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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldesenbet, S. F.; Wohnlich, S.

    2012-12-01

    The Central Main Ethiopian Rift basin is a continental rift system characterized by volcano-tectonic depression endowed with huge geothermal resource and associated natural geochemical changes on groundwater quality. Chemical composition of groundwater in the study area showed a well defined trend along flow from the highland and escarpment to the rift floor aquifer. The low TDS (< 500mg/l) Ca-Mg-HCO3 dominated water at recharge area in the highlands and escarpments evolve progressively into Ca-Na-HCO3 and Na-Ca-HCO3 type waters along the rift ward groundwater flow paths. These waters finally appear as moderate TDS (mean 960mg/l) Na-HCO3 type and as high TDS (> 1000 mg/l) Na-HCO3-Cl type in volcano-lacustrine aquifers of the rift floor. High concentrations of fluoride (up to 97.2 mg/l) and arsenic (up to 98μg/l) are recognized feature of groundwaters which occur mostly in the vicinity of the geothermal fields and the rift lakes in the basin. Fluoride and arsenic content of dry volcaniclastic sediments close to these areas are in the range 666-2586mg/kg and 10-13mg/kg respectively. The relationship between fluoride and calcium concentrations in groundwaters showed negative correlation. Near-equilibrium state attained between the mineral fluorite (CaF2) and the majority of fluoride-rich (>30mg/l) thermal groundwater and shallow cold groundwater. This indicated that the equilibrium condition control the high concentration of fluoride in the groundwaters. Whereas undersaturation state of fluorite in some relatively low-fluoride (<30mg/l) thermal waters indicated a dilution by cold waters. Laboratory batch leaching experiments showed that fast dissolution of fluoride from the sediment samples suddenly leached into the interacting water at the first one hour and then remain stable throughout the experiment. The concentrations of leached fluoride from the hot spring deposits, the lacustrine sediments, and the pyroclastic rock are usually low (1% of the total or less than

  3. Continental rifting: a planetary perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Muehlberger, W.R.

    1985-01-01

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

  4. Factors controlling the final depth of active and failed continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thybo, H.; Elesin, Y.; Artemieva, I. M.

    2012-12-01

    Rift zones are elongated, narrow tectonic depressions in the Earth's surface which with time become filled with sediments and volcanics. Rifting processes may lead to break-up of continental plates to form new oceanic lithosphere. Subsidence of rift basins is caused by thinning of the crust and lithospheric mantle, together with thermal relaxation and isostatic compensation for the extra load of sediments. It is generally believed that the final depth of rift basins is primarily controlled by the amount of stretching. However, we show that the relative rheological strength of faults inside and outside rift zones exerts substantial control on the volume of the final rift basin (by more than a factor of 3) even for the same amount of extension (total or inside the rift zone). This surprising result is mainly caused by irreversible deepening of the rift graben during stretching due to lower crustal flow when the faults in the rift zone are weak, whereas the effect is negligible for strong faults. Relatively strong faults inside the rift zone lead to substantial stretching of adjacent crust, and we find that long term stretching outside the main rift zone may explain the formation of wide continental margins, which are now below sea level. We also demonstrate that fast syn-rift erosion/sedimentation rates can increase the final volume of rift basins by up to a factor of 1.7 for weak crustal faults, whereas this effect is insignificant for strong faults inside the rift zone. These findings have significant implications for estimation of stretching factors, tectonic forces, and geodynamic evolution of sedimentary basins around failed rift zones.

  5. Stratigraphic Modelling of Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mondy, Luke; Duclaux, Guillaume; Salles, Tristan; Thomas, Charmaine; Rey, Patrice

    2013-04-01

    Interlinks between deformation and sedimentation have long been recognised as an important factor in the evolution of continental rifts and basins development. However, determining the relative impact of tectonic and climatic forcing on the dynamics of these systems remains a major challenge. This problem in part derives from a lack of modelling tools capable of simulated high detailed surface processes within a large scale (spatially and temporally) tectonic setting. To overcome this issue an innovative framework has been designed using two existing numerical forward modelling codes: Underworld, capable of simulating 3D self-consistent tectonic and thermal lithospheric processes, and Tellus, a forward stratigraphic and geomorphic modelling framework dedicated to simulating highly detailed surface dynamics. The coupling framework enables Tellus to use Underworld outputs as internal and boundary conditions, thereby simulating the stratigraphic and geomorphic evolution of a realistic, active tectonic setting. The resulting models can provide high-resolution data on the stratigraphic record, grain-size variations, sediment provenance, fluvial hydrometric, and landscape evolution. Here we illustrate a one-way coupling method between active tectonics and surface processes in an example of 3D oblique rifting. Our coupled model enables us to visualise the distribution of sediment sources and sinks, and their evolution through time. From this we can extract and analyse at each simulation timestep the stratigraphic record anywhere within the model domain. We find that even from a generic oblique rift model, complex fluvial-deltaic and basin filling dynamics emerge. By isolating the tectonic activity from landscape dynamics with this one-way coupling, we are able to investigate the influence of changes in climate or geomorphic parameters on the sedimentary and landscape record. These impacts can be quantified in part via model post-processing to derive both instantaneous and

  6. Factors controlling depth of continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elesin, Y.; Artemieva, I.; Thybo, H.

    2012-04-01

    Subsidence of continental rift basins is caused by thinning of the crust and lithospheric mantle together with isostatic compensation for the extra load of sediments and thermal relaxation. It is generally believed that the final depth of rift basins is primarily controlled by the amount of stretching and that other processes, such as rheology and sedimentation, only have secondary influence. However, we show that the relative rheological strength of faults inside and outside rift zones exerts substantial control on the volume of the final rift basin (by more than a factor of 3) even for the same amount of extension (total or inside the rift zone). This surprising result is mainly caused by irreversible deepening of the rift graben during stretching due to lower crustal flow when the faults in the rift zone are weak, whereas the effect is negligible for strong faults. Relatively strong faults inside the rift zone lead to substantial stretching of adjacent crust, and we find that long term stretching outside the main rift zone may explain the formation of wide continental margins, which are now below sea level. We also demonstrate that fast syn-rift erosion/sedimentation rates can increase the final volume of rift basins by up to a factor of 1.7 for weak crustal faults, whereas this effect is insignificant for strong faults inside the rift zone. These findings have significant implications for estimation of stretching factors, tectonic forces, and geodynamic evolution of sedimentary basins around failed rift zones.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kervyn, F.

    The Rukwa rift is a deep sedimentary basin that is considered as a tectonic trans- fer zone between the Tanganyika and the Malawi troughs. The tectonic evolution of the depression is controlled by the reactivation of proterozoic structures and started with the deposition of the permo-triasic Karoo sediments. In the southeast, the rift is divided into two facing half graben separated by a Precambrian horst, whereas its northwestern part has a more symmetrical graben structure. Although most of the vertical displacement is accommodated by the Lupa eastern boundary fault, onshore shallow seismic profiles have confirmed the co-occurrence of intrabasin synthetic- and strike-slip faults within the sub surface sediments. Both normal and dextral strike-slip movement are indeed observed in the basin in response to the E-W to WNW-SSE ex- tension. The region has a moderate seismic activity and the earthquakes magnitude is generally below M 6.5. However, a M 7.4 earthquake occurred in the Rukwa region in 1910 but its exact location remains uncertain. The current research aimed at the identi- fication of active faults within the recent deposits of the basin by the combination in a GIS of radar interferometric data with topographical and geological maps, geophysical data, and field observations. Radar interferometry (InSAR) was found to be especially suitable for DEM computation in low relief areas where available topographic data are limited in accuracy. Numerous topographic lineaments were observed on InSAR DEM, and follow two main directions, both oblique to the main NW-SE trend of the rift. On the one hand, the GIS analysis confirms that the observed lineaments corre- spond to real natural alignment such like the drainage for example, and are therefore not related to atmospheric artefacts. On the other hand, the field observations revealed that in most cases, the topographic lineaments are very subtle and difficult to identify. However, direct correlations with tectonic

  8. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

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

  11. Factors controlling depth of continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elesin, Y.; Artemieva, I. M.; Thybo, H.

    2011-12-01

    Rifting is a fundamental plate tectonic process, which forms elongated, narrow tectonic depressions in the Earth's surface and, eventually, may break continental plates to form new oceanic lithosphere. Subsidence of rift basins is caused by thinning of the crust and lithospheric mantle together with isostatic compensation for the extra load of sediments and thermal relaxation. It is generally believed that the final depth of rift basins is primarily controlled by the amount of stretching and that other processes only have secondary influence. However, we show that the relative rheological strength of faults inside and outside rift zones exerts substantial control on the volume of the final rift basin (by more than a factor of 3) even for the same amount of extension (total or inside the rift zone). This surprising result is mainly caused by irreversible deepening of the rift graben during stretching due to lower crustal flow when the faults in the rift zone are weak, whereas the effect is negligible for strong faults. Relatively strong faults inside the rift zone lead to substantial stretching of adjacent crust, and we find that long term stretching outside the main rift zone may explain the formation of wide continental margins, which are now below sea level. We also demonstrate that fast syn-rift erosion/sedimentation rates can increase the final volume of rift basins by up to a factor of 1.7 for weak crustal faults, whereas this effect is insignificant for strong faults inside the rift zone. These findings have significant implications for estimation of stretching factors, tectonic forces, and geodynamic evolution of sedimentary basins around failed rift zones.

  12. Influence of offset weak zones on the development of rift basins: Activation and abandonment during continental extension and breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chenin, Pauline; Beaumont, Christopher

    2013-04-01

    We use numerical modelling to investigate reactivation of inherited Offset Weak Zones (OWZ) in continental crust and Mantle Weak Zones (MWZ) to form offset rift basins during continental rifting and breakup. Offset rift basins are basins that are set off/offset from the main rift/locus of breakup. Weak zones embedded in a stiff layer are preferentially and rapidly reactivated, whereas the same zones are either ignored or slowly reactivated when embedded in pliable layers. Here stiff implies a nonlinear flow law with a high stress exponent (n > ˜ 10,000), a plastic material, and pliable means a low stress exponent (n ˜ 2-5) as in ductile, power-law creep of rocks. Whether offset rift basins form during rifting of a composite lithosphere (i.e., comprising stiff and pliable layers) depends on the competition between necking instabilities that develop at the weak zones in the stiff layers, and the coupling between the stiff and pliable layers. Stiff/cratonic lithosphere results in early localization of the deformation at the MWZ, rapid necking and breakup without developing offset rift basins. In contrast, warm pliable lithosphere develops significant offset basins and has protracted rifting because the MWZ is now embedded in a pliable layer. We also investigate the influence of OWZ dip, sedimentation, and the sensitivity of reactivation to the distance from OWZ to the MWZ, and to the size of the MWZ. A tectonic rifting styles diagram is used to show that the model results agree with natural examples.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Continental rift evolution: From rift initiation to incipient break-up in the Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo

    2009-09-01

    Pliocene (post 3.2 Ma)-recent extensional stress field generated by relative motion between Nubia and Somalia plates (roughly ESE-WNW) suggest that oblique rifting conditions have controlled rift evolution. However, it is still unclear if these kinematical boundary conditions have remained steady since the initial stages of rifting or the kinematics has changed during the Late Pliocene or at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary. Analysis of geological-geophysical data suggests that continental rifting in the MER evolved in two different phases. An early (Mio-Pliocene) continental rifting stage was characterised by displacement along large boundary faults, subsidence of rift depression with local development of deep (up to 5 km) asymmetric basins and diffuse magmatic activity. In this initial phase, magmatism encompassed the whole rift, with volcanic activity affecting the rift depression, the major boundary faults and limited portions of the rift shoulders (off-axis volcanism). Progressive extension led to the second (Pleistocene) rifting stage, characterised by a riftward narrowing of the volcano-tectonic activity. In this phase, the main boundary faults were deactivated and extensional deformation was accommodated by dense swarms of faults (Wonji segments) in the thinned rift depression. The progressive thinning of the continental lithosphere under constant, prolonged oblique rifting conditions controlled this migration of deformation, possibly in tandem with the weakening related to magmatic processes and/or a change in rift kinematics. Owing to the oblique rifting conditions, the fault swarms obliquely cut the rift floor and were characterised by a typical right-stepping arrangement. Ascending magmas were focused by the Wonji segments, with eruption of magmas at surface preferentially occurring along the oblique faults. As soon as the volcano-tectonic activity was localised within Wonji segments, a strong feedback between deformation and magmatism developed: the thinned

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. US-Africa collaborative research on incipient continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atekwana, E. A.

    2007-12-01

    Since 1999, we have been conducting research in Botswana in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Botswana (UB). Recently, we have expanded our research activities to include the University of Zambia (UNZA). The goal of the collaborative efforts center on investigating geologic processes operating during the initial stages of continental extension. During student training, US students partner with peers from UB and UNZA to conduct field-based research within a multi-disciplinary framework focused on investigating the interplay between neotectonics and surficial processes due to rifting. The student projects are designed to: 1) assess the role of pre-existing structures on rift basin development; 2) determine fault kinematics and direction of rift extension; 3) characterize the geometry of the basins; 4) assess current models for fault growth and propagation and linkage to form border faults; 5) investigate environmental change information preserved in rift basin sediments; 6) determine how magma below the rift basin affects surface water chemical properties; and 7) develop tectonic and geologic models for the evolution of rift basins during the incipient stages of continental extension. Our goal is to provide is to improve research and education in developing countries while providing talented and motivated US students with hands-on field research experience in near surface geophysical surveying, field geologic mapping, GPS mapping, and geochemical and hydrogeologic techniques necessary for addressing basic research questions in the geosciences, as well as resources exploration (e.g., hydrocarbon, water resources, mineral, geothermal, etc.). Our US students acquire an enriching cultural experience, make personal contacts, and build relationships that will form the core of future international research collaborations. At the same time, project activities introduce the African students to state-of the art geophysical equipment and research methodologies

  2. 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.

  3. Extension across the Laptev Sea continental rifts constrained by gravity modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazur, S.; Campbell, S.; Green, C.; Bouatmani, R.

    2015-03-01

    The Laptev Shelf is the area where the Gakkel Ridge, an active oceanic spreading axis, approaches a continental edge, causing a specific structural style dominated by extensive rift structures. From the latest Cretaceous to the Pliocene, extension exerted on the Laptev Shelf created there several deep subsided rifts and high-standing basement blocks. To understand syn-rift basin geometries and sediment supply relationships across the Laptev Shelf, accurate extension estimates are essential. Therefore, we used 2-D gravity modeling and 3-D gravity inversion to constrain the amount of crustal stretching across the North America-Eurasia plate boundary in the Laptev Shelf. The latest Cretaceous-Cenozoic extension in that area is partitioned among two rift zones, the Laptev Rift System and the New Siberian Rift. These rifts were both overprinted on the Eurasian margin that had been stretched by 190-250 km before the Late Cretaceous. While the Laptev Rift System, connected to the Gakkel Ridge, reveals increasing extension toward the shelf edge (190-380 km), the New Siberian Rift is characterized by approximately uniform stretching along strike (110-125 km). The architecture of the Laptev Rift System shows that the finite extension of about 500 km is sufficient to entirely eliminate crystalline continental crust. In the most stretched rift segment, continental mantle is exhumed at the base of the Late Mesozoic basement. The example of the Laptev Rift System shows that extension driven by divergent plate movement is a sufficient cause to produce almost complete continental breakup without an increased heat input from the asthenospheric mantle.

  4. The Porcupine Basin: from rifting to continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R.

    1996-12-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R. )

    1996-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Westward drift, rift asymmetry and continental uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doglioni, C.; Carminati, E.; Bonatti, E.

    2003-04-01

    Although not predicted by classic plate tectonics theory, the topography of ocean ridges and rifts show a distinct asymmetry, when depth is plotted both vs. distance from the ridge and square root of the age of the oceanic crust. The eastern sides of the East Pacific Rise, of the mid Atlantic ridge, of the NW Indian ridge are in average more elevated than the conjugate flank to the west and eastern sides show slower subsidence rates. A similar asymmetry can be observed across the Red Sea and Baikal rifts. We suggest that depleted and lighter asthenosphere generated by partial melting below the ocean ridges shifts 'eastward' relative to the lithosphere, determining a density deficit below the eastern flank. The 'eastward' migration of the lighter Atlantic asthenosphere under the African continent, could eventually have contributed to the anomalous post-rift uplift of Africa and explain the anomalously higher topography of Africa with respect to other continents. This model suggests that the 'westward' drift of the lithosphere relative to the underlying mantle might be a global phenomenon and not just a mean delay.

  10. The role of structural inheritance in continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, Susanne; Tetreault, Joya

    2015-04-01

    In nature we observe that passive margins tend to originate on continental collision zones. This is not surprising as continents are long-lived and therefore have undergone multiple deformation phases, producing many regions with inherited structures. Collision zones can act as intrinsic rift-localizers for several reasons: rifting at a suture may be initiated by extensional collapse of the orogen, the thicker crustal root of orogens and their associated increase in heat producing elements makes orogens thermally weak, and inherited thrust faults form large-scale heterogeneities. When investigating continental extension geodynamically, numerical experiments often simplify such inheritance and start from laterally homogeneous crustal layers with a prescribed inhomogeneity that initiates deformation. These inhomogeneities represent thermal or structural remnants from previous deformation phases and are imposed as a thermal anomaly, a variation in Moho geometry, or an inherited weak region. However, imposed initial heterogeneities do not fully capture the structural and thermal complexities of continental sutures. Here we present 2-D numerical experiments that investigate the role of inherited crustal structures in continental rifting and passive margin formation. We first examine a series of experiments in which we explicitly prescribe collisional structures in the initial setup, such as increased Moho depth and inherited thrust faults. Different prescribed collisional structures result in different rift to break-up durations, crustal shear zone patterns, and margin symmetry. Our second series of experiments actually creates an inherited collision zone through subduction and closure of an ocean. We use this set-up to investigate how extension localizes on a former continental collision zone. Passive margin architecture strongly depends on the duration of post-collision thermal equilibration time, with a long pause between collision and initiation of extension

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A Numerical and Analogue Study of Dike Ascent in Asymmetric Continental Rift Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schierjott, J.; Maccaferri, F.; Acocella, V.; Rivalta, E.

    2015-12-01

    In continental rift zones, tectonic extension generates deep topographic depressions, typically graben or half-graben structures, confined by large border faults. Volcanism may be distributed within, at the border and outside of the depressions, and the mechanisms controlling this distribution are debated. Recently, Maccaferri et al. (2014) proposed that the reorientation of the principal stresses linked to crustal thinning and overall crustal mass redistribution in rift zones modifies the expected trajectory of ascending magma pockets and plays a fundamental role in the distribution of volcanism at the surface. However, the model does not explain why volcanism is asymmetric in most continental rift zones. The goal of this study is to investigate the relation between the characteristic distribution of volcanism at the surface, the distribution and geometry of magma storage at depth, and the observed geometric asymmetry of the grabens at most rift zones. By using a boundary element model for dike propagation and analogue laboratory experiments we evaluate the ascent path of magmatic dikes in asymmetric continental rifts.We find that the position of the magma source along the cross section of the rift and its spatial extent and the asymmetry of the graben cross section are the most important factors controlling one-sided volcanic activity at surface. For dikes starting beneath the rift's center, the more asymmetric the rift structure the more likely is asymmetric volcanic activity. Dikes are deflected to the shallow rift side and no volcanism develops on the deep side or only focused in one spot. However, if the position of the magma ponding region is offset towards the deep side of the graben, the dikes tend to emerge on the rift shoulder adjacent to such deep side. To a minor extent, also the starting depth of the dikes, any topographic loading on the graben flanks due to flank uplift and the background tectonic stress impact the surface distribution of volcanism

  16. 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.

  17. The Importance of Magmatic Fluids in Continental Rifting in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Roecker, S. W.; Kianji, G.

    2015-12-01

    The breakup of strong continental lithosphere requires more than far-field tectonic forces. Growing evidence for early-stage cratonic rift zones points to the importance of heat, magma and volatile transfer in driving lithospheric strength reduction. The relative contributions of these processes are fundamental to our understanding of continental rifting. We present a synthesis of results from geological, geochemical and geophysical studies in one of the most seismically and volcanically active sectors of the East African Rift (Kenya-Tanzania border) to investigate the role of fluids during early-stage rifting (<10 Ma). Xenolith data indicate that rifting initiated in initially thick lithosphere. Diffuse soil CO2 flux maxima occur in the vicinity of faults, with carbon isotope values exhibiting a mantle-derived signature. These faults feed aligned sets of hydrothermal springs, which have N2-He-Ar relative abundances also indicating a mantle-derived source. Geochemical and surface faulting information are integrated with subsurface imaging and fault kinematic data derived from the 38-station CRAFTI broadband seismic array. Teleseismic and abundant local earthquakes enable assessment of the state-of-stress and b-values as a function of depth. High Vp/Vs ratios and tomographic imaging suggest the presence of fluids in the crust, with high pore fluid pressures driving failure at lower tectonic stress. Together, these cross-disciplinary data provide compelling evidence that early-stage rifting in East Africa is assisted by fluids exsolved from deep magma bodies, some of which are imaged in the lower crust. We assert that the flux of deep magmatic fluids during rift initiation plays a key role in weakening lithosphere and localizing strain. High surface gas fluxes, fault-fed hydrothermal springs and persistent seismicity highlight the East African Rift as the ideal natural laboratory for investigating fluid-driven faulting processes in extensional tectonic environments.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A numerical and analogue study of dike ascent in asymmetric continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schierjott, Jana; Maccaferri, Francesco; Keir, Derek; Kemna, Andreas; Rivalta, Eleonora

    2015-04-01

    In continental rift zones, tectonic extension is responsible for the creation of deep topographic depressions bordered by large border faults. Volcanism may be distributed within, at the border and outside of the depressions, and the mechanisms controlling this distribution are debated. Recently, Maccaferri et al. (2014) proposed that the reorientation of the principal stresses linked to crustal thinning and overall crustal mass redistribution in rift zones modifies the expected trajectory of ascending magma pockets and plays a fundamental role in the distribution of volcanism at the surface. However, the model does not explain why volcanism is asymmetric in most continental rift zones. The goal of this study is to investigate the relation between the characteristic distribution of volcanism at the surface, the distribution and geometry of magma storage at depth, and the observed geometric asymmetry of the grabens at most rift zones. By using a boundary element model for dike propagation and analogue laboratory experiments we evaluate the ascent path of magmatic dikes in asymmetric continental rifts. We find that introducing asymmetry of various degrees into the models has a huge impact on the modeled location of the surface volcanic activity. In particular, varying model parameters such as the half-graben width and depth and the degree of asymmetry leads to numerous different scenarios, including one-sided volcanic activity when the degree of asymmetry is very high and the half-graben is not too deep. For wider or deeper half-grabens and moderate asymmetry a larger proportion of the magma tends to become arrested as horizontal intrusions at depth.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drachev, S. S.

    2003-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Continental breakup in Africa: From superplume to rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    The low seismic velocities that underlie the East African continent are a ubiquitous feature of global tomographic images, and can readily explain both observed plateau uplift and the volcanic Cenozoic geological record in the region. However, knowledge of the morphology of the African Superplume, and the nature of the mantle flow-field remain incomplete. Over the last decade East Africa has seen many deployments of seismic stations, with the aim of understanding continental breakup in the region. We have combined data from 5 of these experiments, to enable us to resolve high resolution models of upper mantle P- and S- wave velocities, and seismic anisotropy extending from the Red Sea to Kenya. The tomographic inversions highlight a sheet like upwelling beneath this whole region. It is oriented SW-NE and extends from at least the transition zone to the crust. This is most likely associated with upwelling material associated with the African superplume. In the uppermost 100 km, strong P- and S- wave low velocity anomalies underlie the most recent rift related volcanism and are likely associated with high temperatures and partial melt. High quality SKS splitting results, from a variety of back azimuths, reveal depth variations in anisotropy beneath large parts of Ethiopia. The lower layer parallels the SW-NE trend of the low velocity anomaly, suggesting an LPO fabric due to mantle flow. The upper layer parallels structural features at the surface, including aligned melt in the crust/lithosphere at the rift axis, and Pan-African fabrics in regions not characterised by Quaternary volcanism. These results suggest that thermal instabilities arising from upwelling material provides heat for melting and uplift, but rifting may follow pre-existing weaknesses in the lithosphere.

  5. North Sinai-Levant rift-transform continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Structure and evolution of a magmatic rift segment close to continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, Sarah; Pik, Raphaël; Burnard, Peter; Stab, Martin; Vye-Brown, Charlotte; France, Lyderic

    2014-05-01

    The continental-oceanic transition (OCT) at volcanic margins is often associated with large volcanic provinces and with specific tecto/volcanic structures, notably seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs), of which the origin and processes of formation are still debated. The Afar province corresponds to the very last observable stages of continental rifting before breakup. Interestingly, in this area where the continental crust remains ~20 km thick, magmatism and tectonic activity are already clearly expressed in well-individualised rift segments, presenting the morphological characteristics of mature oceanic ridges. The Afar region therefore represents an ideal natural laboratory to study the processes responsible for maintaining magmatic accretion and their links with the distribution of deformation in a pre-breakup context. We have focussed on the Dabbahu segment that experienced a diking event in 2005 that has been studied in detail. The subsequent tectono-volcanic crisis that lasted 5 years, has provided invaluable information on the mechanisms controlling dyke intrusion, the main process responsible for extension at the scale of a single rifting event. Our investigations focussed on the 1 to 100 kyrs timescales - a key period over which the main morphology of a rift/ridge segment is acquired, but which currently lacks chronological constraints. In order to bridge this gap in temporal evolution, our multidisciplinary approach combines surface exposure dating (3He and 36Cl) of lavas and fault scarps with major & trace element compositions and field/remote sensing mapping of the Dabbahu rift. Our results show that accretion is maintained by individual magmatic chambers, distributed along the active rift segment. There, we have identified magmatic cycles of 30-40 kyrs duration during which the magmas progressively differentiate, until the magmatic centre is abandoned. These cycles exert a strong control on the building of topography: the tectonic activity is subdued

  8. Crustal Structure at a Young Continental Rift: A Receiver Function Study from Lake Tanganyika

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgson, I. D. S.; Illsley-Kemp, F.; Gallacher, R. J.; Keir, D.; Ebinger, C. J.; Drooff, C.; Khalfan, M.

    2015-12-01

    Lake Tanganyika, in western Tanzania, spans a large section of the Western rift yet there are very few constraints on bulk crustal and upper mantle structure. The Western rift system has no surface expression of magmatism, which is in stark contrast to the Eastern branch. This observation is difficult to reconcile with the approximately coeval initiation of rifting of the two branches. The variation in the nature of rifting provides a perfect setting to test current hypotheses for the initiation of continental breakup and early-stage development of continental rifts. The deployment of a seismic network of 13 broadband instruments on the south eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, for 16 months, between 2014 and 2015 provides a unique opportunity to investigate extensional processes in thick continental lithosphere. We present here results from a P to S receiver function study that provides information on bulk crustal Vp/Vs ratio along the rift; a property that is sensitive to the presence of magmatic intrusions in the lower crust. Additionally this method allows us to map variations in crustal thickness both parallel and perpendicular to the rift axis. These results thus provide unprecedented insight into the large-scale mechanics of early-stage continental rifting along the non-volcanic Western rift.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Okinawa trough, a back-arc basin formed behind the Ryukyu arc-trench system, southwest Japan, represents an active rifting zone associated with extension of the continental lithosphere. The basin is located at the southeastern margin of the Eurasian plate and characterized by axial rift valleys with over 1.0 km depth and ~100 km width. Previous studies suggest that the early rifting phase started late Miocene and crustal extension is currently active at a full rate of 30 to 50 mm/yr. Within the basin, numerous active hydrothermal vents are observed, suggesting that the crustal rifting enhances melt/heat transfer from the deep mantle up to the seafloor. However, internal structure beneath the back-arc basin and its relation to the rifting system are little documented. Complex regional tectonic setting, such as active collision in Taiwan to the west, oblique subduction of the Philippine Sea slab, and changing spreading rate along the rift axis, may also have significant influences on the thermal structure and flow within the mantle wedge, but their relative roles in controlling the rifting mode and magmatic supply are still poorly understood. As a step toward filling this gap in knowledge, we started a new 7-year project that consists of four two-dimensional active-source seismic experiments and extensive passive-source seismic observations along the Ryukyu arc. In 2013, active-source seismic data were collected on the first line that crosses the southernmost part of the Ryukyu arc-trench and Okinawa trough at 124-125°E. For refraction/wide-angle reflection analyses, a total of 60 ocean bottom seismographs were deployed with approximately 6 km spacing on a ~390-km-long profile. On the same line, multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiling was also carried out. Seismic velocity models obtained by first arrival tomography show that beneath the volcanic arc a thick layer (~10 km) of the middle crust with Vp = 6.0-6.8 km/s is developed, a typical feature in the

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-09-13

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-08-01

    The northern Ethiopian rift forms the third arm of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden triple junction, and marks the transition from continental rifting in the East African rift to incipient oceanic spreading in Afar. We determine the P- and S-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Ethiopian rift using independent tomographic inversion of P- and S-wave relative arrival-time residuals from teleseismic earthquakes recorded by the Ethiopia Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) passive experiment using the regularised non-linear least-squares inversion method of VanDecar. Our 79 broad-band instruments covered an area 250 × 350 km centred on the Boset magmatic segment ~70 km SE of Addis Ababa in the centre of the northern Ethiopian rift. The study area encompasses several rift segments showing increasing degrees of extension and magmatic intrusion moving from south to north into the Afar depression. Analysis of relative arrival-time residuals shows that the rift flanks are asymmetric with arrivals associated with the southeastern Somalian Plate faster (~0.65 s for the P waves; ~2 s for the S waves) than the northwestern Nubian Plate. Our tomographic inversions image a 75 km wide tabular low-velocity zone (δVP~-1.5 per cent, δVS~-4 per cent) beneath the less-evolved southern part of the rift in the uppermost 200-250 km of the mantle. At depths of >100 km, north of 8.5°N, this low-velocity anomaly broadens laterally and appears to be connected to deeper low-velocity structures under the Afar depression. An off-rift low-velocity structure extending perpendicular to the rift axis correlates with the eastern limit of the E-W trending reactivated Precambrian Ambo-Guder fault zone that is delineated by Quaternary eruptive centres. Along axis, the low-velocity upwelling beneath the rift is segmented, with low-velocity material in the uppermost 100 km often offset to the side of the rift with the highest rift flank topography. Our observations from this magmatic

  1. Intrusion of Oceanic-type Basaltic Melts Precedes Continental Break up in the Red Sea Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonatti, Enrico; Ligi, Marco; Ronca, Sara; Seyler, Monique; Bosworth, William; Cipriani, Anna

    2013-04-01

    The role of magmatism in continental rifting and break up and in the birth of a new ocean are not well understood. Continental break up can take place with intense and voluminous volcanism, as in the Southern Red Sea/Afar Rift, or in a relatively amagmatic mode, as in the Mesozoic Iberian Atlantic rift. Studies of gabbros from the Brothers and Zabargad islands suggest that continental break up in the northern Red Sea, a relatively non-volcanic rift, is preceded by intrusion of oceanic-type basaltic melts that crystallize at progressively shallower crustal depths as rifting progresses towards continental break-up. A seismic reflection profile running across the central part of the southern Thetis basin, shows a ~5 km wide reflector ~1.25 s below the axial neovolcanic zone. We interpret it as marking the roof of a magma chamber or melt lens, similar to those identified below several mid-ocean ridges. Assuming a 4.5 km/s acoustic velocity for the upper oceanic crust at Thetis, this reflector is ~3.5 km below the seafloor. The presence of a few kilometers deep subrift magma chamber soon after the initiation of oceanic spreading implies the crystallization of lower oceanic crust intrusives as a last step in a sequence of basaltic melt intrusion from pre-oceanic continental rifting to oceanic spreading. Thus, oceanic crust accretion in the Red Sea rift starts at depth before continental break up, emplacement of oceanic basalt at the sea floor, and development of Vine-Matthews magnetic anomalies, pointing to a rift model, where the lower continental lithosphere has been replaced by upwelling asthenosphere before continental rupturing. This model would imply depth-dependent extension due to decoupling between the upper and lower lithosphere with mantle-lithosphere-necking breakup before crustal-necking breakup. This mode of initial oceanic crust accretion may have been common in Mesozoic Atlantic-type rifts, in addition to wider, amagmatic, Iberian-type continent

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Extension velocity partitioning, rheological crust-mantle and intra-crustal decoupling and tectonically inherited structures: consequences for continental rifting dynamics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kun; Mezri, Leila; Burov, Evgueni; Le Pourhiet, Laetitia

    2015-04-01

    We implemented series of systematic thermo-mechanical numerical models testing the importance of the rheological structure and extension rate partitioning for continental rift evolution. It is generally assumed that styles of continental rifting are mainly conditioned by the initial integrated strength of the lithosphere. For example, strong plates are expected to undergo extension in narrow rifting mode, while weak lithospheres would stretch in wide rifting mode. However, we show that this classification is largely insufficient because the notion of the integrated strength ignores the internal rheological structure of the lithosphere that may include several zones of crust-mantle or upper-crust-intermediate (etc) crust decoupling. As well, orogenic crusts characterizing most common sites of continental extension may exhibit inverted lithological sequences, with stronger and denser formerly lower crustal units on top of weaker and lighter upper crustal units. This all may result in the appearance of sharp rheological strength gradients and presence of decoupling zones, which may lead to substantially different evolution of the rift system. Indeed, strong jump-like contrasts in the mechanical properties result in mechanical instabilities while mechanical decoupling between the competent layers results in overall drop of the flexural strength of the system and may also lead to important horizontal flow of the ductile material. In particular, the commonly inferred concept of level of necking (that assumes the existence of a stationary horizontal stretching level during rifting) looses its sense if necking occurs at several distinct levels. In this case, due to different mechanical strength of the rheological layers, several necking levels develop and switch from one depth to another resulting in step-like variations of rifting style and accelerations/decelerations of subsidence during the active phase of rifting. During the post-rifting phase, initially decoupled

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. A model for the three-dimensional evolution of continental rift basins, north-east Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1994-12-01

    Large areas of north-east Africa were dominated by regional extension in the Late Phanerozoic. Widespread rifting occurred in the Late Jurassic, with regional extension culminating in the Cretaceous and resulting in the greatest areal extent and degree of interconnection of the west, central and north African rift systems. Basin reactivation continued in the Paleocene and Eocene and new rifts probably formed in the Red Sea and western Kenya. In the Oligocene and Early Miocene, rifts in Kenya, Ethiopia and the Red Sea linked and expanded to form the new east African rift system. This complex history of rifting resulted in failed rift basins with low to high strain geometries, a range of associated volcanism and varying degrees of interaction with older structures. One system, the Red Sea rift, has partially attained active seafloor spreading. From a comparison of these basins, a general model of three-dimensional rift evolution is proposed. Asymmetrical crustal geometries dominated the early phases of these basins, accompanied by low angle normal faulting that has been observed at least locally in outcrop. As rifting progressed, the original fault and basin forms were modified to produce larger, more through-going structures. Some basins were abandoned, others experienced reversals in regional dip and, in general, extension and subsidence became focused along narrower zones near the rift axes. The final transition to oceanic spreading was accomplished in the Red Sea by a change to high angle, planar normal faulting and diffuse dike injection, followed by the organization of an axial magma chamber.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick; Leroy, Sylvie

    2013-04-01

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

  10. Development of The Argentine Continental Margin: Rift Basins and Volcanic Episodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neben, S.; Franke, D.; Hinz, K.; Meyer, H.; Roeser, H.; Schreckenberger, B.

    With the objective to contribute to a better understanding of the processes of rifting and magmatism/volcanism during the Early Cretaceous break-up of Gondwana, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) acquired 12,000 km of MCS data and two wide-angle reflection/refraction lines on the Argentine continen- tal margin between 38S and 44S in 1998/1999. Together with already existing data sets, we know have 22,000 km of MCS data available. The seismic data document the presence of a narrow, north-west striking half-graben system beneath the present upper slope. This buried half-graben system developed during the final stage of rifting in Early Cretaceous time, whereas the east-west trending Colorado-Basin probably formed earlier. However, this wide sedimentary basin was superimposed and reacti- vated by the rifting process that led to the opening of the South Atlantic. Continental break-up and initial sea-floor spreading were accompanied by large-scale magmatism and volcanism. This is manifested in the seismic data by a huge wedge of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRS), and a distinct high-velocity (average value 7.3 km/s) lower crustal body beneath the SDRS. Extrapolating DSDP/ODP-drilling results from other volcanic margins, especially in the North Atlantic, we infer that the SDRS consist of tholeitic basalts. The emplacement of the deeply buried, 60-120km wide SDRS was episodic documented by at least three superimposed SDRS units. From our dense grid of new magnetic data we infer further that the emplacement of the volcanic units was diachronous (older units in the south and younger units in the north). The presence of the volcanic edifices at the continental margin of Argentine is related to the activity of the Tristan da Cunha hot spot which led to the emplacement of the Parana-Etendeka Flood basalts on South America and South Africa and to the Rio-Grande-Rise/Walvis- Ridge complex. The drift deposits, locally more than 6,000m thick, and

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

    We develop a synoptic model for the breakup and drift of a major sheared continental margin system: the Rio Muni basin and its NE Brazilian counterpart. It relates the evolution of crustal structure determined from seismic interpretation (including gravity-modelling of the deep-imaging PROBE dataset) to the cooling history of this margin system yielded from thermal history data (mainly apatite fission track analysis - AFTAr - and vitrinite reflectance data). Shear margins initiate as a leaky transform fracture system accommodating the oblique (i.e. non-orthogonal) divergence of opposing rifted continental margins. As such, the transition from continental breakup (i.e. rupture) to continental drift (i.e. ocean opening) at shear margins exhibits significant differences from that of the much better understood normally divergent rifts, where the spreading vector is normal to the strike of the opposing rift margins. For example, unlike at normally divergent rifts, continental breakup and drift are separate episodes in the early evolution of shear margins. In Rio Muni-NE Brazil, they are recorded by separate breakup and drift unconformities spanning a 15-20Ma. interval, the time taken for the ocean ridge to traverse the length of the margin before a continuous arm of oceanic crust separated Rio Muni from its Brazilian counterpart. In the Rio Muni basin, the c.70km-wide Ascension Fracture Zone (AFZ) exhibits oblique-slip faulting and synrift half-graben formation that accommodated oblique extension during the period leading up to and immediately following whole-lithosphere failure and continental breakup 117Ma. Gravity-modelling of PROBE seismic profiles reveals a land-locked precursor oceanic basin that preceded full ocean opening and which subsequently was stranded on the African margin. Its existence supports the idea of multiple rift suture lines accommodating episodic breakup and it emphasizes the significance of separate breakup and drift episodes at shear margins

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skogseid, Jakob

    2014-05-01

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

  15. Basaltic volcanism in Ethiopia: Constraints on continental rifting and mantle interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Hart, W. K.; WoldeGabriel, G.; Walter, R. C.; Mertzman, S. A.

    1989-06-10

    Middle to late Cenozoic mafic lavas from the Ethiopian volcanic province exhibit considerable chemical and isotopic diversity that is linked to eruption age and eruption location. These variations provide a geochemical framework in which continental rifting can be examined. Trace element and Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic data are interpreted to indicate involvement of up to two depleted and two enriched mantle reservoirs throughout Cenozoic rift development in Ethiopia. Superimposed on the characteristics imparted by varying degrees of melting of these distinct reservoirs are the effects of crystal fractionation and, in some instances, crustal contamnation. Initial stages of Oligocene rifting and volcanism, as manifested by the rift-bounding plateau flood basalts, are attributed to asthenospheric upwelling and melting of a heterogeneous, enriched subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Mildly alkaline lavas were produced from an enriched source with characteristics similar to those of the inferred source of other mantle/minus/derived lavas and xenoliths from east Africa (LoNd array, EMI to HIMU). Contemporaneous tholeiitic lavas were derived from a source similar to that producing oceanic basalts from Samoa and the Society Islands (EMII). As lithospheric thinning and rifting continued into the Miocene, upwelling depleted asthenosphere (depleted OIB reservoir, PREMA) interacted with the lithospheric sources producing lavas with hybrid elemental and isotopic characteristics (11-6 Ma plateau and rift margin basalts).

  16. Inversion tectonics during continental rifting: The Turkana Cenozoic rifted zone, northern Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, B.; VéTel, W.; Morley, C. K.

    2005-04-01

    Remote sensing data and revised seismic reflection profiles provide new insights about the origin of inverted deformation within Miocene-Recent basins of the Turkana rift (northern Kenya) in the eastern branch of the East African rift system. Contractional structures are dominated by weakly inverted sets of fault blocks within <3.7 Myr old synrift series. Most of reverse extensional faults involve components of oblique-slip, whereas associated hanging wall folds are characterized by large wavelength upright folding. The area of basin inversion is restricted to a 40 × 100 km elongated zone overlying a first-order N140°E trending fault zone in the basement, referred to as the N'Doto transverse fault zone (NTFZ). In the proposed kinematic model, inversion tectonics is assigned to permutation of principal stress axes (σ1/σ2) in addition to the clockwise rotation of extension (from nearly N90°E to N130°E) during Pliocene. The transition from pure extension (Miocene) to a wrench faulting regime (Pliocene) first results in the development of T-type fault networks within a dextrally reactivated shear zone (NTFZ). Inversion tectonics occurred later (<3.7 Ma) in response to a still rotated (˜20°) shortening axis (σ1) oriented N40°E that caused the oblique compression of earlier (NS to N20°E) extensional structures within the NTFZ. The origin of basin inversion and strain concentration in the Turkana rift is thus directly linked to a crustal weakness zone, transverse to the rift axis, and involving steep prerift anisotropies.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Central Washington seismicity; Evidence for a reactivated buried continental rift and northwest-trending structural zones

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, P.A. )

    1989-11-01

    Analysis of central Washington seismicity of the past two decades reveals some interesting features. Shallow seismicity and deep seismicity occur as different geographic distributions. Concentration of seismicity along north- to northwest-oriented trends appears to be related to a buried continental rift and possible associated fault zones. Hypothesized extensions of the Chiwaukum graben and Straight Creek fault systems are plausible structural controls on the seismicity.

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

  4. Gravity study of the Central African Rift system: a model of continental disruption 2. The Darfur domal uplift and associated Cainozoic volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bermingham, P. M.; Fairhead, J. D.; Stuart, G. W.

    1983-05-01

    Gravity studies of the Darfur uplift, Western Sudan, show it to be associated with a circular negative Bouguer anomaly, 50 mGal in amplitude and 700 km across. A three-dimensional model interpretation of the Darfur anomaly, using constraints deduced from geophysical studies of similar but more evolved Kenya and Ethiopia domes, suggests either a low-density laccolithic body at mid-lithospheric depth (~ 60 km) or a thinned lithosphere with emplacement at high level of low-density asthenospheric material. The regional setting of the Darfur uplift is described in terms of it being an integral part of the Central African Rift System which is shown to be broadly equivalent to the early to middle Miocene stage in the development of the Afro-Arabian Rift System. Comparisons between these rift systems suggest that extensional tectonics and passive rifting, resulting in the subsiding sedimentary rift basins associated with the Ngaoundere, Abu Gabra, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rifts, are more typical of the early stage development of passive continental margins than the active domal uplift and development of rifted features associated with the Darfur, Kenya and Ethiopia domes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

    Many current models of the development of elevated passive continental margins assume that they are either the remains of foot-wall uplift at the time of rifting or due to underplating by magma from a plume or other mantle source. We have studied the rift and post-rift history of such a passive margin in West and South Greenland and have concluded that the present-day elevations developed 25-60 million years after cessation of rifting and local volcanism, suggesting that additional factors need to be considered when modelling such margins. The morphology of West Greenland is similar to that of other elevated passive margins ion many parts of the world. There are high-level, large-scale, quasi-planar landscapes (planation surfaces) at altitudes of 1-2 km cut by deeply incised valleys. The gradient from the highest ground to the coast is much steeper than that away from the coast. We combined analysis of the morphology of the landscape with studies of fission tracks and the preserved stratigraphic record both on- and off-shore. Rifting and the commencement of sea-floor spreading in the Early Paleogene was accompanied by voluminous high-temperature volcanism. Kilometer-scale uplift at the time of rifting was followed shortly afterwards by kilometer-scale subsidence and possibly by transgression of marine sediments across the rift margin. The present elevated margin formed during three episodes of uplift during the Neogene, 25-60 million years after the cessation of rifting and local volcanism. The quasi-planar planation surfaces presently at 1-2 km altitude are the end-products of denudation to near sea-level in the mid- and late Cenozoic and these surfaces were uplifted to their present altitudes during the Neogene events. Rivers then incised the summit surface to form valleys that were further enlarged and deepened by glaciers. Similar elevated margins exist all around the northern North Atlantic and in many other parts of the world; eastern North America, on both

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    Many current models of the development of elevated passive continental margins assume that they are either the remains of foot-wall uplift at the time of rifting or due to underplating by magma from a plume or other mantle source. We have studied the rift and post-rift history of such a passive margin in West and South Greenland and have concluded that the present-day elevations developed 25-60 million years after cessation of rifting and local volcanism, suggesting that additional factors need to be considered when modelling such margins. The morphology of West Greenland is similar to that of other elevated passive margins ion many parts of the world. There are high-level, large-scale, quasi-planar landscapes (planation surfaces) at altitudes of 1-2 km cut by deeply incised valleys. The gradient from the highest ground to the coast is much steeper than that away from the coast. We combined analysis of the morphology of the landscape with studies of fission tracks and the preserved stratigraphic record both on- and off-shore. Rifting and the commencement of sea-floor spreading in the Early Paleogene was accompanied by voluminous high-temperature volcanism. Kilometer-scale uplift at the time of rifting was followed shortly afterwards by kilometer-scale subsidence and possibly by transgression of marine sediments across the rift margin. The present elevated margin formed during three episodes of uplift during the Neogene, 25-60 million years after the cessation of rifting and local volcanism. The quasi-planar planation surfaces presently at 1-2 km altitude are the end-products of denudation to near sea-level in the mid- and late Cenozoic and these surfaces were uplifted to their present altitudes during the Neogene events. Rivers then incised the summit surface to form valleys that were further enlarged and deepened by glaciers. Similar elevated margins exist all around the northern North Atlantic and in many other parts of the world; eastern North America, on both

  7. Continental rifting to seafloor spreading: 2D and 3D numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Jie; Gerya, Taras

    2014-05-01

    Two topics related with continental extension is studied by using numerical modeling methods: (1) Lithospheric mantle stratification changes dynamics of craton extension (2D modeling) and (2) Initial lithospheric rheological structure influences the incipient geometry of the seafloor spreading (3D modeling). (Topic 1) Lithospheric mantle stratification is a common feature in cratonic areas which has been demonstrated by geophysical and geochemical studies. The influence of lithospheric mantle stratification during craton evolution remains poorly understood. We use a 2D thermo-mechanical coupled numerical model to study the influence of stratified lithospheric mantle on craton extension. A rheologically weak layer representing hydrated and/or metasomatized composition is implemented in the lithospheric mantle. Our results show that the weak mantle layer changes the dynamics of lithospheric extension by enhancing the deformation of the overlying mantle and crust and inhibiting deformation of the underlying mantle. Modeling results are compared with North China and North Atlantic cratons. Our work indicates that although the presence of a weak layer may not be sufficient to initiate craton deformation, it enhances deformation by lowering the required extensional plate boundary force. (Topic 2) The process from continental rifting to seafloor spreading is an important step in the Wilson Cycle. Since the rifting to spreading is a continuous process, understanding the inheritance of continental rifting in seafloor spreading is crucial to study the incipient geometry (on a map view) of the oceanic ridge and remains a big challenge. Large extension strain is required to simulate the rifting and spreading processes. Oceanic ridge has a 3D geometry on a map view in nature, which requires 3D studies. Therefore, we employ the three-dimensional numerical modeling method to study this problem. The initial lithospheric rheological structure and the perturbation geometry are two

  8. The Argentine Continental Margin: Rift Basins, Crustal Architecture, and Sedimentation Regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neben, S.; Franke, D.; Hinz, K.; Meyer, H.; Roeser, H. A.; Schreckenberger, B.; Nevistic, V. A.; Mancilla, O.

    2001-12-01

    With the objective to contribute to a better understanding of the processes of rifting and magmatism/volcanism during the Early Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) acquired 12,000 km of MCS data and two wide-angle reflection/refraction lines on the Argentine continental margin between 38° S and 44° S in 1998/1999. The new seismic data document the presence of a narrow, north-east striking half-graben system beneath the present upper slope. This buried half-graben system developed during the final stage of rifting in Early Cretaceous time, whereas the east-west trending Colorado-Basin probably formed earlier. However, this wide sedimentary basin was superimposed by the rifting process that led to the opening of the South Atlantic. Continental breakup and initial sea-floor spreading were accompanied by large-scale magmatism and volcanism manifested in the seismic data by a huge wedge of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRS), and a distinct high-velocity (average value 7.3 km/s) lower crustal body beneath the SDRS. Emplacement of the deeply buried, 60-120km wide SDRS was episodic documented by at least three superimposed SDRS units. The drift deposits, locally more than 6,000m thick, and subdivided by five seismic unconformities, were mapped along the shelf, slope, and deep sea.

  9. The rifting of continental and oceanic lithosphere: Observations from the Woodlark Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodliffe, Andrew Mark

    A detailed marine geophysical survey of the Woodlark Basin has given us a high resolution picture of the evolution of the Woodlark Basin. An algorithm developed for this study, which reconstructs bathymetry and magnetization grids to selected ages, has revealed many of the details of the evolution of this young ocean basin. The Woodlark Basin formed by the nucleation of spreading segments in sites of focused continental rifting. These segments, which are on the order of 100 km long, subsequently grew by propagation. Segments form in an overlapping configuration, resulting in the deformation and rotation of intervening continental lithosphere. Transform faults form some time later, cutting through continental lithosphere to join the tips of the spreading segments. Continental margins formed by nucleation of a spreading segment are distinct from those formed by propagation. Nucleation margins have concordant abyssal hill fabric, continent/ocean boundary and continental rift fabric. The continent/ocean boundary (COB) of propagation margins is discordant with abyssal hill fabric, but may be either concordant or discordant with continental rift fabric. A third type of COB, formed when there is no propagation, results in abyssal hill fabric perpendicular to the COB. Similar geometries result from a COB formed on a transform fault. Seismicity on the margins after the initiation of sea-floor spreading, and the inward curvature of abyssal fabric formed on spreading centers propagating into the continental margin, demonstrate that extension continues on the margins for up to 1 Ma. Large reorientations of the spreading center take place by propagation or synchronous reorientation. The present-day sea-floor reveals that its 500-km-long spreading center reoriented synchronously, without propagation, about 80 ka. There is no evidence of the V-shaped pseudofault geometry typical of spreading center propagation, nor of the progressive fanning of sea-floor fabric characteristic of

  10. Impact of gravity processes on the initial post-rift stages of construction and evolution of a continental margin: Insights from the eastern Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baurion, Celine; Gorini, Christian; Leroy, Sylvie; Migeon, Sebastien; Lucazeau, Francis; Bache, Francois; Zaragosi, Sebastien; Smit, Jeroen; Al-Toubi, Khalfan; dos Reis, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    The study of the post-rift sediment architecture and continental slope morphology leads to a reconstruction of the initial stages of formation and evolution of gravity-driven processes on the northern margin of the eastern Gulf of Aden. The slope-related features and associated deposits in the deep basin along this young passive margin are investigated through the analysis of a set of seismic-reflection and multibeam bathymetry data. This study demonstrates how preconditioning and triggering factors (tectonics, climate and eustatic variations) can interact and control the margin morphology and post-rift sediment architecture in a source-to-sink perspective. The combined geomorphological and stratigraphic study of this margin allows us to identify three morphological domains inherited from the structural segmentation. The monsoon climate combined with a major eustatic lowstand is proposed as the most likely set of factors preconditioning slope destabilisation on the whole margin. These factors also enhance the effect of the late post-rift uplift of the eastern morphological domain of the studied margin. The formation and distribution of the slope-related features are thus mainly controlled by active faults on the continental slope and the potential effect of bottom currents at the base of the continental slope. The oversteepening of the continental slope in the eastern domain of the studied margin is probably the main triggering factor controlling the generation of failure processes and subsequent canyon formation by upslope erosion. The analysis of canyon location and morphology along the uplifted part of the continental slope reveals the long-term influence of secondary slope-related features, contour currents and turbidite flows on the development of canyons. As a consequence of the late post-rift uplift that only affected the eastern part of the studied margin, huge volumes of sediment were accumulated in mass-transport complexes at the foot of numerous slope

  11. 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. PMID:16855588

  12. 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.

  13. 3D Geodynamic Modelling Reveals Stress and Strain Partitioning within Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rey, P. F.; Mondy, L. S.; Duclaux, G.; Moresi, L. N.

    2014-12-01

    The relative movement between two divergent rigid plates on a sphere can be described using a Euler pole and an angular velocity. On Earth, this typically results in extensional velocities increasing linearly as a function of the distance from the pole (for example in the South Atlantic, North Atlantic, Woodlark Basin, Red Sea Basin, etc.). This property has strong implications for continental rifting and the formation of passive margins, given the role that extensional velocity plays on both rift style (wide or narrow), fault pattern, subsidence histories, and magmatism. Until now, this scissor-style opening has been approached via suites of 2D numerical models of contrasting extensional velocities, complimenting field geology and geophysics. New advances in numerical modelling tools and computational hardware have enabled us to investigate the geodynamics of this problem in a 3D self-consistent high-resolution context. Using Underworld at a grid resolution of 2 km over a domain of 500 km x 500 km x 180 km, we have explored the role of the velocity gradient on the strain pattern, style of rifting, and decompression melting, along the margin. We find that the three dimensionality of this problem is important. The rise of the asthenosphere is enhanced in 2D models compared to 3D numerical solutions, due to the limited volume of material available in 2D. This leads to oceanisation occurring significantly sooner in 2D models. The 3D model shows that there is a significant time and space dependent flows parallel to the rift-axis. A similar picture emerges from the stress field, showing time and space partitioning, including regions of compression separating areas dominated by extension. The strain pattern shows strong zonation along the rift axis, with increasingly localised deformation with extension velocity and though time.

  14. 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.

  15. 3D conductivity image of a young continental rift: Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heise, W.; Caldwell, T. G.; Bibby, H. M.; Bennie, S. L.

    2009-04-01

    The Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ), in the North Island, New Zealand is a continental back arc rift associated with the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Australian Plate and is characterised by the eruption of large volumes of rhyolitic magma during the last 1.6 Ma and an exceptionally high present-day heat flow. Data from 220 magnetotelluric soundings covering the central (rhyolitic) part of the TVZ were analysed using 3D inverse resistivity modelling and phase tensor visualisation techniques. Modelling results compare well with the thickness of conductive volcaniclastic material in filling the rift basin and calderas and expected from observed gravity anomalies. Phase tensor ellipticity correlates well with the resistivity gradient in the 3D inversion model showing how the phase data control the inversion and allowing identification of which structures are, or are not, resolved by the data. The inverse modelling results show a zone of high conductivity in the lower crust and upper-mantle along the central rift-axis that correlates with a zone of high phase observed at long periods. An unusual feature of the MT data at periods of 3-30s is the large phase tensor skew angle values that coincide with the margins of a localized gravity high in the centre of the survey area. This feature appears to be caused by the interaction of a thick near surface layer of high conductive volcaniclastic material with conductive structures at greater depth.

  16. 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

  17. Continental rifting and metamorphic core complex formation ahead of the Woodlark spreading ridge, D'Entrecasteaux Islands, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, Timothy A.; Baldwin, S. L.; Fitzgerald, P. G.; Monteleone, B.

    2007-02-01

    We evaluate the role of a metamorphic core complex (MCC) on Normanby Island in the Woodlark rift. Located <30 km from an active mid-ocean ridge (MOR), a >1 km thickness of blueschist-derived mylonites formed in a midcrustal shear zone during the Pliocene at ˜400-500°C. This top-to-the-north zone appears to have reactivated the gently dipping base of the Papuan ophiolite (Papuan Ultramafic Body, PUB), and its continued activity appears to control the north dipping asymmetry of active half grabens to the north of the MCC and rapid subsidence of the Woodlark Rise. Mylonites in the MCC's lower plate have been exhumed along a detachment as a result of >50 km of slip at rates of >12 mm/yr. The inactive, back-tilted detachment preserves fault surface megamullions and mylonitic lineations parallel to the Plio-Pleistocene plate motion. A second SE vergent detachment has been established on the opposite flank of this rolling-hinge style MCC, probably since <0.5 Ma. Centimeters per year slip rates on these two faults can account for most of the Pleistocene plate motion in this eastern sector of the Woodlark rift, and confirm the important role of MCCs in exhuming very young HP rocks in this rift. Paleopiezometry of mylonites using recrystallized quartz grain size indicates flow stresses of ˜30 MPa before the rocks were overprinted by extension fractures. These results imply high pore fluid pressures (λ > 0.8) at depth, and provide a sufficient mechanism for activating low-angle normal faults in the rift. MCC inception was not localized to the tip of the Woodlark MOR. Instead, extreme crustal thinning near the MCC preconditioned later continental breakup. The lower crust appears to be weak, thickening beneath unloaded footwalls to uplift MCCs above sea level, and flowing laterally to even out regional crustal thickness contrasts on a 1-6 m.y. timescale. Deep-seated transforms separate rheologically distinct domains in which extension has been localized along the weak PUB

  18. Tempe Fossae, Mars: A planetary analogon to a terrestrial continental rift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauber, Ernst; Kronberg, Peter

    2001-09-01

    Tempe Terra, the northeastern part of the Tharsis Region on Mars, is characterized by several extensional structures differing in style and age. The Tempe Fossae, a particularly well-developed system of graben striking N45°E, have been studied for the first time in detail on the basis of Viking Orbiter imagery and Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) topographic data. The graben system appears to be unique in the whole region because of its extent, the remarkable width and depth of the graben, the varying graben pattern, and the associated volcanism. Single graben can be up to 35 km wide and 120 km long, while their depth can reach nearly 3000 m. They typically show an asymmetric architecture, often in halfgraben or step fault style. The graben system widens and changes its style along strike from NE to SW from a single, very deep, and narrow graben to a complex set of several shallower, sinuous graben and halfgraben. Crustal extension was measured in the northeastern part from the observable throw and amounts to 2.5-3.1 km. Volcanic structures can be found at several locations along the graben. In the SW the graben system seems to be connected with the Tempe Terra volcanic province marked by flood basalts and plains volcanism. Craters were counted on volcanic units unaffected by extensional tectonics. Crater statistics indicate an absolute crater model age for the upper end of the extensional deformation of ~3.5 Ga. The dimensions and the characteristics of the mapped graben system resemble those of terrestrial continental rifts, and a comparison between them and the Kenya Rift reveals striking similarities. Therefore the Tempe Fossae are interpreted as a Martian analog to a continental rift associated with an underlying mantle plume. This hypothesis seems to be supported by recent geophysical models based on topography and gravity data from Mars Global Surveyor which indicate regional uplift for Tempe Terra.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Gang; Huismans, Ritske

    2016-04-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Basin evolution during the transition from continental rifting to subduction: Evidence from the lithofacies and modal petrology of the Jurassic Latady Group, Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willan, Robert C. R.; Hunter, Morag A.

    2005-12-01

    The Jurassic Latady Basin (southern Antarctic Peninsula) developed in a broad rift zone associated with the early stages of Gondwana extension. Early Jurassic sedimentation (˜185 Ma) occurred in small, isolated terrestrial to lacustrine rift basins in the present-day northwest and west and became shallow marine by the early Middle Jurassic. Quantitative modal analysis reveals a high proportion of mature, quartzose sandstone derived from cratonic and quartzose recycled-orogen provenances, most likely in the direction of the Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains in the Gondwana interior. Sandstones with a more volcanolithic provenance probably represent an influx of sands from a Permian volcanic source in West Antarctica. The Early Jurassic Latady sequence contains abundant volcanic quartz and rhyodacite grains, locally derived from the nearby ignimbrites of the rift-related Mount Poster Formation (˜185 Ma). Between the Middle and Late Jurassic (?160-150 Ma), there was a dramatic change throughout the Latady Basin to higher-energy conditions with marked lateral facies variations. Sandstones contain abundant fresh volcanic detritus and plot in the transitional arc field. Their source was a nearby, active continental margin arc, but there is no outcrop of arc material on the Antarctic Peninsula from this time. A possible source area is preserved on the Thurston Island block to the southwest. However, some fluvial systems still had access to areas of uplifted metamorphic/plutonic basement and quartzose, cratonic sources. Evidence of mixing of fluvial systems from different provenances and the lack of mixing of other fluvial systems suggest a complex topography of variably uplifted fault blocks with fluvial systems constrained in narrow valleys. The change from continental rift- to arc-related sources illustrates the shift from plume- (continental provenances) to continental margin arc-dominated tectonics. Thermal relaxation in the Late Jurassic led to the final phase of

  8. Numerical Modelling of the Transition from Continental Rifting to Mantle Exhumation at the West Iberia Margin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

    The continental margin of West Iberia lacks significant synrift magmatism and exhibits a zone up to 100 km wide thought to consist mainly of serpentinized and exhumed mantle between the thinned continental and the oceanic crust. However, the existence of linear magnetic anomalies pose an ambiguity regarding the exact amount of synrift magmatism produced during mantle exhumation at the surface. We investigate how the thinned continental crust gives way to a broad zone of exhumed and serpentinized mantle with little synrift magmatism. For this we use a finite element code that includes brittle and ductile deformation in both crust and mantle, production of serpentine and melt. Serpentinisation is only allowed to occur when the entire crust has become brittle so that large amounts of water can reach the mantle through brittle faults. The increase in temperature due to the exothermic nature of serpentinisation and the decrease in the coefficient of friction where serpentinisation occurs is also taken into account. Melt production includes the effect of increased depletion in mantle temperatures. In a first approximation, melt is assumed to migrate instantaneously upwards and accumulate at crustal levels. We present tests with a range of extension velocities and asthenospheric temperatures. Preliminary model runs shows how the entire crust becomes brittle after it is has reached a thickness of less than 10 km. For slow rifting velocities (< 5 mm/yr), serpentinisation occurs prior to melting, whereas for faster rifting velocities the opposite is true. In all models, crustal separation and the exposure of mantle at the continent-ocean transition (COT) occurs after the entire crust has become brittle. The relative amount of serpentinite and melt in the COT depends on the rifting velocity, with slower velocities promoting the production of more serpentinite than melt. However, for a normal mantle temperature (1300 C), even for the slow extension rate of 5 mm/yr, 3-4 km of

  9. Topography, river network and recent fault activity at the margins of the Central Main Ethiopian Rift (East Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molin, Paola; Corti, Giacomo; Sembroni, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    Along its length, the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) in East Africa records a transition from early fault-dominated morphology in the South to axial magma assisted-rifting typical of continental break-up in the North. It is one of the few locations on Earth offering a complete picture of the evolution of continental rifting and thus provides a unique opportunity to directly analyze how the drainage network reorganize under extensional tectonic forcing. In this paper we present a new analysis of the river network and relative landforms - complemented with a summary of recent geological data - at both rift margins of the Central MER, a key sector of the rift capturing the phase of drainage reorganization between incipient and mature rifting. This analysis shows that hydrography is strongly influenced by recent tectonics. Rectangular drainage patterns, windgaps, and lacustrine/swampy areas formed by structural dams document that the rivers are in continuous competition with fault activity. The irregular longitudinal profiles (with knickpoints/knickzones in correspondence with faults) also suggest that rivers are in a transient state of disequilibrium related to recent tectonic activity at rift margins, in agreement with previous geological and seismological data. A more regional analysis extended to the adjoining Northern and Southern MER indicates that rifting evolves from initial stages characterized by margins poorly incised by rivers with gentle channel gradients (except in correspondence with faults), to mature phases in which rift margins are highly incised by a well organized fluvial network composed by concave and steep rivers. Our regional analysis also indicates a stronger and/or more recent tectonic activity at the rift margins proceeding to the south, in line with previous models of rift development.

  10. Topography, river network and recent fault activity at the margins of the Central Main Ethiopian Rift (East Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molin, Paola; Corti, Giacomo

    2015-11-01

    Along its length, the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) in East Africa records a transition from early fault-dominated morphology in the South to axial magma assisted-rifting typical of continental break-up in the North. It is one of the few locations on Earth offering a complete picture of the evolution of continental rifting and thus provides a unique opportunity to directly analyze how the drainage network reorganizes under extensional tectonic forcing. In this paper we present a new analysis of the river network and relative landforms-complemented with a summary of recent geological data-at both rift margins of the Central MER, a key sector of the rift capturing the phase of drainage reorganization between incipient and mature rifting. This analysis shows that hydrography is strongly influenced by recent tectonics. Rectangular drainage patterns, windgaps, and lacustrine/swampy areas formed by structural dams document that the rivers are in continuous competition with fault activity. The irregular longitudinal profiles (with knickpoints/knickzones in correspondence with faults) also suggest that rivers are in a transient state of disequilibrium related to recent tectonic activity at rift margins, in agreement with previous geological and seismological data. A more regional analysis extended to the adjoining Northern and Southern MER indicates that rifting evolves from initial stages characterized by margins poorly incised by rivers with gentle channel gradients (except in correspondence with faults), to mature phases in which rift margins are highly incised by a well organized fluvial network composed by concave and steep rivers. Our regional analysis also indicates a stronger and/or more recent tectonic activity at the rift margins proceeding to the south, in line with previous models of rift development.

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, L.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Structural controls on the spatial distribution and geochemical composition of volcanism in a continental rift zone; an example from Owens Valley, eastern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haproff, P. J.; Yin, A.

    2014-12-01

    Bimodal volcanism is common in continental rift zones. Structural controls to the emplacement and compositions of magmas, however, are not well understood. To address this issue, we examine the location, age, and geochemistry of active volcanic centers, and geometry and kinematics of rift-related faults across the active transtensional Owens Valley rift zone. Building on existing studies, we postulate that the spatial distribution and geochemical composition of volcanism are controlled by motion along rift-bounding fault systems. Along-strike variation in fault geometry and characteristics of active volcanism allow us to divide Owens Valley into three segments: southern, northern, and central. The southern segment of Owens Valley is a simple shear, asymmetric rift bounded to the west by the east-dipping Sierra Nevada frontal fault (SNFF). Active vents of Coso volcanic field are distributed along the eastern rift shoulder and characterized by the eruption of bimodal lavas. The SNFF within this segment is low-angle and penetrates through the lithosphere and into the ductile asthenosphere, allowing for mantle-derived magma to migrate across the weakest part of the fault zone beneath the eastern rift shoulder. Magma thermally weakens wall rocks and eventually stalls in the crust where the melt develops a greater felsic component prior to eruption. The northern segment of Owens Valley displays similar structural geometry, as the west-dipping White Mountains fault (WMF) is listric at depth and offsets the crust and mantle lithosphere, allowing for vertical transport of magma and reservoir emplacement within the crust. Bimodal lavas periodically erupted in the Long Valley Caldera region along the western rift shoulder. The central segment of Owens Valley is a pure shear, symmetric graben generated by motion along the SNFF and WMF. The subvertical, right-slip Owens Valley fault (OVF) strikes along the axis of the valley and penetrates through the lithosphere into the

  16. 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).

  17. 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%.

  18. Relief evolution of the Continental Rift of Southeast Brazil revealed by in situ-produced 10Be concentrations in river-borne sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salgado, André Augusto Rodrigues; Rezende, Eric de Andrade; Bourlès, Didier; Braucher, Régis; da Silva, Juliana Rodrigues; Garcia, Ricardo Alexandrino

    2016-04-01

    This study aims to quantify the denudation dynamics of the Brazilian passive margin along a segment of the Continental Rift of Southeast Brazil. The denudation rates of 30 basins that drain both horsts of the continental rift, including the mountain ranges of the Serra do Mar (seaside horst); and the Serra da Mantiqueira (continental horst); were derived from 10Be concentrations measured in sand-sized river sediment. The mean denudation rate ranges from 9.2 m Ma-1 on the plateau of the Serra do Mar to 37.1 m Ma-1 along the oceanic escarpment of the Serra do Mar. The seaward-facing scarps of both mountain ranges exhibit mean denudation rates that are approximately 1.5 times those of the inland-facing scarps. The escarpments of the horst nearer to the ocean (Serra do Mar) exhibit higher denudation rates (mean 30.2 m Ma-1) than the escarpments of the continental horst (Serra da Mantiqueira) (mean 16.5 m Ma-1). The parameters that impact these denudation rates include the catchment relief, the slope gradient, the rock and the climate. The incongruent combination of a mountainous landscape and moderate to low 10Be-based denudation rates averaging at ∼20 m Ma-1 suggests a reduction in intraplate tectonic activity beginning in the Middle Quaternary or earlier.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  20. Lithosphere continental rifting and necking in 3D analogue experiments: role of plate divergence rate.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nestola, Y.; Storti, F.; Cavozzi, C.

    2014-12-01

    The evolution of lithosphere necking is a fundamental parameter controlling the structural architecture and thermal state of rifted margins. Despite a large number of analogue and numerical modelling studies on lithosphere extension are available in the literature, a quantitative experimental description of lithosphere necking evolution is still lacking. Extensional strain rate and thermal layering of the lithosphere exert a fundamental control on necking shape and evolution. We focused our experimental work on the former parameter and simulated the progression of lithosphere thinning and necking during asymmetric orthogonal rifting at different plate divergence rates. Our models involve a 4-layer mechanical continental lithosphere, which rests on a glucose syrup asthenosphere. Both the topography and the base of the lithosphere were monitored by time-lapse laser scanning. This technical approach allowed us to quantify the evolution in space and time of the thinning factors for the crust, mantle, and lithosphere as a whole. Laser-scanning monitoring provided also a detailed picture of the evolving neck shape, which shows a strong dependency on the strain-rate. At low strain-rates, necking is "boxed" with steep flanks and a flat-lying roof, and few deep basins develop at surface. At high strain-rates, more distributed thinning occurs and isolates portions of less deformed mantle. More distributed deformation affects the model topography. Despite large differences in shape, the aspect ratio (amplitude/wavelength) of the cross-sectional neck shapes converges towards very similar values at the end of the experiments.The significant differences and evolutionary pathways produced by the plate divergence rate on the lithosphere necking profile, suggest that this parameter exert a fundamental control on localization vs. distribution of deformation in the crust as in the whole mechanical lithosphere. Furthermore, it can exert a fundamental control on the time and space

  1. Capturing magma intrusion and faulting processes during continental rupture: seismicity of the Dabbahu (Afar) rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Keir, D.; Ayele, A.; Calais, E.; Wright, T. J.; Belachew, M.; Hammond, J. O. S.; Campbell, E.; Buck, W. R.

    2008-09-01

    Continental rupture models emphasize the role of faults in extensional strain accommodation; extension by dyke intrusion is commonly overlooked. A major rifting episode that began in 2005 September in the Afar depression of Ethiopia provides an opportunity to examine strain accommodation in a zone of incipient plate rupture. Earthquakes recorded on a temporary seismic array (2005 October to 2006 April), direct observation of fault patterns and geodetic data document ongoing strain and continued dyke intrusion along the ~60-km long Dabbahu rift segment defined in earlier remote sensing studies. Epicentral locations lie along a ~3 km wide, ~50 km long swath that curves into the SE flank of Dabbahu volcano; a second strand continues to the north toward Gab'ho volcano. Considering the ~8 m of opening in the September crisis, we interpret the depth distribution of microseismicity as the dyke intrusion zone; the dykes rise from ~10 km to the near-surface along the ~60-km long length of the tectono-magmatic segment. Focal mechanisms indicate slip along NNW-striking normal faults, perpendicular to the Arabia-Nubia plate opening vector. The seismicity, InSAR, continuous GPS and structural patterns all suggest that magma injection from lower or subcrustal magma reservoirs continued at least 3 months after the main episode. Persistent earthquake swarms at two sites on Dabbahu volcano coincide with areas of deformation identified in the InSAR data: (1) an elliptical, northwestward-dipping zone of seismicity and subsidence interpreted as a magma conduit, and (2) a more diffuse, 8-km radius zone of shallow seismicity (<2 km) above a shadow zone, interpreted as a magma chamber between 2.5 and 6 km subsurface. InSAR and continuous GPS data show uplift above a shallow source in zone (2) and uplift above the largely aseismic Gab'ho volcano. The patterns of seismicity provide a 3-D perspective of magma feeding systems maintaining the along-axis segmentation of this incipient seafloor

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  4. From continental platform towards rifting of the Tisza Unit in the Late Triassic to Early Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Császár, Géza; Szinger, Balázs; Piros, Olga

    2013-08-01

    The Upper Triassic-Lower Cretaceous successions of the Transdanubian part of the Mecsek and Villány- Bihor Zones of the Tisza Unit have been studied from the lithological, lithostratigraphical, sedimentological, microfossil and microfacies points of view in order to correlate and interpret the significant differences between them and to draw a conclusion about their geological and paleogeographical history. After an overview of the paleogeographical reconstructions of the broader area, the succession of the Mecsek and Villány-Bihor Zones and the debated Máriakéménd-Bár Range are introduced. Until the end of the Middle Triassic the study area acted as an entity. The first fundamental difference between the two zones can be recognized in the Late Triassic when marine carbonates were replaced by thick fluvial siliciclastics in the Mecsek Zone, while it is represented only by small, local lenses with a few and thin dolostone intercalations in the Villány Zone. The Mecsek Zone is bordered southward by one of the large listric faults to the north of which very thick siliciclastics developed in the Early to Middle Jurassic, whereas it is highly lacunose in the larger western part of the Villány-Bihor Zone. The break at the base is subaerial, higher in the succession it is shallow submarine. The sediment is silty, occasionally sandy crinoidal limestone of late Early Jurassic or even Middle Jurassic in age. The Upper Jurassic in the Mecsek Zone is composed of deep-water cherty limestone while in the Villány Zone it became a thick, shallowing pelagic limestone with reworked patch reef fragments. It is clear evidence that the Mecsek Zone had a thinned continental crust thanks to the nearby rift zone while in the Villány Zone the crust remained thick. The actualized version of the Plašienka's paleogeographical model (Plašienka 2000) is introduced

  5. 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.

  6. Applications of surface geology models to subsurface interpretations in continental rifted basins

    SciTech Connect

    Charpentier, P.; Jarrige, J.; Richert, J. )

    1990-05-01

    Field geology surveys done from 1980 to 1987 along the Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, and in the East African rift led us to (1) compare the two in-extension domains in terms of geometry, mechanism and timing of deformation to point out the structural and sedimentary elements useful to interpret seismic and well data and (2) propose geodynamic models to perform a more efficient exploration in other rifted basins. Field observations show that the fault pattern is controlled by the inherited fabric of the basement, which is reactivated during the rifting process. This fabric defines the location of the oblique-to-the-rift transfer zones which cut the deformed area in losangic blocks limited by antithetic normal faults parallel to the rift. Transfer zones exhibit either strike-slip faults or local compressive structures, or horst-and-graben pattern. The interference between the normal faults and the transfer zones induces the typical zigzag pattern in which petroleum traps will have specific setting. These synsedimentary deformations have a direct influence on the reservoir facies changes. The mechanical evolution is characterized by multistage tectonic deformations in which the doming generally approved as a first rifting initiation is not necessary to explain the observed extension. Sinking of the central trough and uplift of the rift shoulders represents the last stage of the rifting process due only to thermal subsidence. This process is important in hydrocarbon generation and migration.

  7. Interrelation between rifting, faulting, sedimentation, and mantle serpentinization during continental margin formation—including examples from the Norwegian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rüpke, Lars H.; Schmid, Daniel W.; Perez-Gussinye, Marta; Hartz, Ebbe

    2013-10-01

    The conditions permitting mantle serpentinization during continental rifting are explored within 2-D thermotectonostratigraphic basin models, which track the rheological evolution of the continental crust, account for sediment blanketing effects, and allow for kinetically controlled mantle serpentinization processes. The basic idea is that the entire extending continental crust has to be brittle for crustal scale faulting and mantle serpentinization to occur. The isostatic and latent heat effects of the reaction are fully coupled to the structural and thermal solutions. A systematic parameter study shows that a critical stretching factor exists for which complete crustal embrittlement and serpentinization occurs. Increased sedimentation rates shift this critical stretching factor to higher values as sediment blanketing effects result in higher crustal temperatures. Sediment supply has therefore, through the temperature-dependence of the viscous flow laws, strong control on crustal strength and mantle serpentinization reactions are only likely when sedimentation rates are low and stretching factors high. In a case study for the Norwegian margin, we test whether the inner lower crustal bodies (LCB) imaged beneath the Møre and Vøring margin could be serpentinized mantle. Multiple 2-D transects have been reconstructed through the 3-D data set by Scheck-Wenderoth and Maystrenko (2011). We find that serpentinization reactions are possible and likely during the Jurassic rift phase. Predicted thicknesses and locations of partially serpentinized mantle rocks fit to information on LCBs from seismic and gravity data. We conclude that some of the inner LCBs beneath the Norwegian margin may be partially serpentinized mantle.

  8. Improved treatment of asthenosphere flow and melting in 2D numerical solutions for continental rifting: embedded vs nested modeling approaches.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Monserrat, Albert; Morgan, Jason P.; Taramón, Jorge M.; Hall, Robert

    2016-04-01

    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 extremely oversimplified. All are likely to significantly shape the pattern of asthenospheric flow beneath the stretching lithosphere which is associated with pressure-release melting and rift volcanism. The choice of boundary conditions may lead to different predictions of asthenospheric flow and melting associated with lithospheric stretching and breakup. We also find that they may affect the mode of crustal stretching. Here we discuss a suite of numerical experiments using a Lagrangian formulation, 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. We also compare embedded and nested meshes with a high-resolution 2-D region within a cartesian 'whole mantle cross-section' box. 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, the 'finite width plate spreading' and embedded rifting boundary condition treatments lead to significantly smaller BC-influenced signals when using high-resolution calculation regions of order ~1000 km wide and 600 km deep within a lower resolution box of the order of >5000 km wide and 2800 km. We recommend their use when models are attempting to resolve the effects of asthenosphere flow and melting. We also discuss several examples of typical numerical 'artifacts' related to 'edge convection' at the sides of the stretching region

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Link between the northward extension of Great Sumatra Fault and continental rifting in the Andaman Sea: new results from seismic reflection studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, S. C.; Moeremans, R. E.; McArdle, J.; Johansen, K.

    2012-12-01

    The Great Sumatra Fault (GSF) traverses the main land Sumatra from Sunda Strait in the southeast to Banda Aceh in the northwest for about 1900 km, and defines the present day plate boundary between the Sunda Plate in the north and Burmese Sliver Plate in the south. It is formed due to the oblique subduction of the Indo-Australian Plate beneath the Sunda Plate. It has been well studied on land but is poorly studied north of Banda Aceh in the Andaman Sea. Its study is further complicated by the presence of volcanic arc in its vicinity and its interaction with the West Andaman Fault (WAF) further north. Here we present deep seismic reflection images along the northward extension of the GSF over 700 km until it joins the Andaman Spreading Centre and interpret these images in the light of earthquake, gravity and bathymetry data. We find that the GSF has two strands between Banda Aceh and Nicobar Island: a transpression in the south and a deep narrow active rift basin in the north dotted with volcanoes in the center, suggesting that the volcanic arc is coincident with the rifting. Further north of Nicobar Island, an active strike-slip fault cuts through a deep rifted basin until its intersection with Andaman Sea Spreading Centre. The volcanic arc lies just east of the basin. The western margin of this basin seems to be a rifted continental margin, tilted westward flooring the Andaman-Nicobar forearc basin, which was once a part of Malaya Peninsula, suggesting that a significant parts of the Andaman-Nicobar forearc system is underlain by the Sunda continental crust. The Andaman-Nicobar forearc basin is bounded in the west by backthrusts, similar to the West Andaman and Mentawai faults bounding the Aceh and Mentawai forearc basins in the south. The cluster of seismicity after the 2004 great Andaman-Sumatra earthquake just north of Nicobar Island coincides with the intersection of two NW-SE and N-S trending strike-slip fault systems. Some of hypocentre of these earthquakes

  18. 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

  19. Images of the East Africa Rift System from the Joint Inversion of Body Waves, Surface Waves, and Gravity: Investigating the Role of Magma in Early-Stage Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roecker, S. W.; Ebinger, C. J.; Tiberi, C.; Mulibo, G. D.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Muzuka, A.; Khalfan, M.; Kianji, G.; Gautier, S.; Albaric, J.; Peyrat, S.

    2015-12-01

    With several rift segments at different stages of the rifting cycle, and the last orogenic episode more than 500 Mya, the young (<7 My) Eastern rift system in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya offers an ideal venue to study the role of magma and other fluids in continental rifting. To estimate both the location and volume of magma beneath the rift system, we generated 3D elastic wave images of the crust and uppermost mantle of this region by analyzing data recorded by a local deployment of 40 broad band seismic stations over a period of two years. We jointly inverted P and S wave arrival times from locally recorded earthquakes with Rayleigh wave dispersion curves derived from cross correlating ambient noise. These results were combined with Bouguer gravity anomalies to increase resolution and add constraints. The ambient noise signal appears to be channeled along the axis of the rift system, suggesting a waveguide effect. Tests with synthetic data estimate a spatial resolution in our images on the order of a few km. Our results demonstrate fundamental modifications of continental crustal structure by magmatic processes during the first few My of rift basin development. To first order, our models are dominated by regions of exceptionally low (by 10-20%) shear wavespeed relative to that of average continental crust. To a large extent the wavespeeds mimic the topography, with the slowest shear wave speeds corresponding to the lowest elevations, and tracing out a NE-SW striking region about 20 km wide from the Natron basin in the north to a NW-SE region of similar width beneath the Manyara basin in the south. These low wavespeeds are likely to be a consequence of the presence of magma and other fluids from at least 30 km depth, the limit of depth resolution for this dataset and near the base of the crust (~35 km), and extending to upper crustal levels in some areas. Somewhat surprisingly, a second region of significant low wavespeed beneath the Ngorongoro caldera

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  2. Large scale mass wasting as a possible mechanism of formation of highly thinned continental crust and the S reflector on the Galicia rifted margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawyer, D. S.; Clark, S.; Morgan, J. K.

    2005-12-01

    The generally accepted model for the formation of the Atlantic rifted margins of the Galicia Bank (GB) and Newfoundland calls for an extended period of rifting, probably in several discrete stages, during which listric faults cut progressively deeper into continental crust and eventually reach the upper mantle. In these models, the margin developed a major low-angle west-dipping detachment fault (S) that controlled the last stage of the breakup, forming the deep Galicia basin, and stretching the continental crust to less than 3 km thickness. An oft cited puzzle has been the relative scarcity of syn-rifting sediment, as evidenced by reflector fanning, in the basins formed by fault block rotation above the detachment fault. This has been explained by 1) very low sediment supply during the syn-rift period, 2) reworking of syn-rift sediment in the post-rift stage, 3) non-rotational block displacement over a flat detachment, and/or 4) rapid fault movement during progressive rifting across the basin. While one or more of these explanations might apply to individual basins, it seems unlikely that they can explain the apparent paucity of synrift sediment throughout the whole margin. Therefore, we have chosen to examine an alternative hypothesis for the last stages of the formation of the rift between Galicia and Newfoundland that can explain this lack. Specifically, we suggest that comparatively rapid mass wasting on the western and southern flanks of the GB played an important, and heretofore unrecognized, role in the history of the margin . The mass wasting in question would have taken the form of rotational slumping and could have occurred some millions of years after the initiation of seafloor spreading, possibly masking aspects of the past tectonic history. We suggest that the low-angle detachment fault (S) in the conventional model may be the surface of separation of a very large landslide, moving to the west off the western flank of the GB. The landslide material

  3. 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.

  4. Faulting and hydration of the upper crust of the SW Okinawa Trough during continental rifting: Evidence from seafloor compliance inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Ban-Yuan; Crawford, Wayne C.; Webb, Spahr C.; Lin, Ching-Ren; Yu, Tai-Chieh; Chen, Liwen

    2015-06-01

    The elastic response of seafloor to ocean gravity wave loading, or seafloor compliance, provides a constraint on the elastic properties of the crust. We measured seafloor compliance at three ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) sites around Taiwan—two in the southwestern (SW) Okinawa Trough and one on the Ryukyu arc—and performed inversion for crustal structures beneath them. Models best fitting the data demonstrate a decrease in upper crustal shear velocity and an increase in the compressional/shear velocity ratio from the arc site to the trough sites with increasing amount of back-arc extension. This variation suggests that the upper continental crust is highly faulted and hydrated during rifting of the Eurasian lithosphere.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    fracture zones do not extend up to the offshore Angolan and conjugate Brazilian margins, we conclude that small offset transform faulting did not influence the evolution of the continental margin as has been previously suggested. On a regional scale, the evolution of the Africa-wide Mesozoic rift system is intimately linked to global plate tectonics and to changes in plate interactions. On a basinal scale, changes in the orientation of the dominant stress field resulting from plate reorganisation have had a clear impact on the deformation history and fault geometries of rift basins. We demonstrate this relationship by correlating the timing of changes in South Atlantic fracture zone geometries and African margin unconformities with major unconformities that are observed in a unified stratigraphy chart for the West and Central African Rift System. We propose a controlling mechanism in which changes in plate stress control the effective elastic strength of a plate, resulting in a focused change in isostatic response over continental margins.

  6. Hydrocarbon accumulation on rifted Continental Margin - examples of oil migration pathways, west African salt basins

    SciTech Connect

    Blackwelder, B.W.

    1989-03-01

    Examination of the oil fields in the Gabon, Lower Congo, and Cuanza basins allows modeling of oil migration and a more accurate ranking of prospects using geologic risk factors. Oil accumulations in these basins are in strata deposited during Cretaceous rift and drift phases, thus providing a diversity of geologic settings to examine. Oil accumulations in rift deposits are located on large faulted anticlines or in truncated units atop horst features. Many of these oil fields were sourced from adjacent organic shales along short direct migration paths. In Areas where source rock is more remote to fields or to prospective structures, faulting and continuity of reservoir rock are important to the migration of hydrocarbons. Because Aptian salts separate rift-related deposits from those of the drift stage, salt evacuation and faulting of the salt residuum are necessary for oil migration from the pre-salt sequences into the post-salt section. Oil migration within post-salt strata is complicated by the presence of salt walls and faulted carbonate platforms. Hydrocarbon shows in wells drilled throughout this area provide critical data for evaluating hydrocarbon migration pathways. Such evaluation in combination with modeling and mapping of the organic-rich units, maturation, reservoir facies, structural configurations, and seals in existing fields allows assessment of different plays. Based on this information, new play types and prospective structures can be ranked with respect to geologic risk.

  7. 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

  8. The evolution of lithosphere deformation due to infiltration of asthenosphere melt into a lithosphere with inherited weakness: insight from 2D numerical models of continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havlin, C.; Parmentier, E.; Hirth, G.

    2013-12-01

    Melt formed in the asthenosphere affects lithosphere evolution through its accumulation and subsequent infiltration and heating of the lithosphere. Magmatic weakening of the lithosphere has received particular attention in the context of continental rifting because homogeneous continental lithosphere is too strong to rift under available tectonic forces without a weakening mechanism. But the observation that rifting generally initiates in heterogeneous continental mobile belts suggests that rift zones develop in lithosphere with some inherited compositional weakness, obscuring the importance of magmatic weakening. To test the relative roles of magmatic and compositional weakening, we construct a 2D numerical model that includes both effects. We treat the lithosphere and asthenosphere as separate, but coupled, domains. The lithosphere deforms via a composite brittle-ductile rheology with a strain rate that varies horizontally but is independent of depth. We apply an extensional force that is constant throughout the lithosphere, causing thinned or weakened regions of the lithosphere to extend at higher strain rate. We treat the asthenosphere as a viscous and partially molten and solve the 2D conservation equations for mass, momentum and energy for both the solid and melt phases. Melting and freezing are treated using a hydrated peridotite solidus. Solid velocities in the asthenosphere are calculated using the solid velocities from the lithosphere base as boundary conditions. The asthenosphere and lithosphere are coupled through magma infiltration and subsequent lithosphere heating. Melt fractions accumulating above an imposed critical melt fraction are extracted and emplaced within a few kms of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary, where it freezes, releasing latent heat. We test scenarios with a fixed critical melt fraction as well as a variable critical melt fraction determined by our previously published parametrization of dike propagation [Havlin et al., EPSL

  9. 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.

  10. Factors controlling early stage salt tectonics at rifted continental margins and their thermal consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goteti, Rajesh; Beaumont, Christopher; Ings, Steven J.

    2013-06-01

    We use 2-D thermomechanical models to investigate the early evolution of rifted margin salt tectonics in terms of the competition among margin tilt, salt flow, and sediment aggradation. Model experiments include initial geometry of the rifted margin and autochthonous salt basin, subsequent synrift and thermal subsidence, sediment and water loading, and sediment compaction. We also calculate the thermal evolution of the system to investigate the impact of the high thermal conductivity of the salt (halite). Model Set 1 demonstrates a two-phase response to salt deposition: short-term thermal equilibration between the salt and crust and longer-term relaxation in which the salt basin thermal image penetrates to a depth on the order of its width. Set 2 addresses the competition among margin tilt, salt flow, and sediment aggradation. Set 3 examines other factors, the salt basin width and depth, and the rifted margin width, which potentially affect the system evolution. Set 4 shows that sawtooth subsalt topography, representing faulted basement grabens, does not strongly impede salt flow. The model results are discussed in terms of a ternary diagram with apices representing tilt, salt flow, and sedimentation rates. Characteristic styles include the following: (1) tilt and rapid salt flow draining salt to the distal basin before the sediment aggrades, (2) an equivalent system with faster aggradation that captures draining salt as diapirs between minibasins, and (3) rapid sediment aggradation in which diapir-minibasins systems develop before the salt drains. Thermal consequences of these styles are discussed. A preliminary comparison shows that salt structures resembling these styles occur in the southwest Nova Scotian margin.

  11. Rheological variations across an active rift system -- results from lithosphere-scale 3D gravity and thermal models of the Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meeßen, Christian; Sippel, Judith; Cacace, Mauro; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Fishwick, Stewart; Heine, Christian; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-04-01

    Due to its tectono-volcanic activity and economic (geothermal and petroleum) potential, the eastern branch of the East African Rift System (EARS) is one of the best studied extensional systems worldwide and an important natural laboratory for the development of geodynamic concepts on rifting and nascent continental break-up. The Kenya Rift, an integral part of the eastern branch of the EARS, has formed in the area of weak Proterozoic crust of the Mozambique mobile belt adjacent to the rheologically stronger Archean Tanzania craton. To assess the variations in lithospheric strength between different tectonic domains and their influence on the tectonic evolution of the region, we developed a set of structural, density, thermal and rheological 3D models. For these models we integrated multi-disciplinary information, such as published geological field data, sediment thicknesses, well information, existing structural models, seismic refraction and reflection data, seismic tomography, gravity and heat-flow data. Our main approach focused on combined 3D isostatic and gravity modelling. The resulting lithosphere-scale 3D density model provides new insights into the depth distribution of the crust-mantle boundary and thickness variations of different crustal density domains. The latter further facilitate interpretations of variations of lithologies and related physical rock properties. By considering lithology-dependent heat production and thermal conductivity, we calculate the conductive thermal field across the region of the greater Kenya Rift. Finally, the assessed variations in lithology and temperature allow deriving differences in the integrated strength of the lithosphere across the different tectonic domains.

  12. 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.

  13. Groundwater origin and flow dynamics in active rift systems - A multi-isotope approach in the Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bretzler, Anja; Osenbrück, Karsten; Gloaguen, Richard; Ruprecht, Janina S.; Kebede, Seifu; Stadler, Susanne

    2011-05-01

    SummaryThis study aims to investigate groundwater recharge and flow patterns in tectonically active rift systems, exemplified by a case study in the Main Ethiopian Rift. The chosen approach includes the investigation of hydrochemical parameters and environmental isotopes ( 3H, δ 2H, δ 18O, δ 13C-DIC, 14C-DIC, 87Sr/ 86Sr). Apparent groundwater ages were determined by radiocarbon dating after correction of 14C-DIC using a modified δ 13C-mixing model and further validation using geochemical modelling with NETPATH. Hydrochemical and isotopic data indicate an evolutionary trend existing from the escarpments towards the Rift floor. Groundwater evolves from tritium-containing and hence recently recharged Ca-HCO 3-type water on the escarpments to tritium-free Na-HCO 3 groundwater dominating deep Rift floor aquifers. Correspondingly, rising pH and HCO3- values coupled with increasingly enriched δ 13C signatures point to hydrochemical evolution of DIC and beginning dilution of the carbon isotope signature by other carbon sources, related to a diffuse influx of mantle CO 2 into the groundwater system. Especially thermal groundwater sampled near the most recent fault zones in the Fantale/Beseka region displays clear influence of mantle CO 2 and increased water-rock interaction, indicated by a shift in δ 13C and 87Sr/ 86Sr signatures. The calculation of apparent groundwater ages revealed an age increase of deep groundwater from the escarpments to the Rift floor, complying with hydrochemical evolution. Within the Rift, samples show a relatively uniform distribution of apparent 14C ages of ˜1800 to ˜2800 years, with the expected down-gradient aging trend lacking, contradicting the predominant intra-rift groundwater flow described in existing transect-based models of groundwater flow. By combining hydrochemical and new isotopic data with knowledge of the structural geology of the Rift, we improve the existing groundwater flow model and propose a new conceptual model by

  14. 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).

  15. Style of rifting and the stages of Pangea breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Continental breakup and the dynamics of rifting in back-arc basins: The Gulf of Lion margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolivet, Laurent; Gorini, Christian; Smit, Jeroen; Leroy, Sylvie

    2015-04-01

    Deep seismic profiles and subsidence history of the Gulf of Lion margin reveal an intense stretching of the distal margin and strong postrift subsidence, despite weak extension of the onshore and shallow offshore portions of the margin. We revisit this evolution from the geological interpretation of an unpublished multichannel seismic profile and other published geophysical data. We show that an 80 km wide domain of thin lower continental crust, the "Gulf of Lion metamorphic core complex," is present in the ocean-continent transition zone and exhumed mantle makes the transition with oceanic crust. The exhumed lower continental crust is bounded upward and downward by shallow north dipping detachments. The presence of exhumed lower crust in the deep margin explains the discrepancy between the amount of extension deduced from normal faults in the upper crust and total extension. We discuss the mechanism responsible for exhumation and present two scenarios: the first one involving a simple coupling between mantle extension due to slab retreat and crustal extension and the second one involving extraction of the lower crust and mantle from below the margin by the southeastward flow of hot asthenosphere in the back-arc region during slab rollback. In both scenarios, the combination of Eocene crustal thickening related to the Pyrenees, the nearby volcanic arc, and a shallow lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary weakened the upper mantle and lower crust enough to make them flow southeastward. The overall hot geodynamic environment also explains the subaerial conditions during most of the rifting stage and the delayed subsidence after breakup.

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

    PubMed

    Gorscak, Eric; O'Connor, Patrick M

    2016-04-01

    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

  20. Evidences of a lithospheric fault zone in the Sicily Channel continental rift (southern Italy) from instrumental seismicity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calò, M.; Parisi, L.

    2014-10-01

    Sicily Channel is a portion of Mediterranean Sea, between Sicily (Southern Italy) and Tunisia, representing a part of the foreland Apennine-Maghrebian thrust belt. The seismicity of the region is commonly associated with the normal faulting related to the rifting process and volcanic activity of the region. However, certain seismic patterns suggest the existence of some mechanism coexisting with the rifting process. In this work, we present the results of a statistical analysis of the instrumental seismicity and a reliable relocalization of the events recorded in the last 30 yr in the Sicily Channel and western Sicily using the Double Difference method and 3-D Vp and Vs tomographic models. Our procedure allows us to discern the seismic regime of the Sicily sea from the Tyrrhenian one and to describe the main features of an active fault zone in the study area that could not be related to the rifting process. We report that most of the events are highly clustered in the region between 12.5°-13.5°E and 35.5°-37°N with hypocentral depth of 5-40 km, and reaching 70 km depth in the southernmost sector. The alignment of the seismic clusters, the distribution of volcanic and geothermal regions and the location of some large events occurred in the last century suggest the existence of a subvertical shear zone extending for least 250 km and oriented approximately NNE-SSW. The spatial distribution of the seismic moment suggests that this transfer fault zone is seismically discontinuous showing large seismic gaps in proximity of the Ferdinandea Island, and Graham and Nameless Bank.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Early Cambrian granitoids of North Gondwana margin in the transition from a convergent setting to intra-continental rifting (Ossa-Morena Zone, SW Iberia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez-García, T.; Pereira, M. F.; Bellido, F.; Chichorro, M.; Silva, J. B.; Valverde-Vaquero, P.; Pin, Ch.; Solá, A. R.

    2014-07-01

    Two distinct Cambrian magmatic pulses are recognized in the Ossa-Morena Zone (SW Iberia): an early rift-(ER) and a main rift-related event. This Cambrian magmatism is related to intra-continental rifting of North Gondwana that is thought to have culminated in the opening of the Rheic Ocean in Lower Ordovician times. New data of whole-rock geochemistry (19 samples), Sm-Nd-Sr isotopes (4 samples) and ID-TIMS U-Pb zircon geochronology (1 sample) of the Early Cambrian ER plutonic rocks of the Ossa-Morena Zone are presented in this contribution. The ER granitoids (Barreiros, Barquete, Calera, Salvatierra de los Barros and Tablada granitoid Massifs) are mostly peraluminous granites. The Sm-Nd isotopic data show moderate negative ɛNdt values ranging from -3.5 to +0.1 and TDM ages greatly in excess of emplacement ages. Most ER granitoids are crustal melts. However, a subset of samples shows a transitional anorogenic alkaline tendency, together with more primitive isotopic signatures, documenting the participation of lower crust or mantle-derived sources and suggesting a local transient advanced stage of rifting. The Barreiros granitoid is intrusive into the Ediacaran basement of the Ossa-Morena Zone (Série Negra succession) and has yielded a crystallization age of 524.7 ± 0.8 Ma consistent with other ages of ER magmatic pulse. This age: (1) constrains the age of the metamorphism developed in the Ediacaran back-arc basins before the intrusion of granites and (2) defines the time of the transition from the Ediacaran convergent setting to the Lower Cambrian intra-continental rifting in North Gondwana.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Influence of rheological layering on the formation of offset basins at inherited weak zones during continental rifting: effects of stiff and pliable layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chenin, Pauline; Beaumont, Christopher

    2013-04-01

    We use numerical modelling to investigate the influence of lithosphere rheological layering on the reactivation of inherited crust and mantle weak zones during continental rifting. Such reactivation often leads to the formation of offset basins, ie. basins whose development is concomitant with the rifting event, but whose location is offset/set off the main rift/locus of the breakup. Offset rift basins are ubiquitous features of rifted continental margins and are often located at inherited sutures and their fold-and-thrust belts. We use the software Sopale nested to test the effects of different lithospheres comprising Stiff and/or Pliable crust and mantle layers. Here Stiff (S) implies a nonlinear flow law with a high stress exponent (n ~> 10,000), a plastic material, and Pliable (P) means a low stress exponent (n~ 2 - 5) as in ductile, power-law creep of rocks. To achieve this rheological change without modifying the thermal structure of the model, we introduce a scaling factor f in the power-law creep parametrization of the viscosity, such that large values of f result in Coulomb frictional-plastic failure of a layer and small values result in power-law creep. One weak (ie. with reduced internal angle of friction, φ = 2°) zone is embedded in the central part of the uppermost mantle lithosphere and two weak zones are embedded in the upper crust, offset on either side of the mantle weak zone by 150 km in most models. During extension of the model lithosphere weak zones embedded in a stiff layer are preferentially and rapidly reactivated, whereas the same zones are either ignored or slowly reactivated when embedded in pliable layers. This is because necking instabilities grow much more rapidly in stiff layers than in pliable ones. Moreover, the intensity of coupling between the crust and the mantle determines which layer controls the morphology of the model continental margin. When the crust is strongly coupled to the underlying mantle, offset basins only form at

  9. The Tayiba Red Beds: Transitional marine-continental deposits in the precursor Suez Rift, Sinai, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Refaat, A. A.; Imam, M. M.

    1999-04-01

    The Tayiba Red Beds, exposed in the Abu Zenima area, west-central Sinai, have been intensively studied for their clay mineralogy and charophytes assemblages. Three surface sections exposed at Wadi El-Tayiba and Wadi Nukhul were studied. The Tayiba Formation uncomformably overlies the Middle Eocene Khaboba Formation at Wadi Nukhul and the Late Eocene Tanka Formation at Wadi El-Tayiba and commonly underlies the Early Miocene Nukhul Formation with unconformable relationships. The Tayiba Formation at Wadi Nukhul consists predominantly of continental coarse clastic sediments represented by polymictic conglomerates, alternating with red to pinkish mudstone, ferruginous sandstone and varicoloured mottled siltstone with plant remains. At Wadi El-Tayiba, the Tayiba Formation is represented by marine, yellow mudstone and red siltstone, alternating with greyish and reddish-yellow argillaceous to sandy limestone, highly fossiliferous with reworked Nummulites spp. and molluscan shell fragments. The mineralogical composition of the studied clay size fraction showed that most samples are dominated by illite, together with smectite, kaolinite and illite/smectite mixed layers. The relative proportion of these constituents shows wide variation. Smectite is more abundant than other constituents at Wadi El-Tayiba. The high content of smectite is usually accompanied by a terrigenous influx in the form of kaolinite and illite, reflecting deposition in an inner neritic shallow marine environment. The sediments of Wadi Nukhul are characterised by an appreciable proportion of illite, together with an illite/smectite mixed layer and minor amounts of kaolinite, suggesting deposition in fluviatile environments. The detailed investigation of charophytes (green algae) in the investigated sections showed that Wadi El-Tayiba is nearly barren of these microflorae, except for some benthic foraminifera from a shallow marine environment. In contrast, Wadi Nukhul yielded a high frequency and great

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. What role does crustal heterogeneity play on continental break-up; the interplay of a foldbelt, rift system and ocean basin in the South Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paton, Douglas; Mortimer, Estelle; Hodgson, Neil

    2015-04-01

    Although extensively studied, two key questions remain unanswered regarding the evolution of the southern South Atlantic. Firstly, where is the Cape Foldbelt (CFB) in offshore South Africa? The CFB is part of the broader Gonwanian Orogeny that prior to South Atlantic rifting continued into the Ventana Foldbelt of Argentina but to date its location in the offshore part of South Africa remains enigmatic. Secondly, the conjugate rift basin to South Africa is the Colorado Basin in Argentina but why does it trend east-west despite its perpendicular orientation to the Atlantic spreading ridge? Current plate models and structural understands cannot explain these fundamental questions. We use newly acquired deep reflection seismic data in the Orange Basin, South Africa, to develop a new structural model for the southern South Atlantic. We characterise the geometry of the Cape Foldbelt onshore and for the first time correlate it into the offshore. We show that it has a north-south trend immediately to the north of the Cape Peninsula but then has a syntaxis (Garies syntaxis) that results in a change to an east-west orientation. This forms the missing jigsaw piece of the Atlantic reconstruction as this is directly beside the restored Colorado Basin. When considered within the pre-break up structural configuration our observations imply that prior to the main phase of Atlantic rifting in the Mezosoic there was significant variation in crustal geometry incorporating the Orange Basin of South Africa, the Colorado Basin and the Gariep Belt of Namibia. These faults were active during Gondwana rifting, but the Colorado rift failed resulting in the present day location of the South Atlantic. Not only do our results improve our understanding of the evolution of the South Atlantic ocean, they highlight the importance of differentiating between early rift evolution and strain localisation during the subsequent rift phase prior to seafloor spreading.

  19. 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.

  20. Crustal structure during active rifting in the central Salton Trough, California, constrained by the Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Seismic refraction and reflection travel times from the Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) were used to constrain crustal structure during active continental rifting in the central Salton Trough, California. SSIP, funded by NSF and USGS, acquired seismic data in and across the Salton Trough in 2011 to investigate 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 refraction and low-fold reflection data were acquired onshore, two lines and a grid of airgun and OBS data were acquired in the Salton Sea, and onshore-offshore data were recorded. North American lithosphere in the central Salton Trough appears to have been rifted apart and replaced by new crust added by magmatism from below and sedimentation from above. Ongoing active rifting of this new crust is manifested by shallow (<10km depth) seismicity in the oblique Brawley Seismic Zone (connecting the Imperial and San Andreas transform faults), the small Salton Buttes volcanoes, and very high heat flow that enables geothermal energy production. Analyses of the onshore-offshore seismic line that extends along the axis of the Salton Trough, parallel to the direction of plate motion, constrains rifted crustal structure. Crystalline basement (~5 km/s) generally occurs at ~4 km depth, but is at 2-3 km depth in a localized region beneath the Salton Buttes and Salton Sea geothermal field. This crystalline rock is interpreted to be late Pliocene to Quaternary Colorado River sediment that has been metamorphosed by high heat flow to a depth of at least 10km. The shallower basement under the volcanic and geothermal field is due to more intense metamorphism and hydrothermal alteration in this region of extreme heat flow. Faster velocity (6.2-6.4 km/s) observed at 10-13 km depth might be the remains of ruptured pre-existing crust or might be produced by deeper magmatism. Seismic travel times indicate

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-26

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Mesozoic and early Tertiary rift tectonics in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1992-08-01

    A complex history of crustal extension occurred in east and central Africa during the Mesozoic and early Tertiary. Beginning in the Late Jurassic, this resulted in a large system of rifts, the Central African rift system, that spanned from central Sudan to southern Kenya. Late Jurassic rifting is best documented in the White and Blue Nile rifts of the Sudan, and records east-west extension in half-graben that were connected by large-scale shear zones and pull-apart basins. Early Cretaceous rifting re-activated Jurassic basins and spread to the large South Sudan rifts and Anza rift in Kenya. By the Late Cretaceous, the extension direction shifted to the NE-SW, and the presently observed large-scale rift geometry was established. In the early Tertiary, some Mesozoic basins were again reactivated, while other regions underwent wrench faulting and basin inversion. The large number of basins preserved in the Central African rift system can be used to construct an evolutionary model of continental rift tectonics. Early phases of extension at low strains produced alternating half-graben/accommodation zone geometries similar to those observed in most young and active continental rifts. At higher strains, some border faults were abandoned so that through-going, simpler active fault systems could evolve. This is interpreted as representing a switch from complex, oppositely dipping detachment structures, with strike dimensions of 50-150 km, to regional detachment structures that continue for hundreds of kilometers parallel to the rift. This change in the type of detachment was accompanied by a shift in the position of the subsidence away from the breakaway to a position focused further within the regional upper plate. Non-rotational, high angle, normal faulting dominates in the development of these late basin geometries. Deciphering similar rift basin histories from passive continental margins may, in many cases, exceed the limits of available reflection seismic data. East

  6. Evidence of Ancient Rifts Beneath Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irie, K.; Velasco, A. A.

    2011-12-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Fault kinematics and tectonic stress in the seismically active Manyara Dodoma Rift segment in Central Tanzania Implications for the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macheyeki, Athanas S.; Delvaux, Damien; De Batist, Marc; Mruma, Abdulkarim

    2008-07-01

    The Eastern Branch of the East African Rift System is well known in Ethiopia (Main Ethiopian Rift) and Kenya (Kenya or Gregory Rift) and is usually considered to fade away southwards in the North Tanzanian Divergence, where it splits into the Eyasi, Manyara and Pangani segments. Further towards the south, rift structures are more weakly expressed and this area has not attracted much attention since the mapping and exploratory works of the 1950s. In November 4, 2002, an earthquake of magnitude Mb = 5.5 struck Dodoma, the capital city of Tanzania. Analysis of modern digital relief, seismological and geological data reveals that ongoing tectonic deformation is presently affecting a broad N-S trending belt, extending southward from the North Tanzanian Divergence to the region of Dodoma, forming the proposed "Manyara-Dodoma Rift segment". North of Arusha-Ngorongoro line, the rift is confined to a narrow belt (Natron graben in Tanzania) and south of it, it broadens into a wide deformation zone which includes both the Eyasi and Manyara grabens. The two-stage rifting model proposed for Kenya and North Tanzania also applies to the Manyara-Dodoma Rift segment. In a first stage, large, well-expressed topographic and volcanogenic structures were initiated in the Natron, Eyasi and Manyara grabens during the Late Miocene to Pliocene. From the Middle Pleistocene onwards, deformations related to the second rifting stage propagated southwards to the Dodoma region. These young structures have still limited morphological expressions compared to the structures formed during the first stage. However, they appear to be tectonically active as shown by the high concentration of moderate earthquakes into earthquake swarms, the distribution of He-bearing thermal springs, the morphological freshness of the fault scarps, and the presence of open surface fractures. Fault kinematic and paleostress analysis of geological fault data in basement rocks along the active fault lines show that recent

  12. Pliocene granodioritic knoll with continental crust affinities discovered in the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc: Syntectonic granitic crust formation during back-arc rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tani, Kenichiro; Dunkley, Daniel J.; Chang, Qing; Nichols, Alexander R. L.; Shukuno, Hiroshi; Hirahara, Yuka; Ishizuka, Osamu; Arima, Makoto; Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki

    2015-08-01

    A widely held hypothesis is that modern continental crust of an intermediate (i.e. andesitic) bulk composition forms at intra-oceanic arcs through subduction zone magmatism. However, there is a critical paradox in this hypothesis: to date, the dominant granitic rocks discovered in these arcs are tonalite, rocks that are significantly depleted in incompatible (i.e. magma-preferred) elements and do not geochemically and petrographically represent those of the continents. Here we describe the discovery of a submarine knoll, the Daisan-West Sumisu Knoll, situated in the rear-arc region of the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc. Remotely-operated vehicle surveys reveal that this knoll is made up entirely of a 2.6 million year old porphyritic to equigranular granodiorite intrusion with a geochemical signature typical of continental crust. We present a model of granodiorite magma formation that involves partial remelting of enriched mafic rear-arc crust during the initial phase of back-arc rifting, which is supported by the preservation of relic cores inherited from initial rear-arc source rocks within magmatic zircon crystals. The strong extensional tectonic regime at the time of intrusion may have allowed the granodioritic magma to be emplaced at an extremely shallow level, with later erosion of sediment and volcanic covers exposing the internal plutonic body. These findings suggest that rear-arc regions could be the potential sites of continental crust formation in intra-oceanic convergent margins.

  13. Thinning of Refertilized Sub-Continental Lithospheric Mantle (SLCM) beneath the Main Ethiopian Rift During Tertiary Rifting: Petrologic and Thermal Constraints from (Garnet)-Spinel Peridotite Xenoliths (Mega, Ethiopia).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casagli, A.; Frezzotti, M. L.; Peccerillo, A.; Tiepolo, M.; De Astis, G.

    2014-12-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) represents a key locality for the knowledge of the nature and evolution of SCLM during continental rifting processes, traditionally ascribed to ascending mantle plumes. We report petrological and geothermobarometric data from mantle xenoliths in Quaternary alkali-basalt lava flows and scoria cones at Mega (Sidamo Region; EARS) in the southern Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), that give evidence for refertilization of SCLM and for thinning during Tertiary rifting. Studied samples consist of seven lherzolites, five harzburgites and one olivine-websterite that contain spinel-pyroxene symplectites, interpreted as products of garnet breakdown reactions. These rocks were analyzed for major (whole rock and minerals) and trace elements (pyroxenes). Major element data have been used to reconstruct original garnet composition (pyrope). Equilibration temperatures range from 985 ± 40°C in the garnet facies (2.9-2.2 GPa) to 960 ± 55°C in the spinel facies (1.3 GPa). Xenoliths consist of depleted and fertile peridotites. Five lherzolites have up to 4 wt% of CaO, high CaO/Al2O3 (1.42-4.46), and the most fertile are more enriched than primitive mantle. Variations of major oxides in bulk rocks and minerals are consistent with variable degrees of melt extraction. Evidence for modal and cryptic metasomatism is given by addition of clinopyroxene ± phlogopite, and by LILE and LREE enrichment in clinopyroxene. Refertilization process appears to have been induced by sub-lithospheric volatile-rich melts at high melt/rock ratio, and were followed by cooling. To account for the geodynamic evolution of SCLM beneath the southern MER, which implies a temperature gradient from 50-60 to ˜ 90 mW/m2, we propose that thinning of the base of fertile SCLM from 90-95 to ˜45km depth and associated magmatism occurred along a normal-mantle adiabat above an upwelling asthenosphere (i.e., decompression melting) without the need for significant heat sources.

  14. 3D Dynamics of Oblique Rift Systems: Fault Evolution from Rift to Break-up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, S.

    2014-12-01

    Rift evolution and passive margin formation has been thoroughly investigated using conceptual and numerical models in two dimensions. However, the 2D assumption that the extension direction is perpendicular to the rift trend is often invalid. In fact, the majority of rift systems that lead to continental break-up during the last 150 My involved moderate to high rift obliquity. Yet, the degree to which oblique lithospheric extension affects first-order rift and passive margin properties like surface stress pattern, fault azimuths, and basin geometry, is still not entirely clear. This contribution provides insight in crustal stress patterns and fault orientations by applying a 3D numerical rift model to oblique extensional settings. The presented forward experiments cover the whole spectrum of oblique extension (i.e. rift-orthogonal extension, low obliquity, high obliquity, strike-slip deformation) from initial deformation to breakup. They are conducted using an elasto-visco-plastic finite element model and involve crustal and mantle layers accounting for self-consistent necking of the lithosphere. Even though the model setup is very simple (horizontally layered, no inherited faults), its evolution exhibits a variety of fault orientations that are solely caused by the interaction of far-field stresses with rift-intrinsic buoyancy and strength. Depending on rift obliquity, these orientations involve rift-parallel, extension-orthogonal, and intermediate normal fault directions as well as strike-slip faults. Allowing new insights on fault patterns of the proximal and distal margins, the model shows that individual fault populations are activated in a characteristic multi-phase evolution driven by lateral density variations of the evolving rift system. Model results are in very good agreement with inferences from the well-studied Gulf of Aden and provide testable predictions for other rifts and passive margins worldwide.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Rift flank uplift and isostatic response to glacial erosion: Creation of a high-elevation continental margin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGregor, E. D.; Nielsen, S. B.; Stephenson, R. A.; Clausen, O. R.; Petersen, K. D.; Macdonald, D. I. M.

    2012-04-01

    Southern Baffin Island lies to the west of Davis Strait, which is part of a sedimentary basin system, linking Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay. It developed during Cretaceous and Palaeocene rifting that culminated in a brief period of sea-floor spreading in the late Palaeocene and Eocene. To date the cause of the high elevation southeastern margin of Baffin Island has not been a focus of much research, whereas the origin and age of elevated topography on its conjugate west Greenland margin is a matter of lively debate. For west Greenland it has been argued by some authors, from interpretations of on- and offshore data (fission track, seismic and well), that onshore topography was created by tectonically-driven uplift in the Neogene. However, we have previously demonstrated that offshore seismic and well data along the Greenland margin of Davis Strait are consistent with a model of rifting followed by thermal subsidence and fjord excavation by glaciers, where Neogene tectonic uplift is not required. For southeastern Baffin Island, we have analysed offshore seismic reflection profiles, exploration well and gravity data along the western margin of Davis Strait and conclude that rift flank uplift of older remnant topography and subsequent isostatic response to glacial erosion have produced the present-day high elevation onshore. This interpretation of the offshore evolution conforms with an onshore evolution for which elevated topography is related to erosion of pre-existing topography.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Evolution of Jurassic carbonate platforms in an active transtensional rift: High Atlas of Morocco

    SciTech Connect

    Crevello, P.D.; Warme, J.E.; Septfontaine, M.; Burke, R.B.

    1987-05-01

    Carbonate platforms developed during the Early and Middle Jurassic on the margins of two seaways that are now exposed in the Middle and High Atlas, Morocco. The seaways occupied transtensional rifts, which, by Early Jurassic, had formed the segmented terrain on which the carbonate platforms established. Two episodes of platform development occurred in the High Atlas, both recording the effects of tectonic, eustatic, and sedimentologic controls on platform trends, morphologies, and internal stratigraphy: Lias (Sinemurian to Domerian) and Lias-Dogger (Aalenian to Bajocian). Along the borders of Mesetas, platform margins became established over basin-bounding faults, whereas platforms within the seaway developed on pre-existing or active structural highs. Fault-scarp margins, olistolith and mega-breccia emplacement, and drowned or foundered margins record the tectonic contribution to shaping the margins. Platform interior stratigraphy contains third- and fourth-order depositional sequences that reflect multiple sea level fluctuations during a gradual sea level rise. Structural highs in the interior of the seaways, some remaining active during the Lias, were capped or fringed by platform carbonates or, in deeper water, were covered by sponge-algal buildups. Basin lows filled with turbidites and limestone-marl cycles. Carbonate alluvial fans and neptunian dikes are associated with syntectonic wrenching within the seaway. The Liassic platform was inundated by a Toarcian drowning event, with shale deposition occurring across the southern platform, within the basin, and, locally, condensed sequences forming on intra-basin highs. Lias-Dogger platforms ceased with the transition to continental sedimentation, marking the end of the high Atlas seaway.

  2. Rapid onset of narrowing and along-strike propagation of an intra-arc rift: The Taupo Rift, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villamor, P.; Berryman, K. R.; Ellis, S. M.; Schreurs, G.; Wallace, L. M.; Leonard, G.; Langridge, R. M.; Nairn, I. A.

    2012-12-01

    Intra-arc active continental rifting occurs within the Taupo Rift in the North Island, New Zealand. Based on geological and geophysical evidence, we show that the Taupo rift has narrowed via inward and eastward migration of faulting (asymmetric narrowing) and propagated southwards along its axis. This evolution has occurred at relatively high rates of ~25 km/Ma (narrowing), ~ 7 to 15 km/Ma (eastward migration), and ~ < 200 to 275 km/Ma (southward propagation; rates only for the last ~ 340 kyr). The initial onshore narrow rift width is likely to be an effect of a narrow propagating rift from offshore. While several process are likely to influence rapid evolution, we propose that the main control on further rapid narrowing appears to be the presence of large heterogeneities in the crust that enable concentration of deformation, such as large magma bodies of the volcanic arc of Hikurangi subduction margin. The presence of these magma bodies localises faulting. Once faulting is localised it propagates along strike from the heterogeneity into non volcanic segments of the rift, which causes generalised narrowing. Temporal and spatial correlation between voluminous volcanic eruptions and major active faulting migration supports this model. Eastward migration of faulting also follows the eastward migration of the volcanic arc and is likely related to slab rollback. Finally, we show that southward propagation of rifting is linked to southward migration of the Hikurangi plateau and occurs episodically aided by voluminous local volcanism. The detailed recent spatial and temporal evolution of continental rifting in the Taupo Rift reveals the early stages of continental break-up and demonstrates fast evolution of rifting when aided by large scale volcanic processes such as rhyolitic supereruptions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    the 2005 rifting episode. This second magmatic centre supplies magma to the remaining 2/3 of the segment, but scarcely impacts its Northern termination (where the Dabbahu activity predominates) - except during extraordinary events when dykes are long enough to reach those parts, as in 2005. The eruption ages of the different lava units correlates with their degrees of differentiation, allowing different magmatic cycles of about a few tens of years each to be distinguished. During the first recorded magmatic cycle (~70 ka to ~55 ka), Dabbahu is built of wide-spreading pāhoehoe flows around localised eruptive centres. The resulting topography of the volcanic edifice remains low, and is only slightly affected by rift-related fault activity, with the development of minor scarps. The second recorded magmatic cycle (~50 ka to ~20 ka) coincides with a strong development of Dabbahu topography - underlined by the change in lava morphology with well channelized 'a'ā flows since 50 ka. Tectonic activity also clearly increases over this period, with the initiation of the major fault scarps of the rift, which have been dated at around 35 ka. Our study underlines the role of the magma supply and availability beneath Dabbahu in the evolution both topographies of Dabbahu volcano and of the rift depression morphology.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Active rifting processes in the central Salton Trough, California, constrained by the Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, L.; Hole, J. A.; Stock, J. M.; Fuis, G. S.; Driscoll, N. W.; Kell, A. M.; Kent, G.; Harding, A. J.

    2012-12-01

    Seismic refraction and reflection travel times from the Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) are being used to constrain crustal structure during active continental rifting in the central Salton Trough, California. SSIP, funded by NSF and USGS, acquired seismic data in and across the Salton Trough in 2011 to investigate 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 refraction and low-fold reflection data were acquired onshore, two lines and a grid of airgun and OBS data were acquired in the Salton Sea, and onshore-offshore data were recorded. Based on prior studies of the central Salton Trough, North American lithosphere appears to have been rifted completely apart and replaced by entirely new crust added by magmatism from below and sedimentation from above. Ongoing active rifting of this new crust is manifested by shallow (<10km depth) seismicity in the oblique Brawley Seismic Zone (BSZ; connecting the Imperial and San Andreas faults), the small Salton Buttes volcanoes (aligned perpendicular to the direction of plate motion), and very high heat flow. Analyses of the onshore-offshore seismic line that extends along the axis of the valley, parallel to the direction of plate motion, constrain crustal structure in the valley. Crystalline basement (~5 km/s) generally occurs at ~4 km depth, but is at 2-3 km depth in a localized region beneath the Salton Buttes and Salton Sea geothermal field. This crystalline rock is interpreted to be late Pliocene to Quaternary sediment metamorphosed by high heat flow. The shallower basement under the volcanic and geothermal field is due to more intense metamorphism and hydrothermal alteration in this region. The seismic velocity of basement is slower in the BSZ than to the south and north, which may be due to seismicity-related fracturing. The basement velocity beneath the Salton Buttes and geothermal

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  8. Morphostructural evidence for Recent/active extension in Central Tanzania beyond the southern termination of the Kenya Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, B.; Rolet, J.; Gernigon, L.; Ebinger, C.; Gloaguen, R.

    2003-04-01

    The southern tip zone of the Kenya Rift on the eastern branch of the East African System is usually thought to occur in the so-called North Tanzanian Divergence. In this region, the narrow (50 km-wide) axial graben of southern Kenya splays southwards, via a major EW-trending volcanic lineament, into a 200 km-wide broad rifted zone with three separate arms of normal faulting and tilted fault blocks (Eyasi, Manyara and Pangani arms from W to E). Remote sensing analysis from Central Tanzania demonstrates that rift morphology exists over an area lying 400 km beyond the southern termination of the Kenya Rift. The most prominent rift structures are observed in the Kilombero region and consist of a 100 km-wide range of uplifted basement blocks fringed to the west by an E-facing half-graben inferred to reach depths of 6-8 km from aeromagnetic dataset. Physiographic features (fault scarps), and river drainage anomalies suggest that the present-day rift pattern in the Kilombero extensional province principally results from Recent/Neogene deformation. That assumption is also supported by the seismogenic character of a number of faults. The Kilombero half-graben is superimposed upon an earlier rift system, Karoo in age, which is totally overprinted and is only evidenced from its sedimentary infill. On the other hand, the nature and thickness of the inferred Neogene synrift section is still unknown. The Kilombero rifted zone is assumed to connect northwards into the central rift arm (Manyara) of the South Kenya Rift via a seismically active transverse fault zone that follows ductile fabrics within the Mozambican crystalline basement. The proposed rift model implies that incipient rifting propagates hroughout the cold and strong crust/lithosphere of Central Tanzania along Proterozoic (N140=B0E) basement weakness zones and earlier Karoo (NS)rift structures. A second belt of Recent-active linked fault/basins also extends further East from the Pangani rift arm to the offshore

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Paleomagnetism and magnetic fabric of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia: Evidence for oblique convergence and non-rotational reactivation of a Mesozoic intra-continental rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez Díaz, G.; Speranza, F.; Faccenna, C.; Bayona, G.; Mora, A.

    2012-12-01

    The Eastern Cordillera of Colombia (EC) is a double-verging mountain system inverting a Mesozoic rift, and bounded by major reverse faults that locally involve crystalline and metamorphic Precambrian-Lower Paleozoic basement rocks, as well as Upper Paleozoic-Cenozoic sedimentary and volcanic sequences. In map view the EC is a curved mountain belt with a regional structural strike that ranges from NNE in the southern part to NNW in the northern part. The origin of its curvature has not been studied or discussed so far. We report on an extensive paleomagnetic and anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) investigation of the EC, in order to address to test its non-rotational vs. oroclinal nature. Fifty-eight sites were gathered from Cretaceous to Miocene marine and continental strata, both from the southern and northern parts of the EC; additionally, we examined the southern Maracaibo plate, at the junction between the Santander Massif and the Merida Andes of Colombia (Cucuta zone). Twenty-three sites reveal no rotation of the EC range with respect to stable South America. In contrast, a 35°±9° clockwise rotation is documented in four post-Miocene magnetically overprinted sites from the Cucuta zone. Magnetic lineations from AMS analysis do not trend parallel to the chain, but are oblique to the main strike of the orogenic belt. By also considering GPS evidence of a ~1 cm/yr ENE displacement of central-western Colombia accommodated by the EC, we suggest that the late Miocene-recent deformation occurred by a ENE oblique convergence reactivating a NNE rift zone. Our data show that the EC is a non-rotational chain, and that the locations of the Mesozoic rift and the mountain chain roughly correspond. One possible solution is that the oblique shortening is partitioned in pure dip-slip shear characterizing thick-skinned frontal thrust sheets (well-known along both chain fronts), and by range-parallel right-lateral strike-slip fault(s), which have not been identified

  15. Triassic rift-related sedimentary basins in northern Chile (24° 29°S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, M.; Bell, C. M.

    1992-10-01

    Triassic rocks in northern Chile (latitude 24°-29°S) include marine and continental rift-related sedimentary deposits, associated with basaltic, andesitic, and silicic volcanic rocks. Five main successions include the deposits of two marine basins (Profeta and San Félix) separated by three continental basins (Cifuncho, La Ternera, and La Coipa). The marine strata include turbidites and debris flow deposits interpreted as coarse-grained fan-delta sediments. The continental sediments include lacustrine fan delta, open lake, braided river, alluvial fan, and sabkha deposits. The widespread fan-delta systems (both marine and lacustrine), together with abrupt lateral and vertical facies discontinuities and large-scale depositional cycles, are indicative of rift-controlled sedimentation. The associated magmatic activity indicates that this rifting was the product of subduction-related extension or strike-slip movement on the active plate margin. Triassic rifting was followed in Late Triassic to Early Jurassic times by widespread thermotectonic subsidence.

  16. 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

  17. Tectonic evolution and setting of the Sa'al Complex, southern Sinai, Egypt: A Proterozoic continental back-arc rift model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, A.; Hassen, I.; Hassan, M.

    2015-04-01

    The Sa'al Complex is a mainly low grade metamorphosed polydeformed volcanosedimentary sequence exposed in the northern central Sinai basement, Egypt. Details of the stratigraphy, sedimentology and petrography of the three formations: Agramiya, Ra'ayan and Zaghara Formations are described. The earliest deformation (D1) is related to extensional tectonism and HT-LP regional metamorphism. The main D1 structure is a bedding-parallel S1 foliation with at least 50% vertical shortening in the well-foliated Ra'ayan phyllites. Earlier models that explained S1 by bedding-parallel shearing are rejected. The Sa'al volcanism, D1 extension and HT metamorphism were probably associated with back-arc rifting in a continental arc setting, similar to the modern Taupo Zone of New Zealand. Later deformations, D2 and D3, involved folding about NE-trending and NW-trending axial planes, respectively. D2 was probably a result of compressional stresses typical of continental back-arc regions, and resulted in development of steep NW-vergent imbricate thrusts and NE-trending F2 meso- and macrofolds. The Firinga gabbro and the Wadi Murad foliated diorite intruded along D2 backthrusts, while the main diorite intrusion dominating the centre of the complex intruded along D2 steepened imbricate thrusts. F3 deformation may be related to the latest convergence of the east and west Gondwana, and has correlatives in the Kid and Feiran Complexes. A final deformation D4 that generated the main strike-slip faults in the area correlates with NE-SW trending σ1, inconsistent with a Najd origin. Recent geochronological results from U/Pb zircon studies are difficult to reconcile with stratigraphic and intrusion field evidence, and apparently require very tight time constraints on the main metamorphism, D1 and D2 deformations of the complex.

  18. Coastal and submarine instabilities distribution in the tectonically active SW margin of the Corinth Rift (Psathopyrgos, Achaia, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simou, Eirini; Papanikolaou, Dimitrios; Lykousis, Vasilios; Nomikou, Paraskevi; Vassilakis, Emmanuel

    2014-05-01

    The Corinth Rift, one of the most active rifts in the world as local extension trending NE-SW reaches the amount of 14±2 mm/yr, corresponds to one of the largest zones of seismically active normal faulting. The formation, growth and migration southwards of the prevailing fault systems, which evolve simultaneously with the intense morphogenetic processes, are overprinted in the age, facies and thickness of the Plio-Pleistocene sequences constructing the south margin of the western Gulf of Corinth. The dominant fault blocks, defined by east-west trending, north dipping normal faults, are accompanied by several morphological features and anomalies, noticed in both the terrestrial and the marine environment. Our main aim has been to examine how the tectonic evolution, in combination with the attendant fierce erosional and sedimentary processes, has affected the morphology through geodynamic processes expressed as failures in the wider coastal area. High resolution multibeam bathymetry in combination with the available land surface data have contributed to submarine and subaerial morphological mapping. These have been used as a basis for the detection of all those geomorphic features that indicate instabilities probably triggered, directly or indirectly, by the ongoing active tectonic deformation. The interpretation of the combined datasets shows that the southwestern margin of the Corinth Rift towards Psathopyrgos fault zone is characterized by intense coastal relief and a narrow, almost absent, continental shelf, which passes abruptly to steep submarine slopes. These steep slope values denote the effects of the most recent brittle deformation and are related to coastal and submarine instabilities and failures. High uplift rates and rapid sedimentation, indicative of the regional high-energy terrestrial and submarine environment, are subsequently balanced by the transportation of the seafloor currents, especially where slope gradients decrease, disintegrating the

  19. Active low-angle (?) normal faulting along the North Lunggar rift, western Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Logan, M. A.; Taylor, M. H.; Styron, R. H.; Gosse, J. C.; Ding, L.; Yang, G.

    2012-12-01

    Here we present surface exposure ages of faulted fluvial terraces using cosmogenic nuclides from the North Lunggar rift. The Lunggar rift is one of seven major north-striking rift basins accommodating east-west directed extension on the Tibetan Plateau. The Lunggar rift in west-central Tibet is divided into two distinct north and south segments based on fault geometry. The North Lunggar range is bounded on its east side by a <40 degree dipping, ~N-striking normal fault. This normal fault is considered inactive as the main detachment is unconformably overlain by unfaulted moraines and alluvial fans. Farther into the hanging wall basin, approximately 6 km eastward, several fault scarps parallel the Lunggar detachment. Locally, active faulting is distributed in the hanging wall with as many as seven normal fault scarps accommodating active east-west directed extension. Recent activity of these smaller faults is apparent from cross-cut fluvial terraces that have been uplifted by as much as 75 m. The geomorphology and fault geometry of the North Lunggar rift are consistent with high-angle normal faults that sole into a single master detachment fault at depth. A high-resolution digital elevation model constructed from real-time kinematic-GPS data has made details of the geomorphology clear and allowed for precise measurements of geomorphic offsets across the fault scarps. We estimate the surface abandonment ages using the depth profiling approach with cosmogenic nuclides. Three cosmogenic depth profiles are being analyzed in this study with each depth profile consisting of five samples at varying depths in order to account for inheritance. Site 1 is the southernmost and is on the highest uplifted fluvial terrace and is being prepared for 10Be analysis. Site 2 comprises two depth profiles on the highest and intermediate uplifted terraces, respectively. Samples at site 2 have low quartz yields and are being prepared for 36Cl analysis. Combining the fault offsets and

  20. Geodynamic significance of the TRM segment in the East African Rift: active tectonics and paleostress in western Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, D.; Kervyn, F.; Macheyeki, A. S.; Temu, E. B.

    2012-04-01

    The Tanganyika-Rukwa-Malawi (TRM) rift segment in western Tanzania is a key sector for understanding the opening dynamics of the East African rift system (EARS). In an oblique opening model, it is considered as a dextral transfer fault zone that accommodates the general opening of the EARS in a NW-SE direction. In an orthogonal opening model, it accommodates pure dip-slip normal faulting with extension orthogonal to the rift segments and a general E-W extension for the entire EARS. We investigated the active tectonic architecture and paleostress evolution of the Ufipa plateau and adjacent Rukwa basin and in order to define their geodynamic role in the development of the EARS and highlight their pre-rift brittle tectonic history. The active fault architecture, fault-kinematic analysis and paleostress reconstruction show that the recent to active fault systems that control the rift structure develop in a pure extensional setting with extension direction orthogonal to the trend of the TRM segment. Two pre-rift brittle events are evidenced. An older brittle thrusting is related to the interaction between the Bangweulu block and the Tanzanian craton during the late Pan-African (early Paleozoic). It was followed by a transpressional inversion during the early Mesozoic. This inversion stage caused dextral strike-slip faulting along the fault systems that now control the major rift structures. It has been erroneously interpreted as related to the late Cenozoic EARS which instead is characterized by pure normal faulting.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William; Morley, Chris K.

    1994-09-01

    The Anza rift is a large, multi-phase continental rift basin that links the Lamu embayment of southern Kenya with the South Sudan rifts. Extension and deposition of syn-rift sediments are known to have commenced by the Neocomian. Aptian-Albian strata have, thus far, not been encountered during limited drilling campaigns and, in at least one well, are replaced by a significant unconformity. Widespread rifting occurred during the Cenomanian to Maastrichtian, and continued into the Early Tertiary. Marine waters appear to have reached the central Anza rift in the Cenomanian, and a second marine incursion may have occurred during the Campanian. As no wells have yet reached basement in the basinal deeps, the possibility exists that the Anza rift may have initiated in the Late Jurassic, in conjunction with extension to the south in the Lamu embayment and to the north in the Blue Nile rift of Sudan. Structural and stratigraphic evolution in the Anza rift followed a pattern that has now been inferred in several rift settings. Early phases of extension were accommodated by moderately dipping faults that produced large stratal rotations. Sedimentary environments were dominantly fluvial, with associated small lakes and dune fields. Volcanic activity is documented for the early Neocomian, but its extent is unknown. This initial style of deformation and sedimentation may have continued through several of the earliest pulses of rifting. By the Late Cretaceous, a new system of steeply dipping faults was established, that produced a deep basin without significant rotation of strata in the north, and only minor rotation in the south. This basin geometry favored the establishment of large, deep lakes, which occasionally were connected to the sea. The older basins were partly cannibalized during the sedimentary in-filling of these successor basins. Early Senonian volcanism was encountered in one well, and reflection seismic evidence suggests that one or more thick, regionally

  2. Lithospheric processes that enhance melting at rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Furman, T.

    2008-12-01

    Continental rifts are commonly sites for mantle melting, whether in the form of ridge melting to create new oceanic crust, or as the locus of flood basalt activity, or in the long initial period of rifting before lavas evolve fully into MORBs. The high topography in the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary under a rift creates mantle upwelling and adiabatic melting even in the absence of a plume. This geometry itself, however, is conducive to lithospheric instability on the sides of the rifts. Unstable lithosphere may founder into the mantle, producing more complex aesthenospheric convective patterns and additional opportunities to produce melt. Lithospheric instabilities can produce additional adiabatic melting in convection produced as they sink, and they may also devolatilize as they sink, introducing the possibility of flux melting to the rift environment. We call this process upside-down melting, since devolatilization and melting proceed as the foundering lithosphere sinks, rather than while rising, as in the more familiar adiabatic decompression melting. Both adiabatic melting and flux melting would take place along the edges of the rift and may even move magmatism outside the rift, as has been seen in Ethiopia. In volcanism postdating the flood basalts on and adjacent to the Ethiopian Plateau there is evidence for both lithospheric thinning and volatile enrichment in the magmas, potentially consistent with the upside-down melting model. Here we present a physical model for the conjunction of adiabatic decompression melting to produce new oceanic crust in the rift, while lithospheric gravitational instabilities drive both adiabatic and flux melting at its margins.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, L.; Keller, G. R.

    2010-12-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Hydrocarbon potential of intracratonic rift basins

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, D.G.; Derksen, S.J.

    1984-09-01

    Significant world oil reserves have been added in recent years from rift system. Examples of petroliferous rift basins may be found on nearly every major continent. As our understanding of the mechanisms of sedimentation and structure in rift basins grows, more rift systems will be found. With a few notable exceptions, rifts that have been explored in the past are those that formed along continental margins. These contain marine sediments, and the conditions of source rock, sediment type, depositional environment, and structural style are well-known exploration concepts. Intracratonic rift systems containing continental sediments, and also because of the problems perceived to accompany continental sedimentation. A good modern analog is the East African rift system. Several companies have made significant oil discoveries in different components of the Central African rift system. Average daily production for 1982 from the basins associated with the Benue trough was 107.928 BOPD. In the Abu Gabra rift component, where Marathon is currently exploring, Chevron has drilled approximately 60 wells. Nineteen of these were discoveries and tested an average rate per well of 3,500 BOPD. The Abu Gabra rift may contain up to 10 billion bbl of oil. Research indicates that this type of rift system is present in other areas of the world. Ongoing worldwide exploration has shown that intracratonic rift basins have the potential to make a significant contribution to world oil reserves.

  11. 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.

  12. Distribution of deformation on an active normal fault network, NW Corinth Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Mary; Meyer, Nicolas; Boiselet, Aurélien; Lambotte, Sophie; Scotti, Oona; Lyon-Caen, Hélène; Briole, Pierre; Caumon, Guillaume; Bernard, Pascal

    2013-04-01

    Over the last 20-25 years, geodetic measurements across the Gulf of Corinth have recorded high extension rates varying from 1.1 cm/a in the east to a maximum of 1.6 cm/a in the west. Geodetic studies also show that current deformation is confined between two relatively rigid blocks defined as Central Greece (to the north) and the Peloponnesus to the south. Active north dipping faults (<1 Ma) define the south coast of the subsiding Gulf, while high seismicity (major earthquakes and micro-seismicity) is concentrated at depth below and to the north of the westernmost Gulf. How is this intense deformation distributed in the upper crust? Our objectives here are (1) to propose two models for the distribution of deformation in the upper crust in the westernmost rift since 1 Ma, and (2) to place the tectonic behaviour of the western Gulf in the context of longer term rift evolution. Over 20 major active normal faults have been identified in the CRL area based specific characteristics (capable of generating earthquakes M> 5.5, active in the last 1 M yrs, slip rate >0.5 mm/a). Because of the uncertainty related to fault geometry at depth two models for 3D fault network geometry in the western rift down to 10 km were constructed using all available geophysical and geological data. The first model assumes planar fault geometries while the second uses listric geometries for major faults. A model for the distribution of geodetically-defined extension on faults is constructed along five NNE-SSW cross sections using a variety of data and timescales. We assume that the role of smaller faults in accommodating deformation is negligible so that extension is fully accommodated on the identified major faults. Uncertainties and implications are discussed. These models provide estimates of slip rate for each fault that can be used in seismic hazard models. A compilation of onshore and offshore data shows that the western Gulf is the youngest part of the Corinth rift having initiated

  13. 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.

  14. Rift initiation with volatiles and magma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, Samson; Ghebreab, Woldai

    2013-11-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. North America's Midcontinent Rift: when Rift MET Lip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Kley, J.; Keller, G. R., Jr.; Bollmann, T. A.; Wolin, E.; Zhang, H.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Ola, K.; Wysession, M. E.; Wiens, D.; Alequabi, G.; Waite, G. P.; Blavascunas, E.; Engelmann, C. A.; Flesch, L. M.; Rooney, T. O.; Moucha, R.; Brown, E.

    2015-12-01

    Rifts are segmented linear depressions, filled with sedimentary and igneous rocks, that form by extension and often evolve into plate boundaries. Flood basalts, a class of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), are broad regions of extensive volcanism due to sublithospheric processes. Typical rifts are not filled with flood basalts, and typical flood basalts are not associated with significant crustal extension and faulting. North America's Midcontinent Rift (MCR) is an unusual combination. Its 3000-km length formed as part of the 1.1 Ga rifting of Amazonia (Precambrian NE South America) from Laurentia (Precambrian North America) and became inactive once seafloor spreading was established, but contains an enormous volume of igneous rocks. MCR volcanics are significantly thicker than other flood basalts, due to deposition in a narrow rift rather than a broad region, giving a rift geometry but a LIP's magma volume. Structural modeling of seismic reflection data shows an initial rift phase where flood basalts filled a fault-controlled extending basin, and a postrift phase where volcanics and sediments were deposited in a thermally subsiding basin without associated faulting. The crust thinned during rifting and rethickened during the postrift phase and later compression, yielding the present thicker crust. The coincidence of a rift and LIP yielded the world's largest deposit of native copper. This combination arose when a new rift associated with continental breakup interacted with a mantle plume or anomalously hot or fertile upper mantle. Integration of diverse data types and models will give insight into questions including how the magma source was related to the rifting, how their interaction operated over a long period of rapid plate motion, why the lithospheric mantle below the MCR differs only slightly from its surroundings, how and why extension, volcanism, and compression varied along the rift arms, and how successful seafloor spreading ended the rift phase. Papers

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Are lichens active under snow in continental Antarctica?

    PubMed

    Pannewitz, Stefan; Schlensog, Mark; Green, T G Allan; Sancho, Leopoldo G; Schroeter, Burkhard

    2003-03-01

    Photosynthetic activity, detected as chlorophyll a fluorescence, was measured for lichens under undisturbed snow in continental Antarctica using fibre optics. The fibre optics had been buried by winter snowfall after being put in place the previous year under snow-free conditions. The fibre optics were fixed in place using specially designed holding devices so that the fibre ends were in close proximity to selected lichens. Several temperature and PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) sensors were also installed in or close to the lichens. By attaching a chlorophyll a fluorometer to the previously placed fibre optics it proved possible to measure in vivo potential photosynthetic activity of continental Antarctic lichens under undisturbed snow. The snow cover proved to be a very good insulator for the mosses and lichens but, in contrast to the situation reported for the maritime Antarctic, it retained the severe cold of the winter and prevented early warming. Therefore, the lichens and mosses under snow were kept inactive at subzero temperatures for a prolonged time, even though the external ambient air temperatures would have allowed metabolic activity. The results suggest that the major activity period of the lichens was at the time of final disappearance of the snow and lasted about 10-14 days. The activation of lichens under snow by high air humidity appeared to be very variable and species specific. Xanthoria mawsonii was activated at temperatures below -10 degrees C through absorption of water from high air humidity. Physcia dubia showed some activation at temperatures around -5 degrees C but only became fully activated at thallus temperatures of 0 degrees C through liquid water. Candelariella flava stayed inactive until thallus temperatures close to zero indicated that liquid water had become available. Although the snow cover represented the major water supply for the lichens, lichens only became active for a brief time at or close to the time the snow

  4. Magma storage depths beneath an active rift volcano in Afar (Dabbahu), constrained by melt inclusion analyses, seismicity and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (INSAR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Field, L.; Blundy, J.; Wright, T. J.; Yirgu, G.; Afar Consortium

    2010-12-01

    Dabbahu volcano is located at the northern end of the active Manda Hararo rift segment in western Afar, Ethiopia. In 2005 a major rifting episode began in the segment, which has been modelled as basalt dyke injections (1). Seismic activity, inflation and deflation have been recorded at the volcano. The aim of this research is to provide an insight into the history and evolution of a silicic magmatic centre in the rift, and to contribute to the wider aims of the NERC Afar Consortium to track the creation, migration, evolution and emplacement of magma from the asthenosphere to the crust. The volatile contents of rare melt inclusions trapped within phenocrysts of alkali feldspar, clinopyroxene and olivine from Dabbahu have been studied using secondary ion mass spectrometry. The host lavas are mildly peralkaline obsidians, which, based on field evidence and preliminary results from 40Ar-39Ar dating, represent the youngest samples on the volcano (<4 ka). Whilst the obsidian and pumice groundmass glasses are largely degassed, the H2O contents of the analysed inclusions are up to 5.8 wt%. CO2 contents are generally low; <462 ppm in the alkali feldspar-hosted inclusions, but higher values (up to 1457 ppm) have been found in the clinopyroxene-hosted inclusions. The pressure (and depth) of pre-eruptive magma storage beneath Dabbahu has been constrained using H2O and CO2 data, which suggest shallow magma storage at depths of ~1 - 5 km below the surface. These depths are consistent with observations from recorded seismicity and InSAR at Dabbahu. Seismicity has been recorded from deformation caused by deflation of the magma chamber following the 2005 dyke emplacement event (Oct 2005 - Apr 2006)(2) and InSAR has monitored deflation and subsequent steady inflation after this event. We show that melt inclusions accurately record a stable, shallow magma chamber as corroborated by remote sensing and geophysical observations at Dabbahu volcano. 1 Ayele et al. 2009 ‘September 2005

  5. 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…

  6. Seismic Imaging of a Continental Intraplate: Long-Term Persistence of Fossil Rifts and Hot Spots in the Central and Eastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollitz, F. F.; Mooney, W. D.

    2015-12-01

    Seismic surface waves from the Transportable Array of Earthscope's USArray are used to estimate phase velocity structure of 18 to 125s Rayleigh waves, then corrected for lateral crustal thickness variations (with CRUST1.0) and inverted to obtain three-dimensional crust and upper mantle structure of the Central and Eastern United States (CEUS) down to ~200 km. The obtained lithosphere structure confirms previously imaged features in the CEUS, e.g., the low seismic velocity signature of Proterozoic to Cambrian fossil rifts, the very low velocity at >150 km depth below an Eocene volcanic center in northwestern Virginia, and the very low velocity along a corridor stretching from eastern New York to New Hampshire. The model also reveals new features. The high-velocity Granite-Rhyolite Province sharply bounds the Grenville front at mid-lithosphere depth, suggesting that it acted as a backstop during the Grenville orogeny ca. 1.2 - 1.0 Ga. High-velocity mantle extending ˜ 200 km deep stretches from the Archean Superior Craton well into the Proterozoic terrains (Granite-Rhyolite, Mazatzal and Yavapai provinces). This is consistent with independent seismic velocity images and suggests that the thickness of Proterozoic lithosphere is generally ˜ 200 km. A deep low-velocity zone in central Texas is associated with the late Cretaceous Travis and Uvalde volcanic fields, and a similar deep low-velocity zone is located beneath the South Georgia Rift, which contains Jurassic basalts associated with the Central Atlantic magmatic province. Hotspot tracks may be associated with several of the low-velocity zones, and the central Texas, New York-New Hampshire, and southern Georgia zones may also be associated with the former rifted Laurentia margin. This suggests a systematic pattern whereby transient mantle thermal perturbations are accentuated near former failed rifts or rift margins.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The importance of rift history for volcanic margin formation (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collier, J.; Armitage, J. J.; Minshull, T. A.

    2010-12-01

    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. Two decades ago, largely based on detailed observations from the North Atlantic, a paradigm was established that identified mantle temperature as the primary factor. This idea has dominated our understanding with most authors seeking to explain observed variations in volcanic activity at rifted margins in terms of the mantle temperature at the time of breakup. However, as more detailed observations have been made at other rifted margins world-wide, the validity of this paradigm and the importance of other factors in controlling breakup style have been much debated. One such example is from the Northwest Indian Ocean where, despite an unequivocal link between an onshore flood basalt province, breakup and a hotspot 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 explicitly accounts for the effects of earlier episodes of extension. Our approach allows us to compare directly breakup 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. Our work shows that the inherited extensional history can either suppress or enhance melt generation. We believe this explains previously enigmatic observations and brings a critical new understanding to models of continental breakup. Model predictions showing the importance of timing on the volume magmatism produced during continental break-up. Curves show peak igneous crustal thickness for the arrival of a 200 °C, 50 km

  14. 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

  15. Active faulting and devastating earthquakes in continental China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, P.

    2003-04-01

    The primary pattern of active tectonics in continental China is characterized by relative movements and interactions of tectonic blocks bounded by major active faults. Earthquakes are results of abrupt releases of accumulated strain energy that excesses the threshold of strength of brittle part of the earth’s crust. Boundaries of tectonic blocks are the locations of most discontinuous deformation and highest gradient of stress accumulation, thus are the most likely places for strain energy accumulation and releases, and in turn, devastating earthquakes. Almost all earthquakes of magnitude larger than 8 and 80~90% of earthquakes of magnitude over 7 occur along boundaries of active tectonic blocks. This fact indicates that differential movements and interactions of active tectonic blocks are the primary mechanism for the occurrences of devastating earthquakes. Northeastern margin of Tibetan Plateau consists of two active fault zones, the Haiyuan and the Xiangshan fault zones. Each of the zones can be further divided into several segments. Historical earthquakes during the past 800 years ruptured all of them except one segment, the so-called Tianzhu seismic gap. We have conducted paleoseismological studies on each of the segments of the fault zones. Preliminary results reveal temporal clustering features of long-term paleoearthquake activity along these two fault zones. The 1920 Haiyuan earthquake of magnitude 8.5, for example, ruptured three segments of the fault zone. We dug 19 trenches along different segments of the surface ruptures. There were 3 events along the eastern segment during the past 14000 years, 7 events along the middle segment during the past 9000 years, and 6 events along the western segment during the past 10000 years. These events clearly depict two temporal clusters. The first cluster occurs from 4600 to 6400 years, and the second occurs from 1000 to 2800 years, approximately. Each cluster lasts about 2000 years. Time period between these two

  16. 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

  17. Asymmetry of high-velocity lower crust on the South Atlantic rifted margins and implications for the interplay of magmatism and tectonics in continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, K.; Franke, D.; Trumbull, R.; Schnabel, M.; Heyde, I.; Schreckenberger, B.; Koopmann, H.; Bauer, K.; Jokat, W.; Krawczyk, C. M.

    2014-10-01

    High-velocity lower crust (HVLC) and seaward-dipping reflector (SDR) sequences are typical features of volcanic rifted margins. However, the nature and origin of HVLC is under discussion. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of deep crustal structures in the southern segment of the South Atlantic and an assessment of HVLC along the margins. Two new seismic refraction lines off South America fill a gap in the data coverage and together with five existing velocity models allow for a detailed investigation of the lower crustal properties on both margins. An important finding is the major asymmetry in volumes of HVLC on the conjugate margins. The seismic refraction lines across the South African margin reveal cross-sectional areas of HVLC 4 times larger than at the South American margin, a finding that is opposite to the asymmetric distribution of the flood basalts in the Paraná-Etendeka Large Igneous Province. Also, the position of the HVLC with respect to the SDR sequences varies consistently along both margins. Close to the Falkland-Agulhas Fracture Zone in the south, a small body of HVLC is not accompanied by SDRs. In the central portion of both margins, the HVLC is below the inner SDR wedges while in the northern area, closer to the Rio Grande Rise-Walvis Ridge, large volumes of HVLC extend far seaward of the inner SDRs. This challenges the concept of a simple extrusive/intrusive relationship between SDR sequences and HVLC, and it provides evidence for formation of the HVLC at different times during the rifting and breakup process. We suggest that the drastically different HVLC volumes are caused by asymmetric rifting in a simple-shear-dominated extension.

  18. Asymmetry of high-velocity lower crust on the South Atlantic rifted margins and implications for the interplay of magmatism and tectonics in continental break-up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, K.; Franke, D.; Trumbull, R. B.; Schnabel, M.; Heyde, I.; Schreckenberger, B.; Koopmann, H.; Bauer, K.; Jokat, W.; Krawczyk, C. M.

    2014-06-01

    High-velocity lower crust (HVLC) and seaward dipping reflector sequences (SDRs) are typical features of volcanic rifted margins. However, the nature and origin of HVLC is under discussion. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of deep crustal structures in the southern segment of the South Atlantic and an assessment of HVLC along the margins. Two new seismic refraction lines off South America fill a gap in the data coverage and together with five existing velocity models allow a detailed investigation of the lower crustal properties on both margins. An important finding is the major asymmetry in volumes of HVLC on the conjugate margins. The seismic refraction lines across the South African margin reveal four times larger cross sectional areas of HVLC than at the South American margin, a finding that is in sharp contrast to the distribution of the flood basalts in the Paraná-Etendeka Large Igneous Provinces (LIP). Also, the position of the HVLC with respect to the seaward dipping reflector sequences varies consistently along both margins. Close to the Falkland-Agulhas Fracture Zone a small body of HVLC is not accompanied by seaward dipping reflectors. In the central portion of both margins, the HVLC is below the inner seaward dipping reflector wedges while in the northern area, closer to the Rio Grande Rise/Walvis Ridge, large volumes of HVLC extend far seawards of the inner seaward dipping reflectors. This challenges the concept of a simple extrusive/intrusive relationship between seaward dipping reflector sequences and HVLC, and it provides evidence for formation of the HVLC at different times during the rifting and break-up process. We suggest that the drastically different HVLC volumes are caused by asymmetric rifting in a simple shear dominated extension.

  19. 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

  20. Late Quaternary Deformation along the North Wuitaishan Fault of the Shanxi Graben System: Active Intracontinental Rifting in North China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corley, J.; Cochran, W. J.; Hinrichs, N.; Ding, R.; Zhang, S.; Gomez, F.

    2012-12-01

    The Shanxi rift system in north China is an intracontinental rift zone which has been active since the late Tertiary. and has produced many destructive earthquakes in recorded history. This area is of particular interest for earthquake research because of the high seismicity levels in an intraplate setting. The Shanxi rift system is composed of NNE-oriented en-echelon half-graben basins controlled by normal faults. This study focuses on the north Wutaishan fault, which bounds the Wutai Mountains and the Xingding basin, located in the northern part of the Shanxi rift system. Quaternary tectonism is investigated using remotely-sensed imagery for mapping of large tectonically-influenced landforms, field investigations for ground truth, and structural analyses. Initial neotectonic mapping utilized stereoscopic Corona satellite imagery to differentiate between fluvial and agricultural terraces; Cartosat-based DEMs were used to correct altitude measurements of terrace heights and to analyze streams and other landforms for morphometric analysis. Fluvial terraces are used to reconstruct paleo-stream profiles of the Yangyan River and nearby tributaries to determine mountain uplift rates inferred from fluvial incision, basin extension rates, and possible warping of the footwall basin block. Field work provided ground truth for fluvial terrace altitude, type of terrace, and thicknesses of alluvial and loess deposits. Another aspect of the study involves development of structural cross-section to relate fault slip to regional tectonic strain. Fault kinematic analysis of micro-fault features found in bedrock were used to assess the Quaternary stress field. Results of this study have implications in the understanding of earthquake recurrence intervals and basin evolution in the Shanxi rift system and more generally, can improve the understanding of spatial and temporal variations of seismic events in intraplate settings.

  1. Crustal Spreading in Southern California: The Imperial Valley and the Gulf of California formed by the rifting apart of a continental plate.

    PubMed

    Elders, W A; Rex, R W; Robinson, P T; Biehler, S; Meidav, T

    1972-10-01

    The current excitement among geologists and geophysicists stemming from the "new global tectonics" has led to a widespread, speculative reinterpretation of continental geology. The Gulf of California and its continuation into the Imperial Valley provide an excellent opportunity for studying the border zone between the North American and Pacific plates, and an interface of continental and oceanic tectonics. The Salton trough, the landward extension of the gulf, is a broad structural depression, comparable in size with the deeper marine basins of the southern part of the gulf, but here partially filled with sediments deposited by the Colorado River. PMID:17754729

  2. Crustal Spreading in Southern California: The Imperial Valley and the Gulf of California formed by the rifting apart of a continental plate.

    PubMed

    Elders, W A; Rex, R W; Robinson, P T; Biehler, S; Meidav, T

    1972-10-01

    The current excitement among geologists and geophysicists stemming from the "new global tectonics" has led to a widespread, speculative reinterpretation of continental geology. The Gulf of California and its continuation into the Imperial Valley provide an excellent opportunity for studying the border zone between the North American and Pacific plates, and an interface of continental and oceanic tectonics. The Salton trough, the landward extension of the gulf, is a broad structural depression, comparable in size with the deeper marine basins of the southern part of the gulf, but here partially filled with sediments deposited by the Colorado River.

  3. Intracontinental rift comparisons: Baikal and Rio Grande Rift Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipman, P. W.; Logatchev, N. A.; Zorin, Y. A.; Chapman, C. E.; Kovalenko, V.; Morgan, P.

    Both the Baikal rift in Siberia and the Rio Grande rift in New Mexico, Colorado and Texas are major intracontinental extensional structures of Cenozoic age that affect regions about 1500 km long and several hundred km wide (Figures 1, 2). In the summer of 1988 these rifts were visited by study groups of U.S. and Soviet geoscientists during cooperative field workshops sponsored by the Soviet Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and U.S. Geological Survey.In the Rio Grande region, we spent 2 weeks examining rift features between El Paso, Tex., and Denver, Colo. Particular emphasis was on the sedimentary record of rift evolution, widespread volcanic activity from inception of rifting to the present, geophysical expression of rift features, and relations between rifting and the larger-scale evolution of the North American Cordillera. In the Baikal region, which presents formidable logistic problems for a workshop, we travelled by bus, truck, helicopter, and ship to examine young seismotectonic features, rift-related basalt, and bounding structures of the Siberian craton that influenced rift development (Figure 3).

  4. 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

  5. Alkaline series related to Early-Middle Miocene intra-continental rifting in a collision zone: An example from Polatlı, Central Anatolia, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temel, Abidin; Yürür, Tekin; Alıcı, Pınar; Varol, Elif; Gourgaud, Alain; Bellon, Hervé; Demirbağ, Hünkar

    2010-06-01

    A large volcanic area (˜7600 km 2), the Galatean Volcanic Province (GVP), developed in northwest Central Anatolia during the Miocene along the Neo-Tethys Ocean suture zone possibly by post-collisional processes. The GVP mainly comprises 20-14 My old acid to intermediate volcanites with a geochemical signature indicating a mantle source modified by earlier (Late Cretaceous) subduction-related events. 100 km south of the GVP, near Polatlı, Ankara, basaltic rocks that cover large areas are intercalated with the Miocene deposits of the Beypazarı basin, an intra-continental subsidence zone at the southwest of the GVP. Field observations, geochemistry and K-Ar age dating of the Polatlı volcanites show that they are Early (19.9 Ma) to mid (14.1 Ma) Miocene in age, covering an area as large as 215 km 2. Variations in lava thickness and the thickness of the underlying silicified/baked zones suggest that the basaltic lavas erupted from a southern source, possibly from the Eskişehir fault zone, and flowed northwards. Most Polatlı samples have chemical compositions that indicate derivation from a mantle source with crustal contamination during ascent. They do not display any characteristic to suggest a subductional component. Although the GVP and Polatlı lavas formed close in time and space, they were derived from different mantle sources. Considering the positions of these two magmatic regions with regard to the Tethyan suture zone, we propose that the mantle beneath the GVP and near the suture zone memorised the earlier subduction while the mantle beneath Polatlı that is located about 100 km further from the suture zone remained apparently unchanged. After a significant volume of magma was consumed in the GVP, a later (˜10 My) and last activity (Güvem activity) has produced quantitatively much less basaltic rocks where this subductional signature seems to completely disappear. Considering that the western Anatolian crust is proposed to undergo extension since the

  6. 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.

  7. Metamorphic Tectonites and Differential Exhumation Reveal 3D Nature of Extension and Lower Crustal Flow in the Active Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, T. A.; Baldwin, S. L.; Fitzgerald, P. G.; Monteleone, B. D.; Peters, K. J.

    2004-12-01

    The D'Entrecasteaux Islands metamorphic core complexes (MCCs) occur in the Woodlark rift, a continental region where ˜200 km of extension since ˜6 Ma has been focused into a relatively small number of normal faults, some dipping at <30° . Flow of a low viscosity lower crust on a time scale of <4 m.y. is evidenced by the narrow width of the rift zone, and the apparent large magnitude of extension (Beta ˜5) , as contrasted by observed relief on the Moho (<=10 km). Gneisses in the footwalls of MCCs, including retrogressed eclogites, have been exhumed from depths of ˜30 km since ˜3 Ma. Our structural and thermochronometric data covers parts of the D'Entrecasteaux MCCs, including Normanby Island. These are mantled by serpentinized ultramafic rocks of the Papuan ophiolite. Remnants of this upper plate are preserved along the margins of the MCCs. In underlying mylonites, exhumation-related fabrics, microstructures and quartz lattice preferred orientations reveal a regional pattern of lineations and top-north shear inconsistent with diapir tectonics. The gently dipping mylonites were later warped by uplift of the ˜30 km-wide domes, perhaps in response to magmatic underplating during intrusion of dolerite dikes and granodiorites at ˜2 Ma. Southward across Fergusson Island, muscovite Ar/Ar ages, increase by ˜2 m.y. along the detachment, suggesting footwall exhumation by top-to-the-north slip at >12 mm/yr. To the east, an MCC on eastern Normanby Island has top-north footwall mylonites that dip gently SW and that were exhumed during the Pliocene as part of a northward progression of normal faulting that did not arrive at the offshore Moresby Seamount until ˜1.2 Ma (ODP Leg 180 site), relationships that suggest a rolling-hinge style uplift. Importantly, its detachment exposes no rocks deeper than blueschist-facies. Ductile deformation fabrics in the MCCs reveal patterns of lower crustal motion that can be evaluated against seafloor spreading-derived plate motions

  8. The formation of active protoclusters in the Aquila rift: a millimeter continuum view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maury, A. J.; André, P.; Men'shchikov, A.; Könyves, V.; Bontemps, S.

    2011-11-01

    While most stars are believed to form in stellar clusters, the formation and early evolution of young stellar clusters is still largely unknown. Improving our knowledge of the earliest phases of clustered star formation is crucial for understanding the origin of the stellar initial mass function and the efficiency of the star formation process, which both play a key role in the evolution of galaxies. Here, we present an analysis of the Aquila rift complex which addresses the questions of the star formation rate (SFR), star formation efficiency (SFE) and typical lifetime of the Class 0 protostellar phase in two nearby cluster-forming clumps: the Serpens South and W40 protoclusters. We carried out a 1.2 mm dust continuum mapping of the Aquila rift complex with the MAMBO bolometer array on the IRAM 30 m telescope. Using a multi-scale source extraction method, we perform a systematic source extraction in our millimeter continuum map. Based on complementary data from the Herschel Gould Belt survey and Spitzer maps, we characterize the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the 77 mm continuum sources detected with MAMBO and estimate their evolutionary stages. Taking advantage of the comprehensive dataset available for the Serpens South region, spanning wavelengths from 2 μm to 1.2 mm, we estimate the numbers of young stellar objects (YSOs) at different evolutionary stages and find a ratio of Class 0 to Class I protostars N(0)/N(I) = 0.19-0.27. This low ratio supports a scenario of relatively fast accretion at the beginning of the protostellar phase, and leads to a Class 0 lifetime of ~4-9 × 104 yr. We also show that both the Serpens South and W40 protoclusters are characterized by large fractions of protostars and high SFRs ~ 20-50M⊙ Myr-1 pc-2, in agreement with the idea that these two nearby clumps are active sites of clustered star formation currently undergoing bursts of star formation, and have the potential ability to form bound star clusters. While the

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Hawaii Rifts

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Trehu, A.; Shay, J. ); Morel-a-l'Huissier, P.; Milkereit, B. ); Meyer, R.; Jefferson, T.; Shih, X.R. ); Karl, J. ); Mereu, R.; Epili, D. ); Sexton, J.; Wendling, S. ); Hajnal, Z.; Chan, W.K. ); Hutchison, D. )

    1991-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  15. Mid-Continent rift system: a frontier hydrocarbon province

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

    The Mid-Continent rift system can be traced by the Mid-Continent geophysical anomaly (MGA) from the surface exposure of the Keweenawan Supergroup in the Lake Superior basin southwest in the subsurface through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Outcrop and well penetrations of the late rift Keweenawan sedimentary rocks reveal sediments reflecting a characteristic early continental rift clastic sequence, including alluvial fans, deep organic-rich basins, and prograding fluvial plains. Sedimentary basins where these early rift sediments are preserved can be located by upward continuation of the aeromagnetic profiles across the rift trend and by gravity models. Studies of analog continental rifts and aulacogens show that these gravity models should incorporate (1) a deep mafic rift pillow body to create the narrow gravity high of the MGA, and (2) anomalously thick crust to account for the more regional gravity low. Preserved accumulations of rift clastics in central rift positions can then be modeled to explain the small scale notches which are found within the narrow gravity high. Indigenous oil in Keweenawan sediments in the outcrop area and coaly partings in the subsurface penetrations of the Keweenawan clastics support the analogy between these rift sediments and the exceptionally organic-rich sediments of the East African rift. COCORP data across the rift trend in Kansas show layered deep reflectors and large structures. There is demonstrable source, reservoir, and trap potential within the Keweenawan trend, making the Mid-Continent rift system a frontier hydrocarbon province.

  16. Mid-continent rift system: a frontier hydrocarbon province

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

    The Mid-continent rift system can be traced by the Mid-continent geophysical anomaly (MGA) from the surface exposure of the Keweenawan Supergroup in the Lake Superior basin southwest in the subsurface through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Outcrop and well penetrations of the late rift Keweenawan sedimentary rocks reveal sediments reflecting a characteristic early continental rift clastic sequence, including alluvial fans, deep organic-rich basins, and prograding fluvial plains. Sedimentary basins where these early rift sediments are preserved can be located by upward continuation of the aeromagnetic profiles across the rift trend and by gravity models. Studies of analog continental rifts and aulacogens show that these gravity models should incorporate (1) a deep mafic rift pillow body to create the narrow gravity high of the MGA, and (2) anomalously thick crust to account for the more regional gravity low. Preserved accumulations of rift clastics in central rift positions can then be modeled to explain the small scale notches which are found within the narrow gravity high. Indigenous oil in Keweenawan sediments in the outcrop area and coaly partings in the subsurface penetrations of the Keweenawan clastics support the analogy between these rift sediments and the exceptionally organic-rich sediments of the East African rift. COCORP data across the rift trend in Kansas show layered deep reflectors and large structures. There is demonstrable source, reservoir, and trap potential within the Keweenawan trend, making the Mid-Continent rift system a frontier hydrocarbon province.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Geodynamic significance of the TRM segment in the East African Rift (W-Tanzania): Active tectonics and paleostress in the Ufipa plateau and Rukwa basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, D.; Kervyn, F.; Macheyeki, A. S.; Temu, E. B.

    2012-04-01

    The Tanganyika-Rukwa-Malawi (TRM) rift segment in western Tanzania is a key sector for understanding the opening dynamics of the East African rift system (EARS). In an oblique opening model, it is considered as a dextral transfer fault zone that accommodates the general opening of the EARS in an NW-SE direction. In an orthogonal opening model, it accommodates pure dip-slip normal faulting with extension orthogonal to the rift segments and a general E-W extension for the entire EARS. The central part of the TRM rift segment is well exposed in the Ufipa plateau and Rukwa basin, within the Paleoproterozoic Ubende belt. It is also one of the most seismically active regions of the EARS. We investigated the active tectonic architecture and paleostress evolution of the Ufipa plateau and adjacent Rukwa basin and in order to define their geodynamic role in the development of the EARS and highlight their pre-rift brittle tectonic history. The active fault architecture, fault-kinematic analysis and paleostress reconstruction show that the recent to active fault systems that control the rift structure develop in a pure extensional setting with extension direction orthogonal to the trend of the TRM segment. Two pre-rift brittle events are evidenced. An older brittle thrusting is related to the interaction between the Bangweulu block and the Tanzanian craton during the late Pan-African (early Paleozoic). It was followed by a transpressional inversion during the early Mesozoic. This inversion stage is the best expressed in the field and caused dextral strike-slip faulting along the fault systems that now control the major rift structures. It has been erroneously interpreted as related to the late Cenozoic EARS which instead is characterized by pure normal faulting (our third and last stress stage).

  1. 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.

  2. Research activities on submarine landslides in gentle continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morita, S.; Goto, S.; Miyata, Y.; Nakamura, Y.; Kitahara, Y.; Yamada, Y.

    2013-12-01

    In the north Sanrikuoki Basin off Shimokita Peninsula, NE Japan, a great number of buried large slump deposits have been identified in the Pliocene and younger formations. The basin has formed in a very gentle continental slope of less than one degree in gradient and is composed of well-stratified formations which basically parallel to the present seafloor. This indicates that the slumping have also occurred in such very gentle slope angle. The slump units and their slip surfaces have very simple and clear characteristics, such as layer-parallel slip on the gentle slope, regularly imbricated internal structure, block-supported with little matrix structure, widespread dewatering structure, and low-amplitude slip surface layer. We recognize that the large slump deposits group of layer-parallel slip in this area is an appropriate target to determine 'mechanism of submarine landslides', that is one of the subjects on the new IODP science plan for 2013 and beyond. So, we started some research activities to examine the feasibility of the future scientific drilling. The slump deposits were recognized basically by 3D seismic analysis. Further detailed seismic analysis using 2D seismic data in wider area of the basin is being performed for better understanding of geologic structure of the sedimentary basin and the slump deposits. This will be good source to extract suitable locations for drill sites. Typical seismic features and some other previous studies imply that the formation fluid in this study area is strongly related to natural gas, of which condition is strongly affected by temperature. So, detailed heat flow measurements was performed in the study area in 2013. For that purpose, a long-term water temperature monitoring system was deployed on the seafloor in October, 2012. The collected water temperature variation is applied to precise correction of heat flow values. Vitrinite reflectance analysis is also being carried out using sediments samples recovered by IODP

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.

    2013-12-01

    The configuration of continents we know today is the result of several billion years of active Wilson Cycle tectonics. The rifting of continents and subsequent development of ocean basins is an integral part of long-term planetary-scale recycling processes. The products of this process can be seen globally, and the East African Rift System (EARS) provides a unique view of extensional processes that actively divide a continent. Taken together with the adjoining Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the EARS has experienced over 40 Ma of volcanism and ~30 Ma of extension. While early (pre-rift) volcanism in the region is attributed to mantle plume activity, much of the subsequent volcanism occurs synchronously with continental rifting. Numerous studies indicate that extension and magmatism are correlated: extension leads to decompression melting while magmatism accommodates further extension (e.g. Stein et al., 1997; Buck 2004; Corti 2012). Evaluation of the entire EARS reveals significant geochemical patterns - both spatial and temporal - in the volcanic products. Compositional variations are tied directly to the melt source(s), which changes over time. These variations can be characterized broadly by region: the Ethiopian plateau and Turkana Depression, the Kenya Rift, and the Western Rift. In the Ethiopian plateau, early flood basalt volcanism is dominated by mantle plume contributions with variable input from lherzolitic mantle lithosphere. Subsequent alkaline shield volcanism flanking the juvenile Main Ethiopian Rift records the same plume component as well as contributions from a hydrous peridotitic lithosphere. The hydrous lithosphere does not contribute indefinitely. Instead, young (< 2 Ma) volcanism taps a combination of the mantle plume and anhydrous depleted lithospheric mantle. In contrast, volcanism in the Kenya Rift and the Western Rift are derived dominantly from metasomatized lithospheric mantle rather than mantle plume material. These rifts lie in the mobile

  5. On causal links between flood basalts and continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courtillot, V.; Jaupart, C.; Manighetti, I.; Tapponnier, P.; Besse, J.

    1999-03-01

    Temporal coincidence between continental flood basalts and breakup has been noted for almost three decades. Eight major continental flood basalts have been produced over the last 300 Ma. The most recent, the Ethiopian traps, erupted in about 1 Myr at 30 Ma. Rifting in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and possibly East African rift started at about the same time. A second trap-like episode occurred around 2 Ma and formation of true oceanic crust is due in the next few Myr. We find similar relationships for the 60 Ma Greenland traps and opening of the North Atlantic, 65 Ma Deccan traps and opening of the NW Indian Ocean, 132 Ma Parana traps and South Atlantic, 184 Ma Karoo traps and SW Indian Ocean, and 200 Ma Central Atlantic Margin flood basalts and opening of the Central Atlantic Ocean. The 250 Ma Siberian and 258 Ma Emeishan traps seem to correlate with major, if aborted, phases of rifting. Rifting asymmetry, apparent triple junctions and rift propagation (towards the flood basalt area) are common features that may, together with the relative timings of flood basalt, seaward dipping reflector and oceanic crust production, depend on a number of plume- and lithosphere- related factors. We propose a mixed scenario of `active/passive' rifting to account for these observations. In all cases, an active component (a plume and resulting flood basalt) is a pre-requisite for the breakup of a major oceanic basin. But rifting must be allowed by plate-boundary forces and is influenced by pre-existing heterogeneities in lithospheric structure. The best example is the Atlantic Ocean, whose large-scale geometry with three large basins was imposed by the impact points of three mantle plumes.

  6. 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.

  7. Rapid spatiotemporal variations in rift structure during development of the Corinth Rift, central Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nixon, Casey W.; McNeill, Lisa C.; Bull, Jonathan M.; Bell, Rebecca E.; Gawthorpe, Robert L.; Henstock, Timothy J.; Christodoulou, Dimitris; Ford, Mary; Taylor, Brian; Sakellariou, Dimitris; Ferentinos, George; Papatheodorou, George; Leeder, Mike R.; Collier, Richard E. LI.; Goodliffe, Andrew M.; Sachpazi, Maria; Kranis, Haralambos

    2016-05-01

    The Corinth Rift, central Greece, enables analysis of early rift development as it is young (<5 Ma) and highly active and its full history is recorded at high resolution by sedimentary systems. A complete compilation of marine geophysical data, complemented by onshore data, is used to develop a high-resolution chronostratigraphy and detailed fault history for the offshore Corinth Rift, integrating interpretations and reconciling previous discrepancies. Rift migration and localization of deformation have been significant within the rift since inception. Over the last circa 2 Myr the rift transitioned from a spatially complex rift to a uniform asymmetric rift, but this transition did not occur synchronously along strike. Isochore maps at circa 100 kyr intervals illustrate a change in fault polarity within the short interval circa 620-340 ka, characterized by progressive transfer of activity from major south dipping faults to north dipping faults and southward migration of discrete depocenters at ~30 m/kyr. Since circa 340 ka there has been localization and linkage of the dominant north dipping border fault system along the southern rift margin, demonstrated by lateral growth of discrete depocenters at ~40 m/kyr. A single central depocenter formed by circa 130 ka, indicating full fault linkage. These results indicate that rift localization is progressive (not instantaneous) and can be synchronous once a rift border fault system is established. This study illustrates that development processes within young rifts occur at 100 kyr timescales, including rapid changes in rift symmetry and growth and linkage of major rift faults.

  8. Distribution of contemporary crustal deformation and mechanisms for extension in the Woodlark Rift: insights from GPS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, L. M.; Ellis, S. M.; Tregoning, P.; Little, T. A.; Palmer, N.

    2012-12-01

    The Woodlark Rift, southeastern Papua New Guinea, is a classic example of a rift transitioning from continental rifting to seafloor spreading, and is also the site of exhumation of the world's youngest Ultra-High Pressure (UHP) terranes. Prior to now, very little GPS data existed to constrain the kinematics of contemporary rifting, and the relationship of modern-day rifting to exhumation of the young UHP terranes. We present results from GPS campaign measurements at ~45 sites throughout the southeastern Papua New Guinea region, from GPS campaigns conducted in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Our results suggest that most of the modern-day extensional deformation has shifted southward towards the north coast of the PNG mainland, away from the locus of UHP exhumation in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, although a few mm/yr of active extension remains in the region of UHP rock exhumation. This is consistent with modelling studies that predict a shift in the locus of extension away from the locus of UHP exhumation during the final, waning stages of UHP exhumation. Rates of total extension in the Woodlark Rift increase from west to east from several mm/yr (in the far western Woodlark Rift) to >20 mm/yr further east, due to clockwise rotation of microplates in the region about nearby poles of rotation. We will discuss the implications that our kinematic modelling of the GPS data, earthquake slip vector data, and geological data have for the large-scale driving mechanisms behind rifting in southeast PNG. Our results favour a model where rapid microplate rotation (at 2-3 degrees/Myr) and rifting in the Woodlark Basin is a consequence of strong slab pull forces from extremely rapid subduction (6-13 cm/yr) at the New Britain and San Cristobal trenches further to the north.

  9. Buried troughs, grabens and rifts in Sudan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salama, R. B.

    The deep lineaments and shear patterns of Sudan follow two main directions :NNW (Red Sea trend) and ENE (Gulf of Aden trend). Precambrian mobile belts trend NE and NW. Palaezoic(?) sediments occupy NE-SW aligned grabens. Mesozoic continental sediments with NW paleotrends were deposited in two major depressions also aligned NW. Cainozoic uplift and volcanism was associated with domal uplifts along NE and SE axes. Fracturing and faulting in NW and NE directions resulted in the formation of NW-SE fault bounded grabens ranging in depth from 1 to 11 km. Extending from the western boundaries of Sudan to the eastern borders with Ethiopia, the Sudanese Cainozoic rift systemforms the largest rift system in Africa and includes: (a) Bahr E1 Arab Rift, (b) White Nile Rift, (c) Blue Nile Rift, (d) River Atbara Rift and (e) Wadi El Kuu Rift. The grabens and trouhs within the rift system form the main groundwater basins of Sudan. The discovery of oil in three of these rifts will encourage the exploration for oil in the others and a search for similar structures in the northern areas of Sudan.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. How Complex is Orogeny? the Role of Rift Inheritance in the Evolution of the Western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beltrando, M.; Mohn, G.; Manatschal, G.

    2012-12-01

    Numerical and conceptual models of the evolution of convergent plate margins normally rely on paleogeographic reconstructions consisting exclusively of (1) oceanic lithosphere, made of mantle peridotites, mafic crust and post-rift sediments and (2) continental lithosphere, with subcontinental mantle and a 20-30 km thick crust, overlain by pre-, syn- and post- rift sediments. However, lithological associations characteristic of the high-pressure part of Alpine-type orogenic belts often fail to match either end members. As a result, 'anomalous' lithological associations, including Paleozoic continental basement directly in contact with Jurassic ophiolites and/or post-rift sediments, have generally been attributed to complex subduction/orogenic dynamics, responsible for chaotic mixing of continental and oceanic lithologies. In contrast to this commonly held view, recent studies have shown that a large part of the apparent complexity of the axial zone of the Western Alps is inherited from Jurassic rifting, since most of the subducted Tethyan lithosphere originally consisted of variably serpentinized subcontinental mantle locally overlain by slivers of continental basement. This conclusion is based on a number of observations, including (1) the consistency of the lithostratigraphic architecture over large areas, despite Alpine deformation, excluding chaotic mixing during subduction/exhumation, (2) widespread pre-metamorphic brittle deformation in continental basement and ultramafics, indicating that they were juxtaposed by fault activity prior to the deposition of post-rift sediments, (3) the presence of clasts of basement rocks in the neighboring sediments, indicating the original proximity of the different lithologies, (4) the common Alpine tectonometamorphic evolution of the different lithologies from the oldest preserved deformation/metamorphic stages. The basement-cover relationships documented in the Western Alps are typical of present day magma-poor rifted

  15. Formation of the Shanxi Rift in North China: The control of preexisting lithospheric weakness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, F.; Liu, M.; Ye, J.

    2012-12-01

    The Shanxi Rift is an active seismic zone in North China, developed mainly since Pliocene (~5 Ma). Its formation has been associated with the Indo-Asian collision; other hypothesized causes include a regional extensional stress field associated with subduction of the western pacific plate and mantle upwelling under the North China Plain. However, these mechanisms do not explain why the rift system did not form along the western boundary of the North China Plain, where lithospheric thickness changes sharply from more than 150 km under the Ordos block and the Taihangshan Mountains to the west, to less than 70 km under the North China Plain. We have used a viscoplastic finite element model to explore the conditions for localized rifting in North China. Our results show that, for all the hypothesized causes, the preferred site of rifting would be along the boundary zone of changing lithospheric thickness. The only way to initiate the Shanxi rift in its current location, which is between the Ordos block and the Taihangshan Mountains with thick lithosphere, is to have preexisting lithospheric weakening there. This lithospheric weakness was likely formed during the collision between the Easter North China block and the Western North China block during the Paleoproterozoic (~1.8 Ga). Hence the ancient tectonic event still controls the young continental rifting.

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Fracturing and earthquake activity within the Prestahnúkur fissure swarm in the Western Volcanic Rift Zone of Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjartardóttir, Ásta Rut; Hjaltadóttir, Sigurlaug; Einarsson, Páll; Vogfjörd, Kristín.; Muñoz-Cobo Belart, Joaquín.

    2015-12-01

    The Prestahnúkur fissure swarm is located within the ultraslowly spreading Western Volcanic Zone in Iceland. The fissure swarm is characterized by normal faults, open fractures, and evidence of subglacial fissure eruptions (tindars). In this study, fractures and faults within the Prestahnúkur fissure swarm were mapped in detail from aerial photographs to determine the extent and activity of the fissure swarm. Earthquakes during the last ~23 years were relocated to map the subsurface fault planes that they delineate. The Prestahnúkur fissure swarm is 40-80 km long and up to ~20 km wide. Most of the areas of the fissure swarm have been glacially eroded, although a part of it is covered by postglacial lava flows. The fissure swarm includes numerous faults with tens of meters vertical offset within the older glacially eroded part, whereas open fractures are found within postglacial lava flows. Comparison of relocated earthquakes and surface fractures indicates that some of the surface fractures have been activated at depth during the last ~23 years, although no dike intrusions have been ongoing. The existence of tindars nevertheless indicates that dike intrusions and rifting events do occur within the Prestahnúkur fissure swarm. The low-fracture density within postglacial lava flows and low density of postglacial eruptive fissures indicate that rifting episodes occur less often than in the faster spreading Northern Volcanic Zone.

  1. 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.

  2. Serpentized mantle at rifted margins: The Goban Spur example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, A. D.; Minshull, T. A.

    2002-12-01

    The crustal structure of rifted continental margins can tell us about the processes that operated from continental extension to eventual break-up and sea floor spreading. Variations between margins may record different processes operating during extension or indicate changes in the external geological controls such as mantle plume influence. Extension between Europe and North America began in the mid Cretaceous, dated at the Goban Spur-Flemish Cap rift as late Hauterivian-early Barremian (126-128 Ma) from deep sea drilling (DSDP leg 80) results on the Goban Spur margin. Marine magnetic anomaly 34 can be identified clearly on both margins and indicates that sea floor spreading began no later than 83 Ma. Syn-rift volcanism is limited to a 20 km basaltic body, with considerable lateral extent, at the foot of the continental slope, emplaced at the end of continental rifting. \

  3. Transition from a localized to wide deformation along Eastern branch of Central East African Rift: Insights from 3D numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The Central East African Rift (CEAR) bifurcates in two branches (eastern, magma-rich and western, magma-poor) surrounding strong Tanzanian craton. Intensive magmatism and continental flood basalts are largely present in many of the eastern rift segments, but other segments, first of all the western branch, exhibit very small volcanic activity. The Eastern rift is characterized by southward progression of the onset of volcanism, the extensional features and topographic expression of the rift vary significantly north-southward: in northern Kenya the deformation is very wide (some 150-250 km in E-W direction), to the south the rift narrows to 60-70 km, yet further to the south the deformation widens again in the so-called Tanzania divergence zone. Widening of the Eastern branch within its southern part is associated with the impingement of the southward-propagating rift on the strong Masai block situated to east of the Tanzanian craton. To understand the mechanisms behind this complex deformation distribution, we implemented a 3Dl ultra-high resolution visco-plastic thermo-mechanical numerical model accounting for thermo-rheological structure of the lithosphere and hence captures essential features of the CEAR. The preferred model has a plume seeded slightly to the northeast of the craton center, consistent with seismic tomography, and produces surface strain distribution that is in good agreement with observed variation of deformation zone width along eastern side of Tanzanian craton: localized above bulk of mantle material deflected by cratonic keel narrow high strain zone (Kenia Rift) is replaced by wide distributed deformations within areas situated to north (northern Kenya, Turkana Rift) and to south (Tanzania divergence, Masai block) of it. These results demonstrate significant differences in the impact of the rheological profile on rifting style in case of dominant active rifting compared to dominant passive rifting. Narrow rifting, conventionally attributed to

  4. 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.

  5. Mosquitoes and the Environment in Nile Delta Villages with Previous Rift Valley Fever Activity.

    PubMed

    Zayed, Abdelbaset B; Britch, Seth C; Soliman, Mohamed I; Linthicum, Kenneth J

    2015-06-01

    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 3 key governorates before and after 2012 seasonal flooding. We found that environmental effects varied among species, life stages, pre- and postflood groupings, and geographic populations of the same species, and that mosquito community composition could change after flooding. Our study provides preliminary data for modeling mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases in the Nile Delta region.

  6. Mosquitoes and the Environment in Nile Delta Villages with Previous Rift Valley Fever Activity.

    PubMed

    Zayed, Abdelbaset B; Britch, Seth C; Soliman, Mohamed I; Linthicum, Kenneth J

    2015-06-01

    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 3 key governorates before and after 2012 seasonal flooding. We found that environmental effects varied among species, life stages, pre- and postflood groupings, and geographic populations of the same species, and that mosquito community composition could change after flooding. Our study provides preliminary data for modeling mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases in the Nile Delta region. PMID:26181689

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. Active diapirism and slope steepening, northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, R.G.; Bouma, A.H.

    1982-01-01

    Large diapiric and nondiapiric masses of Jurassic salt and Tertiary shale underlie the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope and adjacent outer continental shelf. Local steepening of the sea floor in response to the vertical growth of these structures is a serious concern to those involved in the site selection and the construction of future oil and gas production and transportation facilities in this frontier petroleum province. The evidence given in this paper supports the conclusion that the present continental slope region of the northern Gulf of Mexico is undergoing active diapirism and consequent slope steepening. Because most of the sediment on the flanks of diapiric structures consists of underconsolidated muds, slumping will take place regularly in response to further diapiric movement.-from Authors

  12. 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

    ... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Geological and Geophysical Exploration Activities in the Gulf of Mexico; Correction AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior.... SUMMARY: On May 10, 2013, BOEM published a document in the Federal Register (78 FR 27427) entitled...

  13. 78 FR 48180 - Consolidation of Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection For Outer Continental Shelf Activities...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-07

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard Consolidation of Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection For Outer Continental Shelf Activities; Eighth Coast Guard District AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is considering establishing a single Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:24258902

  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. From rifting to active spreading in the Lau Basin - Havre Trough backarc system (SW Pacific): Locking/unlocking induced by seamount chain subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruellan, E.; Delteil, J.; Wright, I.; Matsumoto, T.

    2003-05-01

    Associated with Pacific-Australia plate convergence, the Lau Basin - Havre Trough is an active back-arc basin that has been opened since ˜5.5 Ma by rifting and southward propagating oceanic spreading. Current back-arc opening rates decrease from 159 mm yr-1 in the northern Lau Basin to 15 mm y-1 in the southern Havre Trough. Major tectonic changes occur at the transition between Havre Trough rifting and full oceanic spreading of the Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC), where the oblique-to-trench, westward subducting Louisville Seamount Chain (LSC) sweeps southwards along the Tonga trench. New swath bathymetry, seismic reflection data, and limited rock sampling in this area constrain a tectonic and kinematic back-arc model that incorporates the effects of LSC subduction. The ELSC, which extends southward to 24°55'S, forms a deep rift valley propagating southward through older, rifted arc basement. Present-day seismicity and fresh and fractured pillow lavas at 23°42'S are consistent with rift valley neovolcanism. Conversely, the northern Havre Trough has low seismicity and rifted volcanic basement ridges trending 25-45° oblique to the basin axis consistent with low levels of extensional tectonism and volcanism. This latter structural fabric is interpreted as an early stage of rifting that is now "locked" due to compression on the arc exerted by LSC subduction, while in the Lau Basin such effects have passed as the LSC swept along the Tonga Trench. It is proposed that the Lau-Havre back-arc opening is controlled by tectonic constraints exerted at the limits of the system by the LSC subduction, which determines the southward migration of the Tonga Arc pole of rotation and associated Lau Basin opening. A discrete three-stage back-arc opening evolution is proposed, comprising: (1) an initial phase of back-arc rifting along the whole length of the plate boundary, beginning at ˜6-5 Ma; (2) a subsequent phase, mostly present in the southern part of the back-arc domain

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Volcanic architecture of the Afar Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vye, C.; Smith, K.; Bateson, L.; Jordan, C.

    2010-12-01

    A new approach for rapidly mapping large volcanic areas has enabled identification of the spatial relationship between lava flows at the scale of single eruptive units, and the temporal development of faults associated with continental rifting. This integrated geological mapping approach involving remote sensing and three-dimensional image analysis has been applied to the Afar Region of the African Rift. We analyse topography and surface rock chemistry based false colour Landsat, ASTER and Lidar imagery within an immersive three-dimensional visualisation suite using SocetSet and Geovisionary software. This remote data is ground-proofed by the targeted field studies. This method is proving to be particularly successful in producing a subdivision of basaltic lava flows based on surface features and morphology of flow lobes where chemostratigraphic applications fail to identify individual eruption units. The high-resolution record has facilitated investigations of the style and size of fissure eruptions, their source, the processes affecting synchronous basaltic and felsic volcanic activity, and the style and duration of basaltic lava flow emplacement. The success of this technique is particularly significant when working in areas which are difficult to access, and may be applied in the future within environmentally or logistically challenging regions.

  6. Alpine geodynamic evolution of passive and active continental margin sequences in the Tauern Window (eastern Alps, Austria, Italy): a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurz, W.; Neubauer, F.; Genser, J.; Dachs, E.

    The Penninic oceanic sequence of the Glockner nappe and the foot-wall Penninic continental margin sequences exposed within the Tauern Window (eastern Alps) have been investigated in detail. Field data as well as structural and petrological data have been combined with data from the literature in order to constrain the geodynamic evolution of these units. Volcanic and sedimentary sequences document the evolution from a stable continent that was formed subsequent to the Variscan orogeny, to its disintegration associated with subsidence and rifting in the Triassic and Jurassic, the formation of the Glockner oceanic basin and its consumption during the Upper Cretaceous and the Paleogene. These units are incorporated into a nappe stack that was formed during the collision between a Penninic Zentralgneis block in the north and a southern Austroalpine block. The Venediger nappe and the Storz nappe are characterized by metamorphic Jurassic shelf deposits (Hochstegen group) and Cretaceous flysch sediments (Kaserer and Murtörl groups), the Eclogite Zone and the Rote Wand-Modereck nappe comprise Permian to Triassic clastic sequences (Wustkogel quartzite) and remnants of platform carbonates (Seidlwinkl group) as well as Jurassic volcanoclastic material and rift sediments (Brennkogel facies), covered by Cretaceous flyschoid sequences. Nappe stacking was contemporaneous to and postdated subduction-related (high-pressure) eclogite and blueschist facies metamorphism. Emplacement of the eclogite-bearing units of the Eclogite zone and the Glockner nappe onto Penninic continental units (Zentralgneis block) occurred subsequent to eclogite facies metamorphism. The Eclogite zone, a former extended continental margin, was subsequently overridden by a pile of basement-cover nappes (Rote Wand-Modereck nappe) along a ductile out-of-sequence thrust. Low-angle normal faults that have developed during the Jurassic extensional phase might have been inverted during nappe emplacement.

  7. 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.

  8. Development regimes of rifted basins and criteria of their petroleum potential

    SciTech Connect

    Larchenkov, E. )

    1994-07-01

    The majority of great sedimentary basins were formed primarily by stretching and usually initiated by rifting. The evolution and development of intercontinental and passive margin rifted basins are discussed. Each basin type described (in the paper) is associated with either single or branched rift zones. The basin types are (1) unburied rift, i.e., recent rifts, or ancient rifts with post-rift stage without significant subsidence such as East Africa rifts, and Reconcavo basin in Brazil; and (2) buried rift zones where the post-rift stage is characterized by active subsidence and sediment accumulation. The basins often form by repeated rifting, and a rift zone of a different age may be completely or partially superimposed or separated from other rifting events.

  9. Magmatism in rifting and basin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thybo, H.

    2008-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. Colorado Basin Structure and Rifting, Argentine passive margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    partly supports this hypothesis and shows two main directions of faulting: margin-parallel faults (~N30°) and rift-parallel faults (~N125°). A specific distribution of the two fault sets is observed: margin-parallel faults are restrained to the most distal part of the margin. Starting with a 3D structural model of the basin fill based on seismic and well data the deeper structure of the crust beneath the Colorado Basin can be evaluate using isostatic and thermal modelling. Franke, D., et al. (2002), Deep Crustal Structure Of The Argentine Continental Margin From Seismic Wide-Angle And Multichannel Reflection Seismic Data, paper presented at AAPG Hedberg Conference "Hydrocarbon Habitat of Volcanic Rifted Passive Margins", Stavanger, Norway Franke, D., et al. (2006), Crustal structure across the Colorado Basin, offshore Argentina Geophysical Journal International 165, 850-864. Gladczenko, T. P., et al. (1997), South Atlantic volcanic margins Journal of the Geological Society, London 154, 465-470. Hinz, K., et al. (1999), The Argentine continental margin north of 48°S: sedimentary successions, volcanic activity during breakup Marine and Petroleum Geology 16(1-25). Hirsch, K. K., et al. (2009), Tectonic subsidence history and thermal evolution of the Orange Basin, Marine and Petroleum Geology, in press, doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.1006.1009

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  5. Relative earthquake location for remote offshore and tectonically active continental regions using surface waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleveland, M.; Ammon, C. J.; Vandemark, T. F.

    2015-12-01

    Earthquake locations are a fundamental parameter necessary for reliable seismic monitoring and seismic event characterization. Within dense continental seismic networks, event locations can be accurately and precisely estimated. However, for many regions of interest, existing catalog data and traditional location methods provide neither accurate nor precise hypocenters. In particular, for isolated continental and offshore areas, seismic event locations are estimated primarily using distant observations, often resulting in inaccurate and imprecise locations. The use of larger, moderate-size events is critical to the construction of useful travel-time corrections in regions of strong geologic heterogeneity. Double difference methods applied to cross-correlation measured Rayleigh and Love wave time shifts are an effective tool at providing improved epicentroid locations and relative origin-time shifts in these regions. Previous studies have applied correlation of R1 and G1 waveforms to moderate-magnitude vertical strike-slip transform-fault and normal faulting earthquakes from nearby ridges. In this study, we explore the utility of phase-match filtering techniques applied to surface waves to improve cross-correlation measurements, particularly for smaller magnitude seismic events. We also investigate the challenges associated with applying surface-wave location methods to shallow earthquakes in tectonically active continental regions.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.

    1985-01-01

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

  7. Geochemical distribution pattern of sediments in an active continental shelf in Southern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carranza-Edwards, Arturo; Rosales-Hoz, Leticia; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime; Sandoval-Fortanel, Alejandra; Morales de la Garza, Eduardo; Lozano Santa Cruz, Rufino

    2005-03-01

    The continental shelf in the Southern Mexican Pacific is narrow as a consequence of very active tectonics. However, the Punta Maldonado area in Guerrero State, Mexico, presents a widening of the shelf known as Tartar Shoal whose western limit is given by the Quetzala submarine canyon. Sediment samples from the continental shelf were collected in order to analyse major elements, organic matter, carbonates, magnetic susceptibility, and the textural properties of the sea-floor of the continental shelf. The proportion of SiO 2 in shelf sediments is markedly lower than in fluvial sands of the adjacent emerged lands as a result of the dilution effect produced by the enrichment in biogenic carbonates in the Tartar Shoal area. Across Tartar Shoal there are small intermittent streams, while in the west and east are two big rivers, the Quetzala and the Rio Verde, respectively, and all these supply terrigenous material to the study area. Through PCA, three groups of terrigenous nature are established: (1) SiO 2 and K 2O, (2) Al 2O 3 and TiO 2, (3) Fe 2O 3, mud, organic matter and magnetic susceptibility. A group of biogenic nature is constituted by CaCO 3, CaO and P 2O 5. Use of the ratios Al 2O 3:CaCO 3 and SiO 2:CaCO 3 allows the identification of terrigenous and biogenous domains.

  8. The Active Mai'iu Low Angle Normal Fault, Woodlark Rift: Spatial and Temporal Slip Distributions, and Rider Block Abandonment Chronology.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webber, S. M.; Little, T.; Norton, K. P.; Mizera, M.; Oesterle, J.; Ellis, S. M.

    2015-12-01

    Low-angle normal faults (LANFs) have induced debate due to their apparent non-Andersonian behavior and lack of significant seismicity associated with slip. Dipping ~21°, the Mai'iu Fault, Woodlark Rift is an active, rapidly slipping LANF located at the transition between continental extension and seafloor spreading. Based on campaign GPS data [Wallace et al., 2014] the Mai'iu Fault is thought to slip at 7-9 mm/yr, accommodating a large fraction of total basinal extension, although it is uncertain whether slip is seismic or aseismic. Surface geomorphology indicates that the fault scarp is not significantly eroded despite high rainfall and ~3000 m relief. We have obtained 15 rock samples (~5 m spacing) from the lowermost Mai'iu Fault scarp in order to determine Holocene slip rate and style over the last ~10 kyr using cosmogenic 10Be in quartz. This slip direction-parallel profile in exposed bedrock is supported by a suite of soil samples for 10Be analysis, which extend our temporal coverage. We model exposure age data in terms of slip rate and style by identification of discontinuities within the profile. Of particular interest is whether slip is seismic or aseismic. In addition we analyze the structure of conglomeratic strata and abandoned, back-rotated rider blocks in the Mai'iu Fault hanging wall, which record Quaternary splay faulting and tilting in response to sustained LANF slip. 20 quartz pebble samples were obtained from hanging wall conglomerates for the purpose of calculating cosmogenic burial (26Al/10Be) ages. These constrain the chronology of Quaternary hanging wall deformation. High-angle (~50°) faulting competes with LANF slip at <2 km depths, with high-angle faults cutting the main LANF and exposing footwall metabasalt up to 2 km north of the Mai'iu Fault. Past splay faulting is recorded in the progressive back-tilting and folding of the Gwoira rider block in a ~2 km deep depression in the corrugated Mai'iu fault plane. Our results provide new

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Munjae; Jung, Haemyeong; Kil, Youngwoo

    2015-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. The rift to break-up evolution of the Gulf of Aden: Insights from 3D numerical lithospheric-scale modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, Sascha; Autin, Julia

    2013-11-01

    The Gulf of Aden provides an ideal setting to study oblique rifting since numerous structural data are available onshore and offshore. Recent surveys showed that the spatio-temporal evolution of the Gulf of Aden rift system is dominated by three fault orientations: displacement-orthogonal (WSW), rift-parallel (WNW) and an intermediate E-W trend. The oldest parts of the rift that are exposed onshore feature displacement-orthogonal and intermediate directions, whereas the subsequently active necking zone involves mainly rift-parallel faults. The final rift phase recorded at the distal margin is characterised by displacement-orthogonal and intermediate fault orientations. We investigate the evolution of the Gulf of Aden from rift initiation to break-up by means of 3D numerical experiments on lithospheric scale. We apply the finite element model SLIM3D which includes realistic, elasto-visco-plastic rheology and a free surface. Despite recent advances, 3D numerical experiments still require relatively coarse resolution so that individual faults are poorly resolved. We address this issue by proposing a simple post-processing method that uses the surface stress-tensor to evaluate stress regime (extensional, strike-slip, compressional) and preferred fault azimuth. The described method is applicable to any geodynamic model and easy to introduce. Our model reproduces the observed fault pattern of the Gulf of Aden and illustrates how multiple fault directions arise from the interaction of local and far-field tectonic stresses in an evolving rift system. The numerical simulations robustly feature intermediate faults during the initial rift phase, followed by rift-parallel normal faulting at the rift flanks and strike-slip faults in the central part of the rift system. Upon break-up, displacement-orthogonal as well as intermediate faults occur. This study corroborates and extends findings from previous analogue experiments of oblique rifting on lithospheric scale and allows new

  12. Reconstructing Drainage Evolution in Response to Tectonic Deformation Along an Active Rift Margin Using Cosmogenic Exposure Age Dating of Desert Pavements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guralnik, B.; Matmon, A.; Avni, Y.; Zilberman, E.; Fink, D.

    2009-04-01

    Fragmentation and rearrangement of drainage basins, and stream reversal occur in response to tectonic forcing such as subsidence of continental rift valleys and uplift of rift shoulders. We present new cosmogenic data from the central Negev Desert, southern Israel, that sheds light on the relations between the tectonic history of the western margins of the southern Dead Sea Rift (DSR) and drainage basin evolution since the Pliocene. In the Pliocene a major north-oriented river system drained the Negev into the Dead Sea basin and collected tributaries that originated east of the DSR and flowed westward across the central Negev. Tectonic deformation along the western margin of the DSR that began in the Pliocene caused regional eastward tilting and reversal of these tributaries by the early Pleistocene. Zero regional gradients which prevailed during the reversal stage, were accompanied by the accumulation of red beds and lake deposits, currently found on progressively lower elevations towards the rift. The present elevations of these deposits record Quaternary subsidence. To constrain the breakdown history of the Pliocene drainage system and reconstruct Quaternary subsidence, we sampled mature desert pavement from 13 abandoned alluvial surfaces associated with the Plio-Pleistocene deposits. From each surface, hundreds of chert clasts were collected and amalgamated into a single sample. Seven samples were collected from the highest windgaps along major water divides, in which remnants of the early Pleistocene surface are preserved. Five of these samples yielded exposure ages that range between 1.9 Ma and 1.5 Ma. These ages bracket the collapse of the Pliocene drainage basin and suggest the eastward migration of this process. Six other samples which yielded ages that range between 1.3 Ma and 0.5 Ma were collected from alluvial terraces inset into the early Pleistocene surface. They indicate stages of incision of the present drainage system. Under conditions of long

  13. The global change of continental aquatic systems: dominant impacts of human activities.

    PubMed

    Meybeck, M

    2004-01-01

    Continental aquatic systems, particularly rivers, are exposed to major changes due to human pressures. Some changes are voluntary such as flow regulation and the fragmentation of river courses, both due to damming, or the water consumption particularly in dry regions, which results in a partial to complete dry-up of some rivers (neo-arheism). Other changes result from indirect impacts of other human activities, and include: sediment unbalance of river systems, chemical contamination, acidification, eutrophication, thermal unbalance, radioactive contamination, microbial contamination, and aquatic species introduction/invasion. These changes can be regarded as syndromes which have now reached a global amplitude, even in less populated regions, as the result of damning, mining and of long-range atmospheric pollution, thus defining a new era, the Anthropocene, where continental aquatic systems are no longer controlled by earth systems processes but by human activities. Each region of the globe has developed specific patterns of syndromes trajectories that can be reconstructed from historical analysis and through environmental archives. These trajectories reveal multiple types of human responses to aquatic environmental issues (e.g. water quality), usually lasting 10 to 50 years for the successful ones. The reactions of the earth system to such major changes of fluxes (water, energy, nutrients, carbon, pollutants) via the continental waterscape, the land-ocean interactions, the water bodies-atmosphere interactions, are likely to take place over a longer time scale (100-1,000 years) yet are poorly addressed by scientists and not considered in Integrated Water Management, particularly as concerns the coastal zone.

  14. Synthesis and tectonic interpretation of the westernmost Paleozoic Variscan orogen in southern Mexico: From rifted Rheic margin to active Pacific margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    Paleozoic rocks in southern Mexico occur in two terranes, Oaxaquia (Oaxacan Complex) and Mixteca (Acatlán Complex) that appear to record: (1) Ordovician rifting on the southern margin of the Rheic Ocean, (2) passive drifting with Amazonia during the Silurian, (3) Devonian-Permian subduction beneath southern Mexico producing an arc complex that was partially removed by subduction erosion, subjected to HP metamorphism and Mississippian extrusion into the upper plate, followed by reestablishment of a Permian arc. In the Oaxaquia terrane, the 920-1300 Ma basement is unconformably overlain by a ˜ 200 m uppermost Cambrian-lowest Ordovician shelf sequence containing Gondwanan fauna (Tiñu Formation), unconformably overlain by 650 m of shallow marine-continental Carboniferous sedimentary rocks containing a Midcontinent (USA) fauna. In the Mixteca terrane, the low-grade Paleozoic sequence is composed of: (a) a ?Cambrian-Ordovician clastic sequence intruded by ca. 480-440 Ma bimodal, rift-related igneous rocks; and (b) a latest Devonian-Permian shallow marine sequence (> 906 m) consisting of metapsammites, metapelites and tholeiitic mafic volcanic rocks. High pressure (HP) metamorphic rocks in the Mixteca terrane consists of: (i) a Cambro-Ordovician rift-shelf intruded by bimodal rift-related intrusions that are similar to the low-grade rocks; (ii) periarc ultramafic rocks, and (iii) arc and MORB rocks. The Ordovician granitoids contain concordant inherited zircons that range in age from ca. 900 to 1300 Ma, indicating a source in the Oaxacan Complex. Concordant ages of detrital zircons in both the low- and high-grade Cambro-Ordovician metasedimentary rocks indicate a provenance in local Ordovician plutons and/or ca. 1 Ga Oaxacan basement, and distal northwestern Gondwana sources with a unique source in the 900-750 Ma Goiás magmatic arc within the Brasiliano orogen. These data combined with the rift-related nature of the Cambro-Ordovician rocks are most consistent with an

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. A quantitative geomorphological approach to constraining the volcanic and tectonic evolution of the active Dabbahu rift segment, Afar, Ethiopia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, Sarah; Pik, Raphaël; Burnard, Peter; Vye-Brown, Charlotte; Blard, Pierre-Henri; France, Lydéric; Dumont, Stéphanie; Grandin, Raphaël; Schimmelpfennig, Irene; Benedetti, Lucilla; Ayalew, Dereje; Yirgu, Gezahegn

    2013-04-01

    In the Afar depression (Ethiopia), extension is organised along rift segments that morphologically resemble oceanic rifts. Segmentation results from interactions between dyke injection and volcanism, as observed during the well-documented 2005 rifting event on the Dabbahu rift segment. This tectono-volcanic crisis was observed in detail via remote sensing techniques, providing invaluable information on the present-day tectonic - magmatic interplay during a sequence of dyke intrusions. However, lack of data remains on timescales of 1 to 100 kyr, the period over which the main morphology of the rift is acquired. The Dabbahu rift segment represents an ideal natural laboratory to study the evolution of rift morphology as a response to volcanic and tectonic influences. We use cosmogenic nuclides (3He and 36Cl) to determine the ages of young (<100 kyr) lava flows and to date the initiation and movement of fault scarps, which cut the lavas. Where possible, we analysed vertical profiles along fault scarps, in an attempt to distinguish individual tectonic events that offset the scarp, estimate their amplitudes and date the recurrence intervals. These geochronological constraints, combined with major & trace element compositions, field mapping and digital mapping (Landsat, ASTER and SPOT imagery), provide valuable insights on the magmatic and tectonic history of the segment. The results show that over the last 100 ka, the northern part of the Dabbahu segment was supplied by at least two different magma reservoirs, which can be identified from their distinctive chemistries. The main reservoir is located beneath Dabbahu volcano at the northern tip of the rift segment, and has been supplied with magma for at least 72 ka. The second reservoir is located further south on the rift axis and corresponds to the current mid-segment magma chamber, which was responsible for the 2005 rifting episode. Two magmatic cycles linked to the Dabbahu magma chamber were recorded, lasting 20-30 kyr

  18. 77 FR 15118 - Information Collection Activities: Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf for Minerals Other...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-14

    ... Continental Shelf for Minerals Other Than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur; Submitted for Office of Management and Budget... Continental Shelf for Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur. This notice also provides the public a second... 282, Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf for Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur....

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Neotectonic Stress Analysis Of The Red Sea Rift By Finite Element Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dwivedi, S. K.; Hayashi, D.

    2006-12-01

    The Red Sea is a tectonic rift that was formed in the late Oligocene-early Miocene when the originally connected African and Arabian land masses broke apart. At first it was a continental rift, then, as Arabia drifted away, developed into an intercontinental system that today separates the independent Arabian plate from the African plate. The Red Sea rift is part of an extensive global system of faults running approximately north to south. In the present study, numerical modeling on the Saudi Arabian seismic reflection profile is carried out to examine the neotectonic stress field in the south western Red Sea-Arabian plate margin to reveal kinetics of active fault system using two-dimensional elastic finite element method under plane strain condition. The Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion has been adopted to analyze the relationship between stress distribution and fault formation. A Saudi Arabian reflection profile is adopted for the modeling and extensional displacement boundary condition is imposed along NE-SW direction. Our result shows the extensional displacement and physical properties of rock layer control the distribution, orientation, magnitude and intensity of the stress and fault development. According to the calculated stress patterns of failure elements, normal faults develop in the Red Sea and Arabian Plate margin. The results from our simulation are in good agreement with those of the seismicity, focal mechanism solution of earthquakes and active faulting in the Red Sea. Key words: Red Sea rift, numerical modeling, extension, neotectonics

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-27

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favre, P.; Stampfli, G. M.

    1992-12-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Very early rift sedimentation in the Turkana depression (EARS, Kenya): example of the Topernawi Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nutz, A.; Ragon, T.; Schuster, M.; Ghienne, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Sedimentation associated with very early phase of continental rifting remains poorly understood as related deposits lie at deepest part of basins and rarely outcrop at the surface. However, understanding of these sediments are essential first to better-constrain early extensional phase and second in term of potential resources. The Turkana depression is a rift system active since the Paleogene, which makes the connection between Kenyan and Ethiopian domes. The southern area consists of four asymmetrical and juxtaposed grabens: the Lokichar, Turkwell, Kerio and South Lake Basin, which have been intensively documented through oil exploration. The northern part is structured into a single asymmetrical graben, the North Lake basin, less-known even oil exploration started. In this contribution, a sedimentary system preserved on the rift shoulder of the North Lake Basin is presented. Referred to as the Topernawi Fm, it is interpreted as recording the earliest phase of Cenozoic rifting in the area. The Topernawi Fm delineates a relic sedimentary basin of limited extension (3 - 5 km). Boundaries of the basin are inherited from basement structures, more precisely from the reactivation during Late Oligocene to Early Miocene of a previous transfer zone producing N40-50° border faults. Basin fills is up to 80 m thick and includes first alluvial fan associated with the reactivation of these faults and then braided fluvial deposits from axial system. Above, several volcanic events recurrently emplaced pyroclastic deposits, repeatedly reworked by fluvial channels. Subsequently, N-S trend faulting cut the Topernawi system during the development of the North Lake Basin and led to its partial preservation over the present-day rift shoulder. Geological maps, structural sections across Topernawi basin and sedimentary facies are presented. An integrated model is proposed to illustrate the basin evolution. Implications for rifting in Northern Turkana depression are discussed.

  10. 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

  11. Modern and ancient mineralization in the Salton Trough Rift

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

  12. Numerical models of oblique rifting: Quantifying the effect of shear

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, S.; Popov, A. A.; Sobolev, S. V.

    2011-12-01

    In many cases the initial stage of continental break-up was and is associated with oblique extension. That includes several conjugated margins in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, as well as many recent rift systems, like Gulf of California, Ethiopia Rift and Dead Sea fault. Using three-dimensional, thermo-mechanical simulations and an analytical mechanical model we study the influence of oblique extension on the tectonic forces that are required to induce rifting. We find that oblique extension significantly facilitates the rift process. This is due to the fact that pure strike-slip deformation requires roughly two times less force in order to reach the plastic yield limit than rift-perpendicular extension. Other weakening processes like strain or strain-rate softening and shear heating are more efficient in strike-slip faults but are less important than high obliquity. The model shows that in the case of two competing rifts, with one perpendicular and one oblique to the direction of extension but otherwise having identical properties, the oblique rift zone attracts more strain so that continental break-up occurs there.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Seismically Articulating Kilauea Volcano's Active Conduits, Rift Zones, and Faults through HVO's Second Fifty Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okubo, P.; Nakata, J.; Klein, F.; Koyanagi, R.; Thelen, W.

    2011-12-01

    While seismic monitoring of active Hawaiian volcanoes began 100 years ago, the build-up of the U. S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) seismographic network to its current configuration began in 1955, when Jerry Eaton established remote stations that telemetered data via landline to recorders at HVO. With network expansion through the 1960's, earthquake location and cataloging capabilities have evolved to afford a computer processed seismic catalog now spanning fifty years. Location accuracy and catalog completeness to smaller magnitudes have increased. Research and insights developed using HVO's seismic record have exploited the ability to seismically monitor volcanic activity at depth, to identify active regions within the volcanoes on the basis of computed hypocentral locations, to infer regions of magma storage by recognizing different families of volcanic earthquakes, and to forecast volcanic activity in both short and longer term from seismicity patterns. HVO's seismicity catalog was central to calculations of probabilistic seismic hazards. The ability to develop and implement additional analytical and interpretive capabilities has kept pace with improvements in both field and laboratory hardware and software. While the basic capabilities continue as part of HVO's core monitoring, additional interpretive capabilities now include adding details of volcanic and earthquake source regions, and viewing seismic data in juxtaposition with other observatory data streams. As HVO looks to its next century of volcano studies, research and development continue to shape the future. Broadband seismic recording at HVO has enabled extensive study by Chouet, Dawson, and co-workers of the relationship of very-long-period seismic sources beneath Kilauea's summit caldera to magma supply and transport. Recent upgrades have improved the ability to use these data in seismic cataloging and research. Data processing upgrades have bolstered the ability to

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, Susanne; Tetreault, Joya; Torsvik, Trond

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Controls on magmatic cycles and development of rift topography of the Manda Hararo segment (Afar, Ethiopia): Insights from cosmogenic 3He investigation of landscape evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, S.; Pik, R.; Burnard, P.; Williams, A.; Vye-Brown, C.; Ferguson, D.; Blard, P.-H.; France, L.; Yirgu, G.; Seid, J. I.; Ayalew, D.; Calvert, A.

    2013-04-01

    Crustal extension at mature continental rifts and oceanic ridges occurs by a combination of normal faulting and magma injection, which interact to create rift morphology. Quantifying the relative roles of faulting and melt intrusion in accommodating extension at magmatic rifts remains difficult and requires studies at sufficient spatial and temporal scales to resolve the interaction between these processes. In this study we provide new chronological constraints based on cosmogenic exposure dating for the ˜100 kyr topographic evolution of a young and active magmatic rift segment in Afar, Ethiopia. We combine structural investigations, field mapping, geochemical analysis and cosmogenic 3He exposure dating of lava surfaces in order to investigate the interplay between volcanic activity and fault growth in the northern part of the axial depression, where the rift segment intersects a large stratovolcano. Our results allow us to determine the roles of the various magma reservoirs feeding this rift system and their interactions during accretion over the past 100 kyr. New age data for key lava units allow several magmatic cycles to be distinguished. Each cycle lasts 20-40 ka resulting in periods of high and low magma supply rate. The variations in magma supply rate at the segment extremity strongly affect the development of the rift depression, with the availability of melt controlling the morphological impact of faulting. Melts from different magma reservoirs feeding the segment are chemically distinct and geochemical analysis of lavas from the rift floor allows their respective contributions to maintaining magmatic accretion to be estimated. We propose that melts from the magma reservoir at the northern end of the segment contribute around one-third of the length of this portion of the segment, whereas the mid-segment reservoir is responsible for the remaining two-thirds of the segment accretion.

  3. 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

  4. Active faulting in apparently stable peninsular India: Rift inversion and a Holocene-age great earthquake on the Tapti Fault

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Copley, Alex; Mitra, Supriyo; Sloan, R. Alastair; Gaonkar, Sharad; Reynolds, Kirsty

    2014-08-01

    We present observations of active faulting within peninsular India, far from the surrounding plate boundaries. Offset alluvial fan surfaces indicate one or more magnitude 7.6-8.4 thrust-faulting earthquakes on the Tapti Fault (Maharashtra, western India) during the Holocene. The high ratio of fault displacement to length on the alluvial fan offsets implies high stress-drop faulting, as has been observed elsewhere in the peninsula. The along-strike extent of the fan offsets is similar to the thickness of the seismogenic layer, suggesting a roughly equidimensional fault rupture. The subsiding footwall of the fault is likely to have been responsible for altering the continental-scale drainage pattern in central India and creating the large west flowing catchment of the Tapti river. A preexisting sedimentary basin in the uplifting hanging wall implies that the Tapti Fault was active as a normal fault during the Mesozoic and has been reactivated as a thrust, highlighting the role of preexisting structures in determining the rheology and deformation of the lithosphere. The slip sense of faults and earthquakes in India suggests that deformation south of the Ganges foreland basin is driven by the compressive force transmitted between India and the Tibetan Plateau. The along-strike continuation of faulting to the east of the Holocene ruptures we have studied represents a significant seismic hazard in central India.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. The Mesoproterozoic Midcontinent Rift System, Lake Superior Region, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojakangas, R. W.; Morey, G. B.; Green, J. C.

    2001-06-01

    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 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Spatial and Temporal Evolution of Eruptive Activity in a Youthful Extensional Setting: the Case of the Nyamulagira Volcanic Field, Western Branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, B.; Kervyn, M.; d'Oreye, N.; Kervyn, F.

    2014-12-01

    Nyamulagira is the westernmost volcano of the Virunga volcanic province, in the western branch of the East African Rift. This shield volcano is one of the most active African volcanoes with one eruption every 1-4 year(s). Nyamulagira's eruptions usually occur along the flanks of the main edifice and in the lava plain, producing pyroclastic cone(s) and 10-20 km-long lava flows. Between 1913 and 1938, the activity was however restricted to the summit caldera, where lava fountains progressively gave birth to a lava lake, which disappeared in 1938 during the partial collapse of the summit caldera and the onset of a 2.5 years-long flank eruption. The location of flank eruptions and the orientation of the eruptive fissures are strongly influenced by the edifice loading, and by the NNW-SSE fracture network that crosses the main edifice and link it to the neighboring Nyiragongo volcano. But rift fault can also influence fissure orientations and cone alignments, especially for distal events. The flank eruptions typically have similar characteristics, lasting few days to few weeks, with an average of 20-30 days. Less frequently, flank eruptions can be larger and more complex, lasting several months and/or emitting much larger volumes of lava. By combining historical and recent observations, we suggest that magma overpressure at shallow depth is the main cause of flank events. Major eruptions seem to be related to a deeper source able to trigger large magma injections through deep structures, such as rift faults. Since April 2012, the activity of Nyamulagira is restricted to the summit caldera, with continuous and intense gas emissions and, since mid-2014, by lava fountains. This change in eruptive behavior, if it persists, may leads to the emergence of a new lava lake and may significantly decreases the frequency of flank events

  10. Diabatic heating profiles over the continental convergence zone during the monsoon active spells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chattopadhyay, Rajib; Sur, Sharmila; Joseph, Susmitha; Sahai, A. K.

    2013-07-01

    The present paper aims to bring out the robust common aspects of spatio-temporal evolution of diabatic heating during the monsoon intraseasonal active phases over the continental tropical convergence zone (CTCZ). The robustness of spatio-temporal features is determined by comparing the two state-of-the art reanalyses: NCEP Climate Forecast System reanalysis and Modern ERA Retrospective Analysis. The inter-comparison is based on a study period of 26 years (1984-2009). The study confirms the development of deep heating over the CTCZ region during the active phase and is consistent between the two datasets. However, the detailed temporal evolution of the vertical structure (e.g., vertical tilts) of heating differs at times. The most important common feature from both the datasets is the significant vertical redistribution of heating with the development of shallow (low level) heating and circulation over the CTCZ region 3-7 days after the peak active phase. The shallow circulation is found to be associated with increased vertical shear and relative vorticity over certain regions in the subcontinent. This increased vertical shear and relative vorticity in the lower levels could be crucial in the sustenance of rainfall after the peak active phase. Model experiments with linear dynamics affirm the role of shallow convection in increasing the lower level circulation as observed.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Jerome; Wilson, Terry; Henrys, Stuart

    2007-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 76 FR 5189 - BOEMRE Information Collection Activities: 1010-0081, Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-28

    ...: 1010-0081, Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf for Minerals Other Than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur... Shelf for Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur. This notice also provides the public a second... 282, Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf for Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur....

  14. Episodic nature of earthquake activity in stable continental regions revealed by palaeoseismicity studies of Australian and North American Quaternary faults

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crone, A.J.; Machette, M.N.; Bowman, J.R.

    1997-01-01

    Palaeoseismic investigations of recent faulting in stable continental regions of Australia, North America and India show that these faults typically have a long-term behaviour characterised by episodes of activity separated by quiescent intervals of at least 10 000 and commonly 100 000 years or more. Long recurrence intervals such as these are well documented by detailed studies of the faults that ruptured during the 1986 Marryat Creek, South Australia and 1988 Tennant Creek, Northern Territory earthquakes. Thus, neotectonic features associated with stable continental region faults such as scarps and grabens commonly have subtle geomorphic expression and may be poorly preserved. Many potentially hazardous faults in stable continental regions are aseismic, which is one reason why the inventory of these faults is incomplete. Although they may be currently aseismic, faults in stable continental regions that are favourably oriented for movement in the current stress field could produce damaging earthquakes, often in unexpected places. Comprehensive palaeoseismic investigations of modern and prehistoric faulting events in stable continental regions are needed to understand the long-term behaviour of these faults, and thereby, improve seismic-hazard assessments.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Extensive ice stream activity on the North-East Greenland Continental Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arndt, Jan Erik; Jokat, Wilfried; Dorschel, Boris

    2015-04-01

    Even though approximately 20% of the modern day Greenland ice sheet is drained via the North-East Greenland Continental Shelf (NEGCS), its submarine geomorphology is only poorly resolved. Acting as the main export region for Arctic sea-ice transported southward by the cold East Greenland Current, the NEGCS shows year-round harsh ice conditions that limit the accessibility for research vessels to conduct swath bathymetric surveys. While studies based on radiocarbon dating were arguing if the ice sheet reached on the shelf during full-glacial periods, two studies using high-resolution swath bathymetric data from single cruise tracks showed submarine glacial seafloor features, including mega-scale glacial lineations and retreat moraines that gave direct marine evidence of past ice stream activity at least to the middle shelf in Westwind Trough. We have newly processed swath bathymetry and sub-bottom profiler data of 18 cruises of RV Polarstern from 1985 until 2014. This data was investigated for submarine glacial seafloor features to better constrain the past ice sheet configuration, including its maximum extent and retreat history. Amongst others, we have now first marine evidence for ice stream activity in Norske Trough and in general a more intense ice streaming activity on the shelf. In addition, our data indicates that possibly a small separate ice sheet was present offshore the modern day Greenland coast.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gawthorpe, Robert; Ford, Mary

    2015-04-01

    Existing models for the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins are strongly linked the growth and linkage of normal fault segments and localization of fault activity. Early stages of faulting (rift initiation phase) are characterized by distributed, short, low displacement fault segments, subdued fault-related topography and small depocentres within which sedimentation keeps pace with subsidence. Following linkage and displacement localization (rift climax phase), deformation if focused onto major, crustal-scale fault zones with kilometre-scale displacement. These major faults generate pronounced tilted fault-block topography, with subsidence rates that outpace sedimentation causing a pronounced change to deep-water deposition. Such models have been successful in helping to understand the gross structural and sedimentary evolution of rift basins, but recent work has suggested that pre-existing structures, normal fault interaction with pre-rift salt and antecedent drainage systems significantly alter this initiation-to-climax perspective of rift basin development. The E-W-striking, Pliocene-Pleistocene Corinth rift, central Greece, is an excellent natural laboratory for studying the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins due to its young age, excellent onshore exposure of syn-rift structure and stratigra