted as inherited Variscan structures. These structures are thought to have played a dominant role during the Oligocene rifting of the Rhine Graben. Similar structures are known to have influenced the development of the Limagne graben (Massif Central), also part of the ECRIS. An absence of structures that are orientated parallel to the graben axis shows that the Upper Rhine Graben did not form following a traditional McKenzie or Wernicke model. A new model is presented in which strike slip movements on the Variscan structures in the lithospheric mantle are responsible for the extension in the crust. This conceptual model is supported by SKS anisotropy and helps to explain some of the features in the development of the continental rift in the overall compressive setting of the Alpine foreland.

  3. The Fenwei rift and its recent periodic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jing-Ming

    1987-02-01

    The Fenwei rift on the southern sector of the Jin—Shaan rift system of China is marked by a crescent-shaped valley 600 km in length and 30-90 km in width depressed up to 10 km and filled with about 7000 m of Cenozoic deposits, bounded on both northern and southern sides by majestic mountain ranges. The geometry of the rift valley is characterized by six branch depressions and five intervening swells extending east-northeastward in a dextral en-echelon pattern and bounded on both sides by abrupt topographic slopes reflecting the underlying faults. These are typically a system of growth faults having downthrows ranging from 800 m to 10 km and dipping toward the centre of the valley forming an asymmetric graben structure. The geometry, kinematics and evolution of these faults have had controlling influences on the neotectonic movement of the rift and its recent periodic activity as the present overall form of the rift valley. Estimates of the amount of extension across the rift for various recent geological periods were obtained from calculations made on the fault separation of corresponding stratigraphie horizons. The total amount of extension in response to tensile stresses, acting in a direction varying from 25° NW on the west to 70° NW on the northeast is estimated to be 9065 m, since the beginning of the rift formation in the Eocene whereas the rate of extension in the Recent is 4.5 mm/yr and in modern times it is 8-24 mm/yr. The amount of left-lateral displacement across the rift during various stages of its development was also calculated from the observed effects of strike-slip movement on the drainage system. The left-lateral offset since the mid-Pleistocene is approximately 7170 m and the offset rate in modern times is 6 mm/yr. These estimates suggest that the Fenwei rift has been a place of intense neotectonic activity. Details of more recent activity of the rift were investigated in terms of the various rift-related phenomena such as seismic events

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, L.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Passive margins have been characterized as magma-dominant (volcanic) or magma-poor (non-volcanic). However, the conditions under which margins might switch states are not well understood as they typically have been studied as end member examples in isolation to each other. The Nova Scotia (NS) continental margin, however, offers an opportunity to study the nature of such a transition between the magma-dominant US East Coast margin to the south and the magma-poor Newfoundland margin to the north within a single rift segment. This transition is evidenced by a clear along-strike reduction in features characteristic of syn-rift volcanism from south-to-north along the NS margin, such as the weakening of the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly (ECMA) and the coincident disappearance of seaward dipping reflector sequences (SDRS) on multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiles. Results from recent industry MCS profiles along and across the margin suggest a potentially narrow magma-dominant to magma-poor along-strike transition between the southern and the central NS margin. Such a transition is broadly consistent with results of several widely-spaced, across-strike ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) wide-angle profiles. In the southern region, the crustal structure exhibits a narrow (~120-km wide) ocean-continent transition (OCT) with a high velocity (7.2 km/s) lower crust, interpreted as a gabbro-rich underplated melt, beneath the SDRS and the ECMA, similar to crustal models across the US East Coast. In contrast, profiles across the central and northern margin contain a much wider OCT (150-200-km wide) underlain by a low velocity mantle layer (7.3-7.9 km/s), interpreted as partially serpentinized olivine, which is similar to the magma-poor Newfoundland margin to the north. However, the central-to-northern OBS profiles also exhibit significant variations within the OCT and the along-strike continuity of these OCT structures is not yet clear. In November 2010, we acquired, in the

  6. Sediments overlying exhumed continental mantle: a proxy for the morphotectonic evolution of the Ocean Continent Transition in magma-poor rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karpoff, A. M.; Manatschal, G.; Bernoulli, D.; Lagabrielle, Y.

    2003-04-01

    Observations from ancient and present-day magma-poor rifted margins in the Alps and Iberia provide compelling evidence that within the ocean-continent transition (OCT) crustal and sub-continental mantle rocks were exhumed along downward-concave faults which were active during final rifting and accommodated high amounts of extension. The faults are overlain by stranded allochthons of continental origin, pillow basalts, and pelagic sediments, i.e. radiolarites and/or pelagic limestones, and hemipelagic shales. Associated with the faults are tectono-sedimentary breccias and various types of clastic sediments, ranging from debris flow deposits to laminated sandstone, and quartz-rich silt- and claystones. Mineralogical studies of the shales, red jaspers, and red cherts overlying mantle rocks in the Alps of eastern Switzerland are typically quartz-rich and contain variable amounts of phyllosilicates (chlorite and/or mica), feldspars, ± calcite, oxides, pyrite, and epidote. Their main geochemical characteristic is the high silica and low iron and manganese content, which contrasts with that of "metalliferous" Fe-Mn-Si-rich sediments overlying oceanic basalts. High Fe, Ba, REE, U/Th values measured in black shales overlying mantle rocks in the proximal OCT point to a strong hydrothermal activity associated with mantle exhumation. The clastic sediments in the OCT show a wide range of compositions related to mantle, continental crust, and/or pelagic contributions. In particular, the fact that these sediments contain abundant material derived from continental basement rocks seems at odds with their occurrence on top of tectonized mantle rocks. However, drilling in the Iberia margin, where tectonized mantle rocks are overlain by sedimentary breccias (e.g. ODP Sites 1068, 1070), shed new light on the observations in the Alps. Based on drill-hole and seismic data, the tectono-sedimentary breccias drilled in the OCT off Iberia may be interpreted to result from a conveyor

  7. Continental rupture and the creation of new crust in the Salton Trough rift, Southern California and northern Mexico: Results from the Salton Seismic Imaging Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Liang; Hole, John A.; Stock, Joann M.; Fuis, Gary S.; Kell, Annie; Driscoll, Neal W.; Kent, Graham M.; Harding, Alistair J.; Rymer, Michael J.; González-Fernández, Antonio; Lázaro-Mancilla, Octavio

    2016-10-01

    A refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic profile along the axis of the Salton Trough, California and Mexico, was analyzed to constrain crustal and upper mantle seismic velocity structure during active continental rifting. From the northern Salton Sea to the southern Imperial Valley, the crust is 17-18 km thick and approximately one-dimensional. The transition at depth from Colorado River sediment to underlying crystalline rock is gradual and is not a depositional surface. The crystalline rock from 3 to 8 km depth is interpreted as sediment metamorphosed by high heat flow. Deeper felsic crystalline rock could be stretched preexisting crust or higher-grade metamorphosed sediment. The lower crust below 12 km depth is interpreted to be gabbro emplaced by rift-related magmatic intrusion by underplating. Low upper mantle velocity indicates high temperature and partial melting. Under the Coachella Valley, sediment thins to the north and the underlying crystalline rock is interpreted as granitic basement. Mafic rock does not exist at 12-18 km depth as it does to the south, and a weak reflection suggests Moho at 28 km depth. Structure in adjacent Mexico has slower midcrustal velocity, and rocks with mantle velocity must be much deeper than in the Imperial Valley. Slower velocity and thicker crust in the Coachella and Mexicali valleys define the rift zone between them to be >100 km wide in the direction of plate motion. North American lithosphere in the central Salton Trough has been rifted apart and is being replaced by new crust created by magmatism, sedimentation, and metamorphism.

  8. Is the Ventersdorp rift system of southern Africa related to a continental collision between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons at 2.64 Ga AGO?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

    Rocks of the Ventersdorp Supergroup were deposited in a system of northeast trending grabens on the Kaapvaal Craton approximately 2.64 Ga ago contemporary with a continental collision between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons. It is suggested that it was this collision that initiated the Ventersdorp rifting. Individual grabens strike at high angles toward the continental collision zone now exposed in the Limpopo Province where late orogenic left-lateral strike-slip faulting and anatectic granites are recognized. The Ventersdorp rift province is related to extension in the Kaapvaal Craton associated with the collision, and some analogy is seen with such rifts as the Shansi and Baikal Systems associated with the current India-Asia continental collision.

  9. The diagenesis of continental (Karoo-Tertiary?) siliciclastics from an East African rift valley (Rukwa-Tukuyu area), Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dypvik, Henning; Nesteby, Helge

    1992-07-01

    The diagenetic history of the Karoo and Jurassic/Tertiary beds of East African rift valleys is related to the tectonic activity and sedimentary evolution of the rift valley area. In the Karoo beds early diagenetic calcite and hematite formation are succeeded by mechanical compaction and minor quartz, kaolinite and calcite precipitation. Renewed tectonic activity (possible half-graben formation) and exposure of the Karoo beds in Jurassic/Tertiary time resulted in alluvial fan deposition (the Red Sandstone Group) and associated fresh-water flushing, caliche formation and hematite precipitation. Late diagenetic precipitation of potash feldspar and feldspar leaching were the final controls on the porosity and permeability development of the sediments.

  10. Rift Structure along the Eastern Continental Margin of India - new constraints on style of breakup of the Indian landmass from the eastern Gondwanaland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ismaiel, M.; Krishna, K. S.; Karlapati, S.; Mishra, J.; D, S.

    2015-12-01

    The Eastern Continental Margin of India (ECMI), a classical passive margin has evolved after breakup of the Indian landmass from the East Antarctica during the Early Cretaceous. Anomalous thick sediments and lack of cohesive magnetic signatures in the Bay of Bengal hampered delineation of rift-structure and age assignment for the continental breakup between India and East Antarctica. Further, absence of lithological and geochronological information and a few seismic profiles from the margin led to put forward several competing models for the rift initiation and evolution of the ECMI. Here, we analyze long streamer seismic reflection data and deep-water drill well information from the western Bay of Bengal to infer the buried rift structure, crustal architecture and stratigraphy along the ECMI. Following the structural pattern of the margin, the region is divided into four domains as decoupled, coupled, exhumed and oceanic, which in turn helped us to demarcate the variations in rift structure from south to north along the margin. The southern segment in the vicinity of Cauvery Basin consists of steep continental shelf associated with few major normal faults, which indicates that the segment was evolved as mix shear-rifted margin. The central segment off southern part of the Krishna-Godavari Basin is controlled by a series of fault-bounded half-graben structures and presence of thinned continental crust over the exhumed mantle body, revealing that the segment was formed under hyper-rifting process. While the northern segment extends up to Mahanadi Basin shows relatively less gradient continental slope with a few major faults, suggesting that the segment was evolved by hypo-extended process. Variable crustal architecture lying along the ECMI supports each segment of the margin formed in a specific rift process. A breakup unconformity considered as important geological constraint for completion of rift process between India and East Antarctica is clearly mapped on

  11. Transfer/transform relationships in continental rifts and margins and their control on syn- and post-rift denudation: the case of the southeastern Gulf of Aden, Socotra Island, Yemen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pik, Raphael; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Leroy, Sylvie; Denele, Yoann; Razin, Philippe; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Khanbari, Khaled

    2013-04-01

    Transfer zones are ubiquist features in continental rifts and margins, as well as transform faults in oceanic lithosphere. Here, we present the structural study of such a structure (the Hadibo Transfer Zone, HTZ) from the southeastern Gulf of Aden, in Socotra Island, Yemen. There, from field data, the HTZ is interpreted as being reactivated, obliquely to divergence, since early rifting stages. Then, from a short review of transfer/transform fault zone geometries worldwide, we derive a classification in terms of relative importance (1st, 2nd, 3rd order), geometry, and location. We suggest that the HTZ is a 1st order transfer fault zone as it controls the initiation of a 1st order oceanic transform fault zone. We then investigate the denudation history of the region surrounding the HTZ in order to highlight the interplay of normal and transfer/transform tectonic structures in the course of rift evolution. Samples belong from two distinct East and West domains of the Socotra Island, separated by the (HTZ). Tectonic denudation started during the Priabonian-Rupelian along flat normal faults and removed all the overlying sedimentary formations, allowing basement exhumation up to the surface (~ 1.2 - 1.6 km of exhumation). Forward t-T modelling of the data requires a slightly earlier date and shorter period for development of rifting in the E-Socotra domain (38 - 34 Ma), compared to the W-Socotra domain (34 - 25 Ma), which suggests that the HTZ was already active at that time. A second major event of basement cooling and exhumation (additional ~ 0.7 - 1 km), starting at about ~ 20 Ma, has only been recorded on the E-Socotra domain. This second denudation phase significantly post-dates local rifting period but appears synchronous with Ocean Continent Transition (OCT: 20 - 17.6 Ma). This late syn-OCT uplift is maximum close to the HTZ, in the wedge of hangingwall delimited by this transfer system and the steep north-dipping normal faults that accommodated the vertical

  12. The role of discrete intrabasement shear zones during multiphase continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Thomas B.; Jackson, Christopher A.-L.; Bell, Rebecca E.; Duffy, Oliver B.; Fossen, Haakon

    2016-04-01

    Rift systems form within areas of relatively weak, heterogeneous lithosphere, containing a range of pre-existing structures imparted from previous tectonic events. The extent to which these structures may reactivate during later rift phases, and therefore affect the geometry and evolution of superposed rift systems, is poorly understood. The greatest obstacle to understanding how intrabasement structures influence the overlying rift is obtaining detailed constraints on the origin and 3D geometry of structures within crystalline basement. Such structures are often deeply buried beneath rift systems and therefore rarely sampled directly. In addition, due to relatively low internal acoustic impedance contrasts and large burial depths, crystalline basement typically appears acoustically transparent on seismic reflection data showing no resolvable internal structure. However, offshore SW Norway, beneath the Egersund Basin, intrabasement structures are exceptionally well-imaged due to large impedance contrasts within a highly heterogeneous and shallow basement. We use borehole-constrained 2D and 3D seismic reflection data to constrain the 3D geometry of these intrabasement reflections, and examine their interactions with the overlying rift system. Two types of intrabasement structure are observed: (i) thin (c. 100 m) reflections displaying a characteristic trough-peak-trough wavetrain; and (ii) thick (c. 1 km), sub-parallel reflection packages dipping at c. 30°. Through 1D waveform modelling we show that these reflection patterns arise from a layered sequence as opposed to a single interface. Integrating this with our seismic mapping we correlate these structures to the established onshore geology; specifically layered mylonites associated with the Caledonian thrust belt and cross-cutting extensional Devonian shear zones. We observe multiple phases of reactivation along these structures throughout multiple rift events, in addition to a range of interactions with

  13. Continental subduction induced tremor activity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tai, H. J.; Chen, K. H.; Ide, S.; Mouyen, M.; Byrne, T. B.

    2015-12-01

    Southern Central Range of Taiwan, a place where deep-seated tectonic tremors (a proxy of slow slip) and earthquake swarms are closely located in space and highly correlated in time, provides rare opportunity towards the understanding of physical mechanisms governing different style of slip. To identify tremor events, we used the identification scheme similar to Ide et al. (2015) but applied slightly different techniques: (1) Higher waveform cross-correlation coefficient (>0.6) (2) careful visual inspection for excluding local earthquakes and short-lasted event (duration < 60 s) (3) Signal to noise ratio higher than 1.2 and lower than 30 (4) No spatio-temporal clustering technique used. During the study period of 2007-2012, we identified 2320 tremor events with duration ranging from 60 s to 1550 s. They are located underneath southern Central Range, forming a NS-striking and SE-dipping pipe-like structure at a depth of 20-40 km. The up-dip extension of this tremor structure reaches an aseismic zone under the western flank of Central Range at shallow depths, where is an area characterized by high heat flow, low Vp and Vs anomaly. Such seismic gap was explained by the buoyancy induced crust detachment during continental subduction of Eurasian Plate. This detachment may open a new channel for hot and ductile material ascending to shallow depth, producing high temperatures along the way. This provides a common mechanism for down-dip tremor and up-dip shallow seismic gap along the same eastern dipping channel. In addition, the tremor events are found to be mostly occurred in high tides and exhibit higher correlation with tide data from west coast of Taiwan. This may again imply the association between tremor activity and subduction of Eurasian Plate.

  14. Probing the processes and products of an ancient continental crustal rupture: Scientific drillng into the Midcontinent Rift System

    SciTech Connect

    Hinz, W.J.

    1988-01-01

    Geochemical and geophysical investigations over the past decade suggest a laterally as well radially heterogeneous upper mantle. The sources of this variability are mantle dynamics and interactions with the crust. The opportunities to sample these variations directly are limited within continental regions. However, the basalts of the Midcontinent Rift (MCR) System of North America are particularly attractive for studying subcontinental mantle. The MCR is an 1100 Ma paleorift that extends for more than 2000 km across the North American midcontinent. Drill holes into the MCR to obtain samples of the basalt can be located to answer critical questions regarding the origin and evolution of this aborted Precambrian rift. Outcrops of the MCR rocks occur only in the Lake Superior region, and the rocks that crop out are restricted largely to the margins of the structure and the upper part of the stratigraphic section. Available drill holes are shallow and poorly distributed for scientific purposes and provide only limited samples for analysis. Many sites along the rift have been pinpointed where holes of 5 km or less in depth can be drilled to sample the Proterozoic (Keweenawan) igneous rocks of the rift. In September, 1987, approximately 90 geoscientists from North America and Europe met in Duluth, Minnesota, for a workshop. The goals of the workshop were to define the scientific objectives of drilling the MCR and to develop a plan for achieving these objectives. As a result of the workshop and subsequent deliberations, we proposed a multi-year, multi-hole program of drilling and related scientific investigation of the MCR utilizing shallow to intermediate depth holes. 18 refs. 5 figs.

  15. Continental underthrusting and obduction during the Cretaceous closure of the Rocas Verdes rift basin, Cordillera Darwin, Patagonian Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klepeis, Keith; Betka, Paul; Clarke, Geoffrey; Fanning, Mark; Hervé, Francisco; Rojas, Lisandro; Mpodozis, Constantino; Thomson, Stuart

    2010-06-01

    The Patagonian Andes record a period of Cretaceous-Neogene orogenesis that began with the compressional inversion of a Late Jurassic rift called the Rocas Verdes basin. Detrital zircon ages from sediment that filled the southern part of the basin provide a maximum depositional age of ˜148 Ma, suggesting that the basin opened approximately simultaneously along its length during the Late Jurassic. Structural data and U-Pb isotopic ages on zircon from granite plutons near the Beagle Channel (55°S) show that basin inversion involved two stages of shortening separated by tens of millions of years. An initial stage created a small (˜60 km wide) thrust wedge that placed the basaltic floor of the Rocas Verdes basin on top of adjacent continental crust prior to ˜86 Ma. Structures and metamorphic mineral assemblages preserved in an exhumed middle to lower crustal shear zone in Cordillera Darwin suggest that this obduction was accompanied by south directed subduction of the basaltic crust and underthrusting of continental crust to depths of ˜35 km beneath a coeval volcanic arc. A subsequent stage of out-of-sequence thrusting, culminating in the Paleogene, shortened basement and Upper Jurassic igneous rock in the internal part of the belt by at least ˜50 km, forming a bivergent thrust wedge. This latter period coincided with the exhumation of rocks in Cordillera Darwin and expansion of the fold-thrust belt into the Magallanes foreland basin. This orogen provides an important example of how orogenesis initiated and led to continental underthrusting and obduction of basaltic crust during closure of a quasi-oceanic rift basin.

  16. Diachronous fault array growth within continental rift basins: Quantitative analyses from the East Shetland Basin, northern North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claringbould, Johan; Bell, Rebecca; Jackson, Christopher; Gawthorpe, Robert; Odinsen, Tore

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of rift basins has been the subject of many studies, however, these studies have been mainly restricted to investigating the geometry of rift-related fault arrays. The relative timing of development of individual faults that make up the fault array is not yet well constrained. First-order tectono-stratigraphic models for rifts predict that normal faults develop broadly synchronously throughout the basin during a temporally distinct 'syn-rift' episode. However, largely due to the mechanical interaction between adjacent structures, distinctly diachronous activity is known to occur on the scale of individual fault segments and systems. Our limited understanding of how individual segments and systems contribute to array-scale strain largely reflects the limited dimension and resolution of the data available and methods applied. Here we utilize a regional extensive subsurface dataset comprising multiple 3D seismic MegaSurveys (10,000 km2), long (>75km) 2D seismic profiles, and exploration wells, to investigate the evolution of the fault array in the East Shetland Basin, North Viking Graben, northern North Sea. Previous studies propose this basin formed in response to multiphase rifting during two temporally distinct extensional phases in the Permian-Triassic and Middle-to-Late Jurassic, separated by a period of tectonic quiescence and thermal subsidence in the Early Jurassic. We document the timing of growth of individual structures within the rift-related fault array across the East Shetland Basin, constraining the progressive migration of strain from pre-Triassic-to-Late Jurassic. The methods used include (i) qualitative isochron map analysis, (ii) quantitative syn-kinematic deposit thickness difference across fault & expansion index calculations, and (iii) along fault throw-depth & backstripped displacement-length analyses. In contrast to established models, we demonstrate that the initiation, growth, and cessation of individual fault segments and

  17. Dynamics of Rifting in two Active Rift Segments in Afar - Geodetic and Structural Studies - DoRA Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doubre, C.; Socquet, A.; Masson, F.; Jacques, E.; Grandin, R.; Nercessian, A.; Kassim, M.; Vergne, J.; Diament, M.; Hinderer, J.; Ayele, A.; Lewi, E.; Calais, E.; Peltzer, G.; Toussaint, R.; de Chaballier, J.; Ballu, V. S.; Luck, B.; King, G. C.; Vigny, C.; Cattin, R.; Tiberi, C.; Kidane, T.; Jalludin, M.; Maggi, A.; Dorbath, C.; Manatschal, G.; Schmittbuhl, J.; Le Moigne, N.; Deroussi, S.

    2009-12-01

    The DoRA project aims to conduct complementary studies in two volcano-tectonic rifts in the Afar Depression. In Northern Afar, the Wal’is Dabbahu Rift (WD, Ethiopia) is currently undergoing a major rifting episode. This event started in September 2005 with a significant seismic activity. InSAR data revealed the injection of a 65 km-long mega-dyke that opened by up to 8 m, the slip of numerous normal faults and opening of fissures, and a rhyolitic eruption. Similarly, the Asal-Ghoubbet Rift (AG, Djibouti) was affected in 1978 by a smaller episode of rifting associated with the intrusion of a 2 m wide dyke into the crust. Since then, a large catalog of geodetic data that includes recent InSAR time series reveals the importance of non-steady deformation controlling the rift dynamics. Our goal is to gain an understanding of such volcano-tectonic segments on several time scales, including the dyking period itself and the post-event period. The study of the behavior of the AG Rift during its whole post-rifting period offers an image at t+30 years of the WD segment, while keeping in mind important structural and scale differences. First, we propose to build a complete and accurate set of geodetic data (InSAR, cGPS, GPS), covering the period under study. With a narrow temporal sample window, we will precisely describe the aseismic slip affecting the normal faults of these rifts, the periods of sudden slip and/or slip acceleration but also measure the deformation associated with probable future dyke intrusion. Second, we aim to constrain the origin of these displacements and their relation with mass transfers within the crust. Series of gravity measurements will be pursue or initiated in both rifts. Third, the recording of seismic activity is essential to constrain the relative importance of seismic and aseismic deformation. This will also help to evaluate the thickness of the seismogenic layer. Together with structural data collected during a seismic survey in the AG

  18. Diffuse degassing at Longonot volcano, Kenya: Implications for CO2 flux in continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Elspeth; Biggs, Juliet; Edmonds, Marie; Clor, Laura; Fischer, Tobias P.; Vye-Brown, Charlotte; Kianji, Gladys; Koros, Wesley; Kandie, Risper

    2016-11-01

    Magma movement, fault structures and hydrothermal systems influence volatile emissions at rift volcanoes. Longonot is a Quaternary caldera volcano located in the southern Kenyan Rift, where regional extension controls recent shallow magma ascent. Here we report the results of a soil carbon dioxide (CO2) survey in the vicinity of Longonot volcano, as well as fumarolic gas compositions and carbon isotope data. The total non-biogenic CO2 degassing is estimated at < 300 kg d- 1, and is largely controlled by crater faults and fractures close to the summit. Thus, recent volcanic structures, rather than regional tectonics, control fluid pathways and degassing. Fumarolic gases are characterised by a narrow range in carbon isotope ratios (δ13C), from - 4.7‰ to - 6.4‰ (vs. PDB) suggesting a magmatic origin with minor contributions from biogenic CO2. Comparison with other degassing measurements in the East African Rift shows that records of historical eruptions or unrest do not correspond directly to the magnitude of CO2 flux from volcanic centres, which may instead reflect the current size and characteristics of the subsurface magma reservoir. Interestingly, the integrated CO2 flux from faulted rift basins is reported to be an order of magnitude higher than that from any of the volcanic centres for which CO2 surveys have so far been reported.

  19. Accessory Mineral Depth-Profiling Applied to the Corsican Lower Crust: A Continuous Thermal History of Mesozoic Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Despite advances in understanding the structural development of hyperextended magma-poor rift margins, the temporal and thermal evolution of lithospheric hyperextension during rifting remains only poorly understood. In contrast to classic pure-shear models, multi-stage rift models that include depth-dependent thinning predict significant lower-crustal reheating during the necking phase due to buoyant rise of the asthenosphere. The Santa Lucia nappe of NE Corsica is an ideal laboratory to test for lower-crustal reheating as it preserves Permian lower crust exhumed from granulitic conditions during Mesozoic Tethyan rifting. This study presents the first use of apatite U-Pb depth-profile thermochronology in conjunction with novel rutile U-Pb and zircon U-Pb thermo- and geochronology to reconstruct a continuous t-T path to constrain the syn-rift thermal evolution of this exposed lower-crustal section. LASS-ICP-MS depth-profile analyses of zircon reveal thin (<10 μm) ~210-180 Ma overgrowths on 300-270 Ma cores in lower-crustal lithologies, indicative of renewed thermal activity during Mesozoic rifting. Cooling due to rapid rift margin exhumation is recorded by the topology of rutile and apatite depth profiles caused by thermally-activated volume diffusion at T >400°C. Lower-crustal rutile reveal a rounded progression from core plateaus at ~170 Ma to 150-145 Ma at the outer 8-10 μm of grains while middle-crustal apatite records 170 Ma cores grading to 140-135 Ma rims. Inverse modeling of rutile profiles suggests the lower crust cooled from 700°C at 200 Ma to 425°C at 140 Ma. Middle-crustal apatite yield a two-stage history, with rapid cooling from 500°C at 200 Ma to 420°C at ~180 Ma followed by slow cooling to 400°C by 160 Ma. Combined with zircon overgrowth ages, these data indicate the Santa Lucia nappe underwent a thermal pulse in the late Triassic-early Jurassic associated with depth-dependent thinning and hyperextension of the Corsican margin.

  20. Teleseismic wave front anomalies at a Continental Rift: no mantle anomaly below the central Upper Rhine Graben

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirschner, Stephanie; Ritter, Joachim; Wawerzinek, Britta

    2011-08-01

    The deep structure of the Upper Rhine Graben (URG), a continental rift in SW Germany and E France, is still poorly known. This deficit impedes a full understanding of the geodynamic evolution of this prominent rift. We study the lithosphere-asthenosphere structure using teleseismic waveforms obtained from the passive broad-band TIMO project across the central URG. The recovered, crust-corrected traveltime residuals relative to the iasp91 earth model are tiny (mostly less than 0.2-0.3 s). The average measured slowness (<1 s deg-1) and backazimuth (<5°) deviations are also very small and do not show any systematic wave front anomalies. These observed perturbation values are smaller than expected ones from synthetic 3-D ray tracing modelling with anomalies exceeding 2-3 per cent seismic velocity in the mantle. Thus there is no significant hint for any deep-seated anomaly such as a mantle cushion, etc. This result means that the rifting process did not leave behind a lower lithospheric signature, which could be clearly verified with high-resolution teleseismic experiments. The only significant traveltime perturbation at the central URG is located at its western side in the upper crust around a known geothermal anomaly. The upper crustal seismic anomaly with traveltime delays of 0.2-0.3 s cannot be explained with increased temperature alone. It is possibly related to a zone of highly altered granite. In the west of our network a traveltime anomaly (0.6-0.7 s delay) related with the Eifel plume is confirmed by the TIMO data set.

  1. The crust and upper mantle of central East Greenland - implications for continental accretion and rift evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiffer, Christian; Balling, Niels; Ebbing, Jörg; Holm Jacobsen, Bo; Bom Nielsen, Søren

    2016-04-01

    The geological evolution of the North Atlantic Realm during the past 450 Myr, which has shaped the present-day topographic, crustal and upper mantle features, was dominated by the Caledonian orogeny and the formation of the North Atlantic and associated igneous activity. The distinct high altitude-low relief landscapes that accompany the North Atlantic rifted passive margins are the focus of a discussion of whether they are remnant and modified Caledonian features or, alternatively, recently uplifted peneplains. Teleseismic receiver function analysis of 11 broadband seismometers in the Central Fjord Region in East Greenland indicates the presence of a fossil subduction complex, including a slab of eclogitised mafic crust and an overlying wedge of hydrated mantle peridotite. This model is generally consistent with gravity and topography. It is shown that the entire structure including crustal thickness variations and sub-Moho heterogeneity gives a superior gravity and isostatic topographic fit compared to a model with a homogeneous lithospheric layer (1). The high topography of >1000 m in the western part of the area is supported by the c. 40 km thick crust. The eastern part requires buoyancy from the low velocity/low density mantle wedge. The geometry, velocities and densities are consistent with structures associated with a fossil subduction zone. The spatial relations with Caledonian structures suggest a Caledonian origin. The results indicate that topography is isostatically compensated by density variations within the lithosphere and that significant present-day dynamic topography seems not to be required. Further, this structure is suggested to be geophysically very similar to the Flannan reflector imaged north of Scotland, and that these are the remnants of the same fossil subduction zone, broken apart and separated during the formation of the North Atlantic in the early Cenozoic (2). 1) Schiffer, C., Jacobsen, B.H., Balling, N., Ebbing, J. and Nielsen, S

  2. Late Paleozoic crustal history of central coastal Queensland interpreted from geochemistry of Mesozoic plutons: The effects of continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, C. M.; Wooden, J. L.; Chappell, B. W.

    1997-12-01

    The eastern margin of Australia is understood to be the result of continental rifting during the Cretaceous and Tertiary. Consistent with this model, Cretaceous igneous rocks (granites to basalts) in a continental marginal setting near Bowen, Queensland are isotonically retarded, having isotopic ratios similar to those of most island arcs (Sr1 = 0.7030-0.7039, ɛNd = +6.46 to +3.00 and 206Pb/204Pb = 18.44-18.77, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.552-15.623, and 208Pb/204Pb = 37.90-38.52). These isotopic signatures are much less evolved than the Late Carboniferous-Permian batholith that many Cretaceous plutons intrude. As rocks ranging in age from about 300-100 Ma are well exposed near Bowen, we can track magma evolution through time. The significant change of magma source occurred much earlier than the Cretaceous based on the fact that Triassic granites in the same area are also isotonically primitive. We attribute the changes of magma composition to crustal rifting during the Late Permian and earliest Triassic. The Cretaceous rocks (actually latest Jurassic to Cretaceous, 145-98 Ma) themselves show compositional trends with time. Rocks of appropriate mineralogy for Al-in-hornblende geobarometry yield pressures ranging from 250 to 80 MPa for rocks ranging in age from 145 to 125 Ma, respectively. More significantly, this older group is relatively compositionally restricted, and is Sr-rich, and Y- and Zr-poor compared to 120-98 Ma rocks. This younger groups is bimodal, being comprised principally of basalts and rhyolites (granites). REE patterns for a given rock type, however, do not differ with age tribute these relatively subtle trace element differences to small differences in conditions (T, aH2O) at the site of melting. Cretaceous crustal rifting can explain the range of rock types and the spatial distribution of rocks < 120 Ma in a longitudinal strip between and overlapping with provinces of older Cretaceous intrusions. A subduction-related setting is assigned to the 145-125 Ma

  3. Late Paleozoic crustal history of central coastal Queensland interpreted from geochemistry of Mesozoic plutons: The effects of continental rifting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, C.M.; Wooden, J.L.; Chappell, B.W.

    1997-01-01

    The eastern margin of Australia is understood to be the result of continental rifting during the Cretaceous and Tertiary. Consistent with this model, Cretaceous igneous rocks (granites to basalts) in a continental marginal setting near Bowen, Queensland are isotonically retarded, having isotopic ratios similar to those of most island arcs (Sri = 0.7030-0.7039, ??Nd = +6.46 to +3.00 and 206Pb/204Pb = 18.44-18.77, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.552-15.623, and 208Pb/204Pb = 37.90-38.52). These isotopic signatures are much less evolved than the Late Carboniferous-Permian batholith that many Cretaceous plutons intrude. As rocks ranging in age from about 300-100 Ma are well exposed near Bowen, we can track magma evolution through time. The significant change of magma source occurred much earlier than the Cretaceous based on the fact that Triassic granites in the same area are also isotonically primitive. We attribute the changes of magma composition to crustal rifting during the Late Permian and earliest Triassic. The Cretaceous rocks (actually latest Jurassic to Cretaceous, 145-98 Ma) themselves show compositional trends with time. Rocks of appropriate mineralogy for Al-in-hornblende geobarometry yield pressures ranging from 250 to 80 MPa for rocks ranging in age from 145 to 125 Ma, respectively. More significantly, this older group is relatively compositionally restricted, and is Sr-rich, and Y- and Zr-poor compared to 120-98 Ma rocks. This younger groups is bimodal, being comprised principally of basalts and rhyolites (granites). REE patterns for a given rock type, however, do not differ with age tribute these relatively subtle trace element differences to small differences in conditions (T, aH2O) at the site of melting. Cretaceous crustal rifting can explain the range of rock types and the spatial distribution of rocks < 120 Ma in a longitudinal strip between and overlapping with provinces of older Cretaceous intrusions. A subduction-related setting is assigned to the 145-125 Ma

  4. Cenozoic rift formation in the northern Caribbean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mann, P.; Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

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

  5. Modelling Sea-floor Spreading Initiation and Rifted Continental Margin Formation: Does Depth Dependent Stretching Occur Pre- or Syn-breakup?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusznir, N. J.; Karner, G. D.

    2004-05-01

    Depth dependent stretching, in which upper continental crustal extension is much less than that of the lower crust and lithospheric mantle, is a characteristic of both non-volcanic and volcanic rifted margins. A key question is whether depth dependent stretching of rifted margin lithosphere occurs during the initiation of sea-floor spreading or during pre-breakup rifting. A kinematic fluid-flow model of sea-floor spreading initiation has been developed to determine the concomitant distribution and amplitude of rifted continental margin lithosphere thinning and thermal evolution. The ocean-ridge initiation model uses an iso-viscous corner-flow stream-function solution (Batchelor 1967) to predict the divergent lithospheric and asthenospheric fluid-flow field of the extending continental margin lithosphere. The thinning of the continental margin lithosphere is calculated by material advection in the newly initiated ocean ridge fluid-flow field. The ocean-ridge initiation model predicts depth dependent stretching of continental lithosphere. Rifted continental margin lithosphere thinning and thermal evolution are dependent on ocean-ridge spreading rate (Vx), the mantle upwelling velocity beneath the ridge axis (Vz), and the pre-breakup lithosphere beta stretching factor. The sea-floor spreading initiation model predicts that the distribution and magnitude of depth dependent stretching of continental margin lithosphere is highly sensitive to the ratio of Vz/Vx. For volcanic margins Vz/Vx may be > 5 during sea-floor spreading initiation, reducing to Vz/Vx ~ 1 after a few Myr (Nielsen & Hopper 2002), while for non-volcanic margins, lower values of Vz/Vx (~ 1) are expected during sea-floor spreading initiation. For Vz/Vx ~ 1 the sea-floor spreading initiation model predicts that lower continental crust and continental lithospheric mantle adjacent to the margin are advected oceanward and result in rifted margin depth dependent stretching and continental mantle exhumation

  6. Transient groundwater-lake interactions in a continental rift: Sea of Galilee, Israel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hurwitz, S.; Stanislavsky, E.; Lyakhovsky, V.; Gvirtzman, H.

    2000-01-01

    The Sea of Galilee, located in the northern part of the Dead Sea rift, is currently an intermediate fresh-water lake. It is postulated that during a short highstand phase of former Lake Lisan in the late Pleistocene, saline water percolated into the subsurface. Since its recession from the Kinarot basin and the instantaneous formation of the fresh-water lake (the Sea of Galilee), the previously intruded brine has been flushed backward toward the lake. Numerical simulations solving the coupled equations of fluid flow and of solute and heat transport are applied to examine the feasibility of this hypothesis. A sensitivity analysis shows that the major parameters controlling basin hydrodynamics are lake-water salinity, aquifer permeability, and aquifer anisotropy. Results show that a highstand period of 3000 yr in Lake Lisan was sufficient for saline water to percolate deep into the subsurface. Because of different aquifer permeabilities on both sides of the rift, brine percolated into a aquifers on the western margin, whereas percolation was negligible on the eastern side. In the simulation, after the occupation of the basin by the Sea of Galilee, the invading saline water was leached backward by a topography-driven flow. It is suggested that the percolating brine on the western side reacted with limestone at depth to form epigenetic dolomite at elevated temperatures. Therefore, groundwater discharging along the western shores of the Sea of Galilee has a higher calcium to magnesium ratio than groundwater on the eastern side.

  7. Non-extensivity and complexity in the earthquake activity at the West Corinth rift (Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michas, Georgios; Vallianatos, Filippos; Sammonds, Peter

    2013-04-01

    Earthquakes exhibit complex phenomenology that is revealed from the fractal structure in space, time and magnitude. For that reason other tools rather than the simple Poissonian statistics seem more appropriate to describe the statistical properties of the phenomenon. Here we use Non-Extensive Statistical Physics [NESP] to investigate the inter-event time distribution of the earthquake activity at the west Corinth rift (central Greece). This area is one of the most seismotectonically active areas in Europe, with an important continental N-S extension and high seismicity rates. NESP concept refers to the non-additive Tsallis entropy Sq that includes Boltzmann-Gibbs entropy as a particular case. This concept has been successfully used for the analysis of a variety of complex dynamic systems including earthquakes, where fractality and long-range interactions are important. The analysis indicates that the cumulative inter-event time distribution can be successfully described with NESP, implying the complexity that characterizes the temporal occurrences of earthquakes. Further on, we use the Tsallis entropy (Sq) and the Fischer Information Measure (FIM) to investigate the complexity that characterizes the inter-event time distribution through different time windows along the evolution of the seismic activity at the West Corinth rift. The results of this analysis reveal a different level of organization and clusterization of the seismic activity in time. Acknowledgments. GM wish to acknowledge the partial support of the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY).

  8. Evolution history of the Heuksan Basin, a continental rift basin in the Yellow Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, S.; Kim, G.; Park, M.

    2011-12-01

    This study focuses on the establishment of evolutionary framework of the Heuksan Basin regions located on the southwestern part of the concession block III of the Korean offshore in the Yellow Sea. Three fault-bounded sub-basins (SB-1, SB-2, and SB-3) are recognized on the basis of topographic map of acoustic basement, which are generally in asymmetric half-graben geometry trending WNW-ESE. The axial lengths of the sub-basins are generally less than 80 km in axial length and 20 km in width. The acoustic basement occurs at around 0.6 to 0.8 s twt bsl in generally, locally much deeper at about 2.4 s twt bsl in the deepest part of the sub-basins, and it is correlated with the Upper Paleozoic to Lower Mesozoic sequence of thick micritic limestones overlying major clastic cycles with thin coals. In the sedimentary succession, two erosional surfaces (ES-1 and ES-2) are identified based on the interpretation of truncated geometries and lap-out patterns, which provide three stratigraphic units (SU-1, SU-2, and SU-3). During the Late Cretaceous to Oligocene the basin had opened by NE-SW extension or transtension. By this tectonic movement, WNW-ESE trending sub-basins with an array of listric normal faults were formed. Until the cessation of the opening, the wedge-shaped syn-rift unit (SU-1) infilled the depressions of the rift basins. In the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene time the extensional or transtensional tectonic movement of the Heuksan Basin region was aborted or partly inverted into compressional or transpressional regime. By this tectonic movement, acoustic basement and syn-rift unit (SU-1) might have uplifted, and have experienced a regional planation process. Topographic irregularities were removed by erosion and infilling process. SU-1 might have formed during this period in the localized topographic lows of the basins. Subaerial to shallow-marine planation process on the slightly folded and uplifted SU-1during subsequent tectonic inversion in the Early Miocene

  9. 3D Numerical Models of the Effect of Diking on the Faulting Pattern at Incipient Continental Rifts and Steady-State Spreading Centers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, X.; Choi, E.; Buck, W. R.

    2015-12-01

    The offset of faults and related topographic relief varies hugely at both continental rifts and mid-ocean ridges (MORs). In some areas fault offset is measured in 10s of meters while in places marked by core complexes it is measured in 10s of kilometers. Variation in the magma supply is thought to control much of these differences. Magma supply is most usefully described by the ratio (M) between rates of lithospheric extension accommodated by magmatic dike intrusion and that occurring via faulting. 2D models with different values of M successfully explain much of the observed cross-sectional structure seen at rifts and ridges. However, magma supply varies along the axis of extension and the interactions between the tectonics and magmatism are inevitably three-dimensional. We investigate the consequences of this along-axis variation in diking in terms of faulting patterns and the associated structures using a 3D parallel geodynamic modeling code, SNAC. Many observed 3D structural features are reproduced: e.g., abyssal hill, oceanic core complex (OCC), inward fault jump, mass wasting, hourglass-shaped median valley, corrugation and mullion structure. An estimated average value of M = 0.65 is suggested as a boundary value for separating abyssal hills and OCCs formation. Previous inconsistency in the M range for OCC formation between 2D model results (M = 0.3˜0.5) and field observations (M < 0.3 or M > 0.5) is reconciled by the along-ridge coupling between different faulting regimes. We also propose asynchronous faulting-induced tensile failure as a new possibility for explaining corrugations seen on the surface of core complexes. For continental rifts, we will describe a suite of 2D and 3D model calculations with a range of initial lithospheric structures and values of M. In one set of the 2D models we limit the extensional tectonic force and show how this affects the maximum topographic relief produced across the rift. We are also interested in comparing models in

  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. δ34S 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 δ34S 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

  11. Geophysical Investigations of Crustal Structure of Cenozoic Rifting Basin in Passive Continental Margin: The Pearl River Mouth Basin, South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, N.

    2015-12-01

    The Pearl River Mouth Basin (PRMB) initiated in the Cenozoic with rifting, and became a part of the South China Sea (SCS) rifted passive continental margin. Decades of industrial exploration in this proliferous region have produced lots of geological and geophysical data. In order to get the first order crustal scale structure, we integrate well data, multi channel seismic reflection, and the observed gravity field for a joint inversion. The Cenozoic sediment of PRMB comprises of several stratigraphic sequences, including the terrestrial facies, the marine facies and the transitional facies. The sedimentary model takes into account of two main parts that refer to the Paleogene to Neogene unit and the Neogene to Quaternary unit, which were respectively formed during the intercontinental rifting stage and the passive continental margin post-rifting stage. By integrating long cable seismic profiles, interval velocity and performing gravity modelling, we have modelled the sub-sedimentary basement. There are some high-density bodies in the lower part of crust (ρ> 2.8 g/cm3), most of which were probably made up by emplacement from the upper mantle into the lower crust. The crystalline continental crust spans from unstretched domains (as thick as about 25 km) near the continental shelf to extremely thinned domains (of less than 6 km thickness) in the sag center. The presented crust-scale structural model shows that the crystalline crust of the Liwan Sag (LWS) and Baiyun sag (BYS) are thinner than other parts of PRMB, especially, the crystalline crust thickness in BYS is even less than 6 km. we could preliminary infer that the crystalline crust may be more easily stretched and be thinned by the existence of hot and soft substances at the lower crust.

  12. Physics-based and statistical earthquake forecasting in a continental rift zone: the case study of Corinth Gulf (Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Segou, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    I perform a retrospective forecast experiment in the most rapid extensive continental rift worldwide, the western Corinth Gulf (wCG, Greece), aiming to predict shallow seismicity (depth <15 km) with magnitude M ≥ 3.0 for the time period between 1995 and 2013. I compare two short-term earthquake clustering models, based on epidemic-type aftershock sequence (ETAS) statistics, four physics-based (CRS) models, combining static stress change estimations and the rate-and-state laboratory law and one hybrid model. For the latter models, I incorporate the stress changes imparted from 31 earthquakes with magnitude M ≥ 4.5 at the extended area of wCG. Special attention is given on the 3-D representation of active faults, acting as potential receiver planes for the estimation of static stress changes. I use reference seismicity between 1990 and 1995, corresponding to the learning phase of physics-based models, and I evaluate the forecasts for six months following the 1995 M = 6.4 Aigio earthquake using log-likelihood performance metrics. For the ETAS realizations, I use seismic events with magnitude M ≥ 2.5 within daily update intervals to enhance their predictive power. For assessing the role of background seismicity, I implement a stochastic reconstruction (aka declustering) aiming to answer whether M > 4.5 earthquakes correspond to spontaneous events and identify, if possible, different triggering characteristics between aftershock sequences and swarm-type seismicity periods. I find that: (1) ETAS models outperform CRS models in most time intervals achieving very low rejection ratio RN = 6 per cent, when I test their efficiency to forecast the total number of events inside the study area, (2) the best rejection ratio for CRS models reaches RN = 17 per cent, when I use varying target depths and receiver plane geometry, (3) 75 per cent of the 1995 Aigio aftershocks that occurred within the first month can be explained by static stress changes, (4) highly variable

  13. 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 (ɛNd = +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., ɛNd(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

  14. 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 (ɛNd = + 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., ɛNd(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

  15. Time-calibrated models support congruency between Cretaceous continental rifting and titanosaurian evolutionary history

    PubMed Central

    O‘Connor, Patrick M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent model-based phylogenetic approaches have expanded upon the incorporation of extinct lineages and their respective temporal information for calibrating divergence date estimates. Here, model-based methods are explored to estimate divergence dates and ancestral ranges for titanosaurian sauropod dinosaurs, an extinct and globally distributed terrestrial clade that existed during the extensive Cretaceous supercontinental break-up. Our models estimate an Early Cretaceous (approx. 135 Ma) South American origin for Titanosauria. The estimated divergence dates are broadly congruent with Cretaceous geophysical models of supercontinental separation and subsequent continental isolation while obviating the invocation of continuous Late Cretaceous continental connections (e.g. ephemeral land bridges). Divergence dates for mid-Cretaceous African and South American sister lineages support semi-isolated subequatorial African faunas in concordance with the gradual northward separation between South America and Africa. Finally, Late Cretaceous Africa may have linked Laurasian lineages with their sister South American lineages, though the current Late Cretaceous African terrestrial fossil record remains meagre. PMID:27048465

  16. Isotopic characterisation of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle beneath Zealandia, a rifted fragment of Gondwana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waight, Tod E.; Scott, James M.; van der Meer, Quinten H. A.

    2013-04-01

    The greater New Zealand region, known as Zealandia, represents an amalgamation of crustal fragments accreted to the paleo-Pacific Gondwana margin and which underwent significant thinning during the subsequent split from Australia and Antarctica in the mid-Cretaceous following opening of the Tasman Sea and the Southern Ocean. We present Sr, Nd and Pb isotopes and laser ablation trace element data for a comprehensive suite of clinopyroxene separates from spinel peridotite xenoliths (lherzolite to harzburgite) from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle across southern New Zealand. These xenoliths were transported to the surface in intra-plate alkaline volcanics that erupted across the region in the Eocene and Miocene (33-10 m.y.a.). Most of the volcanic suites have similar geochemical and isotopic properties that indicate melting of an OIB-like mantle source in the garnet stability zone and that contained a HIMU component. The volcanics have tapped two adjacent but chemically contrasting upper mantle domains: a fertile eastern domain and an extremely depleted western domain. Both domains underlie Mesozoic metasedimentary crust. Radiogenic isotope compositions of the clinopyroxene have 87Sr/86Sr between 0.7023 to 0.7035, 143Nd/144Nd between 0.5128 and 0.5132 (corresponding to ?Nd between +3 and +13) with a few samples extending to even more depleted compositions, 206Pb/204 Pb between ca. 19.5 to 21.5 and 208Pb/204 Pb between ca. 38.5 to 40.5. No correlations are observed between isotopic composition, age or geographical separation. These isotopic compositions indicate that the sub-continental lithospheric mantle under southern New Zealand has a regionally distinct and pervasive FOZO to HIMU - like signature. The isotopic signatures are also similar to those of the alkaline magmas that transported the xenoliths and suggest that most of the HIMU signature observed in the volcanics could be derived from a major source component in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle

  17. Mantle compensation of active metamorphic core complexes at Woodlark rift in Papua New Guinea.

    PubMed

    Abers, Geoffrey A; Ferris, Aaron; Craig, Mitchell; Davies, Hugh; Lerner-Lam, Arthur L; Mutter, John C; Taylor, Brian

    2002-08-22

    In many highly extended rifts on the Earth, tectonic removal of the upper crust exhumes mid-crustal rocks, producing metamorphic core complexes. These structures allow the upper continental crust to accommodate tens of kilometres of extension, but it is not clear how the lower crust and underlying mantle respond. Also, despite removal of the upper crust, such core complexes remain both topographically high and in isostatic equilibrium. Because many core complexes in the western United States are underlain by a flat Moho discontinuity, it has been widely assumed that their elevation is supported by flow in the lower crust or by magmatic underplating. These processes should decouple upper-crust extension from that in the mantle. In contrast, here we present seismic observations of metamorphic core complexes of the western Woodlark rift that show the overall crust to be thinned beneath regions of greatest surface extension. These core complexes are actively being exhumed at a rate of 5-10 km Myr(-1), and the thinning of the underlying crust appears to be compensated by mantle rocks of anomalously low density, as indicated by low seismic velocities. We conclude that, at least in this case, the development of metamorphic core complexes and the accommodation of high extension is not purely a crustal phenomenon, but must involve mantle extension.

  18. Non-depleted sub-continental mantle beneath the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield: Nd-Sr isotopic and trace element evidence from Midcontinent Rift basalts

    SciTech Connect

    Paces, J.B. ); Bell, K. )

    1989-08-01

    Midcontinent Rift flood basalts represent a sample of the relatively shallow, sub-continental upper mantle beneath the Canadian Shield at 1.1 Ga. A thick sequence of olivine tholeiite lavas, including minor intermediate to rhyolitic lavas, from the Portage Lake Volcanics (PLV) in northern Michigan have initial Nd and Sr isotopic compositions which cluster near Bulk Earth values. The effects of assimilation of old LREE-enriched continental crust into mantle-derived fractionating liquids are isotopically discernible in evolved lavas as well as in olivine tholeiites from the lowest portion of the volcanic pile. However, the effects of crustal contamination decrease with stratigraphic height and are absent in more primitive lavas in the upper half of the section. The source for PLV tholeiites is substantially less depleted than previously reported mantle values from the Superior Province. An origin for the PLV source is compatible with either of several mantle evolution models. The PLV source may have been associated with upwelling of a LIL element-enriched, asthenospheric plume which emplaced non-depleted material from deeper sources into the shallow sub-continental mantle beneath the Midcontinent Rift during continental break-up. Alternatively, the PLV source may have originated by enrichment of refractory sub-continental lithospheric mantle which was previously depleted in incompatible trace elements during Archean-aged melt extraction and continental crust formation. Concurrent generation of carbonatite magmas in other areas beneath the Superior Province indicates the widespread presence of sub-continental mantle with substantially higher {epsilon}{sub Nd}(T) and lower {epsilon}{sub Sr}(T) than the PLV source.

  19. Geochemical and geochronological constraints on the origin and evolution of rocks in the active Woodlark Rift of Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zirakparvar, Nasser Alexander

    Tectonically active regions provide important natural laboratories to glean information that is applicable to developing a better understanding of the geologic record. One such area of the World is Papua New Guinea, much of which is situated in an active and transient plate boundary zone. The focus of this PhD research is to develop a better understanding of rocks in the active Woodlark Rift, situated in Papua New Guinea's southernmost reaches. In this region, rifting and lithospheric rupture is occurring within a former subduction complex where there is a history of continental subduction and (U)HP metamorphism. The lithostratigraphic units exposed in the Woodlark Rift provide an opportunity to better understand the records of plate boundary processes at many scales from micron-sized domains within individual minerals to regional geological relationships. This thesis is composed of three chapters that are independent of one another but are all related to the overall goal of developing a better understanding of the record of plate boundary processes in the rocks currently exposed in the Woodlark Rift. The first chapter, published in its entirety in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2011 v. 309, p. 56 - 66), is entitled 'Lu-Hf garnet geochronology applied to plate boundary zones: Insights from the (U)HP terrane exhumed within the Woodlark Rift'. This chapter focuses on the use of the Lu-Hf isotopic system to date garnets in the Woodlark Rift. Major findings of this study are that some of the rocks in the Woodlark Rift preserve a Lu-Hf garnet isotopic record of initial metamorphism and continental subduction occurring in the Late Mesozoic, whereas others only preserve a record of tectonic processes related to lithospheric rupture during the initiation of rifting in the Late Cenozoic. The second chapter is entitled 'Geochemical and geochronological constraints on the origin of rocks in the active Woodlark Rift of Papua New Guinea: Recognizing the dispersed

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  1. Role of magmatism in continental lithosphere extension: an introduction to tectnophysics special issue

    SciTech Connect

    Van Wijk, Jolante W

    2008-01-01

    The dynamics and evolution of rifts and continental rifted margins have been the subject of intense study and debate for many years and still remain the focus of active investigation. The 2006 AGU Fall Meeting session 'Extensional Processes Leading to the Formation of Basins and Rifted Margins, From Volcanic to Magma-Limited' included several contributions that illustrated recent advances in our understanding of rifting processes, from the early stages of extension to breakup and incipient seafloor spreading. Following this session, we aimed to assemble a multi-disciplinary collection of papers focussing on the architecture, formation and evolution of continental rift zones and rifted margins. This Tectonophysics Special Issue 'Role of magmatism in continental lithosphere extension' comprises 14 papers that present some of the recent insights on rift and rifted margins dynamics, emphasising the role of magmatism in extensional processes. The purpose of this contribution is to introduce these papers.

  2. Paleomagnetism and paleointensity of Mid-Continental Rift System basalts at Silver Mountain and Sturgeon River Falls (Upper Michigan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulakov, E.; Piispa, E. J.; Laird, M. S.; Smirnov, A. V.; Diehl, J. F.

    2009-12-01

    Paleomagnetic and paleointensity data from Precambrian rocks are of great importance for understanding the early geodynamo and tectonic evolution of the Earth. We will present results from a rock magnetic and paleomagnetic investigation of basaltic lava flow sequences at Silver Mountain and Sturgeon River Falls in Upper Michigan. While the Silver Mountain and Sturgeon River Falls lava flows have not been radiometrically dated, these rocks have been assigned to the Siemens Creek Volcanics, the lowermost member of ~1.1 Ga Powder Mill Group (PMG). The PMG represents one of the oldest volcanic units associated with the Mid-Continental Rift System (MCRS). We sampled 13 lava flows from the Silver Mountain and two lava flows from the Sturgeon River Falls exposures (a minimum of 15 cores per flow were taken). Paleomagnetic directions were determined from detailed thermal and/or alternating field demagnetization preceded by an initial low-temperature (liquid nitrogen) demagnetization. Most specimens revealed a single- or a two-component remanent magnetization. At both locations, the characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) has a reversed direction with very steep inclination similar to that found in other rocks representing the early stages of MCRS. Our magnetic hysteresis measurements, unblocking temperature spectra, and scanning electron microscopy analyses suggest low-Ti, pseudosingle-domain titanomagnetite as the principal magnetic carrier in these rocks. For paleointensity determinations, we applied the multispecimen parallel differential pTRM method. These data add to the Precambrian paleointensity database which otherwise remains limited because of alteration and other factors hampering the applicability of conventional Thellier double-heating method.

  3. Petrology and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope geochemistry of Late Cretaceous continental rift ignimbrites, Kap Washington peninsula, North Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorarinsson, Sigurjon B.; Holm, Paul M.; Duprat, Helene I.; Tegner, Christian

    2012-03-01

    The Late Cretaceous-Palaeocene (71-61 Ma) Kap Washington Group (KWG) volcanic sequence is exposed at the north coast of Greenland. The sequence is bimodal and was erupted in a continental rift setting during the opening of the Arctic Ocean. The succession exposed on the Kap Washington peninsula, which forms the bulk of the KWG sequence (> 5 km thick), has been sampled along four traverses with a combined stratigraphic thickness of ca. 1500 m. The sampled sequence is dominated by silicic ignimbrites (69-79 wt.% SiO2) showing geochemical features typical of ferroan, A-type granitoids. The ignimbrites range from sparsely phyric, mildly peraluminous compositions [ASI = Al2O3/(CaO + Na2O + K2O) = 1.05-1.20] to feldspar + quartz ± sodic amphibole ± Fe-Ti oxide phyric peralkaline compositions [PI = (Na2O + K2O)/Al2O3 = 1.00-1.40]. The peraluminous ignimbrites appear to overlie the peralkaline ignimbrites, although stratigraphy is complicated by faulting. Fiamme imbrication indicates that both types were erupted from a vent area located north of the Kap Washington peninsula. The peralkaline ignimbrites have Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions which overlap with the compositions of KWG basalts, indicating a dominantly basaltic source. The more peralkaline compositions were generated by up to ca. 50% fractional crystallisation of alkali feldspar-quartz-dominated assemblages from mildly peralkaline parental magmas, themselves probably derived by fractionation of trachytic magmas. The peraluminous ignimbrites have slightly negative ɛNd(i) and more radiogenic 207Pb/204Pbi and 208Pb/204Pbi. Modelling indicates that they are not cogenetic with the peralkaline ignimbrites and they are inferred to have originated by partial melting of hybridised mafic crust. Petrographic evidence suggests that magma mixing was an important process and variations in Nd-Pb isotopes and trace element ratios indicate mixing between peralkaline and peraluminous magma batches.

  4. The initiation of segmented buoyancy-driven melting during continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallacher, Ryan J.; Keir, Derek; Harmon, Nicholas; Stuart, Graham; Leroy, Sylvie; Hammond, James O. S.; Kendall, J.-Michael; Ayele, Atalay; Goitom, Berhe; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Ahmed, Abdulhakim

    2016-10-01

    Melting of the mantle during continental breakup leads to magmatic intrusion and volcanism, yet our understanding of the location and dominant mechanisms of melt generation in rifting environments is impeded by a paucity of direct observations of mantle melting. It is unclear when during the rifting process the segmented nature of magma supply typical of seafloor spreading initiates. Here, we use Rayleigh-wave tomography to construct a high-resolution absolute three-dimensional shear-wave velocity model of the upper 250 km beneath the Afar triple junction, imaging the mantle response during progressive continental breakup. Our model suggests melt production is highest and melting depths deepest early during continental breakup. Elevated melt production during continental rifting is likely due to localized thinning and melt focusing when the rift is narrow. In addition, we interpret segmented zones of melt supply beneath the rift, suggesting that buoyancy-driven active upwelling of the mantle initiates early during continental rifting.

  5. The initiation of segmented buoyancy-driven melting during continental breakup.

    PubMed

    Gallacher, Ryan J; Keir, Derek; Harmon, Nicholas; Stuart, Graham; Leroy, Sylvie; Hammond, James O S; Kendall, J-Michael; Ayele, Atalay; Goitom, Berhe; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Ahmed, Abdulhakim

    2016-10-18

    Melting of the mantle during continental breakup leads to magmatic intrusion and volcanism, yet our understanding of the location and dominant mechanisms of melt generation in rifting environments is impeded by a paucity of direct observations of mantle melting. It is unclear when during the rifting process the segmented nature of magma supply typical of seafloor spreading initiates. Here, we use Rayleigh-wave tomography to construct a high-resolution absolute three-dimensional shear-wave velocity model of the upper 250 km beneath the Afar triple junction, imaging the mantle response during progressive continental breakup. Our model suggests melt production is highest and melting depths deepest early during continental breakup. Elevated melt production during continental rifting is likely due to localized thinning and melt focusing when the rift is narrow. In addition, we interpret segmented zones of melt supply beneath the rift, suggesting that buoyancy-driven active upwelling of the mantle initiates early during continental rifting.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-01

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

  7. Introduction to Special Section on the Rio Grande Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, G. R.

    1986-05-01

    With the aid of a Penrose Conference in 1974 and an international rift conference held in 1978 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Rio Grande rift has become widely recognized as a major Cenozoic continental rift zone. As a result of the 1978 Santa Fe meeting, the American Geophysical Union published a special volume of papers concerned with the Rio Grande rift [Riecker, 1979], and the New Mexico Geological Society recently published another volume focused on this rift [Baldridge et al., 1984]. These volumes are a manifestation of the research activity which lead to the formation of the Rio Grande rift consortium whose purpose is to foster rift-related research and communication. This organization has sponsored several special sessions at geological and geophysical meetings and has generally increased the awareness of this important feature.

  8. The Effects of Far-Field Boundary Conditions on 2D Numerical Solutions for Continental Rifting: Tests and Recipes for Improved Treatment of Asthenosphere Flow and Melting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, J. P.; de Monserrat, A.; Hall, R.; Taramon, J. M.; Perez-Gussinye, M.

    2015-12-01

    This work focuses on improving current 2D numerical approaches to modeling the boundary conditions associated with computing accurate deformation and melting associated with continental rifting. Recent models primarily use far-field boundary conditions that have been used for decades with little assessment of their effects on asthenospheric flow beneath the rifting region. All are clearly extremely oversimplified — Huismans and Buiter assume there is no vertical flow into the rifting region, with the asthenosphere flowing uniformly into the rifting region from the sides beneath lithosphere moving in the opposing direction, Armitage et al. and van Wijk use divergent velocities on the upper boundary to impose break-up within a Cartesian box, while other studies generally assume there is uniform horizontal flow away from the center of rifting, with uniform vertical flow replenishing the material pulled out of the sides of the computational region. All are likely to significantly shape the pattern of asthenospheric flow beneath the stretching lithosphere that is associated with pressure-release melting and rift volcanism. Thus while ALL may lead to similar predictions of the effects of crustal stretching and thinning, NONE may lead to accurate determination of the the asthenospheric flow and melting associated with lithospheric stretching and breakup. Here we discuss a suite of numerical experiments that compare these choices to likely more realistic boundary condition choices like the analytical solution for flow associated with two diverging plates stretching over a finite-width region, and a high-resolution 2-D region embedded within a cylindrical annulus 'whole mantle cross-section' at 5% extra numerical problem size. Our initial results imply that the choice of far-field boundary conditions does indeed significantly influence predicted melting distributions and melt volumes associated with continental breakup. For calculations including asthenospheric melting

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Sedimentation and potential venting on the rifted continental margin of Dronning Maud Land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Xiaoxia; Jokat, Wilfried

    2016-12-01

    The relief of Dronning Maud Land (DML), formed by Middle and Late Mesozoic tectonic activity, had a strong spatial control on the early fluvial and subsequent glacial erosion and deposition. The sources, processes, and products of sedimentation along the DML margin and in the Lazarev Sea in front of the DML mountains have been barely studied. The onshore mountain belt parallel to the coast of the DML margin acts as a barrier to the transport of terrigenous sediments from the east Antarctic interior to the margin and into the Lazarev Sea. Only the Jutul-Penck Graben system allows a localized ice stream controlled transport of material from the interior of DML across its old mountain belt. Offshore, we attribute repeated large-scale debris flow deposits to instability of sediments deposited locally on the steep gradient of the DML margin by high sediment flux. Two types of canyons are defined based on their axial dimensions and originated from turbidity currents and slope failures during glacial/fluvial transport. For the first time, we report pipe-like seismic structures in this region and suggest that they occurred as consequences of volcanic processes. Sedimentary processes on the DML margin were studied using seismic reflection data and we restricted the seismic interpretation to the identification of major seismic sequences and their basal unconformities.

  12. Effects of Oblique Extension and Inherited Structure Geometry on Transfer Zone Development in Continental Rifts: A 4D Analogue Modeling Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwaan, Frank; Schreurs, Guido

    2015-04-01

    -connecting inherited zones, whose strike is at an angle of >15° with respect to the divergence direction. CT-analysis indicates that faulting initiated shortly after the start of the experiments, while structures become only clearly visible at the surface only after 1:30h (4% extension). Rift boundary fault angles tend to decrease from an initial 70° to ca. 55° after 4:00h (10% extension). Further CT-analysis will reveal the 3D evolution of the transform zones in more detail. REFERENCES Acocella, V., Faccenna, C., Funiciello, R., Rossetti, F., 1999. Sand-box modelling of basement-controlled transfer zones in extensional domains. Terra Nova, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp 149-156 Allken, V., Huismans, R. S., Thieulot, C., 2012. Factors controlling the mode of rift interaction in brittle-ductile coupled systems: A 3D numerical study, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. Vol. 13, Q05010 Schreurs, G., Colletta, B. (1998) Analogue modelling of faulting in zones of continental transpression and transtension. In: Holdsworth, R. E., Strachan R. A., Dewey, J. F., (eds.) 1998. Continental Transpressional and Transtensional Tectonics. Geological Society, London, Special Publications. No. 135, pp 59-79

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  14. Phylogeographic Reconstructions of a Rift Valley Fever Virus Strain Reveals Transboundary Animal Movements from Eastern Continental Africa to the Union of the Comoros.

    PubMed

    Maquart, M; Pascalis, H; Abdouroihamane, S; Roger, M; Abdourahime, F; Cardinale, E; Cêtre-Sossah, C

    2016-04-01

    Major explosive outbreaks of Rift Valley fever (RVF), an arthropod borne zoonotic disease, occur in humans and animals with significant mortality and economic impact across continental Africa and the Indian Ocean region (Madagascar, the Comoros archipelago). Recently, sporadic human cases have been reported in Mayotte and Grande Comore, two islands belonging to the Comoros archipelago. To identify the hypothetical source of virus introduction in an inter-epidemic or a post-epidemic period, a longitudinal survey of livestock was set up in Comorian ruminant populations, known to be susceptible hosts. The phylogeographic genomic analysis has shown that RVF virus (RVFV) detected in a zebu collected in Anjouan in August 2011 seems to be related to the last known epidemic of RVF which occurred in East Africa and Madagascar (2007-2009). This result highlights the fact that RVFV is maintained within local livestock populations and transboundary animal movements from eastern continental Africa to Indian Ocean islands likely result in RVFV crossover.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-03-01

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

  16. Measurement of sediment and crustal thickness corrected RDA for 2D profiles at rifted continental margins: Applications to the Iberian, Gulf of Aden and S Angolan margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick

    2014-05-01

    Subsidence analysis of sedimentary basins and rifted continental margins requires a correction for the anomalous uplift or subsidence arising from mantle dynamic topography. Whilst different global model predictions of mantle dynamic topography may give a broadly similar pattern at long wavelengths, they differ substantially in the predicted amplitude and at shorter wavelengths. As a consequence the accuracy of predicted mantle dynamic topography is not sufficiently good to provide corrections for subsidence analysis. Measurements of present day anomalous subsidence, which we attribute to mantle dynamic topography, have been made for three rifted continental margins; offshore Iberia, the Gulf of Aden and southern Angola. We determine residual depth anomaly (RDA), corrected for sediment loading and crustal thickness variation for 2D profiles running from unequivocal oceanic crust across the continental ocean boundary onto thinned continental crust. Residual depth anomalies (RDA), corrected for sediment loading using flexural backstripping and decompaction, have been calculated by comparing observed and age predicted oceanic bathymetries at these margins. Age predicted bathymetric anomalies have been calculated using the thermal plate model predictions from Crosby & McKenzie (2009). Non-zero sediment corrected RDAs may result from anomalous oceanic crustal thickness with respect to the global average or from anomalous uplift or subsidence. Gravity anomaly inversion incorporating a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction and sediment thickness from 2D seismic reflection data has been used to determine Moho depth, calibrated using seismic refraction, and oceanic crustal basement thickness. Crustal basement thicknesses derived from gravity inversion together with Airy isostasy have been used to correct for variations of crustal thickness from a standard oceanic thickness of 7km. The 2D profiles of RDA corrected for both sediment loading and non-standard crustal

  17. A statistical model of Rift Valley fever activity in Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Ali N.; Beier, John C.

    2014-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral disease of animals and humans and a global public health concern due to its ecological plasticity, adaptivity, and potential for spread to countries with a temperate climate. In many places, outbreaks are episodic and linked to climatic, hydrologic, and socioeconomic factors. Although outbreaks of RVF have occurred in Egypt since 1977, attempts to identify risk factors have been limited. Using a statistical learning approach (lasso-regularized generalized linear model), we tested the hypotheses that outbreaks in Egypt are linked to (1) River Nile conditions that create a mosquito vector habitat, (2) entomologic conditions favorable to transmission, (3) socio-economic factors (Islamic festival of Greater Bairam), and (4) recent history of transmission activity. Evidence was found for effects of rainfall and river discharge and recent history of transmission activity. There was no evidence for an effect of Greater Bairam. The model predicted RVF activity correctly in 351 of 358 months (98.0%). This is the first study to statistically identify risk factors for RVF outbreaks in a region of unstable transmission. PMID:24581353

  18. Mineralogical-geochemical features of travertines of the modern continental hydrotherms: A G-1 well, Tunka depression, Baikal rift zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soktoev, B. R.; Rikhvanov, L. P.; Ilenok, S. S.; Baranovskaya, N. V.; Taisaev, T. T.

    2015-07-01

    The mineral and chemical composition of travertines is studied in the modern discharge zone of the hydrothermal fluids of the Tunka depression, Baikal rift zone. The matrix of travertines is mostly made up of aragonite and calcite, which host about 20 mineral phases of Ag, Au, Pb, Cu, Sb, Sn, Fe, and other chemical elements. Similar rocks have previously been found in areas of modern submarine ore formation and tectonically active structures of the crust (New Zealand, the Cheleken Peninsula and others). Our materials confirm the opinion of some researchers who study modern hydrothermal ore formation in spreading zones that the formation of hydrothermal deposits requires favorable geochemical barriers rather than significant contents of metals in thermal waters. It is shown that microbial communities, concentrating chemical elements playing an important role in formation of ore mineralization in the discharge zones of thermal waters may be these barriers. According to our data, at the territory of the Tunka depression, thermal carbonic waters with endogenic components are delivered to the upper crustal horizons, involved in the existing hydrogeological systems, mixed with waters of active water exchange, and contribute to their chemical composition. This is manifested in the specific elemental and micromineral (Au, Ag, etc.) composition of the limescale of drinking water. In this local discharge zone, an effect of radioactive orphans has been found, which is similar to that established in barite chimneys from the Juan-de-Fuca Ridge.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-26

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

  20. Characterising Seismicity at Alutu, an Actively Deforming Volcano in the Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilks, M.; Nowacki, A.; Kendall, J. M.; Wookey, J. M.; Biggs, J.; Bastow, I. D.; Ayele, A.; Bedada, T.

    2013-12-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) provides a unique example of the tectonic and volcanic processes occuring during the transition from continental rifting to oceanic spreading. Situated 100 km south of Addis Ababa along the eastern rift margin, Alutu is a silicic stratovolcano that geodetic measurements (InSAR and GPS) have shown is actively deforming. Though the volcano has received relatively little scientific attention it is also a site of economic significance as a geothermal power plant resides within the caldera. As part of ARGOS (Alutu Research Geophysical ObservationS), a multi-disciplinary project aiming to investigate the magmatic and hydrothermal processes occuring at Alutu, a seismic network of 12 broadband seismometers was deployed in January 2012. Other components of ARGOS include InSAR, GPS, geologic mapping and magnetotellurics. From the seismic dataset, P- and S-wave arrivals across the array were manually picked and used to locate events using a non-linear earthquake location algorithm (NonLinLoc) and a predefined 1D velocity model. Perturbations were later applied to this velocity model to investigate the sensitivity of the locations and evaluate the true uncertainties of the solutions. Over 1000 events were successfully located during 2012, where picks were possible at 4 or more stations. Seismicity clusters at both shallow depths (z<2 km) beneath the caldera and at deeper depths of 5-15 km. There is a significant increase in seismicity during the rainy months, suggesting the shallow events may be related to the hydrothermal system. We interpret the deeper events as being magmatic in origin. Events are also located along the eastern border faults that bound the outer edges of the MER and highlights that seismicity arises concurrently via tectonic processes. An adapted version of Richter's original local magnitude scale (ML) to account for attenuation within the MER (Keir et al., 2006) was then used to compute magnitudes for the best located events

  1. Making it and breaking it in the Midwest: Continental assembly and rifting from modeling of EarthScope magnetotelluric data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bedrosian, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    A three-dimensional lithospheric-scale resistivity model of the North American mid-continent has been estimated based upon EarthScope magnetotelluric data. Details of the resistivity model are discussed in relation to lithospheric sutures, defined primarily from aeromagnetic and geochronologic data, which record the southward growth of the Laurentian margin in the Proterozoic. The resistivity signature of the 1.1 Ga Mid-continent Rift System is examined in detail, in particular as relates to rift geometry, extent, and segmentation. An unrecognized expanse of (concealed) Proterozoic deltaic deposits in Kansas is identified and speculated to result from axial drainage along the southwest rift arm akin to the Rio Grande delta which drains multiple rift basins. A prominent conductor traces out Cambrian rifting in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky; this linear conductor has not been imaged before and suggests that the Cambrian rift system may have been more extensive than previously thought. The highest conductivity within the mid-continent is imaged in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin where it is coincident with Paleoproterozoic metasedimentary rocks. The high conductivity is attributed to metallic sulfides, and in some cases, graphite. The former is a potential source of sulfur for multiple mineral deposits types, occurrences of which are found throughout the region. Finally, the imprint left within the mantle following the 1.1 Ga rifting event is examined. Variations in lithospheric mantle conductivity are observed and are interpreted to reflect variations in water content (depleted versus metasomatized mantle) imprinted upon the mantle by the Keweenawan mantle plume.

  2. Crustal Structure Across the Okavango Rift Zone, Botswana: Initial Results From the PRIDE-SEISORZ Active-Source Seismic Profile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canales, J. P.; Moffat, L.; Lizarralde, D.; Laletsang, K.; Harder, S. H.; Kaip, G.; Modisi, M.

    2015-12-01

    The PRIDE project aims to understand the processes of continental rift initiation and evolution by analyzing along-axis trends in the southern portion of the East Africa Rift System, from Botswana through Zambia and Malawi. The SEISORZ active-source seismic component of PRIDE focused on the Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ) in northwestern Botswana, with the main goal of imaging the crustal structure across the ORZ. This will allow us to estimate total crustal extension, determine the pattern and amount of thinning, assess the possible presence of melt within the rift zone, and assess the contrasts in crustal blocks across the rift, which closely follows the trend of a fold belt. In November 2014 we conducted a crustal-scale, 450-km-long seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profile consisting of 19 sources (shots in 30-m-deep boreholes) spaced ~25 km apart from each other, and 900 receivers (IRIS/PASSCAL "Texan" dataloggers and 4.5Hz geophones) with ~500 m spacing. From NW to SE, the profile crosses several tectonic domains: the Congo craton, the Damara metamorphic belt and the Ghanzi-Chobe fold belt where the axis of the ORZ is located, and continues into the Kalahari craton. The record sections display clear crustal refraction (Pg) and wide-angle Moho reflection (PmP) phases for all 17 of the good-quality shots, and a mantle refraction arrival (Pn), with the Pg-PmP-Pn triplication appearing at 175 km offset. There are distinct changes in the traveltime and amplitude of these phases along the transect, and on either side of the axis, that seem to correlate with sharp transitions across tectonic terrains. Initial modeling suggests: (1) the presence of a sedimentary half-graben structure at the rift axis beneath the Okavango delta, bounded to the SE by the Kunyere-Thamalakane fault system; (2) faster crustal Vp in the domains to the NW of the ORZ; and (3) thicker crust (45-50 km) at both ends of the profile within the Congo and Kalahari craton domains than at the ORZ and

  3. How Mountains Become Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, S. J.; Tetreault, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    Rifting often initiates on former continental collision zones. For example, the present-day passive margins of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans formed after continental break-up occurred on relatively young and very old sutures, such as Morocco-Nova Scotia and East Antarctica-Australia, respectively. Rifts may localize on former collision zones for several reasons: orogens are thermally weak because of the increase in heat producing elements in their thicker crustal root, the inherited thrust faults form large-scale heterogeneities, and in the case of young sutures, extensional collapse of the orogen may help initiate rifting. We highlight the impact of collision zone inheritance on continental extension and rifted margin architecture using numerical experiments. We first explicitly prescribe collisional structures in the initial setup, such as increased crustal thickness and inherited thrust faults. Varying the prescribed structures results in different rift to break-up durations and margin widths. Our second series of experiments creates a collision zone through subduction and closure of an ocean. We confirm that post-collisional collapse is not a sufficient trigger for continental rifting and that a change in regional plate motions is required. When extension occurs, the weak former subduction interface and the elevated temperatures in the crustal nappe stack work in tandem as the main deformation localizers for continental rifting. Our experiments show that different approaches of initiating a continental rift result in different dynamics of the crust and mantle, thereby impacting rift geometry, rift to break-up duration, and exhumation of subduction-related sediments and oceanic crust.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  5. Mafic dike swarms in the South Shetland Islands volcanic arc: Unravelling multiepisodic magmatism related to subduction and continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willan, Robert C. R.; Kelley, Simon P.

    1999-10-01

    Eight groups of mafic dikes and related high-level stocks cut Triassic accretionary complex and Mesozoic magmatic arc formations on Livingston Island. Some are affected by silicic/sericitic alteration, related to Cretaceous hydrothermal activity, and propylitic/epidosite alteration, analogous to that in ocean floor sheeted dikes. Alteration was accompanied by major and trace element metasomatism. Ar-Ar analysis of the freshest rocks indicates five intrusive events, some of which are unexpectedly young. Groups 1-3 were intruded in the mid to late Cretaceous (˜108-74 Ma) and were coeval with the calc-alkaline arc. Between 70 and 50 Ma, relatively rapid and oblique plate convergence led to strike-slip tectonism and a pause in magmatism. At ˜52 Ma, orthogonal, slow convergence resulted in extensional faulting and emplacement of calc-alkaline (group 2) and primitive tholeiitic dikes (groups 4-6) between 51 and 45 Ma. Extension of Antarctic Peninsula-southern South American crust culminated in emplacement of mafic to intermediate, medium-grained plutons and group C porphyries between 44 and 36 Ma. Localized hydrothermal flow along fault zones resulted in partial to complete argon loss from nearby Cretaceous lavas and Ar-Ar reset ages of ˜40 Ma in mid-Cretaceous hydrothermal K-feldspar. Primitive olivine basalts (group D) and epithermal carbonate veins (31-29 Ma) were emplaced during along-arc extension accompanying the opening of Drake Passage and Powell Basin. Excess argon occurs in two forms: strongly held in melt? inclusions in the primitive tholeiites and weakly held in some secondary alteration. There is no radiometric evidence, in the area studied, for magmatism related to late Cenozoic subduction, nor to the Pleistocene-Recent opening of the back arc Bransfield rift.

  6. Mastritherium (Artiodactyla, Anthracotheriidae) from Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia; an earliest Miocene age for continental rift-valley volcanic deposits of the Red Sea margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madden, Gary T.; Schmidt, Dwight Lyman; Whitmore, Frank C.

    1983-01-01

    A lower jaw fragment with its last molar (M/3) from the Baid formation in Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia, represents the first recorded occurrence in the Arabian Peninsula of an anthracotheriid artiodactyl (hippo-like, even-toed ungulate). This fossil is identified as a primitive species of Masritherium, a North and East African genus restricted, previously to the later early Miocene. This identification indicates that the age of the Baid formation, long problematical, is early Miocene and, moreover, shows that the age of the fossil site is earliest Miocene (from 25 to 21Ma). The Wadi Sabya anthracothere is the first species of fossil mammal recorded from western Saudi Arabia, and more important, it indicates an early Miocene age for the volcanic deposits of a continental rift-valley that preceded the initial sea-floor spreading of the Red Sea.

  7. Accumulation of fossil fuels and metallic minerals in active and ancient rift lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, E.I.

    1983-01-01

    A study of active and ancient rift systems around the world suggests that accumulations of fossil fuels and metallic minerals are related to the interactions of processes that form rift valleys with those that take place in and around rift lakes. The deposition of the precursors of petroleum, gas, oil shale, coal, phosphate, barite, Cu-Pb-Zn sulfides, and uranium begins with erosion of uplifted areas, and the consequent input of abundant nutrients and solute loads into swamps and tectonic lakes. Hot springs and volcanism add other nutrients and solutes. The resulting high biological productivity creates oxidized/reduced interfaces, and anoxic and H2S-rich bottom waters which preserves metal-bearing organic tissues and horizons. In the depositional phases, the fine-grained lake deposits are in contact with coarse-grained beach, delta, river, talus, and alluvial fan deposits. Earthquake-induced turbidites also are common coarse-grained deposits of rift lakes. Postdepositional processes in rifts include high heat flow and a resulting concentration of the organic and metallic components that were dispersed throughout the lakebeds. Postdepositional faulting brings organic- and metal-rich sourcebeds in contact with coarse-grained host and reservoir rocks. A suite of potentially economic deposits is therefore a characteristic of rift valleys. ?? 1983.

  8. Active fault segments as potential earthquake sources: Inferences from integrated geophysical mapping of the Magadi fault system, southern Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuria, Z. N.; Woldai, T.; van der Meer, F. D.; Barongo, J. O.

    2010-06-01

    uplifted, heavily fractured and deformed basin to the north (highly disturbed magnetic signatures) characteristic of on going active rifting; and a refined architecture of the asymmetry graben to the south with an intrarift horst, whose western graben is 4 km deep and eastern graben is much deeper (9 km), with a zone of significant break in magnetic signatures at that depth, interpreted as source of the hot springs south of Lake Magadi (a location confirmed near surface by ground magnetic and resistivity data sets). The magnetic sources to the north are shallow at 15 km depth compared to 22 km to the south. The loss of magnetism to the north is probably due to increased heat as a result of magmatic intrusion supporting active rifting model. Conclusively, the integrated approach employed in this research confirms that fault system delineated to the north is actively deforming under E-W normal extension and is a potential earthquake source probably related to magmatic intrusion, while the presence of fluids within the south fault zone reduce intensity of faulting activity and explains lack of earthquakes in a continental rift setting.

  9. The occurrence of a complete continental rift type of volcanic rocks suite along the Yerer-Tullu Wellel Volcano Tectonic Lineament, Central Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abebe Adhana, Tsegaye

    2014-11-01

    The Yerer-Tullu Wellel Volcano-tectonic Lineament (YTVL) is an E-W trending fault system or aborted rift that intercepts the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) at Debre Zeyt (Bishoftu)/Yerer, in the eastern periphery of Addis Ababa. The structure is in correspondence with the westward extension of the southern margin of the Gulf of Aden rift. The YTVL extends for more than 500 km with a very clear northern fault margin, between Addis Ababa and Ambo known as the “Ambo Fault”. The southern margin is indicated by an E-W trending segmented lineaments at the latitude of about N 8°30‧, the Bedele-Metu being the most clear segment. In between these limits there are several evolved central volcanoes and cinder cones. The central volcanoes range in age from 12 to 7 Ma in the western most (Tullu Wellel) and gradually the upper limit get younger towards East to less than 1 Ma in the Wenchi and Debre Zeyt (Bishoftu) areas. These volcanic products cover the whole spectrum of a continental rift volcanic rocks suite: (1) in the eastern zone (Yerer-Bishoftu) the suite is silica over-saturated, ranging in composition from transitional basalt to peralkaline rhyolite, (2) moving westwards, between Wechacha and Wenchi, the rocks suite is silica saturated ranging in composition from alkali basalt to trachyte, (3) further West between Ijaji-Konchi and Nekemt the rocks suite is silica under-saturated ranging in composition from basanite to phonolite. Crossing the Dedessa lineament, the Tullu Wellel rocks appear to be silica saturated. Within a single suite fractional crystallization is the predominant evolutional process even in the silica over-saturated suite. The westwards progressive silica under-saturation and increase in alkalinity (except for the Tullu Wellel volcanic centers) is interpreted by the gradual deepening of an anomalous mantle where partial fusion took place. Therefore, as distance increases from the MER junction to the West, the amount of melt on the upper mantle was

  10. The Ni-Cu-PGE mineralized Brejo Seco mafic-ultramafic layered intrusion, Riacho do Pontal Orogen: Onset of Tonian (ca. 900 Ma) continental rifting in Northeast Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salgado, Silas Santos; Ferreira Filho, Cesar Fonseca; Caxito, Fabrício de Andrade; Uhlein, Alexandre; Dantas, Elton Luiz; Stevenson, Ross

    2016-10-01

    The Brejo Seco mafic-ultramafic Complex (BSC) occurs at the extreme northwest of the Riacho do Pontal Orogen Internal Zone, in the northern margin of the São Francisco Craton in Northeast Brazil. The stratigraphy of this medium size (3.5 km wide and 9 km long) layered intrusion consists of four main zones, from bottom to top: Lower Mafic Zone (LMZ; mainly troctolite), Ultramafic Zone (UZ; mainly dunite and minor troctolite); Transitional Mafic Zone (TMZ; mainly troctolite) and an Upper Mafic Zone (UMZ; gabbro and minor anorthosite, troctolite, and ilmenite magnetitite). Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization occurs at the contact of the UZ with the TMZ, consisting of an up to 50 m thick stratabound zone of disseminated magmatic sulfides. An Mg-tholeiitic affinity to the parental magma is indicated by the geochemical fractionation pattern, by the magmatic crystallization sequence and by the elevated Fo content in olivine. A Smsbnd Nd isochron yielded an age of 903 ± 20 Ma, interpreted as the age of crystallization, with initial εNd = 0.8. Evidence of interaction of the BSC parental magma with sialic crust is given by the Rare Earth and trace element patterns, and by slightly negative and overall low values of εNd(900 Ma) in between -0.2 and +3.3. Contrary to early interpretations that it might constitute an ophiolite complex, based mainly on the geochemistry of the host rocks (Morro Branco metavolcanosedimentary complex), here we interpret the BSC as a typical layered mafic-ultramafic intrusion in continental crust, related to an extensional regime. The BSC is chrono-correlated to mafic dyke swarms, anorogenic granites and thick bimodal volcanics of similar age and tectonic setting in the São Francisco Craton and surrounding areas. Intrusion of the BSC was followed by continued lithospheric thinning, which led to the development of the Paulistana Complex continental rift volcanics around 888 Ma and ultimately to plate separation and the generation of new oceanic crust (Monte

  11. The Cenozoic volcanism in the Kivu rift: Assessment of the tectonic setting, geochemistry, and geochronology of the volcanic activity in the South-Kivu and Virunga regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pouclet, A.; Bellon, H.; Bram, K.

    2016-09-01

    The Kivu rift is part of the western branch of the East African Rift system. From Lake Tanganyika to Lake Albert, the Kivu rift is set in a succession of Precambrian zones of weakness trending NW-SE, NNE-SSW and NE-SW. At the NW to NNE turn of the rift direction in the Lake Kivu area, the inherited faults are crosscut by newly born N-S fractures which developed during the late Cenozoic rifting and controlled the volcanic activity. From Lake Kivu to Lake Edward, the N-S faults show a right-lateral en echelon pattern. Development of tension gashes in the Virunga area indicates a clockwise rotation of the constraint linked to dextral oblique motion of crustal blocks. The extensional direction was W-E in the Mio-Pliocene and ENE-WSW in the Pleistocene to present time. The volcanic rocks are assigned to three groups: (1) tholeiites and sodic alkali basalts in the South-Kivu, (2) sodic basalts and nephelinites in the northern Lake Kivu and western Virunga, and (3) potassic basanites and potassic nephelinites in the Virunga area. South-Kivu magmas were generated by melting of spinel + garnet lherzolite from two sources: an enriched lithospheric source and a less enriched mixed lithospheric and asthenospheric source. The latter source was implied in the genesis of the tholeiitic lavas at the beginning of the South-Kivu tectono-volcanic activity, in relationships with asthenosphere upwelling. The ensuing outpouring of alkaline basaltic lavas from the lithospheric source attests for the abortion of the asthenospheric contribution and a change of the rifting process. The sodic nephelinites of the northern Lake Kivu originated from low partial melting of garnet peridotite of the sub-continental mantle due to pressure release during swell initiation. The Virunga potassic magmas resulted from the melting of garnet peridotite with an increasing degree of melting from nephelinite to basanite. They originated from a lithospheric source enriched in both K and Rb, suggesting the

  12. Recent seismic activity of the Kivu Province, Western Rift Valley of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zana, N.; Kamba, M.; Katsongo, S.; Janssen, Th.

    1989-11-01

    The Kivu Province is located at the junction between the well-defined Ruzizi Valley to the south and the Lake Amin Trough to the north. In this zone, the Rift Valley is characterized by the highest uplift and by complex dislocations of the crust, accompanied by the most intensive volcanism of the East African Rift System. In this paper, we show the recent state of the seismic activity of this zone in connection with the seismic activity generated by the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. The pattern of cumulative energy release by these volcanoes shows a steplike increase that is believed to be a precursor of volcanic eruptions.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.

    1994-01-01

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

  14. 78 FR 33859 - Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Geological and Geophysical Exploration Activities in the Gulf of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-05

    ... Continental Shelf (OCS) Geological and Geophysical Exploration Activities in the Gulf of Mexico; Correction... in the Federal Register (78 FR 27427) entitled ``Outer Continental Shelf Geological and...

  15. 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

  16. Rift brittle deformation of SE-Brazilian continental margin: Kinematic analysis of onshore structures relative to the transfer and accommodation zones of southern Campos Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savastano, Vítor Lamy Mesiano; Schmitt, Renata da Silva; Araújo, Mário Neto Cavalcanti de; Inocêncio, Leonardo Campos

    2017-01-01

    High-resolution drone-supported mapping and traditional field work were used to refine the hierarchy and kinematics of rift-related faults in the basement rocks and Early Cretaceous mafic dikes onshore of the Campos Basin, SE-Brazil. Two sets of structures were identified. The most significant fault set is NE-SW oriented with predominantly normal displacement. At mesoscale, this fault set is arranged in a rhombic pattern, interpreted here as a breached relay ramp system. The rhombic pattern is a penetrative fabric from the thin-section to regional scale. The second-order set of structures is an E-W/ESE-WNW system of normal faults with sinistral component. These E-W structures are oriented parallel with regional intrabasinal transfer zones associated with the earliest stages of Campos Basin's rift system. The crosscutting relationship between the two fault sets and tholeiitic dikes implies that the NE-SW fault set is the older feature, but remained active until the final stages of rifting in this region as the second-order fault set is older than the tholeiitic dikes. Paleostresses estimated from fault slip inversion method indicated that extension was originally NW-SE, with formation of the E-W transfer, followed by ESE-WNW oblique opening associated with a relay ramp system and related accommodation zones.

  17. Rifting and volcanism: The formation of rift-related unconformities and the timing of volcanism in the Laptev Sea rift, the South China Sea, and the southern South Atlantic based on multichannel seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, D.

    2012-12-01

    There are two end-member extremes of passive rifted margins. Volcanic rifted margins evolve by a combination of extension, and extensive extrusive flood volcanism over short time periods during breakup, manifested in reflection seismic data as seaward dipping reflectors. These margins are commonly related to mantle plumes; however, in the past years this has been questioned. Magma-poor rifted margins in contrast show wide extensional features as rotated faults blocks and detachment surfaces near the base of the continental crust, but limited magmatism that in addition seems to be delayed to post-breakup. In this presentation examples from three locations that are less frequently cited in the discussion about (either magma-poor or volcanic) rifted margins will be discussed: The Laptev Sea margin in the Arctic Ocean, where the active Arctic mid-oceanic ridge meets continental lithosphere at a high angle, the southernmost South Atlantic with well expressed conjugate volcanic rifted margins in a comparably "simple" configuration, potentially influenced by a mantle plume, the Tristan hot spot, and the South China Sea that may represent an intermediary form of continental extension between the end member extremes. The idea of a controlling role of (hot-spot related) magmatism during breakup on the rift evolution is questioned for the three margins that evolved in the Early Cretaceous, the Paleocene and the Oligocene, respectively. Instead much more top-down control on the rift evolution and rift-related magmatism than previously thought is suggested.

  18. Receiver function and magnetotelluric analysis to understand the first stage of a continental lithospheric break-up : case of the North Tanzanian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plasman, M.; Tiberi, C.; Tarits, P.; Hautot, S.; Gautier, S.; Ebinger, C. J.; Mulibo, G. D.; Khalfan, M.

    2015-12-01

    First stage of continental break-up, though intensively studied, is yet poorly understood. This is partly because actual rifting areas are either too mature (more than 10 My) or not easily accessible (thick sediment cover or under water). The North Tanzania part of the East African Rift is the place of a lithosphere's early break-up (less than 5My) in response to a combination of regional pulling forces and mantle upwelling. Deformation there results from complex interactions between magmatic intrusions, faulting, asthenospheric dynamics and far field stresses. CoLiBrEA (ANR) and CRAFTI (NSF) are two multidisciplinary projects which collaboratively focus on this area to understand the interactions between faults and magma, the role of inherited structures and rheological heterogeneities of the lithosphere. For that purpose, we deployed 38 broadband seismic stations in the Natron and Ngorongoro areas from January 2013 to December 2014 and carried out a 120 km East-West magnetotelluric (MT) profile to image the crustal and mantle structures. The 3D resistivity model, obtained from the inversion of the MT data along the profile, shows an highly heterogeneous crust with three-dimensional structures over a more homogeneous upper mantle. The first inversion result from the receiver function (RF) by the Zhu and Kanamori's inversion method show a thick crust (~35 km) with important variations (maximum 15km) especially in the Ngorongoro area, and an average Vp/Vs ratio of 1.75. We then completed this study by combining the MT data and the RF at the 11 sites of the EW profile. For each site, we built a 1D velocity model (Vs and VpVs) obtained by combining the Sambridge forward solution with a non linear descent research algorithm and constrained by the resistivity structure. The inversion shows an heterogeneous crust obviously dominated by the Moho interface at different depths, with low velocity layers mainly corresponding to low resistivity features.

  19. The connection between iron ore formations and "mud-shrimp" colonizations around sunken wood debris and hydrothermal sediments in a Lower Cretaceous continental rift basin, Mecsek Mts., Hungary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jáger, Viktor; Molnár, Ferenc; Buchs, David; Koděra, Peter

    2012-09-01

    In the Early Cretaceous, the continental rift basin of the Mecsek Mts. (Hungary), was situated on the southern edge of the European plate. The opening of the North Atlantic Ocean created a dilatational regime that expanded to the southern edge of the European plate, where several extensional basins and submarine volcanoes were formed during the Early Cretaceous epoch. Permanent seaquake activity caused high swell events during which a large amount of terrestrial wood fragments entered into submarine canyons from rivers or suspended woods which had sunk into the deep seafloor. These fragments created extended wood-fall deposits which contributed large-scale flourishing of numerous burrowing thalassinid crustaceans. Twelve different thalassinid coprolite ichnospecies can be found in the Berriasian-Hauterivian volcano-sedimentary formations. According to the seladonitic crustacean burrows which associated with framboidal pyrite containing Zoophycos and Chondrites ichnofossils (i.e. a "fodinichnia" trace fossil association), the bottom water was aerobic and the pore water was anaerobic; in the latter sulfate reduction occurred. The preservation of wood fragments around thalassinid burrows can be explained by rapid sedimentation related to turbidity currents. Due to the low temperature hydrothermal circulations of seawater, large amounts of iron were released from intrusive, pillowed basaltic sills; these sills intruded into soft, water-saturated sediments containing large amounts of thalassinid excrement. In the coprolites can be found idiomorphic mineral particles originating from the basalts, and coprolites can often be found in peperitic interpillow sediments. This indicates that the life-activity of the decapoda crustaceans in many Lower Cretaceous occurrences initially preceded the first magmatic eruptions. The paroxysm of the rift volcanism took place during the Valanginian age, when some submarine volcanoes emerged above sea level, reaching a maximum height of

  20. San Andres Rift, Nicaraguan Shelf: A 346-Km-Long, North-South Rift Zone Actively Extending the Interior of the "Stable" Caribbean Plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvajal, L. C.; Mann, P.

    2015-12-01

    The San Andres rift (SAR) is an active, 015°-trending, bathymetric and structural rift basin that extends for 346 km across the Nicaraguan platform and varies in bathymetric width from 11-27 km and in water depth from 1,250 to 2,500 m. We used four 2D regional seismic lines tied to two offshore, industry wells located west of the SAR on the Nicaraguan platform to map normal faults, transfer faults, and possibly volcanic features with the rift. The Colombian islands of San Andres (26 km2) and Providencia (17 km2) are footwall uplifts along west-dipping, normal fault bounding the eastern margin of the rift. Mapping indicates the pre-rift section is Late Cretaceous to Oligocene in age and that the onset of rifting began in the early to middle Miocene as shown by wedging of the Miocene and younger sedimentary fill controlled by north-south-striking normal faults. Structural restorations at two locations across the rift shows that the basin opened mainly by dip-slip fault motions producing a total, east-west extension of 18 km in the north and 15 km in the south. Structural restoration shows the rift formed on a 37-km-wide, elongate basement high - possibly of late Cretaceous, volcanic origin and related to the Caribbean large igneous province. Previous workers have noted that the SAR is associated with province of Pliocene to Quaternary seamounts and volcanoes which range from non-alkaline to mildly alkaline, including volcanic rocks on Providencia described as andesites and rhyolites. The SAR forms one of the few recognizable belts of recorded seismicity within the Caribbean plate. The origin of the SAR is related to Miocene and younger left-lateral displacement along the Pedro Banks fault to the north and the southwestern Hess fault to the south. We propose that the amount of left-lateral displacement that created the rift is equivalent to the amount of extension that formed it: 18-20 km.

  1. Morpho-structural evolution of a volcanic island developed inside an active oceanic rift: S. Miguel Island (Terceira Rift, Azores)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibrant, A. L. R.; Hildenbrand, A.; Marques, F. O.; Weiss, B.; Boulesteix, T.; Hübscher, C.; Lüdmann, T.; Costa, A. C. G.; Catalão, J. C.

    2015-08-01

    The evolution of volcanic islands is generally marked by fast construction phases alternating with destruction by a variety of mass-wasting processes. More specifically, volcanic islands located in areas of intense regional deformation can be particularly prone to gravitational destabilisation. The island of S. Miguel (Azores) has developed during the last 1 Myr inside the active Terceira Rift, a major tectonic structure materializing the present boundary between the Eurasian and Nubian lithospheric plates. In this work, we depict the evolution of the island, based on high-resolution DEM data, stratigraphic and structural analyses, high-precision K-Ar dating on separated mineral phases, and offshore data (bathymetry and seismic profiles). The new results indicate that: (1) the oldest volcanic complex (Nordeste), composing the easternmost part of the island, was dominantly active between ca. 850 and 750 ka, and was subsequently affected by a major south-directed flank collapse. (2) Between at least 500 ka and 250 ka, the landslide depression was massively filled by a thick lava succession erupted from volcanic cones and domes distributed along the main E-W collapse scar. (3) Since 250 kyr, the western part of this succession (Furnas area) was affected by multiple vertical collapses; associated plinian eruptions produced large pyroclastic deposits, here dated at ca. 60 ka and less than 25 ka. (4) During the same period, the eastern part of the landslide scar was enlarged by retrogressive erosion, producing the large Povoação valley, which was gradually filled by sediments and young volcanic products. (5) The Fogo volcano, in the middle of S. Miguel, is here dated between ca. 270 and 17 ka, and was affected by, at least, one southwards flank collapse. (6) The Sete Cidades volcano, in the western end of the island, is here dated between ca. 91 and 13 ka, and experienced mutliple caldera collapses; a landslide to the North is also suspected from the presence of a

  2. Rheological implications of sediment transport for continental rifting and its impact in margin geometry and major unconformities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andres-Martinez, Miguel; Perez-Gussinye, Marta; Armitage, John; Morgan, Jason

    2016-04-01

    The inner dynamics of the Earth such as mantle convection, geochemical reactions and isostasy have been typically interpreted as the main engine of plate tectonics and crustal deformation. However, nowadays it is well established that processes transporting material along the surface of the Earth influence the inner dynamics. Surface processes play a key role particularly during rifting, where great subsidence rates occur at synrift basins while shoulder uplift provides rock to be eroded for later infilling of these basins. Erosion implies unloading of the crust which favours uplift, and sedimentation at basins results in loading which favours subsidence. Consequently, erosion and sedimentation amplify stresses and the flexural response of the lithosphere in situations with extensive faulting. These changes to the stress field may be large enough to result in changes in the evolution of rifting and its modes of extension. Additionally, higher subsidence rates and thermal blanketing due to sediments may result in higher geotherms and consequently, a weaker/more-viscous behaviour of the crustal rocks. This would also have a large impact on the deformation style during extension. Here, we explore the interactions between surface processes and tectonics using numerical modelling. Experiments are run with the absence of sediment transport and with different sediment transport regimes for 35 and 40 km crustal thicknesses. Tests with higher transport coefficient show more effective localization of deformation into upper crustal faults which results in effective crustal thinning, larger blocks and longer-lived faults. Our experiments also prove that more effective surface processes reduce the length of margins generated by sequential faulting. For our end member situations, high sedimentation rates lead to pure shear extension of the crust induced by high temperatures, which finally results in broad extension and symmetric margins. Furthermore, our model allows for the

  3. Current Magmato-Tectonic Activity in the Asal-Ghoubbet Rift (Afar Depression, Republic of Djibouti)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doubre, C.; Doubre, C.; Dorbath, L.; Manighetti, I.; Jacques, E.; Geoffroy, L.

    2001-12-01

    The Asal-Ghoubbet rift, the most active, emerged segment of the Aden ridge, opens at 16+/-2 mm/yr. Although normal faulting operates in the rift, it does not accommodate the entire extension, so that dyking must occur at depth. In order to investigate the current relationship between tectonics and magmatism, we installed 11 seismometers (3 3C + one broad band; plus 6 permanent stations) in the northeastern part of the rift, site of the most active faults and of the Fieale volcano caldera, and monitored the seismic activity during 5 months. About 200 small-magnitude (time, <= 3) events could be accurately ( ~ 300m) localized in the emerged part of the rift, using an appropriate velocity model. All fall within the temporary network, forming three major clusters. Nine % of the events spread in the outermost part of the rift northern shoulder, where clear active faults and volcanic structures are lacking. All seem to nucleate at a similar depth, of 6-8 km. Seven % of the events nucleate at a shallow depth ( ~1 km) in the northern Disa Le Mallo subrift, zone of intense active faulting and fissuring. Finally, the majority of events (70%) cluster below the Fieale caldera, at a mean depth of 3 km, hence just above the inferred magma chamber. The analysis of the broader-scale seismological data acquired in the rift over the last 20 years, points to a similar distribution. Thirty five out of 50 focal mechanisms we calculated using P wave polarities, are consistent with a double-couple source model, and reveal predominant normal faulting on NW-SE-striking planes parallel to the faults which structure the rift. Fifteen events, however, show non-double couple radiation pattern, particularly in the Fieale area. These particular events may result from magmatic activity (filling or collapse of the magma chamber) and/or geothermal processes. In the other two areas, where they are also found, their origin is possibly related to fissuring or dyking. One seismic sequence also occurred

  4. Structural, sedimentary and igneous evidence for the genesis and emplacement of the rifted continental margin of the Southern Neotethys, SE Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Alastair; Parlak, Osman; Dumitrica, Paulian; Tasli, Kemal; Yıldırım, Nail

    2014-05-01

    Evidence of the rift, spreading and closure history of the Southern Neotethys is revealed by allochthonous continental margin and ocean-derived units that were emplaced onto the Arabian foreland during latest Cretaceous (Adıyaman area). The structurally lower Karadut Complex is a broken formation, mainly composed of a fragmented sequence of pelagic/hemipelagic carbonates, radiolarites and redeposited limestones. Sedimentary structures and petrographic work suggest that detrital material was mostly derived from the Arabian margin in the form of gravity flows rich in shallow-water carbonate material. Interbedded siliceous sediments are dated as Early Toarcian and Late Albian using radiolarians, whereas hemipelagic carbonates are dated as Turonian-Santonian using planktic foraminifera. The outcrops of the Karadut Complex are restored as Late Cretaceous slope, to base-of-slope deposits of the Arabian continental margin. The more widely exposed, generally structurally higher, Koçali Complex comprises variably disrupted thrust sheets that are in places folded on a kilometric scale. Intact successions were measured in several of the volcanic-sedimentary thrust sheets. The successions begin with basaltic volcanic rocks that are interbedded with volcaniclastic, radiolarian and carbonate sediments, and then pass upwards into thin-bedded non-calcareous ribbon radiolarites, shales and thin to medium-bedded redeposited limestones. Previous work documented a relatively intact sequence of ocean island basalt (OIB)-type (intra-plate) basaltic lavas and volcaniclastic sediments, associated with Middle Carnian-Rhaetian radiolarites. Study of several different thrust sheets during this work indicates the presence of widespread OIB and also enriched mid-ocean ridge-type basalt (E-MORB). Associated radiolarites are dated as Early Norian, Early Pliensbachian and Bajocian, extending the known age range of the Koçali Complex succession. Variably dismembered ophiolitic rocks, mostly

  5. Geochemistry and zircon ages of mafic dikes in the South Qinling, central China: evidence for late Neoproterozoic continental rifting in the northern Yangtze block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Xiyan; Chen, Fukun; Liu, Bingxiang; Zhang, He; Zhai, Mingguo

    2015-01-01

    Neoproterozoic volcanic-sedimentary sequences of the southern Qinling belt, central China, were intruded by voluminous mafic dikes. secondary ion mass spectrometry zircon U-Pb dating indicates that these dikes were emplaced at 650.8 ± 5.2 Ma, coeval with mafic rocks occurring at the northern margin of the Yangtze block. The dikes are characterized by enrichment of large ion lithophile elements, high Ti contents (up to 3.73 wt%) and Nb/Ta ratios between 14.5 and 19.6, suggesting a mantle source of oceanic island basalt affinity. Initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios show positive correlation with SiO2 contents and negative correlation with Zr/Nb ratios, implying that these rocks were affected by crustal contamination during the magma ascend and emplacement process. The dikes have initial ɛ Nd values of +0.2 to +3.3, low 206Pb/204Pb ratios of 16.96-17.45, and moderate 87Sr/86Sr ratios of 0.7043-0.7076, likely pointing to the involvement of an enriched mantle source. The mafic dikes and coeval mafic volcanic equivalents in the South Qinling and the northern Yangtze are hypothesized to be related with the prolonged breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia, suggesting that continental rifting lasted until ca. 650 Ma.

  6. Four- and five-phase peridotites from a continental rift system: evidence for upper mantle uplift and cooling at the Ross Sea margin (Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zipfel, J.; Wörner, G.

    1992-06-01

    geothermobarometric results and diffusion arguments, a four stage model is developed for the evolution of the upper mantle beneath the margin of the Ross Rift: (1) adiabatic uplift into the plagioclase/spinel-peridotile field; (2) subsequent cooling below the blocking temperature (800 °C) of the 2 px-thermometer to about 600 °C as indicated by low Ca in olivine cores; followed by (3) reheating to 760 °C as suggested by zonation to high calcium concentrations of up to 200 ppm in olivine rims. Calcium concentrations of up to 800 ppm were measured in one ELZ-olivine in the outermost rim (10 μm) reflecting (4) a last heating event during transport and ascent in the basanitic host magma. Timing for the latter two stages has been roughly calculated from Ca-diffusivities in olivine. A minimum duration of 1200 to a few million years is indicated for stage 3 and 90 h to 22 23 days for stage 4, respectively. This timing of events correlates to increased mantle temperatures for the duration of magmatic activity of the Mt. Melbourne Volcanic Field and the short-term transport in host magmas. Our results also indicate that anomalous shallow mantle exists at the transition from the Ross Rift into the uplifted Transantarctic Mountains.

  7. Probing depth dependencies of melt emplacement on time dependent quantities in a continental rift scenario with melting and melt extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallner, Herbert; Schmeling, Harro

    2014-05-01

    intruded or infiltrated, solidified melt modifies composition and physical properties of the affected lithosphere. Above a critical fraction limit melt is extracted and intruded above. The uppermost front of extraction, petrophysically seen as LAB, defines the lower boundary of the emplacement zone. The upper boundary is related to various quantities, particularly temperature, melt curve, melt front, stress, dynamic pressure and more. Changes of intrusion level imply different convection patterns affecting intensity of erosion of the lower lithosphere, doming rate of asthenosphere and melt-induced weakening. Thus, the shape and location and therefore its dependence influences intensively the dynamics of rifting.

  8. Vertical tectonics at an active continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houlié, N.; Stern, T. A.

    2017-01-01

    Direct observations of vertical movements of the earth's surface are now possible with space-based GPS networks, and have applications to resources, hazards and tectonics. Here we present data on vertical movements of the Earth's surface in New Zealand, computed from the processing of GPS data collected between 2000 and 2015 by 189 permanent GPS stations. We map the geographical variation in vertical rates and show how these variations are explicable within a tectonic framework of subduction, volcanic activity and slow slip earthquakes. Subsidence of >3 mm/yr is observed along southeastern North Island and is interpreted to be due to the locked segment of the Hikurangi subduction zone. Uplift of 1-3 mm/yr further north along the margin of the eastern North Island is interpreted as being due to the plate interface being unlocked and underplating of sediment on the subduction thrust. The Volcanic Plateau of the central North Island is being uplifted at about 1 mm/yr, which can be explained by basaltic melts being injected in the active mantle-wedge at a rate of ∼6 mm/yr. Within the Central Volcanic Region there is a 250 km2 area that subsided between 2005 and 2012 at a rate of up to 14 mm/yr. Time series from the stations located within and near the zone of subsidence show a strong link between subsidence, adjacent uplift and local earthquake swarms.

  9. Geochemistry of the metavolcanic rocks in the vicinity of the MacLellan Au-Ag deposit and an evaluation of the tectonic setting of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt, Canada: Evidence for a Paleoproterozoic-aged rifted continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glendenning, Michael W. P.; Gagnon, Joel E.; Polat, Ali

    2015-09-01

    The Paleoproterozoic (ca. 1900 Ma) Lynn Lake greenstone belt of northern Manitoba, Canada, has been previously characterized as comprising a series of tectonically juxtaposed intra-oceanic-derived metavolcanic rocks. The results of more recent local and regional studies, however, support a significant contribution of continental crust during formation of the metasedimentary, metavolcanic, and intrusive igneous rocks that comprise the majority of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt. The tectonic model previously proposed for the Lynn Lake greenstone belt, however, did not consider the geodynamics of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt in the context of all available data. In this study, we report the results of outcrop mapping and petrographic analysis, as well as major, minor, and trace element geochemical analyses for 54 samples from the Northern terrane, and integrate and compare the results with data from previously published studies. These data are used to recharacterize the metavolcanic rocks and to develop a new geodynamic model for the formation of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt. Ultramafic to intermediate rocks in the vicinity of the MacLellan Au-Ag deposit are characterized primarily by E-MORB-like trace element characteristics and Th-Nb-La systematics, which are interpreted to be the result of a primary, plume-derived melt interacting with continental lithosphere at a thinned (i.e., rifted) continental margin. Similarly, the majority of the mafic to intermediate rocks that comprise the Lynn Lake greenstone belt are characterized by flat to E-MORB-like trace element patterns and Th-Nb-La systematics, which are consistent with mantle plume-derived, contaminated, oceanic continental rift or rifted margin setting rocks. This study suggests that the metavolcanic rocks of the Lynn Lake greenstone belt were derived via rifting between the Superior and Hearne Cratons, which resulted in the formation and growth of the Manikewan Ocean. Alternatively, the metavolcanic rocks

  10. Galapagos rift at 86 /sup 0/W 5. Variations in volcanism, structure, and hydrothermal activity along a 30-kilometer segment of the rift valley

    SciTech Connect

    Ballard, R.D.; van Andel, T.H.; Holcomb, R.T.

    1982-02-10

    A 30-km segment of the Galapagos Rift near 86 /sup 0/W has been mapped in detail using the Angus towed camera system, the submersible Alvin, and multi-narrowbeam sonar data. Recent volcanic activity and active hydrothermal circulation are evident along the entire length of the segment mapped. There are, however, clear along-strike variations in these processes which render previous two-dimensional models obsolete. Although alternate explanations are possible, eruptive sequences appear to begin with the outpouring of surface-fed sheet flows and end with more channelized pillow flows. In the western portion of the rift studied, sheet flows dominate with the entire valley floor covered by recent flows associated with a broad shield volcano. The eastern portion, on the other hand, is narrower; consisting primarily of less voluminous pillow flows of apparently the same youthful age. Three possible models for the volcanic evolution of this rift segment are presented. According to the first model, the extrusive portion of the crust is formed by a distinct volcanic episode, followed by a long period of volcanic quiescence. The volcanic phase begins with voluminous sheet flows emerging from numerous eruptive fissures, which in time evolve into a narrow pillow ridge. Farther along-strike, where the flows are smaller and the extrusive zone narrow, the marginal portions undergo continued fissuring and subsequent uplift to form marginal highs and lows. This deformational activity also affects the extrusive zone once volcanic activity ends, converting the distinctly lobate topography of the active period into highly lineated fault-controlled terrain. According to the second model, extension and volcanism can be viewed as a continuous process without major periods of volcanic quiescence. The initial lava flows of a new eruptive sequence fill low areas, frequently spilling over local sills and flooding much of the rift valley.

  11. Boundary separating the seismically active reelfoot rift from the sparsely seismic Rough Creek graben, Kentucky and Illinois

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wheeler, R.L.

    1997-01-01

    The Reelfoot rift is the most active of six Iapetan rifts and grabens in central and eastern North America. In contrast, the Rough Creek graben is one of the least active, being seismically indistinguishable from the central craton of North America. Yet the rift and graben adjoin. Hazard assessment in the rift and graben would be aided by identification of a boundary between them. Changes in the strikes of single large faults, the location of a Cambrian transfer zone, and the geographic extent of alkaline igneous rocks provide three independent estimates of the location of a structural boundary between the rift and the graben. The boundary trends north-northwest through the northeastern part of the Fluorspar Area Fault Complex of Kentucky and Illinois, and has no obvious surface expression. The boundary involves the largest faults, which are the most likely to penetrate to hypocentral depths, and the boundary coincides with the geographic change from abundant seismicity in the rift to sparse seismicity in the graben. Because the structural boundary was defined by geologic variables that are expected to be causally associated with seismicity, it may continue to bound the Reelfoot rift seismicity in the future.

  12. Rifting and volcanism: Examples from volcanic rifted and magma-poor margins based on multichannel seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, D.

    2012-04-01

    Great efforts in the research of passive rifted margins in the last decades highlighted also that lots of open questions remain. A considerable controversy exists about the role of the mantle during rifting and the subsequent formation of oceanic crust and about the interaction of mantle and surface processes, i.e. the precise nature of volcanism in the rifting process. There are two end-member extremes of passive rifted margins. Volcanic rifted margins evolve by a combination of extension, and extensive extrusive flood volcanism over short time periods during breakup, manifested in reflection seismic data as seaward dipping reflectors. These margins are commonly related to mantle plumes; however, in the past years this has been questioned. Magma-poor rifted margins in contrast show wide extensional features as rotated faults blocks and detachment surfaces near the base of the continental crust, but limited magmatism that in addition seems to be delayed to post-breakup. In this presentation examples from three locations that are less frequently cited in the discussion about (either magma-poor or volcanic) rifted margins will be shown: The Laptev Sea margin in the Arctic Ocean, where the active Arctic mid-oceanic ridge meets continental lithosphere at a high angle, the southernmost South Atlantic with well expressed conjugate volcanic rifted margins in a comparably "simple" configuration, potentially influenced by a mantle plume, the Tristan hot spot, and the South China Sea that may represent an intermediary form of continental extension between the end member extremes. The role of (hot-spot related) volcanism during break-up will be discussed for the three example margins that evolved in the Early Cretaceous, the Paleocene and the Oligocene, respectively.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, X.; Chan, L. S.

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Thermomechanical models of the Rio Grande rift

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-01-01

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

  17. Volcanic activities in the Southern part of East African rift initiation: Melilitites and nephelinites from the Manyara Basin (North Tanzania rift axis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudouin, Celine; Parat, Fleurice; Tiberi, Christel; Gautier, Stéphanie; Peyrat, Sophie

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift exposes different stages of plate boundary extension, from the initiation of the rift (North (N) Tanzania) to oceanic accretion (Afar). The N Tanzania rift-axis (north-south (S) trend) is divided into 2 different volcanic and seismic activities: (1) the Natron basin (N) with shallow seismicity and intense volcanism and (2) the Manyara basin (S) with deep crustal earthquakes and sparse volcanism. The Natron basin is characterized by extinct volcanoes (2 Ma-0.75 Ma) and active volcano (Oldoinyo Lengai) and a link between seismicity and volcanism has been observed during the Oldoinyo Lengai crisis in 2007. In the S part of the N Tanzanian rift, volcanoes erupted in the Manyara basin between 0.4 and 0.9 Ma. In this study, we used geochemical signature of magmas and deep fluids that percolate into the lithosphere beneath Manyara basin, to define the compositions of magmas and fluids at depth beneath the S part of the N Tanzania rift, compare to the Natron basin and place constrain on the volcanic and seismic activities. The Manyara basin has distinct volcanic activities with mafic magmas as melilitites (Labait) and Mg-nephelinites (carbonatite, Kwaraha), and more differentiated magmas as Mg-poor nephelinites (Hanang). Melilitites and Mg-nephelinites are primary magmas with olivine, clinopyroxene (cpx), and phlogopite recording high-pressure crystallization environment, (melilitites >4 GPa and Mg-nephelinites>1 GPa) with high volatile contents (whole rock: 0.7-4.6 wt% CO2, 0.1-0.3 wt% F and 0.1 wt% Cl). FTIR analyses of olivine constrained the water content of Labait and Kwaraha magmas at 0.1 and 0.4 wt% H2O, respectively. Geochemical modelling suggests that mafic magmas result from a low degree of partial melting (1-2%) of a peridotitic source with garnet and phlogopite (high Tb/Yb (>0.6) and Rb/Sr (0.03-0.12) ratio). Mg-poor nephelinites from Hanang volcano crystallized cpx, Ti-garnet, and nepheline as phenocrysts. Magmas result from fractional

  18. The geology and geophysics of the Oslo rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruder, M. E.

    1981-01-01

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

  19. Surface Morphology of Active Normal Faults in Hard Rock: Implications for the Mechanics of the Asal Rift, Djibouti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinzuti, P.; Mignan, A.; King, G. C.

    2009-12-01

    Mechanical stretching models have been previously proposed to explain the process of continental break-up through the example of the Asal Rift, Djibouti, one of the few places where the early stages of seafloor spreading can be observed. In these models, deformation is distributed starting at the base of a shallow seismogenic zone, in which sub-vertical normal faults are responsible for subsidence whereas cracks accommodate extension. Alternative models suggest that extension results from localized magma injection, with normal faults accommodating extension and subsidence above the maximum reach of the magma column. In these magmatic intrusion models, normal faults have dips of 45-55° and root into dikes. Using mechanical and kinematics concepts and vertical profiles of normal fault scarps from an Asal Rift campaign, where normal faults are sub-vertical on surface level, we discuss the creation and evolution of normal faults in massive fractured rocks (basalt). We suggest that the observed fault scarps correspond to sub-vertical en echelon structures and that at greater depth, these scarps combine and give birth to dipping normal faults. Finally, the geometry of faulting between the Fieale volcano and Lake Asal in the Asal Rift can be simply related to the depth of diking, which in turn can be related to magma supply. This new view supports the magmatic intrusion model of early stages of continental breaking.

  20. The Thaumasia "rift", Mars - is it a rift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauber, E.; Kronberg, P.

    2003-04-01

    calculated by other authors from scarp widths and shadows. While the structural geometry of the TR is more similar to classical rifts than that of Valles Marineris, there are better Martian analogues to terrestrial continental rifts, e.g., Tempe Fossae. Essential characteristics of continental rifts are: Regional domal uplift, crustal break-up, formation of through-going rift valleys, and rift-related volcanism. The structure and morpho-tectonics of the TR and the lack of extension-volcanism do not meet these criteria of terrestrial continental rifts. So far, the geodynamic processes that led to the formation of the TR are unclear (crustal break-down due to Thaumasia uplift? magma deficit near Syria Planum? a long-lived and late center of magmatectonic activity?).

  1. Detection of Rift Valley fever viral activity in Kenya by satellite remote sensing imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Linthicum, Kenneth J.; Bailey, Charles L.; Davies, F. Glyn; Tucker, Compton J.

    1987-01-01

    Data from the advanced very high resolution radiometer on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's polar-orbiting meteorological satellites have been used to infer ecological parameters associated with Rift Valley fever (RVF) viral activity in Kenya. An indicator of potential viral activity was produced from satellite data for two different ecological regions in Kenya, where RVF is enzootic. The correlation between the satellite-derived green vegetation index and the ecological parameters associated with RVF virus suggested that satellite data may become a forecasting tool for RVF in Kenya and, perhaps, in other areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

  2. Rift Valley fever virus infection induces activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome.

    PubMed

    Ermler, Megan E; Traylor, Zachary; Patel, Krupen; Schattgen, Stefan A; Vanaja, Sivapriya K; Fitzgerald, Katherine A; Hise, Amy G

    2014-01-20

    Inflammasome activation is gaining recognition as an important mechanism for protection during viral infection. Here, we investigate whether Rift Valley fever virus, a negative-strand RNA virus, can induce inflammasome responses and IL-1β processing in immune cells. We have determined that RVFV induces NLRP3 inflammasome activation in murine dendritic cells, and that this process is dependent upon ASC and caspase-1. Furthermore, absence of the cellular RNA helicase adaptor protein MAVS/IPS-1 significantly reduces extracellular IL-1β during infection. Finally, direct imaging using confocal microscopy shows that the MAVS protein co-localizes with NLRP3 in the cytoplasm of RVFV infected cells.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

    On the basis of a test experiment in 1985 (KRISP 85) an integrated seismic-refraction/teleseismic survey (KRISP 90) was undertaken to study the deep structure beneath the Kenya rift down to depths of 100-150 km. This paper summarizes the highlights of KRISP 90 as reported in this volume and discusses their broad implications as well as the structure of the Kenya rift in the general framework of other continental rifts. Major scientific goals of this phase of KRISP were to reveal the detailed crustal and upper mantle structure under the Kenya rift, to study the relationship between mantle updoming and the development of sedimentary basins and other shallow structures within the rift, to understand the role of the Kenya rift within the Afro-Arabian rift system and within a global perspective and to elucidate fundamental questions such as the mode and mechanism of continental rifting. The KRISP results clearly demonstrate that the Kenya rift is associated with sharply defined lithospheric thinning and very low upper mantle velocities down to depths of over 150 km. In the south-central portion of the rift, the lithospheric mantle has been thinned much more than the crust. To the north, high-velocity layers detected in the upper mantle appear to require the presence of anistropy in the form of the alignment of olivine crystals. Major axial variations in structure were also discovered, which correlate very well with variations in the amount of extension, the physiographic width of the rift valley, the regional topography and the regional gravity anomalies. Similar relationships are particularly well documented in the Rio Grande rift. To the extent that truly comparable data sets are available, the Kenya rift shares many features with other rift zones. For example, crustal structure under the Kenya, Rio Grande and Baikal rifts and the Rhine Graben is generally symmetrically centered on the rift valleys. However, the Kenya rift is distinctive, but not unique, in terms of

  4. Crustal rifting and magmatic underplating in the Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin) intra-oceanic arc detected by active source seismic studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, N.; Kodaira, S.; Yamashita, M.; Miura, S.; Sato, T.; No, T.; Tatsumi, Y.; Kaneda, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) has carried out seismic experiments using a multichannel reflection system and ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) in the Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin)-Mariana (IBM) arc region since 2002 to understand growth process of continental crust. The source was an airgun array with a total capacity of 12,000 cubic inches and the OBSs as the receiver were deployed with an interval of 5 km for all seismic refraction experiments. As the results, we obtained crustal structures across the whole IBM arc with an interval of 50 km and detected the structural characteristics showing the crustal growth process. The IBM arc is one of typical oceanic island arc, which crustal growth started from subduction of an oceanic crust beneath the other oceanic crust. The arc crust has developed through repeatedly magmatic accretion from subduction slab and backarc opening. The volcanism has activated in Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene and Quaternary (e.g., Taylor, 1992), however, these detailed locations of past volcanic arc has been remained as one of unknown issues. In addition, a role of crustal rifting for the crustal growth has also been still unknown issue yet. Our seismic structures show three rows of past volcanic arc crusts except current arc. A rear arc and a forearc side have one and two, respectively. The first one, which was already reported by Kodaira et al. (2008), distributes in northern side from 27 N of the rear arc region. The second one, which develops in the forearc region next to the recent volcanic front, distributes in whole of the Izu-Ogasawara arc having crustal variation along arc direction. Ones of them sometimes have thicker crust than that beneath current volcanic front and no clear topographic high. Last one in the forearc connects to the Ogasawara Ridge. However, thickest crust is not always located beneath these volcanic arcs. The initial rifting region like the northern end of the Mariana Trough and the Sumisu

  5. Surface morphology of active normal faults in hard rock: Implications for the mechanics of the Asal Rift, Djibouti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinzuti, Paul; Mignan, Arnaud; King, Geoffrey C. P.

    2010-10-01

    Tectonic-stretching models have been previously proposed to explain the process of continental break-up through the example of the Asal Rift, Djibouti, one of the few places where the early stages of seafloor spreading can be observed. In these models, deformation is distributed starting at the base of a shallow seismogenic zone, in which sub-vertical normal faults are responsible for subsidence whereas cracks accommodate extension. Alternative models suggest that extension results from localised magma intrusion, with normal faults accommodating extension and subsidence only above the maximum reach of the magma column. In these magmatic rifting models, or so-called magmatic intrusion models, normal faults have dips of 45-55° and root into dikes. Vertical profiles of normal fault scarps from levelling campaign in the Asal Rift, where normal faults seem sub-vertical at surface level, have been analysed to discuss the creation and evolution of normal faults in massive fractured rocks (basalt lava flows), using mechanical and kinematics concepts. We show that the studied normal fault planes actually have an average dip ranging between 45° and 65° and are characterised by an irregular stepped form. We suggest that these normal fault scarps correspond to sub-vertical en echelon structures, and that, at greater depth, these scarps combine and give birth to dipping normal faults. The results of our analysis are compatible with the magmatic intrusion models instead of tectonic-stretching models. The geometry of faulting between the Fieale volcano and Lake Asal in the Asal Rift can be simply related to the depth of diking, which in turn can be related to magma supply. This new view supports the magmatic intrusion model of early stages of continental breaking.

  6. A large-scale detachment fault system in deep water area of South China Sea under the background of continental passive rifted margin: A case study of Heshan Sag

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Zi; Ren, Jianye; Han, Xiaoying; Chen, Lin

    2015-04-01

    Heshan sag locates in the deep-water area of continental passive rifted margin of northern South China Sea, where preserved strong thinning crust of the ocean-continent transition zone. This area owns particular and unique tectonic settings with the geological characteristics of lithospheric ductile deformation and high temperature gradient, which highly differs from the continental shelf area. In this research, we try to determine the detachment faults within Heshan sag and build its tectonic-stratigraphic framework and geological evolution history as well. The research achievements are as followed: (1) According to the interpretation of 2D seismic profiles covering the whole study area, we basically recognized that Heshan sag was a detachment basin which is floored by a large-scale seaward detachment fault with a very low angle of 10 degrees to 20 degrees and overlain by tilted and hyper extended hanging wall block. And the heave of detachment fault has been extended to approximately 20 km. (2) Based on the latest geophysical and geological data, in the northern part of South China Sea, the strike of Moho surface is from NE to SW. The overall Moho depth is between 10 and 29 km from north to south, from shelf to continental slope and abyssal plain, mirroring the topography of the sediment basement, which means the crustal thickness decreases from land to ocean. Our study area exactly exists in the zone that the crust is hyper-extended and has the characters of continental crust and transitional crust. (3) Continental passive rifted margin closely relates to the ocean-continent transition zone (OCT). Guided by the basin dynamic analysis and lithosphere extension and breakup theory, combined with overseas and domestic research status on OCT and the latest information of adjacent areas, we tried to elucidate the geological nature of OCT and construct continental lithosphere configuration in different tectonic units on the northern continental margin in South China

  7. 76 FR 58273 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Outer Continental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-20

    ... Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations; EPA ICR... all outer continental shelf (OCS) sources except those located in the Gulf of Mexico west of 87.5... boundary extends three leagues (about nine miles) from the coastline. Title: Outer Continental Shelf...

  8. Active Extensional Faulting at the Southern Half-Graben Belt of the Tepic-Zacoalco Rift, Western Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosas-Elguera, J.; Ferrari, L.; Delgado, M.; Uribe, A.; Valdivia, L.; Castillo, R.

    2003-12-01

    In the past decade much debate has centered upon the kinematics and the mechanism of continental deformation in western Mexico and the motion of the Jalisco block relative to North America. Two distinct models have been proposed. The first one suggest a NW-motion of the Jalisco block that would implies a right-lateral faulting along the Tepic-Zacoalco rift (TZR). More recently others authors have documented a N-NE extensional tectonics active since late Miocene and suggested that the continental boundaries of the Jalisco block, are older structures reactivated by plate boundary forces. Studies on the crustal seismicity and the kinematics of Quaternary faults provide another constraint on the direction of motion between the Jalisco block and North America. On November 4, 5, 6, and 7, 1995, one month after the October 09, 1995, Manzanillo earthquake (Mw = 8.0), a swarm of small events was felt in the Amatlan de Ca¤as half-graben and recorded by the regional seismic network of Comision Federal de Electricidad. The coda magnitude of the largest event was Mc = 2.5-3.6 and the events were located depth ranging from 6 to 10 km. This seismic activity provoked that people from Pie de la Cuesta and Yerbabuena villages were evacuated. After that a seismic station equipped with an analogic seismograph MEQ-800 at Pie de la Cuesta was installed for three months. During the same time, October, 1995, some houses distributed along a WNW trend in Ameca city underwent severe damages, they are. The digital elevations model of the Ameca city suggest that several structures tectonics are shorter than 2 km are present in the area. The present direction of motion of the Rivera plate relative to North America plate along Middle America Trench has been estimated between N19° E to N48° E (e.g. Bandy et al., 1996). During the October 09, 1995, subduction-related earthquake (Mw = 8.0) a GPS network recorded a SW motion of the Jalisco block which could be associated to an elastic deformation

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-10-01

    The East Brazilian Rift system (Ebris) constitutes the northern segment of the South Atlantic rift system which developed during the Mesozoic breakup of South America and Africa. Following crustal separation in the Late Aptian, it evolved into a passive continental margin. Along the continental margin six basins are recognized, while three onshore basins form part of an aborted rift. Three continental syn-rift stratigraphic sequences are recognized, spanning Jurassic to Barremian times. The Jurassic (Syn-rift I) and Neocomian (Syn-rift II) phases were most active in the interior rift basins. During the Barremian (Syn-rift III), rift subsidence rates were twice as large as during the Neocomian (Syn-rift II), both in the interior rift and in the marginal rift segments, indicating that rift axis did not migrate from the interior to the marginal setting. Rift magmatism was centered on the southern EBRIS and peaked between 130 and 120 Ma during syn-rift phase II. Rift phase III was followed by a transitional marine, evaporitic megasequence of Aptian age, which directly overlies the rift unconformity and a marine drift megasequence which spans Albian to Recent times. During the Late Cretaceous, sedimentation rates responded to first-order eustatic sea-level fluctuations. Tertiary accelerated sedimentation rates can be related to local clastic supply which filled in spaces inherited from previous starved conditions. Between 60 and 40 Ma, post-rift magmatism, centered on the Abrolhos and Royal Charlotte banks, is probably related to development of a hot spot associated with the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain. Although crossing three distinct Precambrian tectono-thermal provinces, ranging from Archean through Late Proterozoic, rift structures follow a general NE trend, subparallel to the principal basement fabric. A NW-SE oriented stress field appears to be compatible with both Neocomian and Barremian phases of crustal extension. Profiles transverse to the rift axis

  10. An Investigation Into the Causes and Limiting Factors of an Active Rift on the Amery Ice Shelf: Fieldwork and Modeling Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassis, J. N.; Fricker, H.; Coleman, R.; Minster, B.

    2003-12-01

    The Amery Ice Shelf rift system, colloquially known as the "Loose Tooth", consists of two longitudinal (parallel-to-flow) rifts that formed about 15 years ago, and two transverse rifts that together with the western longitudinal rift, form a triple junction. A variety of satellite imagery spanning more than one decade has shown that the transverse rifts have both been actively propagating over the past decade, and have been, on average, speeding up (Young et al, this session). This past Antarctic field season (2002-2003), we instrumented the main transverse rift with 6 GPS and 8 vertical component seismometers. Results indicate that there are several periods of high seismic activity during which the rift widens rapidly. Comparison of experimental values of the critical stress intensity factor (a measure of the strength of the ice) with the stress acting at the tip of the rift calculated for an elastic ice shelf, suggest that the rift should propagate unstably. In an attempt to resolve this paradox we consider two possible explanations. First we examine the effect of a viscoelastic rheology of ice on dissipation of the stress at the tip of the rift; the associated time scale competes with the time scales attached to the loading mechanisms which control the rate of stress accumulation. In contrast the effect of an array of longitudinal crevasses on the stress field concentrated ahead of the rift is largely geometrical. Rift propagation is hindered because the crevasses create areas that are effectively weaker than the surrounding ice. We use a boundary element model to evaluate the effect of an array of crevasses on the stress concentrated at the tip of the rift.

  11. The initiation of segmented buoyancy-driven melting during continental breakup

    PubMed Central

    Gallacher, Ryan J.; Keir, Derek; Harmon, Nicholas; Stuart, Graham; Leroy, Sylvie; Hammond, James O. S.; Kendall, J-Michael; Ayele, Atalay; Goitom, Berhe; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Ahmed, Abdulhakim

    2016-01-01

    Melting of the mantle during continental breakup leads to magmatic intrusion and volcanism, yet our understanding of the location and dominant mechanisms of melt generation in rifting environments is impeded by a paucity of direct observations of mantle melting. It is unclear when during the rifting process the segmented nature of magma supply typical of seafloor spreading initiates. Here, we use Rayleigh-wave tomography to construct a high-resolution absolute three-dimensional shear-wave velocity model of the upper 250 km beneath the Afar triple junction, imaging the mantle response during progressive continental breakup. Our model suggests melt production is highest and melting depths deepest early during continental breakup. Elevated melt production during continental rifting is likely due to localized thinning and melt focusing when the rift is narrow. In addition, we interpret segmented zones of melt supply beneath the rift, suggesting that buoyancy-driven active upwelling of the mantle initiates early during continental rifting. PMID:27752044

  12. Active fault systems of the Kivu rift and Virunga volcanic province, and implications for geohazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zal, H. J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Wood, D. J.; Scholz, C. A.; d'Oreye, N.; Carn, S. A.; Rutagarama, U.

    2013-12-01

    H Zal, C Ebinger, D. Wood, C. Scholz, N. d'Oreye, S. Carn, U. Rutagarama The weakly magmatic Western rift system, East Africa, is marked by fault-bounded basins filled by freshwater lakes that record tectonic and climatic signals. One of the smallest of the African Great Lakes, Lake Kivu, represents a unique geohazard owing to the warm, saline bottom waters that are saturated in methane, as well as two of the most active volcanoes in Africa that effectively dam the northern end of the lake. Yet, the dynamics of the basin system and the role of magmatism were only loosely constrained prior to new field and laboratory studies in Rwanda. In this work, we curated, merged, and analyzed historical and digital data sets, including spectral analyses of merged Shuttle Radar Topography Mission topography and high resolution CHIRP bathymetry calibrated by previously mapped fault locations along the margins and beneath the lake. We quantitatively compare these fault maps with the time-space distribution of earthquakes located using data from a temporary array along the northern sector of Lake Kivu, as well as space-based geodetic data. During 2012, seismicity rates were highest beneath Nyiragongo volcano, where a range of low frequency (1-3 s peak frequency) to tectonic earthquakes were located. Swarms of low-frequency earthquakes correspond to periods of elevated gas emissions, as detected by Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). Earthquake swarms also occur beneath Karisimbi and Nyamuragira volcanoes. A migrating swarm of earthquakes in May 2012 suggests a sill intrusion at the DR Congo-Rwanda border. We delineate two fault sets: SW-NE, and sub-N-S. Excluding the volcano-tectonic earthquakes, most of the earthquakes are located along subsurface projections of steep border faults, and intrabasinal faults calibrated by seismic reflection data. Small magnitude earthquakes also occur beneath the uplifted rift flanks. Time-space variations in seismicity patterns provide a baseline

  13. Ambient noise tomography of the western Corinth Rift, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannopoulos, Dimitrios; Rivet, Diane; Sokos, Efthimios; Deschamps, Anne; Paraskevopoulos, Paraskevas; Lyon-Caen, Hélène; Pascal, Bernard; Tselentis, G.-Akis

    2016-04-01

    The Corinth Rift separates Peloponnesus to the south from main-land Greece to the north. It is one of the most active extensional intra-continental rifts in the world, with geodetically measured rates of extension varying from ~5 mm/yr at the eastern part to ~15 mm/yr at the western part. This work presents a first attempt to study the crustal velocity structure of the western Corinth Rift using ambient noise recordings. We used 3 yrs (01/2012-12/2014) of continuous waveform data recorded at 24 stations from the Corinth Rift Laboratory (CRL) and the Hellenic Unified Seismological Network (HUSN). All available vertical component time-series were cross-correlated to extract Rayleigh wave Green's functions. Group velocity dispersion curves between 0.5 and 7 s period were measured for each station pair by applying frequency-time analysis and then inverted to build group velocity maps of the study area. At the studied periods, the northern coast of the Corinth Rift is generally imaged as a region of elevated seismic velocities compared to the southern coast. More specifically, low velocities are observed in areas of Plio-Quaternary syn-rift sediments such as off-shore regions of the rift, the Mornos delta and a large part of the southern coast. Higher velocities are observed in pre-rift basement structures which are dominated mostly by carbonates. The preliminary results demonstrate good agreement with the major geological features of the area and agree relatively well with previous local earthquake tomography studies. This work will be the base for further investigations towards the study of the Corinth Rift structure using long time-series of ambient noise data.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.

    1993-01-01

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

  16. European Cenozoic rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, Peter A.

    1992-07-01

    The European Cenozoic rift system extends from the coast of the North Sea to the Mediterranean over a distance of some 1100 km; it finds its southern prolongation in the Valencia Trough and a Plio-Pleistocene volcanic chain crossing the Atlas ranges. Development of this mega-rift was paralleled by orogenic activity in the Alps and Pyrenees. Major rift domes, accompanied by subsidence reversal of their axial grabens, developed 20-40 Ma after beginning of rifting. Uplift of the Rhenish Shield is related to progressive thermal lithospheric thinning; the Vosges-Black Forest and the Massif Central domes are probably underlain by asthenoliths emplaced at the crust/mantle boundary. Evolution of this rift system, is thought to be governed by the interaction of the Eurasian and African plates and by early phases of a plate-boundary reorganization that may lead to the break-up of the present continent assembly.

  17. Chow Bahir rift: A “failed” rift in southern Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    W-Gabriel, Giday; Aronson, James L.

    1987-05-01

    The Chow Bahir rift system is a major graben in a 300-km-broad rift zone recognized in southern Ethiopia between the Kenyan and Ethiopian domes where the East African rift is not well defined. An extinct (failed) rift discovered along the Omo Canyon to the north and on strike with the Chow Bahir rift ceased activity about 4 m.y. ago. Chow Bahir is in a younger stage of abandonment as the main Ethiopian rift propagates south into this region.

  18. 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…

  19. P Wave Velocity Structure Beneath the Baikal Rift Axis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, R. A.; Nyblade, A. A.; Boman, E. C.

    2001-12-01

    Over 100 p wave travel times from the 1500 km en echelon Baikal Rift system are used in this study.The events range 3 to 13 degrees from Talaya, Russia (TLY) along the axis of southwest northeast trending rift in East Siberia. A Herglotz Wiechert inversion of these events resolved a crust of 6.4 km/s and a gradient in the mantle starting at 35 km depth and 7.7 km/s down to 200 km depth and 8.2 km/s. This is compatible with Gao et al,1994 cross sectional structure which cuts the rift at about 400km from TLY. The Baikal Rift hosts the deepest lake and is the most seismically active rift in the world. It is one of the few continental rifts, it separates the Siberian craton and the Syan-Baikal mobile fold belt. Two events, the March 21 1999 magnitude 5.7 earthquake 638 km from TLY and the November 13th 1995 magnitude 5.9 earthquake 863 km from TLY were modeled for there PnL wave structure using the discrete wavenumber method and the Harvard CMT solutions with adjusted depths from p-pP times. The PnL signals match well. A genetic algorithm will used to perturb the velocity structure and compare to a selection of the events between 3 and 13 degrees many will require moment tensor solutions.

  20. Tectonic development of the New Madrid rift complex, Mississippi embayment, North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braile, Lawrence W.; Hinze, William J.; Keller, G. Randy; Lidiak, Edward G.; Sexton, John L.

    1986-11-01

    Geological and geophysical studies of the New Madrid Seismic Zone have revealed a buried late Precambrian rift beneath the upper Mississippi Embayment area. The rift has influenced the tectonics and geologic history of the area since late Precambrian time and is presently associated with the contemporary earthquake activity of the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The rift formed during late Precambrian to earliest Cambrian time as a result of continental breakup and has been reactivated by compressional or tensional stresses related to plate tectonic interactions. The configuration of the buried rift is interpreted from gravity, magnetic, seismic refraction, seismic reflection and stratigraphic studies. The increased mass of the crust in the rift zone, which is reflected by regional positive gravity anomalies over the upper Mississippi Embayment area, has resulted in periodic subsidence and control of sedimentation and river drainage in this cratonic region since formation of the rift complex. The correlation of the buried rift with contemporary earthquake activity suggests that the earthquakes result from slippage along zones of weakness associated with the ancient rift structures. The slippage is due to reactivation of the structure by the contemporary, nearly E-W regional compressive stress which is the result of plate motions.

  1. Geometry and faults tectonic activity of the Okavango Rift Zone, Botswana: Evidence from magnetotelluric and electrical resistivity tomography imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bufford, Kelsey Mosley; Atekwana, Estella A.; Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.; Shemang, Elijah; Atekwana, Eliot A.; Mickus, Kevin; Moidaki, Moikwathai; Modisi, Motsoptse P.; Molwalefhe, Loago

    2012-04-01

    We used Magnetotelluric (MT) and Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) to investigate the geometry and nature of faults activity of the Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ) in Botswana, an incipient rift at the southern tip of the Southwestern Branch of the East African Rift System. The ORZ forms a subtle topographic depression filled with Quaternary lacustrine and fluvio-deltaic sediments and is bounded by NE-trending normal faults that are more prominent in the southeastern portion of the rift basin. An MT model from a regional (˜140 km) NW-SE trending MT transect shows that much of the rift basin is underlain by a broad asymmetrical low resistivity anomaly that slopes gently (˜1°) from NW to SE reaching a depth of ˜300 m. This anomaly suggests that faults in the southeastern part of the rift form a NW-dipping border fault zone and that the lacustrine and fluvio-deltaic sediments contain brackish to saline water filling the broad half-graben structure. Furthermore, MT and ERT models from detailed (4-13 km long) MT transects and resistivity profiles show that one border fault (Thamalakane) and two within-basin faults (Lecha and Tsau) in the southeastern part of the ORZ are characterized by a localized high conductivity anomaly while another border fault (Kunyere) lacks such an anomaly. These localized anomalies are attributed to channelized fresh surface water and saline groundwater percolating through these faults forming "fault zone conductors" and suggest actively displacing faults. The lack of a "fault zone conductor" in the Kunyere fault is interpreted as indicating diminishing displacement on this fault, and that strain was transferred to the Thamalakane fault further to the east. The fluids provide lubricant for the ORZ faults, hence preventing infrequent large magnitude earthquakes, but favoring frequent micro-seismicity.

  2. Modelling Rift Valley fever (RVF) disease vector habitats using active and passive remote sensing systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ambrosia, Vincent G.; Linthicum, K. G.; Bailey, C. L.; Sebesta, P.

    1989-01-01

    The NASA Ames Ecosystem Science and Technology Branch and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases are conducting research to detect Rift Valley fever (RVF) vector habitats in eastern Africa using active and passive remote-sensing. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) calculated from Landsat TM and SPOT data is used to characterize the vegetation common to the Aedes mosquito. Relationships have been found between the highest NDVI and the 'dambo' habitat areas near Riuru, Kenya on both wet and dry data. High NDVI values, when combined with the vegetation classifications, are clearly related to the areas of vector habitats. SAR data have been proposed for use during the rainy season when optical systems are of minimal use and the short frequency and duration of the optimum RVF mosquito habitat conditions necessitate rapid evaluation of the vegetation/moisture conditions; only then can disease potential be stemmed and eradication efforts initiated.

  3. Tectonic Controls on the Volumes and Petrologic Evolution of Pantellerite-Trachyte-Phonolite Volcanoes in a Continental Rift Setting, Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemasurier, W. E.

    2010-12-01

    The 18 alkaline volcanoes in Marie Byrd Land (MBL) are characterized by large volumes of felsic rock and a large range in composition, from trachyte to pantellerite, comendite, and phonolite. These characteristics are controlled largely by mantle plume activity, a stationary plate environment, and lithospheric structure of the West Antarctic rift system in coastal MBL. Felsic rocks occur either as summit sections of basalt volcanoes, or comprising all the rock exposed above ice level. Their exposed volumes range from ~30-780 km3 in individual volcanoes. Seven fall between 200-780 km3. Field observations and one seismic traverse show that felsic sections are underlain by thick (1-5 km) sequences of basalt, dominated by basanite. Thus, in spite of their large volumes, felsic rocks appear to make up only ~10% of all the volcanic rock in the province. In four of these volcanoes, pantellerite, trachyte, and phonolite eruptions alternated with each other, and/or took place coevally from the same edifice, indicating that these magmas were available throughout the ~15 m.y. histories of these volcanoes from isolated, but closely adjacent upper crustal reservoirs. Isotope data record crustal contamination in some felsic rocks, but constrain it to <3%, at most. This, plus the results of major and trace element modeling, imply that pantellerites, trachytes and phonolites all evolved from basanite magma by fractional crystallization (FC). Phonolites could have evolved largely by low-pressure FC of basanite in the upper crust. However, modeling and experimental data suggest that 90-95% of pantellerite evolution took place below the crust, where inclusion of kaersutite among fractionated phases, in a low fO2 environment, were key to developing an FeO-rich and SiO2-rich pantellerite lineage from basanite. The complexity of the felsic suite seems related to the presence of mechanical boundaries at the base of the lithosphere (~50 km) and base of the crust (~25 km), that trapped

  4. Broad Spectrum Antiviral Activity of Favipiravir (T-705): Protection from Highly Lethal Inhalational Rift Valley Fever

    PubMed Central

    Caroline, Amy L.; Powell, Diana S.; Bethel, Laura M.; Oury, Tim D.; Reed, Douglas S.; Hartman, Amy L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Development of antiviral drugs that have broad-spectrum activity against a number of viral infections would be of significant benefit. Due to the evolution of resistance to currently licensed antiviral drugs, development of novel anti-influenza drugs is in progress, including Favipiravir (T-705), which is currently in human clinical trials. T-705 displays broad-spectrum in vitro activity against a number of viruses, including Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV). RVF is an important neglected tropical disease that causes human, agricultural, and economic losses in endemic regions. RVF has the capacity to emerge in new locations and also presents a potential bioterrorism threat. In the current study, the in vivo efficacy of T-705 was evaluated in Wistar-Furth rats infected with the virulent ZH501 strain of RVFV by the aerosol route. Methodology/Principal Findings Wistar-Furth rats are highly susceptible to a rapidly lethal disease after parenteral or inhalational exposure to the pathogenic ZH501 strain of RVFV. In the current study, two experiments were performed: a dose-determination study and a delayed-treatment study. In both experiments, all untreated control rats succumbed to disease. Out of 72 total rats infected with RVFV and treated with T-705, only 6 succumbed to disease. The remaining 66 rats (92%) survived lethal infection with no significant weight loss or fever. The 6 treated rats that succumbed survived significantly longer before succumbing to encephalitic disease. Conclusions/Significance Currently, there are no licensed antiviral drugs for treating RVF. Here, T-705 showed remarkable efficacy in a highly lethal rat model of Rift Valley Fever, even when given up to 48 hours post-infection. This is the first study to show protection of rats infected with the pathogenic ZH501 strain of RVFV. Our data suggest that T-705 has potential to be a broad-spectrum antiviral drug. PMID:24722586

  5. The Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP): Active Rift Processes in the Brawley Seismic Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, L.; Hole, J. A.; Stock, J. M.; Fuis, G. S.; Rymer, M. J.; Driscoll, N. W.; Kent, G.; Harding, A. J.; Gonzalez-Fernandez, A.; Lazaro-Mancilla, O.

    2011-12-01

    The Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP), funded by NSF and USGS, acquired seismic data in and across the Salton Trough in southern California and northern Mexico in March 2011. The project addresses both rifting processes at the northern end of the Gulf of California extensional province and earthquake hazards at the southern end of the San Andreas Fault system. Seven lines of onshore refraction and low-fold reflection data were acquired in the Coachella, Imperial, and Mexicali Valleys, two lines and a grid of airgun and OBS data were acquired in the Salton Sea, and onshore-offshore data were recorded. Almost 2800 land seismometers and 50 OBS's were used in almost 5000 deployments at almost 4300 sites, in spacing as dense as 100 m. These instruments received seismic signals from 126 explosive shots up to 1400 kg and over 2300 airgun shots. In the central Salton Trough, North American lithosphere appears to have been rifted completely apart. Based primarily on a 1979 seismic refraction project, the 20-22 km thick crust is apparently composed entirely of new crust added by magmatism from below and sedimentation from above. Active rifting of this new crust is manifested by shallow (<10km depth) seismicity in the oblique Brawley Seismic Zone (BSZ), small Salton Buttes volcanoes aligned perpendicular to the transform faults, very high heat flow (~140 mW/m2), and geothermal energy production. This presentation is focused on an onshore-offshore line of densely sampled refraction and low-fold reflection data that crosses the Brawley Seismic Zone and Salton Buttes in the direction of plate motion. At the time of abstract submission, data analysis was very preliminary, consisting of first-arrival tomography of the onshore half of the line for upper crustal seismic velocity. Crystalline basement (>5 km/s), comprised of late-Pliocene to Quaternary sediment metamorphosed by the high heat flow, occurs at ~2 km depth beneath the Salton Buttes and geothermal field and ~4 km

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1997-06-01

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

  8. Spacing and strength of active continental strike-slip faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuza, Andrew V.; Yin, An; Lin, Jessica; Sun, Ming

    2017-01-01

    Parallel and evenly-spaced active strike-slip faults occur widely in nature across diverse tectonic settings. Despite their common existence, the fundamental question of what controls fault spacing remains unanswered. Here we present a mechanical model for the generation of parallel strike-slip faults that relates fault spacing to the following parameters: (1) brittle-crust thickness, (2) fault strength, (3) crustal strength, and (4) crustal stress state. Scaled analogue experiments using dry sand, dry crushed walnut shells, and viscous putty were employed to test the key assumptions of our quantitative model. The physical models demonstrate that fault spacing (S) is linearly proportional to brittle-layer thickness (h), both in experiments with only brittle materials and in two-layer trials involving dry sand overlying viscous putty. The S / h slope in the two-layer sand-putty experiments may be controlled by the (1) rheological/geometric properties of the viscous layer, (2) effects of distributed basal loading caused by the viscous shear of the putty layer, and/or (3) frictional interaction at the sand-putty interface (i.e., coupling between the viscous and brittle layers). We tentatively suggest that this third effect exerts the strongest control on fault spacing in the analogue experiments. By applying our quantitative model to crustal-scale strike-slip faults using fault spacing and the seismogenic-zone thickness obtained from high-resolution earthquake-location data, we estimate absolute fault friction of active strike-slip faults in Asia and along the San Andreas fault system in California. We show that the average friction coefficient of strike-slip faults in the India-Asia collisional orogen is lower than that of faults in the San Andreas fault system. Weaker faults explain why deformation penetrates >3500 km into Asia from the Himalaya and why the interior of Asia is prone to large (M > 7.0) devastating earthquakes along major intra-continental strike

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1994-01-01

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

  10. Temporal evolution of continental lithospheric strength in actively deforming regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thatcher, W.; Pollitz, F.F.

    2008-01-01

    It has been agreed for nearly a century that a strong, load-bearing outer layer of earth is required to support mountain ranges, transmit stresses to deform active regions and store elastic strain to generate earthquakes. However the dept and extent of this strong layer remain controversial. Here we use a variety of observations to infer the distribution of lithospheric strength in the active western United States from seismic to steady-state time scales. We use evidence from post-seismic transient and earthquake cycle deformation reservoir loading glacio-isostatic adjustment, and lithosphere isostatic adjustment to large surface and subsurface loads. The nearly perfectly elastic behavior of Earth's crust and mantle at the time scale of seismic wave propagation evolves to that of a strong, elastic crust and weak, ductile upper mantle lithosphere at both earthquake cycle (EC, ???10?? to 103 yr) and glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA, ???103 to 104 yr) time scales. Topography and gravity field correlations indicate that lithosphere isostatic adjustment (LIA) on ???106-107 yr time scales occurs with most lithospheric stress supported by an upper crust overlying a much weaker ductile subtrate. These comparisons suggest that the upper mantle lithosphere is weaker than the crust at all time scales longer than seismic. In contrast, the lower crust has a chameleon-like behavior, strong at EC and GIA time scales and weak for LIA and steady-state deformation processes. The lower crust might even take on a third identity in regions of rapid crustal extension or continental collision, where anomalously high temperatures may lead to large-scale ductile flow in a lower crustal layer that is locally weaker than the upper mantle. Modeling of lithospheric processes in active regions thus cannot use a one-size-fits-all prescription of rheological layering (relation between applied stress and deformation as a function of depth) but must be tailored to the time scale and tectonic

  11. Evolution of pantellerite-trachyte-phonolite volcanoes by fractional crystallization of basanite magma in a continental rift setting, Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemasurier, Wesley E.; Choi, Sung Hi; Kawachi, Y.; Mukasa, Samuel B.; Rogers, N. W.

    2011-12-01

    The Marie Byrd Land province includes 18 large (up to 1,800 km3) central volcanoes distributed across an active volcano-tectonic dome. The typical volcano structure consists of a basal 1,000-5,000 m of basanite surmounted by trachyte and subordinate intermediate rocks, plus phonolite, or pantellerite, or comendite. The volumes of felsic sections are large (~30-700 km3), but these rocks probably make up <10% of volcanic rock in the province. This paper describes pantellerite volcanoes in the Ames and Flood Ranges, which include a large and varied suite of these iron-rich, silica-poor rhyolites. Isotopic and trace element data, maintenance of isotopic equilibrium throughout the basalt-felsic range, and the results of modeling, all exclude significant crustal contamination and point to fractional crystallization as the process that controls magmatic evolution. The most unusual feature of these volcanoes is the apparent need to derive pantellerites from basanite, the long interval of fractionation at the base of the lithosphere and crust, involving kaersutite as the key phase in developing pantellerite, and a plumbing system that permitted coeval eruption of pantellerite and phonolite from the same edifice. Peralkalinity most likely developed in upper crustal reservoirs during the final 4-5% of magmatic history, by fractionating a high proportion of plagioclase under low pH2O. Mantle plume activity appears to drive doming and volcanism. This, a stationary plate, and continental lithospheric structure seem to provide an optimal environment for the evolution of a diverse, large volume suite of felsic rocks by fractional crystallization.

  12. The role of Variscan to pre-Jurassic active extension in controlling the architecture of the rifted passive margin of Adria: the example of the Canavese Zone (Western Southern Alps, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Succo, Andrea; De Caroli, Sara; Centelli, Arianna; Barbero, Edoardo; Balestro, Gianni; Festa, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    The Canavese Zone, in the Italian Western Southern Alps, represents the remnant of the Jurassic syn-rift stretching, thinning and dismemberment of the distal passive margin of Adria during the opening of the Penninic Ocean (i.e., Northern Alpine Tethys). Our findings, based on detailed geological mapping, structural analysis and stratigraphic and petrographic observations, document however that the inferred hyper-extensional dismemberment of this distal part of the passive margin of Adria, up to seafloor spreading, was favored by the inherited Variscan geometry and crustal architecture of the rifted margin, and by the subsequent Alpine-related strike-slip deformation. The new field data document, in fact, that the limited vertical displacement of syn-extensional (syn-rift) Jurassic faults was ineffective in producing and justifying the crustal thinning observed in the Canavese Zone. The deformation and thinning of the continental basement of Adria are constrained to the late Variscan time by the unconformable overlying of Late Permian deposits. Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene and Late Cenozoic strike-slip faulting (i.e., Alpine and Insubric tectonic stages) reactivated previously formed faults, leading to the formation of a complex tectonic jigsaw which only partially coincides with the direct product of the Jurassic syn-rift dismemberment of the distal part of the passive margin of Adria. Our new findings document that this dismemberment of the rifted continental margin of Adria did not simply result from the syn-rift Jurassic extension, but was strongly favored by the inheritance of older (Variscan and post-Variscan) tectonic stages, which controlled earlier lithospheric weakness. The formation of rifted continental margins by extension of continental lithosphere leading to seafloor spreading is a complex and still poorly understood component of the plate tectonic cycle. Geological mapping of rifted continental margins may thus provide significant information to

  13. Concentration of strain in a marginal rift zone of the Japan backarc during post-rift compression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, H.; Ishiyama, T.; Kato, N.; Abe, S.; Shiraishi, K.; Inaba, M.; Kurashimo, E.; Iwasaki, T.; Van Horne, A.; No, T.; Sato, T.; Kodaira, S.; Matsubara, M.; Takeda, T.; Abe, S.; Kodaira, C.

    2015-12-01

    Late Cenozoic deformation zones in Japan may be divided into two types: (1) arc-arc collision zones like those of Izu and the Hokkaido axial zone, and (2) reactivated back-arc marginal rift (BMR) systems. A BMR develops during a secondary rifting event that follows the opening of a back-arc basin. It forms close to the volcanic front and distant from the spreading center of the basin. In Japan, a BMR system developed along the Sea of Japan coast following the opening of the Japan Sea. The BMR appears to be the weakest, most deformable part of the arc back-arc system. When active rifting in the marginal basins ended, thermal subsidence, and then mechanical subsidence related to the onset of a compressional stress regime, allowed deposition of up to 5 km of post-rift, deep-marine to fluvial sedimentation. Continued compression produced fault-related folds in the post-rift sediments, in thin-skin style deformation. Shortening reached a maximum in the BMR system compared to other parts of the back-arc, suggesting that it is the weakest part of the entire system. We examined the structure of the BMR system using active source seismic investigation and earthquake tomography. The velocity structure beneath the marginal rift basin shows higher P-wave velocity in the upper mantle/lower crust which suggests significant mafic intrusion and thinning of the upper continental crust. The syn-rift mafic intrusive forms a convex shape, and the boundary between the pre-rift crust and the mafic intrusive dips outward. In the post-rift compressional stress regime, the boundary of the mafic body reactivated as a reverse fault, forming a large-scale wedge thrust and causing further subsidence of the rift basin. The driver of the intense shortening event along the Sea of Japan coast in SW Japan was the arrival of a buoyant young (15 Ma) Shikoku basin at the Nankai Trough. Subduction stalled and the backarc was compressed. As the buoyant basin cooled, subduction resumed, and the rate of

  14. Geochemical evidence for pre- and syn-rifting lithospheric foundering in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2015-12-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is the archetypal active continental rift. The rift branches cut through the elevated Ethiopian and Kenyan domes and are accompanied by a >40 Myr volcanic record. This record is often used to understand changing mantle dynamics, but this approach is complicated by the diversity of spatio-temporally constrained, geochemically unique volcanic provinces. Various sources have been invoked to explain the geochemical variability across the EARS (e.g. mantle plume(s), both enriched and depleted mantle, metasomatized or pyroxenitic lithosphere, continental crust). Mantle contributions are often assessed assuming adiabatic melting of mostly peridotitic material due to extension or an upwelling thermal plume. However, metasomatized lithospheric mantle does not behave like fertile or depleted peridotite mantle, so this model must be modified. Metasomatic lithologies (e.g. pyroxenite) are unstable compared to neighboring peridotite and can founder into the underlying asthenosphere via ductile dripping. As such a drip descends, the easily fusible metasomatized lithospheric mantle heats conductively and melts at increasing T and P; the subsequent volcanic products in turn record this drip magmatism. We re-evaluated existing data of major mafic volcanic episodes throughout the EARS to investigate potential evidence for lithospheric drip foundering that may be an essential part of the rifting process. The data demonstrate clearly that lithospheric drip melting played an important role in pre-flood basalt volcanism in Turkana (>35 Ma), high-Ti "mantle plume-derived" flood basalts and picrites (HT2) from NW Ethiopia (~30 Ma), Miocene shield volcanism on the E Ethiopian Plateau and in Turkana (22-26 Ma), and Quaternary volcanism in Virunga (Western Rift) and Chyulu Hills (Eastern Rift). In contrast, there is no evidence for drip melting in "lithosphere-derived" flood basalts (LT) from NW Ethiopia, Miocene volcanism in S Ethiopia, or Quaternary

  15. Propagating rifts on midocean ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hey, Richard; Duennebier, Frederick K.; Morgan, W. Jason

    1980-07-01

    Spreading center jumps identified west of the Galapagos Islands near 95°W occur in a pattern consistent with the propagating rift hypothesis. A new rift is gradually breaking through the Cocos plate. Each successive jump is slightly longer than the preceding jump. The new spreading center grows at a new azimuth toward the west as the old one dies. The jumps are a manifestation of rift propagation. We extend the analysis of propagating rifts to the case of continuous propagation and predict patterns of magnetic anomalies and bathymetry consistent with the observed patterns. In particular, we correctly predict the trends of fossil spreading centers and V patterns of magnetic anomaly offsets required by the propagating rift hypothesis. Similar V patterns have been observed on many other spreading centers and have been interpreted in various ways. The propagating rift hypothesis appears to offer a simple explanation, consistent with rigid plate tectonics, for each of these patterns. This hypothesis may also have important implications for continental rifting.

  16. Rifting process of the Izu-Ogasawara-Mariana arc-backarc system inferred from active source seismic studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, N.; Kodaira, S.; Miura, S.; Sato, T.; Yamashita, M.; No, T.; Takizawa, K.; Kaiho, Y.; Kaneda, Y.

    2008-12-01

    The Izu-Ogasawara-Mariana (IBM) arc-backarc system has continued the crustal growth through crustal thickening by magmatic activities and crustal thinning by backarc opening. Tatsumi et al (2008) proposed petrological crustal growth model started from basaltic magmas rising from the slab, and showed the consistency with the seismic velocity model. Although crustal growth by the crustal thickening are modeled, crustal structural change by the backarc opening are not still unknown yet. The Shikoku Basin and Parece Vela Basin were formed by the backarc opening during approximately 15-30 Ma. Since 6 Ma, the Mariana Trough has opened and the stage already moved to spreading process from rifting process. In the northern Izu-Ogasawara arc, the Sumisu rift is in the initial rifting stage. Therefore, understanding of the crustal change by the backarc opening from rifting to spreading is indispensable to know the crustal growth of whole Izu-Ogasawara-Mariana island arc. Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) has carried out seismic studies using a multichannel reflection survey system and ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) around the IBM arc since 2003 (Takahashi et al., 2007; Kodaira et al., 2007; Takahashi et al., 2008; Kodaira et al., 2008). We already obtained eight P-wave velocity models across the IBM arc and these structures record the crustal structural change during the backarc opening process from the rifting stage to the spreading stage. As the results, we identified characteristics of the crustal structural change accompanied with backarc opening as follows. (1) Beneath the initial rifting stage without normal faults, for example, in the northern tip of the Mariana Trough, crustal thickening are identified. (2) Beneath the initial rifting stage with normal faults, for example, in the Sumisu Rift, the crustal thickness is almost similar to that beneath the volcanic front. Although an existence of the crust-mantle transition layer with

  17. Large historical earthquakes and tsunamis in a very active tectonic rift: the Gulf of Corinth, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Triantafyllou, Ioanna; Papadopoulos, Gerassimos

    2014-05-01

    The Gulf of Corinth is an active tectonic rift controlled by E-W trending normal faults with an uplifted footwall in the south and a subsiding hangingwall with antithetic faulting in the north. Regional geodetic extension rates up to about 1.5 cm/yr have been measured, which is one of the highest for tectonic rifts in the entire Earth, while seismic slip rates up to about 1 cm/yr were estimated. Large earthquakes with magnitudes, M, up to about 7 were historically documented and instrumentally recorded. In this paper we have compiled historical documentation of earthquake and tsunami events occurring in the Corinth Gulf from the antiquity up to the present. The completeness of the events reported improves with time particularly after the 15th century. The majority of tsunamis were caused by earthquake activity although the aseismic landsliding is a relatively frequent agent for tsunami generation in Corinth Gulf. We focus to better understand the process of tsunami generation from earthquakes. To this aim we have considered the elliptical rupture zones of all the strong (M≥ 6.0) historical and instrumental earthquakes known in the Corinth Gulf. We have taken into account rupture zones determined by previous authors. However, magnitudes, M, of historical earthquakes were recalculated from a set of empirical relationships between M and seismic intensity established for earthquakes occurring in Greece during the instrumental era of seismicity. For this application the macroseismic field of each one of the earthquakes was identified and seismic intensities were assigned. Another set of empirical relationships M/L and M/W for instrumentally recorded earthquakes in the Mediterranean region was applied to calculate rupture zone dimensions; where L=rupture zone length, W=rupture zone width. The rupture zones positions were decided on the basis of the localities of the highest seismic intensities and co-seismic ground failures, if any, while the orientation of the maximum

  18. Quantifying the Temporal and Spatial Response of Channel Steepness to Changes in Rift Basin Architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Scott M.

    Quantifying the temporal and spatial evolution of active continental rifts contributes to our understanding of fault system evolution and seismic hazards. Rift systems also preserve robust paleoenvironmental records and are often characterized by strong climatic gradients that can be used to examine feedbacks between climate and tectonics. In this thesis, I quantify the spatial and temporal history of rift flank uplift by analyzing bedrock river channel profiles along footwall escarpments in the Malawi segment of the East Africa Rift. This work addresses questions that are widely applicable to continental rift settings: (1) Is rift-flank uplift sufficiently described by theoretical elliptical along-fault displacement patterns? (2) Do orographic climate patterns induced by rift topography affect rift-flank uplift or morphology? (3) How do uplift patterns along rift flanks vary over geologic timescales? In Malawi, 100-km-long border faults of alternating polarity bound half-graben sedimentary basins containing up to 4km of basin fill and water depths up to 700m. Orographically driven precipitation produces climatic gradients along footwall escarpments resulting in mean annual rainfall that varies spatially from 800 to 2500 mm. Temporal oscillations in climate have also resulted in lake lowstands 500 m below the modern shoreline. I examine bedrock river profiles crossing the Livingstone and Usisya Border Faults in northern Malawi using the channel steepness index (Ksn) to assess importance of these conditions on rift flank evolution. River profiles reveal a consistent transient pattern that likely preserves a temporal record of slip and erosion along the entire border fault system. These profiles and other topographic observations, along with known modern and paleoenvironmental conditions, can be used to interpret a complete history of rift flank development from the onset of rifting to present. I interpret the morphology of the upland landscape to preserve the onset

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    In the early stages of continental rifting, East African Rift (EAR) basins are conventionally depicted as asymmetric basins bounded on one side by a ~100 km-long border fault. As rifting progresses, strain concentrates into the rift center, producing intra-rift faults. The timing and nature of the transition from border fault to intra-rift-dominated strain accommodation is unclear. Our study focuses on this transitional phase of continental rifting by exploring the spatial and temporal evolution of faulting in the Natron (border fault initiation at ~3 Ma) and Magadi (~7 Ma) basins of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, respectively. We compare the morphologies and activity histories of faults in each basin using field observations and remote sensing in order to address the relative contributions of border faults and intra-rift faults to crustal strain accommodation as rifting progresses. The ~500 m-high border fault along the western margin of the Natron basin is steep compared to many border faults in the eastern branch of the EAR, indicating limited scarp degradation by mass wasting. Locally, the escarpment shows open fissures and young scarps 10s of meters high and a few kilometers long, implying ongoing border fault activity in this young rift. However, intra-rift faults within ~1 Ma lavas are greatly eroded and fresh scarps are typically absent, implying long recurrence intervals between slip events. Rift-normal topographic profiles across the Natron basin show the lowest elevations in the lake-filled basin adjacent to the border fault, where a number of hydrothermal springs along the border fault system expel water into the lake. In contrast to Natron, a ~1600 m high, densely vegetated, border fault escarpment along the western edge of the Magadi basin is highly degraded; we were unable to identify evidence of recent rupturing. Rift-normal elevation profiles indicate the focus of strain has migrated away from the border fault into the rift center, where

  20. Discovery of sublacustrine hydrothermal activity and associated massive sulfides and hydrocarbons in the north Tanganyika trough, East African Rift

    SciTech Connect

    Tiercelin, J.J.; Mondeguer, A. ); Thouin, C. ); Kalala, T. )

    1989-11-01

    Massive sulfides and carbonate mineral deposits associated with sublacustrine thermal springs were recently discovered along the Zaire side of the north Tanganyika trough, western branch of the East African Rift. This hydrothermal activity, investigated by scuba diving at a maximum depth of 20 m, is located at the intersection of major north-south normal faults and northwest-southeast faults belonging to the Tanganyika-Rukwa-Malawi (TRM) strike-slip fault zone. The preliminary results presented here come from analyses of sulfide deposits, hydrothermal fluids, and associated hydrocarbons that result from geothermal activity in this part of the East African Rift filled by a thick pile of sediment, the north Tanganyika trough.

  1. Middle Jurassic - Early Cretaceous rifting on the Chortis Block in Honduras: Implications for proto-Caribbean opening (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, R. D.; Emmet, P. A.

    2009-12-01

    Regional mapping integrated with facies analysis, age constraints and airborne geophysical data reveal WNW and NE trends of Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous basins which intersect in southeast Honduras that we interpret as the result of rifting associated with the breakup of the Americas and opening of the proto-Caribbean seaway. The WNW-trending rift is 250 km long by 90 km wide and defined by a basal 200 to 800 m thick sequence of Middle to Late Jurassic fluvial channel and overbank deposits overlain by transgressive clastic shelf strata. At least three sub-basins are apparent. Flanking the WNW trending rift basins are fault bounded exposures of the pre-Jurassic continental basement of the Chortis block which is the source of the conglomeratic channel facies that delineate the axes of the rifts. Cretaceous terrigenous strata mantle the exposed basement-cored rift flanks. Lower Cretaceous clastic strata and shallow marine limestone strata are dominant along this trend indicating that post-rift related subsidence continued through the Early Cretaceous. The rifts coincide with a regional high in the total magnetic intensity data. We interpret these trends to reflect NNE-WSW extension active from the Middle Jurassic through Early Cretaceous. These rifts were inverted during Late Cretaceous shortening oriented normal to the rift axes. To the east and at a 120 degree angle to the WNW trending rift is the 300 km long NE trending Guayape fault system that forms the western shoulder of the Late Jurassic Agua Fria rift basin filled by > 2 km thickness of clastic marine shelf and slope strata. This NE trending basin coincides with the eastern extent of the surface exposure of continental basement rocks and a northeast-trending fabric of the Jurassic (?) metasedimentary basement rocks. We have previously interpreted the eastern basin to be the Jurassic rifted margin of the Chortis block with the Guayape originating as a normal fault system. These two rifts basin intersect

  2. Patterns of late Cenozoic volcanic and tectonic activity in the West Antarctic rift system revealed by aeromagnetic surveys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Saltus, R.; Damaske, D.; McCafferty, A.; Finn, C.A.; Blankenship, D.; Bell, R.E.

    1996-01-01

    Aeromagnetic surveys, spaced ???5 km, over widely separated areas of the largely ice- and sea-covered West Antarctic rift system, reveal similar patterns of 100- to 1700-nT, shallow-source magnetic anomalies interpreted as evidence of extensive late Cenozoic volcanism. We use the aeromagnetic data to extend the volcanic rift interpretation over West Antarctica starting with anomalies over (1) exposures of highly magnetic, late Cenozoic volcanic rocks several kilometers thick in the McMurdo-Ross Island area and elsewhere; continuing through (2) volcanoes and subvolcanic intrusions directly beneath the Ross Sea continental shelf defined by marine magnetic and seismic reflection data and aeromagnetic data and (3) volcanic structures interpreted beneath the Ross Ice Shelf partly controlled by seismic reflection determinations of seafloor depth to (4) an area of similar magnetic pattern over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (400 km from the nearest exposed volcanic rock), where interpretations of late Cenozoic volcanic rocks at the base of the ice are controlled in part by radar ice sounding. North trending magnetic rift fabric in the Ross Sea-Ross Ice Shelf and Corridor Aerogeophysics of the Southeast Ross Transect Zone (CASERTZ) areas, revealed by the aeromagnetic surveys, is probably a reactivation of older rift trends (late Mesozoic?) and is superimposed on still older crosscutting structural trends revealed by magnetic terrace maps calculated from horizontal gradient of pseudogravity. Longwavelength (???100-km wide) magnetic terraces from sources within the subvolcanic basement cross the detailed survey areas. One of these extends across the Ross Sea survey from the front of the Transantarctic Mountains with an east-southeast trend crossing the north trending rift fabric. The Ross Sea-Ross Ice Shelf survey area is characterized by highly magnetic northern and southern zones which are separated by magnetically defined faults from a more moderately magnetic central zone

  3. Hawaii Rifts

    DOE Data Explorer

    Nicole Lautze

    2015-01-01

    Rifts mapped through reviewing the location of dikes and vents on the USGS 2007 Geologic Map of the State of Hawaii, as well as our assessment of topography, and, to a small extent, gravity data. Data is in shapefile format.

  4. p53 Activation following Rift Valley Fever Virus Infection Contributes to Cell Death and Viral Production

    PubMed Central

    Lundberg, Lindsay; Shafagati, Nazly; Schoonmaker, Annalise; Narayanan, Aarthi; Popova, Taissia; Panthier, Jean Jacques; Kashanchi, Fatah; Bailey, Charles; Kehn-Hall, Kylene

    2012-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an emerging viral zoonosis that is responsible for devastating outbreaks among livestock and is capable of causing potentially fatal disease in humans. Studies have shown that upon infection, certain viruses have the capability of utilizing particular cellular signaling pathways to propagate viral infection. Activation of p53 is important for the DNA damage signaling cascade, initiation of apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and transcriptional regulation of multiple genes. The current study focuses on the role of p53 signaling in RVFV infection and viral replication. These results show an up-regulation of p53 phosphorylation at several serine sites after RVFV MP-12 infection that is highly dependent on the viral protein NSs. qRT-PCR data showed a transcriptional up-regulation of several p53 targeted genes involved in cell cycle and apoptosis regulation following RVFV infection. Cell viability assays demonstrate that loss of p53 results in less RVFV induced cell death. Furthermore, decreased viral titers in p53 null cells indicate that RVFV utilizes p53 to enhance viral production. Collectively, these experiments indicate that the p53 signaling pathway is utilized during RVFV infection to induce cell death and increase viral production. PMID:22574148

  5. Spatial variation of the aftershock activity across the Kachchh Rift Basin and its seismotectonic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, A. P.; Mishra, O. P.; Kumar, Dinesh; Kumar, Santosh; Yadav, R. B. S.

    2012-04-01

    We analyzed 3365 relocated aftershocks with magnitude of completeness ( Mc) ≥1.7 that occurred in the Kachchh Rift Basin (KRB) between August 2006 and December 2010. The analysis of the new aftershock catalogue has led to improved understanding of the subsurface structure and of the aftershock behaviour. We characterized aftershock behaviour in terms of a-value, b-value, spatial fractal dimension ( D s ), and slip ratio (ratio of the slip that occurred on the primary fault and that of the total slip). The estimated b-value is 1.05, which indicates that the earthquake occurred due to active tectonics in the region. The three dimensional b-value mapping shows that a high b-value region is sandwiched around the 2001 Bhuj mainshock hypocenter at depths of 20-25 km between two low b-value zones above and below this depth range. The D s -value was estimated from the double-logarithmic plot of the correlation integral and distance between hypocenters, and is found to be 2.64 ± 0.01, which indicates random spatial distribution beneath the source zone in a two-dimensional plane associated with fluid-filled fractures. A slip ratio of about 0.23 reveals that more slip occurred on secondary fault systems in and around the 2001 Bhuj earhquake ( Mw 7.6) source zone in KRB.

  6. p53 Activation following Rift Valley fever virus infection contributes to cell death and viral production.

    PubMed

    Austin, Dana; Baer, Alan; Lundberg, Lindsay; Shafagati, Nazly; Schoonmaker, Annalise; Narayanan, Aarthi; Popova, Taissia; Panthier, Jean Jacques; Kashanchi, Fatah; Bailey, Charles; Kehn-Hall, Kylene

    2012-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an emerging viral zoonosis that is responsible for devastating outbreaks among livestock and is capable of causing potentially fatal disease in humans. Studies have shown that upon infection, certain viruses have the capability of utilizing particular cellular signaling pathways to propagate viral infection. Activation of p53 is important for the DNA damage signaling cascade, initiation of apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and transcriptional regulation of multiple genes. The current study focuses on the role of p53 signaling in RVFV infection and viral replication. These results show an up-regulation of p53 phosphorylation at several serine sites after RVFV MP-12 infection that is highly dependent on the viral protein NSs. qRT-PCR data showed a transcriptional up-regulation of several p53 targeted genes involved in cell cycle and apoptosis regulation following RVFV infection. Cell viability assays demonstrate that loss of p53 results in less RVFV induced cell death. Furthermore, decreased viral titers in p53 null cells indicate that RVFV utilizes p53 to enhance viral production. Collectively, these experiments indicate that the p53 signaling pathway is utilized during RVFV infection to induce cell death and increase viral production.

  7. The role of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in Rift Valley fever virus infection.

    PubMed

    Pinkham, Chelsea; An, Soyeon; Lundberg, Lindsay; Bansal, Neha; Benedict, Ashwini; Narayanan, Aarthi; Kehn-Hall, Kylene

    2016-09-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic disease that can cause severe illness in humans and livestock, triggering spontaneous abortion in almost 100% of pregnant ruminants. In this study, we demonstrate that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is phosphorylated on its conserved tyrosine residue (Y705) following RVFV infection. This phosphorylation was dependent on a major virulence factor, the viral nonstructural protein NSs. Loss of STAT3 had little effect on viral replication, but rather resulted in cells being more susceptible to RVFV-induced cell death. Phosphorylated STAT3 translocated to the nucleus, coinciding with inhibition of fos, jun, and nr4a2 gene expression, and the presence of STAT3 and NSs at the nr4a2 promoter. NSs was found predominantly in the cytoplasm of STAT3 null cells, indicating that STAT3 influences NSs nuclear localization. Collectively, these data demonstrate that STAT3 functions in a pro-survival capacity through modulation of NSs localization.

  8. The role of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in Rift Valley fever virus infection

    SciTech Connect

    Pinkham, Chelsea; An, Soyeon; Lundberg, Lindsay; Bansal, Neha; Benedict, Ashwini; Narayanan, Aarthi; Kehn-Hall, Kylene

    2016-09-15

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic disease that can cause severe illness in humans and livestock, triggering spontaneous abortion in almost 100% of pregnant ruminants. In this study, we demonstrate that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is phosphorylated on its conserved tyrosine residue (Y705) following RVFV infection. This phosphorylation was dependent on a major virulence factor, the viral nonstructural protein NSs. Loss of STAT3 had little effect on viral replication, but rather resulted in cells being more susceptible to RVFV-induced cell death. Phosphorylated STAT3 translocated to the nucleus, coinciding with inhibition of fos, jun, and nr4a2 gene expression, and the presence of STAT3 and NSs at the nr4a2 promoter. NSs was found predominantly in the cytoplasm of STAT3 null cells, indicating that STAT3 influences NSs nuclear localization. Collectively, these data demonstrate that STAT3 functions in a pro-survival capacity through modulation of NSs localization. - Highlights: • STAT3 is phosphorylated on tyrosine residue 705 following RVFV infection. • Phosphorylation of STAT3 was dependent on the viral protein NSs. • STAT3 -/- MEFs were more susceptible to RVFV-induced cell death. • Loss of STAT3 led to an increase in pro-apoptotic gene expression. • STAT3 functions in a pro-survival capacity by modulation of NSs localization.

  9. Landform development in a zone of active Gedi Fault, Eastern Kachchh rift basin, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kothyari, Girish Ch.; Rastogi, B. K.; Morthekai, P.; Dumka, Rakesh K.

    2016-02-01

    An earthquake of 2006 Mw 5.7 occurred along east-west trending Gedi Fault (GF) to the north of the Kachchh rift basin in western India which had the epicenter in the Wagad upland, which is approximately 60 km northeast of the 2001 Mw 7.7 earthquake site (or epicenter). Development of an active fault scarp, shifting of a river channel, offsetting of streams and uplift of the ground indicate that the terrain is undergoing active deformation. Based on detailed field investigations, three major faults that control uplifts have been identified in the GF zone. These uplifts were developed in a step-over zone of the GF, and formed due to compressive force generated by left-lateral motion within the segmented blocks. In the present research, a terrace sequence along the north flowing Karaswali river in a tectonically active GF zone has been investigated. Reconstructions based on geomorphology and terrace stratigraphy supported by optical chronology suggest that the fluvial aggradation in the Wagad area was initiated during the strengthening (at ~ 8 ka) and declining (~ 4 ka) of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). The presence of younger valley fill sediments which are dated ~ 1 ka is ascribed to a short lived phase of renewed strengthening of ISM before present day aridity. Based on terrace morphology two major phases of enhanced uplift have been estimated. The older uplift event dated to 8 ka is represented by the Tertiary bedrock surfaces which accommodated the onset of valley-fill aggradation. The younger event of enhanced uplift dated to 4 ka was responsible for the incision of the older valley fill sediments and the Tertiary bedrock. These ages suggest that the average rate of uplift ranges from 0.3 to 1.1 mm/yr during the last 9 ka implying active nature of the area.

  10. Time evolution of a rifted continental arc: Integrated ID-TIMS and LA-ICPMS study of magmatic zircons from the Eastern Srednogorie, Bulgaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgiev, S.; von Quadt, A.; Heinrich, C. A.; Peytcheva, I.; Marchev, P.

    2012-12-01

    Eastern Srednogorie in Bulgaria is the widest segment of an extensive magmatic arc that formed by convergence of Africa and Europe during Mesozoic to Tertiary times. Northward subduction of the Tethys Ocean beneath Europe in the Late Cretaceous gave rise to a broad range of basaltic to more evolved magmas with locally associated Cu-Au mineralization along this arc. We used U-Pb geochronology of single zircons to constrain the temporal evolution of the Upper Cretaceous magmatism and the age of basement rocks through which the magmas were emplaced in this arc segment. High precision isotope dilution-thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) was combined with laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) for spatial resolution within single zircon grains. Three tectono-magmatic regions are distinguished from north to south within Eastern Srednogorie: East Balkan, Yambol-Burgas and Strandzha. Late Cretaceous magmatic activity started at ~ 92 Ma in the northernmost East Balkan region, based on stratigraphic evidence and limited geochronology, with the emplacement of minor shallow intrusions and volcanic rocks onto pre-Cretaceous basement. In the southernmost Strandzha region, magmatism was initiated at ~ 86 Ma with emplacement of gabbroic to dioritic intrusions and related dikes into metamorphic basement rocks that have previously been overprinted by Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous metamorphism. The Yambol-Burgas region is an extensional basin between the East Balkan and the Strandzha regions, which broadens and deepens toward the Black Sea further east and is filled with a thick pile of marine sediments and submarine extrusive volcanic rocks accompanied by coeval intrusions. This dominantly mafic magmatism in the intermediate Yambol-Burgas region commenced at ~ 81 Ma and produced large volumes of potassium-rich magma until ~ 78 Ma. These shoshonitic to ultrapotassic basaltic to intermediate magmas formed by differentiation of ankaramitic (high

  11. Metallogeny of the midcontinent rift system of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicholson, S.W.; Cannon, W.F.; Schulz, K.J.

    1992-01-01

    The 1.1 Ga Midcontinent rift system of North America is one of the world's major continental rifts and hosts a variety of mineral deposits. The rocks and mineral deposits of this 2000 km long rift are exposed only in the Lake Superior region. In the Lake Superior region, the rift cuts across Precambrian basement terranes ranging in age from ??? 1850 Ma to more than 3500 Ma. Where exposed, the rift consists of widespread tholeiitic basalt flows with local interlayered rhyolite and clastic sedimentary rocks. Beneath the center of Lake Superior the volcanic and sedimentary rocks are more than 30 km deep as shown by recent seismic reflection profiles. This region hosts two major classes of mineral deposits, magmatic and hydrothermal. All important mineral production in this region has come from hydrothermal deposits. Rift-related hydrothermal deposits include four main types: (1) native copper deposits in basalts and interflow sediments; (2) sediment-hosted copper sulfide and native copper; (3) copper sulfide veins and lodes hosted by rift-related volcanic and sedimentary rocks; and (4) polymetallic (five-element) veins in the surrounding Archean country rocks. The scarcity of sulfur within the rift rocks resulted in the formation of very large deposits of native metals. Where hydrothermal sulfides occur (i.e., shale-hosted copper sulfides), the source of sulfur was local sedimentary rocks. Magmatic deposits have locally supported exploration and minor production, but most are subeconomic presently. These deposits occur in intrusions exposed near the margins of the rift and include CuNiPGE and TiFe (V) in the Duluth Complex, U-REE-Nb in small carbonatites, and breccia pipes resulting from local hydrothermal activity around small felsic intrusions. Mineralization associated with some magmatic bodies resulted from the concentration of incompatible elements during fractional crystallization. Most of the sulfide deposits in intrusions, however, contain sulfur derived from

  12. The MOZART Project - MOZAmbique Rift Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  13. Seismic Observations From the Afar Rift Dynamics Project: Preliminary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, J. O.; Guidarelli, M.; Belachew, M.; Keir, D.; Ayele, A.; Ebinger, C.; Stuart, G.; Kendall, J.

    2008-12-01

    Following the 2005 Dabbahu rifting event in Afar, 9 broadband seismometers were installed around the active rift segment to study the microseismicity associated with this and subsequent dyking events. These recorded more than one year of continuous data. In March 2007, 41 stations were deployed throughout Afar and the adjacent rift flanks as part of a large multi-national, collaboration involving universities and organisations from the UK, US and Ethiopia. This abstract describes the crustal and upper mantle structure results of the first 19 months of data. Bulk crustal structure has been determined using the H-k stacking of receiver functions and thickness varies from ~45 km on the rift margins to ~16 km beneath the northeastern Afar stations. Estimates of Vp/Vs show normal continental crust values (1.7-1.8) on the rift margins, and very high values (2.0-2.2) in Afar. A study of seismic noise interferometry is in early stages, but inversions using 20 s Green's function estimates, with some control from regional surface waves, show evidence for thin crustal regions around the recently rifted Dabbahu segment. To improve our understanding of the physical and compositional properties of the crust and locate regions of high attenuation (an indicator of melt), we determine attenuation (Q) using t* values measured from spectra of P wave arrivals. We present whole path attenuation from source to receiver, which will provide a starting point for a future tomographic inversion. SKS-wave splitting results show sharp changes over small lateral distances (40° over <30 km), with fast directions overlying the Dabbahu segment aligning parallel with the recent diking. This supports ideas of melt dominated anisotropy beneath the Ethiopian rift. Seismic tomography inversions show that in the top 150 km low velocities mimic the trend of the seismicity in Afar. The low velocity anomalies extend from the main Ethiopian rift NE, towards Djibouti, and from Djibouti NW towards the

  14. The importance of rift history for volcanic margin formation.

    PubMed

    Armitage, John J; Collier, Jenny S; Minshull, Tim A

    2010-06-17

    Rifting and magmatism are fundamental geological processes that shape the surface of our planet. A relationship between the two is widely acknowledged but its precise nature has eluded geoscientists and remained controversial. Largely on the basis of detailed observations from the North Atlantic Ocean, mantle temperature was identified as the primary factor controlling magmatic production, with most authors seeking to explain observed variations in volcanic activity at rifted margins in terms of the mantle temperature at the time of break-up. However, as more detailed observations have been made at other rifted margins worldwide, the validity of this interpretation and the importance of other factors in controlling break-up style have been much debated. One such observation is from the northwest Indian Ocean, where, despite an unequivocal link between an onshore flood basalt province, continental break-up and a hot-spot track leading to an active ocean island volcano, the associated continental margins show little magmatism. Here we reconcile these observations by applying a numerical model that accounts explicitly for the effects of earlier episodes of extension. Our approach allows us to directly compare break-up magmatism generated at different locations and so isolate the key controlling factors. We show that the volume of rift-related magmatism generated, both in the northwest Indian Ocean and at the better-known North Atlantic margins, depends not only on the mantle temperature but, to a similar degree, on the rift history. The inherited extensional history can either suppress or enhance melt generation, which can explain previously enigmatic observations.

  15. Fault Growth and Propagation and its Effect on Surficial Processes within the Incipient Okavango Rift Zone, Northwest Botswana, Africa (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atekwana, E. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ) is suggested to be a zone of incipient continental rifting occuring at the distal end of the southwestern branch of the East African Rift System (EARS), therefore providing a unique opportunity to investigate neotectonic processes during the early stages of rifting. We used geophysical (aeromagnetic, magnetotelluric), Shuttle Radar Tomography Mission, Digital Elevation Model (SRTM-DEM), and sedimentological data to characterize the growth and propagation of faults associated with continental extension in the ORZ, and to elucidate the interplay between neotectonics and surficial processes. The results suggest that: (1) fault growth occurs by along axis linkage of fault segments, (2) an immature border fault is developing through the process of “Fault Piracy” by fault-linkages between major fault systems, (3) significant discrepancies exits between the height of fault scarps and the throws across the faults compared to their lengths in the basement, (4) utilization of preexisting zones of weakness allowed the development of very long faults (> 25-100 km) at a very early stage of continental rifting, explaining the apparent paradox between the fault length versus throw for this young rift, (5) active faults are characterized by conductive anomalies resulting from fluids, whereas, inactive faults show no conductivity anomaly; and 6) sedimentlogical data reveal a major perturbation in lake sedimentation between 41 ka and 27 ka. The sedimentation perturbation is attributed to faulting associated with the rifting and may have resulted in the alteration of hydrology forming the modern day Okavango delta. We infer that this time period may represent the age of the latest rift reactivation and fault growth and propagation within the ORZ.

  16. Southeast Papuan crustal tectonics: Imaging extension and buoyancy of an active rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abers, G. A.; Eilon, Z.; Gaherty, J. B.; Jin, G.; Kim, YH.; Obrebski, M.; Dieck, C.

    2016-02-01

    Southeast Papua hosts the world's youngest ultra-high-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks. These rocks are found in an extensional setting in metamorphic core complexes. Competing theories of extensional shear zones or diapiric upwelling have been suggested as driving their exhumation. To test these theories, we analyze the CDPAPUA temporary array of 31 land and 8 seafloor broadband seismographs. Seismicity shows that deformation is being actively accommodated on the core complex bounding faults, offset by transfer structures in a manner consistent with overall north-south extension rather than radial deformation. Rayleigh wave dispersion curves are jointly inverted with receiver functions for crustal velocity structure. They show crustal thinning beneath the core complexes of 30-50% and very low shear velocities at all depths beneath the core complexes. On the rift flanks velocities resemble those of normal continents and increase steadily with depth. There is no evidence for velocity inversions that would indicate that a major density inversion exists to drive crustal diapirs. Also, low-density melt seems minor within the crust. Together with the extension patterns apparent in seismicity, these data favor an extensional origin for the core complexes and limit the role of diapirism as a secondary exhumation mechanism, although deeper mantle diapirs may be undetected. A small number of intermediate-depth earthquakes, up to 120 km deep, are identified for the first time just northeast of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands. They occur at depths similar to those recorded by UHP rocks and similar temperatures, indicating that the modern seismicity occurs at the setting that generates UHP metamorphism.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  18. Mosquitoes and the environment in Nile Delta villages with previous rift valley fever activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Egypt is affected by serious human and animal mosquito-borne diseases such as Rift Valley fever (RVF). We investigated how potential RVF virus mosquito vector populations are affected by environmental conditions in the Nile Delta region of Egypt by collecting mosquitoes and environmental data from t...

  19. Tectonic Geomorphology and Geodynamics of Rifting: Goodenough Basin, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collier, R. E.

    2006-12-01

    Variations in deformation style are evident along the rift axis of the Woodlark Basin and Papuan Peninsula, where oceanic rifting is propagating westward into a more distributed zone of continental lithospheric extension. The Goodenough Basin lies west of the westernmost segment of the Woodlark oceanic spreading zone. To its north lie the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, metamorphic core complexes rapidly uplifted through the Late Tertiary due to a combination of continental extension and density contrasts within the continental crust. To its south lies the Papuan Peninsula, the southern rift margin, the structural geometry of which has not been characterized previously. Analysis of SRTM digital elevation data together with fieldwork in March 2006 has allowed basic mapping of rift-bounding normal faults, with offset fault segments having lengths of up to 60 km. Geomorphic features such as linear range fronts with faceted spurs, tilted hangingwall surfaces and linear footwall drainage basins typify an immature and active rift margin. Fault traces are however buried beneath rapidly accumulating colluvial soils in this zone of tropical weathering and largely basaltic and gabbroic pre-rift lithologies. Footwall-derived, deltaic coarse clastics are uplifted and exposed in transfer zones between fault segments. These deposits, previously described as tectonically folded, show dip variations that may be explained as low-angle topset fluviatile conglomerates and angle-of-repose grain flow and mass flow conglomerates of Gilbert-type delta foresets. Staircases of offlapping depositional terraces are inferred to be the product of forced regression due to Late Quaternary footwall uplift superimposed upon Late Pleistocene glacio-eustatic fluctuations. Away from loci of coarse clastic input, raised terraces and platforms of coral and carbonate detritus occur, with raised notches evidencing continued Holocene uplift. Instrumentally recorded seismicity within the Goodenough Basin has been

  20. The Role of Rift Obliquity in Formation of the Gulf of California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Scott Edmund Kelsey

    The Gulf of California illustrates how highly oblique rift geometries, where transform faults are kinematically linked to large-offset normal faults in adjacent pull-apart basins, enhance the ability of continental lithosphere to rupture and, ultimately, hasten the formation of new oceanic basins. The Gulf of California rift has accommodated oblique divergence of the Pacific and North America tectonic plates in northwestern Mexico since Miocene time. Due to its infancy, the rifted margins of the Gulf of California preserve a rare onshore record of early continental break-up processes from which to investigate the role of rift obliquity in strain localization. Using new high-precision paleomagnetic vectors from tectonically stable sites in north-central Baja California, I compile a paleomagnetic transect of Miocene ignimbrites across northern Baja California and Sonora that reveals the timing and distribution of dextral shear associated with inception of this oblique rift. I integrate detailed geologic mapping, basin analysis, and geochronology of pre-rift and syn-rift volcanic units to determine the timing of fault activity on Isla Tiburon, a proximal onshore exposure of the rifted North America margin, adjacent to the axis of the Gulf of California. The onset of strike-slip faulting on Isla Tiburon, ca. 8 - 7 Ma, was synchronous with the onset of transform faulting along a significant length of the nascent plate boundary within the rift. This tectonic transition coincides with a clockwise azimuthal shift in Pacific-North America relative motion that increased rift obliquity. I constrain the earliest marine conditions on southwest Isla Tiburon to ca. 6.4 - 6.0 Ma, coincident with a regional latest Miocene marine incursion in the northern proto-Gulf of California. This event likely flooded a narrow, incipient topographic depression along a ˜650 km-long portion of the latest Miocene plate boundary and corresponds in time and space with formation of a newly

  1. A temperature-limited assessment of the risk of Rift Valley fever transmission and establishment in the continental United States of America.

    PubMed

    Konrad, Sarah K; Miller, Scott N

    2012-05-01

    The rapid spread of West Nile virus across North America after its introduction in 1999 highlights the potential for foreign arboviruses to become established in the United States of America. Of particular concern is Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), which has been responsible for multiple African epidemics resulting in death of both humans and livestock, as well as major economic disruption due to livestock loss and trade restrictions. Modern globalization, travel, and commerce allow viruses to easily jump from one continent to another; and it is likely only a matter of time before RVFV reaches North American shores. We used a degree-day model in combination with livestock population data and a pathways analysis to identify regions and times where RVFV is most likely to enter and become established in the United States of America. Transmission risk of the disease varies across the country from 325 annual risk days in parts of Florida to zero risk days in the far North and in high mountain regions. Areas of particular concern are where there are a high number of possible tranmission days, a large livestock population, and proximity to likely locations for the disease to enter the country via mosquito vector or human host. These areas should be monitored closely during transmission "risk seasons" so that if the virus does enter the country and begins to become established, it can be quickly controlled and eliminated before spreading further. Areas most at risk include the Baltimore and New York City metro areas as well as much of the region between these urban centers; most of Texas, especially around Houston; Florida; Atlanta; southwest Nebraska; southern California and Arizona; and the central valley of California.

  2. 3.30 Ga high-silica intraplate volcanic-plutonic system of the Gavião Block, São Francisco Craton, Brazil: Evidence of an intracontinental rift following the creation of insulating continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zincone, Stefano A.; Oliveira, Elson P.; Laurent, Oscar; Zhang, Hong; Zhai, Mingguo

    2016-12-01

    High-silica rhyolites having U-Pb zircon ages of 3303 ± 11 Ma occur along the eastern border of the Gavião Block (Brazil) associated with the Contendas-Mirante and Mundo Novo supracrustal belts. Unlike many Archean greenstone sequences, they are not interlayered with mafic to intermediate units. Instead, they belong to an inter-related plutonic-volcanic system, together with granitic massifs having similar zircon crystallization ages of ca. 3293 ± 3 Ma and 3328 ± 3 Ma and plotting along the same geochemical trends as the rhyolites. The rhyolites show well-preserved primary volcanic features such as magma flow textures and euhedral phenocrysts. High emplacement temperatures are indicated by petrographic evidence (β-quartz phenocrysts), zircon saturation temperatures (915-820 °C) and geochemical data, especially high SiO2 (74-79 wt.%) together with elevated Fe2O3(T) ( 3 wt.%), MgO (0.5-1.5 wt.%) and low Al2O3 (< 11 wt.%). The rhyolites show homogeneous trace element ratios (La/YbN 4.8 ± 1.8; EuN/Eu* 0.55; Sr/Y 0.7) and negative ԐHf(3.3 Ga) from 0 to - 7, indicating derivation from a single crustal source for both occurrences. Specifically, the rhyolites would have derived from extraction and eruption of highly silicic residual liquid formed by crystallization of granitic magma in a relatively shallow (< 10 km) reservoir, now represented by the granite massifs. The granite magma was formed by melting or differentiation of material similar to the diorite gneiss that occurs regionally. The 3.30 Ga volcanic-plutonic systems formed after a period of crustal growth and stabilization of a thick continental lithosphere, represented by massive 3.40-3.33 Ga TTG and medium to high-K calk-alkaline magmatism in the Gavião Block. The 3.30 Ga-old rhyolites and granites would therefore have formed in an intracontinental tectonic setting after the formation and stabilization of new continental crust, and accordingly would represent the first stages of rifting and continental

  3. Episodic nature of continental arc activity since 750 Ma: A global compilation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Wenrong; Lee, Cin-Ty A.; Lackey, Jade Star

    2017-03-01

    Continental arcs have been recently hypothesized to outflux large amounts of CO2 compared to island arcs so that global flare-ups in continental arc magmatism might drive long-term greenhouse events. Quantitative testing of this hypothesis, however, has been limited by the lack of detailed studies on the spatial distribution of continental arcs through time. Here, we compile a worldwide database of geological maps and associated literature to delineate the surface exposure of granitoid plutons, allowing reconstruction of how the surface area addition rate of granitoids and the length of continental arcs have varied since 750 Ma. These results were integrated into an ArcGIS framework and plate reconstruction models. We find that the spatial extent of continental arcs is episodic with time and broadly matches the detrital zircon age record. Most vigorous arc magmatism occurred during the 670-480 Ma and the 250-50 Ma when major greenhouse events are recognized. Low continental arc activity characterized most of the Cryogenian, middle-late Paleozoic, and Cenozoic when climate was cold. Our results indicate that plate tectonics is not steady, with fluctuations in the nature of subduction zones possibly related in time to the assembly and dispersal of continents. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that variations in continental arc activity may play a first order role in driving long-term climate change. The dataset presented here provides a quantitative basis for upscaling continental arc processes to explore their effects on mountain building, climate, and crustal growth on a global scale.

  4. Early structural development of the Okavango rift zone, NW Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinabo, B. D.; Atekwana, E. A.; Hogan, J. P.; Modisi, M. P.; Wheaton, D. D.; Kampunzu, A. B.

    2007-06-01

    Aeromagnetic and gravity data collected across the Okavango rift zone, northwest Botswana are used to map the distribution of faults, provide insights into the two-dimensional shallow subsurface geometry of the rift, and evaluate models for basin formation as well as the role of pre-existing basement fabric on the development of this nascent continental rift. The structural fabric (fold axes and foliation) of the Proterozoic basement terrane is clearly imaged on both gravity and magnetic maps. The strike of rift-related faults (030-050° in the north and 060-070° in the south) parallels fold axes and the prominent foliation directions of the basement rocks. These pre-existing fabrics and structures represent a significant strength anisotropy that controlled the orientation of younger brittle faults within the stress regime present during initiation of this rift. Northwest dipping faults consistently exhibit greater displacements than southeast dipping faults, suggesting a developing half-graben geometry for this rift zone. However, the absence of fully developed half-grabens along this rift zone suggests that the border fault system is not fully developed consistent with the infancy of rifting. Three en-echelon northeast trending depocenters coincide with structural grabens that define the Okavango rift zone. Along the southeastern boundary of the rift, developing border faults define a 50 km wide zone of subsidence within a larger 150 km wide zone of extension forming a rift-in-rift structure. We infer from this observation that the localization of strain resulting from extension is occurring mostly along the southeastern boundary where the border fault system is being initiated, underscoring the important role of border faults in accommodating strain even during this early stage of rift development. We conclude that incipient rift zones may provide critical insights into the development of rift basins during the earliest stages of continental rifting.

  5. Strain distribution across magmatic margins during the breakup stage: Seismicity patterns in the Afar rift zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, C.; Ebinger, C. J.; Belachew, M.; Gregg, T.; Keir, D.; Ayele, A.; Aronovitz, A.; Campbell, E.

    2008-12-01

    Fault patterns record the strain history along passive continental margins, but geochronological constraints are, in general, too sparse to evaluate these patterns in 3D. The Afar depression in Ethiopia provides a unique setting to evaluate the time and space relations between faulting and magmatism across an incipient passive margin that formed above a mantle plume. The margin comprises a high elevation flood basalt province with thick, underplated continental crust, a narrow fault-line escarpment underlain by stretched and intruded crust, and a broad zone of highly intruded, mafic crust lying near sealevel. We analyze fault and seismicity patterns across and along the length of the Afar rift zone to determine the spatial distribution of strain during the final stages of continental breakup, and its relation to active magmatism and dike intrusions. Seismicity data include historic data and 2005-2007 data from the collaborative US-UK-Ethiopia Afar Geodynamics Project that includes the 2005-present Dabbahu rift episode. Earthquake epicenters cluster within discrete, 50 km-long magmatic segments that lack any fault linkage. Swarms also cluster along the fault-line scarp between the unstretched and highly stretched Afar rift zone; these earthquakes may signal release of stresses generated by large lateral density contrasts. We compare Coulomb static stress models with focal mechanisms and fault kinematics to discriminate between segmented magma intrusion and crank- arm models for the central Afar rift zone.

  6. From rift-inherited hyper-extension to orogenesis: De-coding the axial zone of orogenic belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beltrando, Marco; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy

    2015-04-01

    The relative role of rift-inherited hyper-extension and subduction/collisional dynamics in establishing the lithostratigraphic associations and overall architecture of orogenic belts has been investigated for the Western Alps. This case study was selected to test existing models involving complex subduction/exhumation dynamics to account for seemingly chaotic mixing of continental crust and serpentinized mantle rocks in high-pressure metamorphic units. The methodology developed to assess the role of rift-inheritance in multiply deformed/metamorphosed tectonometamorphic units stems from recent advances in the understanding of hyper-extended domains in present-day magma-poor rifted margins, where the crustal architecture displays transitional features between typical oceanic and continental domains. In these areas, slivers of hyper-extended continental crust or pre-rift sediments may rest as extensional allochthons upon serpentinized mantle, while syn- and post- rift sediments seal the extension-related lithostratigraphy. Following multi-stage orogeny-related deformation and metamorphism, this rift-related lithostratigraphic architecture can erroneously be ascribed to complex subduction dynamics, partly due to the sliver-like appearance of continental basement. However, the partial preservation of rift-related lithostratigraphic associations may still be assessed by (1) the consistency of the lithostratigraphic architecture over large areas, based on the continuity of key surfaces (i.e. base of early post-rift sediments) across the orogeny-related macro-structures, (2) the presence of clasts of basement rocks in the neighboring meta-sediments, indicating the original proximity of the different lithologies, (3) evidence of brittle deformation in continental basement and ultramafic rocks pre-dating Alpine metamorphism, indicating that they were juxtaposed by fault activity prior to the deposition of post-rift sediments, and (4) the similar Alpine tectono

  7. Softening of sub-continental lithosphere prior rifting: Evidence from clinopyroxene chemistry in peridotite xenoliths from Natash volcanic province, SE Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abu El-Rus, M. A.; Chazot, G.; Vannucci, R.; Gahlan, H. A.; Boghdady, G. Y.; Paquette, J.-L.

    2016-11-01

    Major and trace element compositions were determined for well-preserved diopside relics in highly altered mantle xenoliths from Natash volcanic province, south Eastern Desert of Egypt, to unravel the major magmatic processes that occurred within the lithospheric mantle long time before the Red Sea rift. The diopside shows a limited compositional range as for mg# (0.89-0.92), Al2O3 (3.52-5.60 wt%), andTiO2 (0.15-0.35 wt%), whereas it is characterised by a larger variability as for Na2O (0.23-1.83 wt%) and, in particular the trace elements. The latter identify two main diopside types: 1) CPX-I has low abundances of incompatible elements, spoon-like REE patterns, small negative anomalies in Ti and Zr and a positive anomaly in Sr; and 2) CPX-II has high abundances in incompatible elements, REE patterns with steady enrichment from HREE to LREE patterns and marked negative anomalies in Ti and Zr. The range of REE patterns in the mantle section can be explained by 7-22% batch melting of the primitive mantle followed by varying degrees of trace element chromatographic exchange. CPX-I underwent only small-scale reactive porous flow metasomatism at the percolation front, whereas CPX-II resulted from large-scale rock-melt interaction close to the melt source. Trace element abundances of CPX-II suggest equilibration with carbonatite-like melts that bear close similarities with the carbonatites that enriched the lithosphere in the southern part of the Arabian plate. The similarity of the P-T gradients recorded by the Natash and southern part of Arabian lithospheres, as well as their re-fertilisation by similar, carbonatite-like agents, is consistent with the presence of a mantle plume at the base of the lithosphere after accretion of the Arabian-Nubian Shield in Late Precambrian. The plume material was fossilized due to secular cooling and became part of the lithospheric mantle before the eruption of the Natash volcanic in Late Cretaceous.

  8. Geochemistry of the Neoproterozoic Johnnie Formation and Stirling Quartzite, southern Nopah Range, California: Deciphering the roles of climate, tectonics, and sedimentary process in reconstructing the early evolution of a rifted continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoenborn, William A.

    sediments. A total of 104 detrital zircon grains from two stratigraphically distinct samples of the Neoproterozoic Johnnie Formation in southeastern California were analyzed by SHRIMP. Samples were taken from quartz arenites in the lower and middle Johnnie Formation, which overlay sediments of rift-basin origin in the Kingston Peak Formation, to ascertain the position within the succession of the rift-to-drift transition. A 207Pb/206Pb age profile of detrital zircons from the lower Johnnie Formation has major peaks at 1749 Ma, and 1658 Ma, a subordinate peak at 1461 Ma, a lesser peak at 1239 Ma, and a few older Paleoproterozoic and Archean grains. A sample from the middle member has peaks at 1428 Ma, 1319 Ma, and 1074 Ma; a number of Paleoproterozoic peaks, and a number of peaks of Archean age similar to the Stirling Quartzite. The middle Johnnie Formation has a greater proportion of late Grenville age detritus, lesser amounts of older ˜1400 Ma Mesoproterozoic grains than the either the lower Johnnie Formation or Stirling Quartzite. When combined with detrital zircon data from the overlying strata, these data indicate a general increase upsection of late Grenville age detritus from ˜30% in the middle Johnnie Formation to ˜5% in the upper Stirling Quartzite to ˜60% in the Wood Canyon Formation in response to erosion of source areas, which temporarily shifted the influx of sediments from distal to local sources. These data support a Laurentian provenance for Johnnie Formation sediments consistent with contributions from both distal sources in the cratonic interior and local basement sources in the rift shoulder. Thus the Johnnie Formation-middle Wood Canyon Formation succession formed an early passive margin partly constrained by the continental edge consistent with recent sequence stratigraphic interpretations. A statistical comparison of Johnnie Formation and Stirling Quartzite detrital age distributions to those from Mesoproterozoic successions in the western United

  9. Ocean basin structure offshore the Southeastern United States: Is it the rift's fault?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heffner, D. M.; Knapp, J. H.

    2012-12-01

    Continental rifts typically exhibit an asymmetrical geometry where major normal faults bound one side of a rotated block, and the rift basins thin toward the opposite hinge side. Differential extension on major faults is accommodated by transverse structures referred to as transfer zones, across which the asymmetric geometry may reverse polarity. It was proposed several decades ago that oceanic transforms between mid-ocean ridge spreading centers are inherited features of these rift-related transfer zones, and that these intra-plate structures are tectonically active. However, preserved evidence of onshore transfer zones is often lacking, particularly along the rifted margin of Eastern North America, and recent studies have suggested that oceanic transforms are not inherited structures. Observations of seismic reflection data integrated with well data show that adjacent basin bounding faults of the South Georgia Rift, a Triassic rift in the southeastern United States, occur on opposite sides of the rift flanks. The Walterboro and Warner Robins Transfer Zones identified in this study project along the small circles of Schettino and Turco (2009) into the Jacksonville and Bahamas Fracture Zones respectively. This projection is particularly interesting as it suggests the correlation of continental to oceanic features is one step south compared to previous studies which projected the Blake Spur Fracture Zone through the Charleston, SC region, and the Jacksonville Fracture Zone through Georgia. Using the same small circle solution, the Blake Spur Fracture Zone projects through the Blake Outer Ridge, a sedimentary drift which shows up prominently as a gravity anomaly the core of which has been identified as a tectonic feature reminiscent of a fracture zone on the basis of gravity modeling (Dove et al., 2007). Although no transfer zone has been identified where this small circle project onshore, it is approximately coincident with axis of the Cape Fear Arch which has been

  10. Mineralogy and porosity transformation induced by normal fault activity, Pirgaki fault zone (Corinth rift, Greece).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Géraud, Y.; Diraison, M.

    2003-04-01

    The Pirgaki fault displays an average N095-100 strike direction and contributes to the south part of the Corinth graben. Several interconnected segments compose it and it forms a quite continuous fault scrap elevated up to 300 meters. The total length of outcropping fault zone is at least 30 km. The dip angle involves between 40° to 70° for the highest. The high angle part of the fault marks the contact between limestone and sediments of the rift series (Ghisetti et al. 2001). A large set of structural and sedimentological criteria are evidence of repeated activity of the Pirgaki fault during the whole Pliocene-Pleistocene period (Ghisetti et al., 2001). The studied part of the Pirgaki fault zone has low angle dip and affects limestones. These limestones, as well as in the hanging wall than in the footwall, are strongly affected by a previous neogene orogen with ductile (folds) and brittle (faults) structures. The sampling zone concerns the low dipping part of the fault. A set of 12 samples is analysed by Hg and water porosimetry, X-ray diffraction and SEM. Protolith is characterised by a very low porosity material, porous volume lower than 1% and threshold size lower 0.1µm. Clay fraction of the protolith material is formed by a set of interstratified illite-smectite and kaolinite minerals. The gouge zone is characterized by an important structural modification with formation of ductile strain part and a brittle strain part. Transformations of the clay content are important in this part of the fault zone. Interstratified phases disappear and are replaced by illite and chlorite phases. The highest illite content is measured for the brittle part of the gouge zone and the highest chlorite content is measured in the ductile part. These structural transformations are also associated with porosity modifications with an large increase of the porosity volume (10%) an of the threshold diameter (3µm) in the brittle part and a lower increase (porosity value, 2% and

  11. Along-rift Variations in Deformation and Magmatism in the Ethiopian and Afar Rift Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keir, D.; Bastow, I. D.; Corti, G.; Mazzarini, F.; Rooney, T. O.

    2015-12-01

    The geological record at rifts and margins worldwide often reveals along-strike variations in volumes of extruded and intruded igneous rocks. These variations may be the result of asthenospheric heterogeneity, variations in rate, and timing of extension; alternatively, preexisting plate architecture and/or the evolving kinematics of extension during breakup may exert first-order control on magmatism. The Ethiopian and Afar Rift systems provide an excellent opportunity to address this since it exposes, along strike, several sectors of asynchronous rift development from continental rifting in the south to incipient oceanic spreading in the north. Here we perform studies of distribution and style of volcanism and faulting along strike in the MER and Afar. We also incorporate synthesis of geophysical, geochemical, and petrological constraints on magma generation and emplacement in order to discriminate between tectonic and mantle geodynamic controls on the geological record of a newly forming magmatic rift. Along-rift changes in extension by magma intrusion and plate stretching, and the three-dimensional focusing of melt where the rift dramatically narrows each influence igneous intrusion, volcanism and subsidence history. In addition, rift obliquity plays an important role in localizing intrusion into the crust beneath en echelon volcanic segments. Along-strike variations in volumes and types of igneous rocks found at rifted margins thus likely carry information about the development of strain during rifting, as well as the physical state of the convecting mantle at the time of breakup.

  12. Anomalous subsidence at South China Sea rifted margin: Sediments digging their own hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, Sascha; Clift, Peter; Quinteros, Javier

    2015-04-01

    Rifted continental margins subside as a consequence of combined crustal thinning and mantle lithosphere cooling. While standard models predict a slowing of subsidence after the end of rifting, the deep basins on the northern margin of the South China Sea, notably the Baiyun Sag exhibit subsidence that accelerated several million years after the end of active extension. Additionally, backstripping analysis at the South China margin has shown that the amount of subsidence is much greater than that predicted from the degree of brittle upper crustal extension seen in seismic profiles. Here we explain these observations by linking climate change onshore and deformation of the crystalline crust offshore: Early Miocene monsoon intensification increased erosion and thus the sediment flux to offshore basins after the cessation of active extension. When the sediment load encountered the weak crust of the South China Sea margin, it induced lower crustal flow away from the basin axis so that the deep Baiyun basin was formed nearly without brittle extension. We corroborate this concept using seismic observations and backstripping techniques, as well as thermo-mechanical forward modeling. The numerical forward model is a 2D version of the finite element code SLIM3D. The code includes nonlinear temperature- and stress-dependent elasto-visco-plastic rheology and is able to reproduces a wide range of rift-related deformation processes such as flexure, lower crustal flow, and faulting. We find that two factors allow to satisfy the observational constraints: (1) Post-rift increase of sediment load: The East Asian Summer Monsoon strengthened around the start of the Miocene (~23 Ma), several million years after continental rupture. Changes in the flora of continental China date from around this time and sedimentation rates across continental margins and deltas in South and Southeast Asia increased, as might be expected under the influence of heavier precipitation driving faster erosion

  13. Venus: Geology of Beta Regio rift system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nikishin, A. M.; Borozdin, V. K.; Bobina, N. N.

    1992-01-01

    Beta Regio is characterized by the existence of rift structures. We compiled new geologic maps of Beta Regio according to Magellan data. There are many large uplifted tesserae on beta upland. These tesserae are partly buried by younger volcanic cover. We can conclude, using these observations, that Beta upland formed mainly due to lithospheric tectonic uplifting and was only partly constructed by volcanism. Theia Mons is the center of the Beta rift system. Many rift belts are distributed radially to Theia Mons. Typical widths of rifts are 40-160 km. Rift valleys are structurally represented by crustal grabens or half-grabens. There are symmetrical and asymmetrical rifts. Many rifts have shoulder uplifts up to 0.5-1 km high and 40-60 km wide. Preliminary analysis for rift valley structural cross sections lead to the conclusion that rifts originated due to 5-10 percent crustal extension. Many rifts traverse Beta upland and spread to the surrounding lowlands. We can assume because of these data that Beta rift system has an active-passive origin. It formed due to regional tectonic lithospheric extension. Rifting was accelerated by upper-mantle hot spot origination under the center of passive extension (under the Beta Regio).

  14. Recognizing remnants of magma-poor rifted margins in high-pressure orogenic belts: The Alpine case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beltrando, Marco; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy; Dal Piaz, Giorgio Vittorio; Vitale Brovarone, Alberto; Masini, Emmanuel

    2014-04-01

    lithostratigraphic architecture over large areas, despite pervasive Alpine deformation, which rules out chaotic mixing during subduction/exhumation, (2) the presence of clasts of basement rocks in the neighboring meta-sediments, indicating the original proximity of the different lithologies, (3) evidence of brittle deformation in continental basement and ultramafic rocks pre-dating Alpine metamorphism, indicating that they were juxtaposed by fault activity prior to the deposition of post-rift sediments, and (4) the similar Alpine tectono-metamorphic evolution of ophiolites, continental basement and meta-sediments.

  15. Evolutionary model of the oblique rift basins- Central African Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Kenn-Ming; Cheng, I.-Wen; Wu, Jong-Chang

    2016-04-01

    The geometry of oblique-rifting basin is strongly related with the angle (α) between the trend of rift and that of regional major extensional stress. The main purpose of this study is to investigate characteristics of geometry and kinematics of structure and tectono-stratigraphy during basin evolution of Central African Rifts (CAS). In this study, we simulated the formation of oblique-rifting basin with Particle Flow Code 3-Dimensions-(PFC 3D) and compared the simulation results with the tectonic settings of a series of basin in CAS. CAS started to develop in Early Cretaceous (130Ma) and lasted until the Late Cretaceous (85Ma-80Ma). The following collision between the African and Eurasian plates imposed compressional stress on CAS and folded the strata in the rift basins. Although the characteristics of rift basin formation remain controversial, palinspastic sections constructed in this study show that, in the Early Cretaceous, the rift basins are mainly characterized by normal faults and half-grabens. In the Late Cretaceous, the morphology of the rift basins was altered by large-scaled tectonic compression with the active Borogop Fault of regional scale. Also, en echelon trend of normal faults in the basins were measured and the angles between the trend with that of the rift axes of each basin were demonstrated, indicating that the development of CAS was affected by the regional extensional stress with a dextral component during the rifting process and, therefore, the rift basins were formed by oblique-rifting. In this study, we simulated the oblique-rifting basin model of various α with Particle Flow Code 3-Dimensions-(PFC 3D). The main theory of PFC 3D is based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM), in which parameters are applied to every particle in the models. We applied forces acting on both sides of rift axis, which α are 45°, 60°, 75° and 90° respectively, to simulate basin formation under oblique-rifting process. The study results of simulation

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. How oblique extension and structural inheritance control rift segment linkage: Insights from 4D analogue models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwaan, Frank; Schreurs, Guido

    2016-04-01

    the extension direction. This occurs when rifts are laterally sufficiently far apart and local effects probably overrule the far-field stresses. Our CT- and PIV-analyses will reveal this surprising effect in more detail. The influence of rift-connecting seeds (model series 1) on rift interaction is limited. Only when they are oriented some 30° or more oblique to the extension direction, can they be activated. In most of these cases oblique-slip fault zones (transfer zones) form along the rift-connecting weak zone, linking the rift segments. Transfer zone structures depend on the angle between the seed orientation and extension direction: the higher the angle, the wider the fault zone. However, these observations are only valid under dextral oblique extension conditions; none of our rift-connecting weak zones (connecting right-stepping rift segments) are activated when sinistral oblique extension is applied. Still our models show how structural inheritance can control the orientation and structuration of transfer zones between rift segments that later on might evolve into oceanic transform faults. REFERENCE Zwaan, F., Schreurs, G., Naliboff, J., Buiter, S.J.H. (in revision) Insights into the effects of oblique extension on continental rift interaction from 3D analogue and numerical models.

  18. Early Jurassic paleopoles from the Hartford continental rift basin (eastern North America): Was an abrupt change in polar wander associated with the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kent, D. V.; Olsen, P. E.

    2007-12-01

    The recent recognition of what may be the largest igneous province on Earth, the ~200 Ma Central Atlantic magmatic province (CAMP), with its close temporal proximity to major biotic turnover at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary, adds impetus for seeking confirmation of possibly related geodynamic phenomena. For example, CAMP emplacement seems to coincide temporally with an abrupt change in North American apparent polar wander at the so-called J1 cusp, which has been suggested to reflect a major plate reorganization or an episode of true polar wander. However, early Jurassic paleopoles from the Moenave and Wingate Formations from the Colorado Plateau that virtually define the J1 cusp have few reliable counterparts from elsewhere in North America. The thick section of cyclical Lower Jurassic continental sediments with interbedded CAMP lava flows in the Hartford basin of Connecticut and Massachusetts provides an opportunity to test the reality of the J1 cusp. We collected about 400 oriented samples distributed over 80 outcrop sites that represent a ~2500 meter-thick composite section of the Shuttle Meadow and East Berlin sedimentary formations, which are interbedded with CAMP lava units, and the lower Portland Formation, which consists of cyclical lacustrine to fluvial sediments of Early Jurassic age that conformably overlie the CAMP extrusive zone in the Hartford basin. Normal and reverse polarity ChRM directions define a coherent magnetostratigraphy and are supported by a reversal test and a positive fold test. The distribution of ChRM direction from the sediments is flattened and the mean is significantly shallower than from the coeval CAMP lavas. E/I analysis of the Hartford sedimentary ChRM data produces a result consistent with the geomagnetic field model at a mean flattening factor of 0.54; the corrected mean direction is steeper and not significantly different from the mean inclination of the Newark and Hartford CAMP volcanic units.

  19. Fluid pressure and flow at great depth in the continental crust. A discussion in relation to topography, temperature and salinity distribution using as an example the KTB Fault Zones in connection with the Eger Rift Hot Spot.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessels, W.; Kuhlmann, S.; Li, X.

    2006-12-01

    geological formations \\bullet Gas content in the water and gas dissolution The interpretation of these processes for the Eger Rift Franconian Line area results in horizontal pressure gradients up to 0.5 MPa/km. With these pressure gradients in deep fault zones similar to the KTB fault zones SE1 and SE2, a remarkable groundwater flow is also possible in the deep crystalline crust. For only a 1 MPa pressure difference between the Franconian Line and the Eger Rift Valley, which lie nearly 60 km apart, we get a tracer velocity of 1.0 to 5.0 m/a (using the Darcy relation and porosities for the hydraulic KTB data). The flow system at great depth is determined mainly by the counteractive forces of salinity and temperature with a nonlinear relation to the water density. References GRAESLE, W., KESSELS, W., KUEMPEL, H.-J., LI, XUAN (2006): HYDRAULIC OBSERVATIONS FROM A ONE YEAR FLUID PRODUCTION TEST IN THE 4000 M DEEP KTB PILOT BOREHOLE. GEOFLUIDS, 6, 8 23 KESSELS, W., KUECK, J. (1995): HYDRAULIC COMMUNICATION IN CRYSTALLINE ROCK BETWEEN THE TWO BOREHOLES OF THE CONTINENTAL DEEP DRILLING PROJECT IN GERMANY. INT. J. ROCK MECH. MIN. SCI. &GEOMECH. ABSTR., 32, 37 47

  20. Edaphics, active tectonics and animal movements in the Kenyan Rift - implications for early human evolution and dispersal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kübler, Simon; Owenga, Peter; Rucina, Stephen; King, Geoffrey C. P.

    2014-05-01

    The quality of soils (edaphics) and the associated vegetation strongly controls the health of grazing animals. Until now, this has hardly been appreciated by paleo-anthropologists who only take into account the availability of water and vegetation in landscape reconstruction attempts. A lack of understanding the importance of the edaphics of a region greatly limits interpretations of the relation between our ancestors and animals over the last few million years. If a region lacks vital trace elements then wild grazing and browsing animals will avoid it and go to considerable length and take major risks to seek out better pasture. As a consequence animals must move around the landscape at different times of the year. In complex landscapes, such as tectonically active rifts, hominins can use advanced group behaviour to gain strategic advantage for hunting. Our study in the southern Kenya rift in the Lake Magadi region shows that the edaphics and active rift structures play a key role in present day animal movements as well as the for the location of an early hominin site at Mt. Olorgesailie. We carried out field analysis based on studying the relationship between the geology and soil development as well as the tectonic geomorphology to identify 'good' and 'bad' regions both in terms of edaphics and accessibility for grazing animals. We further sampled different soils that developed on the volcanic bedrock and sediment sources of the region and interviewed the local Maasai shepherds to learn about present-day good and bad grazing sites. At the Olorgesailie site the rift valley floor is covered with flood trachytes; basalts only occur at Mt. Olorgesailie and farther east up the rift flank. The hominin site is located in lacustrine sediments at the southern edge of a playa that extends north and northwest of Mt. Olorgesailie. The lakebeds are now tilted and eroded by motion on two north-south striking faults. The lake was trapped by basalt flows from Mt. Olorgesailie

  1. Preferential rifting of continents - A source of displaced terranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vink, G. E.; Morgan, W. J.; Zhao, W.-L.

    1984-01-01

    Lithospheric rifting, while prevalent in the continents, rarely occurs in oceanic regions. To explain this preferential rifting of continents, the total strength of different lithospheres is compared by integrating the limits of lithospheric stress with depth. Comparisons of total strength indicate that continental lithosphere is weaker than oceanic lithosphere by about a factor of three. Also, a thickened crust can halve the total strength of normal continental lithosphere. Because the weakest area acts as a stress guide, any rifting close to an ocean-continent boundary would prefer a continental pathway. This results in the formation of small continental fragments or microplates that, once accreted back to a continent during subduction, are seen as displaced terranes. In addition, the large crustal thicknesses associated with suture zones would make such areas likely locations for future rifting episodes. This results in the tendency of new oceans to open along the suture where a former ocean had closed.

  2. Rift initiation in cratonic lithosphere: Seismicity patterns in the Manyara-Natron-Magadi basins and Oldoinyo Lengai volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, C.; Rodzianko, A.; Rasendra, N.; Msabi, M.; Muirhead, J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Tiberi, C.; Roecker, S. W.; Ferdinand, R. W.; Mtelela, K.; Muzuka, A.

    2013-12-01

    The CRAFTI project consists of a 2-year seismic acquisition program to quantify the partitioning of strain between faulting and magmatism during the early stages of continental rifting in Archaean and Proterozoic lithosphere. The <7 My Eastern Rift System in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya provides an ideal study system, as it comprises several rift segments at different stages of the rifting cycle. We present preliminary results from 38 broadband seismometers deployed in Tanzania in January 2013, and 4 stations in Kenya deployed in July 2013. The network includes a rift-perpendicular transect, and spans parts of 3 discrete rift basins in different stages of development: Manyara, Natron, Magadi. Initial analyses indicate relatively low noise levels at all stations deployed in Maasai bomas and rural schools, and good to excellent transmission, except near Quaternary Gelai, Oldoinyo Lengai, and Kitumbeine volcanoes. We present time-space relations of seismicity for the first 6 months' of data, and focal mechanisms for the largest events during that time period. Hypocentral locations are compared with the locations of eruptive centers, dike intrusions, and sub-surface projections of faults mapped in a complementary part of the CRAFTI project. The spatial and temporal distribution of earthquake activity will help identify the contributions of faulting and magmatism in each basin, and in the identification of subsurface magma reservoirs in this youthful rift system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  4. The evolution of passive rifting: contributions from field and laboratory studies to the interpretation of modelling results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccardo, Giovanni; Ranalli, Giorgio

    2015-04-01

    Direct field/laboratory, structural/petrologic investigations of mantle lithosphere from orogenic peridotites in Alpine-Apennine ophiolites provide significant constraints to the rift evolution of the Jurassic Ligurian Tethys ocean (Piccardo et al., 2014, and references therein). These studies have shown that continental extension and passive rifting were characterized by an important syn-rift "hidden" magmatic event, pre-dating continental break-up and sea-floor spreading. Occurrence of km-scale bodies of reactive spinel-harzburgites and impregnated plagioclase-peridotites, formed by melt/peridotite interaction, and the lack of any extrusive counterpart, show that the percolating magmas remained stored inside the mantle lithosphere. Petrologic-geochemical data/modelling and mineral Sm/Nd age constraints evidence that the syn-rift melt infiltration and reactive porous-flow percolation through the lithosphere were induced by MORB-type parental liquids formed by decompression melting of the passively upwelling asthenosphere. Melt thermal advection through, and melt stagnation within the lithosphere, heated the mantle column to temperatures close to the dry peridotite solidus ("asthenospherization" of mantle lithosphere). Experimental results of numerical/analogue modelling of the Ligurian rifting, based on field/laboratory constraints, show that: (1) porous flow percolation of asthenospheric melts resulted in considerable softening of the mantle lithosphere, decreasing total strength TLS from 10 to 1 TN m-1 as orders of magnitude (Ranalli et al. 2007), and (2) the formation of an axial lithospheric mantle column, with softened rheological characteristics (Weakened Lithospheric Mantle - WLM), induced necking instability in the extending lithosphere and subsequent active upwelling of the asthenosphere inside the WLM zone (Corti et al., 2007). Therefore, the syn-rift hidden magmatism (melt thermo-chemical-mechanical erosion, melt thermal advection and melt storage

  5. Late Quaternary high resolution sequence stratigraphy of an active rift, the Sperchios Basin, Greece: An analogue for subtle stratigraphic plays

    SciTech Connect

    Eliet, P.P. ); Gawthorpe, R.L. )

    1996-01-01

    The Sperchios Basin is an active asymmetric graben, bounded to the south by a major border fault system with major fault segments typically 20-30 km long. The basin is dominated by a major axial fluvio-deltaic system which enters the partially enclosed Maliakos Gulf to the east. Lateral sourced depositional systems within the basin comprise hanging-wall and footwall-derived alluvial fans and a narrow coastal plain along the footwall scarp bordering the Maliakos Gulf. High resolution seismic data from the Maliakos Gulf reveals three late Quaternary progradational parasequences sourced from axial and lateral depositional systems, with a regional late-Pleistocene transgressive surface dated at circa. 10 ka BP within the Maliakos Gulf. Differential subsidence of the late Pleistocene transgressive surface indicates marked variation in subsidence from 2.4 m ka[sup -1] at fault segment centers to 0.8 m ka[sup -1] at segment boundaries. The geometry and internal variability of each parasequence is controlled by the interplay of the local accommodation development and fluctuations in sediment supply and climatic conditions. The Sperchios Rift provides a modem analogue for subtle stratigraphic plays within ancient extensional basins. The study of controls on sediment source and transport patterns within active rifts has refined our appreciation of the controls on potential reservoir distribution and geometries.

  6. Late Quaternary high resolution sequence stratigraphy of an active rift, the Sperchios Basin, Greece: An analogue for subtle stratigraphic plays

    SciTech Connect

    Eliet, P.P.; Gawthorpe, R.L.

    1996-12-31

    The Sperchios Basin is an active asymmetric graben, bounded to the south by a major border fault system with major fault segments typically 20-30 km long. The basin is dominated by a major axial fluvio-deltaic system which enters the partially enclosed Maliakos Gulf to the east. Lateral sourced depositional systems within the basin comprise hanging-wall and footwall-derived alluvial fans and a narrow coastal plain along the footwall scarp bordering the Maliakos Gulf. High resolution seismic data from the Maliakos Gulf reveals three late Quaternary progradational parasequences sourced from axial and lateral depositional systems, with a regional late-Pleistocene transgressive surface dated at circa. 10 ka BP within the Maliakos Gulf. Differential subsidence of the late Pleistocene transgressive surface indicates marked variation in subsidence from 2.4 m ka{sup -1} at fault segment centers to 0.8 m ka{sup -1} at segment boundaries. The geometry and internal variability of each parasequence is controlled by the interplay of the local accommodation development and fluctuations in sediment supply and climatic conditions. The Sperchios Rift provides a modem analogue for subtle stratigraphic plays within ancient extensional basins. The study of controls on sediment source and transport patterns within active rifts has refined our appreciation of the controls on potential reservoir distribution and geometries.

  7. Resistivity image beneath an area of active methane seeps in the west Svalbard continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Bedanta K.; Weitemeyer, Karen A.; Minshull, Timothy A.; Sinha, Martin C.; Westbrook, Graham K.; Marín-Moreno, Héctor

    2016-11-01

    The Arctic continental margin contains large amounts of methane in the form of methane hydrates. The west Svalbard continental slope is an area where active methane seeps have been reported near the landward limit of the hydrate stability zone. The presence of bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) on seismic reflection data in water depths greater than 600 m suggests the presence of free gas beneath gas hydrates in the area. Resistivity obtained from marine controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data provides a useful complement to seismic methods for detecting shallow hydrate and gas as they are more resistive than surrounding water saturated sediments. We acquired two CSEM lines in the west Svalbard continental slope, extending from the edge of the continental shelf (250 m water depth) to water depths of around 800 m. High resistivities (5-12 Ωm) observed above the BSR support the presence of gas hydrate in water depths greater than 600 m. High resistivities (3-4 Ωm) at 390-600 m water depth also suggest possible hydrate occurrence within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) of the continental slope. In addition, high resistivities (4-8 Ωm) landward of the GHSZ are coincident with high-amplitude reflectors and low velocities reported in seismic data that indicate the likely presence of free gas. Pore space saturation estimates using a connectivity equation suggest 20-50 per cent hydrate within the lower slope sediments and less than 12 per cent within the upper slope sediments. A free gas zone beneath the GHSZ (10-20 per cent gas saturation) is connected to the high free gas saturated (10-45 per cent) area at the edge of the continental shelf, where most of the seeps are observed. This evidence supports the presence of lateral free gas migration beneath the GHSZ towards the continental shelf.

  8. The evolution of fault geometry and lithosphere mechanical response to faulting during lithosphere hyper-extension at magma-poor rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez Romeu, Júlia; Kusznir, Nick; Manatschal, Gianreto; Roberts, Alan

    2016-04-01

    The geometry of upper lithosphere extensional faulting and the mechanical response of the lithosphere during continental breakup are controversial. The lithosphere response to extensional faulting at magma-poor rifted margins controls the distribution of thinned continental crust, exhumed mantle, continental allochthons and syn-tectonic sediments leading to the complexity of heterogeneous structure of hyper-extended domain at these margins. In order to better understand the evolving fault geometry and lithosphere mechanics during magma-poor rifted margin formation, we investigate extensional faulting for the tectonic end-members of continental rifting and slow sea-floor spreading. We presume that these end-members faulting styles both contribute to lithosphere thinning during rifted margin evolution as continental rifting evolves into sea-floor spreading. For continental rifting, large extensional faults that rupture the seismogenic brittle upper lithosphere have been shown to be planar and steeply dipping by earthquake seismology and geodesy (Stein and Barrientos 1985; Jackson 1987). These results are supported by seismic reflection imaging and structural modelling of rift basins (Kusznir et al., 1991, 1995). Individual fault heaves for continental rifting seldom exceeds approximately 10 km. The effective elastic thickness, used to parameterize lithosphere flexural strength for syn-tectonic response to extensional faulting during continental rifting, are typically between 1.5 and 3 km. For slow-spreading ocean ridges we examine extensional fault geometry and lithosphere flexural response to cumulative faulting. We focus on the TAG area (deMartin et al., 2007) and the 15°N area (Schroeder et al., 2007) of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge using a flexural isostatic extensional faulting model (Buck 1988; Kusznir et al., 1991). Modelling of fault controlled bathymetry at slow-spreading ocean ridges shows that active extensional faults at depth have a steep dip (50° - 70

  9. The synrift subsidence deficit at rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reston, T.

    2009-04-01

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

  10. Classification of the rift zones of venus: Rift valleys and graben belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guseva, E. N.

    2016-05-01

    The spatial distribution of rift zones of Venus, their topographic configuration, morphometric parameters, and the type of volcanism associating with rifts were analyzed. This allowed the main characteristic features of rifts to be revealed and two different types of rift-forming structures, serving for classification of rift zones as rift valleys and graben belts, to be isolated. These structural types (facies) of rift zones are differently expressed in the relief: rift valleys are individual deep (several kilometers) W-shaped canyons, while graben belts are clusters of multiple V-shaped and rather shallow (hundreds of meters) depressions. Graben belts are longer and wider, as compared to rift valleys. Rift valleys are spatially associated with dome-shaped volcanic rises and large volcanos (concentrated volcanic sources), while graben belts do not exhibit such associations. Volcanic activity in the graben belts are presented by spacious lava fields with no apparent sources of volcanism. Graben belts and rift valleys were formed during the Atlian Period of geologic history of Venus, and they characterized the tectonic style of the planet at the late stages of its geologic evolution. Formation of this or that structural facies of the rift zones of Venus were probably governed by the thickness of the lithosphere, its rheological properties, and the development degree of the mantle diapirs associating with rift zones.

  11. Basement - Cover decoupling and progressive exhumation of metamorphic sediments at hot rifted margin. Insights from the Northeastern Pyrenean analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clerc, Camille; Lagabrielle, Yves; Labaume, Pierre; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude; Vauchez, Alain; Nalpas, Thierry; Bousquet, Romain; Ballard, Jean-François; Lahfid, Abdeltif; Fourcade, Serge

    2016-08-01

    We compile field data collected along the eastern part of the North Pyrenean Zone (NPZ) to point to a tectonic evolution under peculiar thermal conditions applying to the basin sediments in relation with the opening of the Cretaceous Pyrenean rift. Based on this compilation, we show that when thinning of the continental crust increased, isotherms moved closer to the surface with the result that the brittle-ductile transition propagated upward and reached sediments deposited at the early stage of the basin opening. During the continental breakup, the pre-rift Mesozoic cover was efficiently decoupled from the Paleozoic basement along the Triassic evaporite level and underwent drastic ductile thinning and boudinage. We suggest that the upper Albian and upper Cretaceous flysches acted as a blanket allowing temperature increase in the mobile pre-rift cover. Finally, we show that continuous spreading of the basin floor triggered the exhumation of the metamorphic, ductily sheared pre-rift cover, thus contributing to the progressive thinning of the sedimentary pile. In a second step, we investigate the detailed geological records of such a hot regime evolution along a reference-section of the eastern NPZ. We propose a balanced restoration from the Mouthoumet basement massif (north) to the Boucheville Albian basin (south). This section shows a north to south increase in the HT Pyrenean imprint from almost no metamorphic recrystallization to more than 600 °C in the pre- and syn-rift sediments. From this reconstruction, we propose a scenario of tectonic thinning involving the exhumation of the pre-rift cover by the activation of various detachment surfaces at different levels in the sedimentary pile. In a third step, examination of the architecture of current distal passive margin domains provides confident comparison between the Pyrenean case and modern analogs. Finally, we propose a general evolutionary model for the pre-rift sequence of the Northeastern Pyrenean rifted

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Eastern Sardinian margin formed during the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea, a back-arc basin created by continental rifting and oceanic spreading related to the eastward migrating Apennine subduction system from middle Miocene to Pliocene times. We carried out the "METYSS" project aiming at better understanding the Miocene-Pliocene relationships between crustal tectonics and salt tectonics in this key-area, where rifting is pro parte coeval with the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC, 5.96-5.33 Ma) and Messinian salt décollement creates thin-skinned tectonics. Thereby, we use the MSC seismic markers and the deformation of viscous salt and its brittle overburden as proxies to better delineate the timing of rifting and post-rift reactivation, and especially to quantifying vertical and horizontal movements. Our mapping of the Messinian Erosion Surface and of Messinian Upper and Mobile Units shows that a rifted basin already existed by the Messinian times, revealing a major pre-MSC rifting episode across the entire domain. Because salt tectonics can create fan-shaped geometries in sediments, syn-rift deposits have to be carefully re-examined in order to decipher the effects of crustal tectonics (rifting) and salt tectonics. Our data surprisingly showed that there are no clues for Messinian syn-rift sediments along the East-Sardinia Basin and Cornaglia Terrace, hence no evidence for rifting after Late Tortonian times. Nevertheless, widespread deformation occurred during the Pliocene and is attributed to post-rift reactivation. Some Pliocene vertical movements have been evidenced by discovering localized gravity gliding of the salt and its Late Messinian (UU) and Early Pliocene overburden. To the South, crustal-scale southward tilting triggered along-strike gravity gliding of salt and cover recorded by upslope extension and downslope shortening. To the North, East of the Baronie Ridge, there was some post-salt crustal activity along a narrow N-S basement trough, bounded

  13. 78 FR 5836 - Adjustment of Service Fees for Outer Continental Shelf Activities

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-28

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Adjustment of Service Fees for Outer Continental Shelf Activities AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior. ACTION: Adjustment of Service Fees....

  14. 77 FR 74218 - Commercial Wind Leasing and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-13

    ... identified in the document entitled, Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Commercial Wind Leasing and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic... agencies, states, tribes, local governments, offshore wind energy developers, and the public in...

  15. Atlantic update, July 1986--June 1990: Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas activities

    SciTech Connect

    Karpas, R.M.; Gould, G.J.

    1990-10-01

    This report describes outer continental shelf oil and gas activities in the Atlantic Region. This edition of the Atlantic Update includes an overview of the Mid-Atlantic Planning Area and a summary of the Manteo Prospect off-shore North Carolina. 6 figs., 8 tabs.

  16. GPS Constraints on the Spatial Distribution of Extension in the Ethiopian Highlands and Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amere, Y. B.; Bendick, R. O.; Fisseha, S.; Lewi, E.; Reilinger, R. E.; King, R. W.; Kianji, G.

    2014-12-01

    27 campaign and 17 continuous GPS sites spanning the Ethiopian Highlands, Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), and Somali Platform in Ethiopia and Eritrea were measured for varying durations between 1995 and 2014. Velocities at these sites show that present day strain in NE Africa is not localized only in the Afar depression and MER system. Rather, velocities as high as 6 mm/yr relative to stable Nubia occur in the central Ethiopian highlands west of the rift bounding faults; the northern and southern Ethiopian highlands host velocities as high as 3 mm/yr. These approach the magnitude of Nubia-Somalia spreading accommodated within the rift itself of 6 + 1 mm/yr with an azimuth of N770E. The combination of distributed low strain rate deformation contiguous with higher strain rate plate boundary deformation is similar to that expressed in other tectonically active continental settings like Basin and Range and Tibetan Plateau.Keywords: deformation, localized, distributed, strain, stable Nubia.

  17. Rift Valley fever dynamics in Senegal: a project for pro-active adaptation and improvement of livestock raising management.

    PubMed

    Lafaye, Murielle; Sall, Baba; Ndiaye, Youssou; Vignolles, Cecile; Tourre, Yves M; Borchi, Franc Ois; Soubeyroux, Jean-Michel; Diallo, Mawlouth; Dia, Ibrahima; Ba, Yamar; Faye, Abdoulaye; Ba, Taibou; Ka, Alioune; Ndione, Jacques-André; Gauthier, Hélène; Lacaux, Jean-Pierre

    2013-11-01

    The multi-disciplinary French project "Adaptation à la Fiévre de la Vallée du Rift" (AdaptFVR) has concluded a 10-year constructive interaction between many scientists/partners involved with the Rift Valley fever (RVF) dynamics in Senegal. The three targeted objectives reached were (i) to produce--in near real-time--validated risk maps for parked livestock exposed to RVF mosquitoes/vectors bites; (ii) to assess the impacts on RVF vectors from climate variability at different time-scales including climate change; and (iii) to isolate processes improving local livestock management and animal health. Based on these results, concrete, pro-active adaptive actions were taken on site, which led to the establishment of a RVF early warning system (RVFews). Bulletins were released in a timely fashion during the project, tested and validated in close collaboration with the local populations, i.e. the primary users. Among the strategic, adaptive methods developed, conducted and evaluated in terms of cost/benefit analyses are the larvicide campaigns and the coupled bio-mathematical (hydrological and entomological) model technologies, which are being transferred to the staff of the "Centre de Suivi Ecologique" (CSE) in Dakar during 2013. Based on the results from the AdaptFVR project, other projects with similar conceptual and modelling approaches are currently being implemented, e.g. for urban and rural malaria and dengue in the French Antilles.

  18. Understanding Tensions: Activity Systems Analysis of Cross-Continental Collaboration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryder, LanHui Zhang; Yamagata-Lynch, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Using the lens of Vygotsky's sociocultural theory, activity theory, and Engeström's activity systems analysis, this qualitative study explores students' experiences in the context of a sixteen-week transpacific collaboration between seven students at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and seven students from Shandong Normal University (SDNU),…

  19. Structure of the active rift zone and margins of the northern Imperial Valley from Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livers, A.; Han, L.; Delph, J. R.; White-Gaynor, A. L.; Petit, R.; Hole, J. A.; Stock, J. M.; Fuis, G. S.

    2012-12-01

    First-arrival refraction data were used to create a seismic velocity model of the upper crust across the actively rifting northern Imperial Valley and its margins. The densely sampled seismic refraction data were acquired by the Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) , which is investigating rift processes in the northern-most rift segment of the Gulf of California extensional province and earthquake hazards at the southern end of the San Andreas Fault system. A 95-km long seismic line was acquired across the northern Imperial Valley, through the Salton Sea geothermal field, parallel to the five Salton Butte volcanoes and perpendicular to the Brawley Seismic Zone and major strike-slip faults. Nineteen explosive shots were recorded with 100 m seismometer spacing across the valley and with 300-500 m spacing into the adjacent ranges. First-arrival travel times were picked from shot gathers along this line and a seismic velocity model was produced using tomographic inversion. Sedimentary basement and seismic basement in the valley are interpreted to be sediment metamorphosed by the very high heat flow. The velocity model shows that this basement to the west of the Brawley Seismic Zone is at ~4-km depth. The basement shallows to ~2-km depth in the active geothermal field and Salton Buttes volcanic field which locally coincide with the Brawley Seismic Zone. At the eastern edge of the geothermal field, the basement drops off again to ~3.5-km depth. The eastern edge of the valley appears to be fault bounded by the along-strike extension of the Sand Hills Fault, an inactive strike-slip fault. The seismic velocities to the east of the fault correspond to metamorphic rock of the Chocolate Mountains, different from the metamorphosed basement in the valley. The western edge of the valley appears to be fault bounded by the active Superstition Hills Fault. To the west of the valley, >4-km deep valley basement extends to the active Superstition Hills Fault. Basement then shallows

  20. Crustal and lithospheric structure of the west Antarctic Rift System from geophysical investigations: a review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1999-01-01

    The active West Antarctic Rift System, which extends from the continental shelf of the Ross Sea, beneath the Ross Ice Shelf and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is comparable in size to the Basin and Range in North America, or the East African rift systems. Geophysical surveys (primarily marine seismic and aeromagnetic combined with radar ice sounding) have extended the information provided by sparse geologic exposures and a few drill holes over the ice and sea covered area. Rift basins developed in the early Cretaceous accompanied by the major extension of the region. Tectonic activity has continued episodically in the Cenozoic to the present, including major uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains. The West Antarctic ice sheet, and the late Cenozoic volcanic activity in the West Antarctic Rift System, through which it flows, have been coeval since at least Miocene time. The rift is characterized by sparse exposures of late Cenozoic alkaline volcanic rocks extending from northern Victoria Land throughout Marie Byrd Land. The aeromagnetic interpretations indicate the presence of > 5 x 105 km2 (> 106 km3) of probable late Cenozoic volcanic rocks (and associated subvolcanic intrusions) in the West Antarctic rift. This great volume with such limited exposures is explained by glacial removal of the associated late Cenozoic volcanic edifices (probably hyaloclastite debris) concomitantly with their subglacial eruption. Large offset seismic investigations in the Ross Sea and on the Ross Ice Shelf indicate a ~ 17-24-km-thick, extended continental crust. Gravity data suggest that this extended crust of similar thickness probably underlies the Ross Ice Shelf and Byrd Subglacial Basin. Various authors have estimated maximum late Cretaceous-present crustal extension in the West Antarctic rift area from 255-350 km based on balancing crustal thickness. Plate reconstruction allowed < 50 km of Tertiary extension. However, paleomagnetic measurements suggested about 1000 km of post

  1. Petrological and Geochemical characterization of central Chihuahua basalts: a possible local sign of rifting activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espejel-Garcia, V. V.; Garcia-Rascon, M.; Villalobos-Aragon, A.; Morton-Bermea, O.

    2012-12-01

    The central part of the mexican state, Chihuahua, is the oriental border of the Sierra Madre Occidental (silicic large igneous province), which consist of series of ignimbrites divided into two volcanic groups of andesites and rhyolites. In the central region of Chihuahua, the volcanic rocks are now part of the Basin and Range, allowing the presence of mafic rocks in the lower areas. The study area is located approximately 200 km to the NW of Chihuahua city near to La Guajolota town, in the Namiquipa County. There are at least 5 outcrops of basalts to the west of the road, named Puerto de Lopez, Malpaises, El Tascate, Quebrada Honda, and Carrizalio, respectively. These outcrops have only been previously described by the Mexican Geologic Survey (SGM) as thin basaltic flows, with vesicles filled with quartz, and phenocrystals of labradorite, andesine, oligoclase and olivine. Petrologically, the basalts present different textures, from small phenocrysts of plagioclase in a very fine matrix to large, zoned and sometimes broken phenocrysts of plagioclase in a coarser matrix. All samples have olivine in an advanced state of alteration, iddingsite. The geochemical analyses report that these basaltic flows contain characteristics of rift basalts. The rocks have a normative olivine values from 5.78 to 27.26 and nepheline values from 0 to 2.34. In the TAS diagram the samples straddle the join between basalt and trachy-basalt, reflecting a high K2O content. The Mg# average is 0.297, a value that suggests that the basalts do not come from a primitive magma. The basalts have high values of Ba (945-1334 ppm), Cu (54-147 ppm), and Zn (123-615 ppm). The contents of Rb (23-57 ppm), Sr (659-810 ppm), Y (26-33 ppm), Zr (148-217 ppm) and Cr (79-98 ppm) are characteristics of rift basalts. Using discrimination diagrams, the basalts plot in the field of within plate, supporting the rifting origin. Outcrops of other basalts, at about 80 to 100 km to the east of the study area, Lomas El

  2. Heat flow and continental breakup: The Gulf of Elat (Aqaba)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Vonherzen, R. P.

    1985-01-01

    Heat flow measurements were made in the major basins of the Gulf of Elat (Aqaba), northern Red Sea. The gulf is located at the southern portion of the Dead Sea rift which is a transform plate boundary. Gradient measurements at each site were made with a probe which allows multiple penetration of the bottom during a single deployment of the instrument. Thermal conductivity was determined by needle probe measurements on sedimentary cores. The mean heat flux, about 80 mWm(-2), is significantly above the continental mean, and probably also above that from the adjacent Sinai and Arabian continental blocks. The heat flow appears to increase from north to south. Such an increase may be related to the more advanced rifting stage of the Red Sea immediately to the south, which presently includes creation of an oceanic crust. This trend also corresponds to the general trend of the deep crustal structure in the gulf. Evidence from various geophysical fields suggest a gradual thinning of the crust towards the direction of the Red Sea where a normal oceanic crust exists. The heat flow data, together with other geophysical data, indicate a propagation of mature rifting activity from the Red Sea into the Gulf of Elat. This process is acting simultaneously with the transform motion along the Dead Sea rift.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Thermochronological investigation of the timing of rifting and rift segmentation in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, W.; Stockli, D. F.

    2006-12-01

    The Tertiary Gulf of Suez rift system is one of the best-studied continental rift systems and has inspired many fundamental geodynamic models for continental rifting. However, our limited knowledge of how extensional strain is spatially and temporally distributed has made it difficult to adequately evaluate models for the dynamic evolution of this rift. A critical aspect of constraining the evolution of rifting and rift segmentation in the Gulf of Suez involves acquiring reliable geochronological constraints on extensional faulting. This study has commenced a systematic investigation of the timing and spatial distribution of rifting, lateral rift segmentation, and rift localization within the Gulf of Suez, Egypt, employing apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronometry. (U-Th)/He thermochronometric analysis of sample transects from exhumed fault blocks within the rift integrated with structural data will allow us to directly determine the timing, distribution, and magnitude of extension. The onset of major rifting (~24-19 Ma) in the Gulf of Suez was marked by the development of crustal domino-style tilt blocks and syn-rift deposition of the late Oligocene non-marine Abu Zenima Fm and non-marine to restricted marine Nukhul Fm. Development of the Gulf of Aqaba-Dead Sea transform cut off the rift from the Red Sea rift at an early extensional stage. Apatite (AHe) and zircon (ZHe) (U- Th)/He data were collected from basement and pre-rift sedimentary sample transects from the central and southern Sinai Peninsula portion and the Gebel El Zeit area in the southern Gulf of Suez as well as from basement samples from selected drill cores off Gebel El Zeit. Preliminary data exhibit partially reset ages trending as old as ~70 Ma (AHe) and ~450 Ma (ZHe) from shallower structural levels (Proterozoic basement and Phanerozoic cover sequence). Structurally deeper samples yield abundant AHe ages of ~22-24 Ma, indicative of rapid cooling and exhumation during the early Miocene. More

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  6. Faulting in a propagating continental rift: Insight from the late Miocene structural development of the Abert Rim fault, southern Oregon, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarberry, Kaleb C.; Meigs, Andrew J.; Grunder, Anita L.

    2010-06-01

    New geological mapping and 40Ar- 39Ar ages reveal a temporal progression of faulting along a major extensional fault (the Abert Rim fault) at the active margin of the Basin and Range Province in the western U.S. The onset of extensional deformation near Lake Abert coincided with widespread basaltic volcanism. Fault cross-cutting relationships and tilt of volcanic layers demonstrate that NW-striking faults formed between ˜ 8.9 and 7.5 Ma and were subsequently cut by the NNE-striking Abert Rim fault. Sequential restoration of cross-sections indicate that the Abert Rim fault south of 42°40' N latitude had > 250 m of stratigraphic separation prior to deposition of the Rattlesnake Tuff at 7 Ma. Low values of net extension (˜ 4%) and long-term rates of geologic deformation (≪ 1 mm/yr) suggest that regional extension since ˜ 10 Ma has occurred primarily by diking. We model province wide along- and across-strike expansion within the margin of the Basin and Range Province as regional dilation accompanying northward propagation of the Walker Lane transform. The growth of this extensional province is superimposed on a previously unrecognized early Miocene volcanic landscape marked by volcanism between ˜ 21.4 and 22.3 Ma. Dike orientations within one of these early Miocene volcanoes and evidence for the existence of as much as 500 m of paleo-topography prior to widespread deposition of the Steens basalts at ˜ 16 Ma suggests that late Miocene faults near Lake Abert may reactivate an older structural fabric.

  7. Tectonic Framework of the Kachchh Rift Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talwani, P.; Gangopadhyay, A. K.

    2001-05-01

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

  8. Activation of the Inner Continental Shelf Following the Great Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Flood of 2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolker, A.; Li, C.; Allison, M. A.; Ameen, A. D.; Dash, P.; Ramatchandirane, C. G.; Sinclair, G.; Smith, D.; Ullah, M.; Williams, K.

    2011-12-01

    While rives are the primary means by which material is delivered from continents to the ocean, relatively little is known about the role that large rivers, particularly in North America, play in the geology of the inner continental shelf. Flood control measures initiated in response the to massive 2011 Mississippi River flood diverted nearly 22,900 m3 sec-1 of freshwater through the Atchafalaya River basin into the Atchafalaya River shelf in southwest Louisiana, temporarily creating one of the largest shelf-discharging rivers on Earth, and providing an historic opportunity to study shelf-to-shore exchange processes. A multi-disciplinary approach using Acoustic Current Doppler Profilers, CTDs, satellite photographs, and the naturally occurring radiotracer 7Be revealed that event produced intense gradients in temperature, salinity and turbidity across the inner continental shelf, resulting in complex circulation patterns. The freshwater plume extended over 30 km into the, "marine," environment. Furthermore, the flood activated sedimentary dynamics across the shelf, leading to large deposits of fine-grained material across the Atchafalaya/Chenier coast. Our study indicates that large rivers produce unique oceanographic dynamics when they interact with the continental shelf, and that these systems should be viewed differently from small shelf-discharging rivers (like the Hudson) or large continental-slope discharging rivers (like the Mississippi).

  9. Seismological investigation of the Okavango Rift, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Youqiang

    The mechanisms of rifting have been intensively investigated using geological and geophysical techniques beneath mature rift zones. However, current understanding on the earliest stages of rifting is seriously limited. Here we employ recently archived data from 17 broadband seismic stations traversing northern Botswana to conduct the first shear wave splitting and mantle transition zone (MTZ) studies within the Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ). The ORZ is an incipient continental rift situated at the terminal of the southwestern branch of the East African Rift System. The resulting normal MTZ thickness and consistently rift-parallel fast polarizations imply an absence of significant thermal anomalies in the upper mantle, ruling out the role of mantle plumes in the initiation of the ORZ. The observed anisotropy beneath the ORZ and adjacent areas is mainly attributed to the relative movement between the lithosphere and asthenosphere with regional contributions from fabrics in the lithosphere and flow deflection by the bottom of the lithosphere. Our observations imply that the initiation and development of the ORZ can be initiated following a passive mode from the consequences of relative movements between the South African block and the rest of the African plate along a zone of lithospheric weakness between the Congo and Kalahari cratons. In addition, an approach was developed to effectively remove the near surface reverberations in the resulting receiver functions, decipher the P-to-S converted phases associated with the Moho discontinuity, and thus resolve sub-sediment crustal structure beneath stations sitting on a low-velocity sedimentary layer.

  10. A record of long-time rift activity and earthquake-induced ground effects in Pleistocene deposits of southern Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchner, Elmar; Kröchert, Jörg

    2009-09-01

    Faults with a well-defined strike direction that precisely coincides with the southern rift fault system occur in the study area in southern Tenerife. This fault system was generated contemporaneously with a chain of cinder cones ~948 ka. Open fractures in ignimbrites (~668 ka) and fossil beach deposits (~42 ka) of the El Médano area suggest that the rift-associated fault system was seismically active in the aftermath of the initial volcanic activity (~948 ka) and is probably still active. A second fault system striking perpendicular to the rift-related faults probably originates from a Holocene paleoearthquake of moderate intensity. Earthquake-induced ground effects in fossil beach deposits within the study area are consistent with seismically induced ground effects of several recent and well-documented earthquakes, as well as gravitational sliding triggered by an intense earthquake in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica in 1990. Both, the rift-associated and the earthquake-induced fault system, initially produced open fractures that were occupied by plants and subsequently stabilized by cementation, forming conspicuous sediment structures in fossil beach deposits of the El Médano site in southern Tenerife.

  11. Pre-existing oblique transfer zones and transfer/transform relationships in continental margins: New insights from the southeastern Gulf of Aden, Socotra Island, Yemen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellahsen, N.; Leroy, S.; Autin, J.; Razin, P.; d'Acremont, E.; Sloan, H.; Pik, R.; Ahmed, A.; Khanbari, K.

    2013-11-01

    Transfer zones are ubiquitous features in continental rifts and margins, as are transform faults in oceanic lithosphere. Here, we present a structural study of the Hadibo Transfer Zone (HTZ), located in Socotra Island (Yemen) in the southeastern Gulf of Aden. There, we interpret this continental transfer fault zone to represent a reactivated pre-existing structure. Its trend is oblique to the direction of divergence and it has been active from the early up to the latest stages of rifting. One of the main oceanic fracture zones (FZ), the Hadibo-Sharbithat FZ, is aligned with and appears to be an extension of the HTZ and is probably genetically linked to it. Comparing this setting with observations from other Afro-Arabian rifts as well as with passive margins worldwide, it appears that many continental transfer zones are reactivated pre-existing structures, oblique to divergence. We therefore establish a classification system for oceanic FZ based upon their relationship with syn-rift structures. Type 1 FZ form at syn-rift structures and are late syn-rift to early syn-OCT. Type 2 FZ form during the OCT formation and Type 3 FZ form within the oceanic domain, after the oceanic spreading onset. The latter are controlled by far-field forces, magmatic processes, spreading rates, and oceanic crust rheology.

  12. Parga Chasma: Coronae and Rifting on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Crustal Rheology and Rifted Margin Architecture: Comparing Iberia-Newfoundland, Central South Atlantic, and South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, Sascha

    2015-04-01

    migration of the rift centre, which generates sequential fault activity within the brittle crust. Rift migration results from two processes: (i) Strain hardening takes place in the rift centre due to cooling of upwelling mantle material. (ii) The formation of a low viscosity crustal pocket adjacent to the rift centre is caused by heat transfer from the mantle and viscous strain softening of the lower crust. These mechanisms generate a lateral strength contrast that promotes rift migration in a steady-state manner forming a wide sliver of hyper-extended crust on one margins side, while the conjugate margin becomes narrow. In contrast to these Atlantic examples where wide margins are formed diachronously, the South China Sea evolved in wide rift mode. Here, several hundred kilometres of highly attenuated continental crust are deformed simultaneously during ~40 My of extension. Numerical modelling suggests that the presence of weak, ductile crust enabled the formation of two wide and symmetric margins. Independent indicators for a weak crust come from super-deep basins on the northern margin. These basins appear to be created after the end of active extension and with a significant deficit in brittle faulting, which suggests that subsidence was controlled by sediment loading and accommodated by lower crustal flow, a style of basin formation that is only possible in the presence of low crustal viscosity.

  14. Lithology and temperature: How key mantle variables control rift volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shorttle, O.; Hoggard, M.; Matthews, S.; Maclennan, J.

    2015-12-01

    Continental rifting is often associated with extensive magmatic activity, emplacing millions of cubic kilometres of basalt and triggering environmental change. The lasting geological record of this volcanic catastrophism are the large igneous provinces found at the margins of many continents and abrupt extinctions in the fossil record, most strikingly that found at the Permo-Triassic boundary. Rather than being considered purely a passive plate tectonic phenomenon, these episodes are frequently explained by the involvement of mantle plumes, upwellings of mantle rock made buoyant by their high temperatures. However, there has been debate over the relative role of the mantle's temperature and composition in generating the large volumes of magma involved in rift and intra-plate volcanism, and even when the mantle is inferred to be hot, this has been variously attributed to mantle plumes or continental insulation effects. To help resolve these uncertainties we have combined geochemical, geophysical and modelling results in a two stage approach: Firstly, we have investigated how mantle composition and temperature contribute to melting beneath Iceland, the present day manifestation of the mantle plume implicated in the 54Ma break up of the North Atlantic. By considering both the igneous crustal production on Iceland and the chemistry of its basalts we have been able to place stringent constraints on the viable temperature and lithology of the Icelandic mantle. Although a >100°C excess temperature is required to generate Iceland's thick igneous crust, geochemistry also indicates that pyroxenite comprises 10% of its source. Therefore, the dynamics of rifting on Iceland are modulated both by thermal and compositional mantle anomalies. Secondly, we have performed a global assessment of the mantle's post break-up thermal history to determine the amplitude and longevity of continental insulation in driving excess volcanism. Using seismically constrained igneous crustal

  15. The rift to drift evolution of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranero, Cesar R.; Cameselle, Alejandra; Franke, Dieter; Barckhausen, Udo

    2016-04-01

    Re-processing with modern algorithms of multichannel seismic reflection records from the South China Sea provide novel images on the crustal structure of the continental margin and its boundary zone with the oceanic crust (COB). The selected re-processed seismic lines strike perpendicular to the margins' trend and cross the entire basin, providing complementary images of conjugated rift segments of the NW, SW, and E sub-basins. Re-processed sections image the post-rift and syn-rift sediment, and fault-bounded basement blocks, often also intra-crustal fault reflections that together provide detailed information of the tectonic structural style during rifting. Further, the largest imaging improvement has been obtained in the delineation of -very often- clear fairly continuous reflections from the crust-mantle boundary across the continental margin into the oceanic crust. The images show how crustal thickness and structure change in parallel to changes in the tectonic style of the deformation during the evolution of the rift. The interpreted COB occurs in regions where the tectonic style displays the most noticeable changes from segments where extension is dominated by normal faulting to segments where faulting is comparatively minor and the crust shows fairly gentle lateral thickness variations; these latter segments are interpreted as oceanic crust. The identification of the continental and oceanic tectonic domains permits to study the along-strike evolution in rifting processes and rift segmentation. Also, the comparison of the tectonic structure of the conjugated flanks of the continental rift across the ocean basins is used to understand the last stages of rifting and the relative importance of tectonic extension and magmatism in final break up and spreading initiation. Although there is ample evidence of important volcanism in the images, with some spectacular large conical volcanoes formed over continental crust and numerous sill-like reflections in the

  16. Forensic investigation of rift-to-drift transitions and volcanic rifted margins birth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, R.; Hertogen, J.

    2008-12-01

    Volcanic rifted margins (VRM) reflect excess magmatism generated during the rift-to-drift transition of a continental rift system evolving into a Mid-Ocean Ridge (MOR). As a result many VRM (e.g. NAIP and CAMP) are recognized as Large Igneous Provinces (LIP). The prominent structural characteristics of VRM are Continental Flood Basalts, High-Velocity Lower Crustal bodies (HVLC) and Seaward Dipping Reflector Sequences (SDRS). However, the causes of these anomalously high eruption rates and magma volumes are presently poorly understood. Controversial issue opinions are based on two competing hypotheses: 1) Mantle plume related mechanisms where the excess magmatism results from elevated mantle temperatures; and 2) Rift induced small scale convection processes causing temperature anomalies and enhancing the mantle rock flux through the melt window. Largely because of difficulties to sample oceanic basement at VRM -due to thick sediment covers- the composition of rift-to-drift transition magmas is generally poorly constrained. We reviewed the geodynamic histories and magma compositions from well known VRM (e.g. NE Australia, E USA, Madagascar) and compared these data with own geochemical data from different NE Atlantic tectono-magmatic VRM zones. These comparisons point to a consistent, general VRM formation model. This model has to explain the primary observation, that geological long periods of extension have been reported -in all investigated VRM areas- prior to the breakup. Extensional far field stress looks to be the main geodynamic cause for continental breakup. Small scale convection during the late phase of a continental rift system is probably the key process generating excess magmatism in LIP related to rift-to-drift transitions.

  17. Seismic imaging of the metamorphism of young sediment into new crystalline crust in the actively rifting Imperial Valley, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Liang; Hole, John A.; Stock, Joann M.; Fuis, Gary S.; Williams, Colin F.; Delph, Jonathan R.; Davenport, Kathy K.; Livers, Amanda J.

    2016-11-01

    Plate-boundary rifting between transform faults is opening the Imperial Valley of southern California and the rift is rapidly filling with sediment from the Colorado River. Three 65-90 km long seismic refraction profiles across and along the valley, acquired as part of the 2011 Salton Seismic Imaging Project, were analyzed to constrain upper crustal structure and the transition from sediment to underlying crystalline rock. Both first arrival travel-time tomography and frequency-domain full-waveform inversion were applied to provide P-wave velocity models down to ˜7 km depth. The valley margins are fault-bounded, beyond which thinner sediment has been deposited on preexisting crystalline rocks. Within the central basin, seismic velocity increases continuously from ˜1.8 km/s sediment at the surface to >6 km/s crystalline rock with no sharp discontinuity. Borehole data show young sediment is progressively metamorphosed into crystalline rock. The seismic velocity gradient with depth decreases approximately at the 4 km/s contour, which coincides with changes in the porosity and density gradient in borehole core samples. This change occurs at ˜3 km depth in most of the valley, but at only ˜1.5 km depth in the Salton Sea geothermal field. We interpret progressive metamorphism caused by high heat flow to be creating new crystalline crust throughout the valley at a rate comparable to the ≥2 km/Myr sedimentation rate. The newly formed crystalline crust extends to at least 7-8 km depth, and it is shallower and faster where heat flow is higher. Most of the active seismicity occurs within this new crust.

  18. The subsurface structure and stratigraphic architecture of rift-related units in the Lishu Depression of the Songliao Basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hongyu; Fan, Tailiang; Wu, Yue

    2015-03-01

    This contribution reports the basin configuration feature, stratigraphy and sedimentary architecture of the Lishu Depression in the Songliao Basin, China. The activity rate, distribution and style of local faulting demonstrate the timing and extent of regional rifting. Distinct episodes of compressional tectonic activity caused uplift and exposure of strata evident as the traditional syn- and post-rift stages of basin evolution. These episodes led to the sequential denudation of the Upper Jurassic Huoshiling Formation, Lower Cretaceous Yingcheng and Denglouku Formations, and corresponding regional unconformities. Acting in tandem with regional compression, activity along the major boundary faults influenced the evolving basin configuration, as well as seismic sequences and sedimentary patterns. Seismic, well log and drill core data described here show subdivision sections of the Lishu Depression strata according to discrete phases of the traditional syn-rift stage of deposition. We refer to these sub-stages as the initial rifting, the intensive rifting and the recession phases. The basin configuration shifted from a graben/half-graben configuration during the initial rifting phase, to a dustpan-shaped half-graben pattern during the subsequent phase of intensive rifting, and finally into a gentle sedimentary basin during the final recession phase. The early seismic sequence divides into a lowstand systems tract (LST), transgressive systems tract (TST) and highstand systems tract (HST). Evidence of the LST within the seismic sequence becomes less apparent with the intensive rifting phase, while the HST occupied an increasing proportion of the section. The shallow water depositional fill formed during the final recession phase consists only of TST and HST components. Depositional environment then shifts from alluvial fan and shallow lacustrine systems to fan delta, braided delta - lake, and finally to a braided fluvial setting. The vertical stacking pattern shifts

  19. Where is the West Antarctic Rift System in the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea sectors?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gohl, Karsten; Kalberg, Thomas; Eagles, Graeme; Dziadek, Ricarda; Kaul, Norbert; Spiegel, Cornelia; Lindow, Julia

    2015-04-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is one of the largest continental rifts globally, but its lateral extent, distribution of local rifts, timing of rifting phases, and mantle processes are still largely enigmatic. It has been presumed that the rift and its crustal extensional processes have widely controlled the history and development of West Antarctic glaciation with an ice sheet of which most is presently based at sub-marine level and which is, therefore, likely to be highly sensitive to ocean warming. While the western domain of the WARS in the Ross Sea has been studied in some detail, only recently have various geophysical and geochemical/thermochronological analyses revealed indications for its eastern extent in the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea sectors of the South Pacific realm. The current model, based on these studies and additional data, suggests that the WARS activity included tectonic translateral, transtensional and extensional processes from the Amundsen Sea Embayment to the Bellingshausen Sea region of the southern Antarctic Peninsula. We present the range of existing hypotheses regarding the extent of the eastern WARS as well as published and yet unpublished data that support a conceptual WARS model for the eastern West Antarctica with implications for glacial onset and developments.

  20. Late Miocene termination of tectonic activity on the detachment in the Alaşehir Rift, Western Anatolia: Depositional records of the Göbekli Formation and high-angle cross-cutting faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen, Fatih

    2016-04-01

    Western Anatolia is a well-known province of continental extension in the world. Most distinctive structural elements of the region are E-W trending grabens. The Alaşehir Rift/Graben is an asymmetric rift/graben trending E-W between Ahmetli and Turgutlu in its western part and continues eastwardly in a NW-SE direction to Alaşehir (Philadelphia in ancient Greek). The stratigraphy of the region consists of metamorphic rocks of the Menderes Massif (Paleozoic-lower Cenozoic) and the syn-extensional Salihli granitoid (middle Miocene) forming the basement unit and overlying sedimentary cover rocks of Neogene-Quaternary. These rocks are cut and deformed by the Karadut detachment fault and various low-angle normal faults (antithetic and synthetic faults of the Karadut detachment fault), which are also cut by various younger high-angle normal faults. It is possible to observe two continuous sequences of different time intervals in that Miocene deposits of the first rifting phase are covered by Plio-Quaternary sediments of second rifting phase with a "break-up" unconformity. In lower levels of a measured stratigraphic section (583 m) of the Göbekli formation which has lower age of late Miocene and upper age of early Pliocene, the presence of angular to sub-angular clasts of the blocks and conglomerates suggests alluvial-fun origin during an initial stage of deposition. Existence of normal-reverse graded, cross-bedding, pebble imbrications in layers of the pebbly sandstone demonstrates fluvial environment in following levels of the sequence. Existence of lenses and normal graded conglomerates in pebbly sandstones and fine grained sandstones strata evidences a low energy environment. Observed siltstone-claystone intercalations on the middle levels of the sequence indicate an environment with low dipping morphology to be formed as flat plains during this period. In the uppermost levels of the sequence, existence of the pebble imbrications inside pebbly sandstones overlying

  1. Controls of asymmetrical opening on rift and sag basins of South Atlantic conjugate margins: Insights from gravity transects and mapping using grids of seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loureiro, P.; Mann, P.

    2015-12-01

    A recent model by Brune et al. (2014) explains the asymmetrical, conjugate margins of the South Atlantic as the result of passive rift migration with sequential normal faulting during early continental breakup. The onset of continental rifting in the South Atlantic began in the Valanginian about 138 Ma. Flood basalts - originating from the eruption of the Tristan Da Cunha plume on both conjugate margins - have been dated between 138-128 Ma and indicating a transition from passive rifting controlled by plate motions to active rifting controlled by a mantle plume. Using seven 2D gravity transects ranging from 200-1000 km in length, we identify variations in crustal thickness and depth to Moho for conjugate margins in Brazil and Angola. Low pass filters applied to a regional satellite derived gravity grid reveal now inactive, sequential normal faults. The modeled gravity transects refine the extent of hyperextended continental crust and allow for the identification of hanging-wall/ footwall relationships. For the Santos-Namibe conjugate margin, we propose that the Santos basin is the footwall of an asymmetrical rift system spanning a 200-km-wide zone and that the Namibe basin is the hanging wall with a 125-km-wide rift. For the Campos-Benguela conjugate margin 400 km to the north, we propose the Campos basin is the hanging wall with a 150-km-wide rift zone. Well data shows that a thicker carbonate sag basin (135- 325 m) and overlying salt basin (up to 2 km) are associated with the footwall blocks of Kwanza and Santos while thinner carbonate sag basins (15-75 m) and overlying salt (up to 1.5 km) are associated with hanging wall blocks in accord with model predictions for early opening.

  2. Incipient Crustal Stretching across AN Active Collision Belt: the Case of the Siculo-Calabrian Rift Zone (central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catalano, S.; Tortorici, G.; Romagnoli, G.; Pavano, F.

    2012-12-01

    In the Central Mediterranean, the differential roll-back of the subducting Nubia Plate caused the Neogene-Quaternary extrusion of the Calabrian arc onto the oceanic Ionian slab, and the opening of the oceanic Tyrrhenian Basin, in the overriding Eurasia Plate. The differential motion at the edges of the arc was largely accommodated along transform faults that propagated across the orogenic belt. Since the Late Quaternary, the southern edge of the arc has been replaced by the roughly N-S oriented Siculo-Calabrian Rift Zone (SCRZ) that formed as the NNW-directed normal faults of NE Sicily, crossing the orogenic belt, have linked the NNE-oriented Tyrrhenian margin of southern Calabria with the NNW-trending Africa-Ionian boundary of southeastern Sicily. Our study focused on the Sicily shoulder of the SCRZ, where the transition zone between the extensional belt and the still active Nubia-Eurasia convergent margin is characterized by two distinct mobile crustal wedges, both lying on an upwarped Mantle, where a re-orientations of the σ1 is combined with volcanism (e.g. Etna, Aeolian islands) and a huge tectonic uplift. In southeastern Sicily, the Hyblean-Etnean region evolved, since about 0.85 Ma, as an indipendent crustal wedge, moving towards the NNW and pointing to the active Mt. Etna volcano. A local ENE crustal stretching accompanied the traslation of the block and pre-dated the ESE-oriented extension governing the propagation of the southernmost branch of the SCR, which started at about 330 ka B.P.. Similarly, the Peloritani-Aeolian region, flanked by the 125 ka-old NE-Sicily branch of the rift zone, represents a mostly submerged crustal wedge that migrates towards the NE, diverging from the rest of the Sicily collision zone and pointing to the Stromboli volcano. The Peloritani-Aeolian block is characterized by the occurrence of a wide central NE-oriented collapsed basin contoured by an actively uplifting region, whose tectonic boundaries are evidenced by a sharp

  3. Active mud volcanoes on the continental slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S. R.; Caress, D. W.; Gwiazda, R.; Melling, H.; Riedel, M.; Jin, Y. K.; Hong, J. K.; Kim, Y.-G.; Graves, D.; Sherman, A.; Lundsten, E.; Anderson, K.; Lundsten, L.; Villinger, H.; Kopf, A.; Johnson, S. B.; Hughes Clarke, J.; Blasco, S.; Conway, K.; Neelands, P.; Thomas, H.; Côté, M.

    2015-09-01

    Morphologic features, 600-1100 m across and elevated up to 30 m above the surrounding seafloor, interpreted to be mud volcanoes were investigated on the continental slope in the Beaufort Sea in the Canadian Arctic. Sediment cores, detailed mapping with an autonomous underwater vehicle, and exploration with a remotely operated vehicle show that these are young and actively forming features experiencing ongoing eruptions. Biogenic methane and low-chloride, sodium-bicarbonate-rich waters are extruded with warm sediment that accumulates to form cones and low-relief circular plateaus. The chemical and isotopic compositions of the ascending water indicate that a mixture of meteoric water, seawater, and water from clay dehydration has played a significant role in the evolution of these fluids. The venting methane supports extensive siboglinid tubeworms communities and forms some gas hydrates within the near seafloor. We believe that these are the first documented living chemosynthetic biological communities in the continental slope of the western Arctic Ocean.

  4. Volcanic history of the Colorado River extensional corridor: Active or passive rifting

    SciTech Connect

    Howard, K.A. )

    1993-04-01

    Magmatism and extension began nearly simultaneously in the Colorado River extensional corridor (CREC) between 34 and 35[degree] N. Initial eruptions of basanite at 23--19.5 Ma were low-volume but spanned a region now twice as wide as the 100-km-wide corridor. Extensional tilting of this age was local. A large flux of calc-alkaline basalt, andesite, dacite, and rhyolite was erupted at 22--18.5 Ma. They accumulated to average thicknesses of [approximately]1 km in the early CREC basin, and were accompanied by extensional tilting. Dike swarms, necks, and plutons represent intrusive equivalents. Plutons concentrate in the central belt of metamorphic core complexes, the most highly extended areas. Massive eruption at 18.5 Ma of the rhyolitic Peach Springs Tuff marked an ensuing lowered rate of volcanic output, a change to bimodal volcanism, much tilting and extension, and deposition of thick (to [approximately]2 km) synextensional clastic sediments 18--14 Ms. By 14--12 Ma, extensional tilting had largely ceased, and eruptions were sparse and basaltic only, as they have been since. Basalt compositions reveal changing patterns of trace-element composition that bear on sources. The early basanites have OIB-like compositions on spidergram plots, suggesting origin from the asthenosphere as would be expected from initiation of rifting driven by hot mantle upwelling. Basalts 20--12 Ma show low concentrations of Nb and Ta as in subduction-related arc magmas. Post-extensional basalts erupted 15--10 Ma exhibit a transition back toward primitive compositions seen in Quaternary alkalic basalts.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, Taras; Stöckhert, Bernhard

    2006-04-01

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

  6. Present-day kinematics of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  7. Phanerozoic Rifting Phases And Mineral Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassaan, Mahmoud

    2016-04-01

    connected with NW,WNW and N-S faults genetically related to volcano-hydrothermal activity associated the Red Sea rifting. At Sherm EL-Sheikh hydrothermal manganese deposit occurs in Oligocene clastics within fault zone. Four iron-manganese-barite mineralization in Esh-Elmellaha plateau are controlled by faults trending NW,NE and nearly E-W intersecting Miocene carbonate rocks. Barite exists disseminated in the ores and as a vein in NW fault. In Shalatee - Halaib district 24 manganese deposits and barite veins with sulphide patches occur within Miocene carbonates distributed along two NW fault planes,trending 240°and 310° and occur in granite and basalt . Uranium -lead-zinc sulfide mineralization occur in Late Proterozoic granite, Late Cretaceous sandstones, and chiefly in Miocene clastic-carbonate-evaporate rocks. The occurrences of uranium- lead-zinc and iron-manganese-barite mineralization have the characteristic features of hypogene cavity filling and replacement deposits correlated with Miocene- Recent Aden volcanic rocks rifting. In western Saudi Arabia barite-lead-zinc mineralization occurs at Lat. 25° 45' and 25° 50'N hosted by Tertiary sediments in limestone nearby basaltic flows and NE-SW fault system. The mineralized hot brines in the Red Sea deeps considered by the author a part of this province. The author considers the constant rifting phases of Pangea and then progressive fragmentation of Western Gondwana during the Late Carboniferous-Lias, Late Jurassic-Early Aptian, Late Aptian - Albian and Late Eocene-Early Miocene and Oligocene-Miocene, responsible for formation of the mineral deposits constituting the M provinces. During these events, rifting, magmatism and hydrothermal activities took place in different peri-continental margins.

  8. Brazilian continental cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petri, Setembrino; Campanha, Vilma A.

    1981-04-01

    Cretaceous deposits in Brazil are very well developed, chiefly in continental facies and in thick sequences. Sedimentation occurred essentially in rift-valleys inland and along the coast. Three different sequences can be distinguished: (1) a lower clastic non-marine section, (2) a middle evaporitic section, (3) an upper marine section with non-marine regressive lithosomes. Continental deposits have been laid down chiefly between the latest Jurassic and Albian. The lower lithostratigraphic unit is represented by red shales with occasional evaporites and fresh-water limestones, dated by ostracods. A series of thick sandstone lithosomes accumulated in the inland rift-valleys. In the coastal basins these sequences are often incompletely preserved. Uplift in the beginning of the Aptian produced a widespread unconformity. In many of the inland rift-valleys sedimentation ceased at that time. A later transgression penetrated far into northeastern Brazil, but shortly after continental sedimentation continued, with the deposition of fluvial sandstones which once covered large areas of the country and which have been preserved in many places. The continental Cretaceous sediments have been laid down in fluvial and lacustrine environments, under warm climatic conditions which were dry from time to time. The fossil record is fairly rich, including besides plants and invertebrates, also reptiles and fishes. As faulting tectonism was rather strong, chiefly during the beginning of the Cretaceous, intercalations of igneous rocks are frequent in some places. Irregular uplift and erosion caused sediments belonging to the remainder of this period to be preserved only in tectonic basins scattered across the country.

  9. Assessing the activity of faults in continental interiors: Palaeoseismic insights from SE Kazakhstan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grützner, C.; Carson, E.; Walker, R. T.; Rhodes, E. J.; Mukambayev, A.; Mackenzie, D.; Elliott, J. R.; Campbell, G.; Abdrakhmatov, K.

    2017-02-01

    The presence of fault scarps is a first-order criterion for identifying active faults. Yet the preservation of these features depends on the recurrence interval between surface rupturing events, combined with the rates of erosional and depositional processes that act on the landscape. Within arid continental interiors single earthquake scarps can be preserved for thousands of years, and yet the interval between surface ruptures on faults in these regions may be much longer, such that the lack of evidence for surface faulting in the morphology may not preclude activity on those faults. In this study we investigate the 50 km-long 'Toraigyr' thrust fault in the northern Tien Shan. From palaeoseismological trenching we show that two surface rupturing earthquakes occurred in the last 39.9 ± 2.7 ka BP, but only the most recent event (3.15-3.6 ka BP) has a clear morphological expression. We conclude that a landscape reset took place in between the two events, likely as a consequence of the climatic change at the end of the last glacial maximum. These findings illustrate that in the Tien Shan evidence for the most recent active faulting can be easily obliterated by climatic processes due to the long earthquake recurrence intervals. Our results illustrate the problems related to the assessment of active tectonic deformation and seismic hazard assessments in continental interior settings.

  10. Structural Evolution of the Incipient Okavango Rift Zone, NW Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atekwana, E. A.; Kinabo, B. D.; Modisi, M. P.; Hogan, J. P.; Wheaton, D. D.

    2005-05-01

    Studies of the East African Rift System (EARS) and other continental rifts have significantly improved our understanding of rifting processes; however, we particularly lack studies of the embryonic stages of rift creation. The Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ), NW Botswana is one of few places worldwide where one can study the early stages of continental extension prior to the accumulation of significant amounts of sediments, volcanism, and multiphase deformation that obscure the investigation of these early time processes in more evolved continental rift zones. In this study, gravity and aeromagnetic data have been used to examine the initiation and development of the nascent ORZ. The Okavango basin in NW Botswana is located at the southern tip of the southwestern branch of the EARS. The rift is hosted within the Proterozoic fold and thrust belt of the Ghanzi-Chobe formation. Our objectives include (1) assessing the role of pre-existing structures on the development of rift faults and basin architecture, (2) Examining fault linkage patterns and boarder fault development, and (3) determining the shallow subsurface basin geometry. Aeromagnetic data from the ORZ suggest two main structural trends: 1) northeast-southwest (030- 070o) and 2) northwest - southeast (290 - 320o). The 030- 070o structures occur within the rift zone and throughout the surrounding basement. They form the main bounding fault system of this incipient rift. The NE - SW orientations of rift faults mirror the fold axes and foliation of the basement rocks, suggesting that the basement fabric played an important role in localizing the development of faults within the stress regime present during the initiation of this rift. Additionally, the greatest throw (~400- ~700 m) occurs along the Kunyere (NW dipping) and Tsau faults (SE dipping), defining a full graben as observed on gravity models. This differs from the half-graben model typical of most continental rift zones. Thus, it appears the basin geometry was

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  12. Characterising East Antarctic Lithosphere and its Rift Systems using Gravity Inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, Alan P. M.; Kusznir, Nick J.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Leat, Phil T.; Jordan, Tom A. R. M.; Purucker, Michael E.; Golynsky, A. V. Sasha; Rogozhina, Irina

    2013-04-01

    Since the International Geophysical Year (1957), a view has prevailed that East Antarctica has a relatively homogeneous lithospheric structure, consisting of a craton-like mosaic of Precambrian terranes, stable since the Pan-African orogeny ~500 million years ago (e.g. Ferracioli et al. 2011). Recent recognition of a continental-scale rift system cutting the East Antarctic interior has crystallised an alternative view of much more recent geological activity with important implications. The newly defined East Antarctic Rift System (EARS) (Ferraccioli et al. 2011) appears to extend from at least the South Pole to the continental margin at the Lambert Rift, a distance of 2500 km. This is comparable in scale to the well-studied East African rift system. New analysis of RadarSat data by Golynsky & Golynsky (2009) indicates that further rift zones may form widely distributed extension zones within the continent. A pilot study (Vaughan et al. 2012), using a newly developed gravity inversion technique (Chappell & Kusznir 2008) with existing public domain satellite data, shows distinct crustal thickness provinces with overall high average thickness separated by thinner, possibly rifted, crust. Understanding the nature of crustal thickness in East Antarctica is critical because: 1) this is poorly known along the ocean-continent transition, but is necessary to improve the plate reconstruction fit between Antarctica, Australia and India in Gondwana, which will also better define how and when these continents separated; 2) lateral variation in crustal thickness can be used to test supercontinent reconstructions and assess the effects of crystalline basement architecture and mechanical properties on rifting; 3) rift zone trajectories through East Antarctica will define the geometry of zones of crustal and lithospheric thinning at plate-scale; 4) it is not clear why or when the crust of East Antarctica became so thick and elevated, but knowing this can be used to test models of

  13. Parameters influencing the location and characteristics of volcanic eruptions in a youthful extensional setting: Insights from the Virunga Volcanic Province, in the Western Branch of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, Benoît; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, Matthieu; Kervyn, François

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is often mentioned as the modern archetype for rifting and continental break-up (Calais et al., 2006, GSL Special Publication 259), showing the complex interaction between rift faults, magmatism and pre-existing structures of the basement. Volcanism in the EARS is characterized by very active volcanoes, several of them being among the most active on Earth (Wright et al., 2015, GRL 42). Such intense volcanic activity provides useful information to study the relationship between rifting, magmatism and volcanism. This is the case of the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) located in the central part of the Western Branch of the EARS, which hosts two of the most active African volcanoes, namely Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira. Despite the intense eruptive activity in the VVP, the spatial distribution of volcanism and its relationship with the extensional setting remain little known. Here we present a study of the interaction between tectonics, magmatism and volcanism at the scale of the Kivu rift section, where the VVP is located, and at the scale of a volcano, by studying the dense historical eruptive activity of Nyamulagira. Both the complex Precambrian basement and magmatism appear to contribute to the development of the Kivu rift. The presence of transfer zones north and south of the Lake Kivu rift basin favoured the development of volcanic provinces at these locations. Rift faults, including reactivated Precambrian structures influenced the location of volcanism within the volcanic provinces and the rift basin. At a more local scale, the historical eruptive activity of Nyamulagira highlights that, once a composite volcano developed, the gravitational stress field induced by edifice loading becomes the main parameter that influence the location, duration and lava volume of eruptions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-27

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

  15. The structures, stratigraphy and evolution of the Gulf of Corinth rift, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Brian; Weiss, Jonathan R.; Goodliffe, Andrew M.; Sachpazi, Maria; Laigle, Mireille; Hirn, Alfred

    2011-06-01

    A multichannel seismic and bathymetry survey of the central and eastern Gulf of Corinth (GoC), Greece, reveals the offshore fault geometry, seismic stratigraphy and basin evolution of one of Earths most active continental rift systems. Active, right-stepping, en-echelon, north-dipping border faults trend ESE along the southern Gulf margin, significantly overlapping along strike. The basement offsets of three (Akrata-Derveni, Sithas and Xylocastro) are linked. The faults are biplanar to listric: typically intermediate angle (˜35° in the centre and 45-48° in the east) near the surface but decreasing in dip and/or intersecting a low- or shallow-angle (15-20° in the centre and 19-30° in the east) curvi-planar reflector in the basement. Major S-dipping border faults were active along the northern margin of the central Gulf early in the rift history, and remain active in the western Gulf and in the subsidiary Gulf of Lechaio, but unlike the southern border faults, are without major footwall uplift. Much of the eastern rift has a classic half-graben architecture whereas the central rift has a more symmetric w- or u-shape. The narrower and shallower western Gulf that transects the >40-km-thick crust of the Hellenides is associated with a wider distribution of overlapping high-angle normal faults that were formerly active on the Peloponnesus Peninsula. The easternmost sector includes the subsidiary Gulfs of Lechaio and Alkyonides, with major faults and basement structures trending NE, E-W and NW. The basement faults that control the rift architecture formed early in the rift history, with little evidence (other than the Vrachonisida fault along the northern margin) in the marine data for plan view evolution by subsequent fault linkage. Several have maximum offsets near one end. Crestal collapse graben formed where the hanging wall has pulled off the steeper onto the shallower downdip segment of the Derveni Fault. The dominant strikes of the Corinth rift faults

  16. 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

  17. Recent and Hazardous Volcanic Activity Along the NW Rift Zone of Piton De La Fournaise Volcano, La Réunion Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walther, G.; Frese, I.; Di Muro, A.; Kueppers, U.; Michon, L.; Metrich, N.

    2014-12-01

    Shield volcanoes are a common feature of basaltic volcanism. Their volcanic activity is often confined to a summit crater area and rift systems, both characterized by constructive (scoria and cinder cones; lava flows) and destructive (pit craters; caldera collapse) phenomena. Piton de la Fournaise (PdF) shield volcano (La Réunion Island, Indian Ocean) is an ideal place to study these differences in eruptive behaviour. Besides the frequent eruptions in the central Enclos Fouqué caldera, hundreds of eruptive vents opened along three main rift zones cutting the edifice during the last 50 kyrs. Two short rift zones are characterized by weak seismicity and lateral magma transport at shallow depth (above sea level). Here we focus on the third and largest rift zone (15km wide, 20 km long), which extends in a north-westerly direction between PdF and nearby Piton des Neiges volcanic complex. It is typified by deep seismicity (up to 30 km), emitting mostly primitive magmas, testifying of high fluid pressures (up to 5 kbar) and large-volume eruptions. We present new field data (including stratigraphic logs, a geological map of the area, C-14 dating and geochemical analyses of the eruption products) on one of the youngest (~6kyrs) and largest lava field (Trous Blancs eruption). It extends for 24km from a height of 1800 m asl, passing Le Tampon and Saint Pierre cities, until reaching the coast. The source area of this huge lava flow has been identified in an alignment of four previously unidentified pit craters. The eruption initiated with intense fountaining activity, producing a m-thick bed of loose black scoria, which becomes densely welded in its upper part; followed by an alternation of volume rich lava effusions and strombolian activity, resulting in the emplacement of meter-thick, massive units of olivine-basalt alternating with coarse scoria beds in the proximal area. Activity ended with the emplacement of a dm-thick bed of glassy, dense scoria and a stratified lithic

  18. Mapping the evolving strain field during continental breakup from crustal anisotropy in the Afar Depression

    PubMed Central

    Keir, Derek; Belachew, M.; Ebinger, C.J.; Kendall, J.-M.; Hammond, J.O.S.; Stuart, G.W.; Ayele, A.; Rowland, J.V.

    2011-01-01

    Rifting of the continents leading to plate rupture occurs by a combination of mechanical deformation and magma intrusion, yet the spatial and temporal scales over which these alternate mechanisms localize extensional strain remain controversial. Here we quantify anisotropy of the upper crust across the volcanically active Afar Triple Junction using shear-wave splitting from local earthquakes to evaluate the distribution and orientation of strain in a region of continental breakup. The pattern of S-wave splitting in Afar is best explained by anisotropy from deformation-related structures, with the dramatic change in splitting parameters into the rift axis from the increased density of dyke-induced faulting combined with a contribution from oriented melt pockets near volcanic centres. The lack of rift-perpendicular anisotropy in the lithosphere, and corroborating geoscientific evidence of extension dominated by dyking, provide strong evidence that magma intrusion achieves the majority of plate opening in this zone of incipient plate rupture. PMID:21505441

  19. The Midcontinent Rift and Grenville connection

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-04-01

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

  20. Polyphased rifting to post-breakup evolution of the Coral Sea region, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulois, Cédric; Pubellier, Manuel; Chamot-Rooke, Nicolas; Delescluse, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    The Coral Sea Basin, offshore Papua New Guinea, is generally described as a rift propagator that opened through the Australian craton during the Late Cretaceous. Rifting was later followed by spreading activity during Palaeocene to lowermost Eocene times and basin inversion during the Cenozoic. Herein, we specifically describe the extensional structures and show that the area has actually a much longer history that dates back from the Late Palaeozoic. A special focus is made on the northern margin of the Coral Sea Basin along which subsurface and HD topographic data were recently acquired. Extension took place discontinuously from the Late Palaeozoic to the Lower Cenozoic through several rift megacycles that include extensional pulses and relaxation episodes. The first rift megacycle (R1), poorly documented, occurred during the Triassic along an old Permo-Triassic, NS-trending structural fabric. Evidence of Permo-Triassic features is principally observed in the western part of the Coral Sea near the Tasman Line, a major lithospheric discontinuity that marks the eastern limit of the underlying Australian craton in Papua New Guinea. This early Triassic framework was reactivated during a Jurassic rifting stage (R2), resulting in small (~10/20km) tilted basins bounded by major NS, NE-SW and EW normal faults. Extension formed a large basin, floored by oceanic crust that might have connected with the Tethys Ocean. The Owen Stanley Oceanic Basin containing deep-marine sediments now obducted in the Ocean Stanley Thrust Belt are likely to represent this oceanic terrane. Both R1 and R2 megacycles shaped the geometry of the Jurassic Australian margin. A third Cretaceous extensional megacycle (R3) only reactivated the largest faults, cutting through the midst of this early stretched continental margin. It formed wider, poorly tilted basins and terminated with the onset of the Coral Sea seafloor spreading from Danian to Ypresian times (61.8 to 53.4 Myr). Then, the overall

  1. Fractional activation of accumulation-mode particles in warm continental stratiform clouds

    SciTech Connect

    Gillani, N.V.; Daum, P.H.; Schwartz, S.E.; Leaitch, W.R.; Strapp, J.W.; Isaac, G.A.

    1991-07-01

    The degree of activation of accumulation-mode particles (AMP) in clouds has been studied using continuous (1 second average) aircraft measurements of the number concentrations of cloud droplets (N{sub cd}, 2 to 35 {mu}m diameter) and of unactivated AMP (N{sub amp}, 0.17 to 2.07 {mu}m diameter) in cloud interstitial air. The magnitude and spatial variation of the activated fraction (F) of all measured particles (defined as F {triple_bond} N{sub cd}/N{sub tot}, where N{sub tot} = N{sub cd} + N{sub amp}) are investigated, based on measurements made during ten aircraft flights in non-precipitating warm continental stratiform clouds near Syracuse NY in the fall of 1984. Based on instantaneous observations throughout the clouds, the spatial distribution of F was found to be quite nonuniform. In general, F was low in cloud edges and where total particle loading was high and/or cloud convective activity was low. In the interior of clouds, the value of F exceeded 0.9 for 36% of the data, but was below 0.6 for 28%. Factors influencing F the most were the total particle loading (N{sub tot}) and the thermal stability of the cloud layer. The dependence of F on N{sub tot} in cloud interior was characterized by two distinct regimes. For N{sub tot} < 600 cm{sup {minus}3}, F was generally close to unity and relatively insensitive to N{sub tot}. For N{sub tot} > 800 cm{sup {minus}3}, F tended to decrease with increasing N{sub tot}. This decrease was greatest in a stable stratus deck embedded in a warm moist airmass. The results suggest that, in warm continental stratiform clouds, the process of particle activation becomes nonlinear and self-limiting at high particle loading. The degree of this nonlinearity depends on cloud convective activity (thermal instability).

  2. Fractional activation of accumulation-mode particles in warm continental stratiform clouds

    SciTech Connect

    Gillani, N.V. Associates, Inc., St. Louis, MO ); Daum, P.H.; Schwartz, S.E. ); Leaitch, W.R.; Strapp, J.W.; Isaac, G.A. . Cloud Physics Research Div.)

    1991-07-01

    The degree of activation of accumulation-mode particles (AMP) in clouds has been studied using continuous (1 second average) aircraft measurements of the number concentrations of cloud droplets (N[sub cd], 2 to 35 [mu]m diameter) and of unactivated AMP (N[sub amp], 0.17 to 2.07 [mu]m diameter) in cloud interstitial air. The magnitude and spatial variation of the activated fraction (F) of all measured particles (defined as F [triple bond] N[sub cd]/N[sub tot], where N[sub tot] = N[sub cd] + N[sub amp]) are investigated, based on measurements made during ten aircraft flights in non-precipitating warm continental stratiform clouds near Syracuse NY in the fall of 1984. Based on instantaneous observations throughout the clouds, the spatial distribution of F was found to be quite nonuniform. In general, F was low in cloud edges and where total particle loading was high and/or cloud convective activity was low. In the interior of clouds, the value of F exceeded 0.9 for 36% of the data, but was below 0.6 for 28%. Factors influencing F the most were the total particle loading (N[sub tot]) and the thermal stability of the cloud layer. The dependence of F on N[sub tot] in cloud interior was characterized by two distinct regimes. For N[sub tot] < 600 cm[sup [minus]3], F was generally close to unity and relatively insensitive to N[sub tot]. For N[sub tot] > 800 cm[sup [minus]3], F tended to decrease with increasing N[sub tot]. This decrease was greatest in a stable stratus deck embedded in a warm moist airmass. The results suggest that, in warm continental stratiform clouds, the process of particle activation becomes nonlinear and self-limiting at high particle loading. The degree of this nonlinearity depends on cloud convective activity (thermal instability).

  3. Investigation of shallow gas hydrate occurrence and gas seep activity on the Sakhalin continental slope, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Young Keun; Baranov, Boris; Obzhirov, Anatoly; Salomatin, Alexander; Derkachev, Alexander; Hachikubo, Akihiro; Minami, Hrotsugu; Kuk Hong, Jong

    2016-04-01

    The Sakhalin continental slope has been a well-known gas hydrate area since the first finding of gas hydrate in 1980's. This area belongs to the southernmost glacial sea in the northern hemisphere where most of the area sea is covered by sea ice the winter season. Very high organic carbon content in the sediment, cold sea environment, and active tectonic regime in the Sakhalin slope provide a very favorable condition for occurring shallow gas hydrate accumulation and gas emission phenomena. Research expeditions under the framework of a Korean-Russian-Japanese long-term international collaboration projects (CHAOS, SSGH-I, SSGH-II projects) have been conducted to investigate gas hydrate occurrence and gas seepage activities on the Sakhalin continental slope, Russia from 2003 to 2015. During the expeditions, near-surface gas hydrate samples at more than 30 sites have been retrieved and hundreds of active gas seepage structures on the seafloor were newly registered by multidisciplinary surveys. The gas hydrates occurrence at the various water depths from about 300 m to 1000 m in the study area were accompanied by active gas seepage-related phenomena in the sub-bottom, on the seafloor, and in the water column: well-defined upward gas migration structures (gas chimney) imaged by high-resolution seismic, hydroacoustic anomalies of gas emissions (gas flares) detected by echosounders, seafloor high backscatter intensities (seepage structures) imaged by side-scan sonar and bathymetric structures (pockmarks and mounds) mapped by single/multi-beam surveys, and very shallow SMTZ (sulphate-methane transition zone) depths, strong microbial activities and high methane concentrations measured in sediment/seawater samples. The highlights of the expeditions are shallow gas hydrate occurrences around 300 m in the water depth which is nearly closed to the upper boundary of gas hydrate stability zone in the area and a 2,000 m-high gas flare emitted from the deep seafloor.

  4. Evolution of post-rift sediment transport on a young rifted margin : Insights from the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baurion, C.; Gorini, C.; Leroy, S.; Lucazeau, F.; Migeon, S.

    2012-04-01

    The formation of gravity-driven sedimentary systems on continental rifted margins results from the interaction between climate, ocean currents and tectonic activity. During the early stages of margin evolution, the tectonic processes are probably as important as climate for the sedimentary architecture. Therefore, the young margins (ca. 35 Ma) of the Gulf of Aden provide the opportunity to evaluate the respective roles of monsoon and tectonic uplift in the formation and evolution through the post-rift period of gravity-driven deposits (Mass Transport Complexes (MTCs) and deep-sea systems) on the continental slopes and in the oceanic basin respectively. Here we present a combined geomorphologic and stratigraphic study of the northern margin (Oman and Yemen) and the southern margin (Socotra island), in which we classified and interpreted the gravity-driven processes, their formation and their evolution during the post-rift period. The interpretation of seismic lines reveals the presence of bottom currents since the drift phase, suggesting that the Gulf of Aden was connected to the world oceans at that time. An abrupt depositional change affected the eastern basin of the Gulf of Aden around 10 Ma or thereafter (Chron 5), characterised by the first occurrence of deep sea fans and an increase in the number of MTCs. The first occurrence of MTCs may be explained by the combined 2nd-3rd order fall of the relative sea-level (Serravalian/Tortonian transition). This variation of relative sea level combined with a climatic switch (Asian monsoon onset around 15 Ma and its intensification around 7-8 Ma) control the sediment flux. The youngest unit of the post-rift supersequence is characterised by a second important MTC occurrence that is restricted to the eastern part of the deep basin. This is caused by a late uplift of the northern and southern margins witnessed onshore by the presence of young stepped marine terraces.

  5. Predicting Rift Valley Fever Inter-epidemic Activities and Outbreak Patterns: Insights from a Stochastic Host-Vector Model

    PubMed Central

    Pedro, Sansao A.; Abelman, Shirley; Tonnang, Henri E. Z.

    2016-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks are recurrent, occurring at irregular intervals of up to 15 years at least in East Africa. Between outbreaks disease inter-epidemic activities exist and occur at low levels and are maintained by female Aedes mcintoshi mosquitoes which transmit the virus to their eggs leading to disease persistence during unfavourable seasons. Here we formulate and analyse a full stochastic host-vector model with two routes of transmission: vertical and horizontal. By applying branching process theory we establish novel relationships between the basic reproduction number, R0, vertical transmission and the invasion and extinction probabilities. Optimum climatic conditions and presence of mosquitoes have not fully explained the irregular oscillatory behaviour of RVF outbreaks. Using our model without seasonality and applying van Kampen system-size expansion techniques, we provide an analytical expression for the spectrum of stochastic fluctuations, revealing how outbreaks multi-year periodicity varies with the vertical transmission. Our theory predicts complex fluctuations with a dominant period of 1 to 10 years which essentially depends on the efficiency of vertical transmission. Our predictions are then compared to temporal patterns of disease outbreaks in Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. Our analyses show that interaction between nonlinearity, stochasticity and vertical transmission provides a simple but plausible explanation for the irregular oscillatory nature of RVF outbreaks. Therefore, we argue that while rainfall might be the major determinant for the onset and switch-off of an outbreak, the occurrence of a particular outbreak is also a result of a build up phenomena that is correlated to vertical transmission efficiency. PMID:28002417

  6. Chapter 34: Geology and petroleum potential of the rifted margins of the Canada Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Houseknecht, D.W.; Bird, K.J.

    2011-01-01

    Three sides of the Canada Basin are bordered by high-standing, conjugate rift shoulders of the Chukchi Borderland, Alaska and Canada. The Alaska and Canada margins are mantled with thick, growth-faulted sediment prisms, and the Chukchi Borderland contains only a thin veneer of sediment. The rift-margin strata of Alaska and Canada reflect the tectonics and sediment dispersal systems of adjacent continental regions whereas the Chukchi Borderland was tectonically isolated from these sediment dispersal systems. Along the eastern Alaska-southern Canada margin, termed herein the 'Canning-Mackenzie deformed margin', the rifted margin is deformed by ongoing Brooks Range tectonism. Additional contractional structures occur in a gravity fold belt that may be present along the entire Alaska and Canada margins of the Canada Basin. Source-rock data inboard of the rift shoulders and regional palaeogeographic reconstructions suggest three potential source-rock intervals: Lower Cretaceous (Hauterivian-Albian), Upper Cretaceous (mostly Turonian) and Lower Palaeogene. Burial history modelling indicates favourable timing for generation from all three intervals beneath the Alaska and Canada passive margins, and an active petroleum system has been documented in the Canning-Mackenzie deformed margin. Assessment of undiscovered petroleum resources indicates the greatest potential in the Canning-Mackenzie deformed margin and significant potential in the Canada and Alaska passive margins. ?? 2011 The Geological Society of London.

  7. Imaging the lithosphere of rifted passive margins using waveform tomography: North Atlantic, South Atlantic and beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebedev, Sergei; Schaeffer, Andrew; Celli, Nicolas Luca

    2016-04-01

    Lateral variations in seismic velocities in the upper mantle reflect variations in the temperature of the rocks at depth. Seismic tomography thus provides a proxy for lateral changes in the temperature and thickness of the lithosphere. It can map the deep boundaries between tectonic blocks with different properties and age of the lithosphere. Our 3D tomographic models of the upper mantle and the crust at the Atlantic and global scales are constrained by an unprecedentedly large global dataset of broadband waveform fits (over one million seismograms) and provide improved resolution of the lithosphere, compared to other available models. The most prominent high-velocity anomalies, seen down to 150-200 km depths, indicate the cold, thick, stable mantle lithosphere beneath Precambrian cratons, including those in North America, Greenland, northern and eastern Europe, Africa and South America. The dominant, large-scale, low-velocity feature is the global system of mid-ocean ridges, with broader low-velocity regions near hotspots, including Iceland. Currently active continental rifts show highly variable expression in the upper mantle, from pronounced low velocities to weak anomalies; this correlates with the amount of magmatism within the rift zone. Rifted passive margins have typically undergone cooling since the rifting and show more subtle variations in their seismic-velocity structure. Their thermal structure and evolution, however, are also shaped by 3D geodynamic processes since their formation, including cooling by the adjacent cratonic blocks inland and heating by warm oceanic asthenosphere.

  8. Assessment and recommendations for two sites with active and potential aquaculture production in Rift Valley and Coast Provinces, Kenya

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Kenya has a long history of local fish consumption. The population in the Lake Victoria area (Rift Valley Province) Northwest of Nairobi and coastal communities (Coast Province) have historically included fish in their diet. Migration from villages to urban areas and increasing commerce has created ...

  9. Prediction, Assessment of the Rift Valley fever Activity in East and Southern Africa 2006 - 2008 and Possible Vector Control Strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historical outbreaks of Rift Valley fever (RVF) since the early 1950s have been associated with cyclical patterns of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon which results in elevated and widespread rainfall over the RVF endemic areas of Africa. Using satellite measurements of global and ...

  10. Prediction, Assessment of the Rift Valley Fever Activity in East and Southern Africa 2006 - 2008 and Possible Vector Control Strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historical episodic outbreaks of Rift Valley fever (RVF) since the early 1950s have been associated with cyclical patterns (El Niño and La Niña) of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon which results in elevated and widespread rainfall over the RVF endemic areas of Africa. Using satellite ...

  11. The Example of Eastern Africa: the dynamic of Rift Valley fever and tools for monitoring virus activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever is a mosquito-borne viral zoonosis that primarily affects animals but also has the capacity to infect humans. Outbreaks of this disease in eastern Africa are closely associated with periods of heavy rainfall and forecasting models and early warning systems have been developed to en...

  12. Eco-climatic Conditions Associated with Rift Valley fever Activity in Southern Africa in 2008-2011

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The time period 2008-2011 has been marked by a series of Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks in Southern Africa. These multi-year episodes of RVF have not occurred in the region since the mid-1970s. We examine climatic and ecological conditions associated with the outbreaks and present results of our ...

  13. Helium isotope ratios in Ethiopian Rift basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarsi, P.; Craig, H.

    1996-11-01

    Helium isotope ratios were measured in olivine and pyroxene phenocrysts from basalts of the Ethiopian Rift Valley and Afar Depression between 6° and 15°N and 37° and 43°E. 3He/4He ratios range from 6 to 17 times the atmospheric value (RA = 1.4 × 10-6), that is, from ratios less than typical MORB (depleted mantle) helium (R/RA= 8 ± 1) to ratios similar to high-3He hotspots and to the Yellowstone hotspot (R/RA= 16.5). The high 3He/4He ratios occur all along the Ethiopian Rift and well up into the Afar Depression, with a maximum value of 17.0 RA at 8°N in the Rift Axis and a high value of 14.2 RA in the central Tat'Ali sector of the Afar Depression. The ratios decrease to MORB-like values near the edge of the Red Sea, and to sub-MORB ratios (5-6 RA) at the northern end of the Rift (Zula Peninsula) and at the southern end, at lakes Abaya and Chamo. The Ethiopian Rift provides the only continental hotspot terrain in which helium isotope ratios can be compared in detail between volcanic lavas and associated geothermal and volcanic gases, a primary motivation for this work. Comparison with our previously measured ratios in fluids and gases (range 2-15 RA) shows excellent agreement in the areas sampled for both lavas and fluids, and indicates that high-temperature volcanic fluids can be used for establishing helium isotope signatures in such terrains. The high-3He values in both fluids and basalts show that a Primitive Mantle (PM) component is required and that a Lower Mantle High-3He plume is strongly involved as a driving force in the rifting process of the East African Rift System.

  14. Contrasting conditions of rift and off-rift silicic magma origin on Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schattel, Nadine; Portnyagin, Maxim; Golowin, Roman; Hoernle, Kaj; Bindeman, Ilya

    2014-08-01

    Factors controlling the origin of silicic magmas on Iceland are poorly constrained. Here we present new data on H2O content, pressure, temperature, oxygen fugacity, and oxygen isotope composition of rhyolites from Askja, Öræfajökull, and Hekla volcanoes. All these parameters correlate with tectonic (rift and off-rift) setting of the volcanoes. Askja rift rhyolites originate through extensive assimilation of high-temperature hydrothermally altered crust (δ18O < 2‰) at shallow depths (≥1.8 km). These rhyolites are hot (935-1008°C), relatively dry (H2O < 2.7 wt%), and oxidized (QFM = +1.4). Cooler (874-902°C), wet (H2O = 4-6.3 wt%), and non-oxidized (~QFM to QFM-1) off-rift rhyolites (Öræfajökull, Hekla) originate through differentiation deeper in the crust (≥4 km) with almost no or little assimilation of high-T, altered crust, as reflected by slightly lower to normal δ18O values (5.2-6‰). Although off-rift rhyolites predominate during the Holocene, older silicic rocks on Iceland primarily formed in a rift setting possibly analogous to the oldest continental crust on Earth.

  15. Thermochronometric evidence for diffuse extension and two-phase rifting within the Central Arabian Margin of the Red Sea Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szymanski, E.; Stockli, D. F.; Johnson, P. R.; Hager, C.

    2016-12-01

    Numerical time-temperature models derived from a 2-D network of apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He ages reveal a three-stage thermotectonic history for the central Arabian rift flank (CARF) of the Red Sea Rift (RSR) system. The pre-rift Arabian-Nubian Shield existed as part of a passive Paleo-Tethyan margin until a widespread tectonic event at 350 Ma exhumed the proto-CARF to mid-to-upper crustal structural levels. After remaining thermally stable through the Mesozoic, the first phase of RSR extension began with a distinct rift pulse at 23 Ma when fault blocks across a 150 km wide area were exhumed along a diffuse set of rift-parallel faults from an average pre-rift flank depth of 1.7 ± 0.8 km. This rift onset age is mirrored in thermochronometric and sequence stratigraphic analyses elsewhere along the Red Sea Nubian and Arabian margins, confirming that rifting occurred concomitantly along the full Red Sea-Gulf of Suez rift system. Diffuse lithospheric extension lasted for 8 Myr before a second rift pulse at 15 Ma, coincident with regional stress realignment, transferred active faulting basinward toward the modern RSR axial trough. CARF time-temperature models indicate that the prevalent rift style during both RSR extensional phases was one of localized, structurally controlled block faulting and contemporaneous dike injection, not wholesale rift flank uplift.

  16. Crustal Strain Patterns in Magmatic and Amagmatic Early Stage Rifts: Border Faults, Magma Intrusion, and Volatiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Keir, D.; Roecker, S. W.; Tiberi, C.; Aman, M.; Weinstein, A.; Lambert, C.; Drooff, C.; Oliva, S. J. C.; Peterson, K.; Bourke, J. R.; Rodzianko, A.; Gallacher, R. J.; Lavayssiere, A.; Shillington, D. J.; Khalfan, M.; Mulibo, G. D.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Palardy, A.; Albaric, J.; Gautier, S.; Muirhead, J.; Lee, H.

    2015-12-01

    Rift initiation in thick, strong continental lithosphere challenges current models of continental lithospheric deformation, in part owing to gaps in our knowledge of strain patterns in the lower crust. New geophysical, geochemical, and structural data sets from youthful magmatic (Magadi-Natron, Kivu), weakly magmatic (Malawi, Manyara), and amagmatic (Tanganyika) sectors of the cratonic East African rift system provide new insights into the distribution of brittle strain, magma intrusion and storage, and time-averaged deformation. We compare and contrast time-space relations, seismogenic layer thickness variations, and fault kinematics using earthquakes recorded on local arrays and teleseisms in sectors of the Western and Eastern rifts, including the Natron-Manyara basins that developed in Archaean lithosphere. Lower crustal seismicity occurs in both the Western and Eastern rifts, including sectors on and off craton, and those with and without central rift volcanoes. In amagmatic sectors, lower crustal strain is accommodated by slip along relatively steep border faults, with oblique-slip faults linking opposing border faults that penetrate to different crustal levels. In magmatic sectors, seismicity spans surface to lower crust beneath both border faults and eruptive centers, with earthquake swarms around magma bodies. Our focal mechanisms and Global CMTs from a 2007 fault-dike episode show a local rotation from ~E-W extension to NE-SE extension in this linkage zone, consistent with time-averaged strain recorded in vent and eruptive chain alignments. These patterns suggest that strain localization via widespread magma intrusion can occur during the first 5 My of rifting in originally thick lithosphere. Lower crustal seismicity in magmatic sectors may be caused by high gas pressures and volatile migration from active metasomatism and magma degassing, consistent with high CO2 flux along fault zones, and widespread metasomatism of xenoliths. Volatile release and

  17. Crustal thinning in the northern Tyrrhenian Rift: Insights from multichannel and wide-angle seismic data across the basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeller, S.; Grevemeyer, I.; Ranero, C. R.; Berndt, C.; Klaeschen, D.; Sallares, V.; Zitellini, N.; Franco, R.

    2014-03-01

    Extension of the continental lithosphere leads to the formation of rift basins or rifted continental margins if breakup occurs. Seismic investigations have repeatedly shown that conjugate margins have asymmetric tectonic structures and different amount of extension and crustal thinning. Here we compare two coincident wide-angle and multichannel seismic profiles across the northern Tyrrhenian rift system sampling crust that underwent different stages of extension from north to south and from the flanks to the basin center. Tomographic inversion reveals that the crust has thinned homogeneously from ~24 km to ~17 km between the Corsica Margin and the Latium Margin implying a β factor of ~1.3-1.5. On the transect 80 km to the south, the crust thinned from ~24 km beneath Sardinia to a maximum of ~11 km in the eastern region near the Campania Margin (β factor of ~2.2). The increased crustal thinning is accompanied by a zone of reduced velocities in the upper crust that expands progressively toward the southeast. We interpret that the velocity reduction is related to rock fracturing caused by a higher degree of brittle faulting, as observed on multichannel seismic images. Locally, basalt flows are imaged intruding sediment in this zone, and heat flow values locally exceed 100 mW/m2. Velocities within the entire crust range 4.0-6.7 km/s, which are typical for continental rocks and indicate that significant rift-related magmatic underplating may not be present. The characteristics of the pre-tectonic, syn-tectonic and post-tectonic sedimentary units allow us to infer the spatial and temporal evolution of active rifting. In the western part of the southern transect, thick postrift sediments were deposited in half grabens that are bounded by large fault blocks. Fault spacing and block size diminish to the east as crustal thinning increases. Recent tectonic activity is expressed by faults cutting the seafloor in the east, near the mainland of Italy. The two transects show

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

    SciTech Connect

    Perry, F.V.

    1994-06-01

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

  19. The effects of thick sediment upon continental breakup: seismic imaging and thermal modeling of the Salton Trough, southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, L.; Hole, J. A.; Lowell, R. P.; Stock, J. M.; Fuis, G. S.; Driscoll, N. W.; Kell, A. M.; Kent, G. M.; Harding, A. J.; Gonzalez-Fernandez, A.; Lázaro-Mancilla, O.

    2015-12-01

    Continental rifting ultimately creates a deep accommodation space for sediment. When a major river flows into a late-stage rift, thick deltaic sediment can change the thermal regime and alter the mechanisms of extension and continental breakup. The Salton Trough, the northernmost rift segment of the Gulf of California plate boundary, has experienced the same extension as the rest of the Gulf, but is filled to sea level by sediment from the Colorado River. Unlike the southern Gulf, seafloor spreading has not initiated. Instead, seismicity, high heat flow, and minor volcanoes attest to ongoing rifting of thin, transitional crust. Recently acquired controlled-source seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection data in the Salton Trough provide constraints upon crustal architecture and active rift processes. The crust in the central Salton Trough is only 17-18 km thick, with a strongly layered but relatively one-dimensional structure for ~100 km in the direction of plate motion. The upper crust includes 2-4 km of Colorado River sediment. Crystalline rock below the sediment is interpreted to be similar sediment metamorphosed by the high heat flow and geothermal activity. Meta-sediment extends to at least 9 km depth. A 4-5 km thick layer in the middle crust is either additional meta-sediment or stretched pre-existing continental crust. The lowermost 4-5 km of the crust is rift-related mafic magmatic intrusion or underplating from partial melting in the hot upper mantle. North American lithosphere in the Salton Trough has been almost or completely rifted apart. The gap has been filled by ~100 km of new transitional crust created by magmatism from below and sedimentation from above. These processes create strong lithologic, thermal, and rheologic layering. While heat flow in the rift is very high, rapid sedimentation cools the upper crust as compared to a linear geotherm. Brittle extension occurs within new meta-sedimentary rock. The lower crust, in comparison, is

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  1. The mesoproterozoic midcontinent rift system, Lake Superior region, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ojakangas, R.W.; Morey, G.B.; Green, J.C.

    2001-01-01

    Exposures in the Lake Superior region, and associated geophysical evidence, show that a 2000 km-long rift system developed within the North American craton ??? 1109-1087 Ma, the age span of the most of the volcanic rocks. This system is characterized by immense volumes of mafic igneous rocks, mostly subaerial plateau basalts, generated in two major pulses largely by a hot mantle plume. A new ocean basin was nearly formed before rifting ceased, perhaps due to the remote effect of the Grenville continental collision to the east. Broad sagging/subsidence, combined with a system of axial half-grabens separated along the length of the rift by accommodation zones, provided conditions for the accumulation of as much as 20 km of volcanic rocks and as much as 10 km of post-rift clastic sediments, both along the rift axis and in basins flanking a central, post-volcanic horst. Pre-rift mature, quartzose sandstones imply little or no uplift prior to the onset of rift volcanism. Early post-rift red-bed sediments consist almost entirely of intrabasinally derived volcanic sediment deposited in alluvial fan to fluvial settings; the exception is one gray to black carbon-bearing lacustrine(?) unit. This early sedimentation phase was followed by broad crustal sagging and deposition of progressively more mature red-bed, fluvial sediments with an extra-basinal provenance. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Jerome; Wilson, Terry; Henrys, Stuart

    2007-01-01

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

  3. New Isotopic Constraints on the Sources of Methane at Sites of Active Continental Serpentinization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, D. T.; Gruen, D.; Morrill, P. L.; Rietze, A.; Nealson, K. H.; Kubo, M. D.; Cardace, D.; Schrenk, M. O.; Hoehler, T. M.; McCollom, T. M.; Etiope, G.; Hosgormez, H.; Schoell, M.; Ono, S.

    2014-12-01

    of methane, and the flow of energy and carbon, in areas of active continental serpentinization. [1] Ono et al. (2014) Anal. Chem. 86, 6487. [2] Morrill et al. (2013) Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 109, 222. [3] Cardace et al. (2013) Sci. Dril. 16, 45. [4] Etiope et al. (2011) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 310, 96.

  4. Geomorphology of the central Red Sea Rift: Determining spreading processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Augustin, Nico; van der Zwan, Froukje M.; Devey, Colin W.; Ligi, Marco; Kwasnitschka, Tom; Feldens, Peter; Bantan, Rashad A.; Basaham, Ali S.

    2016-12-01

    Continental rifting and ocean basin formation is occurring today in the Red Sea, providing a possible modern analogue for the creation of mid-ocean ridges. Yet many of the seafloor features observed along the axis of the Red Sea appear anomalous compared to ancient and modern examples of mid-ocean ridges in other parts of the world, making it unclear, until recently, whether the Red Sea is truly analogous. Recent work suggests that the main morphological differences between the Red Sea Rift (RSR) and other mid-ocean ridges are due to the presence and movement of giant, submarine salt flows, which blanket large portions of the rift valley and thereby the oceanic crust. Using ship-based, high-resolution multibeam bathymetry of the central RSR between 16.5°N and 23°N we focus here on the RSR volcanic terrains not covered by salt and sediments and compare their morphologies to those observed along slow and ultra-slow spreading ridges elsewhere. Regional variations in style and intensity of volcanism can be related to variations in volcanic activity and mantle heat flow. The Red Sea oceanic seafloor shows typical features of mature (ultra)slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges, such as 2nd order discontinuities (overlapping spreading centres) and magma focussing in the segment centres (forming spreading-perpendicular volcanic ridges of thick oceanic crust). The occurrence of melt-salt interaction at locations where salt glaciers blanket the neovolcanic zone, and the absence of large detachment faults are unique features of the central RSR. These features can be related to the young character of the Red Sea and may be applicable to all young oceanic rifts, associated with plumes and/or evaporites. Thus, the RSR falls in line with (ultra)slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges globally, which makes the Red Sea a unique but highly important type example for initiation of slow rifting and seafloor spreading and one of the most interesting targets for future ocean research.

  5. Changing mechanical response during continental collision: Active examples from the foreland thrust belts of Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Dan M.; Lillie, Robert J.

    1994-01-01

    We have used data from teleseismic, seismic reflection and field geologic studies, along with both geomechanical and gravity modeling to contrast the tectonics of four active orogenic wedges in Pakistan: the Kashmir Himalaya, the Salt Range-Potwar Plateau foldbelt, the Sulaiman Range and the Makran accretionary wedge. In Makran, oceanic crust is still being subducted, and a thick pile of sediments is being accreted and underplated. Undercompaction and excess pore pressures can explain the narrow cross-sectional taper and frontal aseismicity of this wedge. Beneath the Sulaiman wedge, continental crust is just starting to be underthrust. Indirect evidence suggests that fine-grained carbonate rocks found in abundance deep in the stratigraphic section may be deforming ductilely at the base of the Sulaiman wedge and provide a zone of ductile detachment. The collision has proceeded to a much more mature stage in the Salt Range-Potwar Plateau foldbelt and the Kashmir Himalaya. Isostatic response to underthrusting of continental crust has kept the sedimentary pile quite thin in both of these wedges, so in that respect the two foldbelts are similar. However, thick Eocambrian salt beneath the Salt Range and Potwar Plateau permits that foldbelt to be much wider in map view, with a thinner cross-sectional taper and a mixture of thrust vergence directions. A major normal fault in basement causes the Salt Range to rise in front of the mildly deformed molasse basin of the southern Potwar Plateau. Much of the diversity among these mountain belts can be understood in terms of differences in the maturity of the collision process in each area, the resulting thickness of the sedimentary pile encountered at the deformation front, and the presence or absence of large contrasts in strength between the various layers of the stratigraphic section and basement relief.

  6. Development of the Barents Sea rift and its influence on sedimentation and hydrocarbon formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balanyuk, Inna; Dmitrievsky, Anatoly; Shapovalov, Sergey; Chaikina, Olga

    2010-05-01

    A special attention is given to the geodynamic active zone of the Barents Sea rift. Its development was accompanied by vigorous tectonic activity, propagation of deep faults, deep fractured zones that played an important role in fluid dynamic and thermobaric regime of the whole region. Geodynamic development of the Barents Sea rift not only played a substantial role in formation of as unique oil and gas fields as Shtokman, Prirazlomnoe and others, but created prerequisites for possible gas outbursts into near-surface sediments that could result, in some cases, in hydrocarbon formation. All the Barents Sea deposits are situated in the epicenter of the rift and, most important, over the zone of listric faults intersection, which set up a knot system over the mantle diapir. It is confirmed by prospecting seismology. Intrusion of hot mantle matter with further cooling down of abnormal lense might be a possible cause of appearance and evolution of ultradeep depressions. A high "seismic stratification" of the lower crust (nearly reaching the basement surface) at time scale about 8 sec. is typical for the deepest part of the depression. Supposing the "seismic stratified" lower crust correspond to "basalt" layer, this area is nearly upper crust ("granitic-gneiss") free. This fact confurmes conception on development of "granite free gaps" in the depression basement. Thick blocks of "seismically transparent" upper crust corresponding to the "granitic-gneiss" layer are marked out within Kolsk-Kanin monocline. An abrupt thickness decrease and appearance of "stratified" areas takes place at the southern edge of the depression. A filling of the over-rift sag with sediments, revival of the faults and their effect on the filtration processes and gas hydrates formation took place in the South Barents Sea depression. Repeating activation of the fault blocks in the basement, especially during late Jurassic - early Cretaceous period contributed to formation of the structures related

  7. Impact of geodynamic development of the Barents Sea deep rift on evolving petroleum systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balanyuk, I.; Dmitrievsky, A.

    2009-04-01

    All the Barents Sea deposits are situated in the epicenter on active geodynamic development of the Barents Sea rift and, most important, over the zone of listric faults intersection, which consist a knot system over the mantle diapir. This is confirmed by prospecting seismology. Intrusion of hot mantle matter with further cooling down of abnormal lense might be a possible cause of appearance and evolution of ultradeep depressions. A high "seismic stratification" of the lower crust (nearly reaching the basement surface) at time scale about 8 sec. is typical for the inner, the deepest part of the depression. Supposing the "seismic stratified" lower crust correspond to "basalt" layer, this area is nearly upper crust ("granitic-gneiss") free. This fact confurmes conception on development of "granite free gaps" in the depression basement. Thick blocks of "seismically transparent" upper crust corresponding to the "granitic-gneiss" layer are marked out within Kolsk-Kanin monocline. An abrupt thickness decrease and appearance of "stratified" areas takes place at the southern edge of the depression. A filling of the over-rift sag with sediments, revival of the faults and their effect on the filtration processes and gas hydrates formation took place in the South Barents Sea depression. Repeating activation of the fault blocks in the basement, especially during late Jurassic - early Cretaceous period contributed to formation of the structures related to the greatest deposits of the South Barents Sea depression. An extended field acoustic data collected in the Barents Sea led to understanding of general fundamental problems for all Arctic Seas and, first of all, the problem of Quaternary glaciations. An analysis of Eurasian-Arctic continental margin shows correspondence between the rift systems of the shelf with those of the ocean. This relation can be observed by an example of the central Arctic region. All the rift systems underlying the sediment basin are expressed in the

  8. Modes of rifting in magma-rich settings: Tectono-magmatic evolution of Central Afar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Recent research in Afar (northern Ethiopia) has largely focused on the formation of the present-day ocean-continent transition at active segments (e.g., Manda Hararo). However, the Oligo-Miocene history of extension, from the onset of rifting at ~25 Ma to the eruption of the massive Stratoïd flood basalts at ~4 Ma, remains poorly constrained. Here we present new structural data and radiometric dating from Central Afar, obtained along a zone stretching from the undeformed Oligocene Ethiopian plateau to the Manda Hararo and Tat'Ale active volcanic segments. Basaltic and rhyolitic formations were mapped in two key areas corresponding to the proximal and distal parts of a half-rift. We present a balanced composite cross section of Central Afar, reconstructed using our new data and previously published geophysical data on the crustal structure. Our main findings are as follows: (1) Extension during the Mio-Pliocene corresponds to a "wide rift" style of rifting. (2) The lower crust has been underplated/intruded and rethickened during rifting by magmatic injection. (3) Our restoration points to the existence of midcrustal shear zones that have helped to distribute extension in the upper crust and to localize extension at depth in a necking zone. Moreover, we suggest that there is a close relationship between the location of a shear zone and the underplated/intruded material. In magma-rich environments such as Central Afar, breakup should be achieved once the initial continental crust has been completely replaced by the newly, magmatically accreted crust. Consequently, and particularly in Afar, crustal thickness is not necessarily indicative of breakup but instead reflects differences in tectono-magmatic regimes.

  9. Patterns of Quaternary uplift of the Corinth rift southern border (N Peloponnese, Greece) revealed by fluvial landscape morphometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demoulin, A.; Beckers, A.; Hubert-Ferrari, A.

    2015-10-01

    The Rift of Corinth is a world-class example of young active rifting and, as such, is an ideal natural laboratory of continental extension. However, though much investigated for two decades, several aspects of the mechanisms at work are still poorly understood. The aim of this paper is a detailed morphometric study of the fluvial landscape response to the tectonic uplift of the rift southern shoulder in order to reconstruct the rift's Quaternary evolution, with special attention to timing, location, and intensity of uplift episodes. Based on the use of a large set of catchment and long profile metrics complemented by the new R/SR integrative approach of the regional drainage network, we identified three distinct episodes of uplift of the northern Peloponnese coastal tract, of which the intermediate one, dated around 0.35-0.4 Ma, is only recorded in the topography of the central part of the rift shoulder, and the youngest one appears to have propagated from east to west over the last 10-20 ka. While net uplift remained minimum in the eastern part of the study area during the whole Quaternary, it shows a clear maximum in the central part of the rift shoulder since 0.4 Ma and an eastward shift of this maximum in recent times. Maximum uplift rates calculated from the morphometric data are of > 1.05 and 2-5 mm year- 1 for, the mid-Middle Pleistocene and Holocene uplift episodes, respectively. The morphometric evidence reveals an onshore uplift history remarkably consistent with the rift evolution reconstructed from other data sets. In the long term, it shows a stable pattern of maximum activity in the central part of the rift, confirming previous conclusions about the absence of rift propagation. In the short term, it sheds light on a possible E-W migration of the zone of recent uplift, suggesting that in the near future fault activity and seismic hazard might concentrate in the Heliki-Aegion area, at the western tip of this uplift wave.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-transmitted virus or arbovirus that is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. In the last decade, Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks have resulted in loss of human and animal life, as well as had significant economic impact. The disease in livestock is primarily a...

  12. Continental magnetic anomaly constraints on continental reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

    Crustal magnetic anomalies mapped by the MAGSAT satellite for North and South America, Europe, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica and adjacent marine areas were adjusted to a common elevation of 400 km and differentially reduced to the radial pole of intensity 60,000 nT. These radially polarized anomalies are normalized for differential inclination, declination and intensity effects of the geomagnetic field, so that in principle they directly reflected the geometric and magnetic polarization attributes of sources which include regional petrologic variations of the crust and upper mantle, and crustal thickness and thermal perturbations. Continental anomalies demonstrate remarkably detailed correlation of regional magnetic sources across rifted margins when plotted on a reconstruction of Pangea. Accordingly, they suggest further fundamental constraints on the geologic evolution of the continents and their reconstructions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gawthorpe, Robert; Ford, Mary

    2015-04-01

    Existing models for the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins are strongly linked the growth and linkage of normal fault segments and localization of fault activity. Early stages of faulting (rift initiation phase) are characterized by distributed, short, low displacement fault segments, subdued fault-related topography and small depocentres within which sedimentation keeps pace with subsidence. Following linkage and displacement localization (rift climax phase), deformation if focused onto major, crustal-scale fault zones with kilometre-scale displacement. These major faults generate pronounced tilted fault-block topography, with subsidence rates that outpace sedimentation causing a pronounced change to deep-water deposition. Such models have been successful in helping to understand the gross structural and sedimentary evolution of rift basins, but recent work has suggested that pre-existing structures, normal fault interaction with pre-rift salt and antecedent drainage systems significantly alter this initiation-to-climax perspective of rift basin development. The E-W-striking, Pliocene-Pleistocene Corinth rift, central Greece, is an excellent natural laboratory for studying the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins due to its young age, excellent onshore exposure of syn-rift structure and stratigraphy and extensive offshore seismic data. The rift cuts across the NW-SE-striking Hellenide mountain belt and has migrated northward and westward during its evolution. The Hellenide mountain belt significantly influences topography and drainage in the west of the rift. High topography and large antecedent drainage systems, focused along palaeovalleys, provided high sediment flux to NE-flowing alluvial systems that overfilled early-rift depocentres. Further east, away from the main antecedent drainage networks, contemporaneous deposits comprise deep-lacustrine turbidite channel and lobe complexes and basinal marls. Thus the stratigraphic expression within

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    continental crust) to NE-SW (fracture zones in oceanic crust). In the gravimetric maps (Residual isostatic and Free-Air) and in 2D forward modeling the negative and positive gravity anomalies are related to grabens and horsts, respectively. The Pernambuco Basin shows depocentres oriented on NW-SE and structural-marginal highs with circular and elongated shape trending NNE-SSW. The basins in the north sector present elongated positive and negative gravimetric anomalies trending NNW-SSE that are confirmed by the seismic interpretation as basement highs and small grabens, respectively. From integration of results, the oblique rifting process promoted by thinning and exhumation deformation phases and the magmatic activity in the hyperextended domain of the Pernambuco Plateau, produced an anastomosing pattern between the two sets of shear zones (NE-SW and NW-SE) and a series of rhomb-shaped structures (lozenges). The northern Paraíba and Natal Platform basins, the orthogonal arrangement between Pre-Cambrian shear zones (NE-SW and E-W) and the rift axis favored these structures to initiate strait transforming faults from thinned continental crust to oceanic crust.

  15. At the tip of a propagating rift - The offshore East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies have addressed various aspects of the East African Rift system (EARS) but surprisingly few the offshore continuation of the south-eastern branch of the rift into the Mozambique Channel. Here, we present new evidence for neotectonic deformation derived from modern seismic reflection data and supported by additional geophysical data. The Kerimbas Graben offshore northern Mozambique is the most prominent manifestation of sub-recent extensional deformation. The seismic reflection data reveals that recent normal faulting often utilizes preexisting, deeply buried half-graben structures which likely are related to the formation of the Somali Basin. The ~30 km wide and ~150 km long symmetric graben is in a stage where the linkage of scattered normal faults already did happen, resulting in increased displacement and accommodation of most of the extension across the basin. However, deep earthquakes below the rift indicate a strong and still preserved lithospheric mantle. Extension is becoming diffuse where an onshore suture, subdividing the northern from the southern metamorphic basement onshore Mozambique, is closest to the offshore rift. It appears likely that this suture is the origin for the variation in rifting style, indicating that mantle fabric resulting from a Cambrian collision has been preserved as mechanical anisotropy of the lithospheric mantle. Further south the rift focuses in an about 30 km wide half-graben. An important finding is that the entire offshore branch of the EARS lacks significant volcanism. Along the offshore EARS there are only negligible indications for recent volcanism in the reflection seismic data such as sills and dikes. Apparently the "Comoros mantle plume" (French and Romanowicz, 2015) has a very minor influence on the progressive extensional deformation along the northern Mozambique continental margin, leading eventually to breakup sometimes in the future. Combining structural with earthquake data reveals that the magma

  16. Morphotectonics of the Tunka rift and its bordering mountains in the Baikal rift system, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shchetnikov, Alexander

    2016-11-01

    The Tunka section of the Baikal rift system presents a uniform alternation of the following neostructural forms: tilted horsts and asymmetrical block uplifts on the northern flank; the central system of the rift valleys; and the arched uplift of the southern flank. This is a standard set of morphostructural elements for the Baikal rift system. The main morphological feature of the Tunka rift is the strong inclination of its floor, ranging from 900 m to 200 km in general elevation above Lake Baikal. Such traits of recent geodynamics as volcanism, thermal activity, and seismicity are also different from other parts of the rift zone. All of these features of the Tunka rift are related to the deep structure of the rift zone. The peculiarities of the neotectonic structure of the Tunka rift, which are clearly expressed morphologically as is typical of the Baikal rift system, as well as its unique features are in accordance with deep geodynamic processes of the region. On the other hand, the development of the rift basin structures of the southwestern area near Baikal is complicated by inversion deformations. Local uplifts followed by deformations of the basin sedimentary cover and inverted morphostructures expressed in relief are fixed against the background of the general subsidence of blocks of the pre-Cenozoic basement grabens. The Tunka rift has repeatedly experienced inversion deformations throughout its history. The last wave of such deformations involved the southwestern region near Baikal in the second half of the late Pleistocene. During the Quaternary, the positive component prevailed in the whole range of vertical movements of the inter-rift and interbasin blocks; since the late Neogene, these structures have experienced a slow but steady uplift, accompanied by their extension at the expense of the bordering basins. The remote influence of the India-Asia collision on the formation of the southwestern section of the Baikal rift system is very significant and

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lund, K.

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Quantifying the temporal and spatial response of channel steepness to changes in rift basin architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, S. M.; Whipple, K. X.; Arrowsmith, R.; Heimsath, A. M.; Foster, M.; Cohen, A. S.

    2013-12-01

    Quantifying the temporal evolution of active continental rifts contributes to our understanding of fault system evolution and seismic hazards. Rift basins also preserve robust paleoenvironmental records that may help untangle feedbacks between climate and tectonics. Here we quantify the spatial and temporal history of rift flank uplift by exploiting landscape memory along footwall escarpments in the Malawi segment of the East Africa Rift. Our work helps answer a suite of questions that are widely applicable to continental rift settings; (1) Is rift-flank uplift well described by theoretical elliptical displacement patterns? (2) Do orographic climate patterns induced by rift topography affect rift-flank uplift? (3) Is footwall exhumation influenced by the evolution of depocenters and rift lakes? In Malawi, 100 km long border faults of alternating polarity bound half-graben sedimentary basins containing up to 4km of basin fill and water depths up to 700m. Orographically driven precipitation produces climatic gradients along footwall escarpments resulting in mean annual precipitation that varies spatially from 800 to 2500mm. Temporal oscillations in climate have also resulted in lake lowstands 500m below the modern Lake Malawi. We examine bedrock river profiles crossing the Livingstone and Usisya Border Faults in northern Malawi using the channel steepness index (Ksn). River profiles reveal consistent patterns of Ksn throughout the study area. Typical profiles contain a lower reach with Ksn values between 150-300 and an upper reach with values between 50-150. Some channels display an uppermost reach with values less than 100 that are interpreted to represent the pre to early-rift relief of the region. This progressive downstream steepening is consistent with acceleration of slip along the main border faults or reduction in climatically modulated erosional efficiency. Spatial patterns of Ksn and knickpoint elevations are not consistent with theoretical along fault

  19. Evidence for alkaline igneous activity and associated metasomatism in the Reelfoot rift, south-central Midcontinent, U. S. A

    SciTech Connect

    Goldhaber, M.B.; Diehl, S.F.; Sutley, S.J. ); Flohr, M.J.K. )

    1993-03-01

    Alkaline igneous magmatism is commonly associated with intracontinental rifts such as the Reelfoot rift (RR). Direct evidence for alkaline magmatism in the area of the RR occurs as lamprophyre and syenite encountered in deep wells. The authors' new studies of lamprophyres and sedimentary rocks from wells in the region provide additional examples of alkaline magmatism and emphasize the effects of related metasomatism. Sedimentary rocks in the Dow Chemical No. 1 Garrigan well, which is not known to contain lamprophyre dikes, probably also were metasomatically altered, as they contain authigenic fluorapatite, Ce-phosphates, and other REE-rich minerals. Enrichments of incompatible and large ion lithophile elements commonly associated with alkaline magmatism occur in the New Madrid test well, near the crest of the Pascola Arch. The carbonate-free fraction of Paleozoic rocks in this well is highly enriched in Nb (500 ppm), Ba (> 5,000 ppm), La (500 ppm), Th (1,000 ppm), and F (2,400 ppm). Abundant inclusion-rich potassium-feldspar cement in a nearby well may also be the result of alkaline metasomatism. Fluorite and elevated F concentrations are found in several wells in the RR, and contrast with stratigraphically correlative platform carbonates of the Ozark uplift, which lack F enrichment. Well and spring water samples above the RR are enriched in fluorine (as much as 5,000 ppb) compared to samples away from the rift which typically have concentrations two orders of magnitude smaller. The data and observations are consistent with relatively widespread alkaline metasomatism, which was associated with the intrusion of alkaline magmas in the RR.

  20. Off-axis magmatism along a subaerial back-arc rift: Observations from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Hamling, Ian J.; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrun; Bannister, Stephen; Palmer, Neville

    2016-01-01

    Continental rifting and seafloor spreading play a fundamental role in the generation of new crust. However, the distribution of magma and its relationship with tectonics and volcanism remain poorly understood, particularly in back-arc settings. We show evidence for a large, long-lived, off-axis magmatic intrusion located on the margin of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. Geodetic data acquired since the 1950s show evidence for uplift outside of the region of active extension, consistent with the inflation of a magmatic body at a depth of ~9.5 km. Satellite radar interferometry and Global Positioning System data suggest that there was an increase in the inflation rate from 2003 to 2011, which correlates with intense earthquake activity in the region. Our results suggest that the continued growth of a large magmatic body may represent the birth of a new magma chamber on the margins of a back-arc rift system. PMID:27386580

  1. Off-axis magmatism along a subaerial back-arc rift: Observations from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Hamling, Ian J; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrun; Bannister, Stephen; Palmer, Neville

    2016-06-01

    Continental rifting and seafloor spreading play a fundamental role in the generation of new crust. However, the distribution of magma and its relationship with tectonics and volcanism remain poorly understood, particularly in back-arc settings. We show evidence for a large, long-lived, off-axis magmatic intrusion located on the margin of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. Geodetic data acquired since the 1950s show evidence for uplift outside of the region of active extension, consistent with the inflation of a magmatic body at a depth of ~9.5 km. Satellite radar interferometry and Global Positioning System data suggest that there was an increase in the inflation rate from 2003 to 2011, which correlates with intense earthquake activity in the region. Our results suggest that the continued growth of a large magmatic body may represent the birth of a new magma chamber on the margins of a back-arc rift system.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  3. Arctic summary report: Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas activities in the Arctic and their onshore impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, C.; Slitor, D. L.; Rudolph, R. W.

    1985-01-01

    Issues and developments occuring in the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf subregion are discussed. The geology and hydrocarbon potential of the Diapir Field petroleum provinces are detailed. Recent lease sales, exploration activities, and the first development proposals for offshore areas of the North slope are considered. Issues relating to transporting resources from production islands to shore and various proposals for moving Arctic hydrocarbons to market are presented. Production projects onshore and possible support bases for offshore activity are also examined.

  4. Style of extensional tectonism during rifting, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohannon, R.G.

    1989-01-01

    Geologic and geophysical studies from the Arabian continental margin in the southern Red Sea and LANDSAT analysis of the northern Somalia margin in the Gulf of Aden suggest that the early continental rifts were long narrow features that formed by extension on closely spaced normal faults above moderate- to shallow-dipping detachments with break-away zones defining one rift flank and root zones under the opposing rift flank. The rift flanks presently form the opposing continental margins across each ocean basin. The detachment on the Arabian margin dips gently to the west, with a breakaway zone now eroded above the deeply dissected terrain of the Arabian escarpment. A model is proposed in which upper crustal breakup occurs on large detachment faults that have a distinct polarity. -from Author

  5. Late Cenozoic evolution of the East China continental margin: Insights from seismic, gravity, and magnetic analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Lu-Ning; Zhang, Xun-Hua; Jia, Yong-Gang; Han, Bo; Yang, Chuan-Sheng; Geng, Wei; Pang, Yu-Mao

    2017-02-01

    Seismic reflection profiles reveal the structural characteristics beneath the East China Sea shelf margin and the Okinawa Trough, and provide new constraints on the Late Cenozoic evolution of the East China continental margin. The Frontal Shelf Basin between the Taiwan-Sinzi Uplift and the trough axis occupies the western half of the Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough. In this basin, the Middle-Late Miocene sediments are confined to grabens or half-grabens dominated by listric faults, whereas the overlying Pliocene-Quaternary sequence is characterized by a uniform thickness and dense planar-type faults, suggesting that rifting of the Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough initiated during the Middle Miocene but slowed down during the earliest Pliocene. Since that time, the opening of the Okinawa Trough has been dominated by diffuse rifting. The Southern Okinawa Trough is predominately filled by Quaternary sediments, indicating that its back-arc rifting began during the earliest Pleistocene. Contractional structures identified in the pre-Quaternary sequence beneath the continental slope, along with an erosional Pleistocene-pre-Pleistocene unconformity in the Southern Okinawa Trough, demonstrate the existence of pre-rifting compression and uplifting in this region. We use this evidence and previously published results, to propose an evolutionary model of the East China continental margin during the Late Cenozoic. The Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough began rifting during the Middle Miocene on a paleo-uplift. The Luzon Arc initially impinged upon the Eurasian continental margin during the Late Miocene near the southeastern end of the Miyako Fault Belt and activated the proto-Taiwan Orogeny in today's Southern Okinawa Trough and adjacent regions. During the Late Miocene-Pliocene, the orogeny quickly propagated southwestward along with the west-northwest-moving Philippine Sea Plate. Subsequently, the rifting of the Southern Okinawa Trough was initiated during the earliest Pleistocene

  6. 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.

  7. Volcanism at rifts

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-07-01

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

  8. Application of the critical Coulomb wedge theory to hyper-extended, magma-poor rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nirrengarten, M.; Manatschal, G.; Yuan, X. P.; Kusznir, N. J.; Maillot, B.

    2016-05-01

    The Critical Coulomb Wedge Theory (CCWT) has been extensively used in compressional tectonics to resolve the shape of orogenic or accretionary prisms, while it is less applied to extensional and gravitational wedges despite the fact that it can be described by the same equation. In particular, the hyper-extended domain at magma-poor rifted margins, forming the oceanward termination of extended continental crust, satisfies the three main requirements of the CCWT: 1) it presents a wedge shape, 2) the rocks forming the wedge are completely brittle (frictional), and 3) the base of the wedge corresponds to a low friction décollement. However hyper-extended margins present a fully frictional behaviour only for a very thin crust; therefore this study is limited to the termination of hyper-extended continental crust which deforms in the latest stage of continental rifting. In this paper we define a method to measure the surface slope and the basal deep of this wedge that we apply to 17 hyper-extended, magma-poor rifted margins in order to compare the results to the values predicted by the CCWT. Because conjugate pairs of hyper-extended, magma-poor rifted margins are commonly asymmetric, due to detachment faulting, the wedges in the upper and lower plate margins corresponding respectively to the hanging wall and footwall of the detachment system are different. While the stress field in the upper plate wedge corresponds to a tectonic extensional wedge, the one in the lower plate matches that of a gravity extensional wedge. Using typical frictional properties of phyllosilicates (e.g. clays and serpentine), the shape of the hyper-extended wedges can be resolved by the CCWT using consistent fluid overpressures. Our results show that all lower plate margins are gravitationally stable and therefore have a close to critical shape whereas the tectonic extensional wedges at upper plate margins are critical, sub or sup critical due to the detachment initial angle and the duration of

  9. Post-rift Magmatism at Passive Margins: An Integrated Study of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.; Murphy, M. A.; Cannon, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    The pre-Cenozoic tectonic history of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) can be broadly described as Triassic rifting, followed by Jurassic seafloor spreading and post-rift igneous activity as well as domal uplifts and rapid subsidence during the Late Cretaceous. Igneous rocks, identified from geophysical data and outcrops, extend from the Uvalde and Balcones volcanic fields in Texas, through northern Louisiana and eastern Arkansas, to the Jackson Dome in Mississippi. How this widespread magmatic event affected the thermal and structural framework of the crust and the sedimentary system in the northern GoM basin, remain poorly understood. Competing hypotheses exist regarding post-rift igneous activity: 1) Magmatism in the northeastern GoM basin is part of the Bermuda hotspot track; 2) The subduction of the Farallon plate caused distant lithospheric flexure and associated igneous activity in the northwestern GoM basin; 3) Edge-driven mantle convection produced melts at the continent-ocean boundary; 4) Grenville and Ouachita sutures led to opportunistic igneous activity. Preliminary results show that, instead of an eastward age progressive track, which is predicted by the Bermuda hotspot hypothesis, the spatial distribution and ages of igneous rocks follow the transition between continental and oceanic crust; it also roughly coincides with the Grenville and Ouachita sutures. It is also possible that the shallow-angle subduction of the Farallon plate could trigger magmatism ca. 1500 km from the trench; a modern analog is the subduction of the west Pacific plate and the Changbai volcano in northeast Asia. Here we emphasize the tectonomagmatic evolution of the northern GoM basin; and moreover suggest post-rift magmatism at passive continental margins is likely affected by both edge-driven convection and inherited lithospheric structures.

  10. Probing the age and temperature of rifting in Afar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armitage, John; Goes, Saskia; Ferguson, David; Hammond, James; Calais, Eric

    2014-05-01

    Rifting along the southern part of the Red Sea margin in NE Africa (leading to formation of Afar) has been closely associated with magmatic activity since the initiation of extension at around ~ 25Ma. Numerous active volcanoes are currently found along rift zones here and magma intrusion into the crust has potentially accommodated significant amounts of extension. This extensive present-day volcanism has been linked to elevated mantle temperature, perhaps due to a thermal plume, or as a consequence of passive flow in the mantle beneath the extending lithosphere. Geochemical evidence for basaltic lavas erupted in Afar have been used to suggest that mantle temperatures are in the range 1370 to 1490°C, and that the region is currently experiencing late stage rifting. Analysis of changes in shear wave seismic velocities and relative travel time tomography suggests mantle temperatures are within a similar range, yet the region has greater similarities to a young spreading centre. The range in potential temperature estimates is however very large, with different implications for the volcanic history of the region and hence timing of break-up. Rather than focusing a single observable, we use a relatively straight forward model of extension and decompression melting to predict the seismic-velocity and attenuation structure of the asthenosphere and lithosphere, synthetic receiver functions as a result of this seismic structure, crustal thickness as a result of decompression and finally the melt composition. From this combined study we find that melt composition and seismic structure are dependent on both temperature and time. If mantle potential temperature is 1350°C then both the seismic structure and melt composition can be matched if the duration of extension is more than 30 Myr. However this is longer than the estimated duration of extension from plate reconstructions, and given the low rate of extension in Afar, this cold model only generates up to 5 km of igneous

  11. First hydroacoustic evidence of marine, active fluid vents in the Naples Bay continental shelf (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passaro, Salvatore; Genovese, Simona; Sacchi, Marco; Barra, Marco; Rumolo, Paola; Tamburrino, Stella; Mazzola, Salvatore; Basilone, Gualtiero; Placenti, Francesco; Aronica, Salvatore; Bonanno, Angelo

    2014-09-01

    We present the first results of a multidisciplinary research aimed at the detection and mapping of Active Fluid Vents (AFVs) at the seafloor of the Naples Bay, Italy. This segment of the Campania continental margin is characterised by severe Quaternary extension and intense volcanism at Ischia and Procida islands, the Campi Flegrei and Somma-Vesuvius volcanic complexes. High resolution hydroacoustic profilers were used to identify and localize fluid emission from the seafloor. ROV direct observation showed that each emission centre is generally composed by the coalescence of several emitting points. CTD probes showed that there are no significant gradients in temperature profiles. The results of this study include the detection and mapping of 54 fluid emission points all located in the - 71/- 158 m depth range, and spatially distributed into four main clusters. Three of the described clusters are located along the margin of a complex, toe-shaped seafloor morphology southwest of the Somma-Vesuvius, representing the shallow expression of partly buried, coalesced depositional features (namely, two flank collapses and one pyroclastic flow) associated with the Late Pleistocene activity of the volcano. The fourth AFV cluster was detected at the morphological - high, located about 8 km south of Naples (Banco della Montagna), represented by a field of volcaniclastic diapirs composed of massive pumiceous deposits originated from the Campi Flegrei intruding rising through the latest Quaternary-Holocene marine deposits. Our study suggests that the occurrence of AFV in this area could be genetically linked to the interaction between volcanic related seafloor morphologies and the main, NE striking faults present in the area, i.e. the Magnaghi-Sebeto line and the Vesuvian fault.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Tectonic significance of basalts of the Middle Run Formation (Upper Proterozoic) of the East Continent Rift Basin, Indiana and Kentucky

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, D. . Kentucky Geological Survey); Misra, K.C. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    Thirty-five samples of mafic rock recovered from three basement wells in Lawrence Co., Ind., Campbell Co., Ky., and Jessamine Co., Ky, were analyzed for major, minor, and trace-element composition by XRF and single-acid extraction ICP in a commercial laboratory. Petrographic examination indicates that these mafic rocks are, in part, amygdaloidal basalts, and therefore represent some portion of a Late Proterozoic mafic volcanic center that existed in the East Continent Rift Basin (ECRB). These samples possess systematic trends in the distribution of many trace elements, indicating the original compositions have been preserved. This suggests that these basalts possess their original concentrations of the majority of the large ion lithophile (LIL) elements. The concentrations of the LIL elements in the Middle Run basalts indicate that the Middle run basalts can best be characterized as being continental flood basalts. Comparison with published data from the Keweenanwan basalts of the North Shore Volcanic Group, exposed along the Lake Superior portion of the Midcontinent Rift, indicates that the Middle Run basalts are similar to the more evolved basalts of that suite. However, primitive MORB-like compositions that are present in the North Shore Group are apparently absent in the basalts of the ECRB. This may suggest that the Lake Superior segment of the Midcontinent Rift underwent a greater degree of crustal extension than the Middle Run basin. Alternatively, the basalts associated with the Middle Run Formation may represent magmatic activity early in the rift evolution.

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

    PubMed

    Passarelli, L; Rivalta, E; Shuler, A

    2014-01-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Continental crust: a geophysical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Meissner, R.

    1986-01-01

    This book develops an integrated and balanced picture of present knowledge of the continental crust. Crust and lithosphere are first defined, and the formation of crusts as a general planetary phenomenon is described. The background and methods of geophysical studies of the earth's crust and the collection of related geophysical parameters are examined. Creep and friction experiments and the various methods of radiometric age dating are addressed, and geophysical and geological investigations of the crustal structure in various age provinces of the continents are studied. Specific tectonic structures such as rifts, continental margins, and geothermal areas are discussed. Finally, an attempt is made to give a comprehensive view of the evolution of the continental crust and to collect and develop arguments for crustal accretion and recycling. 647 references.

  17. Pre-breakup geology of the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean: Its relation to Triassic and Jurassic rift systems of the region

    SciTech Connect

    Bartok, P. )

    1993-02-01

    A review of the pre-breakup geology of west-central Pangea, comprised of northern South America, Gulf of Mexico and West Africa, combined with a study of the Mesozoic rift trends of the region confirms a relation between the rift systems and the underlying older grain of deformation. The pre-breakup analysis focuses attention on the Precambrian, Early Paleozoic and Late Paleozoic tectonic events affecting the region and assumes a Pindell fit. Two Late Precambrian orogenic belts are observed in the west central Pangea. Along the northern South American margin and Yucatan a paleo northeast trending Pan-African aged fold belt is documented. A second system is observed along West Africa extending from the High Atlas to the Mauritanides and Rockelides. During the Late Paleozoic, renewed orogenic activity, associated with the Gondwana/Laurentia suture, affected large segments of west central Pangea. The general trend of the system is northeast-southwest and essentially parallels the Gyayana Shield, West African, and eastern North American cratons. Mesozoic rifting closely followed either the Precambrian trends or the Late Paleozoic orogenic belt. The Triassic component focuses along the western portions of the Gulf of Mexico continuing into eastern Mexico and western South America. The Jurassic rift trend followed along the separation between Yucatan and northern South America. At Lake Maracaibo the Jurassic rift system eventually overlaps the Triassic rifts. The Jurassic rift resulted in the [open quotes]Hispanic Corridor[close quotes] that permitted Tethyan and Pacific marine faunas to mix at a time when the Gulf of Mexico underwent continental sedimentation.

  18. Composition and spatial evolution of mantle and fluids released beneath the active Southeast Mariana Forearc Rift: do they have arc or backarc basin signatures?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, J. M.; Stern, R. J.; Kelley, K. A.; Ishizuka, O.; Anthony, E. Y.; Ren, M.; Manton, W. I.; Ohara, Y.; Reagan, M. K.; Bloomer, S. H.

    2010-12-01

    Fluids of progressively changing composition are released from the subducting slab. Whereas the composition and effects of deep fluids are understood from studying arcs and backarc basin (BAB) lavas, those released at shallower depths beneath forearcs are less well known. Forearc rifts give us a unique opportunity to study the composition of ultra-shallow subduction-related fluids. At the southern end of the Mariana arc, the S.E. Mariana Forearc Rift (SEMFR), was discovered by HMR-1 sonar swath mapping (Martinez et al. 2000, JGR), and investigated in July 2008 by the manned submersible Shinkai 6500. The rift extends from the trench to the BAB spreading axis, where a magma chamber was recently documented (Becker et al., 2010, G-cubed). SEMFR is opening due to continued widening of the Mariana Trough BAB. Two suites of tholeiitic pillow lavas were recovered from the N.E. flank of the rift (dive 1096; slab depth ~ 30 ± 5 km), indicating recent magmatic activity. Dive 1096 lavas consist of upper primitive basalts (Mg# ≥ 60) and lower fractionated, basaltic andesites (Mg# < 60), separated by a thin sediment layer. Geochemical and isotopic studies show that these lavas were produced by extensive hydrous melting (≥ 15%) of a common depleted MORB-like mantle (Nb/Yb ~ 1, ɛNd ~ 9.3), likely S. Mariana BAB mantle, that interacted with < 3% metasomatic fluids. Thermobarometry constraints (Lee et al., 2009, EPSL) suggest that the primary melts equilibrated with the mantle at ~ 28 km, just above the slab, with a mean temperature ~1230°C. The fluid was enriched in fluid-mobile elements (Rb, Ba, K, U, Sr, Pb, Cs), mobilized from the ultra-shallow slab at low temperature, as well as melt-mobile elements (e.g. Th, LREE), released deeper and hotter. These fluids contribute 100% Cs, 97% Rb, 99% Ba, 69% Th, 74% U, 80% K, 83% Pb, 71% Sr, 45% La, 33% Ce, 20% Nd and 11% Sm to the magma. SEMFR lavas acquired BAB-like deep subduction component as well as arc-like ultra

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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