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Sample records for afar geoscientific lithospheric

  1. Seismic Migration Imaging of the Lithosphere beneath the Afar Rift System, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, T. T. Y.; Chen, C. W.; Rychert, C.; Harmon, N.

    2015-12-01

    The Afar Rift system in east Africa is an ideal natural laboratory for investigating the incipient continental rifting, an essential component of plate tectonics. The Afar Rift is situated at the triple junction of three rifts, namely the southern Red Sea Rift, Gulf of Aden Rift and Main Ethiopian Rift (MER). The ongoing continental rifting at Afar transitions to seafloor spreading toward the southern Red Sea. The tectonic evolution of Afar is thought to be influenced by a mantle plume, but how the plume affects and interacts with the Afar lithosphere remains elusive. In this study, we use array seismic data to produce high-resolution migration images of the Afar lithosphere from scattered teleseismic wavefields to shed light on the lithospheric structure and associated tectonic processes. Our preliminary results indicate the presence of lithospheric seismic discontinuities with depth variation across the Afar region. Beneath the MER axis, we detect a pronounced discontinuity at 55 km depth, characterized by downward fast-to-slow velocity contrast, which appears to abruptly deepen to 75 km depth to the northern flank of MER. This discontinuity may be interpreted as the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Beneath the Ethiopian Plateau, on the other hand, a dipping structure with velocity increase is identified at 70-90 km depth. Further synthesis of observations from seismic tomography, receiver functions, and seismic anisotropy in the Afar region will offer better understanding of tectonic significance of the lithospheric discontinuities.

  2. Plume- Ridge Lithospheric Interactions: Cases of Afar (Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montagner, J. P.; Stutzmann, E.; Sicilia, D.; Sebai, A.; Beucler, E.; Silveira, G.; Cara, M.; Debayle, E.; Leveque, J. J.

    2003-04-01

    Detection of mantle plumes in geophysical and geochemical data is controversial and trigger vigorous debates. It remains unclear how plumes are formed, their origin at depth, and whether they act independently from plate tectonics. We may learn about the role of plumes in mantle dynamics by studying their interactions with lithosphere and crust below ridges and the way in which they perturb the flow pattern in the uppermost mantle. Several regional tomographic studies of seismic velocity and anisotropy around several hotspots were obtained during the last 2 years. Their lateral resolution is smaller than 1000km and they enable to make qualitative intercomparison between Afar (Horn of Africa Program), Azores (COSEA project) in the Atlantic, La Reunion in the Indian Ocean and Pacific provinces hotspots. These models demonstrate that there is not only one family of plumes but several ones. Some plumes are confined in the uppermost 200km but a few can originate in the transition zone and even at the Core-mantle Boundary for superplumes. Seismic anisotropy which is a good marker of deformation processes and mantle flow pattern, shows that the interaction between a plume and a ridge below the lithosphere can occur over distances larger than 1000km, via sublithospheric channels. The existence of LACs (Low Anisotropy Channels) below the Pacific plate seems to be intimately related to the active hotspots in Central Pacific and indicate a future reorganization of plate boundaries. Another important consequence of the interaction between plume and ridge is the triggering of secondary convection in the asthenosphere, which will be discussed during the presentation.

  3. Receiver function imaging of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and melt beneath the Afar Rift in comparison to other systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rychert, Catherine A.; Harmon, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

    Heating, melting, and stretching destroy continents at volcanic rifts. Mantle plumes are often invoked to thermally weaken the continental lithosphere and accommodate rifting through the influx of magma. However the relative effects of mechanical stretching vs. melt infiltration and weakening are not well quantified during the evolution of rifting. S-to-p (Sp) imaging beneath the Afar Rift provides additional constraints. We use two methodologies to investigate structure and locate robust features: 1) binning by conversion point and then simultaneous deconvolution in the frequency domain, and 2) extended multitaper followed by migration and stacking. We image a lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary at ~75 km beneath the flank of the Afar Rift vs. its complete absence beneath the rift. Instead, a strong velocity increase with depth at ~75 km depth is imaged. Beneath the rift axis waveform modeling suggests the lack of a mantle lithosphere with a velocity increase at ~75 km depth. Geodynamic models that include high melt retention and suppress thermal convection easily match the required velocity-depth profile, the velocity increase arising from a drop in melt percentage at the onset of decompression melting. Whereas, models with conservative melt retention that include thermal buoyancy effects cannot reproduce the strong velocity increase. The shallow depth of the onset of melting is consistent with a mantle potential temperature = 1350 - 1400°C, i.e., typical for adiabatic decompression melting. Trace element signatures and geochemical modeling have been used to argue for a thick lithosphere beneath the rift and slightly higher mantle potential temperatures ~1450°C, although overall, given modeling assumptions, the results are not in disagreement. Therefore, although a plume initially destroyed the mantle lithosphere, its influence directly beneath Afar today is not strong. Volcanism continues via adiabatic decompression melting assisted by strong melt buoyancy

  4. A kinematic model for Afar Depression lithospheric thinning and its implications for hominid evolution: an exercise in plate-tectonic paleoanthropology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redfield, T.; Often, M.; Wheeler, W. H.

    2002-12-01

    We present a detailed Nubia-Arabia-Somalia (NU-AR-SOM) kinematic reconstruction based on magnetic sea floor isochrons in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea and piercing points along the Red Sea margins. The reconstruction is combined with digital topographic and depth-to-Moho data to constrain in 4D the Late Oligocene to present-day evolution of the Afar supra-Moho crust. Opposite end-member models for crustal evolution are described. We conclude that less than 20% of the present-day Afar supra-Moho crust was constructed by magmatic processes such as diking and underplating. The reconstructions indicate that the greater percentage of crustal thinning (extension) occurred before 6.2 Ma. We model the thinning of the effective elastic lithosphere that accompanied extension, and show that the regional-scale topographic development of the Afar depression was virtually complete by Mid Pliocene time. The plate-tectonic model has paleoanthropological implications. Prior to 6.2 Ma the proximal positions of NU-SOM, AR, and the Danakil block suggest subaerial conditions prevailed between Yemen and Ethiopia. Uninhibited Africa-Eurasia faunal exchange through Afar and Arabia (corroborated by isotopic and paleontologic data) was tectonically permissible until the time of the earliest hominids. Continued stretching caused the Afar land bridge(s) to disappear during Early to Mid Pliocene time. Primitive hominid populations living within the Afar Depression became isolated from AR sometime before ~3.2 Ma. With the plateau becoming less habitable due to long-term Late Neogene cooling, hominids that remained in the Afar Depression were required to adapt to a smaller range that was effectively bounded by the already well-developed NU-SOM escarpments and the newly opened Straits of Bab el Mandeb. The combination of high quality habitat,topographic confinement, and a gradual (tectonic) reduction in range, exacerbated by potentially severe fluctuations in local climate (well documented by land

  5. 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

  6. Seismically imaging the Afar plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Plume related flood basalt volcanism in Ethiopia has long been cited to have instigated continental breakup in northeast Africa. However, to date seismic images of the mantle beneath the region have not produced conclusive evidence of a plume-like structure. As a result the nature and even existence of a plume in the region and its role in rift initiation and continental rupture are debated. Previous seismic studies using regional deployments of sensors in East-Africa show that low seismic velocities underlie northeast Africa, but their resolution is limited to the top 200-300km of the Earth. Thus, the connection between the low velocities in the uppermost mantle and those imaged in global studies in the lower mantle is unclear. We have combined new data from Afar, Ethiopia with 6 other regional experiments and global network stations across Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Yemen, to produce high-resolution models of upper mantle P- and S- wave velocities to the base of the transition zone. Relative travel time tomographic inversions show that the top 100km is dominated by focussed low velocity zones, likely associated with melt in the lithosphere/uppermost asthenosphere. Below these depths a broad SW-NE oriented sheet like upwelling extends down to the top of the transition zone. Within the transition zone two focussed sharp-sided low velocity regions exist: one beneath the Western Ethiopian plateau outside the rift valley, and the other beneath the Afar depression. The nature of the transition zone anomalies suggests that small upwellings may rise from a broader low velocity plume-like feature in the lower mantle. This interpretation is supported by numerical and analogue experiments that suggest the 660km phase change and viscosity jump may impede flow from the lower to upper mantle creating a thermal boundary layer at the base of the transition zone. This allows smaller, secondary upwellings to initiate and rise to the surface. Our images of secondary upwellings

  7. Upper Mantle Structure beneath Afar: inferences from surface waves.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sicilia, D.; Montagner, J.; Debayle, E.; Lepine, J.; Leveque, J.; Cara, M.; Ataley, A.; Sholan, J.

    2001-12-01

    The Afar hotspot is related to one of the most important plume from a geodynamic point of view. It has been advocated to be the surface expression of the South-West African Superswell. Below the lithosphere, the Afar plume might feed other hotspots in central Africa (Hadiouche et al., 1989; Ebinger & Sleep, 1998). The processes of interaction between crust, lithosphere and plume are not well understood. In order to gain insight into the scientific issue, we have performed a surface-wave tomography covering the Horn of Africa. A data set of 1404 paths for Rayleigh waves and 473 paths for Love waves was selected in the period range 45-200s. They were collected from the permanent IRIS and GEOSCOPE networks and from the PASSCAL experiment, in Tanzania and Saudi Arabia. Other data come from the broadband stations deployed in Ethiopia and Yemen in the framework of the French INSU program ``Horn of Africa''. The results presented here come from a path average phase velocities obtained with a method based on a least-squares minimization (Beucler et al., 2000). The local phase velocity distribution and the azimuthal anisotropy were simultaneously retrieved by using the tomographic technique of Montagner (1986). A correction of the data is applied according to the crustal structure of the 3SMAC model (Nataf & Ricard, 1996). We find low velocities down to 200 km depth beneath the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, Afars, the Ethiopian Plateau and southern Arabia. High velocities are present in the eastern Arabia and the Tanzania Craton. The anisotropy beneath Afar seems to be complex, but enables to map the flow pattern at the interface lithosphere-asthenosphere. The results presented here are complementary to those obtained by Debayle et al. (2001) at upper-mantle transition zone depths using waveform inversion of higher Rayle igh modes.

  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. Afar and ERTS-1 imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1972-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The excellent ERTS-1 imagery of the Afar region of Ethiopia permits a preliminary revision to the analysis of the structures of this triple-rift junction, and also revisions to the outcrops of some lithological formations. The fault-belts of the Afar floor can now be mapped in fine detail. The Danakil horst is identified to be limited on its western side against Afar by a major fault-line, and it seems unlikely that the horst is the exposed, easterly portion of a west-dipping sialic block underlying all northern Afar. The Salt Plain appears to be a true graben. The Ethiopian plateau-Afar margin consists of a series of right-offset sectors, the offsets being marked by silicic volcanic centers. The nature of these offsets is related to the vexed question of cross-rift faulting. Such faulting is identifiable on the ERTS-1 imagery, both on the Afar floor, and in the monoclinally warped western margin. The significance of this faulting, though subordinate to the tensional faults of the fault-belts, awaits elucidation.

  10. 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

  11. Receiver function imaging of the onset of melting, implications for volcanism beneath the Afar Rift in contrast to hotspot environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rychert, C. A.; Harmon, N.; Hammond, J. O.; Laske, G.; Kendall, J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Shearer, P. M.; Bastow, I. D.; Keir, D.; Ayele, A.; Belachew, M.; Stuart, G. W.

    2012-12-01

    Heating, melting, and stretching destroy continents at volcanic rifts. Mantle plumes are often invoked to thermally weaken the continental lithosphere and accommodate rifting through the influx of magma. However the relative effects of mechanical stretching vs. melt infiltration and weakening are not well quantified during the evolution of rifting. S-to-p (Sp) imaging beneath the Afar Rift and hotspot regions such as Hawaii provides additional constraints. We use data from the Ethiopia/Kenya Broadband Seismic Experiment (EKBSE), the Ethiopia Afar Geophysical Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE), a new UK/US led deployment of 46 stations in the Afar depression and surrounding area, and the PLUME experiment. We use two methodologies to investigate structure and locate robust features: 1) binning by conversion point and then simultaneous deconvolution in the frequency domain, and 2) extended multitaper followed by migration and stacking. We image a lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary at ~75 km beneath the flank of the Afar Rift vs. its complete absence beneath the rift, where the mantle lithosphere has been totally destroyed. Instead a strong velocity increase with depth at ~75 km depth matches geodynamic model predictions for a drop in melt percentage at the onset of decompression melting. The shallow depth of the onset of melting is consistent with a mantle potential temperature = 1350 - 1400°C, i.e., typical for adiabatic decompression melting. Therefore although a plume initially destroyed the mantle lithosphere, its influence directly beneath Afar today is minimal. Volcanism continues via adiabatic decompression melting assisted by strong melt buoyancy effects. This contrasts with a similar feature at much deeper depth, ~150 km, just west of Hawaii, where a deep thermal plume is hypothesized to impinge on the lithosphere. Improved high resolution imaging of rifting, ridges, and hotspots in a variety of stages and tectonic settings will increase constraints on the

  12. Upper mantle temperature and the onset of extension and break-up in Afar, Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armitage, John J.; Ferguson, David J.; Goes, Saskia; Hammond, James O. S.; Calais, Eric; Rychert, Catherine A.; Harmon, Nicholas

    2015-05-01

    It is debated to what extent mantle plumes play a role in continental rifting and eventual break-up. Afar lies at the northern end of the largest and most active present-day continental rift, where the East African Rift forms a triple junction with the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rifts. It has a history of plume activity yet recent studies have reached conflicting conclusions on whether a plume still contributes to current Afar tectonics. A geochemical study concluded that Afar is a mature hot rift with 80 km thick lithosphere, while seismic data have been interpreted to reflect the structure of a young, oceanic rift basin above mantle of normal temperature. We develop a self-consistent forward model of mantle flow that incorporates melt generation and retention to test whether predictions of melt chemistry, melt volume and lithosphere-asthenosphere seismic structure can be reconciled with observations. The rare-earth element composition of mafic samples at the Erta Ale, Dabbahu and Asal magmatic segments can be used as both a thermometer and chronometer of the rifting process. Low seismic velocities require a lithosphere thinned to 50 km or less. A strong positive impedance contrast at 50 to 70 km below the rift seems linked to the melt zone, but is not reproduced by isotropic seismic velocity alone. Combined, the simplest interpretation is that mantle temperature below Afar is still elevated at 1450 °C, rifting started around 22-23 Ma, and the lithosphere has thinned from 100 to 50 km to allow significant decompressional melting.

  13. A new model for the development of the active Afar volcanic margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pik, Raphaël; Stab, Martin; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Leroy, Sylvie

    2016-04-01

    Volcanic passive margins, that represent more than the three quarters of continental margins worldwide, are privileged witnesses of the lithospheric extension processes thatform new oceanic basins. They are characterized by voluminous amounts of underplated, intruded and extruded magmas, under the form of massive lavas prisms (seaward-dipping reflectors, or SDR) during the course of thinning and stretching of the lithosphere, that eventually form the ocean-continent transition. The origin and mechanisms of formation of these objects are still largely debated today. We have focussed our attention in the last few years on the Afar volcanic province which represents an active analogue of such volcanic margins. We explored the structural and temporal relationships that exist between the development of the major thinning and stretching structures and the magmatic production in Central Afar. Conjugate precise fieldwork analysis along with lavas geochronology allowed us to revisit the timing and style of the rift formation, since the early syn-rift period of time in the W-Afar marginal area to present days. Extension is primarily accommodated over a wide area at the surface since the very initial periods of extension (~ 25 Ma) following the emplacement of Oligocene CFBs. We propose in our reconstruction of central Afar margin history that extension has been associated with important volumes of underplated mafic material that compensate crustal thinning. This has been facilitated by major crustal-scale detachments that help localize the thinning and underplating at depth. In line with this 'magmatic wide-rift' mode of extension, we demonstrate that episodic extension steps alternate with more protracted magmatic phases. The production of syn-rift massive flood basalts (~ 4 Ma) occurs after early thinning of both the crust and the lithosphere, which suggests that SDR formation, is controlled by previous tectonic event. We determined how the melting regime evolved in

  14. Public understanding of geoscientific topics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Münch, Ute; Lauterjung, Jörn

    2014-05-01

    Geoscientific topics and their consequences for the society are becoming more and more important for our daily life. Natural hazards such as flood and storm or the consequences of the climate change are urgent tasks and great challenges we have to tackle. Cascading natural hazards or environmental risks, can't be evaluated as single events by one scientific discipline, they rather need the expertise of different experts. The same applies for slowly progressive processes such as the climate change and its different aftereffects. More than ever politicians, decision makers, but also the public are asking for comprehensive background information and data to discuss activity options and to develop sustainable solutions. The improvement of public knowledge about science, their assets and drawbacks, chances and risks is getting crucial. To paint a comprehensive picture of different factors, correlations and dependencies the pooling of expertise is required. Thus eight research centres of the research field "Earth and Environment" of the Helmholtz-Association, Germany's largest scientific research organisation are currently building up a knowledge platform. Scientists of different disciplines will provide background information and explain their latest findings in an understandable way. Infographics, maps and animations will be applied to simplify and interpret complicated facts and findings. In addition to the web presence target group-specific products and activities will be organized. To meet the expectations of the different stakeholders an intensive dialog is aspired: round table discussions, exhibitions in museums and public places, tweeds are envisaged. In the beginning the partners will concentrate on the topics "consequences of the climate change", "pollutant dispersion" and "natural hazards/meteorological extreme events". The project is called Earth System Knowledge Platform (ESKP) coordinated by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and the Helmholtz

  15. Plate break-up geometry in SE-Afar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geoffroy, Laurent; Le Gall, Bernard; Daoud, Mohamed

    2014-05-01

    New structural data acquired in Djibouti strongly support the view of a magma-rich to magma-poor pair of conjugate margins developed in SE Afar since at least 9 Ma. Our model is illustrated by a crustal-scale transect that emphasizes the role of a two-stage extensional detachment fault system, with opposing senses of motion through time. The geometry and kinematics of this detachment fault pattern are mainly documented from lavas and fault dip data extracted from remote sensing imagery (Landsat ETM+, and corresponding DEM), further calibrated by field observations. Although expressed by opposite fault geometries, the two successive extensional events evidenced here are part of a two-stage continental extensional tear-system associated with the ongoing propagation of the Aden-Tadjoura oceanic axis to the NW. A flip-flop evolution of detachment faults accommodating lithosphere divergence has recently been proposed for the development of the Indian Ocean and continental margins (Sauter et al., 2013). However, the SE Afar evolution further suggests a radical and sudden change in lithosphere behavior during extension, from a long-term and widespread magmatic stage to a syn-sedimentary break-up stage where mantle melting concentrates along the future oceanic axis. Of special interest is the fact that a late and rapid stage of non-magmatic extension led to break-up, whose geometry triggered the location of the break-up axis and earliest oceanic accretion. New structural data acquired in Djibouti strongly support the view of a magma-rich to magma-poor pair of conjugate margins developed in SE Afar since at least 9 Ma. Our model is illustrated by a crustal-scale transect that emphasizes the role of a two-stage extensional detachment fault system, with opposing senses of motion through time. The geometry and kinematics of this detachment fault pattern are mainly documented from lavas and fault dip data extracted from remote sensing imagery (Landsat ETM+, and corresponding

  16. The mantle sources beneath the Afar volcanic province and their interplay with extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    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 and African/Arabian intraplate volcanics in order to: (i) precisely identify the distinct mantle components implicated, (ii) discuss their location and evolution in space and time, and (3) link the evolution of mantle with extensional processes beneath the Afar province. 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 plume related CFBs (e.g. the Manda Hararo and the Main

  17. The deep seismic structure of the Ethiopia/Afar hotspot and the African superplume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Samantha E.; Nyblade, Andrew A.

    2013-07-01

    The Ethiopia/Afar hotspot has been frequently explained as an upper mantle continuation of the African superplume, with anomalous material in the lower mantle under southern Africa, rising through the transition zone beneath eastern Africa. However, the significantly larger amplitude low velocity anomaly in the upper mantle beneath Ethiopia/Afar, compared to the anomalies beneath neighboring regions, has led to questions about whether or not along-strike differences in the seismic structure beneath eastern Africa and western Arabia are consistent with the superplume interpretation. Here we present a new P-wave model of the hotspot's deep structure and use it to evaluate the superplume model. At shallow (< ˜400 km) depths, the slowest velocities are centered beneath the Main Ethiopian Rift, and we attribute these low velocities to decompression melting beneath young, thin lithosphere. At deeper depths, the low velocity structure trends to the northeast, and the locus of the low velocity anomaly is found beneath Afar. The northeast-trending structure with depth is best modeled by northeastward flow of warm superplume material beneath eastern Africa. The combined effects of shallow decompression melting and northeastward flow of superplume material explain why upper mantle velocities beneath Ethiopia/Afar are significantly slower than those beneath neighboring East Africa and western Arabia. The superplume interpretation can thus explain the deep seismic structure of the hotspot if the effects of both decompression melting and mantle flow are considered.

  18. 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.

  19. Mantle structure beneath the Afar triple junction derived from surface wave tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallacher, R. J.; Keir, D.; Harmon, N.; Stuart, G. W.; Leroy, S. D.; Hammond, J. O.; Kendall, J. M.; Wondem, A. A.; Gezahegn, B. G.; Ogubazghi, G.

    2013-12-01

    Continental breakup in Afar is generally magma-rich and occurs near the triple junction of the Gulf of Aden (GOA), Red Sea rift and the Main Ethiopian rift (MER). Hypotheses for the source of magmatism associated with this rifting include elevated mantle temperatures resulting from northward migration of hot African Superplume material, and also due to phases of increased decompression melting from rapid plate thinning. To evaluate these hypotheses we conducted a surface wave tomographic experiment using 571 events and 290 stations from 15 seismic networks deployed over the past 12 years. From these data we produced a 3D shear velocity model which constrains the upper 350 km of the Earth, including the lithosphere and uppermost asthenosphere where melt is produced. At 30-100 second periods, our images show a significant (~0.1 km/s) decrease in velocity from the rift flanks into the Afar depression, showing the signature of breakup between Africa and Arabia is still present throughout the mantle. Within Afar, seismic velocities are low, with particularly localised slow anomalies at the 40-second period, beneath the Asal rift (3.57 km/s), Ayelu segment of MER (3.63 km/s) and Dabbahu rift (3.63 km/s) and fast velocities on the rift flanks (3.70-3.80 km/s). These slow anomalies show localised decompression melting and intrusion beneath the rift axis of Afar. Low velocities are also present throughout the mantle beneath the northern section of the MER and in the GOA. Our results show that the mantle beneath Afar still preserves structure from rifting 30 Ma. In addition our results show that localised plate thinning beneath zones of strain focus magmatism to a narrow rift axis.

  20. Surface wave tomography across Afar, Ethiopia: Crustal structure at a rift triple-junction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidarelli, M.; Stuart, G.; Hammond, J. O. S.; Kendall, J. M.; Ayele, A.; Belachew, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Afar Depression in northeast Africa contains the rift triple-junction between the Nubia, Arabia and Somalia plates. We analyze Rayleigh wave group velocity from 250 regional earthquakes recorded by 40 broadband stations to study the crustal structure across Afar and adjacent plateau regions in northern Ethiopia. The dispersion velocities are inverted to obtain surface wave tomographic maps for periods between 5 and 25 seconds, sensitive to approximately the top 30 km of the lithosphere. The tomographic maps show a significant low dispersion velocity anomaly (>20%) within the upper crust, below the site of recent dyke intrusions (2005-present) in the Dabbahu and Manda-Hararo magmatic segments. Similar low velocity regions are imaged where magma intrusion in the Afar crust has been inferred over the last decade from seismicity or volcanic eruptions. We invert two group velocity curves to compare the S-wave velocity structure of the crust within an active magmatic segment with that of adjacent areas; the active region has a low velocity zone (Vs ˜ 3.2 km/s), between about 6-12 km, which we infer to be due to the presence of partial melt within the lower crust.

  1. The lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-01-01

    This document is the report of a week-long workshop on problems relating to the interpretations of the composition and dynamics of the lithosphere. A wide range of topics was discussed, dealing not only with the lithosphere itself, but also with possible interactions between the lithosphere and underlying mantle, down to and including the core-mantle boundary zone. Emphasis, very broadly, was on the physical and chemical properties of the lower crust and the subcrustal lithosphere: the physical and chemical characteristics of the prominent seismic discontinuities down to the core-mantle boundary; the nature and patterns of possible convection within the mantle and its relation to the generation, subduction, and intermixing of lithospheric and mantle material; the location and nature and evolution of reservoirs supplying magmas to the crust; and the various models that have been proposed to account for the location, nature, and geological history of these magma reservoirs. The general applicability of the plate tectonics model was assumed, but virtually every widely accepted explanation for the dynamics of that model and of possible unrelated phenomena such as deep-mantle plumes and hot spots was brought into question. 83 refs., 19 figs.

  2. Block rotation and continental extension in Afar: A comparison to oceanic microplate systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acton, Gary D.; Stein, Seth; Engeln, Joseph F.

    1991-06-01

    The reorganization of oceanic spreading centers separating major plates often appears to occur by a process in which discrete microplates form and evolve by rift propagation. To see whether such microplate behavior has implications for continental rifting, we investigate the application of a microplate model to the Afar region at the Nubia-Somalia-Arabia triple junction. Studies of marine magnetic anomalies, volcanic ages, bathymetry, and seismicity suggest that the westward propagating Gulf of Aden spreading center has propagated into eastern Afar within the past 2 m.y., causing rifting and extension within the continent. We derive constraints on the extension history from the geometry and timing of rift formation and from paleomagnetic data indicating that Pliocene to Pleistocene age rocks have undergone a clockwise rotation of ˜11°. We suggest that the history of rifting, the rotation, and several other features of the regional geology can be described by combining features of an oceanic microplate model and the concept of rift localization previously proposed for Afar. In this scenario, motion occurring on several rifts within an extensional zone preceding the propagating spreading center is gradually transferred to a single rift. While motion is transferred, the overlap region between the growing and dying rifts acts as one or more microplates or blocks that rotate relative to the surrounding major plates. The rifting history and rotations in eastern Afar are thus related to the rift propagation and localization that occurs as the plate boundary evolves. Provided the constraints we use are appropriate, our model better describes the regional kinematics than alternative block models including one based on "bookshelf" faulting. If the tectonics of Afar are typical for continental breakup, they have interesting implications for the geometry of passive margins. In particular, asymmetric rifted margins can be produced if the final location of the rift axis is not

  3. Volcano-tectonic evolution of the Western Afar margin: new geochronological and structural data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stab, Martin; Pik, Raphael; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Leroy, Sylvie; Ayalew, Dereje; Denèle, Yoann

    2013-04-01

    The rift system in NW-Afar (Ethiopia) is part of the Nubia-Somalia-Arabia triple junction located above the Afar hot spot active mainly since Oligocene times. It represents a unique natural laboratory for field study of superficial and deep lithospheric structure and process interactions during the transition between rifting and oceanic spreading in magma-rich setting. Most past field studies in Afar focused on the recognition and correlation of Afar's volcano-stratigraphic record and led to models of margin development that stress out the major trends of volcanic structures and give accordingly the following chronological "big picture". (1) 2km-thick flood basalt province emplaced at ca. 30 Ma due to hot spot activity over Jurassic to Permian sedimentary rocks and basement. (2) Rifting started around 25-20 Ma with half graben and great escarpment formation along with localization of volcanic activity in highly faulted narrower basins followed by lithospheric flexure. (3) The deformation migrated toward the rift centre with the emplacement around 8-5 Ma of bi-modal volcanics later faulted. (4) A second pulse of flood-basalt, the so-called Stratoid series, started at 4 Ma, until 1 Ma. In this contribution, we present new structural field data and lavas (U-Th/He) datings along a cross-section from the marginal graben to the Manda-Hararo active rift axis. In the newly explored Sullu Adu ranges, which were previously thought to be made of 8 Ma Dahla Basalts Fm., we mapped normal faults arrays affecting a complex magmatic series. We dated highly tilted 30 Ma pre-rift basic and silicic volcanic rocks that are unconformably overlain by syn-rift volcanics (25 to 8 Ma). This pattern is in some places either masked by unconformable thick stratoid cover or strongly eroded by dense river drainage. However, it is preserved enough to suggest a lower-than-expected extension ratio and/or the presence of major normal faults controlling seaward-dipping reflectors (SDR) emplacement

  4. Lithospheric processes

    SciTech Connect

    Baldridge, W.

    2000-12-01

    The authors used geophysical, geochemical, and numerical modeling to study selected problems related to Earth's lithosphere. We interpreted seismic waves to better characterize the thickness and properties of the crust and lithosphere. In the southwestern US and Tien Shari, crust of high elevation is dynamically supported above buoyant mantle. In California, mineral fabric in the mantle correlate with regional strain history. Although plumes of buoyant mantle may explain surface deformation and magmatism, our geochemical work does not support this mechanism for Iberia. Generation and ascent of magmas remains puzzling. Our work in Hawaii constrains the residence of magma beneath Hualalai to be a few hundred to about 1000 years. In the crust, heat drives fluid and mass transport. Numerical modeling yielded robust and accurate predictions of these processes. This work is important fundamental science, and applies to mitigation of volcanic and earthquake hazards, Test Ban Treaties, nuclear waste storage, environmental remediation, and hydrothermal energy.

  5. Exposed guyot from the afar rift, ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bonatti, E; Tazieff, H

    1970-05-29

    A series of originally submarine volcanoes has been found in the Afar Depression. Some of the volcanic structures are morphologically similar to oceanic guyots. One of them consists of strata of finely fragmented and pulverized basaltic glass. The fragmentation of the lava is probably the result of stream explosions taking place during the submarine eruption. The flat top of this guyot is considered to be a constructional feature; by analogy, it is suggested that not all oceanic guyots are necessarily the result of wave truncation of former volcanic islands.

  6. Exposed guyot from the afar rift, ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bonatti, E; Tazieff, H

    1970-05-29

    A series of originally submarine volcanoes has been found in the Afar Depression. Some of the volcanic structures are morphologically similar to oceanic guyots. One of them consists of strata of finely fragmented and pulverized basaltic glass. The fragmentation of the lava is probably the result of stream explosions taking place during the submarine eruption. The flat top of this guyot is considered to be a constructional feature; by analogy, it is suggested that not all oceanic guyots are necessarily the result of wave truncation of former volcanic islands. PMID:17833451

  7. Upper mantle structure of shear-waves velocities and stratification of anisotropy in the Afar Hotspot region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sicilia, D.; Montagner, J.-P.; Cara, M.; Stutzmann, E.; Debayle, E.; Lépine, J.-C.; Lévêque, J.-J.; Beucler, E.; Sebai, A.; Roult, G.; Ayele, A.; Sholan, J. M.

    2008-12-01

    The Afar area is one of the biggest continental hotspots active since about 30 Ma. It may be the surface expression of a mantle "plume" related to the African Superswell. Central Africa is also characterized by extensive intraplate volcanism. Around the same time (30 Ma), volcanic activity re-started in several regions of the African plate and hotspots such as Darfur, Tibesti, Hoggar and Mount Cameroon, characterized by a significant though modest volcanic production. The interactions of mantle upwelling with asthenosphere, lithosphere and crust remain unclear and seismic anisotropy might help in investigating these complex interactions. We used data from the global seismological permanent FDSN networks (GEOSCOPE, IRIS, MedNet, GEO- FON, etc.), from the temporary PASSCAL experiments in Tanzania and Saudi Arabia and a French deployment of 5 portable broadband stations surrounding the Afar Hotspot. A classical two-step tomographic inversion from surface waves performed in the Horn of Africa with selected Rayleigh wave and Love wave seismograms leads to a 3D-model of both S V velocities and azimuthal anisotropy, as well as radial SH/ SV anisotropy, with a lateral resolution of 500 km. The region is characterized by low shear-wave velocities beneath the Afar Hotspot, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and East of the Tanzania Craton to 400 km depth. High velocities are present in the Eastern Arabia and the Tanzania Craton. The results of this study enable us to rule out a possible feeding of the Central Africa hotspots from the "Afar plume" above 150-200 km. The azimuthal anisotropy displays a complex pattern near the Afar Hotspot. Radial anisotropy, although poorly resolved laterally, exhibits S H slower than S V waves down to about 150 km depth, and a reverse pattern below. Both azimuthal and radial anisotropies show a stratification of anisotropy at depth, corresponding to different physical processes. These results suggest that the Afar hotspot has a different and

  8. Evolution of the East African rift: Drip magmatism, lithospheric thinning and mafic volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furman, Tanya; Nelson, Wendy R.; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.

    2016-07-01

    The origin of the Ethiopian-Yemeni Oligocene flood basalt province is widely interpreted as representing mafic volcanism associated with the Afar mantle plume head, with minor contributions from the lithospheric mantle. We reinterpret the geochemical compositions of primitive Oligocene basalts and picrites as requiring a far more significant contribution from the metasomatized subcontinental lithospheric mantle than has been recognized previously. This region displays the fingerprints of mantle plume and lithospheric drip magmatism as predicted from numerical models. Metasomatized mantle lithosphere is not dynamically stable, and heating above the upwelling Afar plume caused metasomatized lithosphere with a significant pyroxenite component to drip into the asthenosphere and melt. This process generated the HT2 lavas observed today in restricted portions of Ethiopia and Yemen now separated by the Red Sea, suggesting a fundamental link between drip magmatism and the onset of rifting. Coeval HT1 and LT lavas, in contrast, were not generated by drip melting but instead originated from shallower, dominantly anhydrous peridotite. Looking more broadly across the East African Rift System in time and space, geochemical data support small volume volcanic events in Turkana (N. Kenya), Chyulu Hills (S. Kenya) and the Virunga province (Western Rift) to be derived ultimately from drip melting. The removal of the gravitationally unstable, metasomatized portion of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle via dripping is correlated in each case with periods of rapid uplift. The combined influence of thermo-mechanically thinned lithosphere and the Afar plume together thus controlled the locus of continental rift initiation between Africa and Arabia and provide dynamic support for the Ethiopian plateau.

  9. Lithospheric processes

    SciTech Connect

    Baldridge, W.S.; Wohletz, K.; Fehler, M.C.

    1997-11-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The main objective was to improve understanding of the origin and evolution of the Earth`s lithosphere by studying selected processes, such as deformation and magmatic intrusion during crustal extension, formation and extraction of mantle melts, fluid transport of heat and mass, and surface processes that respond to deep-seated events. Additional objectives were to promote and develop innovative techniques and to support relevant educational endeavors. Seismic studies suggest that underplating of crust by mantle melts is an important crustal-growth mechanism, that low-angle faults can be seismogenic, and that shear deformation creates mantle anisotropy near plate boundaries. Results of geochemical work determined that magmas from oceanic intraplate islands are derived from a uniform depth in the upper mantle, whereas melts erupted at mid-ocean ridges are mixed from a range of depths. The authors have determined the extent and style of fluid infiltration and trace-element distribution in natural magmatic systems, and, finally, investigated {sup 21}Ne as a tool for dating of surficial materials.

  10. Recent rift-related volcanism in Afar, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, David J.; Barnie, Talfan D.; Pyle, David M.; Oppenheimer, Clive; Yirgu, Gezahegn; Lewi, Elias; Kidane, Tesfaye; Carn, Simon; Hamling, Ian

    2010-04-01

    Rift zones are the most common magmatic environment on Earth. However opportunities to observe active rifting are rare, and consequently the volcanological characteristics of rift systems are not well understood. An ongoing phase of magmatic rifting along a section of the Red Sea system in Afar, Ethiopia, presents an exceptional opportunity to constrain relationships between volcanism and crustal growth. Here, by integrating analyses of satellite images (i.e. MODIS, OMI, ASTER, and ALI) with field observations, we characterise two recent (August 2007 and June 2009) basaltic fissure eruptions in Afar and evaluate the role and significance of volcanism in the rifting process. Both events were brief (36-72 h) and erupted 4.4-18 × 10 6 m 3 of lava from a fissure system 4-6.5 km in length. Data from the spaceborne Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) suggests total SO 2 emissions for each eruption of 26 ± 5 kt (2007) and 34 ± 7 kt (2009), consistent with complete degassing of the erupted magma volumes. Using geodetic models for the intrusive activity in Afar we estimate the partitioning of magma between intrusive and extrusive components, up to July 2009, to be ˜ 180:1. Comparing the first-order volcanic characteristics and the intrusive-extrusive volume balance for the Afar volcanism with data from the 1975-1984 Krafla rifting cycle (Iceland) suggests that the volcanic flux in Afar will rise significantly over the next few years as the stresses are increasingly relieved by dyking, and subsequent dykes are able to propagate more easily to the surface. As a consequence, basaltic fissure eruptions in this section of the Afar rift will become of increasing large magnitude as the rifting event matures over the next 5-10 yr. Using available models of magmatic rifting we forecast the likely size and location of future eruptions in Afar.

  11. 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.

  12. Database of Geoscientific References Through 2007 for Afghanistan, Version 2

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eppinger, Robert G.; Sipeki, Julianna; Scofield, M.L. Sco

    2007-01-01

    This report describes an accompanying database of geoscientific references for the country of Afghanistan. Included is an accompanying Microsoft? Access 2003 database of geoscientific references for the country of Afghanistan. The reference compilation is part of a larger joint study of Afghanistan's energy, mineral, and water resources, and geologic hazards, currently underway by the U.S. Geological Survey, the British Geological Survey, and the Afghanistan Geological Survey. The database includes both published (n = 2,462) and unpublished (n = 174) references compiled through September, 2007. The references comprise two separate tables in the Access database. The reference database includes a user-friendly, keyword-searchable, interface and only minimum knowledge of the use of Microsoft? Access is required.

  13. Lithospheric structure of Africa: insights from its effective elastic thickness variations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Gussinyé, M.; Metois, M.; Fernández, M.; Vergés, J.; Fullea, J.

    2009-04-01

    Detailed images of lithospheric structure can help understand how surface deformation is related to Earth's deep structure. A proxy for lithospheric structure is its effective elastic thickness, Te, which mainly depends on its thermal state and composition. We present a new effective elastic thickness, Te, map of the African lithosphere estimated using the coherence function between topography and Bouguer anomaly. The Bouguer anomaly used in this study derives from the EGM 2008 model, which constitutes the highest resolution gravity database over Africa, allowing a significant improvement on lateral resolution in Te. Our map shows that Te is high > 100 km, in the West African, Congo, Kalahari and Tanzania cratons. Of these, the Kalahari presents the thinnest elastic thicknesses and, based on additional seismic and mineral physics studies, we suggest this may reflect modification of the lithosphere by anomalously hot mantle beneath the lithosphere. The effective elastic thickness is lowest beneath the Afar and Main Ethiopian rifts, where the maximum extension and thinnest lithosphere of Africa occur. The Tanzania craton appears as two rigid blocks separated by a relatively low Te area located southwest of lake Victoria. This coincides with the centre of seismic radial anisotropy beneath the craton, suggested to be the Victoria plume head by Weertrane et al. [2003]. Along the eastern branch of the East African rift Te is low and increases abruptly at 2 to 3 degrees South, coinciding with a deepening of earthquake depocenter and a change from narrow to wide rifting. These and other considerations suggest that the southern part of the eastern branch is underlain by thick, rigid cratonic lithosphere. Finally, the northern part of Africa is characterised by low Te on the Darfur, Tibesti, Hoggar and Cameroon line volcanic provinces, suggesting that the underlying lithospheric mantle has been thermally thinned. Corridors of low Te connect these volcanic provinces

  14. Seismic constraints on the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rychert, Catherine A.

    2014-05-01

    The basic tenet of plate tectonics is that a rigid plate, or lithosphere, moves over a weaker asthenospheric layer. However, the exact location and defining mechanism of the boundary at the base of the plate, the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is debated. The oceans should represent a simple scenario since the lithosphere is predicted to thicken with seafloor age if it thermally defined, whereas a constant plate thickness might indicate a compositional definition. However, the oceans are remote and difficult to constrain, and studies with different sensitivities and resolutions have come to different conclusions. Hotspot regions lend additional insight, since they are relatively well instrumented with seismic stations, and also since the effect of a thermal plume on the LAB should depend on the defining mechanism of the plate. Here I present new results using S-to-P receiver functions to image upper mantle discontinuity structure beneath volcanically active regions including Hawaii, Iceland, Galapagos, and Afar. In particular I focus on the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and discontinuities related to the base of melting, which can be used to highlight plume locations. I image a lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary in the 50 - 95 km depth range beneath Hawaii, Galapagos, and Iceland. Although LAB depth variations exist within these regions, significant thinning is not observed in the locations of hypothesized plume impingement from receiver functions (see below). Since a purely thermally defined lithosphere is expected to thin significantly in the presence of a thermal plume anomaly, a compositional component in the definition of the LAB is implied. Beneath Afar, an LAB is imaged at 75 km depth on the flank of the rift, but no LAB is imaged beneath the rift itself. The transition from flank of rift is relatively abrupt, again suggesting something other than a purely thermally defined lithosphere. Melt may also exist in the asthenosphere in these regions

  15. Asthenosphere–lithosphere interactions in Western Saudi Arabia: Inferences from 3He/4He in xenoliths and lava flows from Harrat Hutaymah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Konrad, Kevin;; Graham, David W; Thornber, Carl; Duncan, Robert A; Kent, Adam J.R.; Al-Amri, Abdulla

    2016-01-01

    Elevated 3He/4He in the western harrats has been observed only at Rahat (up to 11.8 RA; Murcia et al., 2013), a volcanic field situated above thinned lithosphere beneath the Makkah-Medinah-Nafud volcanic lineament. Previous work established that spinel lherzolites at Hutaymah are sourced near the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB), while other xenolith types there are derived from shallower depths within the lithosphere itself (Thornber, 1992). Helium isotopes are consistent with melts originating near the LAB beneath many of the Arabian harrats, and any magma derived from the Afar mantle plume currently appears to be of minor importance.

  16. Spaceborne radar for geoscientific applications in North China

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guo, Hua-Dong; Wu, Guo-Xiang; Wang, Zhen-Song

    1993-01-01

    The Shuttle Imaging Radar-A and -B (SIR-A and SIR-B) carried on the Space Shuttle Columbia in Nov. 1981 and the Challenger in Oct. 1984 acquired images of test sites of North China. The Russian ALMAZ SAR also acquired imagery of part of this test site in Sep. 1992. In Nov. 1990, the airborne SAR developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS/SAR) covered this area for the purpose of Chinese spaceborne radar development. By studying and analyzing these SAR data, positive results in geoscientific applications were achieved.

  17. Historical geoscientific collections - requirements on digital cataloging and problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehling, A.

    2011-12-01

    The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources maintains comprehensive geoscientific collections: the historical collections of Prussian Geological Survey in Berlin (19th and 20th century; about 2 mio specimen) and the geoscientific collections of the 20th century in Hannover (about 800.000 specimen). Nowadays, where financial support is strictly bound to efficiency and rentability on one side and the soaring (among young people - nearly exclusive) use of the web for the research, it is mandatory to provide the information about the available stock of specimen on the web. The digital cataloging has being carried out since 20 years: up to now about 40 % of the stock has been documented in 20 access-databases. The experiences of 20 years digital cataloging as well as the contact with professional users allow to formulate the requirements on a modern digital database with all accordingly problems. The main problems are different kinds of specimen: minerals, rocks, fossils, drill cores with diverging descriptions; obsolescent names of minerals, rocks and geographical sites; generations of various inventory numbers; inhomogeneous data (quantity and quality). Out of it result requirements to much, well educated manpower on the one side and an intelligent digital solution on the other side: it should have an internationally useable standard considering all the described local problems.

  18. Geodetic measurements and numerical models of the Afar rifting sequence 2005-2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, T.; Feigl, K.; Calais, E.; Hamling, I. J.; Wright, T. J.

    2012-12-01

    Rifting episodes are characterized by magma migration and dike intrusions that perturb the stress field within the surrounding lithosphere, inducing viscous flow in the lower crust and upper mantle that leads to observable, transient surface deformation. The Manda Hararo-Dabbahu rifting episode that occurred in the Afar depression between 2005 and 2010 is the first such episode to unfold fully in the era of satellite geodesy, thus providing a unique opportunity to probe the rheology of lithosphere at a divergent plate boundary. GPS and SAR measurements over the region since 2005 show accelerated surface deformation rates during post-diking intervals [Wright et al., Nature Geosci., 2012]. Using these observations in combination with a numerical model, we estimate model parameters that best explain the deformation signal. Our model accounts for three distinct processes: (i) secular plate spreading between Nubian and Arabian plates, (ii) time dependent post-rifting viscoelastic relaxation following the 14 dike intrusions that occurred between 2005 and 2010, including the 60 km long mega dike intrusion of September 2005, and (iii) magma accumulation within crustal reservoirs that feed the dikes. To model the time dependent deformation field, we use the open-source unstructured finite element code, Defmod [Ali, 2011, http://defmod.googlecode.com/]. Using a gradient-based iterative scheme [Ali and Feigl, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 2012], we optimize the fit between observed and modeled deformation to estimate parameters in the model, including the locking depth of the rift zone, geometry and depth of magma reservoirs and rheological properties of lower crust and upper mantle, along with their formal uncertainties.

  19. September 2005 mega-dike emplacement in the Manda-Harraro nascent oceanic rift (Afar depression)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayele, Atalay; Keir, Derek; Ebinger, Cynthia; Wright, Tim J.; Stuart, Graham W.; Buck, W. Roger; Jacques, Eric; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Sholan, Jamal

    2009-10-01

    Local and regional seismic data constrain the space-time history of deformation and likely magma sources for the September 2005 diking episode in the Manda-Harraro rift zone of the Afar depression. The results distinguish three centers from which subhorizontal dike propagation progressed: two distinct sources around the Dabbahu-Gab'ho Volcanic Complex (DVC) and the third at the Ado'Ale Volcanic Complex (AVC). The temporal development of seismicity shows that the majority of the dike volume is fed from beneath AVC and migrated laterally with an average rate of 15-30 cm/sec. This dike emplacement at a divergent plate boundary is unusual due to the rapid intrusion of a large volume of magma and the large amount of seismic moment release. We interpret this volcano-tectonic crisis as a complex interaction of multiple magma plumbing sources and lithosphere at a plate boundary under extension. Such repeated episodes will eventually shape the incipient oceanic rift morphology.

  20. Magmatism on rift flanks: insights from Ambient-Noise Phase-velocity in Afar region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korostelev, Félicie; Weemstra, Cornelis; Leroy, Sylvie; Boschi, Lapo; Ren, Yong; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Keir, Derek; Stuart, Graham W.; Rolandone, Frédérique; Khanbari, Khaled; Hammond, James O. S.; Kendall, J. Michael; Doubre, Cécile; Ganad, Ismail Al

    2015-04-01

    During the breakup of continent in the presence of magma, strain is commonly assumed to initially occur by border faulting, and progressively migrate in space and time towards axial magma intrusion. Magmatic processes near the rift flanks are commonly ignored. We present phase-velocity maps of the crust and uppermost mantle of the conjugate margins of the southern Red Sea (Afar and Yemen) using ambient noise tomography to constrain crustal modification during breakup. Our images show that the low seismic velocities characterize not only upper crust beneath the axial volcanic systems, but also both upper and lower crust beneath rift flanks where ongoing volcanism and hydrothermal activity occurs at the surface. The results show that magmatic modification of the crust beneath rift flanks likely occurs for a protracted period of time during the breakup process, and may persist through to early seafloor spreading. Since ongoing flank magmatism during breakup impacts the thermal evolution of the lithosphere, it has implications for the subsidence history of the rift.

  1. Geoscientific Characterization of the Bruce Site, Tiverton, Ontario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raven, K.; Jackson, R.; Avis, J.; Clark, I.; Jensen, M.

    2009-05-01

    Ontario Power Generation is proposing a Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for the long-term management of its Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste (L&ILW) within a Paleozoic-age sedimentary sequence beneath the Bruce site near Tiverton, Ontario, Canada. The concept envisions that the DGR would be excavated at a depth of approximately 680 m within the Ordovician Cobourg Formation, a massive, dense, low- permeability, argillaceous limestone. Characterization of the Bruce site for waste disposal is being conducted in accordance with a four year multi-phase Geoscientific Site Characterization Plan (GSCP). The GSCP, initially developed in 2006 and later revised in 2008 to account for acquired site knowledge based on successful completion of Phase I investigations, describes the tools and methods selected for geological, hydrogeological and geomechanical site characterization. The GSCP was developed, in part, on an assessment of geoscience data needs and collection methods, review of the results of detailed geoscientific studies completed in the same bedrock formations found off the Bruce site, and recent international experience in geoscientific characterization of similar sedimentary rocks for long-term radioactive waste management purposes. Field and laboratory work related to Phase 1 and Phase 2A are nearing completion and have focused on the drilling, testing and monitoring of four continuously cored vertical boreholes through Devonian, Silurian, Ordovician and Cambrian bedrock to depths of about 860 mBGS. Work in 2009 will focus on drilling and testing of inclined boreholes to assess presence of vertical structure. The available geological, hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical data indicate the presence of remarkably uniform and predictable geology, physical hydrogeologic and geochemical properties over well separation distances exceeding 1 km. The current data set including 2-D seismic reflection surveys, field and lab hydraulic testing, lab petrophysical and

  2. Generating performance portable geoscientific simulation code with Firedrake (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ham, D. A.; Bercea, G.; Cotter, C. J.; Kelly, P. H.; Loriant, N.; Luporini, F.; McRae, A. T.; Mitchell, L.; Rathgeber, F.

    2013-12-01

    This presentation will demonstrate how a change in simulation programming paradigm can be exploited to deliver sophisticated simulation capability which is far easier to programme than are conventional models, is capable of exploiting different emerging parallel hardware, and is tailored to the specific needs of geoscientific simulation. Geoscientific simulation represents a grand challenge computational task: many of the largest computers in the world are tasked with this field, and the requirements of resolution and complexity of scientists in this field are far from being sated. However, single thread performance has stalled, even sometimes decreased, over the last decade, and has been replaced by ever more parallel systems: both as conventional multicore CPUs and in the emerging world of accelerators. At the same time, the needs of scientists to couple ever-more complex dynamics and parametrisations into their models makes the model development task vastly more complex. The conventional approach of writing code in low level languages such as Fortran or C/C++ and then hand-coding parallelism for different platforms by adding library calls and directives forces the intermingling of the numerical code with its implementation. This results in an almost impossible set of skill requirements for developers, who must simultaneously be domain science experts, numericists, software engineers and parallelisation specialists. Even more critically, it requires code to be essentially rewritten for each emerging hardware platform. Since new platforms are emerging constantly, and since code owners do not usually control the procurement of the supercomputers on which they must run, this represents an unsustainable development load. The Firedrake system, conversely, offers the developer the opportunity to write PDE discretisations in the high-level mathematical language UFL from the FEniCS project (http://fenicsproject.org). Non-PDE model components, such as parametrisations

  3. Seismicity during lateral dike propagation: Insights from new data in the recent Manda Hararo-Dabbahu rifting episode (Afar, Ethiopia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grandin, R.; Jacques, E.; Nercessian, A.; Ayele, A.; Doubre, C.; Socquet, A.; Keir, D.; Kassim, M.; Lemarchand, A.; King, G. C. P.

    2011-04-01

    Seismicity released during lateral dike intrusions in the Manda Hararo-Dabbahu Rift (Afar, Ethiopia) provides indirect insight into the distribution and evolution of tensile stress along this magma-assisted divergent plate boundary. In this paper, 5 dike intrusions among the 14 that form the 2005-present rifting episode are analyzed with local and regional seismic data. During dike intrusions, seismicity migrates over distances of 10-15 km at velocities of 0.5-3.0 km/h away from a single reservoir in the center of the rift segment, confirming the analogy with a slow spreading mid-ocean ridge segment. Comparison with geodetic data shows that the reservoir is located 7 km down rift from the topographic summit of the axial depression. Dikes emplaced toward the north are observed to migrate faster and to be more voluminous than those migrating southward, suggesting an asymmetry of tension in the brittle-elastic lithosphere. Seismicity during dike injections is concentrated near the propagating crack front. In contrast, faults and fissures in the subsurface appear to slip or open aseismically coeval with the intrusions. The seismic energy released during dike intrusions in the Manda Hararo Rift appears to be primarily modulated by the local magnitude of differential tensile stress and marginally by the rate of stress change induced by the intrusion. The low level of seismic energy accompanying dike intrusions, despite their significant volumes, is likely an indicator of an overall low level of tension in the lithosphere of this nascent plate boundary.

  4. The geochemical and Sr-Nd-Pb-He isotopic characterization of the mantle source of Rungwe Volcanic Province: comparison with the Afar mantle domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, P. R.; Hilton, D. R.; Halldorsson, S. A.; Wang, R.

    2012-12-01

    The ultimate source of heat and magmatism associated with continental rifting in the East African Rift System (EARS) is generally viewed to be the African Superplume, but there is continuing debate on the surface expression of this large anomalous feature, which originates in the lower mantle. Previous studies have demonstrated an insignificant role for crustal contamination thereby identifying a single mantle plume signature in Quaternary basalts from the Main Ethiopian Rift in the northern EARS. This is designated to be the Afar plume and is characterized by, e.g., 3He/4He >15 RA, 206Pb/204Pb = 19.5 and 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7035 [Rooney et al., J. Pet. 53, 2012]. In contrast, the signature of plume(s) in the southern EARS is less constrained. Rogers et al. [EPSL 176, 2000] proposed a plume in the sub-lithospheric Kenyan mantle with characteristically lower 43Nd/144Nd than the Afar plume whereas Furman [JAES 48, 2007] advocated a high μ [HIMU] plume based primarily on the high 206Pb/204Pb ratios of lavas in all areas within and south of the Turkana Depression: both models assume a 3He/4He lower than the Afar plume. Here we report the trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic composition of basaltic lavas from the Rungwe Volcanic Province (RVP) in the southern extreme of the Western Rift previously identified as a high 3He/4He locality (~15 RA; [Hilton et al., GRL 38, 2011]). Trace element analyses are within the previously reported range of lava compositions that include a relatively large lithospheric component. More importantly, we identify correlations among incompatible trace element and isotopic ratios (e.g., 3He/4He vs 206Pb/204Pb, Rb/Sr, Nb/Ta; 87Sr/86Sr vs 208Pb/204Pb). Our new results suggest the presence of a distinct, high 3He/4He mantle source beneath RVP that is more radiogenic (e.g., 206Pb/204Pb up to ~19.8; 87Sr/86Sr up to 0.7055) than the Afar mantle plume. There is also very little or no HIMU signature in RPV basalts based on their high Sr and low Nd isotopic

  5. Arctic lithosphere - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pease, V.; Drachev, S.; Stephenson, R.; Zhang, X.

    2014-07-01

    This article reviews the characteristics of Arctic lithosphere and the principal tectonic events which have shaped it. The current state-of-knowledge associated with the crust, crustal-scale discontinuities, and their ages, as well as knowledge of the lithosphere as a whole from geophysical data, permits the division of Arctic lithosphere into discrete domains. Arctic continental lithosphere is diverse in age, composition, and structure. It has been affected by at least two periods of thermal overprinting associated with large volumes of magmatism, once in the Permo-Triassic and again in the Aptian. In addition, it was attenuated as the result of at least five phases of rifting (in the late Devonian-early Carboniferous, Permo-Triassic, Jurassic, Early Cretaceous, and Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic). Older phases of consolidation are associated with continental lithosphere and occurred through a series of continent-continent collisions in the Paleozoic. Jurassic and Cretaceous extensional phases are related to the dismembering of Pangea and Eurasia, and were concentrated in the Norway-Greenland and Canadian-Alaskan Arctic regions. Large areas of submarine, hyperextended continental (?) lithosphere developed in parts of the Amerasia Basin. After continental breakup and the accretion of new oceanic lithosphere, the Eurasia and Canada basins were formed.

  6. Afar plume, Anatolia escape and Aegean rollback are features of the Arabia-Middle East convection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, T. W.; Faccenna, C.; Jolivet, L.

    2012-12-01

    The Arabia-Anatolia-Aegean (AAA) system represents a key site within the Tethyan domain where continental break-up, collision, and escape tectonics are linked together. This offers an opportunity to study the forces that drive and deform the continental lithosphere within a convecting mantle. We perform global mantle circulation computations to test the role of slab pull and mantle upwellings as driving forces for the kinematics of the AAA system, evaluating different boundary conditions and mantle density distributions as inferred from seismic tomography or slab models. Model result are compared with geodesy, residual topography and shear wave splitting. The AAA velocity field with respect to Eurasia shows an anti-clockwise toroidal pattern, with increasing velocities toward the Aegean trench. The best match to these crustal motions can be obtained by combining the effect of slab pull exerted in the Aegean with a mantle upwelling underneath Afar and, more generally, with the large-scale flow associated with a whole-mantle, Tethyan convection cell. Neogene volcanism for AAA is not confined to extensional or subduction settings but also found within plate interiors, such as in Syria-Jordan-Israel and in the collisional belt. In addition, morphological feature show large uplifting domains far from plate boundary. Such intraplate tectonics may all be associated with northward plume transport and the establishment of the Tethyan convection cell upon slab segmentation. Our model reconciles Afar plume volcanism, the collision on the Bitlis, and the rapid increase of Aegean trench rollback in a single coherent frame of large scale mantle convection, initiated during the last ~40 Ma.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Geoscientific process monitoring with positron emission tomography (GeoPET)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulenkampff, Johannes; Gründig, Marion; Zakhnini, Abdelhamid; Lippmann-Pipke, Johanna

    2016-08-01

    Transport processes in geomaterials can be observed with input-output experiments, which yield no direct information on the impact of heterogeneities, or they can be assessed by model simulations based on structural imaging using µ-CT. Positron emission tomography (PET) provides an alternative experimental observation method which directly and quantitatively yields the spatio-temporal distribution of tracer concentration. Process observation with PET benefits from its extremely high sensitivity together with a resolution that is acceptable in relation to standard drill core sizes. We strongly recommend applying high-resolution PET scanners in order to achieve a resolution on the order of 1 mm. We discuss the particularities of PET applications in geoscientific experiments (GeoPET), which essentially are due to high material density. Although PET is rather insensitive to matrix effects, mass attenuation and Compton scattering have to be corrected thoroughly in order to derive quantitative values. Examples of process monitoring of advection and diffusion processes with GeoPET illustrate the procedure and the experimental conditions, as well as the benefits and limits of the method.

  10. Post-rifting relaxation in the Afar region, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nooner, Scott L.; Bennati, Laura; Calais, Eric; Buck, W. Roger; Hamling, Ian J.; Wright, Tim J.; Lewi, Elias

    2009-11-01

    Crustal accretion at divergent plate boundaries typically occurs via the periodic intrusion of dikes, but their emplacement and the associated deformation are rarely observed. The few existing observations at subaerial rifts show that these diking events are followed by a decadal-scale period with extension rates faster than the secular divergent plate motion. This transient accelerated deformation has been explained by continued subsurface magma injection or by relaxation, in the viscoelastic mantle, of the stress changes imparted by dike opening. For the first time, GPS measurements were collected within a few months of a rifting event at a major plate boundary, the September 2005, 60 km-long dike intrusion in the Dabbahu segment, Afar, Ethiopia. Extension rates for the first 3 years greatly exceed the plate motion (Nubia-Arabia) secular divergence rate, even at sites located more than 60 km from the rift axis. Here we show that these observations are consistent with stress relaxation in a viscoelastic upper mantle with a viscosity of about 5 × 1018 Pa·s overlain by a 12-14 km-thick elastic crust. The alternative model of continued diking requires continuous opening well below the Moho and is therefore unlikely. Instead, magma injection in Afar since June 2006 has taken the form of smaller discrete diking events, tapping into a mid-crustal melt reservoir under the segment center.

  11. Influence of the Afar plume on the deep structure of Aden and Red Sea margins - Insight from teleseismic tomography in western Yemen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korostelev, Félicie; Basuyau, Clémence; Leroy, Sylvie; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Keir, Derek; Stuart, Graham; Rolandone, Frédérique; Ganad, Ismail Al; Khanbari, Khaled

    2013-04-01

    Continental rupture processes under mantle plume influence are still poorly known although extensively studied. The Afar plume has been largely investigated in Ethiopia to study early stages of continental break-up. Here we imaged the lithospheric structure of western continental Yemen to evaluate the role of the Afar plume on the evolution of the continental margin and its extent towards the East. A part of the YOCMAL project (YOung Conjugate MArgins Laboratory) permitted the deployment of twenty-three broadband stations in Yemen (from 2009 to 2010). Using a classical teleseismic tomography (Aki et al., 1974) on these stations together with a permanent GFZ station, we image the relative velocity variations of P-waves in the crust and lithosphere down to 300 km depth, with a maximum lateral resolution of about ~20 km. The model thus obtained shows (1) a dramatic and localized thinning of the crust in the vicinity of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden (2) the presence of magmatic underplating related to seaward dipping reflectors under those two volcanic margins (3) two granitic syn-rift intrusions on the border of the great escarpment (4) a low velocity anomaly in which with evidence of partial melting, just below thick Oligocene trapps series and other volcanic events (from 15 Ma to present). This low velocity anomaly could correspond to an abnormally hot mantle and could be responsible for dynamic topography and recent magmatism in western Yemen. (5) Finally, we infer the presence of hot material under the Southwestern corner of Yemen that could be related to Miocene volcanism in Jabal an Nar.

  12. The international lithosphere program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flinn, Edward A.

    The International Lithosphere Program is a new international interdisciplinary research program in the solid earth sciences that has been established by the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) at the joint request of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). Its goal is a better understanding of the development of the earth, particularly those aspects upon which human society depends for its well-being.The International Lithosphere Program (ILP) is a natural sequel to a series of international cooperative projects in the geosciences that began with the International Geophysical Year in 1957-58 and continued with the Upper Mantle Project in the 1960's and the International Geodynamics Project (IGP) in the 1970's. In 1977, IUGG and IUGS established an inter-union task group to consider the possibility of a successor to the IGP for the 1980's. The task group, under cochairmen Carl Kisslinger (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado), foreign secretary of the American Geophysical Union, and J. Henning Illies (Geophysical Institute, University of Karlsruhe, Federal Republic of Germany), invited suggestions and comments from the two unions and the national committees in the member countries. Their report, which was completed late in 1978, proposed a new project on the dynamics, origin, and evolution of the lithosphere. This proposal was approved by the IUGS Executive Committee in December 1979 and by the IUGS Council in June 1980. An inter-union steering committee, established in 1979 under the joint chairmanship of Kisslinger and Illies, developed the organizational framework and constitution of the new program. These were approved by resolution of the ICSU Governing Board in September 1980, and the Inter-Union Commission on the Lithosphere (ICL) was established to implement the program. National members of ICSU were urged to establish

  13. Tectonics of the Afar triple junction from InSAR and GPS derived strain maps and seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagli, Carolina; Ebinger, Cynthia; Yun, Sang-Ho; Keir, Derek; Wang, Hua

    2016-04-01

    Strain and seismicity show us the mode by which deformation is accommodated in rifting continents. Here we present a combined analysis of InSAR and GPS derived strain maps and seismicity to understand the tectonics of the current Afar triple junction plate boundary zone. Our results show that that the plate spreading motion is accommodated in different ways in the Red Sea Rift after jumping southeastward along the Gulf of Aden Rift. At the Red Sea Rift, extension and shear are coupled with seismicity, occurring both along-rift but also in areas off-rift. In the Gulf of Aden Rift extension and normal faulting occur in the central parts of the rifts while at the rifts tips strike-slip earthquakes are observed. The extensional strains occur over a broad zone encompassing several overlapping rifts. Conversely the strike-slip earthquakes are focused along a narrow EW trending lineament. The pattern suggests that the recent history of magmatic intrusions in the Red Sea Rift still dominates the plate boundary deformation inducing earthquakes even in areas off-rift and with no previous faults mapped. On the other hand, in the Gulf of Aden Rift our strain and seismicity maps are consistent mainly with extensional tectonics occurring over an exceptionally broad zone (over 200 km). We interpret the strike-slip earthquakes observed at the rift tips as the result of shearing at the rifts tips where the extension terminates against continental lithosphere.

  14. Lithospheric and crustal thinning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moretti, I.

    1985-01-01

    In rift zones, both the crust and the lithosphere get thinner. The amplitude and the mechanism of these two thinning situations are different. The lithospheric thinning is a thermal phenomenon produced by an asthenospherical uprising under the rift zone. In some regions its amplitude can exceed 200%. This is observed under the Baikal rift where the crust is directly underlaid by the mantellic asthenosphere. The presence of hot material under rift zones induces a large negative gravity anomaly. A low seismic velocity zone linked to this thermal anomaly is also observed. During the rifting, the magmatic chambers get progressively closer from the ground surface. Simultaneously, the Moho reflector is found at shallow depth under rift zones. This crustal thinning does not exceed 50%. Tectonic stresses and vertical movements result from the two competing effects of the lithospheric and crustal thinning. On the one hand, the deep thermal anomaly induces a large doming and is associated with extensive deviatoric stresses. On the other hand, the crustal thinning involves the formation of a central valley. This subsidence is increased by the sediment loading. The purpose here is to quantify these two phenomena in order to explain the morphological and thermal evolution of rift zones.

  15. Intraplate Harrat Volcanism and Neogene Evolution of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary beneath Western Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kent, A. J.; Duncan, R. A.; Graham, D. W.; Al-Amri, A. M.; Alshalntoni, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Continental extension is a fundamental plate tectonic process, and extensional environments are associated with significant production of basaltic magmas. Although tholeiitic magmatism produced by mantle decompression is common, dispersed, less voluminous and compositionally variable basaltic and related magmas also occur in association with continental extension. One of the most voluminous, best-preserved and least studied examples of the latter is the volcanic harrats of western Saudi Arabia. Uplift, crustal erosion and harrat volcanism occurred from ~15 Ma to recent over a considerable region of western Arabia. Volcanism trends north from the Red Sea along the Makkah-Madinah-Nafud (MMN) line as a number of discrete harrats, and geophysical evidence suggests this region is underlain by hot upwelling asthenosphere. Larger harrats occur along the central axis of the MMN line, with smaller fields on the periphery. We present initial results of an ongoing study of harrat volcanism, including more than 50 new 40Ar-39Ar ages together with geochemical and isotopic data. Magma storage and fractionation appears to have occurred at a range of crustal levels, including deep storage and transport sufficiently rapid to preserve a range of lithospheric and crustal xenoliths. Melting commenced within the garnet peridotite field, however modeling of REE element abundances suggest that considerable differences exist in the thickness of the overlying lithospheric lid. Thinner lithosphere (<40 km) and higher degrees of melting occurs along the MMN line, whereas harrats peripheral to the MMN line have thicker lithosphere (>60-80 km) and magmas result from lower degree melts. The observed variability can be explained by a process of progressively thinning lithosphere along the main axis of the MMN line, as a result of regional lithospheric extension and mantle decompression melting, coupled with northward asthenospheric flow from the Red Sea and/or Afar hot spot.

  16. The Axum-Adwa basalt-trachyte complex: a late magmatic activity at the periphery of the Afar plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natali, C.; Beccaluva, L.; Bianchini, G.; Siena, F.

    2013-08-01

    CFB event, characterized by comparatively lower volume of more alkaline products, conforms to the progressive vanishing of the Afar plume thermal effects and the parallel decrease of the partial melting degrees of the related mantle sources. This evolution is also concomitant with the variation of the tectono-magmatic regime from regional lithospheric extension (CFB eruption) to localized rifting processes that favoured magmatic differentiation.

  17. Dyke intrusion dynamics during the ongoing rifting episode in Afar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacques, E.; Grandin, R.; Nercessian, A.; Ayele, A.; Keir, D.; Doubre, C.; Socquet, A.; Lemarchand, A.

    2010-12-01

    Dyke intrusion is one of the main processes of crustal accretion occurring along magma-assisted divergent plate boundaries, in particular along Mid-Ocean Ridges. Seismology, through the analysis of earthquake migration coeval to dyke intrusion, is one of the few tools, with geodesy, which allows studying the dynamics of this fundamental process. In Afar (Ethiopia), the major Dabbahu-Manda Hararo rifting episode started in September 2005 with the intrusion a 60 km-long, 5 m-wide mega-dyke. Between June 2006 and May 2010, 13 smaller dykes (~10 km long) were emplaced, giving an outstanding opportunity to perform such studies. A few weeks after the rifting episode commenced, a regional seismological network of broadband stations was installed in Afar (part of a multinational project including UK, US and Ethiopia). In November 2007, in collaboration with the Geophysical Observatory of Addis Ababa University, IPGP (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris) installed a local telemetered seismological network including 5 short-period stations around the southern half of the Dabbahu-Manda Hararo rift. We focus here on the microseismicity related to five dyke intrusions, which occurred between June 2006 and February 2009. The dykes propagated away from the Walis magma reservoir (WMR, 12.3°N, 40.6°E) at velocities ranging from 0.5km/h to 2km/h. Earthquake migrations during dyke intrusions involved a narrow (less than 5 km wide), seismically-active strip around the dykes, and seem to show the following pattern: first, near the tip of the propagating dyke, probably in the damage zone, small to moderate earthquakes are detected. Subsequent, more energetic earthquakes may have been triggered only after sufficient dyke inflation had occurred. Earthquake sequences, which occurred north of WMR, migrated faster (~2km/h) than those that took place south of WMR (0.5-1km/h), and liberated a greater amount of seismic energy. This is in keeping with results of normal stress modeling

  18. Spectral analysis of dike-induced earthquakes in Afar, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tepp, Gabrielle; Ebinger, Cynthia J.; Yun, Sang-Ho

    2016-04-01

    Shallow dike intrusions may be accompanied by fault slip above the dikes, a superposition which complicates seismic and geodetic data analyses. The diverse volcano-tectonic and low-frequency local earthquakes accompanying the 2005-2010 large-volume dike intrusions in the Dabbahu-Manda Hararo rift (Afar), some with fault displacements of up to 3 m at the surface, provide an opportunity to examine the relations among the earthquakes, dike intrusions, and surface ruptures. We apply the frequency index (FI) method to characterize the spectra of swarm earthquakes from six of the dikes. These earthquakes often have broad spectra with multiple peaks, making the usual peak frequency classification method unreliable. Our results show a general bimodal character with high FI earthquakes associated with deeper dikes (top > 3 km subsurface) and low FI earthquakes associated with shallow dikes, indicating that shallow dikes result in earthquakes with more low-frequency content and larger-amplitude surface waves. Low FI earthquakes are more common during dike emplacement, suggesting that interactions between the dike and faults may lead to lower FI. Taken together, likely source processes for low FI earthquakes are shallow hypocenters (<3 km) possibly with surface rupture, slow rupture velocities, and interactions with dike fluids. Strong site effects also heavily influence the earthquake spectral content. Additionally, our results suggest a continuum of spectral responses, implying either that impulsive volcano-tectonic earthquakes and the unusual, emergent earthquakes have similar source processes or that simple spectral analyses, such as FI, cannot distinguish different source processes.

  19. Visuality, mobility and the cosmopolitan: inhabiting the world from afar.

    PubMed

    Szerszynski, Bronislaw; Urry, John

    2006-03-01

    In earlier publications based on the research discussed in this article (e.g. Szerszynski and Urry 2002), we argued that an emergent culture of cosmopolitanism, refracted into different forms amongst different social groups, was being nurtured by a widespread 'banal globalism'--a proliferation of global symbols and narratives made available through the media and popular culture. In the current article we draw on this and other empirical research to explore the relationship between visuality, mobility and cosmopolitanism. First we describe the multiple forms of mobility that expand people's awareness of the wider world and their capacity to compare different places. We then chart the changing role that visuality has played in citizenship throughout history, noting that citizenship also involves a transformation of vision, an absenting from particular contexts and interests. We explore one particular version of that transformation--seeing the world from afar, especially in the form of images of the earth seen from space--noting how such images conventionally connote both power and alienation. We then draw on another research project, on place and vision, to argue that the shift to a cosmopolitan relationship with place means that humans increasingly inhabit their world only at a distance. PMID:16506999

  20. Visuality, mobility and the cosmopolitan: inhabiting the world from afar.

    PubMed

    Szerszynski, Bronislaw; Urry, John

    2006-03-01

    In earlier publications based on the research discussed in this article (e.g. Szerszynski and Urry 2002), we argued that an emergent culture of cosmopolitanism, refracted into different forms amongst different social groups, was being nurtured by a widespread 'banal globalism'--a proliferation of global symbols and narratives made available through the media and popular culture. In the current article we draw on this and other empirical research to explore the relationship between visuality, mobility and cosmopolitanism. First we describe the multiple forms of mobility that expand people's awareness of the wider world and their capacity to compare different places. We then chart the changing role that visuality has played in citizenship throughout history, noting that citizenship also involves a transformation of vision, an absenting from particular contexts and interests. We explore one particular version of that transformation--seeing the world from afar, especially in the form of images of the earth seen from space--noting how such images conventionally connote both power and alienation. We then draw on another research project, on place and vision, to argue that the shift to a cosmopolitan relationship with place means that humans increasingly inhabit their world only at a distance.

  1. The volcano seismic crisis in Afar, Ethiopia, starting September 2005

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayele, Atalay; Jacques, Eric; Kassim, Mohammed; Kidane, Tesfaye; Omar, Ahmed; Tait, Stephen; Nercessian, Alexandre; de Chabalier, Jean-Bernard; King, Geoffrey

    2007-03-01

    We describe the seismo-volcanic crisis that occurred in northern Afar in late 2005, which involved 15 earthquakes greater than M5 and a small explosive silicic eruption from a vent called Da'Ure (at 12.651°N., 40.519°N) close to Dabbahu volcano. The purpose is to pull together the different sources of information into a coherent preliminary interpretation of what happened. The main geophysical data are the locations of the largest earthquakes, and a radar interferogram of unusually high quality that reveals injection of a 60 km long dyke with surface deformation expressed as normal faulting. Subsidence occurred around the Dabbahu volcanic edifice. Most of the dyke is likely to have been basaltic rather than silicic although the eruption was silicic. The volume of the subsidence represents at most 25% of the magma injected into the dyke. The silicic eruption was possibly triggered by interaction of basaltic magma with a shallow silicic reservoir. At about the same time as the eruption and dyking episode, some activity appears also to have taken place at the lava lake at Erta Ale volcano, some 150 km to the north of the eruption site. We evaluate the possibility that there may be some link by calculating stresses associated with opening of the fissure and looking at the activity of the lava lake as revealed by the thermal anomaly seen by weather satellites.

  2. SEASAT observations of lithospheric flexure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcadoo, D. C.

    1984-01-01

    Models of lithospheric flexure were tested on SEASAT altimetric observations of the geoid over Outer Rises. These altimeter data were found to provide significant new information about the strength of the oceanic lithosphere. Among the significant results derived from altimeter data is confirmation of the proposition that the effective elastic thickness, T sub e, of the lithosphere increases with age in approximate accord with the relation T sub E approximately equals C times one half the age. SEASAT altimeter data over Outer Rises provide an important constraint on mechanical models of the oceanic lithosphere. These data are quite consistent with an experimentally predicted mechanical model of the lithosphere which indicates that this model may be useful in other geodynamic investigations.

  3. Stress field during early magmatism in the Ali Sabieh Dome, Djibouti, SE Afar rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sue, Christian; Le Gall, Bernard; Daoud, Ahmed Mohamed

    2014-09-01

    The so-called Ali Sabieh range, SE Afar rift, exhibits an atypical antiform structure occurring in the overall extensional tectonic context of the Afar triple junction. We dynamically analyzed the brittle deformation of this specific structural high using four different methods in order to better constrain the tectonic evolution of this key-area in the Afar depression. Paleostress inversions appear highly consistent using the four methods, which a posteriori validates this approach. Computed paleostress fields document two major signals: an early E-W extensional field, and a later transcurrent field, kinematically consistent with the previous one. The Ali Sabieh range may have evolved continuously during Oligo-Miocene times from large-scale extensional to transcurrent tectonism, as the result of probable local stress permutation between σ1 and σ2 stress axes.

  4. NSF Continental Lithosphere Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayhew, Michael; MacGregor, Ian

    For several months the Continental Lithosphere Program (CL) of the National Science Foundation has been subject to a major review. The process was stimulated by a series of budget setbacks over the past few years. Although Presidential budget requests have been very favorable for the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR), and there has been strong support within the National Science Foundation and Congress, actual appropriations by Congress have been disappointing.In each year the final allocation to EAR has been affected by external factors beyond the control of the Foundation. In the four fiscal years from 1986 through 1989 the factors include reductions tied to the Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction measures, congressional reaction to the October 1987 stock market crash, and two years of protection for the Ocean Sciences part of the NSF budget that was paid for from the budgets of the Atmospheric and Earth Sciences divisions.

  5. Afar-wide Crustal Strain Field from Multiple InSAR Tracks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagli, C.; Wright, T. J.; Wang, H.; Calais, E.; Bennati Rassion, L. S.; Ebinger, C. J.; Lewi, E.

    2010-12-01

    Onset of a rifting episode in the Dabbahu volcanic segment, Afar (Ethiopia), in 2005 renewed interest in crustal deformation studies in the area. As a consequence, an extensive geodetic data set, including InSAR and GPS measurements have been acquired over Afar and hold great potential towards improving our understanding of the extensional processes that operate during the final stages of continental rupture. The current geodetic observational and modelling strategy has focused on detailed, localised studies of dyke intrusions and eruptions mainly in the Dabbahu segment. However, an eruption in the Erta ‘Ale volcanic segment in 2008, and cluster of earthquakes observed in the Tat Ale segment, are testament to activity elsewhere in Afar. Here we make use of the vast geodetic dataset available to obtain strain information over the whole Afar depression. A systematic analysis of all the volcanic segments, including Dabbahu, Manda-Hararo, Alayta, Tat ‘Ale Erta Ale and the Djibouti deformation zone, is undertaken. We use InSAR data from multiple tracks together with available GPS measurements to obtain a velocity field model for Afar. We use over 300 radar images acquired by the Envisat satellite in both descending and ascending orbits, from 12 distinct tracks in image and wide swath modes, spanning the time period from October 2005 to present time. We obtain the line-of-sight deformation rates from each InSAR track using a network approach and then combine the InSAR velocities with the GPS observations, as suggested by Wright and Wang (2010) following the method of England and Molnar (1997). A mesh is constructed over the Afar area and then we solve for the horizontal and vertical velocities on each node. The resultant full 3D Afar-wide velocity field shows where current strains are being accumulated within the various volcanic segments of Afar, the width of the plate boundary deformation zone and possible connections between distinct volcanic segments on a

  6. Geotectonic modeling of lithosphere dynamics and deformation: advances and challenges (inspired by geological observations)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burov, Evgueni

    2014-05-01

    Thermo-mechanical numerical modeling becomes a universal tool for studying short- and long-term lithosphere processes, validating and verifying geodynamic and geological concepts and putting stronger constraints on the observational data. State-of-the-art models are focused on most complete integration of geoscientific methods and geological observations and account for complex thermo-rheological and mineralogical structure of the lithosphere, implement high resolution calculations allowing for direct match of their outputs with the geological and geophysical observations. Challenges of these models are vast including understanding of the behavior of complex geological systems and processes, parameterization of rheological parameters and other rock properties for geological conditions, not forgetting a large number of future methodological breakthroughs such as the development of ultra-high resolution 3D models coupled with thermodynamic processes, fluid circulation and surface processes. We here discuss both geological and geodynamic applications of the models, their principals, and major results of regional modeling studies focused on rifting, convergent and transform plate boundaries and mantle-lithosphere interactions.

  7. Computer-assisted methods for the construction, compilation and display of geoscientific maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabert, Gottfried

    The paper reviews modern methods for map construction, compilation and display on the basis of current applications at the Geological Surveys of the Federal Republic of Germany and Lower Saxony. The graphical representation of geoscientific data, for example mapping and exploration results, is generally done in the traditional way of analog maps. Different possibilities to produce digital maps exist: map construction directly from geological field data, digitization of existing maps, especially manuscript maps, conversion of remotely sensed data into raster or vector maps.

  8. Canada's Deep Geological Repository For Used Nuclear Fuel -The Geoscientific Site Evaluation Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirschorn, S.; Ben Belfadhel, M.; Blyth, A.; DesRoches, A. J.; McKelvie, J. R. M.; Parmenter, A.; Sanchez-Rico Castejon, M.; Urrutia-Bustos, A.; Vorauer, A.

    2014-12-01

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is responsible for implementing Adaptive Phased Management, the approach selected by the Government of Canada for long-term management of used nuclear fuel generated by Canadian nuclear reactors. In May 2010, the NWMO published and initiated a nine-step site selection process to find an informed and willing community to host a deep geological repository for Canada's used nuclear fuel. The site selection process is designed to address a broad range of technical and social, economic and cultural factors. The suitability of candidate areas will be assessed in a stepwise manner over a period of many years and include three main steps: Initial Screenings; Preliminary Assessments; and Detailed Site Characterizations. The Preliminary Assessment is conducted in two phases. NWMO has completed Phase 1 preliminary assessments for the first eight communities that entered into this step. While the Phase 1 desktop geoscientific assessments showed that each of the eight communities contains general areas that have the potential to satisfy the geoscientific safety requirements for hosting a deep geological repository, the assessment identified varying degrees of geoscientific complexity and uncertainty between communities, reflecting their different geological settings and structural histories. Phase 2 activities will include a sequence of high-resolution airborne geophysical surveys and focused geological field mapping to ground-truth lithology and structural features, followed by limited deep borehole drilling and testing. These activities will further evaluate the site's ability to meet the safety functions that a site would need to ultimately satisfy in order to be considered suitable. This paper provides an update on the site evaluation process and describes the approach, methods and criteria that are being used to conduct the geoscientific Preliminary Assessments.

  9. System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses (SAGA) v. 2.1.4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, O.; Bechtel, B.; Bock, M.; Dietrich, H.; Fischer, E.; Gerlitz, L.; Wehberg, J.; Wichmann, V.; Böhner, J.

    2015-02-01

    The System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses (SAGA) is an open-source Geographic Information System (GIS), mainly licensed under the GNU General Public License. Since its first release in 2004, SAGA has rapidly developed from a specialized tool for digital terrain analysis to a comprehensive and globally established GIS platform for scientific analysis and modeling. SAGA is coded in C++ in an object oriented design and runs under several operating systems including Windows and Linux. Key functional features of the modular organized software architecture comprise an application programming interface for the development and implementation of new geoscientific methods, an easily approachable graphical user interface with many visualization options, a command line interpreter, and interfaces to scripting and low level programming languages like R and Python. The current version 2.1.4 offers more than 700 tools, which are implemented in dynamically loadable libraries or shared objects and represent the broad scopes of SAGA in numerous fields of geoscientific endeavor and beyond. In this paper, we inform about the system's architecture, functionality, and its current state of development and implementation. Further, we highlight the wide spectrum of scientific applications of SAGA in a review of published studies with special emphasis on the core application areas digital terrain analysis, geomorphology, soil science, climatology and meteorology, as well as remote sensing.

  10. System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses (SAGA) v. 2.1.4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, O.; Bechtel, B.; Bock, M.; Dietrich, H.; Fischer, E.; Gerlitz, L.; Wehberg, J.; Wichmann, V.; Böhner, J.

    2015-07-01

    The System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses (SAGA) is an open source geographic information system (GIS), mainly licensed under the GNU General Public License. Since its first release in 2004, SAGA has rapidly developed from a specialized tool for digital terrain analysis to a comprehensive and globally established GIS platform for scientific analysis and modeling. SAGA is coded in C++ in an object oriented design and runs under several operating systems including Windows and Linux. Key functional features of the modular software architecture comprise an application programming interface for the development and implementation of new geoscientific methods, a user friendly graphical user interface with many visualization options, a command line interpreter, and interfaces to interpreted languages like R and Python. The current version 2.1.4 offers more than 600 tools, which are implemented in dynamically loadable libraries or shared objects and represent the broad scopes of SAGA in numerous fields of geoscientific endeavor and beyond. In this paper, we inform about the system's architecture, functionality, and its current state of development and implementation. Furthermore, we highlight the wide spectrum of scientific applications of SAGA in a review of published studies, with special emphasis on the core application areas digital terrain analysis, geomorphology, soil science, climatology and meteorology, as well as remote sensing.

  11. Canada's Deep Geological Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel - Geo-scientific Site Evaluation Process - 13117

    SciTech Connect

    Blyth, Alec; Ben Belfadhel, Mahrez; Hirschorn, Sarah; Hamilton, Duncan; McKelvie, Jennifer

    2013-07-01

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is responsible for implementing Adaptive Phased Management (APM), the approach selected by the Government of Canada for long-term management of used nuclear fuel generated by Canadian nuclear reactors. The ultimate objective of APM is the centralized containment and isolation of Canada's used nuclear fuel in a Deep Geological Repository in a suitable rock formation at a depth of approximately 500 meters (m) (1,640 feet [ft]). In May 2010, the NWMO published a nine-step site selection process that serves as the road map to decision-making on the location for the deep geological repository. The safety and appropriateness of any potential site will be assessed against a number of factors, both technical and social in nature. The selected site will be one that can be demonstrated to be able to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel, protecting humans and the environment over the very long term. The geo-scientific suitability of potential candidate sites will be assessed in a stepwise manner following a progressive and thorough site evaluation process that addresses a series of geo-scientific factors revolving around five safety functions. The geo-scientific site evaluation process includes: Initial Screenings; Preliminary Assessments; and Detailed Site Evaluations. As of November 2012, 22 communities have entered the site selection process (three in northern Saskatchewan and 18 in northwestern and southwestern Ontario). (authors)

  12. the role of magmatism and segmentation in the structural evolution of the Afar Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stab, Martin; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Pik, Raphaël; Quidelleur, Xavier; Ayalew, Dereje; Leroy, Sylvie

    2015-04-01

    A common issue at volcanic passive margins (VPM) is the lack of observation of the structures that accommodate stretching and thinning. Indeed, the most distal parts and the Ocean-Continent Transition is often masked by thick seaward-dipping reflectors (SDR) sequences. Some current challenges are then to know if the observed thinning fit the divergence (thinning vs dyking); and what is the rheological effect of magma supply that re-thickens the crust during extension? In the Central Afar magmatic rift (Ethiopia), the structures related to rifting since Oligocene are cropping out onshore and are well preserved. We present here a new structural model based on field data and lavas (U-Th/He and K/Ar) datings along a balanced cross-section of the Central Afar Western Margin. We mapped continent-ward normal fault array affecting highly tilted trapp series (29-30 Ma) unconformably overlain by tilted Oligo-Miocene (25-7 Ma) acid series. The main extensional and necking/thinning event took place during the end of this Miocene magmatic episode. The Pliocene flood basalt (Stratoid series) is erupted over an already thinned crust. The bulk extension for the Afar Western Margin is ß ~ 2.50. Our main findings are: - Oligo-Miocene deformation in Central Afar appears to be largely distributed through space and time ("magmatic wide rift"). It has been accommodated in a 200-300 km wide strip being a diffuse incipient plate boundary during the whole rifting history until the formation of present-day magmatic segments. There is a period of tectonic quiescence accompanied with few magma erupted at the surface between 25 Ma and 7 Ma. We suggest that tectonic and magmatic activity was focused at that time on the highly faulted Danakil block and Southern Red Sea, away from our study zone. - ß ~ 2.50 is higher than the thinning factor of ~1.30 observed in geophysical studies. We propose that the continental crust in Central Afar has been re-thickened during extension by the syn

  13. Geo-Seas - building a unified e-infrastructure for marine geoscientific data management in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaves, H.; Schaap, D.

    2012-04-01

    A significant barrier to marine geoscientific research in Europe is the lack of standardised marine geological and geophysical data and data products which could potentially facilitate multidisciplinary marine research extending across national and international boundaries. Although there are large volumes of geological and geophysical data available for the marine environment it is currently very difficult to use these datasets in an integrated way due to different nomenclatures, formats, scales and coordinate systems being used within different organisations as well as between countries. This makes the direct use of primary data very difficult and also hampers use of the data to produce integrated multidisciplinary data products and services. The Geo-Seas project, an EU Framework 7 funded initiative, is developing a unified e-infrastructure to facilitate the sharing of marine geoscientific data within Europe. This e-infrastructure is providing on-line access to both discovery metadata and the associated federated data sets from 26 European data centres via a dedicated portal. The implementation of the Geo-Seas portal is allowing a range of end users to locate, assess and access standardised geoscientific data from multiple sources which is interoperable with other marine data types. Geo-Seas is building on the work already done by the existing SeaDataNet project which currently provides a data management e-infrastructure for oceanographic data which allows users to locate and access federated oceanographic data sets. By adopting and adapting the SeaDataNet methodologies and technologies the Geo-Seas project has not only avoid unnecessary duplication of effort by reusing existing and proven technologies but also contributed to the development of a multidisciplinary approach to ocean science across Europe through the creation of a joint infrastructure for both marine geoscientific and oceanographic data. This approach is also leading to the development of

  14. How thick is the lithosphere?

    PubMed

    Kanamori, H; Press, F

    1970-04-25

    A rapid decrease in shear velocity in the suboceanic mantle is used to infer the thickness of the lithosphere. It is proposed that new and highly precise group velocity data constrain the solutions and imply a thickness near 70 km.

  15. Volatile Organic Compound Emission from Quercus suber, Quercus canariensis, and its hybridisation product Quercus afares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welter, S.; Bracho Nuñez, A.; Staudt, M.; Kesselmeier, J.

    2009-04-01

    Oaks represent one of the most important plant genera in the Northern hemisphere and include many intensively VOC emitting species. The major group constitutes the isoprene emitters, but also monoterpene emitters and non-emitters can be found. These variations in the oak species might partly be due to their propensity for inter- and intraspecific hybridisation. This study addresses the foliar VOC production of the former hybridisation product the deciduous Quercus afares and its parents, two very distant species: the evergreen monoterpene emitter Quercus suber and the deciduous isoprene emitter Quercus canariensis. The measurements were performed in Southern France, applying two different methods. Plants were investigated in situ in the field with a portable gas exchange measuring system as well as in the laboratory on cut branches with an adapted enclosure system. Quercus afares was found to be a monoterpene emitting species. However, the monoterpene emission was lower and the composition different to that of Quercus suber. Whereas Quercus suber trees belonged to the pinene type most individuals of Quercus afares were identified to represent a limonene type. Quercus canariensis emitted besides high amounts of isoprene also linalool and (Z)-3-hexenylacetate. Emissions from Quercus suber and Quercus afares were higher in the field measurements than in the laboratory on cut branches whereas Quercus canariensis exhibited lower isoprene emissions from cut branches. The results demonstrate the need of further emission studies on a plant species level.

  16. Lithospheric Architecture Beneath Hudson Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porritt, R. W.; Miller, M. S.; Darbyshire, F. A.

    2015-12-01

    Hudson Bay overlies some of the thickest Precambrian lithosphere on Earth, whose internal structures contain important clues to the earliest workings of plate formation. The terminal collision, the Trans-Hudson Orogen, brought together the Western Churchill craton to the northwest and the Superior craton to the southeast. These two Archean cratons along with the Paleo-Proterozoic Trans-Hudson internides, form the core of the North American craton. We use S to P converted wave imaging and absolute shear velocity information from a joint inversion of P to S receiver functions, new ambient noise derived phase velocities, and teleseismic phase velocities to investigate this region and determine both the thickness of the lithosphere and the presence of internal discontinuities. The lithosphere under central Hudson Bay approaches 􏰂350 km thick but is thinner (􏰂200-250 km) around the periphery of the Bay. Furthermore, the amplitude of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) conversion from the S receiver functions is unusually large for a craton, suggesting a large thermal contrast across the LAB, which we interpret as direct evidence of the thermal insulation effect of continents on the asthenosphere. Within the lithosphere, midlithospheric discontinuities, significantly shallower than the base of the lithosphere, are often imaged, suggesting the mechanisms that form these layers are common. Lacking time-history information, we infer that these discontinuities reflect reactivation of formation structures during deformation of the craton.

  17. Ethnobotanical study of plants used in management of livestock health problems by Afar people of Ada’ar District, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The great majority of the Afar people of Ethiopia are pastoralists, highly dependent on livestock and livestock products. Livestock productivity is, however, frequently affected by different diseases. Although many districts in the Region have veterinary clinics, they lack basic facilities. As a result, the Afar people are still dependent on local materials, mainly plants, and traditional knowledge to manage livestock health problems. However, there is a serious threat to such local resources mainly due to recurrent drought and influence of modernization. Hence there is a need for proper documentation and evaluation of the existing ethnoveterinary knowledge in the Region. This study was aimed at documenting and analysing ethnoveterinary knowledge of people in Ada’ar District of the Afar Region associated with the use of plants. Methods The study involved interviewing selected knowledgeable Afar people in Ada’ar District on the use of plants to manage livestock ailments. Fidelity Level (FL) values were calculated for the reported medicinal plant to estimate their healing potentials. Specimens of reported medicinal plant were collected, identified and deposited at the National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University. Results The study revealed 49 medicinal plants as being used by the Afar people of Ada’ar District for the treatment of various livestock ailments, the majority of which (67.3%) were shrubs. Highest number of medicinal plants was used to treat blackleg, contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), sudden sickness and pneumonia. Leaf was the most frequently sought plant part, accounting for 47% of the reported plants. All the medicnal plants used in the District were uncultivated ones growing in semi-disturbed and disturbed habitats as remnant plants and weeds. Cissus quadrangularis and Solanum incanum were the plants scoring the highest fidelity level values for their use to treat blackleg and respiratory tract problems, respectively. Conclusion

  18. 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.

  19. A kinematic model for the development of the Afar Depression and its paleogeographic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redfield, T. F.; Wheeler, W. H.; Often, M.

    2003-11-01

    The Afar Depression is a highly extended region of continental to transitional oceanic crust lying at the junction of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Ethiopian rifts. We analyze the evolution of the Afar crust using plate kinematics and published crustal models to constrain the temporal and volumetric evolution of the rift basin. Our reconstruction constrains the regional-scale initial 3D geometry and subsequent extension and is well calibrated at the onset of rifting (˜20 Ma) and from the time of earliest documented sea-floor spreading anomalies (˜6 Ma Red Sea; ˜10 Ma Gulf of Aden). It also suggests the Danakil block is a highly extended body, having undergone between ˜200% and ˜400% stretch. Syn-rift sedimentary and magmatic additions to the crust are taken from the literature. Our analysis reveals a discrepancy: either the base of the crust has not been properly imaged, or a (plume-related?) process has somehow caused bulk removal of crustal material since extension began. Inferring subsidence history from thermal modeling and flexural considerations, we conclude subsidence in Afar was virtually complete by Mid Pliocene time. Our analysis contradicts interpretations of late (post 3 Ma) large (˜2 km) subsidence of the Hadar area near the Ethiopian Plateau, suggesting paleoclimatic data record regional, not local, climate change. Tectonic reconstruction (supported by paleontologic and isotopic data) suggests that a land bridge connected Africa and Arabia, via Danakil, up to the Early to Middle Pliocene. The temporal constraints on land bridge and escarpment morphology constrain Afar paleogeography, climate, and faunal migration routes. These constraints (particularly the development of geographic isolation) are fundamentally important for models evaluating and interpreting biologic evolution in the Afar, including speciation and human origins.

  20. Mechanical heterogeneities and lithospheric extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duretz, Thibault; Petri, Benoit; Mohn, Geoffroy; Schenker, Filippo L.; Schmalholz, Stefan

    2016-04-01

    Detailed geological and geophysical studies of passive margins have highlighted the multi-stage and depth-dependent aspect of lithospheric thinning. Lithospheric thinning involves a variety of structures (normal faults, low angle detachments, extensional shear zones, extraction faults) and leads to a complex architecture of passive margins (with e.g. necking zone, mantle exhumation, continental allochthons). The processes controlling the generation and evolution of these structures as well as the impact of pre-rift inheritance are so far incompletely understood. In this study, we investigate the impact of pre-rift inheritance on the development of rifted margins using two-dimensional thermo-mechanical models of lithospheric thinning. To first order, we represent the pre-rift mechanical heterogeneities with lithological layering. The rheologies are kept simple (visco-plastic) and do not involve any strain softening mechanism. Our models show that mechanical layering causes multi-stage and depth-dependent extension. In the initial rifting phase, lithospheric extension is decoupled: as the crust undergoes thinning by brittle (frictional-plastic) faults, the lithospheric mantle accommodates extension by symmetric ductile necking. In a second rifting phase, deformation in the crust and lithospheric mantle is coupled and marks the beginning of an asymmetric extension stage. Low angle extensional shear zones develop across the lithosphere and exhume subcontinental mantle. Furthemore, crustal allochthons and adjacent basins develop coevally. We describe as well the thermal evolution predicted by the numerical models and discuss the first-order implications of our results in the context of the Alpine geological history.

  1. Lithospheric architecture beneath Hudson Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porritt, Robert W.; Miller, Meghan S.; Darbyshire, Fiona A.

    2015-07-01

    Hudson Bay overlies some of the thickest Precambrian lithosphere on Earth, whose internal structures contain important clues to the earliest workings of plate formation. The terminal collision, the Trans-Hudson Orogen, brought together the Western Churchill craton to the northwest and the Superior craton to the southeast. These two Archean cratons along with the Paleo-Proterozoic Trans-Hudson internides, form the core of the North American craton. We use S to P converted wave imaging and absolute shear velocity information from a joint inversion of P to S receiver functions, new ambient noise derived phase velocities, and teleseismic phase velocities to investigate this region and determine both the thickness of the lithosphere and the presence of internal discontinuities. The lithosphere under central Hudson Bay approaches ˜350 km thick but is thinner (˜200-250 km) around the periphery of the Bay. Furthermore, the amplitude of the LAB conversion from the S receiver functions is unusually large for a craton, suggesting a large thermal contrast across the LAB, which we interpret as direct evidence of the thermal insulation effect of continents on the asthenosphere. Within the lithosphere, midlithospheric discontinuities, significantly shallower than the base of the lithosphere, are often imaged, suggesting the mechanisms that form these layers are common. Lacking time-history information, we infer that these discontinuities reflect reactivation of formation structures during deformation of the craton.

  2. A User-Friendly, Keyword-Searchable Database of Geoscientific References Through 2007 for Afghanistan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eppinger, Robert G.; Sipeki, Julianna; Scofield, M.L. Sco

    2008-01-01

    This report includes a document and accompanying Microsoft Access 2003 database of geoscientific references for the country of Afghanistan. The reference compilation is part of a larger joint study of Afghanistan?s energy, mineral, and water resources, and geologic hazards currently underway by the U.S. Geological Survey, the British Geological Survey, and the Afghanistan Geological Survey. The database includes both published (n = 2,489) and unpublished (n = 176) references compiled through calendar year 2007. The references comprise two separate tables in the Access database. The reference database includes a user-friendly, keyword-searchable interface and only minimum knowledge of the use of Microsoft Access is required.

  3. Failure strength of icy lithospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golombek, M. P.; Banerdt, W. B.

    1987-01-01

    Lithospheric strengths derived from friction on pre-existing fractures and ductile flow laws show that the tensile strength of intact ice under applicable conditions is actually an order of magnitude stronger than widely assumed. It is demonstrated that this strength is everywhere greater than that required to initiate frictional sliding on pre-existing fractures and faults. Because the tensile strength of intact ice increases markedly with confining pressure, it actually exceeds the frictional strength at all depths. Thus, icy lithospheres will fail by frictional slip along pre-existing fractures at yeild stresses greater than previously assumed rather than opening tensile cracks in intact ice.

  4. Uppermost mantle (Pn) velocity model for the Afar region, Ethiopia: an insight into rifting processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stork, A. L.; Stuart, G. W.; Henderson, C. M.; Keir, D.; Hammond, J. O. S.

    2013-04-01

    The Afar Depression, Ethiopia, offers unique opportunities to study the transition from continental rifting to oceanic spreading because the process is occurring onland. Using traveltime tomography and data from a temporary seismic deployment, we describe the first regional study of uppermost mantle P-wave velocities (VPn). We find two separate low VPn zones (as low as 7.2 km s-1) beneath regions of localized thinned crust in northern Afar, indicating the existence of high temperatures and, potentially, partial melt. The zones are beneath and off-axis from, contemporary crustal magma intrusions in active magmatic segments, the Dabbahu-Manda-Hararo and Erta'Ale segments. This suggests that these intrusions can be fed by off-axis delivery of melt in the uppermost mantle and that discrete areas of mantle upwelling and partial melting, thought to characterize segmentation of the uppermost mantle at seafloor spreading centres, are initiated during the final stages of break-up.

  5. Bookshelf faulting and horizontal block rotations between overlapping rifts in southern Afar

    SciTech Connect

    Tapponnier, P.; Armijo, R.; Manighetti, I.; Courtillot, V. )

    1990-01-01

    Lateral slip on initially rift-parallel normal faults may be a particularly efficient mechanism to accommodate strain between overlapping oceanic rifts. It occurs in southern Afar, where clockwise block rotations result from distributed dextral shear between the overlapping Ghoubbet Asal-Manda Inakir and Manda Hararo-Abhe Bad rifts. Faulting observed during the 1969, Serdo earthquakes and on SPOT images is consistent with the shear being taken up by left-lateral slip on steep NW-SE striking faults, which formed as normal faults before extensional strain became localized in the two rifts. This bookshelf faulting accounts quantitatively for the 14.5{degree} {plus minus}7.5{degree} rotation documented by paleomagnetism in the 1.8 {plus minus}0.4 Ma old Afar stratoid basalts, given the 17.5 {plus minus}5 mm/yr rate of separation between Arabia and Somalia.

  6. Geology and palaeontology of the Late Miocene Middle Awash valley, Afar rift, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    WoldeGabriel, G; Haile-Selassie, Y; Renne, P R; Hart, W K; Ambrose, S H; Asfaw, B; Heiken, G; White, T

    2001-07-12

    The Middle Awash study area of Ethiopia's Afar rift has yielded abundant vertebrate fossils (approximately 10,000), including several hominid taxa. The study area contains a long sedimentary record spanning Late Miocene (5.3-11.2 Myr ago) to Holocene times. Exposed in a unique tectonic and volcanic transition zone between the main Ethiopian rift (MER) and the Afar rift, sediments along the western Afar rift margin in the Middle Awash provide a unique window on the Late Miocene of Ethiopia. These deposits have now yielded the earliest hominids, described in an accompanying paper and dated here to between 5.54 and 5.77 Myr. These geological and palaeobiological data from the Middle Awash provide fresh perspectives on hominid origins and early evolution. Here we show that these earliest hominids derive from relatively wet and wooded environments that were modulated by tectonic, volcanic, climatic and geomorphic processes. A similar wooded habitat also has been suggested for the 6.0 Myr hominoid fossils recently recovered from Lukeino, Kenya. These findings require fundamental reassessment of models that invoke a significant role for global climatic change and/or savannah habitat in the origin of hominids. PMID:11449271

  7. Effective elastic thickness of Africa and its relationship to other proxies for lithospheric structure and surface tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Gussinyé, M.; Metois, M.; Fernández, M.; Vergés, J.; Fullea, J.; Lowry, A. R.

    2009-09-01

    Detailed information on lateral variations in lithospheric properties can aid in understanding how surface deformation relates to deep Earth processes. The effective elastic thickness, Te, of the lithosphere is a proxy for lithospheric strength. Here, we present a new Te map of the African lithosphere estimated from coherence analysis of topography and Bouguer anomaly data. The latter data set derives from the EGM 2008 model, the highest resolution gravity database over Africa, enabling a significant improvement in lateral resolution of Te. The methodology used for Te estimation improves upon earlier approaches by optimally combining estimates from several different window sizes and correcting for an estimation bias term. Our analysis finds that Te is high, ~ 100 km, in the West African, Congo, Kalahari and Tanzania cratons. Of these, the Kalahari exhibits the lowest Te. Based in part on published seismic and mineral physics constraints, we suggest this may reflect modification of Kalahari lithosphere by anomalously hot asthenospheric mantle. Similarly, the Tanzania craton exhibits relatively lower Te east of Lake Victoria, where a centre of seismic radial anisotropy beneath the craton has been located and identified with a plume head, thus suggesting that here too, low Te reflects modification of cratonic lithosphere by an underlying hot mantle. The lowest Te in Africa occurs in the Afar and Main Ethiopian rifts, where lithospheric extension is maximum. In the western Ethiopian plateau a local Te minimum coincides with published images of a low P and S seismic velocity anomaly extending to ~ 400 km depth. Finally, the Darfur, Tibesti, Hoggar and Cameroon line volcanic provinces are characterised by low Te and no deep-seated seismic anomalies in the mantle. Corridors of relatively low Te connect these volcanic provinces to the local Te minima within the western Ethiopian plateau. We interpret the low Te to indicate thinner lithosphere within the corridors than in

  8. Effective elastic thickness of Africa and its relationship to other proxies for lithospheric structure and surface tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Gussinye, M.; Metois, M.; Fernandez, M.; Verges, J.; Fullea, J.; Lowry, A. R.

    2009-12-01

    Detailed information on lateral variations in lithospheric properties can aid in understanding how surface deformation relates to deep Earth processes. The effective elastic thickness, Te, of the lithosphere is a proxy for lithospheric strength. Here, we present a new Te map of the African lithosphere estimated from coherence analysis of topography and Bouguer anomaly data. The latter data set derives from the EGM 2008 model, the highest resolution gravity database over Africa, enabling a significant improvement in lateral resolution of Te. The methodology used for Te estimation improves upon earlier approaches by optimally combining estimates from several different window sizes and correcting for an estimation bias term. Our analysis finds that Te is high, ~ 100 km, in the West African, Congo, Kalahari and Tanzania cratons. Of these, the Kalahari exhibits the lowest Te. Based in part on published seismic and mineral physics constraints, we suggest this may reflect modification of Kalahari lithosphere by anomalously hot asthenospheric mantle. Similarly, the Tanzania craton exhibits relatively lower Te east of Lake Victoria, where a centre of seismic radial anisotropy beneath the craton has been located and identified with a plume head, thus suggesting that here too, low Te reflects modification of cratonic lithosphere by an underlying hot mantle. The lowest Te in Africa occurs in the Afar and Main Ethiopian rifts, where lithospheric extension is maximum. In the western Ethiopian plateau a local Te minimum coincides with published images of a low P and S seismic velocity anomaly extending to ~400 km depth. Finally, the Darfur, Tibesti, Hoggar and Cameroon line vo provinces lcanic are characterised by low Te and no deep-seated seismic anomalies in the mantle. Corridors of relatively low Te connect these volcanic provinces to the local Te minima within the western Ethiopian plateau. We interpret the low Te to indicate thinner lithosphere within the corridors than in

  9. The lithospheric shear-wave velocity structure of Saudi Arabia: Young volcanism in an old shield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Zheng; Julià, Jordi; Mai, P. Martin

    2016-04-01

    We are utilizing receiver function and surface wave dispersion data to investigate the lithospheric shear-wave velocity structure of Saudi Arabia. The Arabian plate consists of the western Arabian shield and the eastern Arabian platform. The Arabian shield is a complicated mélange of several Proterozoic terrains, separated by ophiolite-bearing suture zones and dotted by outcropping Cenozoic volcanic rocks (so-called harrats). The Arabian platform is covered by thick Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks. To understand the geo-dynamics and present-day geology in western Saudi Arabia, the origin and activity of the harrats needs to be investigated: are they controlled primarily by a local mantle plume underneath western Saudi Arabia or by lateral mantle flow from the Afar and (perhaps) Jordan hotspots? In our study, we first estimate Vp/Vs ratios by applying the H-κ stacking technique and construct local shear-wave velocity-depth profiles by jointly inverting teleseismic P-receiver functions and Rayleigh wave group velocities at 56 broadband stations deployed by the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS). Our results reveal significant lateral variations in crustal thickness, S-velocity, and bulk Vp/Vs ratio. The Arabian shield has, on average a ~34 km thick crust with Vs ~3.72 km/s and Vp/Vs ~1.73. Thinner crust (~25 - 32 km thick) with strong lateral variations is present along the Red Sea coast. In contrast, the Arabian platform reveals a ~41 km thick crust with Vs ~3.52 km/s and Vp/Vs ~1.77. We find anomalously high Vp/Vs ratios at Harrat Lunayyir, interpreted as solidified magma intrusions. Slow shear-velocities in the upper-mantle lid throughout the southernmost and northernmost Arabian shield suggest lateral heating from hot mantle upwellings centered beneath Afar and (perhaps) Jordan. Our findings on crustal S-velocity structures, Vp/Vs ratios, and upper-mantle lid velocities support the hypothesis of lateral mantle flow from the Afar and (perhaps

  10. New geodetic measurements in central Afar constraining the Arabia-Somalia-Nubia triple junction kinematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doubre, C.; Deprez, A.; Masson, F.; Socquet, A.; Lewi, E.; Grandin, R.; Calais, E.; Wright, T. J.; Bendick, R. O.; Pagli, C.; Peltzer, G.; de Chabalier, J. B.; Ibrahim Ahmed, S.

    2014-12-01

    The Afar Depression is an extraordinary submerged laboratory where the crustal mechanisms involved in the active rifting process can be studied. But the crustal movements at the regional scale are complicated by being the locus of the meeting of three divergent plate boundaries: the oceanic spreading ridges of the Red Sea and the Aden Ridge and the intra-continental East-African Rift (EAR). We present here the first GPS measurements conducted in a new network in Central Afar, complementing existing networks in Eritrea, around the Manda-Harraro 2005-2010 active segment, in the Northern part of the EAR and in Djibouti. Even if InSAR data were appropriate for mapping the deformation field, the results are difficult to interpret for analyzing the regional kinematics because of the atmospheric conditions, the lack of complete data catalogue, the acquisition configuration and the small velocity variations. Therefore, our measurements in the new sites are crucial to obtain an accurate velocity field over the whole depression, and focus specifically on the spatial organization of the deformation to characterize the tripe junction. These first results show that a small part of the motion of the Somalia plate with respect to the Nubia plate or the Arabia plate (2-3 mm/yr) occurs south of the Tadjura Gulf and East of the Adda-do segment in Southern Afar. The complex kinematic pattern involves a clockwise rotation of this Southeastern part of the Afar rift and can be related to the significant seismic activity regularly recorded in the region of Jigjiga (northern Somalia-Ethiopia border). The western continuation of the Aden Ridge into Afar extends West of the Asal rift segment and does not reach the young active segment of Manda-Inakir (MI). A slow gradient of velocity is observed across the Dobi Graben and across the large systems of faults between Lake Abhe and the MI rift segment. A striking change of the velocity direction occurs in the region of Assaïta, west of Lake

  11. German Modular Optoelectronic Multispectral Scanner MOMS-02: geoscientific applications and future development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodechtel, Johann; Frei, Michaela; Lei, Qingxia; Loercher, Gerhard

    1994-12-01

    The experimental data of the spaceborne Modular Optoelectronic Multispectral Scanner MOMS-02 acquired on the German Spacelab D2 mission will be used in the near future for a broad range of geo- scientific objectives. The simultaneous acquisition of high spatial resolution multispectral and stereo data by one system enables a real combination of thematic and topographic information, thus consid- erably improving the verification and interpretation of dynamic changes of the Earth's surface by means of remote sensing. The sensor was successfully launched on board of the Second German Spacelab Mission D2 on Space Shuttle flight STS-55 from 26 April to May 6 1993. The MOMS-02 system itself is a combination of two modules, a panchromatic, high-resolution stereo module with one nadir-looking (resolution 4.2 m x 4.2 m) and two tilted channels and a 4-channel multispectral module covering the visible (VIS) and near infrared (NIR) range of the electromagnetic spectrum at 12.8 m x 12.8 m ground resolution. The width and centre wavelength of the multispectral spectral bands are optimised for the detection of the spectral response of vegetation and for the discrimination of Fe-bearing rock and soil surfaces due to significant absorption in the VIS/NIR spectral range. The paper gives an overview on geoscientific applications in Australia, Egypt and South America. First images of MOMS-02 data clearly show the ability of the multispectral, as well as the combination of multispectral and high resolution data, to improve geoscientific studies that were done with Landsat TM data in the past. In the near future the MOMS-02 science team will produce high accuracy digital elevation models derived from the stereo data which will be used in combination with MOMS-02 or other sensors multispectral datasets for a wide range of geoscientific and environmental applications (e.g. landuse, erosion risk, natural hazards), as well as for radiometric correction of satellite images. After the first

  12. Lithospheric structure of the Yukon, northern Canadian Cordillera, obtained from magnetotelluric data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ledo, Juanjo; Jones, Alan G.; Ferguson, Ian J.; Wolynec, Lisa

    2004-04-01

    Two goals of Lithoprobe's geoscientific studies in the Phanerozoic accretionary cordillera of western North America were to define the subsurface geometries of the terranes and to infer the physical conditions of the crust. These questions were addressed in Canada's southern cordillera a decade ago and have more recently been addressed in the northern cordillera, of which one component of the new studies is magnetotelluric (MT) profiling from ancestral North American rocks to the coast. We present a resistivity cross section, and its interpretation, of the northern cordillera derived from modeling data from 42 MT sites along a 470-km-long NE-SW profile. Beneath the Coast Belt (southwestern end of the profile) a deep crustal low-resistivity layer dips inland; we interpret the crustal part of this conductor as being due to metasedimentary rocks emplaced and metamorphosed during Paleocene Kula plate subduction. A strong lateral transition in lithospheric mantle resistivity exists below the Intermontane Belt that is spatially coincident with changes in chemical and isotopic characteristics of Tertiary to recent alkaline lavas, suggesting that isotopically enriched lithosphere related to the Coast Belt basalts extends partly beneath the Intermontane Belt. The unusually high lower crustal resistivity in the Intermontane and Omineca Belts, similar in value to the resistivity found in the unextended part of central British Columbia, excludes the presence of fluids or conducting metasediments. Finally, our resistivity model displays strong lateral variation of the middle and lower crust between different terranes within the same belt, as a result of the complex structural evolution of the lithosphere.

  13. Lithospheric dynamics near plate boundaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Solomon, Sean C.

    1992-01-01

    The progress report on research conducted between 15 Mar. - 14 Sep. 1992 is presented. The focus of the research during the first grant year has been on several problems broadly related to the nature and dynamics of time-dependent deformation and stress along major seismic zones, with an emphasis on western North America but with additional work on seismic zones in oceanic lithosphere as well. The principal findings of our research to date are described in the accompanying papers and abstract. Topics covered include: (1) Global Positioning System measurements of deformations associated with the 1987 Superstition Hills earthquake: evidence for conjugate faulting; (2) Global Positioning System measurements of strain accumulation across the Imperial Valley, California: 1986-1989; (3) present-day crustal deformation in the Salton Trough, southern California; (4) oceanic transform earthquakes with unusual mechanisms or locations: relation to fault geometry and state of stress in the lithosphere; and (5) crustal strain and the 1992 Mojave Desert earthquakes.

  14. Death Valley regional groundwater flow model calibration using optimal parameter estimation methods and geoscientific information systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    D'Agnese, F. A.; Faunt, C.C.; Hill, M.C.; Turner, A.K.

    1996-01-01

    A three-layer Death Valley regional groundwater flow model was constructed to evaluate potential regional groundwater flow paths in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Geoscientific information systems were used to characterize the complex surface and subsurface hydrogeological conditions of the area, and this characterization was used to construct likely conceptual models of the flow system. The high contrasts and abrupt contacts of the different hydrogeological units in the subsurface make zonation the logical choice for representing the hydraulic conductivity distribution. Hydraulic head and spring flow data were used to test different conceptual models by using nonlinear regression to determine parameter values that currently provide the best match between the measured and simulated heads and flows.

  15. The strength of Miranda's lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pappalardo, Robert; Greeley, Ronald

    1991-01-01

    In attempting to understand the endogenic processes which have shaped the surface of an icy satellite, it is desirable to quantify the failure strength of the satellite's lithosphere. In a crust that is fractured on a large scale, frictional sliding along pre-existing fractures occurs in response to lower differential stresses than required to initiate fracture of pristine rock, thus governing failure of a brittle lithosphere. Failure is predicted along favorably oriented fracture planes; if fractures of all orientations are assumed to be present in the crust (as is expected of a heavily cratered lithosphere), frictional failure relations are directly applicable. The Coulomb criterion predicts that the shear stress (sigma sub t) and normal stress (sigma sub n) components on a fracture plane at failure are related as sigma sub t = mu-sigma sub n + S sub o, where S sub o is the cohesion and mu is the coefficient of friction. At moderate to high pressures, the frictional sliding strength of most materials is found to be sigma sub t = 0.85 sigma sub n.

  16. Multi-purpose presentation techniques for geoscientific data in various media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rink, Karsten; Bilke, Lars

    2014-05-01

    The intuitive presentation of the progression of complex geoscientific phenomena is often an underrated part of the modelling- and simulation workflow. Compiling such a presentation allows to easily communicate progress in joint research projects between participants with different backgrounds. Also, adequate 3D visualisations are usually easier to understand when presenting research results to stakeholders as well as the general public and critical information is conveyed in a more comprehensible manner. We established a workflow that is based on integration and preprocessing of multiple geoscientific data sets in a suitable framework such as the OpenGeoSys Data Explorer or ParaView. After choosing an adequate visual representation of the data in these frameworks, custom-made interfaces are employed to export the data to presentation frameworks. For instance, using the Unity 3D Engine allows to implement interaction techniques such as adding camera paths, concentrating on specific subsets of the data or scene, blending multiple data sets, etc. While a general sequence of the presentation can be predefined, interactive navigation is still possible and allows to focus on particular interests of the audience. Established interfaces and frameworks allow to display existing presentations in multiple ways, including virtual reality environments, novel hardware such as head-mounted displays like the Occulus Rift, or even websites presenting 3D content. Furthermore, the content can be redistributed as an executable for use on arbitrary machines. This versatility enables the use of prepared presentations for a multitude of occasions including exchange of intermediary result to partners in cooperate projects, reports at conferences, the defense of research projects, or use in training courses or for tutorials.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. The August 2002 earthquake sequence in north Afar: Insights into the neotectonics of the Danakil microplate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayele, Atalay; Stuart, Graham; Bastow, Ian; Keir, Derek

    2007-06-01

    In August 2002, there was high seismic activity in Afar concentrated at the plateau margin of the northern Ethiopian rift east of Mekele, near the western part of the Danakil microplate. The spatial and temporal distributions of this seismic activity over four weeks indicate the NNW propagation of the Gulf of Aden rift across the Afar Depression towards the western Ethiopian plateau. Fault plane solutions for six larger earthquakes from the August 2002 sequence are estimated from moment tensor inversion of local broadband waveform data. The results show only normal faulting on NNW trending and NE dipping faults, which agree with tectonics of the area and distribution of aftershocks. No strike-slip component is observed in any of our fault plane solutions or those of other workers including Harvard CMT solutions in the region. Such motion would be indicative of oblique-slip deformation between the Nubian plate and the Danakil microplate consistent with counter-clockwise rotation of the microplate. Hypocentral depths of well-constrained events are 5-7 km, which is the approximate elastic plate thickness in the Main Ethiopian rift, possibly indicating the depth to the brittle-ductile transition zone in this part of the Afar Depression. The shallowness of the depth estimates agree with the macroseismic reports available from a wide area in northern Ethiopia. Potential future shallow crustal deformation may cause significant loss of human life and damage to property in the densely populated highland region around Mekele unless measures are taken in improving building standards. The b-value for this sequence is estimated to be 0.66 using a least squares fit, while it is 0.67 ± 0.16 from a maximum-likelihood approach. This estimated b-value is low or the frequency of occurrence of relatively larger magnitude events is high indicating that it is a highly stressed region as evidenced by the recent increase of the seismicity in the area.

  19. Mantle convection in the Middle East: Reconciling Afar upwelling, Arabia indentation and Aegean trench rollback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccenna, Claudio; Becker, Thorsten W.; Jolivet, Laurent; Keskin, Mehmet

    2013-08-01

    The Middle East region represents a key site within the Tethyan domain where continental break-up, collision, backarc extension and escape tectonics are kinematically linked together. We perform global mantle circulation computations to test the role of slab pull and mantle upwellings as driving forces for the kinematics of the Arabia-Anatolia-Aegean (AAA) system, evaluating different boundary conditions and mantle density distributions as inferred from seismic tomography or slab models. Model results are compared with geodetically inferred crustal motions, residual topography, and shear wave splitting measurements. The AAA velocity field with respect to Eurasia shows an anti-clockwise toroidal pattern, with increasing velocities toward the Aegean trench. The best match to these crustal motions can be obtained by combining the effect of slab pull exerted in the Aegean with a mantle upwelling underneath Afar and, more generally, with the large-scale flow associated with a whole mantle, Tethyan convection cell. Neogene volcanism for AAA is widespread, not only in the extensional or subduction settings, but also within plates, such as in Syria-Jordan-Israel and in Turkey, with geochemical fingerprints similar of those of the Afar lava. In addition, morphological features show large uplifting domains far from plate boundaries. We speculate that the tectonic evolution of AAA is related to the progressive northward entrainment of upwelling mantle material, which is itself associated with the establishment of the downwelling part of a convection cell through the segmented Tethyan slab below the northern Zagros and Bitlis collision zone. The recently established westward flow dragged Anatolia and pushed the Aegean slab south-westward, thus accelerating backarc extension. Our model reconciles Afar plume volcanism, the collision in the Bitlis mountains and northern Zagros, and the rapid increase of Aegean trench rollback in a single coherent frame of large scale mantle

  20. Characteristics of the Bab al Mandab-Northern Afar area of the southern Red Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, R.B. ); Sikander, A.H. ); Abouzakhm, A.G.

    1991-08-01

    The southern Red Sea and adjacent Afar area represent an enigmatic portion of the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden basin system. Although the topographic rift shoulders of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden can be traced through this elbow, and appear to suggest that a similar width for the zone of extension is maintained across the region, the character of the floor of the rift zone changes. The distinctive character of the southern Red Sea-Afar area results in part from a topographically elevated region, possibly associated with the Red Sea-Gulf of Aden-East African rift triple junction. In addition, however, seismic data from offshore Ethiopia suggests that the distinctive character is due a complex pattern of rifting. The central axial trough of the Red Sea decreases in depth to the south toward the strait of Bab al Mandab, suggesting that rifting is dying out southward. Farther to the west at the same latitude, a major but narrow half-graben can be seen on seismic in the Gulf of Zula, bounded to the east by a large west-dipping normal fault. This structure continues south into the Danakil Depression of the Afar area. Between these two en echelon rift trends, the Danakil Alps form a long-lived high. Seismic data from the southern Red Sea of Ethiopia show southward thinning and pinch-out of the Miocene syn-rift evaporite sequence onto the northern Danakil block. Thus, it appears that the Danakil block has largely escaped Red Sea extension and subsidence. Instead, it forms a large unextended terrain located between overlapping en echelon rift trends, and may represent an accommodation zone structure associated with offset in the rift axis of the southern Red Sea.

  1. Venus Chasmata: A Lithospheric Stretching Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Solomon, S. C.; Head, J. W.

    1985-01-01

    An outstanding problem for Venus is the characterization of its style of global tectonics, an issue intimately related to the dominant mechanism of lithospheric heat loss. Among the most spectacular and extensive of the major tectonic features on Venus are the chasmata, deep linear valleys generally interpreted to be the products of lithospheric extension and rifting. Systems of chasmata and related features can be traced along several tectonic zones up to 20,000 km in linear extent. A lithospheric stretching model was developed to explain the topographic characteristics of Venus chasmata and to constrain the physical properties of the Venus crust and lithosphere.

  2. Study of the deformation in Central Afar using InSAR NSBAS chain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deprez, A.; Doubre, C.; Grandin, R.; Saad, I.; Masson, F.; Socquet, A.

    2013-12-01

    The Afar Depression (East Africa) connects all three continental plates of Arabia, Somalia and Nubia plates. For over 20 Ma, the divergent motion of these plates has led to the formation of large normal faults building tall scarps between the high plateaus and the depression, and the development of large basins and an incipient seafloor spreading along a series of active volcano-tectonic rift segments within the depression. The space-time evolution of the active surface deformation over the whole Afar region remains uncertain. Previous tectonic and geodetic studies confirm that a large part of the current deformation is concentrated along these segments. However, the amount of extension accommodated by other non-volcanic basins and normal faulting remains unclear, despite significant micro-seismic activity. Due to the active volcanism, large transient displacements related to dyking sequence, notably in the Manda Hararo rift (2005-2010), increase the difficulty to characterize the deformation field over simple time and space scales. In this study, we attempt to obtain a complete inventory of the deformation within the whole Afar Depression and to understand the associated phenomena, which occurred in this singular tectonic environment. We study in particular, the behavior of the structures activated during the post-dyking stage of the rift segments. For this purpose, we conduct a careful processing of a large set of SAR ENVISAT images over the 2004-2010 period, we also use previous InSAR results and GPS data from permanent stations and from campaigns conducted in 1999, 2003, 2010, 2012 within a GPS network particularly dense along the Asal-Ghoubbet segment. In one hand, in the western part of Afar, the far-field response of the 2005-2010 dyke sequence appears to be the dominant surface motion on the mean velocity field. In an other hand, more eastward across the Asal-Ghoubbet rift, strong gradients of deformation are observed. The time series analysis of both In

  3. Multiple mantle upwellings through the transition zone beneath the Afar Depression?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, J. O.; Kendall, J. M.; Stuart, G. W.; Thompson, D. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Keir, D.; Ayele, A.; Goitom, B.; Ogubazghi, G.

    2012-12-01

    Previous seismic studies using regional deployments of sensors in East-Africa show that low seismic velocities underlie Africa, but their resolution is limited to the top 200-300km of the Earth. Thus, the connection between the low velocities in the uppermost mantle and those imaged in global studies in the lower mantle is unclear. We have combined new data from Afar, Ethiopia with 7 other regional experiments and global network stations across Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Yemen, to produce high-resolution models of upper mantle P- and S-wave velocities to the base of the transition zone. Relative travel time tomographic inversions show that within the transition zone two focussed sharp-sided low velocity regions exist: one beneath the Western Ethiopian plateau outside the rift valley, and the other beneath the Afar depression. Estimates of transition zone thickness suggest that this is unlikely to be an artefact of mantle discontinuity topography as a transition zone of normal thickness underlies the majority of Afar and surrounding regions. However, a low velocity layer is evident directly above the 410 discontinuity, co-incident with some of the lowest seismic velocities suggesting that smearing of a strong low velocity layer of limited depth extent may contribute to the tomographic models in north-east Afar. The combination of seismic constraints suggests that small low temperature (<50K) upwellings may rise from a broader low velocity plume-like feature in the lower mantle. This interpretation is supported by numerical and analogue experiments that suggest the 660km phase change and viscosity jump may impede flow from the lower to upper mantle creating a thermal boundary layer at the base of the transition zone. This allows smaller, secondary upwellings to initiate and rise to the surface. These, combined with possible evidence of melt above the 410 discontinuity can explain the seismic velocity models. Our images of secondary upwellings suggest that

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Editorial: The publication of geoscientific model developments v1.0

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Executive Editors, GMD

    2013-08-01

    In 2008, the first volume of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) was published. GMD was founded because we perceived there to be a need for a space to publish comprehensive descriptions of numerical models in the geosciences. The journal is now well established, with the submission rate increasing over time. However, there are several aspects of model publication that we believe could be further improved. In this editorial we assess the lessons learned over the first few years of the journal's life, and describe some changes to GMD's editorial policy, which will ensure that the models and model developments are published in such a way that they are of maximum value to the community. These changes to editorial policy mostly focus on improving the rigour of the review process through a stricter requirement for access to the materials necessary to test the behaviour of the models. Throughout this editorial, "must" means that the stated actions are required, and the paper cannot be published without them; "strongly encouraged" means that we encourage the action, but papers can still be published if the criteria are not met; "may" means that the action may be carried out by the authors or referees, if they so wish. We have reviewed and rationalised the manuscript types into five new categories. For all papers which are primarily based on a specific numerical model, the changes are as follows: - The paper must be accompanied by the code, or means of accessing the code, for the purpose of peer-review. If the code is normally distributed in a way which could compromise the anonymity of the referees, then the code must be made available to the editor. The referee/editor is not required to review the code in any way, but they may do so if they so wish. - All papers must include a section at the end of the paper entitled "Code availability". In this section, instructions for obtaining the code (e.g. from a supplement, or from a

  6. The subduction of young lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacks, I. S.

    1983-04-01

    Studies, using a variety of techniques, of the subduction beneath western South America and the southwest Honshu-Kyushu region of Japan indicate that volcano-free segments occur where the subducted and continental lithospheres remain in contact without intervening asthenosphere. The subduction is initiated at normal dip angles, but the plate deforms at some depth (100 km under central Peru) to travel horizontally immediately beneath continental lithosphere. The most plausible reason for this geometry is that the subducted plate is buoyant. A model is developed constrained by age of the plate, bathymetry, and heat flow. Estimates of the density of oceanic plates as a function of age show that younger ocean floor may be less dense than the asthenosphere into which it subducts. If the high-density tranformation of crustal basalt to eclogite is retarded by low temperatures, the plate can remain buoyant to considerable depth for long periods of time. Heat flow data from western South America are consistent with this model.

  7. Magnetotelluric imaging of upper crustal partial melt at Tendaho graben in Afar, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Didana, Yohannes Lemma; Thiel, Stephan; Heinson, Graham

    2014-05-01

    We report on a recent magnetotelluric (MT) survey across the Manda Hararo magmatic segment (MHMS) within the Tendaho graben in the Afar Depression in northeastern Ethiopia. Twenty-two broadband MT sites with ˜1 km station spacing were deployed along a profile with the recorded data covering a period range from 0.003 s to 1000 s. A two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity model reveals an upper crustal fracture zone (fault) and partial melt with resistivity of 1-10Ωm at a depth of >1 km. The partial melt has a maximum horizontal width of 15 km and extends to a depth of 15 km within the Afar Stratoid Series basalts. We estimate a melt fraction of about 13% based on geochemical and borehole data, and bulk resistivity from the 2-D MT inversion model. The interpreted upper crustal partial melt may have been formed by either a magma intrusion from mantle sources or a large volume of continental crust that has been fluxed by a small amount of mantle melt and heat. Within the MHMS and Tendaho graben, a magma intrusion is a plausible explanation for the upper crustal conductor. The inferred presence of a conductive fracture zone or fault with hydrothermal fluid and shallow heat sourcing magma reservoir also makes the Tendaho graben a promising prospect for the development of conventional hydrothermal geothermal energy.

  8. Anatomy of lithosphere necking during orthogonal rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nestola, Yago; Cavozzi, Cristian; Storti, Fabrizio

    2013-04-01

    The evolution of lithosphere necking is a fundamental parameter controlling the structural architecture and thermal-state of rifted margin. The necking shape depends on several parameters, including the extensional strain-rate and thermal layering of the lithosphere. Despite a large number of analogue and numerical modelling studies on lithosphere extension, a quantitative description of the evolution of necking through time is still lacking. We used analogue modelling to simulate in three-dimension the progression of lithosphere thinning and necking during orthogonal rifting. In our models we simulated a typical "cold and young" 4-layer lithosphere stratigraphy: brittle upper crust (loose quartz sand), ductile lower crust (silicon-barite mixture), brittle upper mantle (loose quartz sand), and ductile lower mantle (silicon-barite mixture). The experimental lithosphere rested on a glucose syrup asthenosphere. We monitored model evolution by periodic and coeval laser scanning of both the surface topography and the lithosphere base. After model completion, each of the four layers was removed and the top of the underlying layer was scanned. This technical approach allowed us to quantify the evolution in space and time of the thinning factors for both the whole lithosphere (βz) and the crust (γ). The area of incremental effective stretching (βy) parallel to the extensional direction was obtained from the βz maps.

  9. The origin of thin lithosphere in continental backarcs: Effect of hydration on mantle lithosphere stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, C. A.; Huismans, R. S.; Beaumont, C.

    2006-12-01

    Nearly all continental backarcs have thin (~ 60 km) lithosphere for 100's of km behind the volcanic arc, even where there has been no extension. One mechanism to produce thin lithosphere is the erosion of normal thickness lithosphere by subduction-related mantle flow. The susceptibility of lithosphere to thinning largely depends on its rheology, which may be related to its state of hydration. Thin backarc lithosphere may reflect (1) a pre-existing weak rheology of lithosphere that has not been extensively dehydrated or (2) a response to rheological weakening by infiltration of slab-derived fluids. To study these processes, we use thermal- mechanical models of subduction of an old (90 Ma) oceanic plate beneath 120 km thick continental lithosphere. For (1), the backarc mantle lithosphere in the reference model has a wet olivine rheology. Subduction-induced mantle flow produces perturbations to the lowermost lithosphere, which are removed through gravitational instability and flow entrainment. The lithosphere then heats conductively, leading to subsequent thinning. Lithosphere that is stronger than wet olivine (less hydrated) does not thin, while weaker lithosphere undergoes more rapid thinning. Mantle lithosphere density influences stability, such that depleted (more buoyant) lithosphere is more stable. Thin backarc lithosphere may be limited to continental mantle that is both hydrated and fertile. This may explain why thin lithosphere of western North and South America backarcs coincides with Phanerozoic terranes that were accreted to older cratons, which may be drier, more refractory and resistant to thinning. For (2), the backarc mantle lithosphere is initially dehydrated with a scaled viscosity of wet olivine x 10 and the source of hydrating fluids is determined by tracking slab dehydration reactions (e.g., basalt-eclogite, serpentine breakdown). As most slab dehydration occurs at shallow depth, thinning of water-weakened lithosphere is restricted to the volcanic

  10. The Long-term Management of Used Nuclear Fuel in Canada: A Geoscientific Prespective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belfadhel, B.

    2009-05-01

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is responsible for implementing Adaptive Phased Management, the approach selected by the Government of Canada for long-term management of used nuclear fuel waste generated by Canadian nuclear reactors. In support of this objective, NWMO is pursuing an active technical research and development program in areas such as repository engineering, repository geoscience and repository safety. The geoscience work program is designed to develop a geoscientific basis for understanding long-term geosphere barrier performance, as well as building confidence in deep geological repository safety in both sedimentary and crystalline settings. This is achieved through a multidisciplinary approach involving the coordinated effort of research groups drawn from universities, consultants, and international nuclear waste management organizations. The main objectives of the program are to: develop tools and methods to improve NWMO's geosphere characterization capabilities and develop readiness for evaluating potential candidate sites in willing host communities; advance the understanding of long-term physical and geochemical evolution of the geosphere at time scales relevant to repository safety; and improve numerical methods to assess the geosphere evolution and its response to long-term perturbations. The paper provides an overview of the geoscience issues and challenges associated with the development of deep geological repositories and key activities that the NWMO is pursuing to address them.

  11. Planet Press: an EGU initiative to bring geoscientific research to children

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Bárbara

    2016-04-01

    Planet Press (http://www.egu.eu/education/planet-press/) is an EGU educational project that aims to get children (mainly 7-13 year olds), as well as their parents and educators, interested in and engaged with up-to-date scientific research and news. Planet Press articles are short versions of EGU press releases written in child-friendly language. Because EGU press releases cover research published in the various EGU scientific journals, Planet Press focuses on topics as varied as air pollution, glaciers, climate change, earthquakes, ocean sciences, droughts and floods, or space sciences. The texts are reviewed by both scientists and educators to make sure they are accurate and clear to their target audience. By sharing new and exciting geoscientific research with young kids, we hope to inspire them to develop an interest in the Earth, planetary and space sciences. In this presentation, we describe how the Planet Press idea came about, how the project is run, and the challenges and lessons learnt since the launch of this educational initiative in 2014. Planet Press, which has the support of the EGU Committee on Education, is made possible by the work of volunteer scientists and educators who review and translate the texts. We are grateful for the help of Jane Robb, former EGU Educational Fellow, with launching the project. Planet Press is inspired by Space Scoop (http://www.spacescoop.org/), an initiative by UNAWE, the EU-Universe Awareness organisation, that brings astronomy news to children every week.

  12. OIL—Output input language for data connectivity between geoscientific software applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amin Khan, Khalid; Akhter, Gulraiz; Ahmad, Zulfiqar

    2010-05-01

    Geoscientific computing has become so complex that no single software application can perform all the processing steps required to get the desired results. Thus for a given set of analyses, several specialized software applications are required, which must be interconnected for electronic flow of data. In this network of applications the outputs of one application become inputs of other applications. Each of these applications usually involve more than one data type and may have their own data formats, making them incompatible with other applications in terms of data connectivity. Consequently several data format conversion utilities are developed in-house to provide data connectivity between applications. Practically there is no end to this problem as each time a new application is added to the system, a set of new data conversion utilities need to be developed. This paper presents a flexible data format engine, programmable through a platform independent, interpreted language named; Output Input Language (OIL). Its unique architecture allows input and output formats to be defined independent of each other by two separate programs. Thus read and write for each format is coded only once and data connectivity link between two formats is established by a combination of their read and write programs. This results in fewer programs with no redundancy and maximum reuse, enabling rapid application development and easy maintenance of data connectivity links.

  13. The lithospheric shear-wave velocity structure of Saudi Arabia: Young volcanism in an old shield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Zheng; Julià, Jordi; Zahran, Hani; Mai, P. Martin

    2016-06-01

    We investigate the lithospheric shear-wave velocity structure of Saudi Arabia by conducting H-κ stacking analysis and jointly inverting teleseismic P-receiver functions and fundamental-mode Rayleigh wave group velocities at 56 broadband stations deployed by the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS). The study region, the Arabian plate, is traditionally divided into the western Arabian shield and the eastern Arabian platform: The Arabian shield itself is a complicated mélange of crustal material, composed of several Proterozoic terrains separated by ophiolite-bearing suture zones and dotted by outcropping Cenozoic volcanic rocks (locally known as harrats). The Arabian platform is primarily covered by 8 to 10 km of Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks. Our results reveal high Vp/Vs ratios in the region of Harrat Lunayyir, which are interpreted as solidified magma intrusions from old magmatic episodes in the shield. Our results also indicate slow velocities and large upper mantle lid temperatures below the southern and northern tips of the Arabian shield, when compared with the values obtained for the central shield. We argue that our inferred patterns of lid velocity and temperature are due to heating by thermal conduction from the Afar plume (and, possibly, the Jordan plume), and that volcanism in western Arabia may result from small-scale adiabatic ascent of magma diapirs.

  14. Deformation in the continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The Physical Properties of Earth Materials Committee, a technical committee of AGU's Tectonophysics Section, is organizing a dinner/colloquium as part of the Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. This event will be held Monday, December 3rd, in the Gold Rush Room of the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway Hotel at 1500 Van Ness St. There will be a no-host bar from 6:30 to 7:30 P.M., followed by dinner from 7:30 to 8:30 P.M. Paul Tapponnier will deliver the after-dinner talk, “Large-Scale Deformation Mechanisms in the Continental Lithosphere: Where Do We Stand?” It will start at 8:30 P.M. and a business meeting will follow at 9:30 P.M.

  15. Episodic Instabilities of Thick Continental Lithosphere (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaupart, C. P.; Fourel, L.; Farnetani, C. G.

    2009-12-01

    Although continental interiors are commonly described as stable, many have been subjected to major perturbations. The North American continent, for example, saw the formation or reactivation of four intracratonic basins (Williston, Hudson Bay, Illinois and Michigan) in the Paleozoic about 500 million years ago. These events occurred far from ocean basins and are not related to other tectonic events, and hence have usually been explained as late consequences of earlier orogenies or of mantle plumes impinging the base of the lithosphere. Why and how subsidence affected four neighbouring basins simultaneously in the Paleozoic has not been explained, however. Other important observations are that intracratonic basins and subsidence events tend to recur at the same locations, and that subsidence is rarely preceded by domal uplift. These observations can be explained by the behaviour of thick compositionally buoyant lithosphere that becomes unstable because it is being cooled from above. Laboratory analog experiments, stability theory and numerical simulations in 2-D and 3-D have been conducted to specify the necessary conditions for instability and to illustrate how flow develops and deforms the lithosphere. Numerical solutions accounting for temperature-dependent viscosity show that the compositional viscosity contrast between the lithospheric mantle and the underlying asthenosphere has only a weak effect on flow and deformation. Lithosphere behaviour depends on the Rayleigh number and the buoyancy ratio, which is equal to the ratio of compositional density contrast over the thermal density contrast through the unstable part of the lithosphere. Episodic instabilities are generated at small buoyancy numbers appropriate for geological conditions. Scaling laws for temperature-dependent viscosity fluids will be presented. Little uplift is generated by the instability because the hot upwelling asthenospheric mantle displaces compositionally buoyant colder lithospheric

  16. Rifting Thick Lithosphere - Canning Basin, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czarnota, Karol; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

    The subsidence histories and architecture of most, but not all, rift basins are elegantly explained by extension of ~120 km thick lithosphere followed by thermal re-thickening of the lithospheric mantle to its pre-rift thickness. Although this well-established model underpins most basin analysis, it is unclear whether the model explains the subsidence of rift basins developed over substantially thick lithosphere (as imaged by seismic tomography beneath substantial portions of the continents). The Canning Basin of Western Australia is an example where a rift basin putatively overlies lithosphere ≥180 km thick, imaged using shear wave tomography. Subsidence modelling in this study shows that the entire subsidence history of the <300 km wide and <6 km thick western Canning Basin is adequately explained by mild Ordovician extension (β≈1.2) of ~120 km thick lithosphere followed by post-rift thermal subsidence. This is consistent with the established model, described above, albeit with perturbations due to transient dynamic topography support which are expressed as basin-wide unconformities. In contrast the <150 km wide and ~15 km thick Fitzroy Trough of the eastern Canning Basin reveals an almost continuous period of normal faulting between the Ordovician and Carboniferous (β<2.0) followed by negligible post-rift thermal subsidence. These features cannot be readily explained by the established model of rift basin development. We attribute the difference in basin architecture between the western and eastern Canning Basin to rifting of thick lithosphere beneath the eastern part, verified by the presence of ~20 Ma diamond-bearing lamproites intruded into the basin depocentre. In order to account for the observed subsidence, at standard crustal densities, the lithospheric mantle is required to be depleted in density by 50-70 kg m-3, which is in line with estimates derived from modelling rare-earth element concentrations of the ~20 Ma lamproites and global isostatic

  17. Yellowstone hotspot-continental lithosphere interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jean, Marlon M.; Hanan, Barry B.; Shervais, John W.

    2014-03-01

    The Snake River Plain represents 17 m.y. of volcanic activity that took place as the North American continent migrated over a relatively fixed magma source, or hotspot. We present new Pb, Sr, and Nd data for a suite of 25 basalts collected from Western and Central Snake River Plain (SRP). The new isotope data, combined with previously published data from the SRP, provide a traverse of the Wyoming craton margin, from the 87Sr/86Sr = 0.706 line boundary of western SRP with Phanerozoic accreted terranes, east through the central and eastern SRP, to the Yellowstone Plateau. Low-K basalts from the western SRP, overlain by high-K basalts, provide a temporal record of regional source variation from ∼16.8 to 0.2 Ma. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the new and previously published SRP basalt Pb isotopes reveals that >97% of the total variability is accounted for by mixing between three end-members and is consistent with a sublithospheric Yellowstone hotspot mantle source with a radiogenic isotope composition similar to the mantle source of the early Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) and two continental lithosphere end-members, heterogeneous in age and composition. We use the SRP Pb, Sr, and Nd isotope data to model the Yellowstone Hotspot-continental lithosphere interaction by three component mixing between two continental lithospheric components, Archean lithosphere (CL1) that represents older lithosphere underlying the Yellowstone Plateau in the east, and Paleoproterozoic lithosphere (CL2) representing the younger lithosphere underlying the SRP in the west near the craton margin, and a sublithospheric end-member, representing the Yellowstone hotspot (PL). The results suggest a continuous flow of PL material westward as the NA continental lithosphere migrated over the upwelling hotspot along a shoaling gradient in the sub-continental mantle lithosphere. The model shows a decrease in Total Lithosphere end-members (CL1 + CL2) and the Lithosphere Ratio (CL1/CL2

  18. Mode of rifting in magmatic-rich setting: Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Central Afar rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stab, Martin; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Pik, Raphaël; Leroy, Sylvie; Ayalew, Dereje

    2014-05-01

    Observation of deep structures related to break-up processes at volcanic passive margins (VPM) is often a troublesome exercise: thick pre- to syn-breakup seaward-dipping reflectors (SDR) usually mask the continent-ocean boundary and hide the syn-rift tectonic structures that accommodate crustal stretching and thinning. Some of the current challenges are about clarifying 1) if tectonic stretching fits the observed thinning and 2) what is the effect of continuous magma supply and re-thickening of the crust during extension from a rheological point of view? The Afar region in Ethiopia is an ideal natural laboratory to address those questions, as it is a highly magmatic rift that is probably close enough to breakup to present some characteristics of VPM. Moreover, the structures related to rifting since Oligocene are out-cropping, onshore and well preserved. In this contribution, we present new structural field data and lavas (U-Th/He) datings along a cross-section from the Ethiopian Plateau, through the marginal graben down to the Manda-Hararo active rift axis. We mapped continent-ward normal fault array affecting highly tilted trapp series unconformably overlain by tilted Miocene (25-7 Ma) acid series. The main extensional and necking/thinning event took place during the end of this Miocene magmatic episode. It is itself overlain by flat lying Pliocene series, including the Stratoid. Balanced cross-sections of those areas allow us to constrain a surface stretching factor of about 2.1-2.9. Those findings have the following implications: - High beta factor constrained from field observations is at odd with thinning factor of ~1.3 predicted by seismic and gravimetric studies. We propose that the continental crust in Central Afar has been re-thickened by the emplacement of underplated magma and SDR. - The deformation in Central Afar appears to be largely distributed through space and time. It has been accommodated in a 200-300 km wide strip being a diffuse incipient

  19. Lithospheric controls on Earth evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mole, D. R.; Fiorentini, M.; Thebaud, N.; McCuaig, C.; Cassidy, K.; Kirkland, C.; Belousova, E.

    2011-12-01

    The Archean eon represents an important time in the evolution of our planet, during which tectonic activity was vigorous and the rate of crustal recycling extremely energetic [Hawkesworth and Kemp, 2006]. Although apparently inhospitable to complex forms of life, the Archean Earth was shaped by geological processes, which prepared the ground for the establishment of a complex biosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere at ~2.0 Ga [Kump and Barley, 2007]. Therefore, a more comprehensive understanding of Archean cratonic architecture may provide crucial insights into the geodynamic and ecological evolution of our planet. Spatially distributed felsic crustal rocks (granitoids/volcanics) from the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia were analysed for U-Pb zircon geochronology, Lu-Hf zircon and Sm-Nd whole-rock isotopes. Using this data, a number of 'time-slices' (isotopic contour maps constrained by U-Pb zircon age) were plotted. The isotope maps show a network of lithospheric blocks of varying age and genesis which represent the intra-cratonic architecture of the Yilgarn Craton. Within this architecture, there are multiple Earth systems which vary in space and time. The major systems under first-order control appear to be heat flux, magmatism, sedimentary environment and isostacy. Whether an area is juvenile (eHf>0) or evolved (eHf<0) indicates the level of mantle input and by proxy heat input into the crust. In turn, isotopic nature can be used as a proxy for lithospheric thickness, with evolved blocks having more extensive vertical accretion and addition of plume head restites than juvenile regions. These thickness contrasts are believed to control the localisation of plume melts and subsequent volcanism into shallower, juvenile, craton-margins [Begg et al., 2010]. Thickness variations also control the level of isostatic equilibrium of a 'block' relative to the geoid, with implications for emergence, topography and subsequent depositional and ecological environments. Spatial

  20. Caring from Afar: Asian H1B Migrant Workers and Aging Parents.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yeon-Shim; Chaudhuri, Anoshua; Yoo, Grace J

    2015-09-01

    With the growth in engineering/technology industries, the United States has seen an increase in the arrival of highly skilled temporary migrant workers on H1B visas from various Asian countries. Limited research exists on how these groups maintain family ties from afar including caring for aging parents. This study explores the experiences and challenges that Asian H1B workers face when providing care from a distance. A total of 21 Chinese/Taiwanese, Korean, and Indian H1B workers participated in in-depth qualitative interviews. Key findings indicate that despite distance, caring relationships still continue through regular communications, financial remittances, and return visits, at the same time creating emotional, psychological, and financial challenges for the workers. Findings highlight the need for further research in understanding how the decline of aging parent's health impacts the migrants' adjustment and health in the United States. PMID:26267591

  1. Late Miocene hominin teeth from the Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project area, Afar, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Scott W; Kleinsasser, Lynnette; Quade, Jay; Levin, Naomi E; McIntosh, William C; Dunbar, Nelia; Semaw, Sileshi; Rogers, Michael J

    2015-04-01

    Since 2000, significant collections of Latest Miocene hominin fossils have been recovered from Chad, Kenya, and Ethiopia. These fossils have provided a better understanding of earliest hominin biology and context. Here, we describe five hominin teeth from two periods (ca. 5.4 Million-years-ago and ca. 6.3 Ma) that were recovered from the Adu-Asa Formation in the Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project area in the Afar, Ethiopia that we assign to either Hominina, gen. et sp. indet. or Ardipithecus kadabba. These specimens are compared with extant African ape and other Latest Miocene and Early Pliocene hominin teeth. The derived morphology of the large, non-sectorial maxillary canine and mandibular third premolar links them with later hominins and they are phenetically distinguishable and thus phyletically distinct from extant apes. PMID:25795338

  2. Magmatism on rift flanks: Insights from ambient noise phase velocity in Afar region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korostelev, Félicie; Weemstra, Cornelis; Leroy, Sylvie; Boschi, Lapo; Keir, Derek; Ren, Yong; Molinari, Irene; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Stuart, Graham W.; Rolandone, Frédérique; Khanbari, Khaled; Hammond, James O. S.; Kendall, J. M.; Doubre, Cécile; Ganad, Ismail Al; Goitom, Berhe; Ayele, Atalay

    2015-04-01

    During the breakup of continents in magmatic settings, the extension of the rift valley is commonly assumed to initially occur by border faulting and progressively migrate in space and time toward the spreading axis. Magmatic processes near the rift flanks are commonly ignored. We present phase velocity maps of the crust and uppermost mantle of the conjugate margins of the southern Red Sea (Afar and Yemen) using ambient noise tomography to constrain crustal modification during breakup. Our images show that the low seismic velocities characterize not only the upper crust beneath the axial volcanic systems but also both upper and lower crust beneath the rift flanks where ongoing volcanism and hydrothermal activity occur at the surface. Magmatic modification of the crust beneath rift flanks likely occurs for a protracted period of time during the breakup process and may persist through to early seafloor spreading.

  3. Late Miocene hominin teeth from the Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project area, Afar, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Scott W; Kleinsasser, Lynnette; Quade, Jay; Levin, Naomi E; McIntosh, William C; Dunbar, Nelia; Semaw, Sileshi; Rogers, Michael J

    2015-04-01

    Since 2000, significant collections of Latest Miocene hominin fossils have been recovered from Chad, Kenya, and Ethiopia. These fossils have provided a better understanding of earliest hominin biology and context. Here, we describe five hominin teeth from two periods (ca. 5.4 Million-years-ago and ca. 6.3 Ma) that were recovered from the Adu-Asa Formation in the Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project area in the Afar, Ethiopia that we assign to either Hominina, gen. et sp. indet. or Ardipithecus kadabba. These specimens are compared with extant African ape and other Latest Miocene and Early Pliocene hominin teeth. The derived morphology of the large, non-sectorial maxillary canine and mandibular third premolar links them with later hominins and they are phenetically distinguishable and thus phyletically distinct from extant apes.

  4. Caring from Afar: Asian H1B Migrant Workers and Aging Parents.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yeon-Shim; Chaudhuri, Anoshua; Yoo, Grace J

    2015-09-01

    With the growth in engineering/technology industries, the United States has seen an increase in the arrival of highly skilled temporary migrant workers on H1B visas from various Asian countries. Limited research exists on how these groups maintain family ties from afar including caring for aging parents. This study explores the experiences and challenges that Asian H1B workers face when providing care from a distance. A total of 21 Chinese/Taiwanese, Korean, and Indian H1B workers participated in in-depth qualitative interviews. Key findings indicate that despite distance, caring relationships still continue through regular communications, financial remittances, and return visits, at the same time creating emotional, psychological, and financial challenges for the workers. Findings highlight the need for further research in understanding how the decline of aging parent's health impacts the migrants' adjustment and health in the United States.

  5. Geoscientific Site Evaluation Approach for Canada's Deep Geological Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-Rico Castejon, M.; Hirschorn, S.; Ben Belfadhel, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is responsible for implementing Adaptive Phased Management, the approach selected by the Government of Canada for long-term management of used nuclear fuel generated by Canadian nuclear reactors. The ultimate objective of APM is the centralized containment and isolation of Canada's used nuclear fuel in a Deep Geological Repository in a suitable crystalline or sedimentary rock formation. In May 2010, the NWMO published and initiated a nine-step site selection process to find an informed and willing community to host a deep geological repository for Canada's used nuclear fuel. The site selection process is designed to address a broad range of technical and social, economic and cultural factors. The site evaluation process includes three main technical evaluation steps: Initial Screenings; Preliminary Assessments; and Detailed Site Characterizations, to assess the suitability of candidate areas in a stepwise manner over a period of many years. By the end of 2012, twenty two communities had expressed interest in learning more about the project. As of July 2015, nine communities remain in the site selection process. To date (July 2015), NWMO has completed Initial Screenings for the 22 communities that expressed interest, and has completed the first phase of Preliminary Assessments (desktop) for 20 of the communities. Phase 2 of the Preliminary Assessments has been initiated in a number of communities, with field activities such as high-resolution airborne geophysical surveys and geological mapping. This paper describes the approach, methods and criteria being used to assess the geoscientific suitability of communities currently involved in the site selection process.

  6. Evolution of the Main Ethiopian Rift in the frame of Afar and Kenya rifts propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonini, Marco; Corti, Giacomo; Innocenti, Fabrizio; Manetti, Piero; Mazzarini, Francesco; Abebe, Tsegaye; Pecskay, Zoltan

    2005-02-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) has a complex structural pattern composed of southern, central, and northern segments. Ages of onset of faulting and volcanism apparently indicate a heterogeneous time-space evolution of the segments, generally referred to as a northward progression of the rifting process. New structural, petrological, and geochronological data have been used to attempt reconciling the evolution of the distinct MER segments into a volcanotectonic scenario accounting for the propagation of the Afar and the Kenya Rifts. In this evolutionary model, extension affected the Southern MER in the early Miocene (20-21 Ma) due to the northward propagation of the Kenya Rift-related deformation. This event lasted until 11 Ma, then deformation decreased radically and was resumed in Quaternary times. In the late Miocene (11 Ma), deformation focused in the Northern MER forming a proto-rift that we consider as the southernmost propagation of Afar. No major extensional deformation affected the Central MER in this period, as testified by the emplacement at 12-8 Ma of extensive plateau basalts currently outcropping on both rift margins. Significant rift opening occurred in the Central MER during the Pliocene (˜5-3 Ma) with the eruption of voluminous ignimbritic covers (Nazret sequence) exposed both on the rift shoulders and on the rift floor. The apparent discrepancy between the heterogeneous propagation of the three MER segments could be reconciled by considering the opening of Central MER and the later reactivation of the Southern MER as due to a southward propagation of rifting triggered by counterclockwise rotation of the Somalian plate starting around 10 Ma.

  7. Rifting on Venus: Implications for lithospheric structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerdt, W. B.; Golombek, M. P.

    1985-01-01

    Lithospheric strength envelopes on Venus are reviewed and their implications for large scale rifting are discussed. Their relationship to crustal thicnesses and thermal gradients are explored. Also considered are the implications of a theory for rift formation.

  8. Asthenosphere-lithosphere interactions in Western Saudi Arabia: Inferences from 3He/4He in xenoliths and lava flows from Harrat Hutaymah

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konrad, Kevin; Graham, David W.; Thornber, Carl R.; Duncan, Robert A.; Kent, Adam J. R.; Al-Amri, Abdullah M.

    2016-04-01

    Extensive volcanic fields on the western Arabian Plate have erupted intermittently over the last 30 Ma following emplacement of the Afar flood basalts in Ethiopia. In an effort to better understand the origin of this volcanism in western Saudi Arabia, we analyzed 3He/4He, and He, CO2 and trace element concentrations in minerals separated from xenoliths and lava flows from Harrat Hutaymah, supplemented with reconnaissance He isotope data from several other volcanic fields (Harrat Al Birk, Harrat Al Kishb and Harrat Ithnayn). Harrat Hutaymah is young (< 850 ka) and the northeasternmost of the volcanic fields. There is a remarkable homogeneity of 3He/4He trapped within most xenoliths, with a weighted mean of 7.54 ± 0.03 RA (2σ, n = 20). This homogeneity occurs over at least eight different xenolith types (including spinel lherzolite, amphibole clinopyroxenite, olivine websterite, clinopyroxenite and garnet websterite), and encompasses ten different volcanic centers within an area of ~ 2500 km2. The homogeneity is caused by volatile equilibration between the xenoliths and fluids derived from their host magma, as fluid inclusions are annealed during the infiltration of vapor-saturated magmas along crystalline grain boundaries. The notable exceptions are the anhydrous spinel lherzolites, which have a lower weighted mean 3He/4He of 6.8 ± 0.3 RA (2σ, n = 2), contain lower concentrations of trapped He, and have a distinctly depleted light rare earth element signature. 3He/4He values of ~ 6.8 RA are also commonly found in spinel lherzolites from harrats Ithnayn, Al Birk, and from Zabargad Island in the Red Sea. Olivine from non-xenolith-bearing lava flows at Hutaymah spans the He isotope range of the xenoliths. The lower 3He/4He in the anhydrous spinel lherzolites appears to be tied to remnant Proterozoic lithosphere prior to metasomatic fluid overprinting. Elevated 3He/4He in the western harrats has been observed only at Rahat (up to 11.8 RA; Murcia et al., 2013), a

  9. Receiver function constraints on crustal seismic velocities and partial melting in the Red Sea Rift, Central Afar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, C. A.; Almadani, S.; Gao, S. S.; Elsheikh, A. A.; Cherie, S.; Thurmond, A. K.; Liu, K. H.

    2013-12-01

    The Afar Depression is currently a unique locale for the investigation of crustal and mantle processes involved in the transition from continental to oceanic rifting. To provide high-quality images of the crust and upper mantle beneath the Red Sea Rift in Central Afar, we deployed an array of 18 broadband seismic stations in 2010 and 2011. Here we report receiver function stacking results to investigate crustal properties of this presumably incipient oceanic rift. Stacking of approximately 2200 radial receiver functions along the ~200 km long array reveals an average crustal thickness of 22 km, ranging from nearly 18 km within the Red Sea Rift axis to approximately 30 km within the overlap zone between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rift axes. The resulting anomalously high Vp/Vs ratios systematically decrease toward the northeast, ranging from 2.40 southwest of the Tendaho Graben to 1.85 within the overlap zone. We utilize theoretical Vp and melt fraction relationships to constrain a highly reduced average crustal P-velocity of 5.0 km/s within the rift axis, which is characterized by a melt percentage of ~11% confined primarily to the lower crust while the overlap zone contains relatively minor quantities of partial melt. An observed asymmetric distribution of high Vp/Vs values within the Tendaho Graben, as well as regionally maximum values on the southwestern rift flank, suggest crustal magmas either delivered from off-axis subcrustal magma chambers or as material present as residuum from the Red Sea Rift axis migration. Comparisons of these crustal properties beneath the Red Sea Rift and those found beneath mature mid-ocean ridges suggest the locus of extensional strain within the Central Afar is currently diffuse and in the process of localizing toward the Tendaho Graben accompanying the northeastward migration of the Afar Triple Junction.

  10. Constraining the Composition of the Subcontinental Lithospheric Mantle Beneath the East African Rift: FTIR Analysis of Water in Spinel Peridotite Mantle Xenoliths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, Stephanie Gwen; Nelson, Wendy R.; Peslier, Anne H.; Snow, Jonathan E.

    2014-01-01

    The East African Rift System was initiated by the impingement of the Afar mantle plume on the base of the non-cratonic continental lithosphere (assembled during the Pan-African Orogeny), producing over 300,000 kmof continental flood basalts approx.30 Ma ago. The contribution of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) to this voluminous period of volcanism is implied based on basaltic geochemical and isotopic data. However, the role of percolating melts on the SCLM composition is less clear. Metasomatism is capable of hybridizing or overprinting the geochemical signature of the SCLM. In addition, models suggest that adding fluids to lithospheric mantle affects its stability. We investigated the nature of the SCLM using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) to measure water content in mantle xenoliths entrained in young (1 Ma) basaltic lavas from the Ethiopian volcanic province. The mantle xenoliths consist dominantly of spinel lherzolites and are composed of nominally anhydrous minerals, which can contain trace water as H in mineral defects. Eleven mantle xenoliths come from the Injibara-Gojam region and two from the Mega-Sidamo region. Water abundances of olivines in six samples are 1-5ppm H2O while the rest are below the limit of detection (<0.5 ppm H2O); orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene contain 80-238 and 111-340 ppm wt H2O, respectively. Two xenoliths have higher water contents - a websterite (470 ppm) and dunite (229 ppm), consistent with involvement of ascending melts. The low water content of the upper SCLM beneath Ethiopia is as dry as the oceanic mantle except for small domains represented by percolating melts. Consequently, rifting of the East African lithosphere may not have been facilitated by a hydrated upper mantle.

  11. Permeability Barrier Generation in the Martian Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schools, Joe; Montési, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    Permeability barriers develop when a magma produced in the interior of a planet rises into the cooler lithosphere and crystallizes more rapidly than the lithosphere can deform (Sparks and Parmentier, 1991). Crystallization products may then clog the porous network in which melt is propagating, reducing the permeability to almost zero, i.e., forming a permeability barrier. Subsequent melts cannot cross the barrier. Permeability barriers have been useful to explain variations in crustal thickness at mid-ocean ridges on Earth (Magde et al., 1997; Hebert and Montési, 2011; Montési et al., 2011). We explore here under what conditions permeability barriers may form on Mars.We use the MELTS thermodynamic calculator (Ghiorso and Sack, 1995; Ghiorso et al., 2002; Asimow et al., 2004) in conjunction with estimated Martian mantle compositions (Morgan and Anders, 1979; Wänke and Dreibus, 1994; Lodders and Fegley, 1997; Sanloup et al., 1999; Taylor 2013) to model the formation of permeability barriers in the lithosphere of Mars. In order to represent potential past and present conditions of Mars, we vary the lithospheric thickness, mantle potential temperature (heat flux), oxygen fugacity, and water content.Our results show that permeability layers can develop in the thermal boundary layer of the simulated Martian lithosphere if the mantle potential temperature is higher than ~1500°C. The various Martian mantle compositions yield barriers in the same locations, under matching variable conditions. There is no significant difference in barrier location over the range of accepted Martian oxygen fugacity values. Water content is the most significant influence on barrier development as it reduces the temperature of crystallization, allowing melt to rise further into the lithosphere. Our lower temperature and thicker lithosphere model runs, which are likely the most similar to modern Mars, show no permeability barrier generation. Losing the possibility of having a permeability

  12. 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.

  13. Geophysical Signatures of Adjoining Lithospheric Domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gradmann, S.; Kaiser, J.

    2014-12-01

    Lithospheres of different age have distinctly different characteristics regarding their composition, thermal and density structure. Major differences exist between cratons and the Phanerozoic domains and mobile belts. We here investigate how the lateral transition from one lithospheric domain to another is reflected in the geophysical signatures, the seismic velocities, gravity, topography and geoid. We combine geophysical-petrological forward modeling with a comparison to worldwide occurrences of adjoining lithospheric domains. Three distinctly different mantle types (Archean, Proterozoic, Phanerozoic) are used to calculate the geophysical signatures of a range of possible lateral transition zones. The mantle types are characterized by their different elemental composition, from which stable mineral phases and bulk physical properties are derived. Usually, older SCLM (sub-lithospheric mantle) is more depleted in heavier minerals and thereby lighter, but this effect is mainly counterbalanced by the increased density caused by long-term thermal cooling. At the edges of cratons, changes in the thermal structure affect this balance. A range of models is tested for the effects of lateral variations in the crustal and SCLM structure (thickness, smoothness of thickness changes) and mantle compositions. Abrupt changes in composition and lithosphere thickness generally cause distinct topographic lows or ridges. In the real world, these may be offset by respective adjustments in Moho depth, crustal structure or sediment infill. Gradual variations in lithosphere thickness, however, only show minor geophysical signatures. A possible expression of adjoining lithospheric domains is the Scandinavian Mountain Belt in Norway at the edge of Proterozoic Baltica. Although many of the present-day topographic features are unlikely to have existed since the Precambrian, the evolution of the cratons (rejuvenation of the craton edges) may have assisted in shaping the present

  14. Editorial: The publication of geoscientific model developments v1.1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Executive Editors, GMD

    2015-10-01

    Version 1.0 of the editorial of the EGU (European Geosciences Union) journal, Geoscientific Model Development (GMD), was published in 2013. In that editorial an assessment was made of the progress the journal had made since it started, and some revisions to the editorial policy were introduced. After 2 years of experience with this revised editorial policy there are a few required updates, refinements and clarifications, so here we present version 1.1 of the editorial. The most significant amendments relate to the peer-review criteria as presented in the Framework for GMD manuscript types, which is published as an appendix to this paper and also available on the GMD manuscript types webpage. We also slightly refine and update the Publication guide and introduce a self-contained code and data policy. The changes are summarised as follows: - All manuscript types are now required to include code or data availability paragraphs, and model code must always be made available (in the case of copyright or other legal issues, to the editor at a minimum). - The role of evaluation in GMD papers is clarified, and a separate evaluation paper type is introduced. Model descriptions must already be published or in peer review when separate evaluation papers are submitted. - Observationally derived data should normally be published in a data journal rather than in GMD. Syntheses of data which were specifically designed for tasks such as model boundary conditions or direct evaluation of model output may, however, be published in GMD. - GMD publishes a broad range of different kinds of models, and this fact is now more explicitly acknowledged. - The main changes to the Publication guide are the addition of guidelines for editors when assessing papers at the initial review stage. Before sending papers for peer review, editors are required to make sure that papers comply with the Framework for GMD paper types and to carefully consider the topic of plagiarism. - A new appendix, the GMD

  15. Recurrence network analysis of nonlinear geoscientific time series: Theoretical foundations and applications to paleoclimate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donner, R. V.; Donges, J. F.; Kurths, J.

    2011-12-01

    In the past years, different approaches to studying time series of complex systems from a graph-theoretical point of view have been suggested by several authors. Among the proposed methods, recurrence networks have particularly proven their great potential for characterizing the structural complexity of the system under study and detecting subtle changes in the underlying dynamics. Based on the concept of recurrence plots, recurrence networks encode mutual proximity relationships in the recorded dynamical system's phase space and thus describe the structural backbone of the underlying dynamics. As a consequence, many of the local and global measures traditionally characterizing complex networks have simple geometric interpretations when being considered for recurrence networks. For example, local and global transitivity properties of recurrence networks allow defining sophisticated measures for the effective dimensionality of the system under study. Since a more regular behavior (e.g., phases of laminar or periodic behavior) is less complex from a dynamical system's perspective than fully chaotic or stochastic dynamics, the estimated values of the corresponding graph-theoretic measures (local clustering coefficient and global network transitivity, respectively) serve as easily calculable indicators for dynamic regularity. Other network quantifiers can be interpreted in similar ways. The fact that only "spatial" information is taken into account in the network construction makes recurrence networks especially robust with respect to typical problems one is confronted with in the analysis of nonlinear geoscientific time series. Specifically, since time information is not explicitly considered, recurrence networks are well applicable to time series with nonuniform sampling and/or uncertain timing of observations, which are typical features of paleoclimate records. As a particular example, the results of recurrence network analysis are reported for different geological

  16. Observational Constraints on Lithospheric Rheology and Their Implications for Lithospheric Dynamics and Plate Tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, S.; Watts, A. B.

    2014-12-01

    Lithospheric rheology and strength are important for understanding crust and lithosphere dynamics, and the conditions for plate tectonics. Laboratory studies suggest that lithospheric rheology is controlled by frictional sliding, semi-brittle, low-temperature plasticity, and high-temperature creep deformation mechanisms as pressure and temperature increase from shallow to large depths. Although rheological equations for these deformation mechanisms have been determined in laboratory settings, it is necessary to validate them using field observations. Here we present an overview of lithospheric rheology constrained by observations of seismic structure and load-induced flexure. Together with mantle dynamic modeling, rheological equations for high-temperature creep derived from laboratory studies (Hirth and Kohlstedt, 2003; Karato and Jung, 2003) satisfactorily explain the seismic structure of the Pacific upper mantle (Hunen et al., 2005) and Hawaiian swell topography (Asaadi et al., 2011). In a recent study that compared modeled surface flexure and stress induced by volcano loads in the Hawaiian Islands region with the observed flexure and seismicity, Zhong and Watts (2013) showed that the coefficient of friction is between 0.25 and 0.7, and is consistent with laboratory studies and also in-situ borehole measurements. However, this study indicated that the rheological equation for the low-temperature plasticity from laboratory studies (e.g., Mei et al., 2010) significantly over-predicts lithospheric strength and viscosity. Zhong and Watts (2013) also showed that the maximum lithospheric stress beneath Hawaiian volcano loads is about 100-200 MPa, which may be viewed as the largest lithospheric stress in the Earth's lithosphere. We show that the relatively weak lithospheric strength in the low-temperature plasticity regime is consistent with seismic observation of reactivated mantle lithosphere in the western US and the eastern North China. We discuss here the causes

  17. Lithospheric buoyancy and continental intraplate stresses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zoback, M.L.; Mooney, W.D.

    2003-01-01

    Lithospheric buoyancy, the product of lithospheric density and thickness, is an important physical property that influences both the long-term stability of continents and their state of stress. We have determined lithospheric buoyancy by applying the simple isostatic model of Lachenbruch and Morgan (1990). We determine the crustal portion of lithospheric buoyancy using the USGS global database of more than 1700 crustal structure determinations (Mooney et al., 2002), which demonstrates that a simple relationship between crustal thickness and surface elevation does not exist. In fact, major regions of the crust at or near sea level (0-200 m elevation) have crustal thicknesses that vary between 25 and 55 km. Predicted elevations due to the crustal component of buoyancy in the model exceed observed elevations in nearly all cases (97% of the data), consistent with the existence of a cool lithospheric mantle lid that is denser than the asthenosphere on which it floats. The difference between the observed and predicted crustal elevation is assumed to be equal to the decrease in elevation produced by the negative buoyancy of the mantle lid. Mantle lid thickness was first estimated from the mantle buoyancy and a mean lid density computed using a basal crust temperature determined from extrapolation of surface heat flow, assuming a linear thermal gradient in the mantle lid. The resulting values of total lithosphere thickness are in good agreement with thicknesses estimated from seismic data, except beneath cratonic regions where they are only 40-60% of the typical estimates (200-350 km) derived from seismic data. This inconsistency is compatible with petrologic data and tomography and geoid analyses that have suggested that cratonic mantle lids are ??? 1% less dense than mantle lids elsewhere. By lowering the thermally determined mean mantle lid density in cratons by 1%, our model reproduces the observed 200-350+ km cratonic lithospheric thickness. We then computed

  18. Martian lithospheric thickness from elastic flexure theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thurber, C. H.; Toksoz, M. N.

    1978-01-01

    The thickness of the elastic lithosphere in the Tharsis region of Mars is estimated from effects due to the surface load of Olympus Mons. Deformation (vertical displacement) and stress are calculated using elastic flexure theory for a range of possible lithospheric thicknesses (T), modeling the lithosphere as a thin elastic shell and the interior as a Newtonian fluid. For T below 150 km, displacement and stress rise rapidly with decreasing thickness. For T near 100 km, deformation of the region surrounding the volcano would be clearly visible in the topography, and resulting tensional stresses exceeding 5 kbar should produce observable fracturing at the surface. In contrast, for T near 200 km deformation is minimal and the tensional stress, being less than a kilobar, would not result in extensive fracturing. Since significant deformation and fracturing are not observed, it is concluded that the Martian elastic lithosphere is at least 150 km in thickness. Seismic, tectonic, and gravity observations all suggest a thick Martian lithosphere as well.

  19. The Afar region as an analogue of mature oceanic ridges: a model for slow spreading centres?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, Sarah; Pik, Raphaël; Burnard, Peter; France, Lyderic; Whaler, Kathryn

    2014-05-01

    The Afar depression (Ethiopia) is organised along magmatic rift segments which morphologically resemble oceanic ridges. The segmentation in individual magmatic rift segments results from interactions between dyke injection and volcanism, as observed in mature oceanic ridges. Therefore the Afar region represents an ideal natural and subaerial analogue laboratory to study the evolution of rift/ridge morphology as a response to volcanic and tectonic influences.We focussed on the Dabbahu rift segment which experienced in 2005 a well-documented rifting event. This tectono-volcanic crisis provided invaluable information via the direct observation of a sequence of dyke intrusions. However, over timescales of 1 to 100 kyrs - a key period over which the main morphology of a rift/ridge segment is acquired - chronological constraints are very scarce. In order to address the lack of data on these timescales, a multidisciplinary study of the Dabbahu rift has combined surface exposure dating (3He and 36Cl) of lavas and fault scarp with major & trace element compositions and field/remote sensing mapping. Over three field campaigns, we investigated the Northern and central parts of the rift, from its western shoulders to the axial valley, allowing the long-term interplay between tectonic and magmatic processes to be deciphered (Medynski et al., 2013; Medynski et al. 2014a,b submitted). Based on this subaerial example of an active magmatic rift segment, we propose a model for the acquisition of slow spreading oceanic ridge morphology, where topography building is tightly tied to magma budget and location. Over a period of ~100 ka, magmatic accretion is maintained by successive intrusions of dikes that spread from the various magma chambers distributed along the rift, and which also provoke a local topographic response. The main topographic development is not continuous, but rather is linked to the degree of differentiation of these reservoirs. Our data show that magma chambers

  20. Lithospheric stress patterns: A global view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoback, Mary Lou; Burke, Kevin

    The present-day lithospheric stress state is the result of a variety of forces that act on and within the tectonic plates forming the Iithosphere. Knowledge of this stress state provides important constraints on forces acting at a variety of scales and, hence, helps to solve scientific problems of interest to a wide spectrum of scientists and engineers.Six years of effort by scientists from all over the world (listed at end of article) brought together under the International Lithosphere Program (ILP) of the joint International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics/International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGG/IUGS) Interunion Commission on the Lithosphere culminated in the July 1992 publication of the World Stress Map and nineteen accompanying research papers in a special issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth (volume 87, number B8). Figure 1 shows a reduced version of the published 1:40,000,000 color map.

  1. Uppermantle anisotropy and the oceanic lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. L.; Regan, J.

    1983-01-01

    Published Rayleigh and Love wave phase and group velocity data have been inverted taking into account sphericity, anelastic dispersion, and transverse isotropy. For a PREM-type modular parameterization, the thickness of the high velocity mantle seismic lithosphere (LID) varies in thickness from about 30 km for young ocean to about 50 km for old ocean, much less than previous estimates based on isotropic inversion of similar data. This LID thickness is comparable to the elastic or flexural thickness found from studies of seamount loading and flexure at trenches, suggesting that the thickness of the lithosphere may be controlled by mineralogy, composition, or crystal orientation rather than by temperature alone.

  2. Water in the Cratonic Mantle Lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peslier, A. H.

    2016-01-01

    The fact that Archean and Proterozoic cratons are underlain by the thickest (>200 km) lithosphere on Earth has always puzzled scientists because the dynamic convection of the surrounding asthenosphere would be expected to delaminate and erode these mantle lithospheric "keels" over time. Although density and temperature of the cratonic lithosphere certainly play a role in its strength and longevity, the role of water has only been recently addressed with data on actual mantle samples. Water in mantle lithologies (primarily peridotites and pyroxenites) is mainly stored in nominally anhydrous minerals (olivine, pyroxene, garnet) where it is incorporated as hydrogen bonded to structural oxygen in lattice defects. The property of hydrolytic weakening of olivine [4] has generated the hypothesis that olivine, the main mineral of the upper mantle, may be dehydrated in cratonic mantle lithospheres, contributing to its strength. This presentation will review the distribution of water concentrations in four cratonic lithospheres. The distribution of water contents in olivine from peridotite xenoliths found in kimberlites is different in each craton (Figure 1). The range of water contents of olivine, pyroxene and garnet at each xenolith location appears linked to local metasomatic events, some of which occurred later then the Archean and Proterozoic when these peridotites initially formed via melting. Although the low olivine water contents (<10 ppm wt H2O) at > 6 GPa at the base of the Kaapvaal cratonic lithosphere may contribute to its strength, and prevent its delamination, the wide range of those from Siberian xenoliths is not compatible with providing a high enough viscosity contrast with the asthenophere. The water content in olivine inclusions from Siberian diamonds, on the other hand, have systematically low water contents (<20 ppm wt H2O). The xenoliths may represent a biased sample of the cratonic lithosphere with an over-­abundance of metasomatized peridotites with

  3. On the importance of debate in (geo-)scientific research (Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courtillot, V.

    2012-04-01

    It is of course a great honor to receive the Holmes medal from EGU. As past (founding) treasurer and later president of EUG, the medal carries special significance for me. It may be a good time to look back on the scientific path I have followed, pursuing research in the geosciences, with outstanding support from a number of family members (foremost my wife Michèle), mentors, colleagues and students. Chance, not planning, led me to attend a French school that trained mining engineers, then a US University that made me fall in love with geophysics and plate tectonics at a time when this scientific revolution was still going on, and finally the marvelous Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), where I have spent the rest of my career to this day. To pursue on this path, I selected the rather separate fields of paleomagnetism (then linked to geology) and geomagnetism (then linked to physics). I have devoted much of my time to make sure that the two specialties would closely interact, including in the structure of our groups at IPGP. Geo- and paleo-magnetism have turned out (in a way reminiscent of geochemistry) to be powerful tools to explore a broad range of exciting scientific questions. Equipped with them, I have had the pleasure and good fortune to navigate from the discovery of geomagnetic secular variation impulses (with Jean-Louis Le Mouël), now inelegantly called "geomagnetic jerks", to that of propagating rifting of continents in the Afar depression, to fascinating work on the India-Asia collision in the Tibetan plateau and the Cenozoic paleogeography of the Indian ocean bordering continents, to the reconstruction of synthetic apparent polar wander paths for major continental masses (with Jean Besse) that have been widely used, to the understanding of the significance of the volume, age and short duration of massive flood basalt volcanism in the Deccan traps of India and their potential link to the biological mass extinction at the Cretaceous

  4. 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.

  5. Mapping Distribution and Forecasting Invasion of Prosopis juliflora in Ethiopia's Afar Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, A. M.; Wakie, T.; Luizza, M.; Evangelista, P.

    2014-12-01

    Invasion of non-native species is among the most critical threats to natural ecosystems and economies world-wide. Mesquite (which includes some 45 species) is an invasive deciduous tree which is known to have an array of negative impacts on ecosystems and rural livelihoods in arid and semi-arid regions around the world, dominating millions of hectares of land in Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. In Ethiopia, Prosopis juliflora (the only reported mesquite) is the most pervasive plant invader, threatening local livelihoods and the country's unique biodiversity. Due to its rapid spread and persistence, P. juliflora has been ranked as one of the leading threats to traditional land use, exceeded only by drought and conflict. This project utilized NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) data and species distribution modeling to map current infestations of P. juliflora in the Afar region of northeastern Ethiopia, and forecast its suitable habitat across the entire country. This project provided a time and cost-effective strategy for conducting risk assessments of invasive mesquite and subsequent monitoring and mitigation efforts by land managers and local communities.

  6. Chronostratigraphy of the Miocene-Pliocene Sagantole Formation, Middle Awash Valley, Afar rift, Ethiopia

    SciTech Connect

    Renne, P.R. |; WoldeGabriel, G.; Heiken, G.; Hart, W.K.; White, T.D.

    1999-06-01

    The Sagantole Formation comprises more than 200 m of lacustrine, alluvial, and volcaniclastic sediments, plus compositionally bimodal tephras and basaltic lavas, exposed in a domelike horst named the Central Awash Complex in the southwestern Afar rift of Ethiopia. The Sagantole Formation is widely known for abundant vertebrate faunas, including the 4.4 Ma primitive hominid Ardipithecus ramidus. New lithostratigraphic data are used to subdivide the Sagantole Formation into the Kuseralee, Gawto, Haradaso, Aramis, Beidareem, Adgantole, and Belohdelie Members, in ascending order. The members are defined on the basis of lithologic differences and laterally continuous bounding tephras. {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar dating of 12 intercalated volcanic units firmly establishes the age of the Sagantole Formation to be 5.6 to 3.9 Ma, significantly older than previous proposals based on erroneous correlations. Magnetostratigraphic data reveal eight paleomagnetic polarity zones, which can be correlated unambiguously with the Thvera, Sidufjall, Nunivak, and Cochiti Subchrons of the Gilbert Chron. Thus, by reference to the geomagnetic polarity time scale, seven additional chronological datums can be placed in the Sagantole Formation. With a total of 19 such datums, the age resolution anywhere in the Sagantole Formation is better than {+-}100 k.y., making this the best-dated Miocene-Pliocene succession in Africa.

  7. The Afar triple junction accommodation zone from InSAR derived strain and seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagli, C.; Ebinger, C. J.; Keir, D.; Wang, H.

    2015-12-01

    Strain and seismicity show us the mode by which deformation is accommodated in rifting continents. Here we present a combined analysis of InSAR derived strain maps and seismicity of the Afar triple junction from 2006 to 2010. Our analysis shows that that the plate spreading motion is accommodated in different modes. A dogbone-shaped seismicity and strain distribution dominates the northern Red Sea branch of the triple junction, likely as a result of repeated dike intrusions 2005-2010. East of the triple junction, in the Gulf of Aden branch the strain and seismicity distribution appears decoupled. The strain focuses across the central part of several overlapping rifts, while the seismicity mainly occurs at the rift tips. Conversely, the Main Ethiopian Rift branch shows a narrow and elongated zone of both high strain and seismicity. The pattern suggests that the recent history of magmatic intrusions in the northern branch and mainly tectonic extension in the other branches creates a diverse triple junction accommodation zone.

  8. Lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions of Southern California.

    PubMed

    Lekic, Vedran; French, Scott W; Fischer, Karen M

    2011-11-11

    The stretching and break-up of tectonic plates by rifting control the evolution of continents and oceans, but the processes by which lithosphere deforms and accommodates strain during rifting remain enigmatic. Using scattering of teleseismic shear waves beneath rifted zones and adjacent areas in Southern California, we resolve the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and lithospheric thickness variations to directly constrain this deformation. Substantial and laterally abrupt lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions suggests efficient strain localization. In the Salton Trough, either the mantle lithosphere has experienced more thinning than the crust, or large volumes of new lithosphere have been created. Lack of a systematic offset between surface and deep lithospheric deformation rules out simple shear along throughgoing unidirectional shallow-dipping shear zones, but is consistent with symmetric extension of the lithosphere.

  9. Lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions of Southern California.

    PubMed

    Lekic, Vedran; French, Scott W; Fischer, Karen M

    2011-11-11

    The stretching and break-up of tectonic plates by rifting control the evolution of continents and oceans, but the processes by which lithosphere deforms and accommodates strain during rifting remain enigmatic. Using scattering of teleseismic shear waves beneath rifted zones and adjacent areas in Southern California, we resolve the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and lithospheric thickness variations to directly constrain this deformation. Substantial and laterally abrupt lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions suggests efficient strain localization. In the Salton Trough, either the mantle lithosphere has experienced more thinning than the crust, or large volumes of new lithosphere have been created. Lack of a systematic offset between surface and deep lithospheric deformation rules out simple shear along throughgoing unidirectional shallow-dipping shear zones, but is consistent with symmetric extension of the lithosphere. PMID:21979933

  10. Asthenosphere versus lithosphere as possible sources for basaltic magmas erupted during formation of the Red Sea: constraints from Sr, Pb and Nd isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altherr, Rainer; Henjes-Kunst, Friedhelm; Baumann, Albrecht

    1990-01-01

    Representative basalts from the axial trough of the Red Sea and from volcanic fields of the Arabian Peninsula ranging in composition from N-type MORB to basanite and in age from Early Miocene to Recent show a limited variation in their isotopic compositions: 87Sr/ 86Sr= 0.70240-0.70361 , 206Pb/ 204Pb= 18.040-19.634 , 207Pb/ 204Pb= 15.496-15.666 , 208Pb/ 204Pb= 37.808-39.710 , 143Nd/ 144Nd= 0.513194-0.512670 . There is a poorly constrained correlation between chemical composition and isotope ratios: with increasing alkalinity, Sr and Pb isotope ratios increase and the Nd isotope ratio tends to decrease. In Pb isotope variation diagrams most of the basalts plot significantly above the NHRLs, irrespective of tectonic setting, i.e. thickness of underlying crust and/or lithosphere. MORBs from the axial trough of the Red Sea have higher Pb isotope ratios for a given 87Sr/ 86Sr than MORBs from the Indian Ocean ridges, including the Carlsberg Ridge. It is therefore suggested that both spreading ridges tap different convective systems in the asthenosphere. The tectonic setting of the basalts is reflected in their Nd sbnd Sr isotope characteristics. Basalts from areas where the continental lithosphere is drastically thinned or absent (i.e. Red Sea axial trough and coastal plain, Afar) plot along a reference line defined by N-type MORB and Tristan da Cunha. Basalts erupted in areas with Pan-African crust of normal thickness and moderately thinned lithospheric mantle (i.e. rift shoulder) are characterized by relative low 143Nd/ 144Nd ratios and plot below the reference line towards an EM I component which is also found in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. These differences in the Nd sbnd Sr isotopic compositions of the basalts are independent of bulk-rock chemistry and are therefore controlled by tectonic setting alone. It is suggested that the low- 143Nd/ 144Nd trend of basalts from the Arabian rift shoulder is caused by a significant contribution of the pre

  11. Global lithospheric imaging using teleseismic receiver functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rondenay, S.; Spieker, K.; Halpaap, F.; Farestveit, M.; Sawade, L.; Zijerveld, L.

    2015-12-01

    Project GLImER (Global Lithospheric Imagining using Earthquake Recordings) aims to conduct a global survey of lithospheric interfaces using converted teleseismic body waves. Data from permanent and temporary seismic networks worldwide will be processed automatically to produce global maps of key interfaces (Moho, intra-lithospheric interfaces, lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary). In this presentation, we discuss the challenges associated with automating the analysis of converted waves and the potential of the resulting data products to be used in novel imaging approaches. With regards to automation, we address in particular the search for an optimal deconvolution method in receiver function analysis. To do so, we carry out a systematic comparison of various commonly used deconvolution methods and find that all methods produce equally robust receiver functions provided that a suitable regularization parameter is found. We further note that a suitable regularization can be found objectively for most approaches, thus challenging the belief that only time-domain deconvolution is a viable option for receiver function automation. With regards to imaging applications, we investigate how the resulting global database of receiver functions will be amenable to existing processing approaches as well as new approaches adapted from seismic exploration, including industry-based interpretation tools.

  12. Variations in lithospheric thickness on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, C. L.; Sandwell, David T.

    1992-01-01

    Recent analyses of Magellan data have indicated many regions exhibiting topograhic flexure. On Venus, flexure is associated predominantly with coronae and the chasmata with Aphrodite Terra. Modeling of these flexural signatures allows the elastic and mechanical thickness of the lithosphere to be estimated. In areas where the lithosphere is flexed beyond its elastic limit the saturation moment provides information on the strength of the lithosphere. Modeling of 12 flexural features on Venus has indicated lithospheric thicknesses comparable with terrestrial values. This has important implications for the venusian heat budget. Flexure of a thin elastic plate due simultaneously to a line load on a continuous plate and a bending moment applied to the end of a broken plate is considered. The mean radius and regional topographic gradient are also included in the model. Features with a large radius of curvature were selected so that a two-dimensional approximation could be used. Comparisons with an axisymmetric model were made for some features to check the validity of the two-dimensional assumption. The best-fit elastic thickness was found for each profile crossing a given flexural feature. In addition, the surface stress and bending moment at the first zero crossing of each profile were also calculated. Flexural amplitudes and elastic thicknesses obtained for 12 features vary significantly. Three examples of the model fitting procedures are discussed.

  13. Determination of thrust compression systems with a multisource geoscientific data processing in the southern margin of Ordos basin, China

    SciTech Connect

    Yongjie, T.; Genderen, J.L. van

    1996-08-01

    In this paper, the multisource geoscientific data, such as TM data, NOAA data, the data of Bouguer gravity anomaly and aeromagnetic anomaly, the multisource geophysical processing methods, such as upward continuations, vertical derivative and gradient image, and synthetic image processing method - remote sensing image processing and geophysical image processing under I{sup 2}S600, are used to study the reverse faults or thrusts in the southern margin of Ordos basin, China. On the basis of these results and with geological investigation in the field, the authors have determined three thrust compression systems, named EW thrust compression system, NE thrust compression system and NW thrust compression system. These three systems reveal the regularity of geological structural evolution in the southern margin of Ordos basis and in the north side of Qinling Orogenic Belt.

  14. Imaging Lithospheric Structure beneath the Indian continent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maurya, S.; Montagner, J. P.; Mangalampally, R. K.; Stutzmann, E.; Burgos, G.; Kumar, P.; Davuluri, S.

    2015-12-01

    The lithospheric structure and thickness to the LAB are the most debated issues, especially beneath continents. In this context, the structure and thickness of the Indian lithosphere has been controversial. Paleomagnetic data reveals that the Indian continent moved northwards at exceptionally high speeds (18-20 cm/year) and subsequently slowed down to 4-5 cm/year after its collision with Asia ≈40 Myr ago. This super mobility has been explained by an unusually thin Indian lithosphere (≈100 km; Kumar et al., 2007) in contradiction with the thick lithosphere that commonly underlies old cratonic nuclei. It is pertinent to note that the thermobarometric estimates on the ultramafic xenoliths from 65 Myr kimberlites of the Central India (Babu et al. 2009) suggest an approximately 175 km thick lithosphere. Also, recent results of P and S wave travel time tomography of India suggest that the lithospheric roots are not uniformly thick on a regional scale. Although high velocity roots typical of Precambrian shields are preserved beneath a few cratons of the Indian shield, they seem to have suffered attrition, in the plume ravaged regions like the NDVP and the Southern SGT (Singh et al., 2014). We assembled a new massive surface wave database towards obtaining 3D isotropic and anisotropic models for the Indian sub-continent, using surface waves. This necessitated processing of data from more than 500 seismic broadband stations across India and surrounding regions. Surface waves group and phase dispersion measurements are performed in a broad frequency range (16-250s). Our phase velocity anomaly maps recover most of the known geological structures. The cratons are associated with high velocity (4-6%) anomalies till 200 sec, with the WDC being faster than the EDC. Slow velocities in NW India and very high velocity anomalies (6-8%) beneath the central part of the Indo-Gangetic plains are possibly associated with the subducting Indian lithosphere. The LAB depths inferred from

  15. Magnetic mineralogy of the Mercurian lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strauss, Becky; Feinberg, Joshua; Johnson, Catherine

    2016-04-01

    Mercury and Earth are the only inner solar system planets with present-day core-dynamo magnetic fields, in contrast to the past fields of Mars and the Moon and the absence of evidence for a past or present field at Venus. Recently, the MESSENGER mission also measured magnetic fields from lithospheric magnetization on Mercury for the first time. These fields are consistent with remanent magnetization held by rocks exposed to an ancient, internally generated planetary magnetic field. However, the conditions for magnetization in the lithosphere of Mercury are unique among terrestrial planets, and the mechanisms for the acquisition (induced versus remanent) and alteration of magnetization are still unknown. We investigate the physical and chemical environment of Mercury's crust, past and present, to establish the conditions in which magnetization may have been acquired and subsequently modified. Three factors are particularly crucial to the determination of crustal composition and iron mineralogy: the temperature profile of the lithosphere and its evolution over time, redox conditions in the planet's crust and mantle, and the iron content of the lithosphere. We explore potential mechanisms for remanence acquisition and alteration on Mercury, whose surface environment is distinct from that of other inner solar system planets in that it is both very hot and highly reducing. The long-term thermal history of Mercury's crust plays an important role in the longevity of any crustal magnetization, which may be subject to remagnetization through thermal, viscous, and shock mechanisms. This thermal and compositional framework isused to constrain plausible candidate magnetic mineralogies, which can then be analyzed in terms of their capacity to acquire and retain magnetic remanence that is detectable from satellite orbit. We propose a suite of minerals and materials that could be carriers of remanence in the lithosphere of Mercury, including iron alloys, silicides, and sulfides.

  16. Estimating lithospheric properties at Atla Regio, Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, Roger J.

    1994-01-01

    Magellan spehrical harmonic gravity and topography models are used to estimate lithospheric properties at Alta Regio, Venus, a proposed hotspot with dynamic support from mantle plume(s). Global spherical harmonic and local representations of the gravity field share common properties in the Atla region interms of their spectral behavior over a wavelength band from approximately 2100 to approximately 700 km. The estimated free-air admittance spectrum displays a rather featureless long-wavelength portion followed by a sharp rise at wavelengths shorter than about 1000 km. This sharp rise requires significant flexural support of short-wavelength structures. The Bouguer coherence also displays a sharp drop in this wavelength band, indicating a finite flexural rigidity of the lithosphere. A simple model for lithospheric loading from above and below is introduced (D. W. Forsyth, 1985) with four parameters: f, the ratio of bottom loading to top loading; z(sub m), crustal thickness; z(sub l) depth to bottom loading source; and T(sub e) elastic lithosphere thickness. A dual-mode compensation model is introduced in which the shorter wavelengths (lambda approximately less than 1000 km) might be explained best by a predominance of top loading by the large shield volcanoes Maat Mons, Ozza Mons, and Sapas Mons, and the longer wavelengths (lambda approximately greater than 1500 km) might be explained best by a deep depth of compensation, possibly representing bottom loading by a dynamic source. A Monte Carlo inversion technique is introduced to thoroughly search out the four-space of the model parameters and to examine parameter correlation in the solutions. Venus either is a considerabe deficient in heat sources relative to Earth, or the thermal lithosphere is overthickened in response to an earlier episode of significant heat loss from the planet.

  17. The Quaternary volcanic rocks of the northern Afar Depression (northern Ethiopia): Perspectives on petrology, geochemistry, and tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagos, Miruts; Koeberl, Christian; van Wyk de Vries, Benjamin

    2016-05-01

    The northern Afar Depression is one of the most volcano-tectonically active parts of the East African Rift system, a place where oceanic rifting may be beginning to form an incipient oceanic crust. In its center, over an area that is ∼80 km long and ∼50 km wide, there are seven major NNW-SSE-aligned shield volcanoes/volcanic edifices surrounded by compositionally distinct fissure-fed basalts. The Quaternary lavas in this area range from transitional to tholeiitic basalts, with significant across-axis variation both in mineralogy and chemistry. The variation in the contents of the major elements (TiO2, Al2O3, and Fe2O3), incompatible trace elements (Nd, Hf, Th, Ta), and the contents and ratios of the rare earth elements (REE) (e.g., (La/Yb)n = 5.3-8.9) indicate some variation in the petrogenetic processes responsible for the formation of these basalts. However, the variation in isotopic compositions of the mafic lavas is minimal (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7036-0.7041, 143Nd/144Nd = 0.51286-0.51289), which suggests only one source for all the Danakil Depression basalts. These basalts have isotope and incompatible trace element ratios that overlap with those of the Oligocene High-Ti2 flood basalts from the Ethiopian Plateau, interpreted as being derived from the last phase/tail of the Afar mantle plume source. Moreover, the Ce/Pb, Ba/U ratios indicate that the involvement of continental crust in the petrogenesis of the basaltic rocks is minimal; instead, both depth and degree of melting of the source reservoir underneath the northern Afar Depression played a major role for the production of incompatible element-enriched basalts (e.g., AleBagu Shield basalts) and the incompatible element-depleted tholeiitic basalts (e.g., Erta'Ale and Alu Shield basalts).

  18. Determinants of Desire for Children among HIV-Positive Women in the Afar Region, Ethiopia: Case Control Study

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The desire for a child in Ethiopian society is normal. Among HIV positive women, due to the risk of MTCT, it is imperative to understand factors influencing women’s desire for children. This study aimed at assessing factors associated with desire for children among HIV-positive women in two selected hospitals of Afar Regional State, Ethiopia. Methods A facility based case-control study was conducted among 157 cases (with a desire) and 157 controls of HIV positive individuals registered in the selected health facilities. The participants were selected by random sampling technique. Data were collected using face-to-face interview and was analyzed using logistic regression. Result Factors found to be independently associated with desire for children were age categories of 20–24 years (OR = 6.22, 1.29–10.87) and 25–29 years (OR = 14.6, 3.05–21.60), being married (OR = 5.51, 2.19–13.54), Afar ethnicity (OR 6.93, 1.19–12.14), having HIV-positive children (OR 0.23, 0.09–0.63), duration on ART more than one year (3.51, 1.68–9.05), CD4 count greater than 350 (OR 4.83, 1.51–7.27) and discussion of reproductive health issues with health providers (OR 0.31, 0.12–0.51). Conclusion Women who were young, married, Afar, those who received ART more than one year, and had CD4 count >350 were more likely to have a desire for children. Recommendation Health care workers at ART clinic should openly discuss about the reproductive options for the women living with HIV/AIDS. PMID:26930467

  19. Electrical conductivity in the precambrian lithosphere of western canada

    PubMed

    Boerner; Kurtz; Craven; Ross; Jones; Davis

    1999-01-29

    The subcrustal lithosphere underlying the southern Archean Churchill Province (ACP) in western Canada is at least one order of magnitude more electrically conductive than the lithosphere beneath adjacent Paleoproterozoic crust. The measured electrical properties of the lithosphere underlying most of the Paleoproterozoic crust can be explained by the conductivity of olivine. Mantle xenolith and geological mapping evidence indicate that the lithosphere beneath the southern ACP was substantially modified as a result of being trapped between two nearly synchronous Paleoproterozoic subduction zones. Tectonically induced metasomatism thus may have enhanced the subcrustal lithosphere conductivity of the southern ACP.

  20. "Coming from afar" and "temporarily becoming the patient without knowing it": two necessary analytic conditions according to Ferenczi's later thought.

    PubMed

    Borgogno, Franco

    2014-12-01

    In this paper the author discusses two points regarding Ferenczi's views of psychoanalysis. The first concerns the fact that analysts, like their patients, "come from afar" (a concept of Borgogno, 2011). The second, closely linked to the first, has to do with Ferenczi's belief that psychoanalytical knowledge is not intellectual but visceral, seeing that if analysts are to truly understand their patients they must first "take on" their suffering in such a way as to "become the patient." The author follows Ferenczi's progression along these two points through his whole oeuvre, from his first psychoanalytical writings to the Clinical Diary (1932a) of the last year of his life.

  1. Formation and stability of ridge-ridge-ridge triple junctions in rheologically realistic lithosphere model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, Taras; Burov, Evgueni

    2015-04-01

    -branch junction formation and evolution by using high-resolution 3D numerical mechanical experiments that take into account realistic thermo-rheological structure and rheology of the lithosphere. We find that two major types of quadruple and triple junctions are formed under bi-directional or multidirectional far-field stress field: (i) plate rifting junctions are formed by the initial plate fragmentation and can be subsequently re-arranged into (ii) oceanic spreading junctions controlled by the new oceanic crust accretion. In particular, we document initial formation and destabilization of quadruple R-R-R-R junctions as initial plate rifting structures under bi-directional extension. In most cases, quadruple plate rifting junctions rapidly (typically within 1-2 Myr) evolve towards formation of two diverging triple oceanic spreading junctions connected by a linear spreading center lengthening with time. This configuration remains stable over long time scales. However, under certain conditions, quadruple junctions may also remain relatively stable. Asymmetric stretching results in various configurations, for example formation of "T-junctions" with trans-extensional components and combination of fast and slow spreading ridges. Combined with plume impingement, this scenario evolves in realistic patterns closely resembling observed plate dynamics. In particular, opening of the Red Sea and of the Afar rift system find a logical explanation within a single model. Numerical experiments also suggest that several existing oceanic spreading junctions form as the result of plate motions rearrangements after which only one of two plates spreading along the ridge become subjected to bi-directional spreading.

  2. Magmatic cycles pace tectonic and morphological expression of rifting (Afar depression, Ethiopia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, S.; Pik, R.; Burnard, P.; Dumont, S.; Grandin, R.; Williams, A.; Blard, P.-H.; Schimmelpfennig, I.; Vye-Brown, C.; France, L.; Ayalew, D.; Benedetti, L.; Yirgu, G.

    2016-07-01

    The existence of narrow axial volcanic zones of mid-oceanic ridges testifies of the underlying concentration of both melt distribution and tectonic strain. As a result of repeated diking and faulting, axial volcanic zones therefore represent a spectacular topographic expression of plate divergence. However, the submarine location of oceanic ridges makes it difficult to constrain the interplay between tectonic and magmatic processes in time and space. In this study, we use the Dabbahu-Manda Hararo (DMH) magmatic rift segment (Afar, Ethiopia) to provide quantitative constraints on the response of tectonic processes to variations in magma supply at divergent plate boundaries. The DMH magmatic rift segment is considered an analogue of an oceanic ridge, exhibiting a fault pattern, extension rate and topographic relief comparable to intermediate- to slow-spreading ridges. Here, we focus on the northern and central parts of DMH rift, where we present quantitative slip rates for the past 40 kyr for major and minor normal fault scarps in the vicinity of a recent (September 2005) dike intrusion. The data obtained show that the axial valley topography has been created by enhanced slip rates that occurred during periods of limited volcanism, suggestive of reduced magmatic activity, probably in association with changes in strain distribution in the crust. Our results indicate that the development of the axial valley topography has been regulated by the lifetimes of the magma reservoirs and their spatial distribution along the segment, and thus to the magmatic cycles of replenishment/differentiation (<100 kyr). Our findings are also consistent with magma-induced deformation in magma-rich rift segments. The record of two tectonic events of metric vertical amplitude on the fault that accommodated the most part of surface displacement during the 2005 dike intrusion suggests that the latter type of intrusion occurs roughly every 10 kyr in the northern part of the DMH segment.

  3. Phylogeny of early Australopithecus: new fossil evidence from the Woranso-Mille (central Afar, Ethiopia).

    PubMed

    Haile-Selassie, Yohannes

    2010-10-27

    The earliest evidence of Australopithecus goes back to ca 4.2 Ma with the first recorded appearance of Australopithecus 'anamensis' at Kanapoi, Kenya. Australopithecus afarensis is well documented between 3.6 and 3.0 Ma mainly from deposits at Laetoli (Tanzania) and Hadar (Ethiopia). The phylogenetic relationship of these two 'species' is hypothesized as ancestor-descendant. However, the lack of fossil evidence from the time between 3.6 and 3.9 Ma has been one of its weakest points. Recent fieldwork in the Woranso-Mille study area in the Afar region of Ethiopia has yielded fossil hominids dated between 3.6 and 3.8 Ma. These new fossils play a significant role in testing the proposed relationship between Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis. The Woranso-Mille hominids (3.6-3.8 Ma) show a mosaic of primitive, predominantly Au. anamensis-like, and some derived (Au. afarensis-like) dentognathic features. Furthermore, they show that, as currently known, there are no discrete and functionally significant anatomical differences between Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis. Based on the currently available evidence, it appears that there is no compelling evidence to falsify the hypothesis of 'chronospecies pair' or ancestor-descendant relationship between Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis. Most importantly, however, the temporally and morphologically intermediate Woranso-Mille hominids indicate that the species names Au. afarensis and Au. anamensis do not refer to two real species, but rather to earlier and later representatives of a single phyletically evolving lineage. However, if retaining these two names is necessary for communication purposes, the Woranso-Mille hominids are best referred to as Au. anamensis based on new dentognathic evidence.

  4. InSAR observations of post-rifting deformation around the Dabbahu rift segment, Afar, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamling, Ian J.; Wright, Tim J.; Calais, Eric; Lewi, Elias; Fukahata, Yukitoshi

    2014-04-01

    Increased displacement rates have been observed following manylarge earthquakes and magmatic events. Although an order of magnitude smaller than the displacements associated with the main event, the post-seismic or post-rifting deformation may continue for years to decades after the initial earthquake or dyke intrusion. Due to the rare occurrence of subaerial rifting events, there are very few observations to constrain models of post-rifting deformation. In 2005 September, a 60-km-long dyke was intruded along the Dabbahu segment of the Nubia-Arabia Plate boundary (Afar, Ethiopia), marking the beginning of an ongoing rifting episode. Continued activity has been monitored using satellite radar interferometry and data from global positioning system instruments deployed around the rift in response to the initial intrusion. Using multiple satellite passes, we are able to separate the rift perpendicular and vertical displacement fields around the Dabbahu segment. Rift perpendicular and vertical rates of up to 180 and 240 mm yr-1, respectively. Here, we show that models of viscoelastic relaxation alone are insufficient to reproduce the observed deformation field and that a large portion of the observed signal is related to the movement of magma within the rift segment. Our models suggest upper mantle viscosities of 1018-19 Pa s overlain by an elastic crust of between 15 and 30 km. To fit the observations, inflation and deflation of magma chambers in the centre of the rift and to the south east of the rift axis is required at rates of ˜0.13 and -0.08 km3 yr-1.

  5. Prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium Infection among School-Age Children in Afar Area, Northeastern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Degarege, Abraham; Mekonnen, Zeleke; Levecke, Bruno; Legesse, Mengistu; Negash, Yohannes; Vercruysse, Jozef; Erko, Berhanu

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma haematobium infection was determined among school-age children living in the Middle and Lower Awash Valley, Afar Regional State of Ethiopia. Between February and May 2014, urine samples were collected from 885 school-age children (5-16 years of age) from the Middle (n = 632; 4 villages) and Lower (n = 253; 3 villages) Awash Valley. All samples were processed using urine filtration to detect and quantify S. haematobium eggs. In addition, a subset of the urine samples was tested for hematuria using a urine dipstick (n = 556). The overall prevalence was 20.8% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 18.1%, 23.5%), based on urine filtration but the prevalence considerably varied across villages both in the Middle (from 12.5% to 37.0%) and Lower Awash Valley (from 0 to 5.3%). The overall mean urine egg count (UEC) among the infected children was 4.0 eggs/10 ml of urine (95% CI = 2.43, 5.52). The infection intensity varied from 0.4 eggs/10 ml of urine to 7.7 eggs/10 ml of urine in the Middle Awash Valley, and from 0 to 1.1 eggs/10 ml of urine in Lower Awash Valley. Age and sex were not associated with S. haematobium infection based on the multivariable logistic regression model. The prevalence of hematuria was 56.3% (95% CI = 52.2%, 60.4%) among a subset of the study participants (556) examined using the urine dipstick. The prevalence of hematuria also varies with villages from 8.3% to 93.2%. In conclusion, the prevalence of S. haematobium infection in the Middle Awash Valley was high and it varies across villages. Hence, children living in the present study villages of the Middle Awash Valley need to be treated with praziquantel to reduce morbidity and disrupt transmission. PMID:26252615

  6. Phylogeny of early Australopithecus: new fossil evidence from the Woranso-Mille (central Afar, Ethiopia)

    PubMed Central

    Haile-Selassie, Yohannes

    2010-01-01

    The earliest evidence of Australopithecus goes back to ca 4.2 Ma with the first recorded appearance of Australopithecus ‘anamensis’ at Kanapoi, Kenya. Australopithecus afarensis is well documented between 3.6 and 3.0 Ma mainly from deposits at Laetoli (Tanzania) and Hadar (Ethiopia). The phylogenetic relationship of these two ‘species’ is hypothesized as ancestor–descendant. However, the lack of fossil evidence from the time between 3.6 and 3.9 Ma has been one of its weakest points. Recent fieldwork in the Woranso-Mille study area in the Afar region of Ethiopia has yielded fossil hominids dated between 3.6 and 3.8 Ma. These new fossils play a significant role in testing the proposed relationship between Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis. The Woranso-Mille hominids (3.6–3.8 Ma) show a mosaic of primitive, predominantly Au. anamensis-like, and some derived (Au. afarensis-like) dentognathic features. Furthermore, they show that, as currently known, there are no discrete and functionally significant anatomical differences between Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis. Based on the currently available evidence, it appears that there is no compelling evidence to falsify the hypothesis of ‘chronospecies pair’ or ancestor–descendant relationship between Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis. Most importantly, however, the temporally and morphologically intermediate Woranso-Mille hominids indicate that the species names Au. afarensis and Au. anamensis do not refer to two real species, but rather to earlier and later representatives of a single phyletically evolving lineage. However, if retaining these two names is necessary for communication purposes, the Woranso-Mille hominids are best referred to as Au. anamensis based on new dentognathic evidence. PMID:20855306

  7. International lithosphere program - Exploiting the geodynamics revolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flinn, E. A.

    1984-01-01

    After presenting a development history of the application of spacecraft technology in the field of earth dynamics, which encompasses the measurement of the motion and the large scale deformation of the tectonic plates as well as the monitoring of earth's gravity and magnetic fields, attention is given to the International Lithosphere Program (ILP). ILP studies the dynamics and evolution of the lithosphere, with a view to earth resources identification and geological hazard reduction. Among the major problems being addressed is the mechanism by which magmas are generated, extruded, and intruded, at convergent and divergent plate boundaries and within plates. By contrast to current understanding of rifting, almost nothing is known about how the process of subduction begins. The methods used to measure tectonic plate phenomena are: laser ranging to both the moon and man-made satellites, and VLBI.

  8. Flexural deformation of the continental lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Prior work focused primarily on the Adriatic and northern Ionian regions. The results of these studies have been summarized previously, and so are only briefly discussed. More recent work focuses on two different topics: (1) analysis of foredeep basin geometry, sedimentary style, and thrust belt structure in light of the kinematics at the associated plate boundary and subduction zone dynamics; and (2) the evolution and plate strength of early Proterozoic lithosphere.

  9. Flexure and rheology of Pacific oceanic lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, Johnny; Watts, Tony

    2016-04-01

    The idea of a rigid lithosphere that supports loads through flexural isostasy was first postulated in the late 19th century. Since then, there has been much effort to investigate the spatial and temporal variation of the lithosphere's flexural rigidity, and to understand how these variations are linked to its rheology. We have used flexural modelling to first re-assess the variation in the rigidity of oceanic lithosphere with its age at the time of loading, and then to constrain mantle rheology by testing the predictions of laboratory-derived flow laws. A broken elastic plate model was used to model trench-normal, ensemble-averaged profiles of satellite-derived gravity at the trench-outer rise system of circum-Pacific subduction zones, where an inverse procedure was used to find the best-fit Te and loading conditions. The results show a first-order increase in Te with plate age, which is best fit by the depth to the 400 ± 35°C plate-cooling isotherm. Fits to the observed gravity are significantly improved by an elastic plate that weakens landward of the outer rise, which suggests that bending-induced plate weakening is a ubiquitous feature of circum-Pacific subduction zones. Two methods were used to constrain mantle rheology. In the first, the Te derived by modelling flexural observations was compared to the Te predicted by laboratory-derived yield strength envelopes. In the second, flexural observations were modelled using elastic-plastic plates with laboratory-derived, depth-dependent yield strength. The results show that flow laws for low-temperature plasticity of dry olivine provide a good fit to the observations at circum-Pacific subduction zones, but are much too strong to fit observations of flexure in the Hawaiian Islands region. We suggest that this discrepancy can be explained by differences in the timescale of loading combined with moderate thermal rejuvenation of the Hawaiian lithosphere.

  10. Adakites from collision-modified lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haschke, M.; Ben-Avraham, Z.

    2005-08-01

    Adakitic melts from Papua New Guinea (PNG) show adakitic geochemical characteristics, yet their geodynamic context is unclear. Modern adakites are associated with hot-slab melting and/or remelting of orogenic mafic underplate at convergent margins. Rift-propagation over collision-modified lithosphere may explain the PNG adakite enigma, as PNG was influenced by rapid creation and subduction of oceanic microplates since Mesozoic times. In a new (rift) tectonic regime, decompressional rift melts encountered and melted remnant mafic eclogite and/or garnet-amphibolite slab fragments in arc collisional-modified mantle, and partially equilibrated with metasomatized mantle. Alternatively, hot-slab melting in a proposed newborn subduction zone along the Trobriand Trough could generate adakitic melts, but recent seismic P-wave tomographic models lack evidence for subducting oceanic lithosphere in the adakite melt region; however they do show deep subduction zone remnants as a number of high P-wave anomalies at lithospheric depths, which supports our proposed scenario.

  11. Fluid inclusion and stable isotopes studies of epithermal gold-bearing veins in the SE Afar Rift (Djibouti)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moussa, N.; Boiron, M. C.; Grassineau, N.; Fouquet, Y.; Le Gall, B.; Mohamed, J.

    2015-12-01

    The Afar rift results from the interaction of a number of actively-propagating tectono-magmatic axes. Recent field investigations in the SE Afar rift have emphasized the importance of hydrothermal system in rift-related volcanic complexes. Mineralization occur as gold-silver bearing veins and are associated with felsic volcanism. Late carbonate veins barren of sulfides and gold are common. The morphologies and textures of quartz show crustiform colloform banding, massive and breccias. Microthermometric measurements were made on quartz-hosted two phases (liquid + vapor) inclusions; mean homogenization temperature range from 150°C to 340°C and ice-melting temperatures range from -0.2° to 1.6°C indicating that inclusion solutions are dilute and contain 0.35 to 2.7 equivalent wt. % NaCl. Furthermore, δ18O and δ13C values from calcite range from 3.7 to 26.6 ‰ and -7.5 to 0.3‰, respectively. The presence of platy calcite and adularia indicate that boiling condition existed. This study shows that precious-metal deposition mainly occurred from hydrothermal fluids at 200°C at around 300 and 450 m below the present-day surface in a typical low-sulphidation epithermal environment.

  12. Mapping current and potential distribution of non-native Prosopis juliflora in the Afar region of Ethiopia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wakie, Tewodros; Evangelista, Paul H.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Laituri, Melinda

    2014-01-01

    We used correlative models with species occurrence points, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices, and topo-climatic predictors to map the current distribution and potential habitat of invasive Prosopis juliflora in Afar, Ethiopia. Time-series of MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Indices (EVI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) with 250 m2 spatial resolution were selected as remote sensing predictors for mapping distributions, while WorldClim bioclimatic products and generated topographic variables from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission product (SRTM) were used to predict potential infestations. We ran Maxent models using non-correlated variables and the 143 species-occurrence points. Maxent generated probability surfaces were converted into binary maps using the 10-percentile logistic threshold values. Performances of models were evaluated using area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC). Our results indicate that the extent of P. juliflora invasion is approximately 3,605 km2 in the Afar region (AUC = 0.94), while the potential habitat for future infestations is 5,024 km2 (AUC = 0.95). Our analyses demonstrate that time-series of MODIS vegetation indices and species occurrence points can be used with Maxent modeling software to map the current distribution of P. juliflora, while topo-climatic variables are good predictors of potential habitat in Ethiopia. Our results can quantify current and future infestations, and inform management and policy decisions for containing P. juliflora. Our methods can also be replicated for managing invasive species in other East African countries.

  13. Lithospheric Thickness Modeled from Long Period Surface Wave Dispersion

    SciTech Connect

    Pasyanos, M E

    2008-05-15

    The behavior of surface waves at long periods is indicative of subcrustal velocity structure. Using recently published dispersion models, we invert surface wave group velocities for lithospheric structure, including lithospheric thickness, over much of the Eastern Hemisphere, encompassing Eurasia, Africa, and the Indian Ocean. Thicker lithosphere under Precambrian shields and platforms are clearly observed, not only under the large cratons (West Africa, Congo, Baltic, Russia, Siberia, India), but also under smaller blocks like the Tarim Basin and Yangtze craton. In contrast, it is found that remobilized Precambrian structures like the Saharan Shield and Sino-Korean Paraplatform do not have well-established lithospheric keels. The thinnest lithospheric thickness is found under oceanic and continental rifts, as well as along convergence zones. We compare our results to thermal models of continental lithosphere, lithospheric cooling models of oceanic lithosphere, lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) estimates from S-wave receiver functions, and velocity variations of global tomography models. In addition to comparing results for the broad region, we examine in detail the regions of Central Africa, Siberia, and Tibet. While there are clear differences in the various estimates, overall the results are generally consistent. Inconsistencies between the estimates may be due to a variety of reasons including lateral and depth resolution differences and the comparison of what may be different lithospheric features.

  14. Integrative Analysis of Mantle Lithosphere Rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirth, G.; Collins, J. A.; Molnar, P. H.; Kelemen, P. B.

    2014-12-01

    We will present an analysis of the rheology of mantle lithosphere based on extrapolation of lab-based flow laws, microstructural characterization of mantle shear zones and xenoliths, and the spatial distribution of mantle earthquakes and seismic anisotropy. As a starting point, we illustrate the similarity in the evolution of olivine lattice preferred orientation (LPO) for cm-scale lab samples (e.g., Zhang et al., 2000) and 100 meter-scale shear zones (e.g., Warren et al., 2008; Skemer et al., 2010). This correlation provides strong support for the extrapolation of lab data in both time and scale. The extrapolation of these results to plate-scale processes is supported by the analysis of shear wave splitting across the Alpine Fault on the South Island of New Zealand and its surrounding ocean basins (Zietlow et al., 2014). For the same region, the similarity in the fast Pn azimuth with the fast shear wave polarization directions indicates high strain deformation of relatively cold (~500-700oC) mantle lithosphere across a region 100-200 km wide (Collins and Molnar, 2014). This latter observation suggests that the lithosphere is significantly weaker than predicted by the extrapolation of dislocation creep or Peierls creep flow laws. Weakening via promotion of grain size sensitive creep mechanisms (diffusion creep and DisGBS) is likely at these conditions; however, studies of exhumed mantle shear zones generally indicate that the activation of these processes leads to strain localization at scales <<200 km. These observations motivate us to consider rheological constraints derived from geodetic studies and earthquake depths in regions where deformation of the lithosphere occurs at similar conditions. At face value, these data provide additional support for the extrapolation of lab data; the depth extent of earthquakes is consistent with estimates for the conditions where a transition from stable to unstable frictional sliding occurs (e.g., Boettcher et al., 2007) - and

  15. Mapping of lithologic and structural units using multispectral imagery. [Afar-Triangle/Ethiopia and adjacent areas (Ethiopian Plateau, Somali Plateau, and parts of Yemen and Saudi Arabia)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kronberg, P. (Principal Investigator)

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. ERTS-1 MSS imagery covering the Afar-Triangle/Ethiopia and adjacent regions (Ethiopian Plateau, Somali Plateau, and parts of Yemen and Saudi Arabi) was applied to the mapping of lithologic and structural units of the test area at a scale 1:1,000,000. Results of the geological evaluation of the ERTS-1 imagery of the Afar have proven the usefullness of this type of satellite data for regional geological mapping. Evaluation of the ERTS images also resulted in new aspects of the structural setting and tectonic development of the Afar-Triangle, where three large rift systems, the oceanic rifts of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and the continental East African rift system, seem to meet each other. Surface structures mapped by ERTS do not indicate that the oceanic rift of the Gulf of Aden (Sheba Ridge) continues into the area of continental crust west of the Gulf of Tadjura. ERTS data show that the Wonji fault belt of the African rift system does not enter or cut through the central Afar. The Aysha-Horst is not a Horst but an autochthonous spur of the Somali Plateau.

  16. LAB and other lithospheric discontinuities below Cratons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sodoudi, Forough

    2013-04-01

    Cratons are extremely stable continental areas of the Earth's crust, which have been formed and remained largely unchanged since Precambrian. However, their formation and how they survived destruction over billions of years remains a subject of debate. Seismic properties of the cratonic lithosphere reflect its composition and physical state and obtain basic constraints on processes of the formation and evolution of continents. Insight on these issues may be gained by determining the depth and the nature of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary (LAB), which is a necessary element of the plate tectonic theory. However, It has proved quite "elusive" beneath the oldest continental areas. What is missing to date is a consensus on the feature that would correspond to the LAB and whether such a feature exists everywhere beneath cratons. The relatively recently developed S receiver function technique employing S-to-P conversions appears promising for detecting the LAB with a sufficiently high resolution and density. A growing number of regional observations obtained from S receiver function studies has detected discontinuities characterized by a significant negative velocity contrast in the upper mantle. However, challenges still remain in detecting the S-to-P conversions from the LAB beneath the Precambrian cratons. Some recent SRF studies observed a deep (> 160 km) negative velocity contrast beneath cratons and interpreted it as the LAB. For example, a deep LAB at about 250 km was reported beneath the Kalahari craton by different authors. Similar results were also obtained beneath some parts of the Canadian shield, East European Craton, Australia, the Arabian Shield and Tanzania craton. In contrast, other SRF studies found no evidence for negative discontinuities at these depths in the North American craton, in Kalahari craton or in Australia. Instead they revealed a very sharp negative velocity gradient at much shallower depth (60-150 km), leading some authors to infer

  17. Death valley regional ground-water flow model calibration using optimal parameter estimation methods and geoscientific information systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    D'Agnese, F. A.; Faunt, C.C.; Hill, M.C.; Turner, A.K.

    1999-01-01

    A regional-scale, steady-state, saturated-zone ground-water flow model was constructed to evaluate potential regional ground-water flow in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The model was limited to three layers in an effort to evaluate the characteristics governing large-scale subsurface flow. Geoscientific information systems (GSIS) were used to characterize the complex surface and subsurface hydrogeologic conditions of the area, and this characterization was used to construct likely conceptual models of the flow system. Subsurface properties in this system vary dramatically, producing high contrasts and abrupt contacts. This characteristic, combined with the large scale of the model, make zonation the logical choice for representing the hydraulic-conductivity distribution. Different conceptual models were evaluated using sensitivity analysis and were tested by using nonlinear regression to determine parameter values that are optimal, in that they provide the best match between the measured and simulated heads and flows. The different conceptual models were judged based both on the fit achieved to measured heads and spring flows, and the plausibility of the optimal parameter values. One of the conceptual models considered appears to represent the system most realistically. Any apparent model error is probably caused by the coarse vertical and horizontal discretization.A regional-scale, steady-state, saturated-zone ground-water flow model was constructed to evaluate potential regional ground-water flow in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The model was limited to three layers in an effort to evaluate the characteristics governing large-scale subsurface flow. Geoscientific information systems (GSIS) were used to characterize the complex surface and subsurface hydrogeologic conditions of the area, and this characterization was used to construct likely conceptual models of the flow system. Subsurface properties in this system vary dramatically, producing

  18. Magmatic cycles pace tectonic and morphological expression of rifting (Afar depression, Ethiopia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, Sarah; Pik, Raphael; Burnard, Peter; Blard, Pierre-Henri

    2016-04-01

    Dyking and faulting at mid-oceanic ridges are concentrated in narrow axial volcanic zones due to focussing of both melt distribution and tectonic strain along the plate boundary. Due to the predominantly submarine location of oceanic ridges, the interplay between these processes remain poorly constrained in time and space. In this study, we use the Dabbahu-Manda Hararo (DMH) magmatic rift segment (MRS) (Afar, Ethiopia) to answers the long debated chicken-egg question about magmatic and tectonic processes in extensive context: which on comes first, and how those two processes interplay to finally form oceanic ridges? The DMH MRS is an oceanic ridge analogue and here we present quantitative slip rates on major and minor normal fault scarps for the past 40 kyr in the vicinity of a recent (September 2005) dike intrusion. Our data show that the long-term-vertical slip rates of faults that ruptured in 2005 are too low to explain the present rift topography and that the 2005 strain distribution is not the main stress accommodating mechanism in the DMH segment. Instead, we show that the axial valley topography is created by enhanced slip rates which occur only when the amount of magma available in magma reservoirs is limited, thus preventing dykes from reaching the surface. Our results suggest that development of the axial valley topography is regulated by the magma reservoir lifetime and, thus, to the magmatic cycles of replenishment/differentiation (< 100 ky). This implies that in the DMH rift system (with a magma supply typical of an intermediate spreading centre), significant topography of the axial rift valley is transient, and is expressed only when magma available in the reservoirs decreases. The absence of tilting on the rift margins over the last 200 kyr also suggests that amagmatic accommodation of extension is not required over this time period. Extension instead is accommodated by dykes injected laterally from multiple ephemeral reservoirs located along the DMH

  19. Petrological and geochemical data of volcanic rocks from the southern Afar Depression, Ethiopia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanek, Ch.; Faupl, P.; Richter, W.; Seidler, H.

    2003-04-01

    The geological and petrological investigations (FWF Project P15196) in the southern Afar Depression of Ethiopia support an international palaeoanthropological research-team (PAR) under the leadership of Horst Seidler. Mount Galila is the conspicuous centre of the research area [N 9° 44.101', E 40° 27.368'], situated about 20 km E of the NNE-SSW striking, recently active Hertale Graben, which represents a northernmost segment of the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER). Stratigraphically, the fossiliferous lacustrine and fluvial deposits, as well as the intercalated volcanic layers of the Galila area, belong to the "Upper Stratoid Series" (5-1.4 Ma) and will be named the Mount Galila Formation. They are similar to the Awash Group, from which very famous early hominid fossils have been described. In the Mount Galila Fm., 7 main volcanic horizons serve as marker beds comprising basalts, ignimbrites, tuffs and tuffaceous sands. The basalt horizons in the research area represent basaltic lava flows each consisting of one single flow unit c. 5 meters thick with maximum 5 cooling units. A first set of geochemical data from XRF spectrometry comprising main and trace element analysis shows characteristics for the volcanic marker beds as following: The basalts are clearly tholeiitic in the main elements (FeO/MgO/Alk) and show typical trace element distributions (e.g. Zr/Y-Zr; Ti/100-Yx3-Zr) as Within Plate Tholeiit Basalts. All basalt samples contain access 40Ar which can be explained by specific erruption mechanisms that leads to analytical problems for 40Ar/39Ar dating. In the TAS diagram after LeMaitre 1984 the ignimbrites vary at high alkali levels (7-9%) from trachytic to dacitic and rhyolitic composition, whereas at low alkali contents (<7%) they plot into the andesitic field. Compared to the basalts, the geochemistry of the ignimbrites is much more inhomogenous. Tuffs and tuffaceous sands are relevant as marker beds especially for the palaeoanthropological excavations in the

  20. 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

  1. Preface to "Insights into the Earth's Deep Lithosphere"

    SciTech Connect

    Pasyanos, M E

    2009-11-19

    Dear Readers: I am pleased to present a special issue of Tectonophysics entitled 'Insights into the Earth's Deep Lithosphere.' This compilation sought to capture the flavor of the increasing number of studies that are emerging to investigate the complex lithospheric structure of the earth. This issue evolved out of a Fall 2007 AGU special session entitled 'Understanding the Earth's Deep Lithosphere' that I organized with Irina Artemieva from the University of Copenhagen. For that session, we solicited talks that discussed the increasing number of methods that have surfaced to study various aspects of the earth's deep lithosphere. These methods include seismic, gravity, thermal, geochemical, and various combinations of these methods. The quality of the presentations (2 oral sessions with 16 talks and 23 associated poster presentations) was such that we felt that the emerging topic deserved a dedicated forum to address these questions in greater detail. The availability of new data sets has also improved the number and quality of lithospheric studies. With many new studies and methodologies, a better understanding of both continental and oceanic lithospheres is starting to emerge. Questions remain about the thickness and evolution of the lithosphere, the presence of lithospheric keels, the density and anisotropy of lithospheric roots, mechanisms of lithospheric thinning, and differences between mechanical, thermal and chemical boundary layers. While we did not get contributions on the full gamut of methods and regions, a lot of ground was covered in this issue's manuscripts. Like any collection of papers on the deep lithosphere, the topics are quite varied in methodology, geographic location, and what aspect of the lithosphere being studied. Still, the results highlight the rewarding aspects of earth structure, history, and evolution that can be gleaned. A brief synopsis of the papers contained in this issue is given.

  2. Foundering lithosphere imaged beneath the southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Oliver S; Jones, Craig H; Sheehan, Anne F

    2004-07-30

    Seismic tomography reveals garnet-rich crust and mantle lithosphere descending into the upper mantle beneath the southeastern Sierra Nevada. The descending lithosphere consists of two layers: an iron-rich eclogite above a magnesium-rich garnet peridotite. These results place descending eclogite above and east of high P wave speed material previously imaged beneath the southern Great Valley, suggesting a previously unsuspected coherence in the lithospheric removal process. PMID:15286370

  3. Foundering lithosphere imaged beneath the southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Oliver S; Jones, Craig H; Sheehan, Anne F

    2004-07-30

    Seismic tomography reveals garnet-rich crust and mantle lithosphere descending into the upper mantle beneath the southeastern Sierra Nevada. The descending lithosphere consists of two layers: an iron-rich eclogite above a magnesium-rich garnet peridotite. These results place descending eclogite above and east of high P wave speed material previously imaged beneath the southern Great Valley, suggesting a previously unsuspected coherence in the lithospheric removal process.

  4. Study of the time evolution of the lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roufosse, M. C.

    1983-01-01

    The behavior and mechanical properties of the lithosphere were studied. This is a prerequisite to an understanding of the mechanisms and processes that occur in the Earth's mantle, which are masked by the lithospere. Geoid heights derived from the GEOS-3 and SEASAT radar altimeters were used. The correlation between bathymetry and geoid heights gives information on the mechanical properties of the lithosphere, such as its thickness, which is related to the age of the lithospheric plate. By probing in several locations spanning various temporal situations, the time evolution of the lithospheric plates were retraced.

  5. Transient creep and convective instability of the lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birger, Boris I.

    2012-12-01

    Laboratory experiments with rock samples show that transient creep, at which strain grows with time and strain rate decrease at constant stress, occurs while creep strains are sufficiently small. The transient creep at high temperatures is described by the Andrade rheological model. Since plate tectonics allows only small deformations in lithospheric plates, creep of the lithosphere plates is transient whereas steady-state creep, described by non-Newtonian power-law rheological model, takes place in the underlying mantle. At the transient creep, the effective viscosity, found in the study of postglacial flows, differs significantly from the effective viscosity, which characterizes convective flow, since timescales of these flows are very different. Besides, the transient creep changes the elastic crust thickness estimated within the power-law rheology of the lithosphere. Two problems of convective stability for the lithosphere with the Andrade rheology are solved. The solution of the first problem shows that the state, in which large-scale convective flow in the mantle occurs under lithospheric plates, is unstable and must bifurcate into another more stable state at which the lithospheric plates become mobile and plunge into the mantle at subduction zones. If the lithosphere had the power-law fluid rheology, the effective viscosity of the stagnant lithospheric plates would be extremely high and the state, in which large-scale convection occurs under the stagnant plates, would be stable that contradicts plate tectonics. The mantle convection forms mobile lithospheric plates if the effective viscosity of the plate is not too much higher than the effective viscosity of the underlying mantle. The Andrade rheology lowers the plate effective viscosity corresponding to the power-law fluid rheology and, thus, leads to instability of the state in which the plates are stagnant. The solution of the second stability problem shows that the state, in which the lithospheric plate

  6. Lithospheric models of the North American continent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesauro, Magdala; Kaban, Mikhail; Mooney, Walter; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2015-04-01

    We constructed NACr14, a 3D model of the North American (NA) crust, based on the most recent seismic data from the USGS database. In comparison with the global crustal model CRUST 1.0, NACr14 is more heterogeneous, showing a larger spatial variability of the thickness and average velocities of the crustal layers. Velocities of the lower crust vary in a larger range than those of the other layers, while the thickness of all the three layers is on average between 11 and 13 km. The largest velocities of the crystalline crust (>6.6 km/s) reflect the presence of a 7.x layer (>7.0 km/s) in the lowermost part of the crust. Using NACr2014, a regional (NA07) and a global (SL201sv) tomography model, and gravity data, we apply an iterative technique, which jointly interprets seismic tomography and gravity data, to estimate temperature and compositional variations in the NA upper mantle. The results obtained demonstrate that temperature of the cratonic mantle is up to 150°C higher than when using a uniform compositional model. The differences between the two tomography models influence the results more strongly than possible changes of the depth distribution of compositional variations. Strong negative compositional density anomalies, corresponding to Mg # >92, characterize the upper mantle of the northwestern part of the Superior craton and the central part of the Slave and Churchill craton. The Proterozoic upper mantle of the western and more deformed part of the NA cratons, appears weakly depleted (Mg# ~91) when NA07 is used, in agreement with the results based on the interpretation of xenolith data. When we use SL2013sv, the same areas are locally characterized by high density bodies, which might be interpreted as the effect due to fragments of subducted slabs, as those close to the suture of the Appalachians and Grenville province. We used the two thermal models to estimate the integrated strength and the effective elastic thickness (Te) of the lithosphere. In the

  7. Global equivalent magnetization of the oceanic lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyment, J.; Choi, Y.; Hamoudi, M.; Lesur, V.; Thebault, E.

    2015-11-01

    As a by-product of the construction of a new World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map over oceanic areas, we use an original approach based on the global forward modeling of seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies and their comparison to the available marine magnetic data to derive the first map of the equivalent magnetization over the World's ocean. This map reveals consistent patterns related to the age of the oceanic lithosphere, the spreading rate at which it was formed, and the presence of mantle thermal anomalies which affects seafloor spreading and the resulting lithosphere. As for the age, the equivalent magnetization decreases significantly during the first 10-15 Myr after its formation, probably due to the alteration of crustal magnetic minerals under pervasive hydrothermal alteration, then increases regularly between 20 and 70 Ma, reflecting variations in the field strength or source effects such as the acquisition of a secondary magnetization. As for the spreading rate, the equivalent magnetization is twice as strong in areas formed at fast rate than in those formed at slow rate, with a threshold at ∼40 km/Myr, in agreement with an independent global analysis of the amplitude of Anomaly 25. This result, combined with those from the study of the anomalous skewness of marine magnetic anomalies, allows building a unified model for the magnetic structure of normal oceanic lithosphere as a function of spreading rate. Finally, specific areas affected by thermal mantle anomalies at the time of their formation exhibit peculiar equivalent magnetization signatures, such as the cold Australian-Antarctic Discordance, marked by a lower magnetization, and several hotspots, marked by a high magnetization.

  8. Isostasy and Flexure of the Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, Marcia

    When I first began graduate work in geophysics nearly 30 years ago, there was, thankfully only a small body of written material I needed to read and comprehend prior to diving into my own research. Much has happened since then, and I often wonder how new graduate students today come up to speed in their areas of specialization. The answer is now obvious for any students undertaking research in broadly-defined areas involving lithospheric flexure and isostasy: they simply read Tony Watts' new book.

  9. Deformation of Indian Ocean Lithosphere Implies Highly Non-linear Rheological Law for Oceanic Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Richard; Houseman, Gregory

    2015-04-01

    The width of diffuse oceanic plate boundaries is determined by the rheology of oceanic lithosphere. Here we apply thin viscous sheet models, which have been successfully applied to deformation in several continental deforming zones, to investigate the deformation of oceanic lithosphere in the diffuse oceanic plate boundaries between the India, Capricorn, and Australia plates. We apply kinematic boundary conditions based on the current motion between these plates. We neglect buoyancy forces due to plate thinning or thickening and assume that the thin viscous sheet has the same depth-integrated non-linear viscosity coefficient everywhere. Our initial models have only one adjustable parameter, n, the power-law exponent, with n=1, 3, 10, 30, 100. The predicted width of the deforming zone decreases with increasing n, with n ≥ 30 explaining the observations. This n-value is higher than has been estimated for continental lithosphere, and suggests that more of the strength of oceanic lithosphere lies in layers deforming by faulting or by dislocation glide than for continental lithosphere. To obtain a stress field that better fits the distribution and type of earthquake focal mechanisms in the diffuse oceanic plate boundary, we add a second adjustable parameter, representing the effect of slab-pull stretching the oceanic plate near the Sumatra trench. We show that an average velocity increment on this boundary segment of 5 mm/a (relative to the average velocity of the India and Australia plates) fits the observed distribution of fault types better than velocities of 3.3 mm/a or 10 mm/a.

  10. The mantle transition zone beneath the Afar Depression and adjacent regions: implications for mantle plumes and hydration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    The Afar Depression and its adjacent areas are underlain by an upper mantle marked by some of the world's largest negative velocity anomalies, which are frequently attributed to the thermal influences of a lower-mantle plume. In spite of numerous studies, however, the existence of a plume beneath the area remains enigmatic, partially due to inadequate quantities of broad-band seismic data and the limited vertical resolution at the mantle transition zone (MTZ) depth of the techniques employed by previous investigations. In this study, we use an unprecedented quantity (over 14 500) of P-to-S receiver functions (RFs) recorded by 139 stations from 12 networks to image the 410 and 660 km discontinuities and map the spatial variation of the thickness of the MTZ. Non-linear stacking of the RFs under a 1-D velocity model shows robust P-to-S conversions from both discontinuities, and their apparent depths indicate the presence of an upper-mantle low-velocity zone beneath the entire study area. The Afar Depression and the northern Main Ethiopian Rift are characterized by an apparent 40-60 km depression of both MTZ discontinuities and a normal MTZ thickness. The simplest and most probable interpretation of these observations is that the apparent depressions are solely caused by velocity perturbations in the upper mantle and not by deeper processes causing temperature or hydration anomalies within the MTZ. Thickening of the MTZ on the order of 15 km beneath the southern Arabian Plate, southern Red Sea and western Gulf of Aden, which comprise the southward extension of the Afro-Arabian Dome, could reflect long-term hydration of the MTZ. A 20 km thinning of the MTZ beneath the western Ethiopian Plateau is observed and interpreted as evidence for a possible mantle plume stem originating from the lower mantle.

  11. Examining the Causes of Low-frequency Hybrid Earthquakes During Dike Intrusions in the Afar Rift, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tepp, G.; Ebinger, C. J.; Belachew, M.

    2014-12-01

    Between 2005 and 2012, there were 14 large dike intrusions into the Dabbahu rift segment in the Afar rift, Ethiopia. Swarms of earthquakes with local magnitudes between 1.45Afar hybrids are largely a result of path effects based on high attenuation (Q ~ 200) and azimuthal dependence of spectral content. However, large (~3m) surface displacements on short faults indicate that unusual source processes, such as slow rupture times, may also be a factor in these hybrid events. The aims of this study are to distinguish between path and source effects, to characterize the source processes of these events, and to explore the relation between hybrid and normal tectonic events in the region - are the differences in the source or only in the path? For closely located earthquakes, an Empirical Green's Function approach is a great method to isolate the source-time function. Spectral analysis of the source-time function can be used to provide insights into the rupture time, stress drop, and scaling relations of the earthquakes. These results will be used to further refine earthquake classifications and determine if there are any defining characteristics of the classes that associate them with specific faulting processes, such as surface

  12. Mapping Current and Potential Distribution of Non-Native Prosopis juliflora in the Afar Region of Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Wakie, Tewodros T.; Evangelista, Paul H.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Laituri, Melinda

    2014-01-01

    We used correlative models with species occurrence points, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices, and topo-climatic predictors to map the current distribution and potential habitat of invasive Prosopis juliflora in Afar, Ethiopia. Time-series of MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Indices (EVI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) with 250 m2 spatial resolution were selected as remote sensing predictors for mapping distributions, while WorldClim bioclimatic products and generated topographic variables from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission product (SRTM) were used to predict potential infestations. We ran Maxent models using non-correlated variables and the 143 species- occurrence points. Maxent generated probability surfaces were converted into binary maps using the 10-percentile logistic threshold values. Performances of models were evaluated using area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC). Our results indicate that the extent of P. juliflora invasion is approximately 3,605 km2 in the Afar region (AUC  = 0.94), while the potential habitat for future infestations is 5,024 km2 (AUC  = 0.95). Our analyses demonstrate that time-series of MODIS vegetation indices and species occurrence points can be used with Maxent modeling software to map the current distribution of P. juliflora, while topo-climatic variables are good predictors of potential habitat in Ethiopia. Our results can quantify current and future infestations, and inform management and policy decisions for containing P. juliflora. Our methods can also be replicated for managing invasive species in other East African countries. PMID:25393396

  13. Mapping current and potential distribution of non-native Prosopis juliflora in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Wakie, Tewodros T; Evangelista, Paul H; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Laituri, Melinda

    2014-01-01

    We used correlative models with species occurrence points, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices, and topo-climatic predictors to map the current distribution and potential habitat of invasive Prosopis juliflora in Afar, Ethiopia. Time-series of MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Indices (EVI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) with 250 m2 spatial resolution were selected as remote sensing predictors for mapping distributions, while WorldClim bioclimatic products and generated topographic variables from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission product (SRTM) were used to predict potential infestations. We ran Maxent models using non-correlated variables and the 143 species- occurrence points. Maxent generated probability surfaces were converted into binary maps using the 10-percentile logistic threshold values. Performances of models were evaluated using area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC). Our results indicate that the extent of P. juliflora invasion is approximately 3,605 km2 in the Afar region (AUC  = 0.94), while the potential habitat for future infestations is 5,024 km2 (AUC  = 0.95). Our analyses demonstrate that time-series of MODIS vegetation indices and species occurrence points can be used with Maxent modeling software to map the current distribution of P. juliflora, while topo-climatic variables are good predictors of potential habitat in Ethiopia. Our results can quantify current and future infestations, and inform management and policy decisions for containing P. juliflora. Our methods can also be replicated for managing invasive species in other East African countries. PMID:25393396

  14. Mapping current and potential distribution of non-native Prosopis juliflora in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Wakie, Tewodros T; Evangelista, Paul H; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Laituri, Melinda

    2014-01-01

    We used correlative models with species occurrence points, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices, and topo-climatic predictors to map the current distribution and potential habitat of invasive Prosopis juliflora in Afar, Ethiopia. Time-series of MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Indices (EVI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) with 250 m2 spatial resolution were selected as remote sensing predictors for mapping distributions, while WorldClim bioclimatic products and generated topographic variables from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission product (SRTM) were used to predict potential infestations. We ran Maxent models using non-correlated variables and the 143 species- occurrence points. Maxent generated probability surfaces were converted into binary maps using the 10-percentile logistic threshold values. Performances of models were evaluated using area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC). Our results indicate that the extent of P. juliflora invasion is approximately 3,605 km2 in the Afar region (AUC  = 0.94), while the potential habitat for future infestations is 5,024 km2 (AUC  = 0.95). Our analyses demonstrate that time-series of MODIS vegetation indices and species occurrence points can be used with Maxent modeling software to map the current distribution of P. juliflora, while topo-climatic variables are good predictors of potential habitat in Ethiopia. Our results can quantify current and future infestations, and inform management and policy decisions for containing P. juliflora. Our methods can also be replicated for managing invasive species in other East African countries.

  15. Assessment of Late Quaternary strain partitioning in the Afar Triple Junction: Dobe and Hanle grabens, Ethiopia and Djibouti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polun, S. G.; Stockman, M. B.; Hickcox, K.; Horrell, D.; Tesfaye, S.; Gomez, F. G.

    2015-12-01

    As the only subaerial exposure of a ridge - ridge - ridge triple junction, the Afar region of Ethiopia and Djibouti offers a rare opportunity to assess strain partitioning within this type of triple junction. Here, the plate boundaries do not link discretely, but rather the East African rift meets the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rifts in a zone of diffuse normal faulting characterized by a lack of magmatic activity, referred to as the central Afar. An initial assessment of Late Quaternary strain partitioning is based on faulted landforms in the Dobe - Hanle graben system in Ethiopia and Djibouti. These two extensional basins are connected by an imbricated accommodation zone. Several fault scarps occur within terraces formed during the last highstand of Lake Dobe, around 5 ka - they provide a means of calibrating a numerical model of fault scarp degradation. Additional timing constraints will be provided by pending exposure ages. The spreading rates of both grabens are equivalent, however in Dobe graben, extension is partitioned 2:1 between northern, south dipping faults and the southern, north dipping fault. Extension in Hanle graben is primarily focused on the north dipping Hanle fault. On the north margin of Dobe graben, the boundary fault bifurcates, where the basin-bordering fault displays a significantly higher modeled uplift rate than the more distal fault, suggesting a basinward propagation of faulting. On the southern Dobe fault, surveyed fault scarps have ages ranging from 30 - 5 ka with uplift rates of 0.71, 0.47, and 0.68 mm/yr, suggesting no secular variation in slip rates from the late Plestocene through the Holocene. These rates are converted into horizontal stretching estimates, which are compared with regional strain estimated from velocities of relatively sparse GPS data.

  16. Receiver function constraints on crustal seismic velocities and partial melting beneath the Red Sea rift and adjacent regions, Afar Depression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, Cory A.; Almadani, Sattam; Gao, Stephen S.; Elsheikh, Ahmed A.; Cherie, Solomon; Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.; Thurmond, Allison K.; Liu, Kelly H.

    2014-03-01

    The Afar Depression is an ideal locale for the investigation of crustal processes involved in the transition from continental rifting to oceanic spreading. To provide relatively high resolution images of the crust beneath the Red Sea rift (RSR) represented by the Tendaho graben in the Afar Depression, we deployed an array of 18 broadband seismic stations in 2010 and 2011. Stacking of about 2300 receiver functions from the 18 and several nearby stations along the ~200 km long array reveals an average crustal thickness of 22±4 km, ranging from ~17 km near the RSR axis to 30 km within the overlap zone between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rifts. The resulting anomalously high Vp/Vs ratios decrease from 2.40 in the southwest to 1.85 within the overlap zone. We utilize theoretical Vp and melt fraction relationships to obtain an overall highly reduced average crustal Vp of ~5.1 km/s. The melt percentage is about 10% beneath the RSR while the overlap zone contains minor quantities of partial melt. The observed high Vp/Vs values beneath most of the study area indicate widespread partial melting beneath the southwest half of the profile, probably as a result of gradual eastward migration of the RSR axis. Our results also suggest that the current extensional strain in the lower crust beneath the region is diffuse, while the strain field in the upper crust is localized along narrow volcanic segments. These disparate styles of deformation imply a high degree of decoupling between the upper and lower crust.

  17. Lithosphere structure beneath the Phanerozoic intracratonic basins of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaminski, Edouard; Jaupart, Claude

    2000-05-01

    Four intracratonic basins of North America, the Hudson Bay, Michigan, Illinois and Williston basins, have similar ages and are close to one another. Yet, they exhibit different subsidence histories characterised by different time-scales and sediment thicknesses. They can be explained by local lithosphere thinning and by the cooling of the induced thermal anomaly. Within the framework of 1D thermal models for vertical heat transport, each basin requires a different lithosphere thickness or a different boundary condition at the base of the lithosphere. Heat flow and seismic studies show that, beneath the North American craton, the lithosphere is too thick for the assumption of purely vertical heat transfer to be valid. Thermal models are developed to account for finite thermal anomaly width and for two types of basal boundary conditions, fixed temperature or fixed heat flux. Different subsidence histories are explained by deep lithospheric anomalies of different sizes. The stability of thick continental roots requires the mantle part of the lithosphere to be compositionally buoyant with respect to 'normal' convecting mantle. Localised lithospheric thinning, due for example to plume penetration, results in the emplacement of compositionally denser mantle into the lithosphere. This represents a load which drives permanent flexure. The cooling time and the characteristics of flexure allow constraints on the dimensions of these deep lithospheric anomalies. There are no solutions for lithosphere thicknesses less than 170 km. The Williston and Illinois basins are associated with wide (˜200 km) and thin anomalies (˜100 km), whereas the Michigan and Hudson Bay are located on top of narrow (˜100 km) and tall (˜200 km) anomalies.

  18. Sedimentary loading, lithospheric flexure and subduction initiation at passive margins

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, S.G. . Dept. of Earth Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    Recent theoretical models have demonstrated the difficulty of subduction initiation at passive margins, whether subduction is assumed to initiate by overcoming the shear resistance on a thrust fault through the lithosphere or by failure of the entire lithosphere in bending due to sedimentary loading. A mechanism for subduction initiation at passive margins that overcomes these difficulties incorporates the increased subsidence of a marginal basin during decoupling of a previously locked margin. A passive margin may decouple by reactivation of rift-related faults in a local extensional or strike-slip setting. Flexure of marginal basins by sedimentary loading is modeled here by the bending of infinite and semi-infinite elastic plates under a triangular load. The geometry of a mature marginal basin fits the deflection produced by loading of an infinite plate in which the flexural rigidity of continental lithosphere is larger than that of oceanic lithosphere. Decoupling of such a locked passive margin by fault reactivation may cause the lithospheric bending behavior of the margin to change from that of an infinite plate to that of a semi-infinite plate, with a resultant increase in deflection of the marginal basin. The increase in deflection depends on the flexural rigidities of continental and oceanic lithosphere. For flexural rigidities of 10[sup 30]-10[sup 31] dyn-cm (elastic lithosphere thicknesses 24--51 km), the difference in deflections between infinite and semi-infinite plates is 15--17 km, so that decoupling sinks the top of the oceanic lithosphere to depths of ca 35 km. Additional sedimentation within the basin and phase changes within the oceanic crust may further increase this deflection. Subduction may initiate if the top of the oceanic lithosphere sinks to the base of the adjacent elastic lithosphere.

  19. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-13

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

  20. Lithospheric cooling as a basin forming mechanism within accretionary crust.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, P. J.; Allen, M.; van Hunen, J.; Björnseth, H. M.

    2009-04-01

    Widely accepted basin forming mechanisms are limited to flexure of the lithosphere, lithospheric stretching, lithospheric cooling following rifting and, possibly, dynamic topography. In this work forward models have been used to investigate lithospheric growth due to cooling beneath accretionary crust, as a new basin forming mechanism. Accretionary crust is formed from collision of island arcs, accretionary complexes and fragments of reworked older crust at subduction zones, and therefore has thin lithosphere due to melting and increased convection. This is modeled using a 1D infinite half space cooling model similar to lithospheric cooling models for the oceans. The crustal composition and structure used in the models has been varied around average values of accretionary crust to represent the heterogeneity of accretionary crust. The initial mantle lithosphere thickness used in the model was 20 km. The model then allows the lithosphere to thicken as it cools and calculates the subsidence isostatically. The model produces sediment loaded basins of 2-7 km for the various crustal structures over 250 Myrs. Water-loaded tectonic subsidence curves from the forward models were compared to tectonic subsidence curves produced from backstripping wells from the Kufrah and Ghadames basins, located on the accretionary crust of North Africa. A good match between the subsidence curves for the forward model and backstripping is produced when the best estimates for the crustal structure, composition and the present day thickness of the lithosphere for North Africa are used as inputs for the forward model. This shows that lithospheric cooling provides a good method for producing large basins with prolonged subsidence in accretionary crust without the need for initial extension.

  1. Temperature-dependent transient creep and dynamics of cratonic lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birger, Boris I.

    2013-11-01

    Large-scale mantle convection forms the upper boundary layer (lithosphere) where the vertical temperature drop is about 1300 K. Theoretical rheology and laboratory experiments with rock samples show that transient creep occurs while creep strains are sufficiently small. The transient creep is described by the temperature-dependent Andrade rheological model. Since plate tectonics allows only small deformations in lithospheric plates, creep of the lithosphere plates is transient whereas steady-state creep, described by non-Newtonian power-law rheological model, takes place in the underlying mantle. The solution of stability problem shows that the lithosphere is stable but small-scale convective oscillations are attenuated very weakly in regions of thickened lithosphere beneath continental cratons (subcratonic roots) where the thickness of the lithosphere is about 200 km. These oscillations create small-scale convective cells (the horizontal dimensions of the cells are of the order of the subcratonic lithosphere thickness). Direction of motion within the cells periodically changes (the period of convective oscillations is of the order of 3 × 108 yr). In this study, the oscillations of cratonic lithosphere caused by initial relief perturbation are considered. This relief perturbation is assumed to be created by overthrusting in orogenic belts surrounding cratons. The perturbation of the Earth's surface relief leads to a fast isothermal process of isostatic recovery. In the presence of vertical temperature gradient, vertical displacements, associated with the recovery process in the lithosphere interior, instantly produce the initial temperature perturbations exciting thermoconvective oscillations in the cratonic lithosphere. These small-amplitude convective oscillations cause oscillatory crustal movements which form sedimentary basins on cratons.

  2. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-13

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

  3. Cratonic lithosphere: an electrifying view (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. G.

    2013-12-01

    Deep-probing electromagnetic studies reveal the vertical and lateral electrical conductivity structure of cratonic lithosphere. At lithospheric temperatures and for silicate mantle minerals, semi-conduction is from small polaron hopping and, in the presence of water, proton conduction, both of which is thermally-driven and can be described by an Arrhenius equation. There is little compositional sensitivity, save for the far higher water contents prevalent in pyroxenes (typically 200-400 wt ppm) compared to olivine (typically 10-100 wt ppm), with the latter exhibiting a depth dependence and the former none. Seismological methods are sensitive to temperature and composition, and virtually insensitive to low amounts of water. Taken together, the two are highly complementary. Seismological and magnetotelluric studies across Southern Africa can be employed together to constraint temperature and water content, where there is a significant difference at 100 km depth between the Kaapvaal Craton compared to the Angola (Congo) Craton compared to the Zimbabwe Craton. The Congo Craton is driest but hottest, the Kaapvaal Craton exhibits laterally-varying water content and is coldest, and the Zimbabwe Craton is the wettest and intermediate in temperature. Such thermal and water content variation results in lateral rheological variation, with the wettest and warmest being more deformable. For the Canadian Shield, there is again significant lateral variation at 100 km, with the Superior Province being mostly dry, and the Slave Craton and Rae/Hearne Provinces being far wetter. By 200 km however, all of the Canadian Shield is dry, consistent with the xenolith-based observations from the Kaapvaal Craton of far higher water contents in olivine at 100 km (50-100 wt ppm) decreasing with depth to around 10 wt ppm at 200 km. The lithosphere beneath the Kimberley area of the Kaapvaal Craton has been forward modeled in a manner that is self-consistent not only with the seismological and

  4. Lithospheric Instabilities within the Northern Basin and Range Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, R. C.; Fouch, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    Flat slab subduction and the subsequent removal of the subducting Farallon slab beneath the western United States has had a profound impact on the state of the North American lithosphere. In order to provide new constraints on the structure and evolution of the region's crust and upper mantle, we use surface wave tomography and receiver functions to image the earth beneath the Northern Basin and Range (NBR) and surrounding regions. We combine these results with published geophysical and geochemical data to further characterize lithospheric and asthenospheric processes and relate these to geological observations at the surface. Our initial results show high-velocity upper mantle, interpreted as lithosphere, beneath the center of the NBR and thinner lithosphere along its western, southern, and eastern margins. The zone of thickest lithosphere corresponds to areas with relatively thick crust, high elevations, and an absence of historic seismicity greater than magnitude 5.0. This region of thicker lithosphere also underlies a zone of reduced volcanic rock exposure relative to surrounding regions. Further, within the region there are no volcanic rocks in the NAVDAT database younger than 10 Ma, with the exception of Lunar Craters located in the south-central NBR. The shallow lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary observed along the margins of the NBR suggests that significant lithospheric thinning has occurred in these areas. This thinning is likely related to either extensional shear stresses or to the removal of lithospheric material, perhaps leading to accentuated strain along the margins of the Basin and Range. We interpret these data in the context of gravitational instabilities resulting in the removal of lithospheric material. A lithospheric downwelling has previously been identified within the center of the NBR based on high-velocity upper-mantle material observed in body wave tomography, a zone of weak or absent horizontal anisotropic fabric observed in shear

  5. Limiting depth of magnetization in cratonic lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toft, Paul B.; Haggerty, Stephen E.

    1988-01-01

    Values of magnetic susceptibility and natural remanent magnetization (NRM) of clino-pyroxene-garnet-plagioclase granulite facies lower crustal xenoliths from a kimberlite in west Africa are correlated to bulk geochemistry and specific gravity. Thermomagnetic and alternating-field demagnetization analyses identify magnetite (Mt) and native iron as the dominant magnetic phases (totaling not more than 0.1 vol pct of the rocks) along with subsidiary sulfides. Oxidation states of the granulites are not greater than MW, observed Mt occurs as rims on coarse (about 1 micron) Fe particles, and inferred single domain-pseudosingle domain Mt may be a result of oxidation of fine-grained Fe. The deepest limit of lithospheric ferromagnetism is 95 km, but a limit of 70 km is most reasonable for the West African Craton and for modeling Magsat anomalies over exposed Precambrian shields.

  6. Deep thermal structure and thickness of the continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaupart, C.; Mareschal, J.; Kaminski, E.

    2002-12-01

    There is no doubt that cratonic lithosphere is much thicker than oceanic lithosphere, but large uncertainties remain on its thickness, deep thermal structure, physical properties (density, rheology) and composition. Heat flow and crustal heat production data in North America demonstrate that, in steady-state conditions, heat flow variations are essentially due to changes of crustal heat production. Crustal models in several different geological provinces and considerations on the thermal stability of the crust through geological time constrain the mantle heat flow to be in the range 11-16 mWm-2. For such low values, heat flow data are not sensitive to small, but significant, lateral variations of the mantle heat flow (≈ 20%). Downward extrapolation of temperature profiles requires knowledge of thermal conductivity and heat production in the lithospheric mantle. For a thick lithosphere, surface heat flow is not in equilibrium with the instantaneous heat production and basal heat flow, and surface measurements record a time-average. With current estimates of heat production in the lithospheric mantle (≈ 0.02 mWm-3), thermal models rule out that lithospheric thickness is greater than 330 km. Using heat flow data and other constraints on lithospheric temperatures, such as xenolith (P,T) equilibration conditions, one can only construct geotherms in a stable conductive layer. Thus, comparison with seismic constraints cannot be made without considering the dynamical interactions with the convective mantle. A small-scale convection model shows that temperatures at the base of the continental lithosphere may not be equal to those of the well-mixed (isentropic) oceanic convecting mantle. Constraints on deep lithospheric structure can also be obtained using thermal transients, as recorded for example by sedimentary accumulations in intracratonic basins. The stability of thick roots requires the lithospheric mantle to be compositionally buoyant. Localized thinning results

  7. Evolution of the lithosphere in Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farah, Abul; Abbas, Ghazanfar; De Jong, Kees A.; Lawrence, Robert D.

    1984-06-01

    The geological setting of Pakistan in the framework of the modern concept of plate tectonics is unique in the sense that, within an area of about 800,000 km 2, critical tectonic junctions of different interacting plates and microplates are present in an environment where field exposures are excellent. Here we discuss the dynamics of these various plate boundaries. Two types of active plate boundaries are conspicuous: (1) convergent boundaries characterized by continent-continent collision, obduction, and thrusting in the northern region of the Himalaya and by oceanic crust subduction with a volcanic arc and a wide accretionary wedge in the southern region of Chagai and Makran; (2) a transform boundary, the Chaman transform zone, characterized by very large strike-slip and lesser thrusting. The Chaman transform zone connects the Makran convergence zone, where oceanic lithosphere is being subducted beneath the Lut and Afghan microplates, with the Himalayan convergence zone, where the Indo-Pakistan lithosphere is underthrusting Eurasia. The Chaman zone is at present an intracontinental plate boundary with oblique motion, characterized by north-south strike-slip faults and eastward thrusting and folding in the Kirthar-Sulaiman mountain belt. This mountain belt, the northwestern margin of the Indo-Pak subcontinent, was an Atlantic-type margin from the late Paleozoic until the Cretaceous. In the Cretaceous, the continental margin became a plate boundary; a thrust belt was formed in the Paleocene, and fragments of the oceanic crust were obducted, either as thrust sheets (Muslimbagh) or as an ophiolitic melange (Bela and Waziristan).

  8. Lithospheric Architecture of the Hudson Bay Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, D.; Darbyshire, F.

    2009-05-01

    Hudson Bay is a vast inland sea that penetrates deeply into north-central Canada, forming a conspicuous element of the coastline and concealing several fundamental tectonic elements of North America, including most of the Paleoproterozoic Trans Hudson orogen (THO) and the Paleozoic Hudson Bay basin. The THO formed due to a collision between two Archean domains, the Superior and Churchill Provinces of the Canadian Shield, and is similar in scale and tectonic style to the modern Himalayan-Karakorum orogen. Tectonic reconstructions suggest that the lobate shape of the indentor (Superior Province) formed an orogenic template that exerted a persistent influence on the tectonic evolution of the region, resulting in anomalous preservation of juvenile crustal material. Based on analysis of gravity and magnetic data, we propose a model in which juvenile crust in the southeastern part of Hudson Bay formed within an island-arc setting proximal to the Superior Province, in contrast to the Reindeer Zone of Saskatchewan and Manitoba which accreted first to the Churchill Province. Thick, cold and refractory lithosphere that underlies the Bay is well imaged by surface-wave studies and comprises a large component of the cratonic mantle keel that forms the nucleus of the North American continent. The existence of an unusually thick mantle root beneath Hudson Bay indicates that subduction and collision are root-forming (or at least root-preserving) processes. Although the Hudson Bay basin is the largest by surface area of four major intracratonic basins in North America, it is also the shallowest. Available evidence suggests that basin subsidence may have been triggered by eclogitization of crust that was previously thickened during the Trans-Hudson orogeny. Relatively stiff Early Paleozoic lithosphere may have inhibited subsidence of the Hudson Bay basin relative to other basins of similar age in North America.

  9. The Lithospheric Structure of Southern Africa from Magnetotelluric Sounding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, R. L.; Jones, A. G.; Atekwana, E. A.

    2014-12-01

    Measurements of mantle electrical conductivity, made through the magnetotelluric method, offer considerable insight into the structure of cratonic lithosphere. A particularly expansive data set has been collected in Southern Africa, started through the Southern Africa Magnetotelluric Experiment (SAMTEX) experiment, now continuing north through Zambia as part of the Project for Rift Initiation Development and Evolution (PRIDE) experiment. The combined data set highlights large variability in lithospheric structure that broadly correlates with surface geology: cratonic lithosphere is generally thick and electrically resistive, while much thinner lithosphere is seen beneath mobile belts. In areas of relatively uniform resistivity structure, we have constructed resistivity-depth profiles and use new laboratory data to place constraints on the water content of lithospheric mantle. Uncertainty in our estimates arises from differences between different laboratory results, but our data are generally consistent with a slightly damp upper lithospheric mantle above a dry and strong cratonic root. Other areas show complexity of structure that is difficult to understand using current knowledge of conductivity -the Bushveld complex, where the mantle is highly conductive, is one such example. In southwestern Zambia, the lithosphere is seen to be very thin (around 50km) beneath mobile belt terrain, as was inferred nearly 40 years ago on the basis of high heatflow. The mantle is highly conductive, most likely due to a combination of elevated temperatures, water content and perhaps a trace amount of melting. This anomalous structure may be linked to the southwest propagation of the East African Rift system.

  10. SEASAT observations of lithospheric flexure seaward of trenches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcadoo, D. C.; Martin, C. F.

    1983-01-01

    Lithospheric flexure seaward of deep ocean trenches in SEASAT altimeter observations of the marine geoid. In fact, mechanical models of lithospheric flexure can be tested directly on the SEASAT altimeter data. A simple elastic model was used for the oceanic lithosphere and, after least squares adjustments, estimates of model parameters were recovered including Outer Rise (OR) amplitude, OR wavelength, and effective lithospheric thickness. Effective lithospheric thickness was recovered for five regions: the Mariana, the Kuril, the Philippine, the Aleutian and the Middle America OR. These results support the suggestion of Bodine et al. (1981) that effective thickness, T, increased with age of lithosphere in approximate accord with the relation T approximately equals x age to the 1/2 power where C approximately equals 4 km x my to the -1/2 power. Altimetric results agree more closely with this relation than do published results based on bathymetric data. The close agreement with the thickness-age relation suggests that there is no longer any need to assume that significant horizontal compression acts across the Kuril, Marianas and Izo-Bonin trenches. This thickness-age relation implies that flexural strength of the oceanic lithosphere is temperature controlled.

  11. Rejuvenation of the lithosphere by the Hawaiian plume.

    PubMed

    Li, Xueqing; Kind, Rainer; Yuan, Xiaohui; Wölbern, Ingo; Hanka, Winfried

    2004-02-26

    The volcanism responsible for creating the chain of the Hawaiian islands and seamounts is believed to mark the passage of the oceanic lithosphere over a mantle plume. In this picture hot material rises from great depth within a fixed narrow conduit to the surface, penetrating the moving lithosphere. Although a number of models describe possible plume-lithosphere interactions, seismic imaging techniques have not had sufficient resolution to distinguish between them. Here we apply the S-wave 'receiver function' technique to data of three permanent seismic broadband stations on the Hawaiian islands, to map the thickness of the underlying lithosphere. We find that under Big Island the lithosphere is 100-110 km thick, as expected for an oceanic plate 90-100 million years old that is not modified by a plume. But the lithosphere thins gradually along the island chain to about 50-60 km below Kauai. The width of the thinning is about 300 km. In this zone, well within the larger-scale topographic swell, we infer that the rejuvenation model (where the plume thins the lithosphere) is operative; however, the larger-scale topographic swell is probably supported dynamically.

  12. Lithospheric structure of Venus from gravity and topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Díaz, Alberto; Ruiz, Javier; Kirby, Jon F.; Romeo, Ignacio; Tejero, Rosa; Capote, Ramón

    2015-11-01

    There are many fundamental and unanswered questions on the structure and evolution of the venusian lithosphere, which are key issues for understanding Venus in the context of the origin and evolution of the terrestrial planets. Here we investigate the lithospheric structure of Venus by calculating its crustal and effective elastic thicknesses (Tc and Te, respectively) from an analysis of gravity and topography, in order to improve our knowledge of the large scale and long-term mechanical behaviour of its lithosphere. We find that the venusian crust is usually 20-25 km thick with thicker crust under the highlands. Our effective elastic thickness values range between 14 km (corresponding to the minimum resolvable Te value) and 94 km, but are dominated by low to moderate values. Te variations deduced from our model could represent regional variations in the cooling history of the lithosphere and/or mantle processes with limited surface manifestation. The crustal plateaus are near-isostatically compensated, consistent with a thin elastic lithosphere, showing a thickened crust beneath them, whereas the lowlands exhibit higher Te values, maybe indicating a cooler lithosphere than that when the venusian highlands were emplaced. The large volcanic rises show a complex signature, with a broad range of Te and internal load fraction (F) values. Finally, our results also reveal a significant contribution of the upper mantle to the strength of the lithosphere in many regions.

  13. Tectonic determinations of lithospheric thickness on Ganymede and Callisto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Croft, S. K.

    1985-01-01

    The concept of the Maxwell time of a viscoelastic material (4.5) is used in conjunction with calculated thermal profiles to evaluate the significance of tectonic estimates of lithospheric thickness. Thermal lithospheric thicknesses provide fundamental constraints on planetary thermal histories that complement the constraints provided by dateable surface deposits of endogenic origin. Lithospheric constraints are of particular value on the icy satellites where our understanding of both rheology and surface ages is considerably poorer than it is for the terrestrial planets. Certain extensional tectonic features can and have been used to estimate lithospheric thicknesses on Ganymede and Callisto. These estimates, however, refer to the depth of the elastic lithosphere defined by the zone of brittle failure. The relation between the elastic lithosphere and the thermal lithosphere (generally defined by the zone of conductive heat transport) is not straightforward, because the depth of brittle failure depends not only on the thermal profile, but also on rheology and strain rate (or the characteristic time over which stresses build towards failure). Characteristic time considerations are not trivial in this context because stresses generating brittle failure on the icy satellites may be produced by impacts, with characteristic times of seconds to days, or by geologic processes with time scales of hundreds of millions of years.

  14. Hudson Bay Lithospheric Experiment: Constraints on Lithospheric Thickness From Surface Waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darbyshire, F. A.

    2008-12-01

    HuBLE (Hudson Bay Lithospheric Experiment) is an international initiative to study the structure, dynamics and evolution of the Hudson Bay region. In particular, we seek to understand the interaction between the Archean cratons surrounding the region and the underlying Paleoproterozoic Trans-Hudson Orogen, which formed during the collision of the Superior and Churchill Provinces at 1.9-1.8 Ga. Global and continental- scale tomographic models indicate a thick, cold and refractory lithosphere beneath Hudson Bay. Most tomographic models suggest that this region is associated with the highest velocities and thickest seismological lithosphere of the Canadian Shield. The HuBLE project commenced in 2006, with the deployment of a number of telemetered broadband seismograph stations on the east and west coasts of Hudson Bay. Along with existing stations from the POLARIS/FedNor initiative in northern Ontario, and permanent Canadian stations, the deployment ringed Hudson Bay on three sides. A second phase of deployment in 2007, using non-telemetered broadband stations, completed the coverage of the region. A considerable number of large teleseismic earthquakes have been recorded by the array since its installation, and the data are generally of high quality. We measure Rayleigh wave phase velocities for paths crossing Hudson Bay, using the two-station cross-correlation method of Meier et al. (2004). Average phase velocity dispersion curves are constructed using data from multiple earthquakes along each path, resulting in a set of reliable dispersion measurements in the period range ~15--250~seconds. The data set therefore permits constraint of lithospheric shear wave velocity structure from mid-crustal to asthenospheric depths beneath the continent. Preliminary 1D shear wave velocity models of path-averaged structure are estimated using a smooth linearised inversion technique (Maupin & Cara, 1992). The models show a typically 'shield- type' signature, with a high

  15. Lithospheric cooling and thickening as a basin forming mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Peter J.; Allen, Mark B.; van Hunen, Jeroen; Bjørnseth, Hans Morten

    2010-12-01

    Widely accepted basin forming mechanisms are limited to flexure of the lithosphere, and lithospheric stretching followed by cooling and thermal subsidence. Neither of these mechanisms works for a group of large basins, sometimes known as "intracontinental sags". In this paper we investigate cooling and thickening of initially thin lithosphere as a basin forming mechanism, by a combination of forward modelling and a backstripping study of two Palaeozoic North African basins: Ghadames and Al Kufrah. These are two of a family of basins, once unified, which lie over the largely accretionary crust of North Africa and Arabia. Such accretionary crust tends to be juvenile, consisting of amalgamated island arcs, accretionary prisms and melanges, and typically has near-normal crustal thicknesses but initially thin mantle lithosphere. Post-accretion subsidence is modelled using a plate cooling model similar to cooling models for oceanic lithosphere. The crustal composition and thickness used in the models are varied around average values of accretionary crust to represent likely heterogeneity. The model allows the lithosphere to thicken as it cools and calculates the resulting isostatic subsidence. Water-loaded tectonic subsidence curves from these forward models are compared to tectonic subsidence curves produced from backstripped wells from Al Kufrah and Ghadames Basins. A good match between the subsidence curves for the forward model and backstripping is produced when the best estimates for the crustal structure, composition and the present day thickness of the lithosphere for North Africa are used as inputs for the forward model. The model produces sediment loaded basins of 2-7 km thickness for the various crustal assemblies over ~ 250 Myr. This shows that lithospheric cooling provides a viable method for producing large basins with prolonged subsidence, without the need for initial extension, provided the condition of initially thin mantle lithosphere is met.

  16. Lithospheric structure on Venus from tectonic modelling of compressional features

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerdt, W. B.; Golombek, M. P.

    1987-01-01

    In previous studies, extensional models were used that incorporated realistic rheologies in order to constrain lithospheric structure. Lithospheric modelling is considered herein from the standpoint of compressional deformation. Features of presumed compressional tectonic origin are reviewed and a model for compressional folding based on lithospheric strength envelopes are presented that include the effects of both brittle and ductile yielding as well as finite elastic strength. Model predictions are then compared with the widths and spacings of observed tectonic features and it is concluded that the results are consistent with a thin crust overlying a relatively stronger mantle, with thermal gradients probably in the range of 10 to 15 deg/km.

  17. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere, a central theme of plate tectonics, is relatively well understood. Recycling continental lithosphere is more difficult to recognize, can take a number of different forms, and appears to require an external trigger for initiation. Delamination and localized convective downwelling are two processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. We describe a related process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone: Subducting oceanic plates can entrain and recycle lithospheric mantle from an adjacent continent and disrupt the continental lithosphere far inland from the subduction zone. Body wave tomograms from dense broadband seismograph arrays in northeastern South America (SA) and the western Mediterranean show larger than expected volumes of positive velocity anomalies which we identify as the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern SA, and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc (GA). The positive anomalies lie under and are aligned with the continental margins at sublithospheric depths. The continental margins along which the subduction zones have traversed, i.e. the northeastern SA plate boundary and east of GA, have significantly thinner lithosphere than expected. The thinner than expected lithosphere extends inland as far as the edges of nearby cratons as determined from receiver function images and surface wave tomography. These observations suggest that subducting oceanic plates viscously entrain and remove continental mantle lithosphere from beneath adjacent continental margins, modulating the surface tectonics and pre-conditioning the margins for further deformation. The latter can include delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle and include the lower crust, as around GA, inferred by results from active and passive seismic experiments. Viscous removal of continental margin lithosphere creates LAB topography leading

  18. Olympus Mons shaped by lithospheric flexure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, P. K.; van Wyk de Vries, B.; Holohan, E. P.; Murray, J. B.; Troll, V.

    2009-12-01

    Olympus Mons is the biggest volcano on Mars, towering 22 km above the NW flank of the Tharsis-Syria upland. Olympus has a characteristic morphology featuring a flat summit, convex upper flanks, concave lower flanks, and a basal escarpment. The summit hosts a six-caldera collapse complex. The upper flanks are terraced in a circumferential, imbricate pattern, whilst the lower flanks are covered in leveed lava channels and lava fans. The basal scarp surrounds much of the shield and reaches heights of 6 km in places. Beyond the escarpment lie aureole deposits, particularly prominent to the NW, downslope from the Tharsis Rise. Although the caldera complex probably developed due to multi-cyclic recharge and evacuation of magma chambers within the edifice, the origin of the remaining features is contentious. Flank terraces have been ascribed to lithospheric flexure, magma chamber tumescence, or volcano spreading. The basal scarp has been linked to tectonic, eruptive, and mass movement processes. The aureole deposits are generally regarded as causally related to the escarpment, but they too have been attributed to a range of formation mechanisms. Previous attempts to explain the genesis of this suite of structures have primarily invoked lithospheric flexure or volcano spreading, but no holistic model yet exists. Here we show that lithospheric flexure, with coeval slip along a basal décollement, is the leading candidate mechanism for the formation of the terraces, scarp, and aureole deposits of Olympus Mons. In a set of scaled analogue experiments, we loaded a ductile silicone putty “lithosphere” with a brittle sand cone “edifice”; a thin layer of putty below the cone served as a detachment surface. Flexure of the underlying silicone produced imbricate, outward-verging convexities on the cone’s upper- and mid flanks, a concave-upward annular trough on its lower flanks, and a prominent scarp at its base. The convexities closely resembled the geometry of terraces

  19. Investigating the Lithospheric Structure of Southern Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tilmann, F. J.; Yuan, X.; Rumpker, G.; Heit, B.; Rambolamana, G.; Rindraharisaona, E.; Priestley, K. F.

    2013-12-01

    The island of Madagascar occupies a key region in both the assembly and the multi-stage breakup of Gondwanaland, itself part of the super-continent Pangaea. Madagascar consists of an amalgamation of continental material, with the oldest rocks being of Archaean age. Its ancient fabric is characterised by several shear zones, some of them running oblique to the N-S trend, in particular in the south of the island. More recently during the Neogene, moderate volcanism has occurred in the Central and Northern part of the island, and there are indications of uplift throughout Eastern Madagascar over the last 10 Ma. Although Madagascar is now located within the interior of the African plate and far away from major plate boundaries (> 1000 km from the East African rift system and even further from the Central and South-West Indian Ridges), its seismic activity indicates that some deformation is taking place, and present-day kinematic models based on geodetic data and earthquake moment tensors in the global catalogues identify a diffuse N-S-oriented minor boundary separating two microplates, which appears to pass through Madagascar. In spite of the presence of Archaean and Proterozoic rocks continent-wide scale studies indicate a thin lithosphere (<120 km) throughout Madagascar, but are based on sparse data and cannot resolve the difference between eastern and western Madagascar. We are operating a ENE-WSW oriented linear array of 25 broadband stations in southern Madagascar, extending from coast to coast and sampling the sedimentary basins in the west as well as the metamorphic rocks in the East, cutting geological boundaries seen at the surface at high angle. The array crosses the prominent Bongolava-Ranotsara shear zone which is thought to have been formed during Gondwanaland assembly. The array recorded the magnitude 5.3 earthquake of January 25, 2013 which occurred just off its western edge. In addition, in May 2013 we have deployed 25 short period sensors in the

  20. Determination of the Earth's lithospheric magnetic field with satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotsiaros, Stavros; Olsen, Nils; Finlay, Christopher

    2016-07-01

    Satellites such as Magsat, Ørsted, CHAMP and Swarm provide the most effective means of determining on a global scale the Earth's lithospheric magnetic field. In particular, the Swarm three-satellite constellation mission aims at capturing the smallest-scale features of the lithospheric field that have ever been captured from space. To achieve that, explicit advantage of the constellation aspect of Swarm has to be taken by using gradient estimates. We derive lithospheric field models using more than one year of magnetic gradient data, which are approximated by first differences of field vector data between the two lower Swarm satellites and along each satellite orbit, respectively. We find that gradient data are less sensitive to large-scale external field fluctuations. Moreover, gradient data appear to be a very efficient way of increasing the resolution of lithospheric field models and thus providing an initial validation of the gradient concept underlying the Swarm mission.

  1. Lithospheric Stress and Deformation (Paper 7R0323)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, Marcia

    1987-07-01

    The study of the mechanisms, magnitudes, and modes of lithospheric stress and deformation occupies a central position in the discipline of Tectonophysics. It is therefore difficult in assembling a comprehensive review to place limits on what should be included. For example, one cannot discuss stress and deformation apart from considerations of the rheological models of the lithosphere which link the two and ultimately control the behavior of plates at their margins and in their interiors. Once admitting to the importance of rheological considerations in discussing stress and deformation, one is then compelled to include information relating to the thermal state of the lithosphere, since temperature is one of the foremost environmental variables controlling rheology. Furthermore, lithospheric processes cannot be considered in isolation from those affecting the asthenosphere, since surely there exists some coupling between the motion of the lithosphere and convection in the Earth's interior. In fact, an understanding of lithospheric stress and deformation can be considered a prerequisite to solving problems in geodynamics because it is through the lithospheric filter that one detects the consequences of thermal and compositional anomalies at greater depth. The topic of this report cannot even be cleanly separated from reviews in other disciplines such as Seismology and Geodesy. The magnitude and orientation of lithospheric stress is often indicated by earthquakes, while lithospheric strain can be observed geodetically. The philosophy I have adopted here is that some overlap with other review papers in this series is unavoidable, and probably desirable from the standpoint of emphasizing how recent work n other areas of geophysics has contributed to the advancement in our understanding of the lithosphere's state-of-stress and mechanisms of deformation. I have, however, resisted the temptation to include extraterrestrial studies, presumably covered in the Planetary

  2. The effects of strain heating in lithospheric stretching models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanton, M.; Hodge, D.; Cozzarelli, F.

    1985-01-01

    The deformation by stretching of a continental type lithosphere has been formulated so that the problem can be solved by a continuum mechanical approach. The deformation, stress state, and temperature distribution are constrained to satisfy the physical laws of conservation of mass, energy, momentum, and an experimentally defined rheological response. The conservation of energy equation including a term of strain energy dissipation is given. The continental lithosphere is assumed to have the rheology of an isotropic, incompressible, nonlinear viscous, two layered solid.

  3. Lithospheric imaging via teleseismic scattering tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frederiksen, A. W.; Revenaugh, J.

    2004-12-01

    The coda of the teleseismic P phase consists largely of energy scattered by small inhomogeneities in the receiver-side lithosphere. Given large collections of teleseismic data from dense permanent networks, previous workers have successfully back-propagated coda energy back to scattering source points using various kinematic migration schemes, as well as by inverting using an inverse scattering/radon transform approach. Under the Born approximation, seismic scattering is a linear process; therefore it is possible to approach coda scattering as a linear waveform inversion problem, mathematically similar to transmission-based tomography. Assuming ray-theoretical propagation and Rayleigh scattering, we pose the inverse scattering problem in tomographic form, and recover perturbations in density and P and S velocities from Pp and Ps scattered data. The method is applied to data from the Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN) covering the San Jacinto-Anza region. The results show a considerable correlation between seismicity and velocity perturbation structure, particularly in the region between the Mission Creek and Banning fault branches. Features connecting the Coyote Creek and Elsinore faults at right angles are correlated with seismicity lineations and may represent conjugate faulting with no surface expression.

  4. Swarm magnetic gradients for lithospheric modelling (SLIM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouman, Johannes; Ebbing, Jörg; Kotsiaros, Stavros; Brönner, Marco; Haagmans, Roger; Fuchs, Martin; Holzrichter, Nils; Olsen, Nils; Baykiev, Eldar

    2016-04-01

    We present first results of a feasibility study to use magnetic gradient information derived from Swarm data for crustal field modelling. The study is part of ESA's Support To Science Element (STSE) Swarm+ Innovations. In a first step, magnetic gradients have been derived from the observations taken by the three Swarm satellites, with emphasis on the two side-by-side flying spacecraft. Next, these gradients are used to compute magnetic gradient grids at 450 km altitude (the present mean altitude of the lower Swarm satellites) for one example region, North-West Europe. The suggested area comprise both exposed basement geology in southern Sweden and Norway with crustal scale magnetic anomalies and the Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone, a well-studied large scale tectonic fault system. With sensitivity analysis we studied the added benefit of the information from the gradient grids for lithospheric magnetic field modelling. A wealth of aeromagnetic data and additional constraining information for the example area allows us to validate our modelling results in great detail.

  5. Thermal thickness and evolution of Precambrian lithosphere: A global study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Artemieva, I.M.; Mooney, W.D.

    2001-01-01

    The thermal thickness of Precambrian lithosphere is modeled and compared with estimates from seismic tomography and xenolith data. We use the steady state thermal conductivity equation with the same geothermal constraints for all of the Precambrian cratons (except Antarctica) to calculate the temperature distribution in the stable continental lithosphere. The modeling is based on the global compilation of heat flow data by Pollack et al. [1993] and more recent data. The depth distribution of heat-producing elements is estimated using regional models for ???300 blocks with sizes varying from 1?? ?? 1?? to about 5?? ?? 5?? in latitude and longitude and is constrained by laboratory, seismic and petrologic data and, where applicable, empirical heat flow/heat production relationships. Maps of the lateral temperature distribution at depths 50, 100, and 150 km are presented for all continents except Antarctica. The thermal thickness of the lithosphere is calculated assuming a conductive layer overlying the mantle with an adiabat of 1300??C. The Archean and early Proterozoic lithosphere is found to have two typical thicknesses, 200-220 km and 300-350 km. In general, thin (???220 km) roots are found for Archean and early Proterozoic cratons in the Southern Hemisphere (South Africa, Western Australia, South America, and India) and thicker (>300 km) roots are found in the Northern Hemisphere (Baltic Shield, Siberian Platform, West Africa, and possibly the Canadian Shield). We find that the thickness of continental lithosphere generally decreases with age from >200 km beneath Archean cratons to intermediate values of 200 ?? 50 km in early Proterozoic lithosphere, to about 140 ?? 50 km in middle and late Proterozoic cratons. Using known crustal thickness, our calculated geotherms, and assuming that isostatic balance is achieved at the base of the lithosphere, we find that Archean and early Proterozoic mantle lithosphere is 1.5% less dense (chemically depleted) than the

  6. Lithospheric Structure and Earthquakes beneath Kashmir Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wanchoo, S. K.; Powali, D.; Sharma, S.; Mitra, S.; Priestley, K. F.; Gaur, V. K.

    2014-12-01

    Over the last two centuries, convergence between India and Tibet has outpaced the cumulative slip released through Himalayan earthquakes and have resulted in seismic gap across Kashmir Himalaya. Recent GPS geodetic data from Kashmir show that the ongoing convergence is accumulated as elastic strain within a ~200 km wide locked decollement and is sufficiently stressed to drive a magnitude 8 or greater event. Recently published focal mechanism of the mb 5.7 (2013) Kishtwar earthquake and hypocentral distribution of small-to-moderate seismicity for the past 60 years, showed that the down dip end of the locked decollement is currently active and could possibly be the site of initiation of a future great earthquake. In order to assess the seismic hazard in this Kashmir gap, we require a detailed knowledge of the lithospheric structure and use it to reliably locate active faults. A pilot seismological experiment, of nine broadband seismographs, have been deployed across the Kashmir Himalaya to achieve this goal. These stations are sited on the Siwalik Himalaya (AKNR, NGRT, SMVD, SUND and TAPN), the Lesser Himalaya (RAMN and UDHM) and the Higher Himalaya (BADR and PHAG), and straddle major Himalayan thrust zones. Most of these stations have recorded high quality broadband data for a year, which has been used to compute receiver functions and relocate local earthquakes. The Moho Ps is the strongest arrival on all the receiver functions, and highlights the base of the underthrusting Indian crust as a large impedance contrast boundary. Forward modeling of receiver functions show that the crustal thickness increases from ~40 km beneath the Siwalik Himalaya to ~48 km beneath the Lesser Himalaya and to ~52 km beneath the Higher Himalaya. The average crustal Vp/Vs points to a felsic Indian crust underthrusting the Kashmir Himalaya. Relocated local earthquakes cluster around the hypocenter of the Kishtwar earthquake and attests to the active downdip end of the locked decollement.

  7. Mid-Lithospheric boundary below oceans from seismic surface waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montagner, Jean-Paul; Burgos, Gael; Beucler, Eric; Capdeville, Yann; Mocquet, Antoine

    2014-05-01

    The nature of LithosphereAsthenosphere boundary (LAB) is controversial according to different types of observations. Using a massive dataset of surface wave dispersions in a broad frequency range (15300s), we have developed a 3D tomographic model (1st order perturbation theory) of the upper mantle at the global scale. It is used to derive maps of LAB from the resolved elastic parameters. The key effects of shallow layers and anisotropy are taken into account in the inversion process. We investigate LAB distributions primarily below oceans according to three different proxies which corresponds to the base of the lithosphere from the vertically polarized shear velocity variation at depth, from the changes in orientation of the fast axis of azimuthal anisotropy and from the maximum of the gradient of the radial anisotropy positive anomaly. The LAB depth determinations of the different proxies are consistent for the different oceanic regions. The estimations of the LAB depth based on the shear velocity proxy increase from thin (20 km) lithosphere in the ridges to thick (120-130 km) old ocean lithosphere. LAB depths inferred from azimuthal anisotropy proxy show deeper values for the increasing oceanic lithosphere (130-135 km). The radial anisotropy proxy presents a very fast increase of the LAB depth from the ridges, from 50 km to older ocean where it reaches a remarkable monotonic sub horizontal profile (70-80 km). The results present two types of pattern of the age of oceanic lithosphere evolution with the LAB depth. The shear velocity and azimuthal anisotropy proxies show age dependent profiles in agreement with thermal plate models while the LAB based on radial anisotropy is characterized by a shallower depth, defining a sub horizontal interface (mid-lithospheric boundary) with a very small age dependence for all three main oceans (Pacific, Atlantic and Indian). These different patterns raise questions about the nature of the LAB in the oceanic regions, and of the

  8. Global model for the lithospheric strength and effective elastic thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesauro, Magdala; Kaban, Mikhail K.; Cloetingh, Sierd A. P. L.

    2013-08-01

    Global distribution of the strength and effective elastic thickness (Te) of the lithosphere are estimated using physical parameters from recent crustal and lithospheric models. For the Te estimation we apply a new approach, which provides a possibility to take into account variations of Young modulus (E) within the lithosphere. In view of the large uncertainties affecting strength estimates, we evaluate global strength and Te distributions for possible end-member 'hard' (HRM) and a 'soft' (SRM) rheology models of the continental crust. Temperature within the lithosphere has been estimated using a recent tomography model of Ritsema et al. (2011), which has much higher horizontal resolution than previous global models. Most of the strength is localized in the crust for the HRM and in the mantle for the SRM. These results contribute to the long debates on applicability of the "crème brulée" or "jelly-sandwich" model for the lithosphere structure. Changing from the SRM to HRM turns most of the continental areas from the totally decoupled mode to the fully coupled mode of the lithospheric layers. However, in the areas characterized by a high thermal regime and thick crust, the layers remain decoupled even for the HRM. At the same time, for the inner part of the cratons the lithospheric layers are coupled in both models. Therefore, rheological variations lead to large changes in the integrated strength and Te distribution in the regions characterized by intermediate thermal conditions. In these areas temperature uncertainties have a greater effect, since this parameter principally determines rheological behavior. Comparison of the Te estimates for both models with those determined from the flexural loading and spectral analysis shows that the 'hard' rheology is likely applicable for cratonic areas, whereas the 'soft' rheology is more representative for young orogens.

  9. Evolution of the lithosphere beneath the Michigan Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahern, Judson L.; Dikeou, Panayes J.

    1989-10-01

    Using depths to formation tops from 480 wells, changes in shape of the Michigan Basin during the Phanerozoic are determined. Flexural rigidity of the lithosphere is then estimated for several time intervals by assuming that changes in shape were caused by deflection of an elastic plate subjected to an axisymmetric load. It is found that the flexural rigidity generally increased over time, from less than 10 22 N m early in the basin's history to more than 10 23 N m late in the basin's development. This increase in rigidity is attributed to cooling and thickening of the elastic portion of the lithosphere as the basin was subsiding. Low flexural rigidity early in the basin's history indicates that the lithosphere was probably rejuvenated (heated, thinned, and possibly uplifted) prior to basin subsidence. The location of the load remained approximately fixed over time. The rejuvenation process is investigated using a one-dimensional finite-difference thermal model in which a 142-km plate is temporarily heated from below. Taking the depth to the 450°C isotherm to be the effective elastic thickness of the lithosphere, rigidity predicted by the thermal model is consistent with the observed increase in rigidity over time. Furthermore, phase changes produced by heating during thermal rejuvenation, combined with the predicted thermal contraction following rejuvenation, explain the two episodes of subsidence observed in the Michigan Basin. We conclude that the lithosphere in this area was rejuvenated approximately 500 m.y. ago. As the lithosphere cooled, it thickened; it also contracted and subsided. Temperatures near the surface of the crust apparently were not raised sufficiently by lithospheric rejuvenation to alter the Keweenawan and older radiometric and paleomagnetic dates of basement rocks.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thatcher, W.; Pollitz, F.F.

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Lithospheric structure and compensation mechanisms of the Galapagos Archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feighner, Mark A.; Richards, Mark A.

    1994-04-01

    Volcanic islands of the Galapagos Archipelago are the most recent subaerial expression of the Galapagos hotspot. These islands and numerous seamounts are constructed mainly upon a broad volcanic platform that overlies very young (less than 10 m.y.) oceanic lithosphere just south of the active Galapagos Spreading Center. The 91 deg W fracture zone crosses the platform and creates an estimated 5-m.y. age discontinuity in the lithosphere. Major tectonic features of the Galapagos include an unusually broad distribution of volcanic centers, pronounced structural trends such as the NW-SE Wolf-Darwin Lineament (WDL), and a steep escarpment along the western and southern margins of the archipelago. We use shipboard gravity and bathymetry data along with Geosat geoid data to explain the tectonic and structural evolution of the Galapagos region. We model the gravity anomalies using a variety of compensation models, including Airy isostasy, continuous elastic flexure of the lithosphere, and an elastic plate with embedded weaknesses, and we infer significant lithospheric strength variations across the archipelago. The outboard parts of the southern and western escarpment are flexurally supported with an effective elastic thickness of approximately 12 km. This area includes the large shield volcanoes of Fernandina and Isabela Islands, where the lithosphere regionally supports these volcanic loads. The central platform is weaker, with an elastic thickness of 6 km or less, and close to Airy isostasy. The greatest depths to the Moho are located beneath eastern Isabela Island and the central platform. Thinner lithosphere in this region may account for the broad distribution of volcanoes, the extended period of eruption of the central volcanoes, and their reduced size. The transition from strong to weak lithosphere along the southern escarpment appears to be abrupt, within the resolution of our models, and can be best represented by a free end or faultlike discontinuity. Also

  12. 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

  13. Global Seismic Imaging of the Lithosphere Asthenosphere Boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tharimena, S.; Rychert, C.; Harmon, N.

    2015-12-01

    The lithosphere asthenosphere boundary (LAB) beneath oceans separates rigid, conductively cooling plates from the underlying warm ductile convecting mantle, characterized by low seismic wave velocities and high attenuation. The depth and nature of the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary is fundamental to our understanding of plate tectonics and mantle convection. Although conductive cooling models establish that oceanic lithosphere cools, thickens and subsides as it ages, this simple realization of the tectonic plates is not well understood. The depth, sharpness, composition and defining mechanism of the LAB remains elusive. Although oceanic lithosphere constitutes the bulk of the tectonic plates, precisely imaging the LAB has proved challenging. Here we use SS precursors from 25 years of seismic data to image and globally map the depth of the LAB across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The result represents a vast improvement in lateral coverage of discontinuities in comparison to previous results. The depth of the discontinuity varies from 25 to 130 km within an error of ±5 km. We observe a general trend of increasing discontinuity depth with plate age, although some old oceanic lithosphere has shallower discontinuities. Overall, the results are suggestive of two distinct mantle layers.

  14. Strain localisation and weakening of the lithosphere during extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regenauer-Lieb, Klaus; Rosenbaum, Gideon; Weinberg, Roberto F.

    2008-10-01

    We explore the sensitivity of extensional systems to the thermal structure of the lithosphere using numerical simulations that fully couple the energy, momentum and continuity equations. The rheology of the lithosphere is controlled by weakening processes, such as shear heating, that localises strain into shear zones and faults. Numerical models show that during extension of an initially unpatterned lithosphere, structures develop spontaneously out of basic thermodynamic energy fluxes, and without the imposition of ad hoc rules on strain localisation. This contrasts with the classical Mohr-Coulomb theory for brittle localisation, which prescribes the angles of faults by a mathematical rule. Our results show that the mode of extension is sensitive to subtle changes in rheology, heat flux and geometry of the system. This sensitivity lies at the core of the variety and complexity observed in extensional systems. Localisation processes make the lithosphere weaker than previously estimated from the Brace-Goetze quasi-static approach. Consequently, typical estimates for plate tectonic forces are capable of splitting the lithosphere under extension, even without the role of active magmatism.

  15. Circum-Arctic lithospheric transects from onshore to offshore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pease, V.; Coakley, B.; Faleide, J. I.; Jokat, W.; Miller, E. L.; Stephenson, R.; Meisling, K. E.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the evolution of the lithosphere over time involves the integration and interpretation of geological and geophysical data, combined with good knowledge of the physical processes at work in the lithosphere giving rise to past and present structures. Tectonic activity related to the rifting process created the present-day structure of today's Arctic basins and bathymetric highs, and in the process modified older structures and architecture of the crust and lithosphere. The correlation of circum-Arctic terranes and orogens help to not only reconstruct paleogeography but to also define the role and determine the nature of the lithospheric processes that were active in the complex tectonic evolution of the Arctic. CALE (Circum Arctic Lithosphere Evolution), an international and multidisciplinary effort involving c. 35 geologists and geophysicists from ten different countries working to link the onshore and offshore regions across the circum-Arctic region, is a scientific network in it's last year of a 5-year program. Sedimentary cover and crust to mantle cross-sections from onshore to offshore have been created integrating the latest scientific knowledge and data sets available for the Arctic. The project's principal Arctic transects include: Ellesmere-Canada Basin, Pacific Ocean-Lomonosov Ridge through the Bering Strait, across the Laptev Sea rift to the DeLong Islands, Barents and Kara regions across Timan-Pechora and Taimyr. These sections, the culmination of the CALE project, and their principle findings will be presented for the first time with discussion of outstanding issues yet to be resolved.

  16. Preliminary results of ERTS-investigations by W-German investigations. [multidisciplinary geoscientific experiments in central Germany and hydrogeology of Argentina Pampas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muehlfeld, R.

    1974-01-01

    Results are presented of West German investigations into multidisciplinary geoscientific experiments in central Germany and the Alps, and hydrogeological investigations in the Pampa of Argentina based on ERTS-1 data. The main goals of the investigation were achieved. The studies have given a good idea of the possibilities and limitations of ERTS imagery depending on the objectives in question and on the geographical conditions of the areas under investigation. Even in the well known region of central Europe, ERTS has proven its ability of improving present knowledge. In fields such as pollution monitoring and regional planning the satellite techniques should have distinct practical value. For any regional study of less known areas, the value of ERTS imagery can hardly be overestimated.

  17. Integrating local pastoral knowledge, participatory mapping, and species distribution modeling for risk assessment of invasive rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) in Ethiopia’s Afar region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luizza, Matthew; Wakie, Tewodros; Evangelista, Paul; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2016-01-01

    The threats posed by invasive plants span ecosystems and economies worldwide. Local knowledge of biological invasions has proven beneficial for invasive species research, but to date no work has integrated this knowledge with species distribution modeling for invasion risk assessments. In this study, we integrated pastoral knowledge with Maxent modeling to assess the suitable habitat and potential impacts of invasive Cryptostegia grandiflora Robx. Ex R.Br. (rubber vine) in Ethiopia’s Afar region. We conducted focus groups with seven villages across the Amibara and Awash-Fentale districts. Pastoral knowledge revealed the growing threat of rubber vine, which to date has received limited attention in Ethiopia, and whose presence in Afar was previously unknown to our team. Rubber vine occurrence points were collected in the field with pastoralists and processed in Maxent with MODIS-derived vegetation indices, topographic data, and anthropogenic variables. We tested model fit using a jackknife procedure and validated the final model with an independent occurrence data set collected through participatory mapping activities with pastoralists. A Multivariate Environmental Similarity Surface analysis revealed areas with novel environmental conditions for future targeted surveys. Model performance was evaluated using area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) and showed good fit across the jackknife models (average AUC = 0.80) and the final model (test AUC = 0.96). Our results reveal the growing threat rubber vine poses to Afar, with suitable habitat extending downstream of its current known location in the middle Awash River basin. Local pastoral knowledge provided important context for its rapid expansion due to acute changes in seasonality and habitat alteration, in addition to threats posed to numerous endemic tree species that provide critical provisioning ecosystem services. This work demonstrates the utility of integrating local ecological

  18. Replacing cottonseed meal with ground Prosopis juliflora pods; effect on intake, weight gain and carcass parameters of Afar sheep fed pasture hay basal diet.

    PubMed

    Yasin, Mohammed; Animut, Getachew

    2014-08-01

    The experiment was conducted to determine the supplementary feeding value of ground Prosopis juliflora pod (Pjp) and cottonseed meal (CSM) and their mixtures on feed intake, body weight gain and carcass parameters of Afar sheep fed a basal diet of pasture hay. Twenty-five yearling fat-tailed Afar rams with mean initial live weight 17.24 ± 1.76 kg (mean ± SD) were used in a randomized complete block design. Animals were blocked on their initial body weight. The experiment was conducted for 12 weeks and carcass evaluation followed. Treatments were hay alone ad libitum (T 1) or with 300 g CSM (T 2), 300 g Pjp (T 5), 2:1 ratio (T 3) and 1:2 ratio of CSM : Pjp (T 4). The CP contents of the hay, CSM and Pjp were 10.5, 44.5 and 16.7 %, respectively. Hay DM intake was higher (P < 0.05) for non-supplemented and total DM intake was lower in non-supplemented. Average daily weight gain (ADG) was lower (P < 0.05) for T 1 compared to all supplemented treatments except T 5. Hot carcass weight and rib-eye muscle area also followed the same trend like that of ADG. Compared with feeding hay alone, supplementing with CSM or a mixture of CSM and Pjp appeared to be a better feeding strategy, biologically, for yearling Afar rams.

  19. Une nouvelle faune du Pléistocène moyen de la région de Busidima Telalak en Afar, Éthiopie.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alemseged, Zeresenay; Geraads, Denis

    2000-10-01

    We report on a diverse fauna from the Busidima-Telalak region of the Afar in Ethiopia. The fossiliferous sediments are characterized by riverbank deposits. During our first field season thirty-one mammalian species were encountered. Fossils are nicely preserved and abundant. Bovids, carnivores, monkeys, and large rodents are the most common taxa. The fauna points to a Middle Pleistocene age (0.2 to 0.8 Ma). Our preliminary palaeoenvironmental reconstruction indicates that our fossil assemblage is derived from a rather wet and closed environment. This condition is unique as sites of this time period were reported to be more open and dry.

  20. 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

  1. Tephrostratigraphy of the Waki-Mille area of the Woranso-Mille paleoanthropological research project, Afar, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Saylor, Beverly Z; Angelini, Joshua; Deino, Alan; Alene, Mulugeta; Fournelle, John H; Haile-Selassie, Yohannes

    2016-04-01

    Tephra geochemistry and (40)Ar/(39)Ar geochronology are reported for the Waki-Mille area in the northwestern part of the Woranso-Mille paleoanthropological project area in the west central Afar region of Ethiopia. Previous studies documented dentognathic fossils that are morphologically intermediate between Australopithecus anamensis and Australopithecus afarensis and some that are attributed to Australopithecus afarensis. Additional dentognathic remains from the study area were assigned to the newly identified species Australopithecus deyiremeda. These fossil hominin taxa were recovered from volcanic and sedimentary strata containing tuffs ranging in age from more than 3.77 million years ago (Ma) to less than 3.469 Ma. One of the tuffs was correlated based on geochemistry, feldspar mineralogy, and age to the Lokochot Tuff of the Omo-Turkana Basin of southern Ethiopia and Kenya. Variations in major and minor element abundances in volcanic glass demarcate ten geochemically distinct tuffs and tuff sequences, including three that are geochemically similar to widespread regional tuffs, specifically the Lomogol, Lokochot, and β- Tulu Bor/Sidi Hakoma tuffs. A new (40)Ar/(39)Ar age for the Waki Tuff, which is geochemically similar to the Lomogol Tuff, is 3.664 ± 0.016 Ma. Other tuffs in the Waki-Mille area are geochemically dissimilar to regional tuffs documented to date. Identification of tuffs based on character, stratigraphic position, and geochemistry refines local stratigraphic correlations and delineates the geographic distributions of precisely dated fossiliferous levels within the Waki-Mille area. PMID:27086054

  2. Camelus dromedarius brucellosis and its public health associated risks in the Afar National Regional State in northeastern Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A cross-sectional study was carried out in four districts of the Afar region in Ethiopia to determine the prevalence of brucellosis in camels, and to identify risky practices that would facilitate the transmission of zoonoses to humans. This study involved testing 461 camels and interviewing 120 livestock owners. The modified Rose Bengal plate test (mRBPT) and complement fixation test (CFT) were used as screening and confirmatory tests, respectively. SPSS 16 was used to analyze the overall prevalence and potential risk factors for seropositivity, using a multivariable logistic regression analysis. Results In the camel herds tested, 5.4% had antibodies against Brucella species, and the district level seroprevalence ranged from 11.7% to 15.5% in camels. The logistic regression model for camels in a herd size > 20 animals (OR = 2.8; 95% CI: 1.16-6.62) and greater than four years of age (OR = 4.9; 95% CI: 1.45-16.82) showed a higher risk of infection when compared to small herds and those ≤ 4 years old. The questionnaire survey revealed that most respondents did not know about the transmission of zoonotic diseases, and that their practices could potentially facilitate the transmission of zoonotic pathogens. Conclusions The results of this study revealed that camel brucellosis is prevalent in the study areas. Therefore, there is a need for implementing control measures and increasing public awareness in the prevention methods of brucellosis. PMID:24344729

  3. Geological summary of the Busidima Formation (Plio-Pleistocene) at the Hadar paleoanthropological site, Afar Depression, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Campisano, Christopher J

    2012-03-01

    The Hadar paleoanthropological site in Ethiopia preserves a record of hominin evolution spanning from approximately 3.45 Ma to 0.8 Ma. An angular unconformity just above the ca. 2.95 Ma BKT-2 complex divides the sediments into the Hadar Formation (ca. 3.8-2.9Ma) and the Busidima Formation (ca. 2.7-0.15 Ma). The unconformity is likely a response to a major tectonic reorganization in the Afar Depression, and activation of the As Duma fault near the Ethiopian Escarpment (west of Hadar) created a half-graben in which the Busidima Formation was deposited. The pattern and character of sedimentation in the region changed dramatically above the unconformity, as cut-and-fill channel conglomerates and silt-dominated paleosols that comprise the Busidima Formation stand in sharp contrast to the underlying deposits of the Hadar Formation. Conglomerate deposition has been related to both the perennial, axial paleo-Awash and ephemeral, escarpment-draining tributaries. Overbank silts have yielded fossils attributed to early Homo and Oldowan stone tools. Numerous tuffaceous deposits exist within the Busidima Formation, but they are often spatially limited, fine-grained, and reworked. Recent work on the tephrostratigraphic framework of the Busidima Formation at Hadar has identified at least 12 distinct vitric tephras and established the first geochemical-based correlations between Hadar and the neighboring project areas of Gona and Dikika. Compared to Gona and Dikika, where Busidima Formation sediments are exposed over large areas, the highly discontinuous sediments at Hadar comprise less than 40 m in composite section and are exposed over an area of <20 km(2), providing only snapshots into the 2.7-0.15 Ma window. The stratigraphic record at Hadar confirms the complex depositional history of the Busidima Formation, and also provides important details on regional stratigraphic correlations and the pattern of deposition and erosion in the lower Awash Valley reflective of its tectonic

  4. Properties of the lithosphere and asthenosphere deduced from geoid observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turcotte, D. L.

    1985-01-01

    Data from the GEOS-3 and SEASAT Satellites provided a very accurate geoid map over the oceans. Broad bathymetric features in the oceans such as oceanic swells and plateaus are fully compensated. It is shown that the geoid anomalies due to the density structures of the lithosphere are proportional to the first moment of the density distribution. The deepening of the ocean basins is attributed to thermal isostasy. The thickness of the oceanic lithosphere increases with age due to the loss of heat to the sea floor. Bathymetry and the geoid provide constraints on the extent of this heat loss. Offsets in the geoid across major fracture zones can also be used to constrain this problem. Geoid bathymetry correlations show that the Hawaiian and Bermuda swells and the Cape Verde Rise are probably due to lithospheric thinning.

  5. A global view of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary.

    PubMed

    Rychert, Catherine A; Shearer, Peter M

    2009-04-24

    The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary divides the rigid lid from the weaker mantle and is fundamental in plate tectonics. However, its depth and defining mechanism are not well known. We analyzed 15 years of global seismic data using P-to-S (Ps) converted phases and imaged an interface that correlates with tectonic environment, varying from 95 +/- 4 kilometers beneath Precambrian shields and platforms to 81 +/- 2 kilometers beneath tectonically altered regions and 70 +/- 4 kilometers at oceanic island stations. High-frequency Ps observations require a sharp discontinuity; therefore, this interface likely represents a boundary in composition, melting, or anisotropy, not temperature alone. It likely represents the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary under oceans and tectonically altered regions, but it may constitute another boundary in cratonic regions where the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is thought to be much deeper.

  6. Lithospheric records of orogeny within the continental U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Ryan; Liu, Yuanyuan; Holt, William E.

    2016-01-01

    In order to better understand the tectonic evolution of the North American continent, we utilize data from the EarthScope Transportable Array network to calculate a three-dimensional shear velocity model for the continental United States. This model was produced through the inversion of Rayleigh wave phase velocities calculated using ambient noise tomography and wave gradiometry, which allows for sensitivity to a broad depth range. Shear velocities within this model highlight the influence of orogenic and postorogenic events on the evolution of the lithosphere. Most notable is the contrast in crustal and upper mantle structure between the relatively slow western and relatively fast eastern North America. These differences are unlikely to stem solely from thermal variations within the lithosphere and highlight both the complexities in lithospheric structure across the continental U.S. and the varying impacts that orogeny can have on the crust and upper mantle.

  7. Oceanic lithosphere and asthenosphere: The thermal and mechanical structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, G.; Froidevaux, C.; Yuen, D. A.

    1976-01-01

    A coupled thermal and mechanical solid state model of the oceanic lithosphere and asthenosphere is presented. The model includes vertical conduction of heat with a temperature dependent thermal conductivity, horizontal and vertical advection of heat, viscous dissipation or shear heating, and linear or nonlinear deformation mechanisms with temperature and pressure dependent constitutive relations between shear stress and strain rate. A constant horizontal velocity u sub 0 and temperature t sub 0 at the surface and zero horizontal velocity and constant temperature t sub infinity at great depth are required. In addition to numerical values of the thermal and mechanical properties of the medium, only the values of u sub 0, t sub 0 and t sub infinity are specified. The model determines the depth and age dependent temperature horizontal and vertical velocity, and viscosity structures of the lithosphere and asthenosphere. In particular, ocean floor topography, oceanic heat flow, and lithosphere thickness are deduced as functions of the age of the ocean floor.

  8. Constraints on Composition, Structure and Evolution of the Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianchini, Gianluca; Bonadiman, Costanza; Aulbach, Sonja; Schutt, Derek

    2015-05-01

    The idea for this special issue was triggered at the Goldschmidt Conference held in Florence (August 25-30, 2013), where we convened a session titled "Integrated Geophysical-Geochemical Constraints on Composition and Structure of the Lithosphere". The invitation to contribute was extended not only to the session participants but also to a wider spectrum of colleagues working on related topics. Consequently, a diverse group of Earth scientists encompassing geophysicists, geodynamicists, geochemists and petrologists contributed to this Volume, providing a comprehensive overview on the nature and evolution of lithospheric mantle by combining studies that exploit different types of data and interpretative approaches. The integration of geochemical and geodynamic datasets and their interpretation represents the state of the art in our knowledge of the lithosphere and beyond, and could serve as a blueprint for future strategies in concept and methodology to advance our knowledge of this and other terrestrial reservoirs.

  9. A global view of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary.

    PubMed

    Rychert, Catherine A; Shearer, Peter M

    2009-04-24

    The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary divides the rigid lid from the weaker mantle and is fundamental in plate tectonics. However, its depth and defining mechanism are not well known. We analyzed 15 years of global seismic data using P-to-S (Ps) converted phases and imaged an interface that correlates with tectonic environment, varying from 95 +/- 4 kilometers beneath Precambrian shields and platforms to 81 +/- 2 kilometers beneath tectonically altered regions and 70 +/- 4 kilometers at oceanic island stations. High-frequency Ps observations require a sharp discontinuity; therefore, this interface likely represents a boundary in composition, melting, or anisotropy, not temperature alone. It likely represents the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary under oceans and tectonically altered regions, but it may constitute another boundary in cratonic regions where the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is thought to be much deeper. PMID:19390041

  10. Oceanic Lithosphere/Asthenosphere Boundary from surface wave dispersion data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgos, G.; Montagner, J.; Beucler, E.; Capdeville, Y.; Mocquet, A.

    2013-12-01

    The nature of Lithosphere-Asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is controversial according to different types of observations. Using a massive dataset of surface wave dispersions in a broad frequency range (15-300s), we have developed a 3-D tomographic model (1st order perturbation theory) of the upper-mantle at the global scale. It is used to derive maps of LAB from the resolved elastic parameters. The key effects of shallow layers and anisotropy are taken into account in the inversion process. We investigate LAB distributions primarily below oceans according to three different proxies which corresponds to the base of the lithosphere from the vertically polarized shear velocity variation at depth, the top of the radial anisotropy positive anomaly and from the changes in orientation of the fast axis of azimuthal anisotropy. The LAB depth determinations of the different proxies are basically consistent for each oceanic region. The estimations of the LAB depth based on the shear velocity proxy increase from thin (20 km) lithosphere in the ridges to thick (120--130 km) old ocean lithosphere. The radial anisotropy proxy presents a very fast increase of the LAB depth from the ridges, from 50 km to older ocean where it reaches a remarkable monotonic sub-horizontal profile (70--80 km). LAB depths inferred from azimuthal anisotropy proxy show deeper values for the increasing oceanic lithosphere (130--135 km). The results present two types of pattern of the age of oceanic lithosphere evolution with the LAB depth. The shear velocity and azimuthal anisotropy proxies show age-dependent profiles in agreement with thermal plate models while the LAB based on radial anisotropy is characterized by a shallower depth, defining a sub-horizontal interface with a very small age dependence for all three main oceans (Pacific, Atlantic and Indian). These different patterns raise questions about the nature of the LAB in the oceanic regions, and of the formation of oceanic plates.

  11. Understanding lithospheric stresses in Arctic: constraints and models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medvedev, Sergei; Minakov, Alexander; Lebedeva-Ivanova, Nina; Gaina, Carmen

    2016-04-01

    This pilot project aims to model stress patterns and analyze factors controlling lithospheric stresses in Arctic. The project aims to understand the modern stresses in Arctic as well as to define the ways to test recent hypotheses about Cenozoic evolution of the region. The regions around Lomonosov Ridge and Barents Sea are of particular interest driven by recent acquisition of high-resolution potential field and seismic data. Naturally, the major contributor to the lithospheric stress distribution is the gravitational potential energy (GPE). The study tries to incorporate available geological and geophysical data to build reliable GPE. In particular, we use the recently developed integrated gravity inversion for crustal thickness which incorporates up-to-date compilations of gravity anomalies, bathymetry, and sedimentary thickness. The modelled lithosphere thermal structure assumes a pure shear extension and the ocean age model constrained by global plate kinematics for the last ca. 120 Ma. The results of this approach are juxtaposed with estimates of the density variation inferred from the upper mantle S-wave velocity models based on previous surface wave tomography studies. Although new data and interpretations of the Arctic lithosphere structure become available now, there are areas of low accuracy or even lack of data. To compensate for this, we compare two approaches to constrain GPE: (1) one that directly integrates density of modelled lithosphere and (2) one that uses geoid anomalies which are filtered to account for density variations down to the base of the lithosphere only. The two versions of GPE compared to each other and the stresses calculated numerically are compared with observations. That allows us to optimize GPE and understand density structure, stress pattern, and factors controlling the stresses in Arctic.

  12. A Sharp Edge of the Cratonic Lithosphere of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harper, T. B.; Skryzalin, P. A.; Menke, W. H.; Levin, V. L.; Darbyshire, F. A.

    2015-12-01

    Using teleseismic travel time delays, we develop a tomographic model of the lithosphere beneath northeastern North America, from the shore of James Bay in Quebec to the Atlantic coast of New England and to a depth of 300 km. Three major terranes lie within this cratonic margin: the 2.7 Ga Superior province, the 1 Ga Grenville orogenic belt and the 0.3-0.4 Ga Appalachian terranes, which are bounded by the Grenville Front (GF) and Appalachian Front (AF), respectively. Additionally, the 0.8 Ga Avalon terrain was accreted to coastal New England by strike-skip faulting during the Appalachian orogeny. Our tomographic model uses earthquake seismograms recorded by permanent US and Canadian stations, the Transportable Array and the temporary QMIII deployment. All data were corrected for instrument response and record sections were examined visually to identify gross errors in response and timing. Differential arrival times of P and PKP waves were determined by cross-correlation and have a maximum amplitude of about ±1 second. In our model, lithospheric boundaries do not correlate well with geological boundaries, nor do they strike parallel to them. The seismically-fast (by 5% relative to AK135) cratonic lithosphere of North America is much thicker than that of the younger terranes, extending to 200 km or more depth but with a sharp east-dipping eastern edge located (at Moho depths) 100-250 km northwest of the GF. The lithosphere beneath the Grenville and Appalachian terranes, which were affected by subduction during the Grenville and Appalachian orogenies, is slower (by 4%). A sliver of seismically-fast lithosphere, extending to ~150 km depth, occurs along the Atlantic coast and is interpreted as the Avalonian lithosphere.

  13. Extensional and compressional instabilities in icy satellite lithospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrick, D. L.; Stevenson, D. J.

    1990-05-01

    The plausibility of invoking a lithospheric instability mechanism to account for the grooved terrains on Ganymede, Encedalus, and Miranda is presently evaluated in light of the combination of a simple mechanical model of planetary lithospheres and asthenospheres with recent experimental data for the brittle and ductile deformation of ice. For Ganymede, high surface gravity and warm temperatures render the achievement of an instability sufficiently great for the observed topographic relief virtually impossible; an instability of sufficient strength, however, may be able to develop on such smaller, colder bodies as Encedalus and Miranda.

  14. Seismic imaging of the downwelling Indian lithosphere beneath central Tibet.

    PubMed

    Tilmann, Frederik; Ni, James

    2003-05-30

    A tomographic image of the upper mantle beneath central Tibet from INDEPTH data has revealed a subvertical high-velocity zone from approximately 100- to approximately 400-kilometers depth, located approximately south of the Bangong-Nujiang Suture. We interpret this zone to be downwelling Indian mantle lithosphere. This additional lithosphere would account for the total amount of shortening in the Himalayas and Tibet. A consequence of this downwelling would be a deficit of asthenosphere, which should be balanced by an upwelling counterflow, and thus could explain the presence of warm mantle beneath north-central Tibet.

  15. Revisiting the Ridge-Push Force Using the Lithospheric Geoid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, R. M.; Coblentz, D. D.

    2014-12-01

    The geoid anomaly and driving force associated with the cooling oceanic lithosphere ("ridge push") are both proportional to dipole moment of the density-depth distribution, and allow a reevaluation of the ridge push force using the geoid. The challenge with this approach is to isolate the "lithospheric geoid" from the full geoid signal. Our approach is to use a band-pass spherical harmonic filter on the full geoid (e.g., EGM2008-WGS84, complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 2159) between orders 6 and 80. However, even this "lithospheric geoid" is noisy, and thus we average over 100 profiles evenly spaced along the global ridge system to obtain an average geoid step associated with the mid-ocean ridges. Because the positive ridge geoid signal is largest near the ridge (and to capture fast-spreading ridges), we evaluate symmetrical profiles extending ±45 m.y. about the ridge. We find an average ridge geoid anomaly of 4.5m, which is equivalent to a 10m anomaly for 100 m.y. old oceanic lithosphere. This geoid step corresponds to a ridge push force of ~2.4 x1012N/m for old oceanic lithosphere of 100 m.y., very similar to earlier estimates of ~2.5 x1012N/m based on simple half-space models. This simple half-space model also predicts constant geoid slopes of about 0.15 m/m.y. for cooling oceanic lithosphere. Our observed geoid slopes are consistent with this value for ages up to 40-50 m.y., but drop off to lower values at greater ages. We model this using a plate cooling model (with a thickness of the order of 125km) to fit the observation that the geoid anomaly and ridge driving force only increase slowly for ages greater than 40 m.y. (in contrast to the half-space model where the linear dependence on age holds for all ages). This reduction of the geoid slope results in a 20% decrease in the predicted ridge push force. This decrease is due to the combined effects of treating the oceanic lithosphere as a cooling plate (vs. a half-space), and the loss of geoidal

  16. Project Skippy explores lithosphere and mantle beneath Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Hilst, Rob; Kennett, Brian; Christie, Doug; Grant, John

    A new project is probing the seismic structure of the lithosphere and mantle beneath Australia. The Skippy Project, named after the bush kangaroo, exploits Australia's regional seismicity and makes use of recent advances in digital recording technology to collect three-component broadband seismic data from over 60 sites across the continent (Figure 1).The main goal of the Skippy Project, which is run by Australian National University's Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES), is to delineate the three-dimensional seismic structure of the lithosphere and mantle beneath the continent.

  17. Remobilization in the cratonic lithosphere recorded in polycrystalline diamond

    PubMed

    Jacob; Viljoen; Grassineau; Jagoutz

    2000-08-18

    Polycrystalline diamonds (framesites) from the Venetia kimberlite in South Africa contain silicate minerals whose isotopic and trace element characteristics document remobilization of older carbon and silicate components to form the framesites shortly before kimberlite eruption. Chemical variations within the garnets correlate with carbon isotopes in the diamonds, indicating contemporaneous formation. Trace element, radiogenic, and stable isotope variations can be explained by the interaction of eclogites with a carbonatitic melt, derived by remobilization of material that had been stored for a considerable time in the lithosphere. These results indicate more recent formation of diamonds from older materials within the cratonic lithosphere.

  18. The Role of the Mantle Lithosphere in Continent Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, R. W.; Ancuta, L. D.; Fouch, M. J.; Idleman, B. D.; Ionov, D. A.; James, D. E.; Meltzer, A.; Pearson, G.; Shirey, S. B.; Zeitler, P. K.

    2012-12-01

    Most Archean cratons are underlain by up to 200 km thick sections of mantle characterized by high seismic velocities. Xenoliths from cratonic mantle lithosphere show them to consist of refractory peridotites that are the residues of very high degrees of partial melt removal leaving the majority with less than 2% Al2O3. The partial melt removal leaves the lithospheric mantle compositionally buoyant, strong, and with very little internal radioactive heat generating capacity so that even after cooling it contributes to the strength, longevity, and relative geologic inactivity of the overlying crust. Re-Os studies, particularly in the Kaapvaal Craton of southern Africa, show a strong correspondence between the ages of melt depletion of the cratonic mantle and significant crust building events. The main age peak in the Kaapvaal lithospheric mantle is 2.9 Ga, coincident with assembly of the western and eastern blocks of the craton. The only significant disruption to this age pattern is seen below the 2 Ga Bushveld intrusion where the mantle lithosphere is characterized by slower seismic velocities and xenolith ages closer to 2 than 3 Ga. The surrounding Proterozoic mobile belts have even slower seismic velocities and xenolith ages generally less than 1.5 Ga. An interesting contrast to this picture of cold, old, stable cratonic lithosphere is that displayed by central Mongolia. This area, more or less in the middle of the huge Asian continental plate, is far removed from plate boundary processes yet in the Hangay Mountains shows elevations approaching 4 km along with extensive late Cenozoic basaltic volcanism. In contrast to cratonic lithosphere, mantle xenoliths from the Hangay region are dominantly fertile peridotite. Fifty-six percent of a large collection of peridotites from 4 Mongolian localities have more than 3.5% Al2O3 and only 4% have Al2O3 contents of less than 2%. Cenozoic basalts from the region have subchondritic 143Nd/144Nd and MORB-like He isotopic

  19. Seismic Tomography of the Arctic Lithosphere and Asthenosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Andrew; Lebedev, Sergei

    2015-04-01

    Lateral variations in seismic velocities in the upper mantle, mapped by seismic tomography, primarily 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, in addition to delineating the deep boundaries between tectonic blocks with different properties and age of the lithosphere. Our new, 3D tomographic model of the upper mantle and the crust of the Arctic region is constrained by an unprecedentedly large global dataset of broadband waveform fits (over one million seismograms) and provides 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. The northern boundaries of the Canadian Shield's and Greenland's cratonic lithosphere closely follow the coastlines, with the Greenland and North American cratons clearly separated from each other. Sharp velocity gradients in western Canada indicate that the craton boundary at depth closely follows the Rocky Mountain Front. High velocities between the Great Bear Arc and Beaufort Sea provide convincing evidence for the recently proposed 'MacKenzie Craton', unexposed at the surface. In Eurasia, cratonic continental lithosphere extends northwards beneath the Barents and eastern Kara Seas. The boundaries of the Archean cratons and intervening Proterozoic belts mapped by tomography indicate the likely offshore extensions of major Phanerozoic sutures and deformation fronts. The old oceanic lithosphere of the Canada Basin is much colder and thicker than the younger lithosphere beneath the adjacent Amundsen Basin, north of the Gakkel Ridge. Beneath the slow-spreading Gakkel Ridge, we detect the expected low-velocity anomaly associated with partial melting in the uppermost mantle; the anomaly is weaker, however, than beneath faster

  20. Remobilization in the cratonic lithosphere recorded in polycrystalline diamond

    PubMed

    Jacob; Viljoen; Grassineau; Jagoutz

    2000-08-18

    Polycrystalline diamonds (framesites) from the Venetia kimberlite in South Africa contain silicate minerals whose isotopic and trace element characteristics document remobilization of older carbon and silicate components to form the framesites shortly before kimberlite eruption. Chemical variations within the garnets correlate with carbon isotopes in the diamonds, indicating contemporaneous formation. Trace element, radiogenic, and stable isotope variations can be explained by the interaction of eclogites with a carbonatitic melt, derived by remobilization of material that had been stored for a considerable time in the lithosphere. These results indicate more recent formation of diamonds from older materials within the cratonic lithosphere. PMID:10947983

  1. Some Problems of the Lithosphere (Augustus Love Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houseman, Gregory A.

    2015-04-01

    In 1911 Augustus Love published a monograph: Some Problems of Geodynamics which in part dealt with the problem of isostasy and the support of mountain belts. In doing so he was one of the first authors to use the concept of the lithosphere. Although his analysis used the framework of linear elasticity, he clearly recognised that the evident structural heterogeneity of the Earth's crust could not simply be interpreted in terms of elastic displacement, and he had no simple explanation for what processes had produced the major topographic features of the Earth: continents, oceans and mountain belts. Today we have a far more complete understanding of those processes, but there are still unresolved problems. In this presentation I will focus on two of those problems that are of particular interest in understanding the geological evolution of the continents: the relationship of near-surface faults and ductile deformation in the lithosphere, and the stability of continental lithosphere in actively deforming zones. While the lithosphere certainly manifests elastic strain, most notably in the context of earthquakes and seismic waves, the large strains that have shaped the continents result from diffuse ductile strain at the deeper levels, coupled with movement on fault planes in the upper crust. Although plates in many regions move coherently with little internal deformation, the stresses that act on different parts of a plate may cause broad deformation zones to develop within a plate interior. Plate boundaries that cross continental regions also typically involve broadly distributed deformation. In recent years the distribution of deformation in such regions is measured accurately using GPS, and in general is explained well by a model in which the lithosphere behaves as a thin viscous sheet, albeit with a non-linear temperature-dependent viscosity law. Such models are broadly consistent with laboratory deformation experiments on small rock samples. However, the

  2. Feed intake, digestibility, body weight and carcass parameters of Afar rams fed tef (Eragrostis tef) straw supplemented with graded levels of concentrate mix.

    PubMed

    Hagos, Tesfay; Melaku, Solomon

    2009-04-01

    The experiment was conducted at Alamata Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopia using 20 Afar rams with an initial body weight (BW) of 18.2 +/- 1.76 (mean +/- SD) kg. The objectives were to study the effect of supplementation with concentrate mix consisting of wheat bran (WB), noug seed cake (NSC) and sesame seed cake (SSC) at the ratio of 2:1:1 on dry matter (DM) basis, respectively on feed intake, digestibility, BW gain and carcass parameters of Afar rams fed tef (Eragrostis tef) straw basal diet. The experiment was arranged with four treatments and five replications in a randomized complete block design. The treatments included feeding sole tef straw (T1, control), and daily supplementation with the concentrate mix offered at 150 (T2, low), 250 (T3, medium) and 350 (T4, high) g DM per head. Total DM intake, crude protein (CP) digestibility, daily BW gain (P < 0.001), DM and organic matter (OM) digestibility, and carcass parameters (P < 0.05) were higher in the supplemented than in the control treatment. Intake of tef straw reduced as the level of supplementation increased, whereas the contrary was true for CP intake. Performance in carcass parameters was better for the medium compared to the low level of concentrate mix supplementation. Moreover, the medium level of supplementation did not substitute tef straw intake. Therefore, it is concluded that the medium level of concentrate mix supplement maintained the utilization of the roughage feed and resulted in better carcass parameters.

  3. The crust and lithosphere thicknesses in South America: trying to find the lithosphere- asthenosphere boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heit, B.; Sodoudi, F.; Yuan, X.; Bianchi, M.; Kind, R.

    2007-05-01

    During the past years, a series of seismological investigations have been carried out to study the crustal and mantle structures all over the world. In South America, this investigation has not been an easy task as there are different regions where the geodynamics involves the subduction of an oceanic plate, the building of a mountain range as the Andes, the interaction with older lithosphere as the Brazilian Shield and the presence of active deformation fronts between the last two regions. In order to investigate the thickness of the lithosphere in such a complex context we have performed S-wave receiver function analysis (Vinnik and Farra, 2000; Li et al., 2004). The S receiver function technique looks for the S-to-P converted waves at seismic discontinuities beneath a station in the same way as the conventional P receiver function method that deals with P-to-S conversions. The S receiver function technique have proved to be useful to map the Moho and the LAB in many regions where other methods (i.e. surface waves) failed to provide reliable information (e.g. Li et al., 2004; Kumar et al., 2004a, 2004b; Sodoudi et al., 2006). We present here the results of S receiver function technique that has been applied to all the available temporary seismic experiments (e.g. BANJO, SEDA, REFUCA, BLSP) and the permanent stations from the IRIS network. We have been able to investigate the upper mantle discontinuities at all the depths beneath the stations and obtained coherent Moho depths along the entire Andes and in other South American continental regions. The LAB has been clearly detected below some stations, particularly those that are located far away from the subduction zone. By comparing our results with those from the P receiver functions, we have been able to further constrain the thicknesses of the crust and LAB in different regions including shields, mobile belts, basins and mountain ranges. At many stations we have also been able to map the upper mantle

  4. Witnessing the birth of a new ocean? The first 6 years of the Dabbahu rifting episode, and other activity in Afar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, T.; Ayele, A.; Barnie, T.; Belachew, M.; Calais, E.; Field, L.; Hamling, I.; Hammond, J.; Keir, D.

    2012-04-01

    Intense earthquake activity and a small rhyolitic eruption in September 2005 heralded the onset of an unprecedented period of geological activity in the Afar Depression. The seismic activity accompanied dyke intrusion in the upper 10 km of crust along 60 km of the Dabbahu (northern Manda-Hararo) Magmatic Segment (DMS) of the Nubia-Arabia plate boundary, a nascent seafloor spreading centre. InSAR observations of the resulting deformation showed that the initial dyke was up to 8 m thick, with a total volume of 2-2.5 km3. Urgency funding from the UK Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) and US National Science Foundation (NSF) enabled us to deploy a local array of seismometers in October 2005, continuous GPS instruments in January 2006, and to acquire a dense time series of satellite radar images. The medium-term viability of these instruments was secured with major follow-on funding from NSF and NERC; these projects supported the collection and analysis of additional unique data sets, including data from a broader array of seismic and GPS instruments, magneto-telluric transects of the rift, airborne LiDAR, petrological sampling and micro-gravity work. The combination of these data has allowed us to quantify the processes associated with crustal growth at divergent plate boundaries for the first time. Here, we present a broad overview of geological activity in the Afar depression in the hyperactive 21st century. Activity in the DMS began after September 2000, when Gabho volcano at the north of the segment began uplifting, as its magma chamber, ~3 km below the surface, was replenished. It is likely that the inflation at Gabho ultimately triggered the onset of the Dabbahu rifting episode. The rifting episode began with intense seismicity at the northern end of the DMS, before jumping to the Ado Ale Volcanic Complex at the segment centre. This initial dyking was fed from shallow (~3 km) chambers at Gabho and Dabbahu as well as a deeper (~10 km) source at Ado Ale

  5. Linking lithosphere deformation and sedimentary basin formation over multiple scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.

    2016-04-01

    Here we focus on the relationships between tectonic deformation and sedimentary basin formation. Resolving the interaction and feedback between tectonic crust-lithosphere scale deformation and surface processes through erosion of elevated areas and formation of sedimentary basins over multiple scales has been a long-standing challenge. While forward process based models have been successful at showing that a feedback is expected between tectonic deformation and redistribution of mass at the earth's surface by erosion, transport, and deposition, demonstrating this coupling for natural systems has been an even greater challenge and is strongly debated. Observational constraints on crust-lithosphere deformation and surface processes are typically collected at highly varying spatial and temporal scales, while forward process based models are typically run at either very large lithosphere-mantle scale, or at the scale of the sedimentary basin making it difficult to investigate and explore the detailed interaction and feedback between these systems. Here I will report on recent advances in forward modelling linking crust-lithosphere deformation with surface processes over a large range of scales resolving tectonic plate scale deformation and sedimentary basin formation at stratigraphic scales. The forward numerical models indicate a linkage and interaction between the structural style of thick-skinned large-scale mountain belt and rift-passive margin formation, erosion-transport-deposition processes operating at the surface, and the thin-skinned deformation occurring in the associated sedimentary basins.

  6. Horizontal stress in planetary lithospheres from vertical processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerdt, W. B.

    1991-01-01

    Understanding the stress states in a lithosphere is of fundamental importance for planetary geophysics. It is closely linked to the processes which form and modify tectonic features on the surface and reflects the behavior of the planet's interior, providing a constraint for the difficult problem of determining interior structure and processes. The tectonics on many extraterrestrial bodies (Moon, Mars, and most of the outer planet satellites) appears to be mostly vertical, and the horizontal stresses induced by vertical motions and loads are expected to dominate the deformation of their lithospheres. Herein, only changes are examined in the state of stress induced by processes such as sedimentary and volcanic deposition, erosional denudation, and changes in the thermal gradient that induce uplift or subsidence. This analysis is important both for evaluating stresses for specific regions in which the vertical stress history can be estimated, as well as for applying the proper loading conditions to global stress models. All references to lithosphere herein should be understood to refer to the elastic lithosphere, that layer which deforms elastically or brittlely when subjected to geologically scaled stresses.

  7. Seismicity in Romania--evidence for the sinking lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Roman, C

    1970-12-19

    The revision of Romanian earthquakes shows a distribution suggesting a sinking lithosphere under the Carpathian arc. Thermal and gravitational anomalies, as well as petrological and tectonic features, provide further evidence on the cause and character of intermediate earthquakes of Romania. This is consistent with the theory of plate tectonics in south-east Europe.

  8. Lithospheric and atmospheric interaction on the planet Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volkov, Vladislav P.

    1991-01-01

    Lithospheric and atmospheric interaction in the planet Venus are discussed. The following subject areas are covered: (1) manifestation of exogenic processes using photogeological data; (2) the chemical composition and a chemical model of the troposphere of Venus; (3) the mineral composition of surface rock on Venus; and (4) the cycles of volatile components.

  9. Lithosphere-asthenosphere P-wave reflectivity across Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennett, B. L. N.

    2015-12-01

    A direct image of P-wave reflectivity in the lithosphere and asthenosphere beneath seismic stations is extracted from stacked autocorrelograms of continuous component records. The autocorrelograms emphasise near vertically travelling waves, so that multiples are more muted than in receiver function studies and it is possible to work at higher frequencies than for receiver functions. Across a wide range of geological environments in Australia, in the 0.5-4.0 Hz frequency band, distinct reflections are seen in the crust underlain by weaker reflectivity in the lithosphere and asthenosphere. The base of crustal reflectivity fits well with Moho estimates from other classes of information. Few mantle reflectors have been seen in conventional reflection profiling at frequencies above 10 Hz; the presence of reflections in the 0.5-4.0 Hz band suggests variations on vertical scales of a few hundred metres with amplitudes of the order of 1%. There are slight indications of a change of reflection character in the lower part of the lithosphere in the transition to the asthenosphere. At a few stations there is a very clear lamination at asthenospheric depth, as well as reflections from the base of the S wave low velocity zone. Reflection bands often occur at depths where discontinuities have been inferred from S wave receiver function work at the same station, but would not by themselves be distinctive of a mid-lithosphere discontinuity.

  10. The lithosphere in central Europe—seismological and petrological aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babuška, V.; Plomerová, J.

    1992-06-01

    The lithosphere thickness in the Variscan belt of central Europe varies between about 60 and 150 km with typical values of 100-120 km. Our estimates, derived from directionally independent representative P-wave residuals, are in good agreement with magnetotelluric determinations of a layer with increased conductivity in the upper mantle. The large-scale anisotropies of the subcrustal lithosphere beneath four seismological stations determined from spatial variations of relative P residuals vary between 6.5 and 15.2% for P velocities; the S-wave anisotropies determined from SKS polarizations vary between 2.2 and 6.7%. These values are in reasonable agreement with the anisotropies of peridotites determined in laboratory. Systematic spatial variations of the directional terms of relative residuals in dependence on azimuths and incidence angles suggest the existence of large dipping anisotropic structures in the subcrustal lithosphere. The residual patterns at most stations in the Saxothuringicum, Rhenohercynicum and in the Massif Central imply northwesterly orientated dips of the anisotropic structures while stations in the Moldanubicum, the Alpine Foredeep and most of the Alps north of the Insubric line, suggest southeasterly orientated dips. In our interpretation the dipping anisotropic structures may represent paleosubductions which retain olivine preferred orientations originating from an ancient oceanic lithosphere. The Variscides of central Europe may thus represent a collision zone characterized by two systems of paleosubductions divergent relative to the suture between the Moldanubicum and the Saxothuringicum.

  11. Lithosphere delamination and topography evolution in collisional orogens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Z. H.; Liu, M.; Gerya, T.

    2015-12-01

    Systematic high-resolution thermo-mechanical numerical models are conducted in order to better understand the behavior of deep mantle lithosphere and surface topography response during continental collision. In the models with similar rheological properties for the pro- (subducting) and retro- (overriding) continental plates, subduction mode is preferred, with localized topography uplift and mountain building. However, if the effective viscosities of the retro-plate are decreased, then delamination of the lithospheric mantle may occur there, which results in large-scale topography buildup and plateau formation. Several other factors that may also influence the delamination dynamics are further investigated, e.g., plastic weakening of the lithospheric mantle, density contrast between the lithospheric and asthenospheric mantle, convergence velocity, as well as the possible lower crust eclogitization effects. Based on the series of numerical simulations, the delamination processes in collisional orogens are summarized into three modes: (1) pro-plate delamination, (2) retro-plate delamination, and (3) a transitional double-plates (both the pro- and retro-plate) delamination. The controlling factors, as well as the geological applications in nature, of the variable delamination modes are also discussed.

  12. Linking lithosphere deformation and sedimentary basin formation over multiple scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.

    2014-05-01

    In the spirit of Peter Ziegler we are interested in and explore the relationships between tectonic deformation and sedimentary basin formation. Resolving the interaction and feedback between tectonic crust-lithosphere scale deformation and surface processes through erosion of elevated areas and formation of sedimentary basins over multiple scales has been a long-standing challenge. While forward process based models have been successful at showing that a feedback is expected between tectonic deformation and redistribution of mass at the earth's surface by erosion, transport, and deposition, demonstrating this coupling for natural systems has been an even greater challenge and is strongly debated. Observational constraints on crust-lithosphere deformation and surface processes are typically collected at highly varying spatial and temporal scales, while forward process based models are typically run at either very large lithosphere-mantle scale, or at the scale of the sedimentary basin making it difficult to investigate and explore the detailed interaction and feedback between these systems. Here I will report on recent advances in forward modelling linking crust-lithosphere deformation with surface processes over a large range of scales resolving tectonic plate scale deformation and sedimentary basin formation at stratigraphic scales. The forward numerical models indicate a linkage and interaction between the structural style of thick-skinned large-scale mountain belt and rift-passive margin formation, erosion-transport-deposition processes operating at the surface, and the thin-skinned deformation occurring in the associated sedimentary basins.

  13. Chromatographic metasomatism of the Arabian—Nubian lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, Mordechai; Navon, Oded; Kessel, Ronit

    1997-11-01

    Trace elements and isotopic ratios of calc-alkaline and tholeiitic dikes from the very last stage of the late Proterozoic, Pan-African orogeny in the northern Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS), and alkali basalts from the overlying Phanerozoic section are used to constrain the composition and model the evolution of the lithospheric mantle in this region. The dikes and basalts are interpreted as lithospheric melts formed during the post-orogenic (and post-subduction) history of the shield. While the mafic member of all suites share a primitive La/Th ratio, the Nb/Th and Ce/Pb are distinct for each suite. The (Nb/Th) PM (primitive mantle normalized) is ˜0.2 in the calc-alkaline dikes and 1.4 in the tholeiitic dikes and the Phanerozoic alkali basalts. The (Ce/Pb) PM ratios are low in the dikes (0.4 in the calc-alkaline and 0.3 in the tholeiitic) and high in the Phanerozoic basalts (2.8). We suggest that the variations in the trace element ratios reflect sampling of different zones in the lithospheric mantle, which were formed by subduction related metasomatism of the mantle wedge. We constructed a chromatographic model to explain this zonation. In this model a plume-derived oceanic lithosphere is subducted and dehydrates at depth. Fluids released from the dehydrating slab metasomatize the overlying wedge and form amphibole-rich channels. Nb is preferentially taken by the amphibole and is enriched only in the lower zones of the column. The other elements (U, Th, REE and especially Pb and Rb) behave incompatibly. They are enriched in the fluid and transported efficiently to the melting zone in the centre of the wedge. Dehydration of the base of the wedge as it descends below the amphibole stability field depletes this region in Pb and Rb. After the end of subduction, the wedge is fossilized and forms the lithospheric mantle. The zone above the Nb concentration front is sampled by the calc-alkaline magmas. The tholeiitic magmas sample the zone below the Nb front. The

  14. Chromatographic metasomatism of the Arabian-Nubian lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessel, R.; Navon, O.; Stein, M.

    1997-11-01

    Trace elements and isotopic ratios of calc-alkaline and tholeiitic dikes from the very last stage of the late Proterozoic, Pan-African orogeny in the northern Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS), and alkali basalts from the overlying Phanerozoic section are used to constrain the composition and model the evolution of the lithospheric mantle in this region. The dikes and basalts are interpreted as lithospheric melts formed during the post-orogenic (and post-subduction) history of the shield. While the mafic member of all suites share a primitive La/Th ratio, the Nb/Th and Ce/Pb are distinct for each suite. The (Nb/Th)PM (primitive mantle normalized) is ~0.2 in the calc-alkaline dikes and 1.4 in the tholeiitic dikes and the Phanerozoic alkali basalts. The (Ce/Pb)PM ratios are low in the dikes (0.4 in the calc-alkaline and 0.3 in the tholeiitic) and high in the Phanerozoic basalts (2.8). We suggest that the variations in the trace element ratios reflect sampling of different zones in the lithospheric mantle, which were formed by subduction related metasomatism of the mantle wedge. We constructed a chromatographic model to explain this zonation. In this model a plume-derived oceanic lithosphere is subducted and dehydrates at depth. Fluids released from the dehydrating slab metasomatize the overlying wedge and form amphibole-rich channels. Nb is preferentially taken by the amphibole and is enriched only in the lower zones of the column. The other elements (U, Th, REE and especially Pb and Rb) behave incompatibly. They are enriched in the fluid and transported efficiently to the melting zone in the centre of the wedge. Dehydration of the base of the wedge as it descends below the amphibole stability field depletes this region in Pb and Rb. After the end of subduction, the wedge is fossilized and forms the lithospheric mantle. The zone above the Nb concentration front is sampled by the calc-alkaline magmas. The tholeiitic magmas sample the zone below the Nb front. The Phanerozoic

  15. Lithospheric Convergence Preceded Extension in the Pannonian-Carpathian System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houseman, Gregory; Stuart, Graham; Dando, Ben; Hetenyi, Gyorgy; Lorinczi, Piroska; Hegedus, Endre; Brueckl, Ewald

    2010-05-01

    The continuing collision of the Adriatic block with European continental lithosphere has its clearest expression now in the Alpine collision zone. Recent tomographic images of the upper mantle beneath the eastern Alps and western Pannonian Basin support the interpretation that in the Early Miocene the collision zone extended further east: a steeply dipping seismically fast structure stretches downward beneath the Eastern Alps reaching to the base of the transition zone, consistent with the long history of convergence in this region. This high velocity structure also extends eastward beneath the extensional Pannonian Basin. The high velocity anomaly beneath the Basin is strongly developed in transition zone depths (410 to 660 km) but the anomaly weakens upward. High velocities beneath the center of the extensional basin are unexpected because there is substantive evidence that the onset of extension in the Pannonian domain at around 17 Ma produced rapid extension of the lithosphere and replacement of the lower part of the lithosphere by hot asthenosphere. These deeper structures, however, must be explained by the long history of convergence that preceded the extension of the basin. Further evidence of a history of sustained convergence in the present Pannonian region is found in the depression of the 660 km seismic discontinuity beneath the Alps (Lombardi et al., EPSL, 2009) and also beneath the Pannonian Basin (Hetenyi et al., GRL, 2009). The 660 km discontinuity in both places is depressed by as much as 40 km, whereas the 410 km discontinuity is at approximately nominal depths. Evidently in both regions relatively dense material derived from the mid-Miocene collision sits stagnant on top of the 660 km discontinuity, where further descent is obstructed by the negative Clapeyron slope of the spinel-to-perovskite phase transition and/or the high viscosity of the lower mantle. The rapid extension of the Intra-Carpathian Basins in the Mid-Miocene (between about 17 and

  16. Anorogenic plateau formation induced by a heated lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duesterhoeft, Erik; Oberhänsli, Roland; Wichura, Henry; Bousquet, Romain

    2013-04-01

    Plateau formation processes in geodynamic settings outside of orogens have not been unambiguously established. Those anorogenic plateaus are topographic barriers that reach medium elevations of approximately 1500 m, e.g. South African-, East African- or Mongolian Plateau. They are inferred to be closely link to mantle plumes away from plate boundaries. Such a heat source at the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) have an influence to the density structure of the crust and lithosphere, due to thermal expansion and mineralogical changes. Consequently, these density variations affect topography and thus we hypothesize topographic variations by lithospheric thermal expansion, due to heating processes at the LAB. Based on this hypothesis, we calculated the density distribution along a one-dimensional depth-profile using two different approaches - with and without mineral reactions. Therefore, we present a new petrologic aspect for plateau uplift, because models on plateau uplift generally do not take into account the effects of metamorphic phase transitions and ignore the fact that chemical reactions influence both, the stability of mineral assemblages and rock density. Our model underscores how metamorphic density of the lithosphere varies with depth and reveals how combination of chemical composition of rocks, mineralogy, and geothermal gradient all have significant effects on the density distribution within the lithosphere and ultimately the evolution of anorogenic plateaus. Furthermore, in order to better understand the temporal characteristics of mantle plume related topography we calculated the timing to generate significant topographic uplift. Our results suggest uplift rates of >20 m/Myr within the first 20 Myr after the onset of heating and considerable primary thermal uplift of approximately 700 m after 20 Myr as a viable mechanism for anorogenic plateau formation. In this way, our model may help to explain pre-rift topography of the East-African Plateau

  17. Numerical modeling of continental lithospheric weak zone over plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perepechko, Y. V.; Sorokin, K. E.

    2011-12-01

    The work is devoted to the development of magmatic systems in the continental lithosphere over diffluent mantle plumes. The areas of tension originating over them are accompanied by appearance of fault zones, and the formation of permeable channels, which are distributed magmatic melts. The numerical simulation of the dynamics of deformation fields in the lithosphere due to convection currents in the upper mantle, and the formation of weakened zones that extend up to the upper crust and create the necessary conditions for the formation of intermediate magma chambers has been carried out. Thermodynamically consistent non-isothermal model simulates the processes of heat and mass transfer of a wide class of magmatic systems, as well as the process of strain localization in the lithosphere and their influence on the formation of high permeability zones in the lower crust. The substance of the lithosphere is a rheologic heterophase medium, which is described by a two-velocity hydrodynamics. This makes it possible to take into account the process of penetration of the melt from the asthenosphere into the weakened zone. The energy dissipation occurs mainly due to interfacial friction and inelastic relaxation of shear stresses. The results of calculation reveal a nonlinear process of the formation of porous channels and demonstrate the diversity of emerging dissipative structures which are determined by properties of both heterogeneous lithosphere and overlying crust. Mutual effect of a permeable channel and the corresponding filtration process of the melt on the mantle convection and the dynamics of the asthenosphere have been studied. The formation of dissipative structures in heterogeneous lithosphere above mantle plumes occurs in accordance with the following scenario: initially, the elastic behavior of heterophase lithosphere leads to the formation of the narrow weakened zone, though sufficiently extensive, with higher porosity. Further, the increase in the width of

  18. Rheological implications of the seismological lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, K. M.; Ford, H. A.; Lekic, V.; Hirth, G.

    2012-12-01

    Evidence from scattered and reflected seismic waves indicates that the transition between the seismologically-defined lithosphere and asthenosphere is relatively rapid in depth in many tectonic settings with the exception of cratons. For example, in non-cratonic regions of Australia and North America Sp receiver functions typically image a downward deccrease in shear-wave velocity whose depth ranges from ~50 to 130 km. Modeling of these Sp phases with synthetic receiver functions indicates significant (4-10%) shear velocity drops over depth ranges of ~30 km or less. Because these Sp phases originate at depths within the transition from high velocity mantle lid to low velocity zone in surface wave tomography models, and because the Sp phases account for most or all of the lid to low velocity zone contrast, they are interpretable as the seismological lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Thermal gradients in a wide range of geodynamical models for comparable tectonic environments are typically distributed over much larger depth ranges. The Sp phases are thus difficult to reconcile with an LAB that is governed solely by temperature. Rather, they suggest the presence of other factors that weaken the top of the asthenosphere, for example small amounts of partial melt (0.5-1.5%) or greater volatile content. Beneath cratons, a drop in shear velocity and rotation of azimuthal anisotropy at the base of the lithosphere in surface wave tomography argue for widespread sub-cratonic asthenosphere. However, Sp imaging that we conducted in cratonic regions of Australia and North America did not find coherent converted phases at potential LAB depths, arguing for LAB velocity gradients that are distributed over more than ~60 km in depth. Such gradual velocity gradients are consistent with a purely thermal origin, although slow vertical increases in melt or volatile content cannot be ruled out. To more directly assess the rheological implications of the seismological LAB, we estimated

  19. Dynamics of Dike Intrusions and Three-Dimensional Velocity Structure beneath an Incipient Seafloor Spreading Center in Afar, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yihun, Manahloh Belachew

    A rifting episode started in September 2005 with an intrusion of a 60 km-long mega-dike along the Dabbahu-Manda Hararo (DMH) rift segment in Afar, Ethiopia. Between 2005 and 2009 thirteen smaller volume dikes intruded different portions of the rift segment. Out of the 13 dikes, 9 were recorded on a temporary network of 44 three-component broadband stations. The dynamics of the dike intrusions are studied using the detailed analysis of the spatial and temporal distribution of dike-induced earthquakes and their source mechanisms. In addition, a 3D model of seismic velocity structure is determined using local earthquake travel time tomography algorithm. The dike-induced migration patterns of the earthquakes show the dikes were fed from a ˜5 km-radius zone at the middle of the DMH segment, and traveled northward and southward along the rift axis. The dikes that propagated north of the mid-segment have higher propagation rates and short migration duration relative to the dikes that propagated south. Faulting and graben formation above the dikes occurs hours after the passage of the dike tip, coincident with the onset of low-frequency earthquakes, and accounts for the large percentage of seismic energy release during an intrusion. The large deficit between total seismic and geodetic moment estimates, and the similarity between total seismic slip and geodetic slip estimates on normal faults above the dikes indicates that dike inflation and most of plate boundary deformation occurs largely aseismically. Local earthquake travel time tomography reveals low velocity zones at depths >13 km beneath the Dabbahu volcanic complex, and a broad zone of low velocity beneath the mid-segment. These regions are interpreted to be the magma source zones at different stages of the rifting cycle along the DMH rift segment. However, the lack of migrating seismicity originating from the Dabbahu volcano suggest that only the magma source zone beneath the Ado'Ale Volcanic Complex is actively

  20. Magma plumbing systems deduced from comparison of multiple dike intrusions in an incipientseafloor spreading segment in Afar, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belachew, M.; Ebinger, C. J.; Cote, D. M.; Keir, D.; Rowland, J. V.; Hammond, J. O.; Ayele, A.

    2010-12-01

    Oceanic crust is accreted through the emplacement of dikes at spreading ridges, but the role of dike intrusion in plate boundary deformation during continental rupture remains poorly understood. Since September 2005 the ~70 km-long Dabbahu-Manda Hararo rift segment in Afar, Ethiopia has experienced 14 large volume dike intrusions, including 3 fissural eruptions and a small volume silicic eruption. We present comparisons of 9 dike intrusions recorded by two temporary seismic networks between 2006 and 2009, set within the context of new 3D crustal velocity models of the region. All of the migrating swarms of earthquakes which are interpreted as caused by the dike intrusions and graben formation above the dike started from an ~5 km-radius and > 6 km-deep zone at the middle of the rift segment. The earthquake swarms migrated either to the south or north along the rift. Small magnitude earthquakes associated with the margins of the propagating dike tips are followed by the largest magnitude, mostly low-frequency earthquakes (< 2 Hz) interpreted as slow-slip and/or graben formation above the dike. The seismic moment distributions show > 80% of energy is released during the propagation phase of the dikes with minimal seismic energy release after the dikes ceased to propagate. Thus, for most of the dikes, faulting and graben formation above the dikes occurs hours after the passage of the crack tip, and while the dike continues to lengthen. The dikes that propagated to the north had faster average velocities (0.4 - 0.6m/s) compared to the ones that propagated to the south (0.15 - 0.3 m/s). The propagation velocities of each of the dikes follow a decaying exponential, suggesting pressure drops in the dike feeder zone limit dike volume/length. The small changes in intervals between dike intrusions, and the lack of a decrease in dike length with time both suggest that the magma chamber was regularly recharged over the 4-year period since the onset of the rifting episode in

  1. Low geomagnetic field intensity in the Matuyama Chron: palaeomagnetic study of a lava sequence from Afar depression, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, Hyeon-Seon; Kidane, Tesfaye; Yamamoto, Yuhji; Otofuji, Yo-ichiro

    2016-01-01

    Palaeointensity variation is investigated for an inferred time period spanning from 2.34 to 1.96 Ma. Twenty-nine consecutive lava flows are sampled along cliffs 350 m high generated by normal faulting on the Dobi section of Afar depression, Ethiopia. Magnetostratigraphy and K-Ar measurements indicate a lava sequence of R-N-R-N geomagnetic field polarities in ascending order; the lower normal polarity is identified as the Réunion Subchron. Reliability of palaeomagnetic data is ascertained through careful thermal demagnetization and by the reversal test. The Tsunakawa-Shaw method yielded 70 successful palaeointensity results from 24 lava flows and gave 11 acceptable mean palaeointensities. Reliability in palaeointensity data is ascertained by the similar values obtained by the IZZI-Thellier method and thus 11 reliable mean values are obtained from our combined results. After the older reverse polarity with the field intensity of 19.6 ± 7.8 μT, an extremely low palaeointensity period with an average of 6.4 μT is shown to occur prior to the Réunion Subchron. During the Réunion Subchron, the dipole field strength is shown to have returned to an average of 19.5 μT, followed by second extreme low of 3.6 μT and rejuvenation with 17.1 ± 5.3 μT in the younger reverse polarity. This `W-shape' palaeointensity variation is characterized by occurrences of two extremely weak fields lower than 8 μT prior to and during the Réunion Subchron and a relatively weak time-averaged field of approximately 15 μT. This feature is also found in sedimentary cores from the Ontong Java Plateau and the north Atlantic, indicative of a possibly global geomagnetic field phenomenon rather than a local effect on Ethiopia. Furthermore, we estimate a weak virtual axial dipole moment of 3.66 (±1.85) × 1022 Am2 during early stage of the Matuyama Chron (inferred time period of 2.34-1.96 Ma).

  2. Preseismic Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamogawa, Masashi

    hardly verified so far, a statistical approach has been unique way to promote the research. After the 2000s, several papers showing robust statistical results have arisen. In this paper, we focus on publications satisfying the following identification criteria: 1) A candidate of precursor, namely anomaly, is quantitatively defied. 2) Two time-series of anomalies and earthquake are constructed within the fixed thresholds such as a minimum magnitude, a region, and a lead-time. 3) To obtain a statistical correlation, a statistical process which includes four relations considering all combination among earthquake - no earthquake versus anomaly and no anomalies is applied, e. g., phi correlation. 4) For correlations under various thresholds the results keep consistency. 5) Large anomalies appear before large earthquakes. One of papers based on the identification criteria, which concerns preseismic geoelectrically anomalies, is introduced as an educative example. VAN method in Greece, i. e., Geo-electric potential difference measurement for precursor study in Greece, has been often discussed in the point of view of success and failure performance for practical prediction [Varotsos et al, Springer, 2011] to show a correlation and then less number of papers shows the statistical correlation with satisfying the identification criteria [Geller (ed.), GRL, 1996], so that the phenomena had been controversial. However, recent related study in Kozu-Island, Japan which satisfied the criteria showed the robust correlation [Orihara and Kamogawa et al., PNAS, 2012]. Therefore, the preseismic geoelectric anomalies are expected to be a precursor. Preseismic lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere coupling has been intensively discussed [Kamogawa, Eos, 2006]. According to review based on the identification criteria with considering recent publications, plausible precursors have been found, which are tropospheric anomaly [Fujiwara and Kamogawa, GRL, 2004], daytime electron depletion in F region

  3. Lithospheric-scale centrifuge models of pull-apart basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo; Dooley, Tim P.

    2015-11-01

    We present here the results of the first lithospheric-scale centrifuge models of pull-apart basins. The experiments simulate relative displacement of two lithospheric blocks along two offset master faults, with the presence of a weak zone in the offset area localising deformation during strike-slip displacement. Reproducing the entire lithosphere-asthenosphere system provides boundary conditions that are more realistic than the horizontal detachment in traditional 1 g experiments and thus provide a better approximation of the dynamic evolution of natural pull-apart basins. Model results show that local extension in the pull-apart basins is accommodated through development of oblique-slip faulting at the basin margins and cross-basin faults obliquely cutting the rift depression. As observed in previous modelling studies, our centrifuge experiments suggest that the angle of offset between the master fault segments is one of the most important parameters controlling the architecture of pull-apart basins: the basins are lozenge shaped in the case of underlapping master faults, lazy-Z shaped in case of neutral offset and rhomboidal shaped for overlapping master faults. Model cross sections show significant along-strike variations in basin morphology, with transition from narrow V- and U-shaped grabens to a more symmetric, boxlike geometry passing from the basin terminations to the basin centre; a flip in the dominance of the sidewall faults from one end of the basin to the other is observed in all models. These geometries are also typical of 1 g models and characterise several pull-apart basins worldwide. Our models show that the complex faulting in the upper brittle layer corresponds at depth to strong thinning of the ductile layer in the weak zone; a rise of the base of the lithosphere occurs beneath the basin, and maximum lithospheric thinning roughly corresponds to the areas of maximum surface subsidence (i.e., the basin depocentre).

  4. The continental lithosphere: Reconciling thermal, seismic, and petrologic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemieva, Irina M.

    2009-04-01

    The goal of the present study is to extract non-thermal signal from seismic tomography models in order to distinguish compositional variations in the continental lithosphere and to examine if geochemical and petrologic constraints on global-scale compositional variations in the mantle are consistent with modern geophysical data. In the lithospheric mantle of the continents, seismic velocity variations of a non-thermal origin (calculated from global Vs seismic tomography data [Grand S.P., 2002. Mantle shear-wave tomography and the fate of subducted slabs. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, 360, 2475-2491.; Shapiro N.M., Ritzwoller M.H. 2002. Monte-Carlo inversion for a global shear velocity model of the crust and upper mantle. Geophysical Journal International 151, 1-18.] and lithospheric temperatures [Artemieva I.M., Mooney W.D., 2001. Thermal structure and evolution of Precambrian lithosphere: A global study. Journal of Geophysical Research 106, 16387-16414.] show strong correlation with tectono-thermal ages and with regional variations in lithospheric thickness constrained by surface heat flow data and seismic velocities. In agreement with xenolith data, strong positive velocity anomalies of non-thermal origin (attributed to mantle depletion) are clearly seen for all of the cratons; their amplitude, however, varies laterally and decreases with depth, reflecting either a peripheral growth of the cratons in Proterozoic or their peripheral reworking. These cratonic regions where kimberlite magmas erupted show only weakly positive compositional velocity anomalies, atypical for the "intact" cratonic mantle. A reduction in the amplitude of compositional velocity anomalies in kimberlite provinces is interpreted to result from metasomatic enrichment (prior or during kimberlite emplacement) of the cratonic mantle, implying that xenolith data maybe non-representative of the "intact" cratonic mantle.

  5. Support Of The Lunar Fossil Figure By The Elastic Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuyama, Isamu

    2010-10-01

    The figure of the Moon is triaxial, with three different principal moments of inertia, as expected. However, the moment differences are significantly larger than those predicted assuming hydrostatic equilibrium. This has been explained as due to a fossil bulge that retains a figure for prior rotational and tidal deformation, at a time when the Moon was closer to Earth (Jeffeys, 1915; Lambeck & Pullan, 1980; Garrick-Bethell et al.,2006). Garrick-Bethell et al. (2006) illustrated that a fossil figure can entirely account for the moment differences if it is established at a time when the orbital eccentricity was high. They approximate the Moon as a strengthless homogeneous body; however, a strengthless Moon cannot support a fossil figure over billions of years. We extend the analysis of Garrick-Bethell et al. (2006) by taking into the presence of an elastic lithosphere capable of supporting a fossil figure. The fossil figure is established when the elastic lithosphere forms. For a 50 km thick elastic lithosphere, the moment differences can be explained by a lunar orbit with an initial semimajor axis a=17.1 Earth radii and eccentricity e=0.49 if the Moon remains locked in synchronous rotation. If the fossil figure is established during a 3:2 spin-orbit resonance, a=18.1 Earth radii and e=0.16, or a=20.0 Earth radii and e=0.60. The initial semimajor axis decreases with decreasing elastic lithospheric thickness, as expected. The initial orbital eccentricity is not sensitive to the elastic lithospheric thickness. As Lambeck & Pullan (1980) noted, it is unlikely that the moment differences are due to a fossil figure alone. Therefore, we also consider the effect of including other contributions to the moment differences. This work is supported by the Miller Institute for Basic Research.

  6. Support of the lunar fossil figure by the elastic lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuyama, I.

    2010-12-01

    The figure of the Moon is triaxial, with three different principal moments of inertia, as expected. However, the moment differences are significantly larger than those predicted assuming hydrostatic equilibrium. This has been explained as due to a fossil bulge that retains a figure for prior rotational and tidal deformation, at a time when the Moon was closer to Earth (Jeffeys, 1915; Lambeck & Pullan, 1980; Garrick-Bethell et al.,2006). Garrick-Bethell et al. (2006) illustrated that a fossil figure can entirely account for the moment differences if it is established at a time when the orbital eccentricity was high. They approximate the Moon as a strengthless homogeneous body; however, a strengthless Moon cannot support a fossil figure over billions of years. We extend the analysis of Garrick-Bethell et al. (2006) by taking into the presence of an elastic lithosphere capable of supporting a fossil figure. The fossil figure is established when the elastic lithosphere forms. For a 50 km thick elastic lithosphere, the moment differences can be explained by a lunar orbit with an initial semimajor axis a=17.1 Earth radii and eccentricity e=0.49 if the Moon remains locked in synchronous rotation. If the fossil figure is established during a 3:2 spin-orbit resonance, a=18.1 Earth radii and e=0.16, or a=20.0 Earth radii and e=0.60. The initial semimajor axis decreases with decreasing elastic lithospheric thickness, as expected. The initial orbital eccentricity is not sensitive to the elastic lithospheric thickness. As Lambeck & Pullan (1980) noted, it is unlikely that the moment differences are due to a fossil figure alone. Therefore, we also consider the effect of including other contributions to the moment differences. This work is supported by the Miller Institute for Basic Research.

  7. Southwestward weakening of Wyoming lithosphere during the Laramide orogeny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Min; Fan, Majie; Moucha, Robert

    2016-08-01

    The mechanism of Laramide deformation in the central Rocky Mountains remains enigmatic. It is generally agreed that the deformation resulted from low-angle subduction of the Farallon plate beneath the North American plate during the latest Cretaceous-early Eocene; however, recent studies have suggested the importance of slab removal or slab rollback in causing this deformation. Here we infer Wyoming lithosphere structure and surface deformation pattern by conducting 2-D flexural subsidence modeling in order to provide constraints on the mechanism of Laramide deformation. We assume that Wyoming lithosphere behaved as an infinite elastic plate subject to tectonic loading of mountain ranges and conduct 2-D flexural subsidence modeling to major Laramide basins to document lithospheric stiffness and mountain load height. Our results show that the stiffness of Wyoming lithosphere varied slightly in each basin during the ~30 Myr duration of the Laramide deformation and decreased from northeastern Wyoming (Te = 32-46 km) to southwestern Wyoming (Te = 6-9 km). Our results also imply that the increase of equivalent load height of major Laramide ranges accelerated during the early Eocene. We propose that the bending stresses induced by the topographic load of the Sevier fold-and-thrust belt combined with crust-mantle decoupling initiated by the overthickened Sevier hinterland and the end loads due to the low-angle subduction at the western edge of the thick Wyoming craton have caused the southwestward decrease of lithospheric stiffness in Wyoming. Moreover, we attribute the accelerated load height gain during the early Eocene to both dynamic and isostatic effects associated with slab rollback.

  8. Impact of lithosphere rheology on the dynamic topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burov, Evgueni; Gerya, Taras; Koptev, Alexander

    2014-05-01

    Dynamic topography is a key observable signature of the Earth's and planetary (e.g. Venus) mantle dynamics. In general view, it reflects complex mantle flow patterns, and hence is supposed to correlate at different extent with seismic tomography, SKS fast orientations, geodetic velocity fields and geoid anomalies. However, identification of dynamic topography had no systematic success, specifically in the Earth's continents. Here we argue that lithosphere rheology, in particular, rheological stratification of continents, results in modulation of dynamic topography, converting commonly expected long-wavelength/small amplitude undulations into short-wavelength surface undulations with wide amplitude spectrum, superimposed onto "tectonic" topography. These ideas are explored in 3D using unprecedentedly high resolution numerical experiments (grid step size 2-3 km for 1500x1500x600 km computational area) incorporating realistic rheologically stratified lithosphere. Such high resolution is actually needed to resolve small-scale crustal faulting and inter-layer coupling/uncoupling that shape surface topography. The results reveal strikingly discordant, counterintuitive features of 3D dynamic topography, going far beyond the inferences from previous models. In particular, even weak anisotropic tectonic stress field results both in large-scale small-amplitude dynamic topography and in strongly anisotropic short-wavelength (at least in one direction) dynamic topography with wide amplitude range (from 100 to 2000-3000 m), including basins and ranges and large-scale linear normal and strike-slip faults. Even very slightly pre-stressed strong lithosphere yields and localizes deformation much easier , than un-prestressed one, in response to plume impact and mantle flow. The results shed new light on the importance of lithosphere rheology and active role of lithosphere in mantle-lithosphere interactions as well as on the role of mantle flow and far-field stresses in tectonic

  9. Petrological constraints on evolution of continental lithospheric mantle beneath the northwestern Ethiopian plateau: Insight from mantle xenoliths from the Gundeweyn area, East Gojam, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alemayehu, Melesse; Zhang, Hong-Fu; Zhu, Bin; Fentie, Birhanu; Abraham, Samuel; Haji, Muhammed

    2016-01-01

    Detailed petrographical observations and in-situ major- and trace-element data for minerals from ten spinel peridotite xenoliths from a new locality in Gundeweyn area, East Gojam, have been examined in order to understand the composition, equilibrium temperature and pressure conditions as well as depletion and enrichment processes of continental lithospheric mantle beneath the Ethiopian plateau. The peridotite samples are very fresh and, with the exception of one spinel harzburgite, are all spinel lherzolites. Texturally, the xenoliths can be divided into two groups as primary and secondary textures. Primary textures are protogranular and porphyroclastic while secondary ones include reaction, spongy and lamellae textures. The Fo content of olivine and Cr# of spinel ranges from 86.5 to 90.5 and 7.7 to 14.1 in the lherzolites, respectively and are 89.8 and 49.8, respectively, in the harzburgite. All of the lherzolites fall into the lower Cr# and Fo region in the olivine-spinel mantle array than the harzburgite, which indicates that they are fertile peridotites that experienced low degrees of partial melting and melt extraction. Orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene show variable Cr2O3 and Al2O3 contents regardless of their lithology. The Mg# of orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene are 87.3 to 90.1 and 85.8 to 90.5 for lherzolite and 90.4 and 91.2 for harzburgite, respectively. The peridotites have been equilibrated at a temperature and pressure ranging from 850 to 1100 °C and 10.2 to 30 kbar, respectively, with the highest pressure record from the harzburgite. They record high mantle heat flow between 60 and 150 mW/m2, which is not typical for continental environments (40 mW/m2). Such a high geotherm in continental area shows the presence of active mantle upwelling beneath the Ethiopian plateau, which is consistent with the tectonic setting of nearby area of the Afar plume. Clinopyroxene of five lherzolites and one harzburgite samples have a LREE enriched pattern and the rest

  10. Evidence for deeply subducting Asian lithosphere beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush region from lithospheric imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kufner, Sofia-Katerina; Schurr, Bernd; Sippl, Christian; Schneider, Felix; Yuan, Xiaohui; Ischuk, Anatoly; Arib, Arib; Murodkulov, Shohruhk; Haberland, Christian; Mechie, James; Bianchi, Marcelo; Tilmann, Frederik

    2014-05-01

    The Pamir-Hindu Kush region, located north of the western Himalayan syntaxis, remains one of the most puzzling regions in the Indian-Eurasian collision system. In contrast to the Himalaya and Tibet, the Pamir and Hindu Kush feature a narrow, curved zone of intense intermediate depth seismicity, reaching depths greater than 250 km. The Pamir seismicity has been linked to subduction of Eurasian lithosphere. The origin of the material hosting the Hindu Kush earthquakes as well as their relation to the Pamir seismic zone is still a topic of debate. Here we present results from a teleseismic tomography that puts new constraints on the deep structure of this region. We use teleseismic P-wave travel times of approx. 800 earthquakes recorded by 180 seismic stations of several temporary networks (mainly TIPAGE, FERGHANA, and TIPTIMON) that were deployed between 2008 to 2013 and cover significant parts of the western Tien Shan, Pamir and Hindu Kush. In total about 35.000 P-wave travel time residuals are inverted for P-wave velocity perturbation. Beneath the Pamir, our velocity model images an arcuate, slab-like high velocity structure, coinciding with the seismogenic plane at the upper level. In the eastern Pamir the high velocity structure does not extend much deeper than the local seismicity but in the south-western Pamir, the structure can be traced to the bottom of the transition zone at about 600 km, indicating the presence of dense, cold Eurasian lithosphere at much greater depths than the depth extent of the seismicity would suggest. The stress regime derived from source mechanisms of intermediate depth earthquakes suggests that the current driving force, pulling the Pamir slab down seems to be this seismically fast body deep in the mantle. In contrast to the Pamir, the Hindu Kush seismicity does not occur clearly connected to a high velocity structure, but to near average or even low velocities. However a fast anomaly is imaged just below the deepest Hindu Kush

  11. Matching Lithosphere velocity changes to the GOCE gravity signal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braitenberg, Carla

    2016-07-01

    Authors: Carla Braitenberg, Patrizia Mariani, Alberto Pastorutti Department of Mathematics and Geosciences, University of Trieste Via Weiss 1, 34100 Trieste Seismic tomography models result in 3D velocity models of lithosphere and sublithospheric mantle, which are due to mineralogic compositional changes and variations in the thermal gradient. The assignment of density is non-univocal and can lead to inverted density changes with respect to velocity changes, depending on composition and temperature. Velocity changes due to temperature result in a proportional density change, whereas changes due to compositional changes and age of the lithosphere can lead to density changes of inverted sign. The relation between velocity and density implies changes in the lithosphere rigidity. We analyze the GOCE gradient fields and the velocity models jointly, making simulations on thermal and compositional density changes, using the velocity models as constraint on lithosphere geometry. The correlations are enhanced by applying geodynamic plate reconstructions to the GOCE gravity field and the tomography models which places today's observed fields at the Gondwana pre-breakup position. We find that the lithosphere geometry is a controlling factor on the overlying geologic elements, defining the regions where rifting and collision alternate and repeat through time. The study is carried out globally, with focus on the conjugate margins of the African and South American continents. The background for the study can be found in the following publications where the techniques which have been used are described: Braitenberg, C., Mariani, P. and De Min, A. (2013). The European Alps and nearby orogenic belts sensed by GOCE, Boll. Bollettino di Geofisica Teorica ed Applicata, 54(4), 321-334. doi:10.4430/bgta0105---- Braitenberg, C. and Mariani, P. (2015). Geological implications from complete Gondwana GOCE-products reconstructions and link to lithospheric roots. Proceedings of 5th

  12. Lithospheric Decoupling and Rotations: Hints from Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muluneh, A. A.; Cuffaro, M.; Doglioni, C.; Kidane, T.

    2014-12-01

    Plates move relative to the mantle because some torques are acting on them. The shear in the low-velocity zone (LVZ) at the base of the lithosphere is the expression of these torques. The decoupling is allowed by the low viscosity in the LVZ, which is likely few orders of magnitudes lower than previously estimated. The viscosity value in the LVZ controls the degree of coupling/decoupling between the lithosphere and the underlying mantle. Lateral variations in viscosity within the LVZ may explain the velocity gradient among tectonic plates as the one determining the Ethiopian Rift (ER) separating Africa from Somalia. While it remains not fully understood the mechanisms of the torques acting on the lithosphere (thermally driven mantle convection or the combination of mantle convection with astronomical forces such as the Earth's rotation and tidal drag), the stresses are transmitted across the different mechanical layers (e.g., the brittle upper crust, down to the viscous-plastic ductile lower crust and upper mantle). Differential basal shear traction at the base of the lithosphere beneath the two sides of the East African Rift System (EARS) is assumed to drive and sustain rifting. In our analysis, the differential torques acting on the lithospheric/crustal blocks drive kinematics and block rotations. Since, ER involves the whole lithosphere, we do not expect large amount of rotation. Rotation can be the result of the whole plate motion on the sphere moving along the tectonic equator, or the second order sub-rotation of a single plate. Further rotation may occur along oblique plate boundaries (e.g., left lateral transtensional setting at the ER). Small amount of vertical axis rotation of blocks in northern ER could be related to the presence of local, shallower decollement layers. Shallow brittle-ductile transition (BDT) zone and differential tilting of crustal blocks in the northern ER could hint a possibility of detachment surface between the flow in the lower

  13. The Lithospheric Geoid as a Constraint on Plate Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, R. M.; Coblentz, D. D.

    2015-12-01

    100 years after Wegener's pioneering work there is still considerable debate about the dynamics of present-day plate motions. A better understanding of present-day dynamics is key to a better understanding of the supercontinent cycle. The Earth's gravity field is one of the primary data sets to help constrain horizontal density contrasts, and hence plate dynamic forces. Previous work has shown that the global average for the geoid step up from old oceanic lithosphere across passive continental margins to stable continental lithosphere is about 6-9m, and the global average for the geoid anomaly associated with cooling oceanic lithosphere (the so-called "ridge push") is 10-12m. The ridge geoid anomaly corresponds to a net force of ~3x1012N/m (averaged over the thickness of the lithosphere) due to 'ridge push.' However, for individual continental margins and mid-ocean ridge systems, there is considerable variation in the geoid step and geoid anomaly and consequently the associated forces contributing to the stress field. We explore the variation in geoid step across passive continental margins looking for correlations with age of continental breakup (and hence place within the supercontinent cycle), hot spot tracks, continental plate velocities, long-wavelength geoid energy (that may be masking signal), and small scale convection. For mid-ocean ridges, we explore variations in geoid anomaly looking for correlations with plate spreading rates, hot spot tracks, long-wavelength geoid energy (that may be masking signal), and small scale convection. We use a band-pass spherical harmonic filter on the full geoid (e.g., EGM2008-WGS84, complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 2159) between orders 6 and 80. The evaluation of the role of spatial variations in the geoid gradient for cooling oceanic lithosphere and across the continental margin in the dynamics of the intraplate stress field requires high spatial resolution modeling. We perform a high resolution finite

  14. Lithosphere-asthenosphere Structure and Active Tectonics In Central Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chimera, G.; Aoudia, A.; Saraò, A.; Panza, G. F.

    We investigate the lithosphere-asthenosphere structure and the active tectonics along a stripe from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic with emphasis on the Umbria-Marche area by means of surface-wave tomography, and inversion studies for structure and seismic moment tensor retrieval. The data include seismic waveforms, a large compilation of local group velocities (0.8-4s) and regional phase and group velocity (10-100s) measurements. The local group velocity maps cover the area reactivated by the 1997 Umbria-Marche earthquake sequence. These maps suggest a relation between the lat- eral heterogeneity and distribution of the active faults and related basins. Such relation is confirmed by the non-linear inversion of the local dispersion curves. To image the deeper structure from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic coast, we fix the uppermost part of the crust using the Umbria-Marche models along with the CROP03 profile and related shear wave velocity, and invert the additional long period dispersion measure- ments. The results of the inversion show the geometry and lateral heterogeneity of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system. The retrieved models for the Umbria-Marche up- per crust reveal the importance of the inherited compression on the ongoing extension and related seismic activity. The reactivated 1997 normal fault zone displays a thrust fault geometry as evidenced by the lateral extent of the faulted Late Triassic evap- orites that did not yet balance the cumulative normal faulting deformation attesting therefore recent extensional tectonics within the thrust belt. Our data are in favor of a listric geometry of faulting at depth. Source inversion studies of the two main crustal events of September 26 and October 14, 1997 show the dominance of normal faulting mechanisms, whereas selected aftershocks between the reactivated fault segments re- veal that the prevailing deformation at the step-over is of strike-slip faulting type. The rupture of the three distinct and

  15. Mesozoic thermal evolution of the southern African mantle lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, David R.; Schmitz, Mark D.; Janney, Philip E.

    2003-12-01

    The thermal structure of Archean and Proterozoic lithospheric terranes in southern Africa during the Mesozoic was evaluated by thermobarometry of mantle peridotite xenoliths erupted in alkaline magmas between 180 and 60 Ma. For cratonic xenoliths, the presence of a 150-200 °C isobaric temperature range at 5-6 GPa confirms original interpretations of a conductive geotherm, which is perturbed at depth, and therefore does not record steady state lithospheric mantle structure. Xenoliths from both Archean and Proterozoic terranes record conductive limb temperatures characteristic of a "cratonic" geotherm (˜40 mW m -2), indicating cooling of Proterozoic mantle following the last major tectonothermal event in the region at ˜1 Ga and the probability of thick off-craton lithosphere capable of hosting diamond. This inference is supported by U-Pb thermochronology of lower crustal xenoliths [Schmitz and Bowring, 2003. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 144, 592-618]. The entire region then suffered a protracted regional heating event in the Mesozoic, affecting both mantle and lower crust. In the mantle, the event is recorded at ˜150 Ma to the southeast of the craton, propagating to the west by 108-74 Ma, the craton interior by 85-90 Ma and the far southwest and northwest by 65-70 Ma. The heating penetrated to shallower levels in the off-craton areas than on the craton, and is more apparent on the southern margin of the craton than in its western interior. The focus and spatial progression mimic inferred patterns of plume activity and supercontinent breakup 30-100 Ma earlier and are probably connected. Contrasting thermal profiles from Archean and Proterozoic mantle result from penetration to shallower levels of the Proterozoic lithosphere by heat transporting magmas. Extent of penetration is related not to original lithospheric thickness, but to its more fertile character and the presence of structurally weak zones of old tectonism. The present day distribution of surface heat flow

  16. South China Sea crustal thickness and lithosphere thinning from satellite gravity inversion incorporating a lithospheric thermal gravity anomaly correction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusznir, Nick; Gozzard, Simon; Alvey, Andy

    2016-04-01

    The distribution of ocean crust and lithosphere within the South China Sea (SCS) are controversial. Sea-floor spreading re-orientation and ridge jumps during the Oligocene-Miocene formation of the South China Sea led to the present complex distribution of oceanic crust, thinned continental crust, micro-continents and volcanic ridges. We determine Moho depth, crustal thickness and continental lithosphere thinning (1- 1/beta) for the South China Sea using a gravity inversion method which incorporates a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction (Chappell & Kusznir, 2008). The gravity inversion method provides a prediction of ocean-continent transition structure and continent-ocean boundary location which is independent of ocean isochron information. A correction is required for the lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly in order to determine Moho depth accurately from gravity inversion; the elevated lithosphere geotherm of the young oceanic and rifted continental margin lithosphere of the South China Sea produces a large lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly which in places exceeds -150 mGal. The gravity anomaly inversion is carried out in the 3D spectral domain (using Parker 1972) to determine 3D Moho geometry and invokes Smith's uniqueness theorem. The gravity anomaly contribution from sediments assumes a compaction controlled sediment density increase with depth. The gravity inversion includes a parameterization of the decompression melting model of White & McKenzie (1999) to predict volcanic addition generated during continental breakup lithosphere thinning and seafloor spreading. Public domain free air gravity anomaly, bathymetry and sediment thickness data are used in this gravity inversion. Using crustal thickness and continental lithosphere thinning factor maps with superimposed shaded-relief free-air gravity anomaly, we improve the determination of pre-breakup rifted margin conjugacy, rift orientation and sea-floor spreading trajectory. SCS conjugate margins

  17. Metasomatized lithosphere and the origin of alkaline lavas.

    PubMed

    Pilet, Sébastien; Baker, Michael B; Stolper, Edward M

    2008-05-16

    Recycled oceanic crust, with or without sediment, is often invoked as a source component of continental and oceanic alkaline magmas to account for their trace-element and isotopic characteristics. Alternatively, these features have been attributed to sources containing veined, metasomatized lithosphere. In melting experiments on natural amphibole-rich veins at 1.5 gigapascals, we found that partial melts of metasomatic veins can reproduce key major- and trace-element features of oceanic and continental alkaline magmas. Moreover, experiments with hornblendite plus lherzolite showed that reaction of melts of amphibole-rich veins with surrounding lherzolite can explain observed compositional trends from nephelinites to alkali olivine basalts. We conclude that melting of metasomatized lithosphere is a viable alternative to models of alkaline basalt formation by melting of recycled oceanic crust with or without sediment.

  18. The Gutenberg discontinuity: melt at the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary.

    PubMed

    Schmerr, Nicholas

    2012-03-23

    The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) beneath ocean basins separates the upper thermal boundary layer of rigid, conductively cooling plates from the underlying ductile, convecting mantle. The origin of a seismic discontinuity associated with this interface, known as the Gutenberg discontinuity (G), remains enigmatic. High-frequency SS precursors sampling below the Pacific plate intermittently detect the G as a sharp, negative velocity contrast at 40- to 75-kilometer depth. These observations lie near the depth of the LAB in regions associated with recent surface volcanism and mantle melt production and are consistent with an intermittent layer of asthenospheric partial melt residing at the lithospheric base. I propose that the G reflectivity is regionally enhanced by dynamical processes that produce melt, including hot mantle upwellings, small-scale convection, and fluid release during subduction.

  19. Coronae formation on Venus via extension and lithospheric instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piskorz, Danielle; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.; Smrekar, Suzanne E.

    2014-12-01

    Over 500 quasi-circular volcano-tectonic features called coronae occur on Venus. They are believed to form via small-scale mantle upwellings, lithospheric instability, or a combination thereof. Coronae and rifts commonly occur together, including many coronae that lie outside of the fracture zone. However, the genetic link between the two has remained unclear. This paper proposes a mechanism for the formation of off-rift coronae due to the rifting process. We model the interaction of a rising mantle plume associated with a rift with a hypothetical preexisting layer of dense material in the lithosphere. We show that a rift and its associated off-rift coronae could be genetically linked by the process of development of secondary ringlike dripping instabilities initiating at the plume margins. We calculate the resulting surface topographies, melt volumes, and Bouguer gravity anomalies and compare them to observations.

  20. Thick plate flexure. [for lithospheric models of Mars and earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comer, R. P.

    1983-01-01

    Analytical expressions are derived for the displacements and stresses due to loading of a floating, uniform, elastic plate of arbitrary thickness by a plane or axisymmetric harmonic load. The solution is exact except for assumptions of small strains and linear boundary conditions, and gravitation within the plate is neglected. For typical earth parameters its predictions are comparable to those of the usual thin plate theory frequently assumed in studies of lithospheric flexure, gravity and regional isostasy. Even for a very thick lithosphere, which may exist in some regions of Mars, the thin plate theory is a better approximation to the thick plate solution than the elastic half-space limit, except for short-wavelength loads.

  1. On geoid heights and flexure of the lithosphere at seamounts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watts, A. B.; Ribe, N. M.

    1984-12-01

    The sea surface height has now been mapped to an accuracy of better than ±1 m by using radar altimeters on board orbiting satellites. The major influence on the mean sea surface height is the marine geoid which is an equipotential surface. We have carried out preliminary studies of how oceanic volcanoes, which rise above the ocean floor as isolated seamounts and oceanic islands or linear ridges, contribute to the marine geoid. Simple one- and two-dimensional models have been constructed in which it is assumed that the oceanic lithosphere responds to volcanic loads as a thin elastic plate overlying a weak fluid substratum. Previous studies based on gravity and bathymetry data and uplift/subsidence patterns show that the effective flexural rigidity of oceanic lithosphere and the equivalent elastic thickness Te increase with the age of the lithosphere at the time of loading. The models predict that isolated seamounts emplaced on relatively young lithosphere on or near a mid-ocean ridge crest will be associated with relatively low amplitude geoid anomalies (about 0.4-0.5 m/km of height), while seamounts formed on relatively old lithosphere, on ridge flanks, will be associated with much higher amplitude anomalies (1.4-1.5 m/km). Studies of the Seasat altimetric geoid prepared by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory support these model predictions; geoid amplitudes are relatively low over the Mid-Pacific Mountains and Line Islands, which formed on or near a mid-ocean ridge crest, and relatively high over the Magellan Seamounts and Wake Guyots, which formed off ridge. Direct modeling of the altimetric geoid over these features is complicated, however, by the wide spacing of the satellite tracks (which can exceed 100 km) and poor bathymetric control beneath individual satellite tracks. In regions where multibeam bathymetric surveys are available, models can be constructed that fit the altimetric geoid to better than ±1 m. Studies of geoid anomalies over the Emperor seamount

  2. The elastic thickness of the lithosphere in the Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calmant, Stephane

    1987-09-01

    The effective elastic thickness T(e) of the oceanic lithosphere along the Hawaiian-Emperor, the Marquesas, the Pitcairn-Mururoa-Gloucester (PMG) chains, the Tuamotu archipelago, and the Samoa islands was determined by computing the deflection of a continuous elastic plate under the load of volcanoes and was constrained by the geoid heights over the oceans provided by Seasat. The prediction by Watts (1978) according to which the value of the T(e) should increase with the square root of crustal age of the lithosphere at the time of volcano emplacement was not confirmed; while the T(e) estimate of the Hawaiian-Emperor chain and an isolated estimate in the Samoan group agree with the empirical trend found by Watts, the Marquesas and the PMG chains, as well as the previously analyzed Cook-Austral and Society chains, present anomalously low values which increase only slightly with age.

  3. Thermal stresses due to cooling of a viscoelastic oceanic lithosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Denlinger, R.P.; Savage, W.Z.

    1989-01-01

    Instant-freezing methods inaccurately predict transient thermal stresses in rapidly cooling silicate glass plates because of the temperature dependent rheology of the material. The temperature dependent rheology of the lithosphere may affect the transient thermal stress distribution in a similar way, and for this reason we use a thermoviscoelastic model to estimate thermal stresses in young oceanic lithosphere. This theory is formulated here for linear creep processes that have an Arrhenius rate dependence on temperature. Our results show that the stress differences between instant freezing and linear thermoviscoelastic theory are most pronounced at early times (0-20 m.y. when the instant freezing stresses may be twice as large. The solutions for the two methods asymptotically approach the same solution with time. A comparison with intraplate seismicity shows that both methods underestimate the depth of compressional stresses inferred from the seismicity in a systematic way. -from Authors

  4. Physico-chemical constraints on cratonic lithosphere discontinuities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aulbach, Sonja; Rondenay, Stéphane; Huismans, Ritske

    2014-05-01

    The origins of the mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD) and lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) have received much attention over the recent years. Peculiarities of cratonic lithosphere construction - compositional and rheological stratification due to thickening in collisional settings or by plume subcretion, multiple metasomatic overprints due to longevity - offer a variety of possibilities for the generation of discontinuities. Interconnected small degrees of conductive partial melt (carbonate-rich melts, such as carbonatites and kimberlites, or highly alkaline melts) at the cratonic LAB, which produce seismic discontinuities, may be generated in the presence of volatiles. These depress the peridotite solidus sufficiently to intersect the mantle adiabat at depths near the cratonic LAB at ~160-220 km, i.e. above the depth of metal saturation where carbonatite becomes unstable. The absence of agreement between the different seismic and magnetotelluric estimates for the depth of the LAB beneath Kaapvaal may be due to impingement of a plume, leading to a pervasively, but heterogeneously metasomatised ('asthenospherised') hot and deep root. Such a root and hot sublithosphere may yield conflicting seismic-thermal-geochemical depths for the LAB. The question arises whether the chemical boundary layer should be defined as above or below the asthenospherised part of the SCLM, which has preserved isotopic, compositional (non-primitive olivine forsterite content) and physical evidence (e.g. from teleseismic tomography and receiver functions) for a cratonic heritage and which therefore is still distinguishable from the asthenospheric mantle. If cratonic lithosphere overlies anomalously hot mantle for extended periods of time, the LAB may be significantly thinned, aided by penetration of relatively high-degree Fe-rich partial melts, as has occurred beneath the Tanzanian craton. Xenoliths from the deep Slave craton show little evidence for 'asthenospherisation'. Its root

  5. Swarm magnetic and GOCE gravity gradient grids for lithospheric modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouman, Johannes; Haagmans, Roger; Olsen, Nils; Ebbing, Jörg; Baykiev, Eldar; Novak, Pavel; Kotsiaros, Stavros; Sebera, Josef; Brönner, Marco; Fuchs, Martin; Holzrichter, Nils

    2016-07-01

    We explore how Swarm magnetic gradient and GOCE gravity gradient data can improve modelling of the Earth's lithosphere and thereby contribute to a better understanding of Earth's dynamic processes. We study the use of gradient grids to provide improved information about the lithosphere and upper mantle in the well-surveyed North-East Atlantic Margin. In particular, we present the computation of magnetic and gravity gradient grids at satellite altitude (roughly 450 km and 250 km above the Earth for Swarm and GOCE respectively). It is shown that regional solutions based on a tesseroid approach may contain more signal content than global models do. The patchwork of regional grids is presented as well as the subsequent error reduction through iterative downward and upward continuation using the Poisson integral equation. The promises and pitfalls are discussed of using grids at mean satellite altitude.

  6. Satellite tidal magnetic signals constrain oceanic lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary

    PubMed Central

    Grayver, Alexander V.; Schnepf, Neesha R.; Kuvshinov, Alexey V.; Sabaka, Terence J.; Manoj, Chandrasekharan; Olsen, Nils

    2016-01-01

    The tidal flow of electrically conductive oceans through the geomagnetic field results in the generation of secondary magnetic signals, which provide information on the subsurface structure. Data from the new generation of satellites were shown to contain magnetic signals due to tidal flow; however, there are no reports that these signals have been used to infer subsurface structure. We use satellite-detected tidal magnetic fields to image the global electrical structure of the oceanic lithosphere and upper mantle down to a depth of about 250 km. The model derived from more than 12 years of satellite data reveals a ≈72-km-thick upper resistive layer followed by a sharp increase in electrical conductivity likely associated with the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary, which separates colder rigid oceanic plates from the ductile and hotter asthenosphere. PMID:27704045

  7. Linking petrology and seismology of the southwest Greenland lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lesher, C. E.; Vestergaard, C.; Brown, E.; Schutt, D.

    2015-12-01

    Mantle xenoliths from late-Proterozoic diamond-bearing kimberlitic dikes in the Kangerlussuaq, Sarfartoq and Maniitsoq areas of southwestern Greenland provide constraints on the composition and thermal state of lithospheric mantle beneath Greenland to depths of ~200 km [1]. Similarly, surface wave tomography studies carried out as part of the GLATIS project use a range of Rayleigh wave periods sensitive to structures at a similar depth interval within southwestern Greenland lithospheric mantle [2]. Here we link petrologic and seismologic constraints on the mantle lithosphere beneath Greenland utilizing methods of [3] that show that inferred chemical and mineralogical stratification inferred from petrology, showing mantle peridotite transitioning from garnet-free harzburgite to garnet lherzolite between ~70 and 180 km, cannot readily be resolved with fundamental mode Rayleigh waves. On the other hand, comparing phase velocities predicted from xenolith compositions, mineralogy and last equilibration temperatures and pressures, defining the continental geotherm during late-Proterozoic time, with those for the present-day mantle lithosphere suggest significant cooling of the cratonic mantle to a modern geotherm characterized by a heat flux of 30 mW/m2 and average crustal heat production of 0.3 mW/m3 [4]. These preliminary findings point to the weak dependence of shear wave velocities on mantle peridotite composition and mineralogy, and further illustrate its strong temperature dependence. Comparison of ancient and modern continental geotherms made possible by combining petrologic and seismological data, as shown here for southwest Greenland, provide additional constraints on secular cooling of cratonic regions linked to large-scale tectonic processes. [1] Bizzarro et al., 2003, CMP, 146; Sand et al., Lithos, 112. [2] Darbyshire et al., 2004, GJI, 158. [3] Schutt and Lesher, 2006, JGR, 111. [4] Meirerbachtol et al., 2015, JGR/ES, 120.

  8. 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

  9. Geoid data and thermal structure of the oceanic lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, W.P.; Stein, S.; Stein, C.A.

    1995-07-15

    A long-standing question is whether old oceanic lithosphere continues cooling as the boundary layer of a halfspace or approaches thermal equilibrium as modeled by a finite thickness plate. Although the latter is the most direct inference from seafloor depths and heat flow, other explanations have been proposed. We investigate this issue using published results for the derivative of the oceanic geoid with age estimated from geoid offsets across fracture zones. Such data have not been used extensively in analyses of the thermal evolution of the lithosphere, primarily because they are inconsistent with two commonly used thermal models; a halfspace or a 125-km-thick plate. Recent studies, however, find that depth and heat flow data are better fit by a thinner (95 km) plate model. We thus compile published geoid slope results, and find that these data, though scattered, can discriminate between the models. Geoid slope changes with age, rather than being constant as predicted for a cooling halfspace. This variation is greater than predicted for a thick plate and is better fit by a thin plate. Geoid data should thus be useful for improving thermal models of the lithosphere. 30 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  10. Volcanism and Volatile Recycling on Venus from Lithospheric Delamination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Hess, P. C.; Smrekar, S. E.; Parmentier, E. M.

    2005-01-01

    Venus has an unmoving lithosphere, a young surface indicative of volcanic resurfacing, and a wide variety of volcanic and tectonic features. The planet s ubiquitous magmatic features include 100,000 small shield volcanoes as well as the descriptively named pancakes, ticks, and arachnoids [1]. Coronae, volcanic and tectonic features up to 2,600 km in diameter, have been attributed to lithospheric interactions with upwelling plumes [e.g., 2], but more recently to delamination of the lower lithosphere with [3] or without [4] a central upwelling. Lavas issuing from different volcanic features appear to have a range of compositions, as evidenced by their apparent viscosities and by data from Soviet landers. Steep-sided or "pancake" domes [e.g., 5] appear to consist of more viscous magma [6], perhaps silicic compositions created by remelting basaltic crust [7]. These steep-sided domes are associated with coronae and with shield volcanoes effusing basaltic magmas [7,8] with apparently low viscosities (low enough to allow fluid flow for hundreds of km, creating channels reminiscent of water rivers on Earth). Pancake domes, in contrast, can be up to 3 km in height and have volumes from 30 to approx.3,000 km3 [calculated from data in 8], and hundreds dot the planet [6-8].

  11. A Top to Bottom Lithospheric Study of Africa and Arabia

    SciTech Connect

    Pasyanos, M

    2006-10-31

    We study the lithospheric structure of Africa, Arabia and adjacent oceanic regions with fundamental-mode surface waves over a wide period range. Including short period group velocities allows us to examine shallower features than previous studies of the whole continent. In the process, we have developed a crustal thickness map of Africa. Main features include crustal thickness increases under the West African, Congo, and Kalahari cratons. We find crustal thinning under Mesozoic and Cenozoic rifts, including the Benue Trough, Red Sea, and East, Central, and West African rift systems. Crustal shear wave velocities are generally faster in oceanic regions and cratons, and slower in more recent crust and in active and formerly active orogenic regions. Deeper structure, related to the thickness of cratons and modern rifting, is generally consistent with previous work. Under cratons we find thick lithosphere and fast upper mantle velocities, while under rifts we find thinned lithosphere and slower upper mantle velocities. There are no consistent effects in areas classified as hotspots, indicating that there seem to be numerous origins for these features. Finally, it appears that the African Superswell has had a significantly different impact in the north and the south, indicating specifics of the feature (temperature, time of influence, etc.) to be dissimilar between the two regions. Factoring in other information, it is likely that the southern portion has been active in the past, but that shallow activity is currently limited to the northern portion of the superswell.

  12. Observations of flexure and the rheology of the oceanic lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Bodine, J.H.; Steckler, M.S.; Bodine, J.H.; Watts, A.B.

    1981-05-10

    Observations of flexure indicate that the effective flexural rigidity of oceanic lithosphere is a function of the age of the lithosphere at the time of loading, and hence temperature. We have used a yield stress envelope model constrained by data from experimental rock mechanics to determine how the flexure parameters and rheologic properties of oceanic lithosphere are related. The results of our model for seamounts and oceanic island loads in the interior of plates suggest that following loading, rapid stress relaxation occurs as the plate 'thins' from its short-term to its long-term (>10/sup 6/ years) mechanical thickness. The mechanical thickness, which determines the effective flexural rigidity of the plate, is strongly dependent on temperature and weakly dependent on load size and duration (>1-10 m.y.). The results of our model for convergent plate boundaries suggest that changes in the shape of the Outer Rise along an individual trench system may be due to variations in the horizontal load acting across the boundary (<1 kbar). The model predicts a narrow zone of high strain accumulation seaward of a trench which is in agreement with variations in crustal velocities and seismicity patterns observed along some trench systems.

  13. Improved determination of vector lithospheric magnetic anomalies from MAGSAT data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ravat, Dhananjay

    1993-01-01

    Scientific contributions made in developing new methods to isolate and map vector magnetic anomalies from measurements made by Magsat are described. In addition to the objective of the proposal, the isolation and mapping of equatorial vector lithospheric Magsat anomalies, isolation of polar ionospheric fields during the period were also studied. Significant progress was also made in isolation of polar delta(Z) component and scalar anomalies as well as integration and synthesis of various techniques of removing equatorial and polar ionospheric effects. The significant contributions of this research are: (1) development of empirical/analytical techniques in modeling ionospheric fields in Magsat data and their removal from uncorrected anomalies to obtain better estimates of lithospheric anomalies (this task was accomplished for equatorial delta(X), delta(Z), and delta(B) component and polar delta(Z) and delta(B) component measurements; (2) integration of important processing techniques developed during the last decade with the newly developed technologies of ionospheric field modeling into an optimum processing scheme; and (3) implementation of the above processing scheme to map the most robust magnetic anomalies of the lithosphere (components as well as scalar).

  14. Generic along-strike segmentation of Afar normal faults, East Africa: Implications on fault growth and stress heterogeneity on seismogenic fault planes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manighetti, I.; Caulet, C.; Barros, L.; Perrin, C.; Cappa, F.; Gaudemer, Y.

    2015-02-01

    Understanding how natural faults are segmented along their length can provide useful insights into fault growth processes, stress distribution on fault planes, and earthquake dynamics. We use cumulative displacement profiles to analyze the two largest scales of segmentation of ˜900 normal faults in Afar, East Africa. We build upon a prior study by Manighetti et al. (2009) and develop a new signal processing method aimed at recovering the number, position, displacement, and length of both the major (i.e., longest) and the subordinate, secondary segments within the faults. Regardless of their length, age, geographic location, total displacement, and slip rate, 90% of the faults contain two to five major segments, whereas more than 70% of these major segments are divided into two to four secondary segments. In each hierarchical rank of fault segmentation, most segments have a similar proportional length, whereas the number of segments slightly decreases with fault structural maturity. The along-strike segmentation of the Afar faults is thus generic at its two largest scales. We summarize published fault segment data on 42 normal, reverse, and strike-slip faults worldwide, and find a similar number (two to five) of major and secondary segments across the population. We suggest a fault growth scenario that might account for the generic large-scale segmentation of faults. The observation of a generic segmentation suggests that seismogenic fault planes are punctuated with a deterministic number of large stress concentrations, which are likely to control the initiation, arrest and hence extent and magnitude of earthquake ruptures.

  15. Lithospheric Structure of the Northeastern North China Craton Imaged by S Receiver Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xingchen; Ding, Zhifeng; Zhu, Lupei

    2016-08-01

    Lithosphere thickness variation is important for understanding the significant tectonic reactivation of the North China Craton (NCC) in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic time. Here, we determined the lithospheric structure in the northeastern NCC using S receiver functions from 305 teleseismic events recorded by 223 seismic stations. The Moho and lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) are imaged clearly beneath the region. The Moho depth decreases from ~45 km beneath the western NCC to ~25 km beneath the eastern NCC. We found that the lithospheric thickness varies from 60 to 80 km beneath the Trans-North China Orogen (TNCO) and eastern NCC with no significant change of the LAB depth. The lithosphere thickness beneath the northwestern Ordos plateau is 100-130 km. In addition, there is a mid-lithosphere discontinuity at a depth of 80 km beneath the plateau that is connected to the base of thinned lithosphere in TNCO and eastern NCC. We suggest that the mid-lithosphere discontinuity represents a mechanically weak zone in the original cratonic lithosphere of the NCC. The material in the lower lithosphere of the craton, when warmed and hydrated by water released from the subducting slab of Western Pacific, became weak due to decrease in viscosity and/or partial melting and was subsequently removed through small-scale mantle convections.

  16. New insights on lithospheric foundering from thermo-mechanically coupled numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastor-Galán, Daniel; Thieulot, Cedric

    2015-04-01

    Earth's lithosphere is recycled into the mantle as required by global mass considerations. At least during the latest 1 G.y. the main mechanism of lithospheric foundering into the mantle has been subduction. Yet other mechanisms of mantle removal such as Rayleigh-Taylor-type instability or delamination have significant influence at present as revealed by mantle anomalies, and are considered to be likely candidates for the main recycling mechanisms of lithospheric during the Archean. Although lithospheric mantle removal has been geophysically imaged, e.g. Carpathians, Colorado Plateau, at many other locations geophysical and geological observations also seem to indicate that mantle lithosphere is anomalously thin or absent. Potential places where lithospheric mantle foundering processes took place are The Urals, the Variscides, underneath the Ibero Armorican Orocline in western Europe, and the Tibetan, Puna and Anatolian Plateaus. Lithospheric foundering has been blamed for, among others, cratonization processes, rapid surface uplift, generation of voluminous magmatism, changes in crustal stress from compression to extension and a long etc. However, its triggering mechanisms are not well studied, and a variety of possible explanations have been given for lithospheric foundering processes, including convective instability following orogenic thickening or some other perturbation of thermal boundary layers, development of eclogitic roots, erosion of the lithosphere by a flat-subducting slab or partial melting of the asthenosphere, and partial intruding pyroxenites into the base of lithosphere. To understand the mechanisms, causes and consequences of lithospheric foundering, we explored lithospheric foundering in an assortment of scenarios using the numerical code, ELEFANT, an user-friendly multipurpose geodynamics code. Preliminary results indicate that changes in geometry, thermal state and composition of the lithosphere, associated with mantle flow, can have a first

  17. Deep Continental Crustal Earthquakes and Lithospheric Structure: A Global Synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devlin, S.; Isacks, B. L.

    2007-12-01

    The distribution of earthquake depths within the continental crust defines the seismogenic thickness (TS), over which at least some part of crustal deformation is accommodated by rapid release of stored elastic strains. Intraplate continental seismicity is often thought to be restricted to the upper crust where TS is within the range of 15 to 20 km. This appears consistent with a lithospheric strength profile involving a weak, ductile lower crust located beneath a stronger, brittle upper crust. With the assumption of a strong uppermost mantle lid, this is often referred to the Jelly Sandwich model of lithosphere rheology. Studies in many places, however, document lower crustal earthquakes beneath continents in apparent disagreement with the model. We explore this and related issues through a survey of where and in what tectonic settings deep intraplate earthquakes are well documented in the continental crust. TS reaches Moho depth in many intraplate regions \\--- Sierra Nevada, Colorado Plateau, East African and Baikal Rift Systems, North Island New Zealand, Tien Shan, and the Andean and Alpine forelands. A review of possible deformation mechanisms which could control continental earthquake depth and facilitate seismicity beneath the brittle-ductile transition suggests that the influence of fluids is the only mechanism capable of encouraging earthquake occurrence throughout the continental crust at any tectonic setting. Surface derived fluids can induce pore fluid pressure changes to depths of 25 km and melt-reactions can induce earthquakes at depths throughout continental crust. On a global scale, fluid-enhanced embrittlement is not limited by depth or tectonic environment. We find that deep crustal earthquakes occur where the lithosphere is in a transitional state between primarily stable (e.g., shields) and highly deformed (e.g., U.S. Basin and Range or Southern California). Observations of relative intensity of tectonic deformation and regional percent strain

  18. Using natural laboratories and modeling to decipher lithospheric rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobolev, Stephan

    2013-04-01

    Rheology is obviously important for geodynamic modeling but at the same time rheological parameters appear to be least constrained. Laboratory experiments give rather large ranges of rheological parameters and their scaling to nature is not entirely clear. Therefore finding rheological proxies in nature is very important. One way to do that is finding appropriate values of rheological parameter by fitting models to the lithospheric structure in the highly deformed regions where lithospheric structure and geologic evolution is well constrained. Here I will present two examples of such studies at plate boundaries. One case is the Dead Sea Transform (DST) that comprises a boundary between African and Arabian plates. During the last 15- 20 Myr more than 100 km of left lateral transform displacement has been accumulated on the DST and about 10 km thick Dead Sea Basin (DSB) was formed in the central part of the DST. Lithospheric structure and geological evolution of DST and DSB is rather well constrained by a number of interdisciplinary projects including DESERT and DESIRE projects leaded by the GFZ Potsdam. Detailed observations reveal apparently contradictory picture. From one hand widespread igneous activity, especially in the last 5 Myr, thin (60-80 km) lithosphere constrained from seismic data and absence of seismicity below the Moho, seem to be quite natural for this tectonically active plate boundary. However, surface heat flow of less than 50-60mW/m2 and deep seismicity in the lower crust ( deeper than 20 km) reported for this region are apparently inconsistent with the tectonic settings specific for an active continental plate boundary and with the crustal structure of the DSB. To address these inconsistencies which comprise what I call the "DST heat-flow paradox", a 3D numerical thermo-mechanical model was developed operating with non-linear elasto-visco-plastic rheology of the lithosphere. Results of the numerical experiments show that the entire set of

  19. Lithosphere extension and magmatism at volcanic passive margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geoffroy, Laurent; Gernigon, Laurent; Werner, Philippe

    2014-05-01

    We present onshore and offshore evidences suggesting that volcanic passive margins are distinct in origin and evolution from non-volcanic hyper-extended margins. Consecutively, they should not be integrated in a single evolutionary process and do not necessarily represent the ultimate stage of an hyper-extension with or without mantle exhumation. Volcanic passive margins usually form in mobile areas between cratonic areas which may have been submitted to long-term periods of divergence and convergence or strike-slip tectonics. In the NE-Atlantic, for example, a complete illustration of a Wilson cycle is illustrated between Greenland and Baltica cratonic areas. From the Devonian to the end of the Jurassic, the Caledonian orogenic crust has suffered from a number of wrench and extensional tectonic stretching episodes. The late-Jurassic/Early Cretaceous extension was severe, leading to extreme crustal thinning (e.g. Rockall Through, Vøring Basin, Lofoten Basin) and was followed by a long-term regional thermal subsidence of the NE-Atlantic lithosphere. Meanwhile, pre-thinning lithospheric thickness was restored progressively during ~80 Myr, in spite of some tectonic reactivation occurring in Late Cretaceous (e.g. Outer Vøring Basin) resulting in little coeval stretching and thinning. During the Paleocene (or even earlier, especially in the Rockall area) a regional mantle melting event occurred. The mantle melted in specific locations but led ultimately to a large igneous province formation during the onset of breakup. The NE-Atlantic continental crust was at this time extremely heterogeneous due to its tectonic inheritance but we think that generally the lithosphere was much thicker than during the Jurassic-Cretaceous event, and thus much stronger. Although we must consider the existence of some extension during the latest Cretaceous and Paleocene, the main stretching and thinning event leading to volcanic passive margins formations and successful break-up occurred

  20. Constraints on Lithosphere Rheology from Observations of Volcano-induced Deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, S.; Watts, A. B.

    2011-12-01

    Mantle rheology at lithospheric conditions (i.e., temperature < 1200 oC) is important for understanding fundamental geodynamic problems including the dynamics of plate tectonics, subducted slabs, and lithosphere-mantle interaction. Laboratory studies suggest that the rheology at lithospheric conditions can be approximately divided into three different regimes: brittle or frictional sliding, semi-brittle, and plastic flow. In this study, we seek to constrain lithospheric rheology, using observations of deformation at seamounts and oceanic islands caused by volcanic loading. Volcano-induced surface deformation depends critically on lithospheric rheology at the time of seamount and oceanic island emplacement and while it changes rapidly on short time-scales it does not change significantly on long time-scales. In an earlier study [Watts and Zhong, 2000], we used the effective elastic thickness at seamounts and oceanic islands inferred from the observations of deformation and gravity to determine an effective activation energy of 120 KJ/mol for lithospheric mantle with Newtonian rheology. We have now expanded this study to incorporate non-Newtonian power-law and frictional sliding rheologies, and more importantly, to include realistic 3-D volcanic load geometries. We use the Hawaiian Islands as an example. We construct 3-D loads for the Hawaiian Islands by applying an appropriate median filter to remove Hawaiian swell topography and correcting for lithospheric age effect on the bathymetry. The loads are then used in 3-D finite element loading models with viscoelastic, non-Newtonian and frictional sliding rheologies to determine the lithospheric response including surface vertical motions and lithospheric stresses. Comparisons of our new model predictions to observations suggest that the activation energy of lithospheric mantle is significantly smaller than most experimentally determined values for olivine at high temperatures, but may be consistent with more recent

  1. Shape evolution and finite deformation pattern in analog experiments of lithosphere necking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nestola, Yago; Storti, Fabrizio; Bedogni, Enrico; Cavozzi, Cristian

    2013-10-01

    necking evolution determines the 3-D architecture of crustal and upper mantle thinning and related basins, and the heat flow distribution in rifted regions. Despite a large number of studies, lithosphere necking evolution is still a matter of debate. We present the result from lithospheric-scale analog models designed for investigating the necking shape during extension and the vertical distribution of finite deformation in the mechanical lithosphere. In our experiments, lithosphere necking is asymmetric and, in particular, the 3-D distribution of thinning is cylindrical in the crust and very heterogeneous in the mantle. Overall, the evolution of rifting and necking progresses from delocalized to localized deformation.

  2. Lithospheric evolution of the Northern Arabian Shield: Chemical and isotopic evidence from basalts, xenoliths and granites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stein, M.

    1988-01-01

    The evolution of the upper-mantle and the lower-crust (the conteinental lithosphere), is the area of Israel and Sinai was studied, using the chemical composition and the Nd-Sr isotopic systematics from mantle and crustal nodules, their host basalts, and granites. The magmatism and the metasomatism making the lithosphere are related to uprise of mantle diapirs in the uppermost mantle of the area. These diapirs heated the base of the lithosphere, eroded, and replaced it with new hot material. It caused a domal uplift of the lithosphere (and the crust). The doming resulted in tensional stresses that in turn might develop transport channels for the basalt.

  3. Modeling Plume-Triggered, Melt-Enabled Lithospheric Delamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry-Houts, J.; Humphreys, G.

    2015-12-01

    It has been suggested that arrival of the Yellowstone plume below North America triggered a lithospheric foundering event which aided the eruption of the Columbia River flood basalts. This hypothesis potentially accounts for some of the biggest mysteries related to the CRB's including their location as "off-track" plume volcanism; and the anomalous chemical signatures of the most voluminous units. The foundered lithosphere appears to be a remnant chunk of Farallon slab, which had been stranded beneath the Blue Mountains terrain since the accretion of Siletzia. If this is the case then the mechanisms by which this slab stayed metastable between Siletzia accretion and CRB time, and then so suddenly broke loose, is unclear. The addition of heat and mantle buoyancy supplied by the Yellowstone plume provides a clue, but the geodynamic process by which the slab was able to detach remains unclear.Efforts to model numerically the underlying processes behind delamination events have been gaining popularity. Typically, such models have relied on drastically weakened regions within the crust, or highly non-linear rheologies to enable initiation and propagation of lithosphere removal. Rather than impose such a weak region a priori, we investigated the role of mantle and crustal melt, generated by the addition of plume heat, as the source of such a rheologic boundary.We track melt generation and migration though geodynamic models using the Eulerian finite element code, ASPECT. Melt moves relative to the permeable, compacting, and viscously-deforming mantle using the approach of (Keller, et al. 2013) with the notable exception that ASPECT currently cannot model elasticity. Dike and sill emplacement is therefore still a work in progress. This work is still in the preliminary stages and results are yet inconclusive.

  4. Melt-Enabled Lithospheric Delamination in the Western US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry-Houts, J.; Humphreys, E.

    2014-12-01

    Signs of convective downwelling in non-subduction environments have been increasingly prevalent in recent studies. From seismic images of the "Isabella Anomaly" beneath the southern Sierra Nevada, to studies on the origin of the Columbia River flood basalts, to long standing speculation on the state of the lithosphere beneath the Colorado Plateau, the lithospheric delamination hypothesis potentially accounts for a substantial amount of otherwise anomalous topographic uplift and magmatism in western North America and elsewhere. Efforts to model numerically the underlying processes behind such events have also been gaining popularity. Typically, such models have relied on drastically weakened lithosphere or highly non-linear rheologies at the boundaries of dense regions to allow the propagation of delamination in reasonable timescales. However, these low viscosities are rarely justified by a systematic investigation of mantle rheology.Based on suspected cases of delamination, the process seems to be commonly associated with localized magmatism. For instance, the Columbia River flood basalts, the renewed magmatism in the southern Sierras, and the radially converging magmatism propagating though the Colorado Plateau, all match well temporally with suspected delamination cases. Geochemical signatures are consistent with delamination in all of these cases.Because of the spatial and temporal correlations between delamination and magmatism, we are interested in investigating the rheological role that melt might play in the initiation and propagation of delamination. Moderate melt fraction in the asthenosphere is a potential source for the low viscosity necessary to appropriately predict timescales of these events. To that end, we are working on tracking melt generation and migration though geodynamic models using the Eulerian finite element code, ASPECT. Preliminary results predict melt being generated during delamination events but the magnitudes and rheological

  5. Lithospheric scale model of Merida Andes, Venezuela (GIAME Project)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, M.; Orihuela, N. D.; Klarica, S.; Gil, E.; Levander, A.; Audemard, F. A.; Mazuera, F.; Avila, J.

    2013-05-01

    Merida Andes (MA) is one of the most important orogenic belt in Venezuela and represents the northern culmination of South America Andes. During the last 60 years, several models have been proposed to explain the shallow and deep structure, using different geological, geophysical, seismological, geochemical and petrologic concepts; nevertheless, most of them have applied local observation windows, and do not represent the major structure of MA. Therefore, a multidisciplinary research group, coordinated by FUNVISIS, in close cooperation with UCV, ULA and PDVSA, is proposed in order to get the outlined goals in the project entitled GIAME ("Geociencia Integral de los Andes de MErida") was established, which aims to generate a lithospheric scale model and the development of a temporal dynamic model for the MA. As a base for lithospheric investigations of the Merida Andes, we are proposing three wide angle seismic profiles across the orogen on three representative sites, in order to determine the inner structure and its relation with the orogen's gravimetric root. To the date, there are no seismic studies at lithospheric scale which cross MA. The wide angle seismic will be complemented with the re-processing and re-interpretation of existing reflection seismic data, which will allow to establish a relationship between MA and its associated flexural basins (Maracaibo and Barinas-Apure basins). Depending on the results of the VENCORP Project (VENezuelan COntinental Reflection Profiling), which might show some reliable results about crustal features and Moho reflectors along three long seismic profiles at Caribbean Moutain system, a reflection seismic profile across the central portion of MA is proposed. Additional tasks, consisting in MA quaternary deformation studies, using research methods like neotectonics and paleoseismology, georadar, numerical modeling, cinematic GPS, SAR interferometry, thermocronology, detailed studies on regional geology, flexural modeling

  6. Lithospheric strength variations in Mainland China: tectonic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Y.; Tesauro, M.

    2015-12-01

    We present new thermal and strength models of Mainland China. We integrate thermal model for the crust, using a 3D steady-state heat conduction equation, with estimates for the upper mantle thermal structure obtained by inverting an S-wave tomography model. Using the new thermal model and attributing to the lithospheric layers a 'soft' and 'hard' rheology, respectively, we estimate the integrated strength of the lithosphere. In the Ordos and the Sichuan basins, characterized by intermediate temperatures, strength is primarily concentrated in the crust, when the rheology is 'soft', and in both the crust and upper mantle, when the rheology is 'hard'. In turn, the Tibetan Plateau and the Tarim basin have a weak/strong lithosphere mainly on account of their high/low temperatures. Deep earthquakes releasing high seismic energy, occurring beneath Tien Shan orogen, may be related to the brittle failure of anhydrous granulite-faciesrocks composing its lower crust. In contrast, the fluids released by the Indian slab favor the triggering of earthquakes located in the deep crust of south Tibet. Comparison of temperatures, strength and effective viscosity variations with the earthquakes distribution and their seismic energy released indicates that both the deep part of the crust and the upper mantle of the Tibetan Plateau are weak and prone to flow towards the adjacent areas. On account of the high strength of some of the tectonic domains surrounding Tibet, the flow is directed northward beneath the Qaidam basin and turns south of the Sichuan basin, moving toward the weak South China block.

  7. Anomalous variations of lithosphere magnetic field before several earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Z.; Chen, B.

    2015-12-01

    Based on the geomagnetic vector data measured each year since 2011 at more than 500 sites with a mean spatial interval of ~70km.we observed anomalous variations of lithospheric magnetic field before and after over 15 earthquakes having magnitude > 5. We find that the field in near proximity (about 50km) to the epicenter of large earthquakes shows high spatial and temporal gradients before the earthquake. Due to the low frequency of repeat measurements it is unclear when these variations occurred and how do them evolve. We point out anomalous magnetic filed using some circles with radius of 50km usually in June of each year, and then we would check whether quake will locat in our circles during one year after that time (June to next June). Now we caught 10 earthquakes of 15 main shocks having magnitude > 5, most of them located at less than10km away from our circles and some of them were in our circles. Most results show that the variations of lithosphere magnetic filed at the epicenter are different with surrending backgroud usually. When we figure out horizontal variations (vector) of lithosphere magnetic field and epicenter during one year after each June, we found half of them show that the earthquakes will locat at "the inlands in a flowing river", that means earthquakes may occur at "quiet"regions while the backgroud show character as"flow" as liquid. When we compared with GPS results, it appears that these variations of lithospere magnetic field may also correlate with displacement of earth's surface. However we do not compared with GPS results for each earthquake, we are not clear whether these anomalous variations of lithospere magnetic field may also correlate with anomalous displacement of earth's surface. Future work will include developing an automated method for identifying this type of anomalous field behavior and trying to short repeat measurement period to 6 month to try to find when these variations occur.

  8. Assimilating lithosphere and slab history in 4-D Earth models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bower, Dan J.; Gurnis, Michael; Flament, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    We develop methods to incorporate paleogeographical constraints into numerical models of mantle convection. Through the solution of the convection equations, the models honor geophysical and geological data near the surface while predicting mantle flow and structure at depth and associated surface deformation. The methods consist of four constraints determined a priori from a plate history model: (1) plate velocities, (2) thermal structure of the lithosphere, (3) thermal structure of slabs in the upper mantle, and (4) velocity of slabs in the upper mantle. These constraints are implemented as temporally- and spatially-dependent conditions that are blended with the solution of the convection equations at each time step. We construct Earth-like regional models with oceanic and continental lithosphere, trench migration, oblique subduction, and asymmetric subduction to test the robustness of the methods by computing the temperature, velocity, and buoyancy flux of the lithosphere and slab. Full sphere convection models demonstrate how the methods can determine the flow associated with specific tectonic environments (e.g., back-arc basins, intraoceanic subduction zones) to address geological questions and compare with independent data, both at present-day and in the geological past (e.g., seismology, residual topography, stratigraphy). Using global models with paleogeographical constraints we demonstrate (1) subduction initiation at the Izu-Bonin-Mariana convergent margin and flat slab subduction beneath North America, (2) enhanced correlation of model slabs and fast anomalies in seismic tomography beneath North and South America, and (3) comparable amplitude of dynamic and residual topography in addition to improved spatial correlation of dynamic and residual topography lows.

  9. Deformation of olivine single crystals under lithospheric conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demouchy, S.; Tommasi, A.; Cordier, P.

    2012-12-01

    The rheology of mantle rocks at lithospheric temperatures (<1000°C) remains poorly constrained, in contrast to the extensive experimental data on creep of olivine single crystals and polycrystalline aggregates at high temperature (T > 1200°C). Consequently, we have performed tri-axial compression experiments on oriented single crystals and polycrystalline aggregates of San Carlos olivine at temperatures ranging from 800° to 1090°C. The experiments were carried out at a confining pressure of 300 MPa in a high-resolution gas-medium mechanical testing apparatus at constant strain rates ranging from 7 × 10-6 s-1 to 1 × 10-4 s-1 . Compression was applied along three different crystallographic directions: [101]c, [110]c and [011]c, to activate the several slip systems. Yield differential stresses range from 88 to 1076 MPa. To constrain hardening, stick-and-slip, or strain localization behaviors, all samples were deformed at constant displacement rate for finite strains between 4 to 23 %. Hardening was observed in all experiments and the maximum differential stress often overcame the confining pressure. EBSD mapping highlights macroscale bending of the crystalline network in three crystals. TEM observations on several samples show dislocations with [100] and [001] Burgers vectors in all samples, but dislocation arrangements vary. The results from the present study permit to refining the power-law expressing the strain rate dependence on stress and temperature for olivine, allowing its application to the lithospheric mantle. Our experiments confirm that previous published high-temperature power flow laws overestimate the strength of lithospheric mantle and that the transition to low-temperature creep occurs at higher temperatures than it has previously been established.

  10. Three-dimensional density distributions in the Asian lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, G.; Li, C.; Wang, X.; Wang, Z.; Fang, J.; Sino-probe-cugb

    2011-12-01

    We have inversed the residual Bouguer gravity anomalies to study the three-dimensional density distributions of the Asian lithosphere (60°~150°E and 15°~60°N). Firstly, we have collected the free-air gravity anomalies (30'×30') and topography data of GTOP030 with 5'×5' grid spacing, and then calculated the Bougouer gravity anomalies by terrain correction and Bougouer correction. We have also collected the depth data of the Moho discontinuity (30'×30') and the discontinuity of sedimentary layer. By using the Oldenburg-Parker formula (Parker, 1972) and the forward modeling method, we calculated the theoretical gravity anomalies which mainly are caused by the Moho discontinuity and the sedimentary layer discontinuity. In our study, the average depths of Moho discontinuity and sedimentary layer discontinuity are 33 km and 4 km, and the density differences are 0.42 g/cm3 and 0.2 g/cm3, respectively. In addition, we have simulated the gravity anomalies of the spherical harmonics with the 2-6 order for the lower mantle by using the formula of Bowin (1983) which represented the relation between the depth of field source and the order of the geopotential spherical harmonics. Using all data mentioned above, we have calculated the residual Bougouer gravity anomalies, which may be caused by anomalous density bodies in the lithosphere. Secondly, we used the calculated residual Bougouer gravity anomalies to inverse the three-dimensional density differences in the Asian lithosphere by using the Algebra Reconstruction Techniques (ART). During the inversion, the densities converted from the P-wave velocity data (with grid spacing of 2°×2°) according to the Birch Law are considered as the initial density model. The grid spacing is set as 2°×2° in the horizontal direction, and it is 25 km, 55 km and 100 km in the vertical direction, respectively. Comparing the density anomalies at the three depths, we can conclude that (1) the density in the lithosphere beneath Asian

  11. Lithospheric Mantle Contribution to High Topography in Central Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, R. W.; Ionov, D. A.

    2014-12-01

    Over 110 spinel peridotite xenoliths collected from four localities in the Tariat region, central Mongolia, show a predominance (over 90%) of fertile lherzolites with subordinant harzburgite and peridotites veined with pyroxenite. Equilibration temperatures are high (~900°C at 1.5 GPa [1]). Major element compositions of the fertile samples are consistent with them being the residues of 0-6% partial melt removal at shallow depths [2]. The clinopyroxenes in the lherzolites are moderately LREE depleted (average chondrite normalized La/Sm = 0.45) and most whole rocks show small, if any, depletions in Re and Pd compared to the other HSE. These data point to minimal metasomatic overprinting of these fertile lherzolites. 187Os/188Os for samples with more than 3.2% Al2O3 range only from 0.126 to 0.131, within the range of modern fertile asthenospheric mantle. In contrast to the indicators of fertility in most samples, Sr, Nd and Hf isotopic composition of acid-leached clinopyroxene separates from the lherzolites plot within the range of modern MORB with 87Sr/86Sr from 0.7021 to 0.7026, eNd from +7.7 to +9.8 and eHf from +13.3 to +18.5. The lherzolites thus appear to sample a section of mantle that has compositional and isotope characteristics consistent with modern fertile asthenosphere. The isotopic composition of the Tariat lherzolites are distinct from that of Cenozoic Mongolian basaltic volcanism pointing to limited involvement of the lithospheric mantle in magma generation in this area. The implied asthenospheric provenance of the mantle lithosphere suggests that it either could be the replacement for recently delaminated lithosphere or, more likely, a section of fertile mantle accreted to the base of the crust earlier, e.g. during construction of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt in the Mesozoic/Paleozoic. Although fertile, and hence compositionally dense, the high temperatures of the shallow lithospheric mantle under this section of Mongolia likely contribute to the

  12. On searching applicants for mechanism of solar-lithosphere relations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kairatkyzy, Dina; Andreyev, Alexey; Zhumabayeva, Saltanat; Seraliyev, Alibek

    2016-04-01

    It is actively discussed at present a question on possible influence of solar activity (high-speed solar wind streams bearing the "frozen" magnetic field lines of the Sun) on the stress status of the lithosphere and, consequently, on the Earth's seismic activity (e.g. Zhang, 1998, Acta Seismologica Sinica; Khachikyan et al., EGU2016-2754-1; IUGG2015-3132). There are at least two ideas on possible applicants for physical mechanism of solar-lithosphere relations: (i) - the muons of cosmic rays, which can penetrate the Earth's crust to a depth of at least the first ten kilometers and in tense seismic environment generate nuclear-electromagnetic cascade which energy can be a trigger of earthquake (Tsarev and Chechin, 1988, Preprint № 179, Physical Institute after Lebedev, Moscow); (ii) - the geomagnetic storms (Sobolev et al., 1998, Physics of the Earth #7) when the high-frequency oscillations of the geomagnetic field during the main phase of the storm generate significant induction currents which electric energy entering into the crust can be converted into mechanical energy increasing the stress status of the lithosphere (Sobolev and Demin, Mechano-electric phenomena into the Earth. M . Nauka. 1980). Besides this, among the possible cosmogenic factors changing the stress state of the lithosphere, could be the variation of the angular velocity of rotation of the Earth (e.g. Bostrom, 2000. Tectonic consequence of the Earth's Rotation), if it depends on solar activity variations. More of 50 years ago, Munk and Donald (The Rotation of the Earth, Cambrige University Press, 1960) suggested that the interaction between solar wind and geomagnetic field would probably influence the short period variation of angular velocity of the Earth. In this work, we check up this suggestion on the base of very precise data on the length of day (LOD) from 1986 to the present, which are presented by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS). Using the methods

  13. Lithosphere structure in Northern Canada from receiver function (RF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barantseva, Olga; Vinnik, Lev; Artemieva, Irina

    2016-04-01

    We present preliminary results of seismic data analysis for Northern Canada (around the Slave craton and NE of the Hudson Bay) in order to infer the lithosphere and asthenosphere structure beneath various Precambrian terrains of the North American craton. Seismic analysis includes data processing for the several stations of the Canadian National Seismic Network, for which P and S-velocity profiles are calculated through the simultaneous inversion of receiver functions. We report variations in the Moho depth and sharpness, as well as the depth to the LAB. The results are compared with regional petrological data for xenoliths.

  14. Fossilized Dipping Fabrics in Continental Mantle Lithosphere as Possible Remnants of Stacked Oceanic Paleosubductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babuska, V.; Plomerova, J.; Vecsey, L.; Munzarova, H.

    2015-12-01

    We have examined seismic anisotropy within the mantle lithosphere of Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic provinces of Europe by means of shear-wave splitting and P-wave travel-time deviations of teleseismic waves observed at dense arrays of seismic stations (e.g., Vecsey et al., Tectonophys. 2007). Lateral variations of seismic-wave anisotropy delimit domains of the mantle lithosphere, each of them having a consistent fabric. The domains, modeled in 3D by olivine aggregates with dipping lineation a, or foliation (a,c), represent microplates or their fragments that preserved their pre-assembly fossil fabrics in the mantle lithosphere. Evaluating seismic anisotropy in 3D, as well as mapping boundaries of the domains helps to decipher processes of the lithosphere formation. Systematically dipping mantle fabrics and other seismological findings seem to support a model of continental lithosphere built from systems of paleosubductions of plates of ancient oceanic lithosphere (Babuska and Plomerova, AGU Geoph. Monograph 1989), or by stacking of the plates (Helmstaedt and Schulze, Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. 1989). Seismic anisotropy in the oceanic mantle lithosphere, explained mainly by the olivine A- or D-type fabric (Karato et al., Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 2008), was discovered a half century ago (Hess, Nature 1964). Field observations and laboratory experiments indicate the oceanic olivine fabric might be preserved in the subducting lithosphere to a depth of at least 200-300 km. We thus interpret the dipping anisotropic fabrics in domains of the European mantle lithosphere as systems of "frozen" paleosubductions (Babuska and Plomerova, PEPI 2006), and the lithosphere base as a boundary between a fossil anisotropy in the lithospheric mantle and an underlying seismic anisotropy related to present-day flow in the asthenosphere (Plomerova and Babuska, Lithos 2010).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Transition, Mid-Lithosphere Discontinuity and Radial Anisotropy from Multi-mode Surface Wave Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshizawa, K.; Kennett, B. L. N.

    2015-12-01

    Seismic surface waves are the major source of information to delineate the lateral heterogeneity and anisotropy in the upper mantle. S-wave radial anisotropy representing the difference between SV and SH velocities is often discussed with the seismic properties of the lithosphere-asthenosphere transition (LAT) and the mid-lithosphere discontinuity (MLD). Such boundaries have been studied well by body-wave receiver functions, which have a good sensitivity to the sharpness of boundaries. Surface waves are rather insensitive to the boundary sharpness, but can delineate the spatial distributions of shear wave speeds and radial anisotropy in the upper mantle, which can be alternative constraints on LAT and MLD. We have recently constructed a radially anisotropic 3-D S wave speed model of the Australian continent from multi-mode Love and Rayleigh waves with enhanced ray coverage. In the inversions for S-wave radial anisotropy, we can use either parameterizations for SH and SV velocities, or for dimensionless radially anisotropic parameter ξ=(Vsh/Vsv)2. Both are theoretically the same, but this difference causes non-negligible effects on the estimated radial anisotropy, mainly due to the different sensitivities of Love-wave phase speeds to the structural parameters. Synthetic experiments and data variance reductions suggest the former is the better choice. The LAT throughout the continent can be estimated by the vertical velocity gradient of the isotropic S-wave model. The radial anisotropy with the suitable model parameterization shows strong anisotropy with faster SH velocity in the asthenosphere, suggesting the influence of strong shear beneath the fast drifting Australian continent. We can also identify the clear vertical changes in the radial anisotropy profiles at the MLD depth estimated from earlier receiver function studies in cratonic regions, which can be a key to elucidate the enigmatic MLD in the continental lithosphere.

  17. Impact of far-field stress distributions and thermo-rheological structure of continental lithosphere on mantle-lithosphere interactions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    We implement fully-coupled high resolution 3D thermo-mechanical numerical models to investigate the impact of the laterally heterogeneous structure and rheological stratification of the continental lithosphere on the plume-activated rifting and continental break-up processes in presence of preexisting far-field tectonic stresses. In our experiments, "mantle plumes" represent short-lived diapiric upwellings that have no continuous feeding at depth. Such upwellings may be associated with "true" plumes but also with various instabilities in the convective mantle. Numerical models demonstrate strong dependence of crustal strain distributions and surface topography on the rheological composition of the lower crust and the initial thermal structure of the lithosphere. In contrast to the usual inferences from passive rifting models, distributed wide rifting takes place in case of cold (500 °C at Moho depth) initial isotherm and mafic composition of the lower crust, whereas hotter geotherms and weaker (wet quartzite) lower crustal rheology lead to strong localization of rifting. Moreover, it appears that the prerequisite of strongly anisotropic strain localization during plume-lithosphere interaction (linear rift structures instead of axisymmetric radial faulting) refers to simultaneous presence of a mantle upwelling and of (even extremely weak) directional stress field produced by far-field tectonic forces (i.e. ultra-slow far field extension at < 3 mm/y). Higher (than 1.5-3 mm/y) velocities of far-field extension lead to enlargement of the active fault zone for the same lapse of time. Yet, simultaneous rise of the lithospheric geotherm associated with active rifting has an opposite effect leading to the narrowing of the rift zone. Presence of heterogeneities (cratonic blocks) leads to splitting of the plume head onto initially nearly symmetrical parts, each of which flows towards beneath the craton borders. This craton-controlled distribution of plume material causes

  18. Gravity anomaly, lithospheric structure and seismicity of Western Himalayan Syntaxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiwari, V. M.; Rajasekhar, R. P.; Mishra, D. C.

    2009-07-01

    A compiled gravity anomaly map of the Western Himalayan Syntaxis is analysed to understand the tectonics of the region around the epicentre of Kashmir earthquake of October 8, 2005 (Mw = 7.6). Isostatic gravity anomalies and effective elastic thickness (EET) of lithosphere are assessed from coherence analysis between Bouguer anomaly and topography. The isostatic residual gravity high and gravity low correspond to the two main seismic zones in this region, viz. Indus-Kohistan Seismic Zone (IKSZ) and Hindu Kush Seismic Zones (HKSZ), respectively, suggesting a connection between siesmicity and gravity anomalies. The gravity high originates from the high-density thrusted rocks along the syntaxial bend of the Main Boundary Thrust and coincides with the region of the crustal thrust earthquakes, including the Kashmir earthquake of 2005. The gravity low of HKSZ coincides with the region of intermediate-deep-focus earthquakes, where crustal rocks are underthrusting with a higher speed to create low density cold mantle. Comparable EET (˜55 km) to the focal depth of crustal earthquakes suggests that whole crust is seismogenic and brittle. An integrated lithospheric model along a profile provides the crustal structure of the boundary zones with crustal thickness of about 60 km under the Karakoram-Pamir regions and suggests continental subduction from either sides (Indian and Eurasian) leading to a complex compressional environment for large earthquakes.

  19. Local Study of Flexural Rigidity in Old Oceanic Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, C.; Weeraratne, D. S.; Forsyth, D. W.

    2010-12-01

    The half-space cooling model predicts lithosphere thickness and that the depth of the sea floor should increase in proportion to the square root of age due to conductive cooling. For seafloor greater than 70 Ma the seafloor is shallower than the square-root-of-age trend, but global seismic tomography studies are in rough agreement with the half-space cooling model. We conducted a marine bathymetry and seismic study in the western Pacific south of the Shatsky Rise on seafloor ~150 Ma to study this discrepancy. The field area is located at a fossil triple junction straddling a magnetic bight. Several small seamounts located in the study area with excellent bathymetric coverage are surrounded by clear flexural moats. The characteristic wavelength of the flexure indicates that the effective elastic thickness, Te is less than 2 km, suggesting that these seamounts were formed on very young seafloor close to the spreading center 150 My ago. Larger seamounts in the study area appear to have formed later off-axis. We will present admittance results to determine the rigidity and Te of the plate at the time of loading of this later episode of volcanism. These measurements will provide us with a better understanding of how oceanic lithosphere and asthenosphere grow and interact in both time and space.

  20. A lithospheric instability origin for the Cameroon Volcanic Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

    The Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL) is an enigmatic structure that defies common dynamic models of melt generation and volcanic activity on Earth. There, magma generation and intrusion has been sustained for more than 70 Myr over a 1600 km long chain straddling the ocean-continent boundary, with no detectable spatial age progression. The chain is nearly perpendicular to the coastline and terminates in a Y-shaped structure that has not been affected by absolute plate motions, implying that the mantle upwelling that feeds magmatic activity is attached to the continent. We propose that this form of volcanism is due to a new type of instability that may develop within the subcontinental lithospheric mantle at the edge of a continent. Laboratory experiments document how lithosphere beneath a continental block of finite size can become unstable due to cooling from above. The instability pattern is made of linear upwellings and downwellings that converge radially towards the center of the continent in an outer region and an array of polygonal cells in a central region. The pattern is characterized by branching structures that are reminiscent of the strike and Y-shaped outline of the CVL. The instability develops over long timescales with small rates of upwelling and melting, and is attached to the continent by construction. Downwellings adjacent to upwellings induce compression in the crust, which may account for deformation in the Benue trough just before the onset of CVL magmatism.

  1. Colorado Plateau magmatism and uplift by warming of heterogeneous lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Roy, Mousumi; Jordan, Thomas H; Pederson, Joel

    2009-06-18

    The forces that drove rock uplift of the low-relief, high-elevation, tectonically stable Colorado Plateau are the subject of long-standing debate. While the adjacent Basin and Range province and Rio Grande rift province underwent Cenozoic shortening followed by extension, the plateau experienced approximately 2 km of rock uplift without significant internal deformation. Here we propose that warming of the thicker, more iron-depleted Colorado Plateau lithosphere over 35-40 Myr following mid-Cenozoic removal of the Farallon plate from beneath North America is the primary mechanism driving rock uplift. In our model, conductive re-equilibration not only explains the rock uplift of the plateau, but also provides a robust geodynamic interpretation of observed contrasts between the Colorado Plateau margins and the plateau interior. In particular, the model matches the encroachment of Cenozoic magmatism from the margins towards the plateau interior at rates of 3-6 km Myr(-1) and is consistent with lower seismic velocities and more negative Bouguer gravity at the margins than in the plateau interior. We suggest that warming of heterogeneous lithosphere is a powerful mechanism for driving epeirogenic rock uplift of the Colorado Plateau and may be of general importance in plate-interior settings.

  2. Thermal structure of the lithosphere: a petrologic model.

    PubMed

    Macgregor, I D; Basu, A R

    1974-09-20

    A preliminary evaluation of the thermal history of the upper mantle as determined by petrologic techniques indicates a general correspondence with theoretically derived models. The petrologic data supply direct information which may be used as an independent calibration of calculated models, serve as a base for evaluating the assumptions of the theoretical approach, and allow more careful selection of the variables describing mantle thermal properties and processes. Like the theoretical counterpart, the petrological approach indicates that the lithosphere is dominated by two thermal regimes: first, there is a continental regime which cools at rates of the order of 10(9) years and represents the longterm cooling of the earth. Secondly, superimposed on the continental evolution is the thermal event associated with the formation of an oceanic basin, and which may be thought of as a 10(8) year convective perturbation on the continental cycle. Of special interest is petrologic evidence for a sudden steepening of the thermal gradients across the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary not seen in the theoretical models. The unexpected change of slope points to the need for a critical reevaluation of the thermal processes and properties extant in the asthenosphere. The potential of the petrologic contribution has yet to be fully realized. For a start, this article points to an important body of independent evidence critical to our understanding of the earth's thermal history.

  3. The Cascadia Subduction Zone: two contrasting models of lithospheric structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Romanyuk, T.V.; Blakely, R.; Mooney, W.D.

    1998-01-01

    The Pacific margin of North America is one of the most complicated regions in the world in terms of its structure and present day geodynamic regime. The aim of this work is to develop a better understanding of lithospheric structure of the Pacific Northwest, in particular the Cascadia subduction zone of Southwest Canada and Northwest USA. The goal is to compare and contrast the lithospheric density structure along two profiles across the subduction zone and to interpet the differences in terms of active processes. The subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath North America changes markedly along the length of the subduction zone, notably in the angle of subduction, distribution of earthquakes and volcanism, goelogic and seismic structure of the upper plate, and regional horizontal stress. To investigate these characteristics, we conducted detailed density modeling of the crust and mantle along two transects across the Cascadia subduction zone. One crosses Vancouver Island and the Canadian margin, the other crosses the margin of central Oregon.

  4. Corona Formation on Venus Via Extension and Lithospheric Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piskorz, D.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Given the absence of plate tectonics on Venus, the origin of major rift systems like Parga Chasma is unclear. As Venus and Earth have similar radii and radiogenic abundances, we assume they have a similar internal structure and composition. Venus does not appear to have plate tectonics, and its surface displays a range of volcanic and tectonic features, including those that are both similar and dissimilar to those on Earth. In order to understand how Venus loses its heat, we study coronae at Parga Chasma. There are over 500 quasi-circular volcano-tectonic features called coronae on Venus, 131 of which are associated with Parga Chasma. Are these coronae important in the formation of the rift, or vice versa? How do they contribute to planetary heat loss? Coronae are believed to form via small-scale mantle upwellings, lithospheric instability, or a combination thereof. However, the genetic link between the coronae and rifts has remained unclear. By drawing an analogy to the East African Rift, we propose a mechanism for the formation of off-rift coronae due to the rifting process. We model the interaction of a rising mantle plume associated with a rift with a preexisting layer of dense material at the lithosphere-mantle boundary and show that a rift and its associated off-rift coronae may be genetically linked. We calculate the resulting surface topographies, melt volumes, and Bouguer gravity anomalies and find a correlation to observations.

  5. Groundwater flow as a cooling agent of the continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooi, Henk

    2016-03-01

    Groundwater that flows through the outer shell of the Earth as part of the hydrologic cycle influences the distribution of heat and, thereby, the temperature field in the Earth’s crust. Downward groundwater flow in recharge areas lowers crustal temperatures, whereas upward flow in discharge areas tends to raise temperatures relative to a purely conductive geothermal regime. Here I present numerical simulations of generalized topography-driven groundwater flow. The simulations suggest that groundwater-driven convective cooling exceeds groundwater-driven warming of the Earth’s crust, and hence that groundwater flow systems cause net temperature reductions of groundwater basins. Moreover, the simulations demonstrate that this cooling extends into the underlying crust and lithosphere. I find that horizontal components of groundwater flow play a central role in this net subsurface cooling by conveying relatively cold water to zones of upward groundwater flow. The model calculations suggest that the crust and lithosphere beneath groundwater basins can cool by several tens of degrees Celsius where groundwater flows over large distances in basins that consist of crustal rock. In contrast, groundwater-induced cooling is small in unconsolidated sedimentary settings, such as deltas.

  6. Renewal: Continential lithosphere evolution as a function of tectonic environment

    SciTech Connect

    McMillan, N.J.; Baldridge, W.S.

    1995-06-01

    The Cenozoic tectonic environment and stress regime of the southwestern United States have changed dramatically from compression during shallow-angle subduction during the Laramide orogeny in the early Cenozoic to the current mode of Basin and Range extension. Questions remain unresolved concerning the causes of this transition, including the timing of the initiation of extension (estimates range from 36 to 25 Ma), and is the Basin and Range simply an mega-example of back-arc extension, or is extension related to the subduction of an oceanic spreading center about 30 Ma? We have examined the patterns of magmagenesis and geochemical composition through Cenozoic time in southern New Mexico. We have defined four magma sources that have contributed to Cenozoic magmas. Immediately following the Laramide, magmas contain substantial contributions from the lower crust. Mid-Tertiary extension is related to the eruption of rhyolitic ash-flow tuffs and basalts. The basalts were generated by melting of the lithospheric mantle; intercalated rhyolites have a strong upper crustal signature. Eruption of basalts and andesites with sources in the lithospheric mantle and lower crust continued for several million years after rhyolitic volcanism ceased. The region was nearly void of volcanic activity for 16 million years despite continued extension, but at 10 Ma, basalts derived from the asthenosphere began to erupt.

  7. Reflection Character of the Continental Lithosphere and Crustal Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, L. D.

    2015-12-01

    Reflection images represent the high-frequency end member of the suite of seismological tools commonly used to probe the lithosphere. The global inventory of deep reflection profiles has documented reflection characters as varied as the surface geology that provides the primary boundary condition for the interpretation of reflection images. Past reviews of reflection results have stressed similarities in reflection patterns between various geographic regions and attempted to associate these patterns with specific tectonic processes. Examples include: laminated sequences (shear fabrics formed during extension or collision), reflective Mohos (mafic underplating), bright spots (contemporary and fossil magma bodies), dipping mantle reflections rooted in the lower crust (fossil subduction zones) and subhorizontal mantle reflections (phase changes in the lower lithosphere). Here I focus on relating reflection character to the inversion and/or interpretation of results from broadband techniques such as receiver functions, body wave and surface wave tomography. Among the underappreciated aspects of reflectivity are its dependence upon density as well as velocity, and the limitations of 2D images in a 3D world. A core consideration is the need to meaningfully relate integrated physical properties (e.g. velocity inferred from refraction and surface wave measurements) with the differential physical properties (e.g. reflection coefficients) to which reflection images are primarily sensitive. Examples from Tibet and Eurasia are used to illustrate examples of successful integration of controlled (active) and natural (passive) source observations to constrain models of crustal evolution.

  8. Chapman Conference on Generation of the Oceanic Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Presnall, D. C.; Hales, A. L.; Frey, F. A.

    On April 6-10, 1981, the Chapman conference on Generation of the Oceanic Lithosphere was held at Airlie House, Warrenton, Virginia. It was convened by D.C. Presnall, A.L. Hales (both at the University of Texas at Dallas), and F.A. Frey (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The purpose of the conference was to bring together scientists with diverse specialties to develop a better understanding of the constraints imposed by geophysics, geochemistry, petrology, and tectonics on processes of oceanic lithosphere generation. Sessions were held on the nature of the crust and upper mantle at spreading centers; trace elements and isotopes; experimental petrology; magma chamber dynamics, melt migration, and mantle flow; slow versus fast spreading ridges; Atlantic spreading centers; Pacific spreading centers; and hydrothermal activity, metasomatism, and metamorphism. Fifty-four oral papers and 47 poster papers were presented. One hundred twenty-eight scientists attended from Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States, and the USSR.

  9. Compositional vs. thermal buoyancy and the evolution of subducted lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaherty, James B.; Hager, Bradford H.

    1994-01-01

    We formulate 2-D Cartesian finite element models that explore the fate of compositionally defined lithosphere as it encounters a viscosity increase at the boundary between the upper and lower mantle. Subducted lithosphere is represented as a cold, stiff, layered composite of denser eclogite underlain by more buoyant harzburgite. Slabs impinging on a lower mantle 30 and 100 times more viscous than the upper mantle thicken and fold strongly as they penetrate the lower mantle. Approximately a factor of two thickening occurs via pure shear just above the discontinuity, with additional enhancement due to folding by over a factor of two. No separation of the individual slab components occurs at the discontinuity, and direct comparison with models in which compositional buoyancy is explicitly ignored indicates that slab evolution is largely controlled by the thermal buoyancy. These results are at odds with hypotheses about slab evolution in which the compositional buoyancy contributions lead to component separation and the formation of slab megaliths or a compositionally layered upper mantle.

  10. Subduction of the Indian Lithospheric Slab Beneath Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, H.; Murphy, M. A.

    2001-12-01

    In order to characterize the dynamics of continent-continent collisions, it is essential to define its present geometry and physical state. We report the results of a seismic tomography study of the Tibet-Himalayan collision zone, using a global data set, which indicates that the Indian lithospheric slab has been subducted subhorizontally beneath nearly the entire Tibetan plateau to depths of 165-260 km. Tibetan velocity structure is low in the crust and high in mantle lithosphere at depths between 75-120 km. An asthenospheric layer overlies the subducted Indian slab at depths between 120-165 km beneath the Tibetan plateau. There is a large low-velocity anomaly north of the Indus-Yalu suture zone between 85ºE and 93ºE that extends from the crust down to at least 310 km depth beneath the plateau. This low-velocity anomaly is indicative of mantle upwelling through a weakened zone of the subducted slab. The extent to which India has subducted beneath Tibet, as revealed by these seismic images, is comparable to estimates of crustal shortening across the Himalaya. Moreover, we hypothesize that the buoyancy due to heating of the subducted Indian slab and the existence of the asthenospheric layer contribute to the elevation and flatness of the Tibetan plateau.

  11. Lithosphere-Asthenosphere interactions near the San Andreas fault.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houlie, N.

    2015-12-01

    We decipher the strain history of the upper mantle in California through the comparison of the long-term finite strain field in the mantle and the surface strain-rate field, respectively inferred from fast polarization directions of seismic phases (SKS and SKKS), and Global Positioning System (GPS) surface velocity fields. We show that mantle strain and surface strain-rate fields are consistent in the vicinity of San Andreas Fault (SAF) in California. Such an agreement suggests that the lithosphere and strong asthenosphere have been deformed coherently and steadily since >1 Ma. We find that the crustal stress field rotates (up to 40 degrees of rotation across a 50 km distance from 50 degrees relative to the strike of the SAF, in the near-field of SAF) from San Francisco to the Central Valley. Both observations suggest that the SAF extends to depth, likely through the entire lithosphere. From Central Valley towards the Basin and Range, the orientations of GPS strain-rates, shear wave splitting measurements and seismic stress fields diverge indicating reduced coupling or/and shallow crustal extension and/or presence of frozen anisotropy.

  12. Continents as lithological icebergs: The importance of buoyant lithospheric roots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbott, D.H.; Drury, R.; Mooney, W.D.

    1997-01-01

    An understanding of the formation of new continental crust provides an important guide to locating the oldest terrestrial rocks and minerals. We evaluated the crustal thicknesses of the thinnest stable continental crust and of an unsubductable oceanic plateau and used the resulting data to estimate the amount of mantle melting which produces permanent continental crust. The lithospheric mantle is sufficiently depleted to produce permanent buoyancy (i.e., the crust is unsubductable) at crustal thicknesses greater than 25-27 km. These unsubductable oceanic plateaus and hotspot island chains are important sources of new continental crust. The newest continental crust (e.g., the Ontong Java plateau) has a basaltic composition, not a granitic one. The observed structure and geochemistry of continents are the result of convergent margin magmatism and metamorphism which modify the nascent basaltic crust into a lowermost basaltic layer overlain by a more silicic upper crust. The definition of a continent should imply only that the lithosphere is unsubductable over ??? 0.25 Ga time periods. Therefore, the search for the oldest crustal rocks should include rocks from lower to mid-crustal levels.

  13. Why intracontinental basins subside longer: 3-D feedback effects of lithospheric cooling and sedimentation on the flexural strength of the lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cacace, M.; Scheck-Wenderoth, M.

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this study is to reevaluate the character and evolution of the large-scale subsidence of intracontinental basins using 3-D thermomechanical numerical simulations accounting for the coupling between sedimentation, rheology-dependent lithospheric flexure, and thermal contraction by lithospheric cooling. The flexural rigidity of the lithospheric plate is controlled by elastic-brittle-plastic rheology, enabling the computation of thermal and mechanical feedback processes occurring during basin subsidence. Numerical results show that depending on the sediment loading history, a rheological stratified lithosphere can subside over geological time scales without imposition of ad hoc geometric and kinematic initial conditions. Three-dimensional feedback effects of sedimentation on the thermomechanical structure of the plate result in a weakened lower crust mechanically decoupled from the underlying mantle and therefore easily reactivated even under low background stresses. Our results explain the first-order characteristics of the subsidence in intracontinental basins and reconcile basic observations of their deformation history.

  14. Uplift of the Colorado Plateau due to lithosphere attenuation during Laramide low-angle subduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spencer, J.E.

    1996-01-01

    The Colorado Plateau is blanketed by Phanerozoic marine and nonmarine strata as young as Cretaceous that are now exposed at elevations of about 2 km. Crustal thickening due to magmatism and horizontal crustal shortening was far less than necessary to cause this uplift, which is commonly attributed to the consequences of mantle lithosphere thinning and heating. The Colorado Plateau and the midcontinent region around Iowa consist of Precambrian bedrock overlain by a similar amount of Paleozoic platformal strata, and thus both regions once had similar lithospheric buoyancy. Mesozoic sedimentation increased the crustal thickness and lithospheric buoyancy of the Colorado Plateau relative to the midcontinent region. Backstripping calculations yield elevation without these sediments and lead to a calculated elevation difference between the two areas of about 1200 m, which represents unexplained plateau uplift. Review of constraints on uplift timing finds little support for a late Cenozoic uplift age and allows early to middle Cenozoic uplift, which is consistent with uplift mechanisms related to low-angle subduction that ended in the middle Cenozoic. Finite element heat flow calculations of low-angle subduction and lithosphere attenuation, using a range of initial lithosphere thicknesses and degree of attenuation, indicate that required uplift can result from tectonic removal of about 120 km of mantle lithosphere from an initially 200-km-thick lithosphere. This allows for partial preservation of North American mantle lithosphere with its distinctive isotopic signature in some late Cenozoic volcanic rocks and is consistent with normal Pn velocities in the uppermost mantle beneath the plateau.

  15. The role of gravitational potential energy in the Martian lithospheric stress field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naliboff, J. B.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C.

    2006-12-01

    Understanding the lithospheric stress field on Mars is essential in interpreting patterns of surface faulting and geomorphologic features, as well as assessing the accuracy of different lithospheric models. We compute the portion of the lithospheric stress field on Mars produced by variations in crustal density and thickness using data described in Neumann et al. (2004). Our computation consists of two parts: calculation of the gravitational potential energy (GPE) at 1 degree intervals followed by calculation of the stress field derived from variations in the GPE using the commercial finite element program ABAQUS. When calculating the GPE, we consider both Airy and Pratt isostatic compensation models, as well as scenarios where no compensation model is invoked or the Martian crust acts as the Martian lithosphere. The lithosphere is treated as an elastic body and the full 3-D equations for conservation of mass and momentum are solved. In future models variations in lithologic properties and a viscoselastic rheology for the lithosphere will be incorporated. Preliminary results show gradations in the GPE between the southern highland and northern lowland regions of Mars relating to variations in crustal thickness between the two regions. For example, when the crust is assumed to behave as the elastic lithosphere, the southern highlands of Mars exhibit a much higher GPE as a result of their higher on average crustal thickness. If the lithosphere is assumed to contain both crust and mantle sections and a uniform compensation depth is assigned, however, the variation in GPE between the two regions is significantly altered.

  16. Mid-ocean-ridge seismicity reveals extreme types of ocean lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlindwein, Vera; Schmid, Florian

    2016-07-01

    Along ultraslow-spreading ridges, where oceanic tectonic plates drift very slowly apart, conductive cooling is thought to limit mantle melting and melt production has been inferred to be highly discontinuous. Along such spreading centres, long ridge sections without any igneous crust alternate with magmatic sections that host massive volcanoes capable of strong earthquakes. Hence melt supply, lithospheric composition and tectonic structure seem to vary considerably along the axis of the slowest-spreading ridges. However, owing to the lack of seismic data, the lithospheric structure of ultraslow ridges is poorly constrained. Here we describe the structure and accretion modes of two end-member types of oceanic lithosphere using a detailed seismicity survey along 390 kilometres of ultraslow-spreading ridge axis. We observe that amagmatic sections lack shallow seismicity in the upper 15 kilometres of the lithosphere, but unusually contain earthquakes down to depths of 35 kilometres. This observation implies a cold, thick lithosphere, with an upper aseismic zone that probably reflects substantial serpentinization. We find that regions of magmatic lithosphere thin dramatically under volcanic centres, and infer that the resulting topography of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary could allow along-axis melt flow, explaining the uneven crustal production at ultraslow-spreading ridges. The seismicity data indicate that alteration in ocean lithosphere may reach far deeper than previously thought, with important implications towards seafloor deformation and fluid circulation.

  17. Mid-ocean-ridge seismicity reveals extreme types of ocean lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Schlindwein, Vera; Schmid, Florian

    2016-07-14

    Along ultraslow-spreading ridges, where oceanic tectonic plates drift very slowly apart, conductive cooling is thought to limit mantle melting and melt production has been inferred to be highly discontinuous. Along such spreading centres, long ridge sections without any igneous crust alternate with magmatic sections that host massive volcanoes capable of strong earthquakes. Hence melt supply, lithospheric composition and tectonic structure seem to vary considerably along the axis of the slowest-spreading ridges. However, owing to the lack of seismic data, the lithospheric structure of ultraslow ridges is poorly constrained. Here we describe the structure and accretion modes of two end-member types of oceanic lithosphere using a detailed seismicity survey along 390 kilometres of ultraslow-spreading ridge axis. We observe that amagmatic sections lack shallow seismicity in the upper 15 kilometres of the lithosphere, but unusually contain earthquakes down to depths of 35 kilometres. This observation implies a cold, thick lithosphere, with an upper aseismic zone that probably reflects substantial serpentinization. We find that regions of magmatic lithosphere thin dramatically under volcanic centres, and infer that the resulting topography of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary could allow along-axis melt flow, explaining the uneven crustal production at ultraslow-spreading ridges. The seismicity data indicate that alteration in ocean lithosphere may reach far deeper than previously thought, with important implications towards seafloor deformation and fluid circulation. PMID:27362231

  18. Mid-ocean-ridge seismicity reveals extreme types of ocean lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Schlindwein, Vera; Schmid, Florian

    2016-06-29

    Along ultraslow-spreading ridges, where oceanic tectonic plates drift very slowly apart, conductive cooling is thought to limit mantle melting and melt production has been inferred to be highly discontinuous. Along such spreading centres, long ridge sections without any igneous crust alternate with magmatic sections that host massive volcanoes capable of strong earthquakes. Hence melt supply, lithospheric composition and tectonic structure seem to vary considerably along the axis of the slowest-spreading ridges. However, owing to the lack of seismic data, the lithospheric structure of ultraslow ridges is poorly constrained. Here we describe the structure and accretion modes of two end-member types of oceanic lithosphere using a detailed seismicity survey along 390 kilometres of ultraslow-spreading ridge axis. We observe that amagmatic sections lack shallow seismicity in the upper 15 kilometres of the lithosphere, but unusually contain earthquakes down to depths of 35 kilometres. This observation implies a cold, thick lithosphere, with an upper aseismic zone that probably reflects substantial serpentinization. We find that regions of magmatic lithosphere thin dramatically under volcanic centres, and infer that the resulting topography of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary could allow along-axis melt flow, explaining the uneven crustal production at ultraslow-spreading ridges. The seismicity data indicate that alteration in ocean lithosphere may reach far deeper than previously thought, with important implications towards seafloor deformation and fluid circulation.

  19. Melt-induced weakening of the lithosphere: theory and geodynamic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, T.

    2015-12-01

    Melt-induced weakening can play critical role for enabling lithospheric deformation in the areas of intense mantle-derived magmatism, such as mid-ocean ridges, rift zones and hot spots. It implies significant reduction in the long-term brittle strength of the deforming lithosphere subjected to frequent melt percolation episodes. Such weakening corresponds to conditions when shear stress reaches the tensile yield strength of rocks at nearly equal melt and lithostatic pressures. The dominant features of melt transport in this regime are planar, sharply localized zones (dykes) in which melt is transported though the lithosphere from the source region. Mechanical energy dissipation balance shows that the long-term effective strength of the melt-weakened lithosphere is a strain-averaged rather than a time-averaged quantity. Its magnitude is mainly defined by the ratio between melt pressure and lithostatic pressure along dykes during short dyke emplacement episodes, which control most of the lithospheric deformation and mechanical energy dissipation. We quantified the range of expected values of the lithospheric strength by performing 2D numerical hydro-mechanical experiments on melt-bearing rock deformation as well as seismo-mechanical experiments on long-term lithospheric deformation assisted by frequent short-term dyke propagation episodes. These numerical experiments showed that the long-term lithospheric strength in the areas of intense magmatism can be as low as few MPa and is critically dependent on the availability of melt for enabling frequent episodes of dyke propagation through the lithosphere. Short-lived viscous-plastic deformation is localized along propagating weak dykes whereas bulk of the lithosphere only deforms elastically and is subjected to large deviatoric stresses. The experiments suggest that it is not the high strength of the elastically deforming strong lithospheric blocks but the low strength of visco-plastically deforming dykes that define the

  20. Growth, stabilization, and reactivation of Proterozoic lithosphere in the southwestern United States

    SciTech Connect

    Bowring, S.A. ); Karlstrom, K.E. )

    1990-12-01

    Growth of Proterozoic continental lithosphere in the southwestern United States involved assembly of tectonostratigraphic terranes during several pulses of convergent tectonism ca. 1.74, 1.70, and 1.65-1.60 Ga. Prograde metamorphism accompanied orogenic assembly, and peak metamorphic conditions outlasted deformation. Regions now characterized by the highest metamorphic grades underwent slow isobaric cooling and were not uplifted until more than 200 m.y. after assembly. Regions of low metamorphic grade were not uplifted substantially after assembly. The authors suggest that (1) relatively thin lithospheric fragments were assembled into isostatically stable, normal thickness continental lithosphere; (2) assembly did not erase lithospheric-scale heterogeneities; (3) the present juxtaposition of different crustal levels reflects differential uplift related to 1.4-1.1 Ga tectonomagmatic activity; and (4) the boundaries between different lithospheric blocks were repeatedly reactivated from Precambrian through Tertiary time.

  1. Layered structure of the lithospheric mantle changes dynamics of craton extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, J.; Gerya, T.; Wang, Q.

    2013-11-01

    Although presence of weak layers due to hydration and/or metasomatism in the lithospheric mantle of cratons has been detected by both geophysical and geochemical studies, its influence on craton evolution remains elusive. Using a 2‒D thermomechanical viscoelastoplastic numerical model, we studied the craton extension of a heterogeneous lithospheric mantle with a rheologically weak layer. Our results demonstrate that the effect of the weak mantle layer is twofold: (1) enhances deformation of the overlying lithosphere and (2) inhibits deformation of the underlying lithospheric mantle. Depending on the weak‒layer depth, the Moho temperature and extension rate, three extension patterns are found (1) localized mantle necking with exposed weak layer, (2) widespread mantle necking with exposed weak layer, and (3) widespread mantle necking without exposed weak layer. The presence of the weak mantle layer reduces long‒term acting boundary forces required to sustain extensional deformation of the lithosphere.

  2. High-resolution lithosphere viscosity and dynamics revealed by magnetotelluric imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Lijun; Hasterok, Derrick

    2016-09-01

    An accurate viscosity structure is critical to truthfully modeling lithosphere dynamics. Here, we report an attempt to infer the effective lithospheric viscosity from a high-resolution magnetotelluric (MT) survey across the western United States. The high sensitivity of MT fields to the presence of electrically conductive fluids makes it a promising proxy for determining mechanical strength variations throughout the lithosphere. We demonstrate how a viscosity structure, approximated from electrical resistivity, results in a geodynamic model that successfully predicts short-wavelength surface topography, lithospheric deformation, and mantle upwelling beneath recent volcanism. We further show that this viscosity is physically consistent with and better constrained than that derived from laboratory-based rheology. We conclude that MT imaging provides a practical observational constraint for quantifying the dynamic evolution of the continental lithosphere.

  3. Io: Generation of Silicate Magma by Shear Melting at the Base of a Basaltic Lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, M. H.

    1985-01-01

    Tidal theory and observational evidence indicates that about 1 w/sq. m. of energy is released at the surface of Io. In order to place limits on how much tidal energy can be dissipated within a rigid lithosphere, depth-temperature profiles were calculated for different lithosphere thickness assuming that the tidal energy was dissipated uniformly throughout the lithosphere. Thus a thick lithosphere implies that a significant fraction of the tidal energy is dissipated below the depth where solidus temperatures are reached. One possibility is that Io has a crust consisting of a low melting temperature fraction such as basalt, overlying a mantle of a high melting temperature fraction such as peridotite. Thus, if the lithosphere of Io is thicker than 30 km, as appears probable, then high rates of silicate volcanism are implied and a significant fraction of the tidal energy must be dissipated by viscous deformation rather than rigid flexure.

  4. Revealing the Fine Structures of the Lithosphere Asthenosphere Boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olugboji, Tolulope Morayo

    Earth's near surface layer is made of relatively strong materials and often referred to as tectonic plates (or the lithosphere). Below this layer is a softer layer called the asthenosphere. The transition from strong lithosphere to weak asthenosphere is caused by temperature. However, recent high-resolution seismological observations suggest that the transition from the lithosphere to the asthenosphere cannot be attributed to the temperature alone: the change in seismic wave velocity at the boundary is too sharp and too large to be attributed solely to the gradual increase in temperature. There have been hot debates on what causes the observed sharp transition between two layers. In this dissertation, I synthesize insights from seismological observation, in particular receiver functions, with experiments and theory of anelasticity caused by grain-boundary sliding, to test and assess candidate models for the oceanic lithosphere asthenosphere boundary (LAB) as well as the Mid-lithospheric discontinues (MLD) observed in stable continental regions. I conduct new statistical analysis of the results of mineral physics experiments, providing a description of the uncertainties in the parameters of an elastically accommodated grain boundary sliding model (EAGBS). I extend the EAGBS model originally proposed by Karato (2012) to describe and explain the seismological signatures at the oceanic LAB, showing that this hypothesis suitably explains both the oceanic LAB and MLD in the continents within the limits of uncertainties in both mineral physics studies and seismological models. I then describe new supporting evidence for the specific predictions of the EAGBS model using novel seismological technique and data from stations in the oceanic regions. High-resolution receiver function (RF) stacking techniques can provide robust characterization of the age-dependence in the sharpness, depth, and anisotropic fabric within the normal oceanic LAB and underneath 'anomalous' Pacific

  5. Evolution of large Venusian volcanoes: Insights from coupled models of lithospheric flexure and magma reservoir pressurization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galgana, Gerald A.; McGovern, Patrick J.; Grosfils, Eric B.

    2011-03-01

    The growth and evolution of large volcanic edifices on Venus should reflect interactions between local magma reservoir-induced stresses and broader-scale stresses resulting from flexure of the lithosphere beneath the edifice load. Here, we explore the relationship between magma movement in the lithosphere and the flexural stress state via static, gravitationally loaded, axisymmetric finite element models. We find that reservoirs situated in the lower (extensional) lithosphere fail at the bottom and are therefore not viable long-term conduits for upward magma transport. Furthermore, for high-stress conditions (e.g., large edifices or thin lithospheres), chambers in the lowermost lithosphere exceed the failure criterion even before pressurization and are therefore unstable. In contrast, magma chambers located in the upper (compressional) lithosphere fail at or somewhat above the reservoir midsection, promoting lateral sill injection; continued failure in this mode would tend to produce oblate magma chambers with zones of intrusion at their margins. Reservoirs near the flexural neutral plane require the greatest overpressure to reach failure, emplacing cone sheets that transition to sills further from the chamber. The out-of-plane orientation of principal extensional stresses in the flexed lower lithosphere predicts the presence of radial dikes that are likely the main conduits for any subsequent magma ascent from the mantle melt source region. Our results also explain how the evolving stress state in the lithosphere tends to redirect magma passage over time: magma ascending into the lithosphere beneath the edifice is diverted to lateral sills in the upper lithosphere, inhibiting summit eruptions and possibly shifting eruption locations to the lower flanks at and beyond the distal margins of an oblate chamber or sill complex. We apply these results to interpret the observed structure and tectonism of Sapas Mons, Venus, in terms of flexurally controlled intrusive

  6. Dipping fossil fabrics of continental mantle lithosphere as tectonic heritage of oceanic paleosubductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babuska, Vladislav; Plomerova, Jaroslava; Vecsey, Ludek; Munzarova, Helena

    2016-04-01

    Subduction and orogenesis require a strong mantle layer (Burov, Tectonophys. 2010) and our findings confirm the leading role of the mantle lithosphere. We have examined seismic anisotropy of Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic provinces of Europe by means of shear-wave splitting and P-wave travel-time deviations of teleseismic waves observed at dense arrays of seismic stations (e.g., Vecsey et al., Tectonophys. 2007). Lateral variations of seismic-velocity anisotropy delimit domains of the mantle lithosphere, each of them having its own consistent fabric. The domains, modeled in 3D by olivine aggregates with dipping lineation a, or foliation (a,c), represent microplates or their fragments that preserved their pre-assembly fossil fabrics. Evaluating seismic anisotropy in 3D, as well as mapping boundaries of the domains helps to decipher processes of the lithosphere formation. Systematically dipping mantle fabrics and other seismological findings seem to support a model of continental lithosphere built from systems of paleosubductions of plates of ancient oceanic lithosphere (Babuska and Plomerova, AGU Geoph. Monograph 1989), or from stacking of the plates (Helmstaedt and Schulze, Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. 1989). Seismic anisotropy in the oceanic mantle lithosphere, explained mainly by the olivine A- or D-type fabric (Karato et al., Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 2008), was discovered a half century ago (Hess, Nature 1964). Field observations and laboratory experiments indicate the oceanic olivine fabric might be preserved in the subducting lithosphere to a depth of at least 200-300 km. We thus interpret the dipping anisotropic fabrics in domains of the European mantle lithosphere as systems of "frozen" paleosubductions (Babuska and Plomerova, PEPI 2006) and the lithosphere base as a boundary between the fossil anisotropy in the lithospheric mantle and an underlying seismic anisotropy related to present-day flow in the asthenosphere (Plomerova and Babuska, Lithos 2010).

  7. Asymmetric vs. symmetric deep lithospheric architecture of intra-plate continental orogens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calignano, Elisa; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst; Gueydan, Frédéric; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2015-08-01

    The initiation and subsequent evolution of intra-plate orogens, resulting from continental plate interior deformation due to transmission of stresses over large distances from the active plate boundaries, is controlled by lateral and vertical strength contrasts in the lithosphere. We present lithospheric-scale analogue models combining 1) lateral strength variations in the continental lithosphere, and 2) different vertical rheological stratifications. The experimental continental lithosphere has a four-layer brittle-ductile rheological stratification. Lateral heterogeneity is implemented in all models by increased crustal strength in a central narrow block. The main investigated parameters are strain rate and strength of the lithospheric mantle, both playing an important role in crust-mantle coupling. The experiments show that the presence of a strong crustal domain is effective in localizing deformation along its boundaries. After deformation is localized, the evolution of the orogenic system is governed by the mechanical properties of the lithosphere such that the final geometry of the intra-plate mountain depends on the interplay between crust-mantle coupling and folding versus fracturing of the lithospheric mantle. Underthrusting is the main deformation mode in case of high convergence velocity and/or thick brittle mantle with a final asymmetric architecture of the deep lithosphere. In contrast, lithospheric folding is dominant in case of low convergence velocity and low strength brittle mantle, leading to the development of a symmetric lithospheric root. The presented analogue modelling results provide novel insights for 1) strain localization and 2) the development of the asymmetric architecture of the Pyrenees.

  8. Water and its influence on the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary.

    PubMed

    Green, David H; Hibberson, William O; Kovács, István; Rosenthal, Anja

    2010-09-23

    The Earth has distinctive convective behaviour, described by the plate tectonics model, in which lateral motion of the oceanic lithosphere of basaltic crust and peridotitic uppermost mantle is decoupled from the underlying mechanically weaker upper mantle (asthenosphere). The reason for differentiation at the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is currently being debated with relevant observations from geophysics (including seismology) and geochemistry (including experimental petrology). Water is thought to have an important effect on mantle rheology, either by weakening the crystal structure of olivine and pyroxenes by dilute solid solution, or by causing low-temperature partial melting. Here we present a novel experimental approach to clarify the role of water in the uppermost mantle at pressures up to 6 GPa, equivalent to a depth of 190 km. We found that for lherzolite in which a water-rich vapour is present, the temperature at which a silicate melt first appears (the vapour-saturated solidus) increases from a minimum of 970 °C at 1.5 GPa to 1,350 °C at 6 GPa. We have measured the water content in lherzolite to be approximately 180 parts per million, retained in nominally anhydrous minerals at 2.5 and 4 GPa at temperatures above and below the vapour-saturated solidus. The hydrous mineral pargasite is the main water-storage site in the uppermost mantle, and the instability of pargasite at pressures greater than 3 GPa (equivalent to more than about 90 km depth) causes a sharp drop in both the water-storage capacity and the solidus temperature of fertile upper-mantle lherzolite. The presence of interstitial melt in mantle with more than 180 parts per million of water at pressures greater than 3 GPa alters mantle rheology and defines the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Modern asthenospheric mantle acting as the source for mid-oceanic ridge basalts has a water content of 50-200 parts per million (refs 3-5). We show that this matches the

  9. Water and its influence on the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary.

    PubMed

    Green, David H; Hibberson, William O; Kovács, István; Rosenthal, Anja

    2010-09-23

    The Earth has distinctive convective behaviour, described by the plate tectonics model, in which lateral motion of the oceanic lithosphere of basaltic crust and peridotitic uppermost mantle is decoupled from the underlying mechanically weaker upper mantle (asthenosphere). The reason for differentiation at the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is currently being debated with relevant observations from geophysics (including seismology) and geochemistry (including experimental petrology). Water is thought to have an important effect on mantle rheology, either by weakening the crystal structure of olivine and pyroxenes by dilute solid solution, or by causing low-temperature partial melting. Here we present a novel experimental approach to clarify the role of water in the uppermost mantle at pressures up to 6 GPa, equivalent to a depth of 190 km. We found that for lherzolite in which a water-rich vapour is present, the temperature at which a silicate melt first appears (the vapour-saturated solidus) increases from a minimum of 970 °C at 1.5 GPa to 1,350 °C at 6 GPa. We have measured the water content in lherzolite to be approximately 180 parts per million, retained in nominally anhydrous minerals at 2.5 and 4 GPa at temperatures above and below the vapour-saturated solidus. The hydrous mineral pargasite is the main water-storage site in the uppermost mantle, and the instability of pargasite at pressures greater than 3 GPa (equivalent to more than about 90 km depth) causes a sharp drop in both the water-storage capacity and the solidus temperature of fertile upper-mantle lherzolite. The presence of interstitial melt in mantle with more than 180 parts per million of water at pressures greater than 3 GPa alters mantle rheology and defines the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Modern asthenospheric mantle acting as the source for mid-oceanic ridge basalts has a water content of 50-200 parts per million (refs 3-5). We show that this matches the

  10. Present Lithospheric Deformation and Asthenospheric Flow beneath the Central Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Q.; Guan, J.; Gao, M.; Munkhuu, U.; Demberel, S. G.

    2013-12-01

    The Central Asian Orogeny Belt (CAOB), which separates the Siberia Shield to the north from the Sino-Korean Craton and Tarim Craton to the south and extends from the Ural Orogeny in the west to the Western Pacific Subduction Zone in the east, is one of the World's largest Paleozoic orogeny zone, with more than 50% juvenile crust. CAOB provides a unique place to study the continental growth process and mechanism. 68 broadband seismometers were deployed for 2 years in the central Mongolian from August 2011, funded by the international cooperation project of Ministry of Science and Technology of China----The Geophysical Investigation and Deep Structure Modeling for Seismic Hazard Assessment in the Far East (2011DFB20120). As a part of the joint project, the aim of the passive seismic observation (CM Array) is to investigate the deep structure of the Central Mongolia. Upper mantle deformation features are deduced from the splitting of the teleseismic shear wave such as SKS and SKKS phases. At the temporary CM array across the central Mongolia, we observe delay times of SKS splitting ranging from 0.8 to more than 2.0s. The observed SKS fast direction at most of the stations is dominated by NW-SE, which is almost orthogonal to the trend of lithospheric structure, striking in NE-SW in the central and eastern Mongolia and thought to be formed by the closure of the Mongol-Okhotsk ocean from the Devonian to Triassic. Such a feature implies that the fossil lithospheric deformation may not be preserved in the central Mongolia, even though the finial closure of the Mongol-Okhostk ocean occurred at the end of Triassic. It is noted that the angular difference between the fast direction and the APM for most of the stations is within 40°; such a difference could be considered to be within the uncertainty but also may reflect a true differential motion between the Earth surface and the convective mantle. The present-day deformation of Mongolia started at the end of the Oligocene

  11. Linking numerical models of lithospheric deformation and magnetotelluric images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobolev, S. V.

    2012-12-01

    Efficient modeling of geodynamic processes requires constraints from different fields of geosciences. Frequently used are data on crustal structure and composition and their evolution constrained by seismic, gravity and petrological/geochemical studies. However, links between geodynamic modeling and rapidly developing field of magnetotelluric (MT) studies are still insufficient. I'll consider two recent examples of MT observations and geodynamic modeling demonstrating that joint analyses of thermomechanical models of lithospheric deformation and MT images may be useful to understand geodynamic processes. One set of observations is MT data for San Andreas Fault (SAF) in the region close to the SAFOD Site (Becken et al., 2011) that shows high conductivity anomalies in the mantle, that are interpreted as fluid flow feeding creeping part of SAF south of the SAFOD Site. Interestingly, zones of high conductivity do not coincide with the expected zones of the recent active deformation (SAF), but are located to the west of it. Based on thermomechanical model of the evolution of the SAFS in Central and Northern California during the last 20 Mln. years (Popov et al., 2012), I'll demonstrate that high conductivity anomalies precisely coincide with the expected zones of the highest accumulated shear strain. Possible interpretation of this coincidence is that strong preferred orientation of olivine crystals in the highly deformed mantle shear zone causes high permeability of fluids. Another set of observations is MT data showing high conductivity anomalies in the crust of Tibet (Unsworh et al., 2005, Bai et al., 2010) and Pamirs (Sass et al., 2011) that are often interpreted as an evidence for the widely spread partially molten crust. Using 2D thermomechanical models of the collision between India and Eurasia, I'll demonstrate that such structures in the crust cannot appear without delamination of the mantle lithosphere during tectonic shortening. Internal heating of the

  12. A lithospheric 3D temperature study from the South Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirsch, K. K.; Scheck-Wenderoth, M.; Maystrenko, Y.; Sippel, J.

    2009-04-01

    The East African continental margin is a passive volcanic margin that experienced a long post-rifting history after break up in Early Cretaceous times. The break up resulted in the formation of a number of basins along the margin. The by far largest depocentre in the South Atlantic, the Orange Basin, was the location of previously performed studies. These studies of the Orange Basin have been performed to investigate the crustal structure and the temperature evolution of the basin. In this way, they gave way to new insights and to a number of questions. With 3D gravity modelling we found the crust to include high density bodies. Furthermore, a rifting model was developed which explained both the geometry and the thermal constraints of the basin. Now, this study has been extended spatially to cover a larger area and into depth to include the deep lithosphere. The main goal is to combine information on the geometry and properties of the sedimentary part of the system with data on the geometry and physical properties of the deep crust. It was also aimed to integrate both the continental and the oceanic parts of the margin into a consistent 3D structural model on a lithospheric scale. A 3D temperature model was evaluated for the passive continental margin of the South Atlantic including the lithospheric structure of the margin. We evaluate a case study for different scenarios to estimate the influence of sediments and crustal structures on the thermal field. The calculated conductive field is constrained by temperature measurements and 3D gravity modelling. At the Norwegian continental margin it has been found that a differentiation of the physical properties of the lower crust and the mantle is needed between the oceanic and continental domains to explain the observations. We aim to compare the younger setting of the Norwegian continental margin with the old passive margin in the South Atlantic. In particular, the South Atlantic is interesting since the southern half

  13. (40)Ar/(39)Ar dating, paleomagnetism, and tephrochemistry of Pliocene strata of the hominid-bearing Woranso-Mille area, west-central Afar Rift, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Deino, Alan L; Scott, Gary R; Saylor, Beverly; Alene, Mulugeta; Angelini, Joshua D; Haile-Selassie, Yohannes

    2010-02-01

    (40)Ar/(39)Ar dating of tuffs and mafic lavas, tephra geochemistry, and paleomagnetic reversal stratigraphy have been used to establish the chronostratigraphy of the Pliocene hominid-bearing fossiliferous succession at Woranso-Mille, a paleontological study area in the western part of the central Afar region of Ethiopia. The succession in the northwestern part of the study area ranges in (40)Ar/(39)Ar age from 3.82-3.570 Ma, encompassed by paleomagnetic subchron C2Ar (4.187-3.596 Ma). One of the major tuff units, locally named the Kilaytoli tuff, is correlative on the basis of age and geochemistry to the Lokochot Tuff of the Turkana Basin. A hominid partial skeleton (KSD-VP-1) was found in strata whose precise stratigraphic position and age is still under investigation, but is believed to correspond to the later part of this interval. Woranso-Mille fills a significant gap in the fossil record of northeastern Africa at the time of the lower to middle Pliocene transition, when many extant species lineages of African fauna were established.

  14. Evaluating methods used for fission track dating of tephras: examples from the Afar Depression, Ethiopia, and the Denali fault zone, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blythe, A. E.; Warfel, T. S.; Phillips, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    Although fission track geochronology has been successfully used to date volcanic glasses and tephras in several studies, a variety of approaches have been used (see Westgate et al., 2013), and no consensus for a standardized methodology has emerged. As a result, this technique is rarely employed, despite having the potential to date tephras and glasses that cannot be dated by other methods, such as K-Ar dating. We have been evaluating the various approaches used to address the technical issues in fission track dating of tephras, by applying them to standards of known ages, including Moldavite tektite, and Huckleberry and Bishop Tuffs. Some of these issues include track etching and counting protocol, and corrections for the effects of track fading at low temperatures. Track etching is generally done in 24% HF for 75 or more seconds, but the time necessary for optimal etching appears to vary according to sample composition and grain size. To correct for track fading, we are using the diameter correction technique of Sandhu and Westgate (1995). We have obtained tephra samples from two regions, the Afar Depression in Ethiopia, an area with significant early hominid fossils, and the Denali fault zone in Alaska, an area with a complicated tectonic evolution. For both of these regions, we have samples that have been dated by other methods for calibration purposes, and we will explore the application of a Zeta correction to the technique. This underutilized technique can provide powerful constraints on studies of timing in diverse geologic environments.

  15. (40)Ar/(39)Ar dating, paleomagnetism, and tephrochemistry of Pliocene strata of the hominid-bearing Woranso-Mille area, west-central Afar Rift, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Deino, Alan L; Scott, Gary R; Saylor, Beverly; Alene, Mulugeta; Angelini, Joshua D; Haile-Selassie, Yohannes

    2010-02-01

    (40)Ar/(39)Ar dating of tuffs and mafic lavas, tephra geochemistry, and paleomagnetic reversal stratigraphy have been used to establish the chronostratigraphy of the Pliocene hominid-bearing fossiliferous succession at Woranso-Mille, a paleontological study area in the western part of the central Afar region of Ethiopia. The succession in the northwestern part of the study area ranges in (40)Ar/(39)Ar age from 3.82-3.570 Ma, encompassed by paleomagnetic subchron C2Ar (4.187-3.596 Ma). One of the major tuff units, locally named the Kilaytoli tuff, is correlative on the basis of age and geochemistry to the Lokochot Tuff of the Turkana Basin. A hominid partial skeleton (KSD-VP-1) was found in strata whose precise stratigraphic position and age is still under investigation, but is believed to correspond to the later part of this interval. Woranso-Mille fills a significant gap in the fossil record of northeastern Africa at the time of the lower to middle Pliocene transition, when many extant species lineages of African fauna were established. PMID:20034653

  16. Rheology, tectonics, and the structure of the Venus lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, M. T.

    1994-01-01

    Given the absence of ground truth information on seismic structure, heat flow, and rock strength, or short wavelength gravity or magnetic data for Venus, information on the thermal, mechanical and compositional nature of the shallow interior must be obtained by indirect methods. Using pre-Magellan data, theoretical models constrained by the depths of impact craters and the length scales of tectonic features yielded estimates on the thickness of Venus' brittle-elastic lithosphere and the allowable range of crustal thickness and surface thermal gradient. The purpose of this study is to revisit the question of the shallow structure of Venus based on Magellan observations of the surface and recent experiments that address Venus' crustal rheology.

  17. 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

  18. Electromagnetic induction studies. [of earth lithosphere and asthenosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hermance, J. F.

    1983-01-01

    Recent developments in electromagnetic induction studies of the lithosphere and the asthenosphere are reviewed. Attention is given to geoelectrical studies of active tectonic areas in terms of the major zones of crustal extension, the basin and range province along western regions of North America, and the Rio Grande rift. Studies have also been performed of tectonic activity around Iceland, the Salton Trough and Cerro Prieto, and the subduction zones of the Cascade Mountains volcanic belt, where magnetotelluric and geomagnetic variation studies have been done. Geomagnetic variations experiments have been reported in the Central Appalachians, and submarine electromagnetic studies along the Juan de Fuca ridge. Controlled source electromagnetic and dc resistivity investigations have been carried out in Nevada, Hawaii, and in the Adirondacks Mountains. Laboratory examinations on the conductivity of representative materials over a broad range of temperature, pressure, and chemistry are described.

  19. Three-dimensional density structure of the lunar upper lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Q.; Du, J.; Chen, C.; Li, Y.

    2011-12-01

    The lithosphere of the Moon has a thickness over 1200 km according to the seismology studies. It records the giant impact events during the processes of solidification. The upper lithosphere including the crust and the upper mantle was thought to be a nonuniform layer in thickness and seismic velocity, yet the lateral density structure remains poorly understood. The global gravity data thus provides a significant constraint on the three-dimensional (3-D) density structure of the Moon. Previous studies assumed that the crust and the mantle have constant density the gravity anomalies are only produced by the variations of interface between the crust and the mantle. Therefore, the constant density may give overestimation or underestimation of the Moho depth. In contrast, we apply a 3-D inverse method in spherical coordinate to the lunar gravity anomaly. It is a direct way in recovering the density structures beneath mascon basins or the lateral density heterogeneities in the upper lithosphere. The gravity anomaly we use in this study is the Bouguer gravity anomaly calculated at 1750 km radius relative to the reference radius, 1737.153 km[1], from the newly gravity field model SGM100i[2] and the topography model LRO_LTM02[1]. In order to understand the global feature of density variation, we truncate the long wavelength anomaly up to the order of 30 to reconstruct the density distribution above the depth of 100 km in the Moon. With the inverse technique, we obtain a global 3-D density structure of the lunar lithosphere down to 100 km depth. The major features are dominated by the mascons with dense materials and the broad region of the farside highland with relative low density mass. From this structure, the huge mass concentrations are found beneath the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin, meaning that the oblique impact not only excavated the SPA basin into deep but also made the mantle uplifted close to a depth of 30 km (relative to a 1738 km radius). We suggest here that

  20. Upper mantle flow and lithospheric dynamics beneath the Eurasian region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, G.; Jiang, G.; Jia, Z.; Gao, R.; Fu, R.

    2010-12-01

    Evidence from seismic tomography, geothermal and short wavelength geoid anomalies reveals the existence of small-scale convective systems in the upper mantle, with scales ranging from 500 km to 700 km. It is reasonable to suggest that these small-scale convective systems probably control the regional tectonic structure and the dynamical processes of the lithosphere. Here we have calculated the patterns of small-scale convection in the upper mantle for the Eurasian region (20°E~170°E,15°N~75°N), using the anomaly of isostatic gravity. The results show that the regional lithospheric tectonics is strongly correlated with the upper mantle flow in the Eurasian region. Two intensive convective belts against the weak background convection can be recognized from convection patterns in this region: Alpine-Himalayan collision belt and West Pacific island arc-underthrust belt. Alpine-Himalayan belt is caused by the collision between the northern plate (Eurasian plate) and the southern plates (African plate and Indian plate). West Pacific island arc-underthrust belt is caused by the subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the Eurasian plate. Both of them are also seismotectonic belts. The collision and the subduction are two important geological events occurred since Mesozoic era and Cenozoic era in the Eurasian region. Therefore, the mantle flows may be one of the main driving forces of two events. In addition, most plate boundaries in this region can be recognized and the characteristics of upper mantle convection are different completely between the Eurasian plate and the plates around it (African plate, Arabian plate, Indian plate, Philippine Sea plate and Pacific plate). Main structures and geodynamic characteristics of the Eurasian can also be explained by our model results. The Tibet plateau is located in the intensive convective belt. Around the belt, the upwelling materials push the lithosphere to lift unitarily and form the plateau. Towards the north of the Tibet

  1. Pre-seismic Lithosphere, Atmosphere and Ionosphere Coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamogawa, M.

    2006-12-01

    Pre-seismic anomalous states in the atmosphere and ionosphere as well as those in the telluric currents and ultra-low frequency electromagnetic waves have been reported since the 1970s. These pre-seismic phenomena have not yet been universally accepted, partly because the low occurrence frequency of large earthquakes has hindered establishing their statistical significance. Recent achievements in this respect, however, seem to be highly encouraging for promoting further studies on the pre-seismic lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere (LAI) coupling. Liu et al. (JGR, 2006) constructed a set of quantitative definitions for ionospheric anomalies (depression of foF2) and examined the statistical correlation between thus defined ionospheric anomalies and all the Taiwan M>=5 earthquakes (184 in number) during the period 1994-1999. The results indicated that anomalies appeared within 5 days before the earthquakes. Examining the validity of the pre-seismic anomalous transmission of VHF electromagnetic waves beyond the line-of-sight, Fujiwara and Kamogawa et al. (GRL, 2004) statistically demonstrated the existence of atmospheric anomalies lasting for a few minutes to several hours before earthquakes. They found that the anomalies were significantly enhanced within 5 days before M>=4.8 earthquakes. If the pre-seismic atmospheric - ionospheric anomalies are real, some phenomena causing them should be detectable on the ground. If such causal phenomena are identified, the concept of lithosphere - atmosphere - ionosphere coupling (LAI coupling) will be greatly strengthened. Possible mechanisms for energy-transport channels from the lithosphere to the atmosphere-ionosphere are summarized as follows: First, the atmospheric electric field generated on/near the ground surface during the pre-seismic period may cause the ionospheric anomalies. Such an atmospheric electric field may be caused by ions generated from radon emissions. Actually, a number of reports have been published for pre

  2. Deformation of island-arc lithosphere due to steady plate subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukahata, Yukitoshi; Matsu'ura, Mitsuhiro

    2016-02-01

    Steady plate subduction elastically brings about permanent lithospheric deformation in island arcs, though this effect has been neglected in most studies based on elastic dislocation theory. We investigate the characteristics of the permanent lithospheric deformation using a kinematic model, in which steady slip motion is given along a plate interface in the elastic lithosphere overlying the viscoelastic asthenosphere under gravity. As a rule of thumb, long-term lithospheric deformation can be understood as a bending of an elastic plate floating on non-viscous fluid, because the asthenosphere behaves like water on the long term. The steady slip below the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary does not contribute to long-term lithospheric deformation. Hence, the key parameters that control the lithospheric deformation are only the thickness of the lithosphere and the geometry of the plate interface. Slip on a plate interface generally causes substantial vertical displacement, and gravity always tries to retrieve the original gravitational equilibrium. For a curved plate interface gravity causes convex upward bending of the island-arc lithosphere, while for a planar plate interface gravity causes convex downward bending. Larger curvature and thicker lithosphere generally results in larger deformation. When the curvature changes along the plate interface, internal deformation is also involved intrinsically, which modifies the deformation field due to gravity. Because the plate interface generally has some curvature, at least near the trench, convex upward bending of the island-arc lithosphere, which involves uplift of island-arc and subsidence around the trench, is always realized. On the other hand, the deformation field of the island-arc lithosphere sensitively depends on lithospheric thickness and plate interface geometry. These characteristics obtained by the numerical simulation are consistent with observed topography and free-air gravity anomalies in subduction

  3. On the relations between cratonic lithosphere thickness, plate motions, and basal drag

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Artemieva, I.M.; Mooney, W.D.

    2002-01-01

    An overview of seismic, thermal, and petrological evidence on the structure of Precambrian lithosphere suggests that its local maximum thickness is highly variable (140-350 km), with a bimodal distribution for Archean cratons (200-220 km and 300-350 km). We discuss the origin of such large differences in lithospheric thickness, and propose that the lithospheric base can have large depth variations over short distances. The topography of Bryce Canyon (western USA) is proposed as an inverted analog of the base of the lithosphere. The horizontal and vertical dimensions of Archean cratons are strongly correlated: larger cratons have thicker lithosphere. Analysis of the bimodal distribution of lithospheric thickness in Archean cratons shows that the "critical" surface area for cratons to have thick (>300 km) keels is >6-8 ?? 106 km2 . Extrapolation of the linear trend between Archean lithospheric thickness and cratonic area to zero area yields a thickness of 180 km. This implies that the reworking of Archean crust should be accompanied by thinning and reworking of the entire lithospheric column to a thickness of 180 km in accord with thickness estimates for Proterozoic lithosphere. Likewise, extrapolation of the same trend to the size equal to the total area of all Archean cratons implies that the lithospheric thickness of a hypothesized early Archean supercontinent could have been 350-450 km decreasing to 280-400 km for Gondwanaland. We evaluate the basal drag model as a possible mechanism that may thin the cratonic lithosphere. Inverse correlations are found between lithospheric thickness and (a) fractional subduction length and (b) the effective ridge length. In agreement with theoretical predictions, lithospheric thickness of Archean keels is proportional to the square root of the ratio of the craton length (along the direction of plate motion) to the plate velocity. Large cratons with thick keels and low plate velocities are less eroded by basal drag than small

  4. Lithosphere Structure and Mantle Characterization of the Alpine-Himalayan Belt: Atlas, Zagros and Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Munt, I.; Tunini, L.; Fernandez, M.; Verges, J.; Garcia-Castellanos, D.

    2015-12-01

    By combining geophysical and petrological information, we investigate the crust and upper mantle of three orogens of the Alpine-Himalayan Belt (Atlas, Zagros and Tibet), characterizing the lithosphere from the thermal, compositional and seismological viewpoint. The modeling is based on an integrated geophysical-petrological methodology combining elevation, gravity, geoid, surface heat flow, seismic and geochemical data.The results show prominent lithospheric mantle thickening beneath the Moroccan margin followed by thinning beneath the Atlas Mountains. Different convergence accommodation between the crust and lithospheric mantle suggests a decoupled crustal-mantle mechanical response. In the northern Zagros the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary rises sharply below the Sanandaj Sirjan Zone in a narrow region, whereas in the central Zagros the thinning is smoother and affects a wider region. The transition from the Arabian to the Eurasian lithospheric domain is located beneath the Zagros range, and it is marked by a change in the mantle velocity anomaly and in the lithospheric mantle composition. In the western Himalaya-Tibetan orogen, the lithosphere thickening is gradual reaching the maximum below the northern edge of the Plateau. The Indian lithospheric mantle underlies the whole Tibetan Plateau up to the boundary with the Tarim Basin. In the eastern sector, the thickening generates sharp steps beneath the Himalaya Range, and it thins abruptly beneath the Qiangtang and the Songpan Ganzi terrains. The Indian underthrusting is restricted to the southern Plateau. Different Eurasian domains have been also identified beneath the Tarim Basin, the Altaids region and NE Plateau by means of different lithospheric mantle compositions. The lithospheric models crossing Zagros and Tibetan Plateau show that the present-day lithosphere mantle structure of the Arabia-Eurasia and India-Eurasia collision zones are laterally-varying along the strike of both orogens, not just in

  5. Trench curvature and deformation of the subducting lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schettino, Antonio; Tassi, Luca

    2012-01-01

    The subduction of oceanic lithosphere is generally accompanied by downdip and lateral deformation. The downdip component of strain is associated with external forces that are applied to the slab during its sinking, namely the gravitational force and the mantle resistance to penetration. Here, we present theoretical arguments showing that a tectonic plate is also subject to a predictable amount of lateral deformation as a consequence of its bending along an arcuate trench zone, independently from the long-term physical processes that have determined the actual curvature of the subduction zone. In particular, we show that the state of lateral strain and the lateral strain rate of a subducting slab depend from geometric and kinematic parameters, such as trench curvature, dip function and subduction velocity. We also demonstrate that the relationship between the state of lateral strain in a subducting slab and the geometry of bending at the corresponding active margin implies a small component of lateral shortening at shallow depths, and may include large extensional lateral deformation at intermediate depths, whereas a state of lateral mechanical equilibrium can only represent a localized exception. Our formulation overcomes the flaws of the classic 'ping-pong ball' model for the bending of the lithosphere at subduction zones, which lead to severe discrepancies with the observed geometry and style of deformation of the modern subducting slabs. A study of the geometry and seismicity of eight modern subduction zones is performed, to assess the validity of the theoretical relationship between trench curvature, slab dip function, and lateral strain rate. The strain pattern within the eight present-day slabs, which is reconstructed through an analysis of Harvard CMT solutions, shows that tectonic plates cannot be considered as flexible-inextensible spherical caps, whereas the lateral intraslab deformation which is accommodated through seismic slip can be explained in terms

  6. Constraints on Lithospheric Rheology from Observations of Coronae on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Rourke, Joseph G.; Smrekar, Suzanne; Moresi, Louis N.

    2016-10-01

    Coronae are enigmatic, quasi-circular features found in myriad geological environments. They are primarily distinguished as rings of concentric fractures superimposed on various topographic profiles with at least small-scale volcanism. Mantle plumes may produce coronae with interior rises, whereas coronae with central depressions are often attributed to downwellings like Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. For almost three decades, modelers have attempted to reproduce the topographic and gravity profiles measured at coronae. Until recently, few studies also considered tectonic deformation and melt production. In particular, "Type 2" coronae have complete topographic rims but arcs of fractures extending less than 180°, signifying both brittle and ductile deformation. Only a narrow range of rheological parameters like temperature and volatile content may be compatible with these observations. Ultimately, identifying how lithospheric properties differ between Earth and Venus is critical to understanding what factors permit plate tectonics on rocky, Earth-sized planets.Here we present a hierarchical approach to study the formation of coronae. First, we discuss an observational survey enabled by a new digital elevation model derived from stereo topography for ~20% of the surface of Venus, which offers an order-of-magnitude improvement over the horizontal resolution (10 to 20 kilometers) of altimetry data from NASA's Magellan mission. Next, we search this new dataset for signs of lithospheric flexure around small coronae. Simple, thin-elastic plate models were fit to topographic profiles of larger coronae in previous studies, but data resolution impeded efforts to apply this method to the entire coronae population. Finally, we show simulations of the formation of coronae using Underworld II, an open-source code adaptable to a variety of geodynamical problems. We benchmark our code using models of pure Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities and then investigate the influence of

  7. Experimental study of lithosphere-troposphere-ionosphere coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korepanov, Valery; Fedorov, Oleh; Lizunov, Georgy

    The ionosphere is the closest to the Earth area of near-Earth space and because of this the powerful natural and man-made processes, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami, big explosions and starts of heavy rockets to name a few, have to create corresponding disturbances there. Numerous experimental observations evidence the existence of such "terragenic" variations of ionospheric parameters, created by the sources below the ionosphere, in the troposphere and even in the lithosphere. Probably the most important question here is whether it is possible to detect enough reliably the ionospheric disturbances, related to the earthquake preparation state, at the background of the much stronger influences "from above" - of solar and galactic sources. So, the seismo-ionospheric coupling is one of the hottest topics of modern scientific research. The importance to shed more light to this process is connected with the study of possible earthquakes precursors in the ionosphere, monitoring of which could be a further step to the scientifically substantiated solution of the problem of earthquakes warning. The processing results of the data collected at Ukrainian Antarctic Station "Academician Vernadsky" are discussed. Basing on these data the theoretical study was performed and the energy transmission mechanism in the lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere system is analyzed. The atmospheric gravity waves are proposed as the most probable energy carriers for troposphere-ionosphere coupling. Basing on this study, as well as on the experience of preparation of several dedicated satellite mission (e. g., WARNING, INTERBALL-PROGNOZ) a new idea of spatial experiment IONOSAT is proposed to study in details the mechanism of seismo-ionospheric coupling and its realization peculiarities are discussed. This study was supported by NSAU contract No 1-02/03.

  8. Lithospheric architecture of the Hudson Bay region (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, D. W.; Darbyshire, F. A.

    2009-12-01

    Hudson Bay conceals several fundamental tectonic elements of North America, including most of the ca. 1.8 Ga Trans Hudson orogen (THO) and the Paleozoic Hudson Bay basin. Formed due to a collision between the Superior and Churchill Provinces of the Canadian Shield, the THO is similar in scale and tectonic style to the modern Himalayan-Karakorum orogen. During collision, the lobate shape of the indentor (Superior Province) formed an orogenic template that, along with the Sask craton of central North America, exerted a persistent influence on the tectonic evolution of the region resulting in anomalous preservation of juvenile crustal material. Juvenile crust in the southeastern part of Hudson Bay is interpreted to have formed within an island-arc setting proximal to the Superior Province, in contrast to the Reindeer Zone of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which accreted first to the Churchill Province. Thick, cold and refractory lithosphere that underlies the Bay is well imaged by surface-wave and S-Receiver function studies and comprises a large component of the cratonic mantle keel that forms the nucleus of the North American continent. The existence of an unusually thick mantle root beneath Hudson Bay indicates that subduction and plate collision during the Trans-Hudson orogeny were ‘root-preserving’ (if not ‘root-forming’) processes. Although the Hudson Bay basin is the largest by surface area of four major intracratonic basins in North America, it is also the shallowest. Crustal thinning imaged from ambient-noise tomography is consistent with previous models of basin subsidence caused by extension. Compared to other basins of similar age in North America, however, relatively stiff Early Paleozoic lithosphere may have inhibited subsidence of the Hudson Bay basin.

  9. Lithospheric flexure and gravity spreading of Olympus Mons volcano, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musiol, S.; Holohan, E. P.; Cailleau, B.; Platz, T.; Dumke, A.; Walter, T. R.; Williams, D. A.; Gasselt, S.

    2016-03-01

    The structural architecture of large volcanoes is governed substantially by gravity-driven deformation that is manifest as distinct processes such as basement flexure or volcanic spreading. Temporal effects and the mutual interplay of these processes have been investigated only to a limited extent, and so we present novel numerical models of the time-dependent deformation associated with them. The models simulate the combined effects of lithospheric flexure and volcanic spreading during growth increments of an elastoplastic volcanic cone. Different spreading scenarios are considered by a variable coupling decoupling behavior at the interface between volcano and basement. We apply our models to Olympus Mons on Mars, which is characterized by upper to middle flank terraces on the shield, is encircled by a basal scarp that has an average slope of 30° and is surrounded by distant deposits that resemble large-scale slumping features on Earth. Our results are consistent with the interpretation that terraces on Olympus Mons' flanks form by thrust faulting that results from lithospheric flexure. The presence and expression of terraces depend on the coupling of volcano and basement, on the time of volcano growth relative to mantle relaxation, and on the cohesion of the edifice. The encircling scarp may be related to a very low friction detachment at the edifice base, which leads to a normal fault regime on the lowermost flanks. With time and volcano growth, predicted stress and faulting regimes migrate only slightly, indicating that the structural architecture of volcanoes is largely set in the very early stages of formation.

  10. Re-Os systematics of the Siberian lithosphere: Evidence for melt percolation and lithospheric re-fertilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pernet-Fisher, J.; Pearson, D.; Barry, P. H.; Howarth, G. H.; Pokhilenko, N. P.; Taylor, L. A.

    2013-12-01

    The Siberian craton underwent multiple episodes of kimberlite magmatism spanning the Silurian to the Jurassic, during which numerous mantle xenoliths from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) were brought to the surface. During this time, kimberlite magmatism was interrupted by the emplacement of the Siberian Flood Basalts (SFB) at ~250 Ma, relating to the main stage of activity of the Siberian Superplume. This makes the Siberian craton an ideal location to characterize metasomatism of the SCLM over the life-cycle of a plume. We report new Re-Os isotope analyses on whole-rock and olivine separates, in parallel with detailed petrographic descriptions of two suites of peridotite xenoliths recovered from the Silurian Udachnaya (360 Ma) and Jurassic Obnazhennaya (160 Ma) kimberlite pipes, bracketing the climax of Superplume activity with eruption of the SFB. The 187Os/188Os values for Udachnaya are within the range of previously reported values [1]. The most depleted harzburgite sample displays the most unradiogenic 187Os/188Os (0.1082) yielding a Neoarchean (3.0-2.5 Ga) calculated model depletion age, consistent with estimated formation age of the Siberian lithospheric keel [1]. Udachnaya lherzolite samples yield younger Proterozoic model depletion ages ranging from ~1-2 Ga (average 1.5 Ga). This age range is consistent with the final stages of craton building [2] and is likely to reflect metasomatic events associated with the re-fertilization of the mantle from harzburgite to lherzolite, at this time. In contrast, the younger Obnazhennaya peridotites contain olivine with Fo >92 associated with radiogenic 187Os/188Os (average 0.1330), within the range of typical fertile mantle. Garnet melt reconstructions of these peridotites show evidence of re-equilibration with basaltic melts derived from the Siberian Superplume [3]. It is clear that extensive percolation of basaltic melts through the SCLM during the main phase of plume activity has had a profound impact

  11. Mid-ocean-ridge seismicity reveals extreme types of ocean lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlindwein, Vera; Schmid, Florian

    2016-07-01

    Along ultraslow-spreading ridges, where oceanic tectonic plates drift very slowly apart, conductive cooling is thought to limit mantle melting and melt production has been inferred to be highly discontinuous. Along such spreading centres, long ridge sections without any igneous crust alternate with magmatic sections that host massive volcanoes capable of strong earthquakes. Hence melt supply, lithospheric composition and tectonic structure seem to vary considerably along the axis of the slowest-spreading ridges. However, owing to the lack of seismic data, the lithospheric structure of ultraslow ridges is poorly constrained. Here we describe the structure and accretion modes of two end-member types of oceanic lithosphere using a detailed seismicity survey along 390 kilometres of ultraslow-spreading ridge axis. We observe that amagmatic sections lack shallow seismicity in the upper 15 kilometres of the lithosphere, but unusually contain earthquakes down to depths of 35 kilometres. This observation implies a cold, thick lithosphere, with an upper aseismic zone that probably reflects substantial serpentinization. We find that regions of magmatic lithosphere thin dramatically under volcanic centres, and infer that the resulting topography of the lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary could allow along-axis melt flow, explaining the uneven crustal production at ultraslow-spreading ridges. The seismicity data indicate that alteration in ocean lithosphere may reach far deeper than previously thought, with important implications towards seafloor deformation and fluid circulation.

  12. Utilizing thermal isostasy to estimate sub-lithospheric heat flow and anomalous crustal radioactivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasterok, D.; Gard, M.

    2016-09-01

    While surface heat flow relates to the heat loss through the lithosphere, it can be difficult to quantify and separate the heat produced internally through radiogenic decay from the heat transferred across the base of the lithosphere by mantle convection. In this study, we apply a thermo-isostatic analysis to Australia and estimate the sub-lithospheric and radiogenic heat flow components by employing a simple 1-D conservation of energy model. We estimate an anomalous radiogenic heat production across much of eastern Australia generally accounting for >50 mW m-2, while western Australia appears to have high crustal compositionally corrected elevation, possibly related to chemical buoyancy of the mantle lithosphere. A moderately high sub-lithospheric heat flow (∼40 mW m-2) along the eastern and southeastern coast, including Tasmania, is coincident with locations of Cenozoic volcanism and supports an edge-driven convection hypothesis. However, the pattern of sub-lithospheric heat flow along the margin does not support the existence of hotspot tracks. Thermo-isostatic models such as these improve our ability to identify and quantify crustal from mantle sources of heat loss and add valuable constraints on tectonic and geodynamic models of the continental lithosphere's physical state and evolution.

  13. Intra-cratonic melting as a result of delamination of mantle lithosphere - insight from numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorczyk, W.; Vogt, K.; Gerya, T.; Hobbs, B. E.

    2012-12-01

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that intense deformation, metamorphism and metasomatism occur within continental cratonic blocks far removed form subducting margins Such changes may occur intra-cratonically arising from lithospheric thickening and the development of gravitational instabilities, but mostly occur at the boundary of cratonic blocks. The contact of two cratons is characterized by rheological lateral variations within mantle-lithosphere and overlying crust. Tectonic stresses acting on craton/craton boundaries may lead to thinning or thickening due to delamination of the mantle lithosphere. This is reflected in tectonic deformation, topography evolution, melting and crustal metamorphism. To understand the controls on these processes a number of 2D, coupled petrological thermo-mechanical numerical experiments has been performed to test the response of a laterally weakened zone to a compressional regime. The results indicate that the presence of water-bearing minerals in the lithosphere and lower crust is essential to initiate melting, which in the later stages may expand to dry melting of crust and mantle. In the case of anhydrous crust and lithosphere, no melting occurs. Thus a variety of instabilities, melting behaviour and topographic responses occurs at the base of the lithosphere as well as intensive faulting and buckling in the crust dependent on the strength and "water" content of the lithosphere.

  14. Imaging Canary Island hotspot material beneath the lithosphere of Morocco and southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Meghan S.; O'Driscoll, Leland J.; Butcher, Amber J.; Thomas, Christine

    2015-12-01

    The westernmost Mediterranean has developed into its present day tectonic configuration as a result of complex interactions between late stage subduction of the Neo-Tethys Ocean, continental collision of Africa and Eurasia, and the Canary Island mantle plume. This study utilizes S receiver functions (SRFs) from over 360 broadband seismic stations to seismically image the lithosphere and uppermost mantle from southern Spain through Morocco and the Canary Islands. The lithospheric thickness ranges from ∼65 km beneath the Atlas Mountains and the active volcanic islands to over ∼210 km beneath the cratonic lithosphere in southern Morocco. The common conversion point (CCP) volume of the SRFs indicates that thinned lithosphere extends from beneath the Canary Islands offshore southwestern Morocco, to beneath the continental lithosphere of the Atlas Mountains, and then thickens abruptly at the West African craton. Beneath thin lithosphere between the Canary hot spot and southern Spain, including below the Atlas Mountains and the Alboran Sea, there are distinct pockets of low velocity material, as inferred from high amplitude positive, sub-lithospheric conversions in the SRFs. These regions of low seismic velocity at the base of the lithosphere extend beneath the areas of Pliocene-Quaternary magmatism, which has been linked to a Canary hotspot source via geochemical signatures. However, we find that this volume of low velocity material is discontinuous along strike and occurs only in areas of recent volcanism and where asthenospheric mantle flow is identified with shear wave splitting analyses. We propose that the low velocity structure beneath the lithosphere is material flowing sub-horizontally northeastwards beneath Morocco from the tilted Canary Island plume, and the small, localized volcanoes are the result of small-scale upwellings from this material.

  15. Cenozoic alkali basalts from Jingpohu, NE China: The role of lithosphere asthenosphere interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Jun; Zhao, Jian-Xin

    2008-06-01

    The geochemistry of Late Cenozoic volcanic rocks from Jingpohu, NE China, provides important constraints on the petrogenesis of continental alkali basalts and lithospheric evolution in the eastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). Miocene-Pleistocene and Holocene basalts from Jingpohu show alkali affinities and are characterized by Ocean Island Basalt (OIB)-like REE and trace element patterns somehow resembling Holocene potassic rocks from Wudalianchi which are considered to be derived from ancient enriched lithospheric mantle. These basalts show depleted Sr-Nd isotopic compositions ( 87Sr/ 86Sr = 0.7039-0.7046, ɛNd = 1.3-6.0) and Dupal-like but unradiogenic Pb isotopic signatures ( 206Pb/ 204Pb = 17.54-17.94, 207Pb/ 204Pb = 15.45-15.54, 208Pb/ 204Pb = 37.71-38.07), comparable to the OIB. The combined geochemical and isotopic signatures are consistent with magma source mixing between a Focal Zone (FOZO)-like asthenospheric mantle component (characterized by enriched Pb and depleted Sr-Nd isotopic compositions) and an isotopically enriched EM1-type subcontinental lithospheric mantle component. Lithospheric thickness inferred from alkali basalts from different regions implies a progressive thinning from west to east in the CAOB, which may be caused by lithosphere-asthenosphere interaction. We propose that upwelling of the asthenosphere and subsequent mechanical and chemical erosion beneath lithospheric mantle induced by subduction of the Pacific plate might have been responsible for the lithospheric thinning in the eastern CAOB. The lithospheric thinning has proceeded in a dischronous way in the western North China Craton, near the Daxinganling-Taihangshan gravity lineament, but this event did not take place in the corresponding area of the CAOB. The lithospheric thinning shows different styles both spatially and temporally in the two tectonic units.

  16. Variations in timing of lithospheric failure on terrestrial planets due to chaotic nature of mantle convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Teresa; Solomatov, Viatcheslav S.

    2016-05-01

    We perform numerical simulations of lithospheric failure in the stagnant lid regime of temperature-dependent viscosity convection, using the yield stress approach. We find that the time of failure can vary significantly for the same values of the controlling parameters due to the chaotic nature of the convective system. The general trend of the dependence of the time of lithospheric failure on the yield stress can be explained by treating lithospheric failure as a type of Rayleigh-Taylor instability. This study suggests that it is important to address not only the question of whether plate tectonics can occur on a planet but also when it would occur if conditions are favorable.

  17. Osmium isotopic evidence for ancient subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath the kerguelen islands, southern indian ocean

    PubMed

    Hassler; Shimizu

    1998-04-17

    Upper mantle xenoliths found in ocean island basalts are an important window through which the oceanic mantle lithosphere may be viewed directly. Osmium isotopic data on peridotite xenoliths from the Kerguelen Islands, an archipelago that is located on the northern Kerguelen Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean, demonstrate that pieces of mantle of diverse provenance are present beneath the Islands. In particular, peridotites with unradiogenic osmium and ancient rhenium-depletion ages (to 1.36 x 10(9) years old) may be pieces of the Gondwanaland subcontinental lithosphere that were incorporated into the Indian Ocean lithosphere as a result of the rifting process. PMID:9545216

  18. Global map of lithosphere thermal thickness on a 1 deg x 1 deg grid - digitally available

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemieva, Irina

    2014-05-01

    This presentation reports a 1 deg ×1 deg global thermal model for the continental lithosphere (TC1). The model is digitally available from the author's web-site: www.lithosphere.info. Geotherms for continental terranes of different ages (early Archean to present) are constrained by reliable data on borehole heat flow measurements (Artemieva and Mooney, 2001), checked with the original publications for data quality, and corrected for paleo-temperature effects where needed. These data are supplemented by cratonic geotherms based on xenolith data. Since heat flow measurements cover not more than half of the continents, the remaining areas (ca. 60% of the continents) are filled by the statistical numbers derived from the thermal model constrained by borehole data. Continental geotherms are statistically analyzed as a function of age and are used to estimate lithospheric temperatures in continental regions with no or low quality heat flow data. This analysis requires knowledge of lithosphere age globally. A compilation of tectono-thermal ages of lithospheric terranes on a 1 deg × 1 deg grid forms the basis for the statistical analysis. It shows that, statistically, lithospheric thermal thickness z (in km) depends on tectono-thermal age t (in Ma) as: z=0.04t+93.6. This relationship formed the basis for a global thermal model of the continental lithosphere (TC1). Statistical analysis of continental geotherms also reveals that this relationship holds for the Archean cratons in general, but not in detail. Particularly, thick (more than 250 km) lithosphere is restricted solely to young Archean terranes (3.0-2.6 Ga), while in old Archean cratons (3.6-3.0 Ga) lithospheric roots do not extend deeper than 200-220 km. The TC1 model is presented by a set of maps, which show significant thermal heterogeneity within continental upper mantle. The strongest lateral temperature variations (as large as 800 deg C) are typical of the shallow mantle (depth less than 100 km). A map of the

  19. Continuous deformation versus faulting through the continental lithosphere of new zealand

    PubMed

    Molnar; Anderson; Audoine; Eberhart-Phillips; Gledhill; Klosko; McEvilly; Okaya; Savage; Stern; Wu

    1999-10-15

    Seismic anisotropy and P-wave delays in New Zealand imply widespread deformation in the underlying mantle, not slip on a narrow fault zone, which is characteristic of plate boundaries in oceanic regions. Large magnitudes of shear-wave splitting and orientations of fast polarization parallel to the Alpine fault show that pervasive simple shear of the mantle lithosphere has accommodated the cumulative strike-slip plate motion. Variations in P-wave residuals across the Southern Alps rule out underthrusting of one slab of mantle lithosphere beneath another but permit continuous deformation of lithosphere shortened by about 100 kilometers since 6 to 7 million years ago.

  20. Report of the panel on lithospheric structure and evolution, section 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chase, Clement G.; Lang, Harold; Mcnutt, Marcia K.; Paylor, Earnest D.; Sandwell, David T.; Stern, Robert J.

    1991-01-01

    The panel concluded that NASA can contribute to developing a refined understanding of the compositional, structural, and thermal differences between continental and oceanic lithosphere through a vigorous program in solid Earth science with the following objectives: determine the most fundamental geophysical property of the planet; determine the global gravity field to an accuracy of a few milliGals at wavelengths of 100 km or less; determine the global lithospheric magnetic field to a few nanoTeslas at a wavelength of 100 km; determine how the lithosphere has evolved to its present state via acquiring geologic remote sensing data over all the continents.

  1. Osmium isotopic evidence for ancient subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath the kerguelen islands, southern indian ocean

    PubMed

    Hassler; Shimizu

    1998-04-17

    Upper mantle xenoliths found in ocean island basalts are an important window through which the oceanic mantle lithosphere may be viewed directly. Osmium isotopic data on peridotite xenoliths from the Kerguelen Islands, an archipelago that is located on the northern Kerguelen Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean, demonstrate that pieces of mantle of diverse provenance are present beneath the Islands. In particular, peridotites with unradiogenic osmium and ancient rhenium-depletion ages (to 1.36 x 10(9) years old) may be pieces of the Gondwanaland subcontinental lithosphere that were incorporated into the Indian Ocean lithosphere as a result of the rifting process.

  2. The electrical resistivity structure of lithosphere across the Dharwar craton nucleus and Coorg block of South Indian shield: Evidence of collision and modified and preserved lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdul Azeez, K. K.; Veeraswamy, K.; Gupta, Arvind K.; Babu, Narendra; Chandrapuri, Sateesh; Harinarayana, T.

    2015-10-01

    Magnetotelluric-derived two-dimensional lithospheric resistivity structure of the western Dharwar craton (WDC) and adjoining Coorg block indicates isolated low-resistivity zones in the crust and three striking upper mantle conductive features within the highly resistive Archean lithosphere. The crustal conductors in the WDC show good spatial correlation with the exposed supracrustal rocks conformable with the relic schist belt channels having conductive mineral grains. Conductive zones within the Coorg crust might be related to the relatively young (933 Ma) metamorphic processes in the area and/or possible fluids derived from the Cretaceous passage of Reunion plume in the proximity of Coorg area. A near-vertical conductive structure extending from the lower crust into the upper mantle coincides with the transition zone between Coorg and WDC. This is interpreted as the suture zone between the two tectonic blocks and provides evidence for the individuality of the two Archean terrains. An anomalous upper mantle conductive zone found beneath the craton nucleus may indicate a modified cratonic lithosphere. This could have been derived due to the collision between Coorg and WDC and possibly survived by the subsequent multiple episodes of melt and fluid infiltration processes experienced in the region. Thick (~190 km) and preserved lithosphere is mapped at the eastern segment of WDC. Resistive lithosphere of ~125 km thickness is imaged for the Coorg block.

  3. Geodynamic inversion to constrain the rheology of the lithosphere: What is the effect of elasticity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumann, Tobias; Kaus, Boris; Thielmann, Marcel

    2016-04-01

    The concept of elastic thickness (T_e) is one of the main methods to describe the integrated strength of oceanic lithosphere (e.g. Watts, 2001). Observations of the Te are in general agreement with yield strength envelopes estimated from laboratory experiments (Burov, 2007, Goetze & Evans 1979). Yet, applying the same concept to the continental lithosphere has proven to be more difficult (Burov & Diament, 1995), which resulted in an ongoing discussion on the rheological structure of the lithosphere (e.g. Burov & Watts, 2006, Jackson, 2002; Maggi et al., 2000). Recently, we proposed a new approach, which constrains rheological properties of the lithosphere directly from geophysical observations such as GPS-velocity, topography and gravity (Baumann & Kaus, 2015). This approach has the advantage that available data sets (such as Moho depth) can be directly taken into account without making the a-priori assumption that the lithosphere is thin elastic plate floating on the mantle. Our results show that a Bayesian inversion method combined with numerical thermo-mechanical models can be used as independent tool to constrain non-linear viscous and plastic parameters of the lithosphere. As the rheology of the lithosphere is strongly temperature dependent, it is even possible to add a temperature parameterisation to the inversion method and constrain the thermal structure of the lithosphere in this manner. Results for the India-Asia collision zone show that existing geophysical data require India to have a quite high effective viscosity. Yet, the rheological structure of Tibet less well constrained and a number of scenarios give a nearly equally good fit to the data. Yet, one of the assumptions that we make while doing this geodynamic inversion is that the rheology is viscoplastic, and that elastic effects do not significantly alter the large-scale dynamics of the lithosphere. Here, we test the validity of this assumption by performing synthetic forward models and retrieving

  4. Dynamics of the Pacific Northwest Lithosphere and Asthenosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, E.

    2013-12-01

    Seismic imaging resolves a complex structure beneath the Pacific Northwest (PNW) that is interpreted as: an high-velocity piece of accreted (~50 Ma) Farallon lithosphere that deepens from being exposed (at coast, where it is called Siletzia) to lower crust in SE Washington and then descending vertically to ~600 km as a 'curtain' beneath central Idaho; a stubby Juan de Fuca slab (to <250 km in most places, and with a gap beneath much of Oregon); and very slow 'fingers' above the slab with an especially anomalous volume beneath central Oregon. The evacuation of asthenosphere with the descending Juan de Fuca slab presents an interesting problem. Typical corner-flow supply is prevented because the mantle wind blows eastward. A stagnation line between mantle drawn west into the mantle wedge and that flowing east in the far field may exist near the Farallon curtain. Other sources of supply to the Cascadia mantle wedge include: mantle flowing north beneath California, entrained with the Pacific Plate; flow from below the Juan de Fuca slab, perhaps especially through the Oregon gap; toroidal flow around the southern edge of the slab; and possible up-flow beneath the backarc. Anisotropy studies suggest the importance of toroidal flow. PNW lithosphere stress is dominated by N-S compression, a result of the Sierra Nevada driving the PNW into British Columbia; this push, and oblique subduction, are responsible for PNW clockwise rotation. Modeled (in 2D, map view) north-directed tractions on the Cascadia mega-thrust average ~4 TN per meter of along-strike fault length, or probably a shear stress of ~40 MPa over much of the locked mega-thrust (i.e., much more shear stress than the typical earthquake stress drop of 1-10 MPa). Normal to the coast, southern Cascadia is relatively tensional (where margin-normal compression is less than typical ridge push by ~4 TN/m of along-strike fault length) whereas northern Cascadia is compressional. This indicates that the southern Cascadia

  5. Widespread refertilization of cratonic and circum-cratonic lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yan-Jie; Zhang, Hong-Fu; Ying, Ji-Feng; Su, Ben-Xun

    2013-03-01

    Studies of mantle xenoliths have confirmed that Archean subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) is highly depleted in basaltic components (such as Al, Ca and Na) due to high-degree extraction of mafic and ultramafic melts and thus is refractory and buoyant, which made it chronically stable as tectonically independent units. However, increasing studies show that ancient SCLM can be refertilized by episodic rejuvenation events like infiltration of upwelling fertile material. The North China Craton is one of the most typical cases for relatively complete destruction of its Archean keel since the eruption of Paleozoic kimberlites, as is evidenced by a dramatic change in the compositions of mantle xenoliths sampled by Paleozoic to Cenozoic magmas, reflecting significant lithospheric thinning and the change in the character of the SCLM. The compositional change has been interpreted as the result of refertilization of Archean SCLM via multiple-stage peridotite-melt reactions, suggested by linear correlations between MgO and indices of fertility, covariations of Al2O3 with CaO, La/Yb, 87Sr/86Sr, 143Nd/144Nd, 187Os/188Os and Re-depletion ages (TRD), high Re abundances, scatter in Re-Os isotopic plot, variable in situ TRD ages of sulfides, and correlation between TRD ages and olivine Fo of peridotite xenoliths in Paleozoic kimberlites and Cenozoic basalts on the craton. By integrating major and trace element, Sr, Nd and Os isotopic compositions of peridotite xenoliths and orogenic massif peridotites from the continents of Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia, together with previous studies of petrology and geochemistry of global peridotites, we suggest that (1) refertilization of cratonic and circum-cratonic lithospheric mantle is widespread; (2) Archean SCLM worldwide has experienced a multi-stage history of melt depletion and refertilization since segregation from the convecting mantle; (3) cratonic SCLM may be more susceptible to compositional change caused by

  6. 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.

  7. The Changing Lithosphere: formation of minerals and dissapearance of rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vignola, Teresa; Floriano, Michele A.

    2014-05-01

    Earth Science teaching/learning is based on the idea that lithosphere is subject to changes that continuously modify its aspect. In order to demonstrate one of the causes of these changes, simple laboratory experiments have been used for first year high school students allowing simulating the formation of minerals by precipitation from a saturated solution and their solubility due to chemical reaction with acid substances. In the first stage, solubility, saturated and unsaturated solution concepts have been clarified by using sugar candies thatdissolveat different times by putting them in water containing increasing amounts of added sugar. Afterwards, by inspection of data tables, students have verified that different substances have different solubilities at the same temperature. At this point the solubility CuSO4. 5 H2O was considered and students prepared saturated aqueous solutions by adding 31.6 g of the salt in 100 ml of water. On further addition of salt for a total of 40 g, students have verified the presence of an undissolvedresidue that dissolved on heating. The obtained solution was transferred to a crystallization dish. Subsequent cooling and solvent evaporation produced a supersaturated solution where the precipitation process started allowing the formation, in 5-6 days, of CuSO4. 5 H2O bluecrystals. One of the minerals that can form by precipitation from a saturated solution is calcite that can originate from precipitation of calcium carbonate saturated solutions or from deposition of marine organisms inorganic residues containing calcium carbonate in their shells. However, when a mineral is formed, it will not remain unchanged forever. In order to show that some minerals and carbonaterocks, in addition to erosion phenomena, may also be subject to chemical attacks by atmospheric agents leading to their dissolution. Several rock samples were treated with an acid solution, and the bubbles forming in some of the samples demonstrated that even rocks could

  8. A spherical model of lithospheric dynamics and seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rozenberg, Valerii; Ismail-Zadeh, Alik; Melnikova, Lidiya; Soloviev, Alexander

    2010-05-01

    The dynamics of lithospheric plates is approximated by an interaction of rigid blocks of the modeled lithosphere (spherical segments) and faults separating them. The spherical block-and-fault dynamics (BAFD) model consists of fifteens blocks approximating tectonic plates and several additional blocks representing parts of the plates, where deep seismicity is observed. The blocks move as a consequence of the prescribed underlying mantle motion. The block displacements at any time are defined so that the system of the blocks is in a quasi-static equilibrium state. Because of the block rigidity, all deformations take place in the fault zones. The interaction between the spherical blocks is visco-elastic (a state of stress accumulation), so long as the ratio of the stress to the pressure is below a certain strength level. When this level is exceeded in some part of a fault, a stress-drop (a synthetic earthquake) occurs in accordance with the dry friction law. Immediately following the earthquake and for some period of time, the corresponding parts of the faults are in a state of creep. Catalogs of synthetic earthquakes are produced as results of numerical simulations. Using the catalogs of synthetic events we study frequency-magnitude relationships, clustering of the events, long-range interaction of earthquakes, earthquake mechanisms, and fault slips. The model catalogs obtained reflect important features of global seismicity: (i) two large seismic belts, the circum-Pacific and Alpine-Himalayan; (ii) extensive, but less pronounced, seismicity at mid-oceanic ridges; and (iii) increased seismic activity associated with triple junctions of plate boundaries. The model results are consistent with the observations: Nazca/South America, Cocos/Caribbean, India/Eurasia, California region, Arabia/Eurasia, northern Australia, and the Philippine plate margin are marked in the model as the regions prone to strong earthquakes. The modeled seismic activity is moderate at the

  9. Structure, seismicity, and instrumentation of stable North American lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolin, Emily Lynne Gregonis

    The work in this thesis covers a number of different fields in seismology. These can be divided into three parts. In the first, I discuss earthquakes that occur along the North American passive margin. In the second, I investigate the noise characteristics of Superior Rifting Earthscope Experiment (SPREE) seismic stations. In the third, I evaluate the predictions of pre-existing tomographic models, expand raypath coverage in eastern North America by fitting waveforms, and produce an updated tomographic model focusing on the structure of stable North American lithosphere. First, I explore the rare, but moderate-to-large earthquakes that occur along the passive margin of North America, such as the August 2011 Mineral, Virginia earthquake. I discuss the tectonic setting, possible causes, and challenges of studying such earthquakes and propose directions for their future study. Examining the seismicity of the regions surrounding the 1929 Grand Banks and 1933 Baffin Bay earthquakes, I conclude that the aftershocks of these events continue today due to low strain rates along the margin. Second, I characterize the long-period noise characteristics of SPREE stations. At periods greater than 20 seconds, horizontal noise levels at SPREE stations vary seasonally and diurnally. I find that SPREE stations in sandy soil have the most consistent noise levels. Stations in fine-grained soil become extremely noisy during summer days, but very quiet when the surrounding soil freezes solid in winter. Finally, I evaluate previous generations of tomographic models and develop my own. I calculate synthetic seismograms for three tomographic models and compare them to new observed seismograms from earthquakes in stable North America. I find that adding data to a tomographic model does not necessarily improve predictions of regional S and Rayleigh waveforms. With this in mind, I apply the method of partitioned waveform inversion to derive constraints on S-velocity structure. I add these

  10. Development of a Package for Modeling Stress in the Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, C. A.

    2006-05-01

    One of the primary difficulties when modeling stresses in the Earth's lithosphere is finding a numerical code with the necessary capabilities. The lithosphere represents a unique challenge due to structural complexity, the presence of faults, complex materials with large spatial variations in their properties, a wide range of pertinent spatial and temporal scales, and interactions with other processes (such as mantle convection), leading to complex boundary conditions. To address such problems, a modeling package should have a number of features that are not generally found in combination. The code should be able to use a number of different element types, allowing the geometry to be represented using any desired meshing package. The code should be able to accurately represent fault behavior, allowing both kinematic specification of fault slip as well as fault behavior defined by a constitutive relationship. The code should include a number of different material models (various combinations of elastic, viscous, and plastic behavior) and should also provide an easy mechanism for adding new material models. The code should be parallel and scalable, allowing the simulation of problems over a wide range of spatial scales and resolutions. The code should also be able to easily interact with other modeling codes, which could address some of the issues related to representing multiple time scales, as well as aiding in the determination of appropriate boundary conditions. Finally, the code should be easy to use, modular, and easily adaptable to different needs. We describe the current status, development plans and example usage of a finite element code with the above features as design goals. The current quasi-static finite element code (LithoMop) is being merged with the EqSim dynamic rupture code to form a new modeling package to be named PyLith. The code makes use of the Pyre simulation framework, with top-level code written in Python. This provides a number of useful

  11. Geodynamic constraints on stress and strength of the continental lithosphere during India-Asia collision.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaus, B. J. P.; Schmalholz, S. M.; Lebedev, S.; Deschamps, F.

    2009-04-01

    There has been quite some debate in recent years on what the long-term strength of the continental lithosphere is and how it is related to the occurrence of earthquakes. One of the best studied areas in this respect is the India-Asia collision zone, where -in some profiles- the Moho depth is known to within a few km's. A relocation of earthquake source locations revealed that in India earthquakes occur throughout the whole lithosphere whereas in Tibet, earthquakes are restricted to the upper 10-15 km of the crust with few exceptions slightly above or below the Moho. The lack of substantial earthquake activity in the sub-Moho mantle lithosphere seems puzzling since (1D) strength envelop models for the continental lithosphere predict large differential stresses (and brittle failure) in these locations. A way out of this paradox is to assume that the rheology of the mantle lithosphere (i.e. the effective viscosity) is significantly smaller than usually assumed, either because of the effects of hydration, or because of increased Moho temperatures. As a consequence, the strength of the lithosphere resides in the crust and not in the upper mantle as previously assumed. This conclusion gets some support from spectral-based inverse models of the effective elastic thickness (using topography and gravity as input data), which is typically smaller than the seismogenic thickness. Even though this explanation might appear appealing at first, there are at least two major problems with it: (1) Estimations of the effective elastic thickness (EET) of the lithosphere are non-unique and model-dependent. Others, using a direct (non-spectral) modelling approach, find significantly larger values of the EET in the same locations (again using gravity & topography as constraints). (2) Long term geodynamic models indicate that if the mantle lithosphere would indeed be as weak as suggested, it would be very difficult to generate plate-tectonics like behavior: Subducting slabs behave more

  12. Seismic evidence for the layered mantle lithosphere: a comparsion between Zagros and South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sodoudi, Forough; Kind, Rainer

    2014-05-01

    Recent S receiver function studies present evidence for the existence of the layered mantle lithosphere beneath ancient cratons. However, the nature of these layers is still unclear. They can be attributed to the presence of accumulated melts, remnants of subduction interfaces, changes in anisotropic properties or fluids. Further characterization of these layers is needed to provide more insights into the assembly and evolution of cratons. Here we compare the mantle lithosphere of the ancient Kalahari craton with the relatively young mantle lithosphere of Zagros, which is assumed as the location of the future craton. We applied the S receiver function method to map the internal layering of the lithosphere and to image its lower limit. For this aim, we used teleseismic events recorded at 97 seismic stations within the Kalahari craton and those recorded at 61 permanent seismic stations in Iran. Our results reveal a thick and stratified mantle lithosphere beneath the Kalahari craton containing three significant negative velocity contrasts at 85, 150-200, and 260-280 km depth. Moreover, they imply that frozen-in anisotropy as well as notable compositional variations can lead to sharp Mid-Lithospheric Discontinuities (MLD) that can be clearly observed in the SRF data. We show that a 50 km thick anisotropic layer just below the Moho boundary with 3% S wave anisotropy may be responsible for producing a MLD at 85 km depth. The horizontal anisotropy in the upper lithosphere may be attributed to processes during the formation of the Kalahari Craton. Furthermore, significant correlation between the depths of an apparent boundary separating the depleted and metasomatised lithosphere, as inferred from chemical tomography, and those of our second layer led us to characterize it as a compositional boundary, most likely due to the modification of the cratonic mantle lithosphere by magma infiltration. The largest velocity contrast (3.6-4.7%) is observed at a boundary located at

  13. Mars - Thickness of the lithosphere from the tectonic response to volcanic loads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comer, R. P.; Solomon, S. C.; Head, J. W.

    1985-02-01

    The response to loading of the elastic lithosphere of Mars by seven large volcanic features is estimated based on the hypothesis of a flexural origin for a definable set of load-concentric graben. From the locations of such graben, or from their absence, the lithospheric thickness and flexural rigidity are inferred. For the Tharsis montes, Alba Patera, and Elysium Mons, elastic lithospheric thicknesses at the time of loading range from 20 to 50 km, assuming a Young's modulus of a trillion dyn/sq cm. The thickness exceeded 120 km beneath Olympus Mons and Isidis Planitia. The corresponding ranges in flexural rigidity are approximately 10 to the 30th to 31st dyn cm and greater than 10 to the 32nd dyn cm, respectively. These results indicate a local thinning of the lithosphere beneath portions of the central regions of the Tharsis and Elysium volcanic provinces at the time of loading-induced fracturing.

  14. The lithosphere-asthenosphere transition and radial anisotropy beneath the Australian continent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshizawa, K.; Kennett, B. L. N.

    2015-05-01

    A new 3-D S wave speed model for the Australian region derived from multimode surface waves allows us to examine the nature of the lithosphere-asthenosphere transition (LAT) and its relation to radial anisotropy. In eastern Phanerozoic Australia the estimated depths of the LAT tie well with those from receiver functions. However, in the Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere in western and central Australia, the LAT derived from the surface wave model is generally much deeper than the discontinuities recognized from receiver functions and shows a smooth transition. There is significant radial anisotropy (SH > SV) in the upper lithosphere as well as in the LAT and the underlying asthenosphere. Strong anisotropy in the asthenosphere reflects the effects of present shear flow in the mantle beneath the continent. The lateral variation of lithospheric anisotropy correlates well with the suture zones between cratonic blocks, representing frozen anisotropy associated with the ancient tectonics of Australia.

  15. Evolution of planetary lithospheres - Evidence from multiringed structures on Ganymede and Callisto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckinnon, W. B.; Melosh, H. J.

    1980-01-01

    The thickness and viscosity of a planetary lithosphere increase with time as the mantle cools, with a thicker lithosphere leading to the formation of one (or very few) irregular normal faults concentric to the crater. Since a gravity wave or tsunami induced by impact into a liquid mantle would result in both radial and concentric extension features, which are not observed in the case of the large impact structures on Ganymede and Callisto, an alternative mechanism is proposed in which the varying ice/silicate ratios, tectonic histories, and erosional mechanisms of the two bodies are considered to explain the subtle differences in thin lithosphere ring morphology between Ganymede and Callisto. It is concluded that the present lithosphere thickness of Ganymede is too great to permit the development of any rings.

  16. Lithospheric age dependence of off-ridge volcano production in the North Pacific

    SciTech Connect

    Batiza, R.

    1981-08-01

    Data for numbers of seamounts on North Pacific Ocean crust of different age indicate that the production rate of new off-ridge seamounts (volcanoes) is proportional to the inverse of the square root of the age of the lithosphere. This observation is consistent with several hypotheses which have been offered to explain the origin of off-ridge oceanic volcanism and, in combination with petrologic and paleomagnetic evidence for small oceanic volcanoes, leads to a new self-consistent model for off-ridge volcanism. In this model, the production rate of off-ridge volcanoes is controlled primarily by the availability of fracture-zone conduit systems in the thickening lithosphere. In contrast, mantle plume or ''hotspot'' volcanoes may punch through the oceanic lithosphere. Decreasing production rate of off-ridge volcanoes on old oceanic lithosphere may be associated with decreasing extent of partial melting of chemically and isotopically heterogeneous mantle material.

  17. Seismic structure of the lithosphere beneath the ocean islands near the mid-oceanic ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haldar, C.; Kumar, P.; Kumar, M. Ravi

    2013-10-01

    Deciphering the seismic character of the young lithosphere near the mid-oceanic ridges (MOR) is a challenging endeavor. In this study, we determine the seismic structure of the oceanic plate near the MORs, using the P-to-s conversions isolated from good quality data recorded at 5 broadband seismological stations situated on the ocean Islands in their vicinity. Estimates of the crustal and lithospheric thickness values from waveform modeling of the P receiver function stacks reveal that the crustal thickness varies between 6 and 8 km with the corresponding depths to the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary (LAB) varying between 43 and 68 km. However, the depth to the LAB at Macquire Island is intriguing in view of the observation of a thick (~ 87 km) lithosphere beneath a relatively young crust. At three other stations i.e., Ascension Island, Sao Jorge and Easter Island, we find evidence for an additional deeper low velocity layer probably related to the presence of a hotspot.

  18. Dramatic effect of elasticity on thermal softening and strain localization during lithospheric shortening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaquet, Yoann; Duretz, Thibault; Schmalholz, Stefan M.

    2016-02-01

    We present two-dimensional numerical simulations for shortening a viscoelastoplastic lithosphere to quantify the impact of elasticity on strain localization due to thermal softening. The model conserves energy and mechanical work is converted into heat or stored as elastic strain energy. For a shear modulus G = 1010 Pa, a prominent lithospheric shear zone forms and elastic energy release increases the localization intensity (strain rate amplification). For G = 5 × 1010 Pa shear zones still form but deformation is less localized. For G = 1012 Pa, the lithosphere behaves effectively viscoplastic and no shear zones form during homogeneous thickening. Maximal shearing-related increase of surface heat flux is 15-25 mW m-2 and of temperature at lower crustal depth is ˜150 °C, whereby these peak values are transient (0.1-1 My). Elasticity and related energy release can significantly contribute to strain localization and plate-like behaviour of the lithosphere required for plate tectonics.

  19. Support for a Uniformitarian Model of Continental Mantle Lithosphere Formation from the "Near-Cratonic" Composition of Proterozoic Southern African Mantle Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janney, P. E.

    2014-12-01

    The transition at the end of the Archean between the generation of cratonic and mobile belt continental lithosphere is regarded as a first-order change in the mode of generation of continental lithosphere. It is widely debated whether this transition represented a fundamental change in the process by which the lithospheric mantle was generated (i.e., as melting residues of deep-seated mantle upwellings to residues of relatively shallow mantle melting at subduction zones), or whether it primarily reflected a more gradual change in the conditions (i.e., temperatures, depths and degrees of melting) of lithosphere generation in a suprasubduction zone setting. The marked contrast, in many cases, between the major element compositions of peridotite xenoliths from Archean cratons and those from adjacent post-Archean mobile belts has accentuated the significance of this transition. Peridotite xenoliths from the post-Archean mobile belt terranes surrounding the Kaapvaal craton in southern Africa are clearly Proterozoic in age from Re-Os isotope constraints, but they are unusual in that they share several key similarities in composition and mineralogy with Archean Kaapvaal peridotites (e.g., low bulk-rock Al2O3, relatively low modal olivine and high modal orthopyroxene). Although they lack the low FeO and high olivine Mg# values of the most extreme Kaapvaal samples, they show a very large degree of overlap (extending to olivine Mg# values of greater than 93 for example). These similarities support a common mode of origin for cratonic and post-cratonic lithosphere in southern Africa (although varying somewhat in the degrees and depths of melt extraction) and a similar history of post-formation modification. A comparison of the conditions of melt extraction for cratonic and post-cratonic lithosphere inferred from compatible and mildly incompatible trace elements will be presented.

  20. Evolution of Large Venusian Volcanoes: Insights from Coupled Models of Lithospheric Flexure and Magma Reservoir Pressurization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galgana, G. A.; McGovern, P. J.; Grosfils, E. B.

    2009-12-01

    Many large volcanic edifices on Venus exhibit surficial evidence of subsurface magma transport and storage: summit caldera faults indicating collapse into a magma chamber, and radial grabens indicating radiating dikes (although uplift may also produce the latter). These tectonic features reflect interactions between local magma-induced stresses and broader-scale stresses resulting from flexure of the lithosphere beneath the edifice load. Here, we explore the relationship between magma movement in the lithosphere and the flexural stress state via axisymmetric finite element models of the Venusian lithosphere. The lithosphere, modeled as an elastic material of thickness Te, is overlain with a conical edifice and embedded with an inflating, hence overpressured, spherical magma reservoir that perturbs the surrounding region. The volcanic edifice acts as a continuous gravitational load, flexing the lithosphere. The resulting flexural stress state beneath the edifice is characterized by high differential stresses, extensional in the upper part of the lithosphere and compressional in the lower part. These two distinct regions are separated by a neutral plane, a region characterized by relatively low differential stresses and least compressive principal stress (σ3) oriented out of the model plane. We examine models with different reservoir depths and analyze the orientation patterns of maximum stresses along the magma chamber wall. For a given chamber model, we increase the overpressure until one of the normal stresses at some point on the wall satisfies the failure criterion (here taken to be 0 MPa, the onset of the tensile regime). We find that reservoirs situated in the lower (extensional) lithosphere fail at the bottom; such a chamber is unstable, because it would not collect magma but rather expel it downward. Thus, we conclude magma chamber formation in the lower lithosphere is unlikely. In contrast, failure promoting lateral sill formation occurs near the reservoir

  1. The Relationship Between Lithospheric Thickness and Tectonic Subsidence in Mildly- Extended Intra-Cratonic Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crosby, A.; White, N.; Fishwick, S.

    2008-12-01

    In extensional sedimentary basins, the duration of post-rift subsidence depends on the thermal time constant and hence on the thickness of the lithosphere. It is well known that this thickness varies by at least a factor of two over the continents, and that many intra-cratonic basins have continued to accumulate accommodation space for longer than expected given a standard thickness of 125 km. In this study, we make use of recent advances in mapping the thickness of the lithosphere using surface wave tomography, and a global database of backstripped well-logs, to assess the applicability of the classic pure shear model to the stretching and subsidence of regions where the lithosphere is unusually thick. We start by using the known density structure of oceanic lithosphere, and independent seismic observations of crustal structure and lithosphere thickness, to isostatically quantify the average density depletion of the mantle. We find our observations are consistent with geochemical constraints. Using backstripped wells from basins where there has been only one obvious period of extension, and an adapted stretching model which incorporates temperature and composition-dependent thermal diffusivity and expansivity and the advection of depleted mantle, we then invert observations of tectonic subsidence for both thinning factors and lithospheric thickness, and compare our results with seismic observations at the present day. The subsidence of some basins, such as the Michigan Basin, is consistent with the thicker lithospheric template predicted using seismology. In other cases, such as the West Siberian Basin, the lithospheric thickness estimated from seismic tomography and subsidence analysis disagree. We also find strong local gradients in apparent lithospheric thickness, such as between the Michigan and Illinois Basins. The Congo Basin in central Africa can be explained fairly well by simple extension of locally thick lithosphere. However, the pronounced negative

  2. Lithospheric Structure of the Rio-Grande Rift and the Colorado Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lekic, V.; Fischer, K. M.

    2011-12-01

    Upper mantle and crustal velocity interfaces, such as those corresponding to the base of the crust and the base of the lithosphere, produce detectable conversions of seismic energy that can be analyzed using a receiver function approach. Unlike compressional-to-shear (Ps) receiver functions, in which signals from mantle discontinuities are often overprinted by crustal reverberations, shear-to-compressional (Sp) receiver functions allow identification of signals associated with the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) without reverberation interference. We use three-component broadband seismic data from permanent stations, the USArray Transportable Array and other temporary deployments to systematically map lithospheric thickness variations across the Colorado Plateau and the Rio Grande Rift. More than 30,000 individual Sp receiver functions are combined into a three-dimensional image of upper mantle discontinuities using common conversion point stacking. We observe thick (>100 km) lithosphere beneath most of the Colorado Plateau, although its thickness varies by ~40 km within the Plateau. In contrast, lithospheric thicknesses in the southern Basin and Range are typically 60-80 km. The thickness of the Colorado Plateau lithosphere is consistent with the relative lack of internal deformation within the Plateau even as surrounding regions underwent widespread extension. Variations in lithospheric thickness may offer clues to what caused uplift of the Plateau in the Pliocene, and how low-angle subduction and its cessation may have affected continental lithosphere. We quantitatively explore the relationship between recent volcanism along the margins of the Plateau and topography and strength of the LAB beneath those regions. Unlike the rifted regions of Southern California, where ~30 km of lithospheric thinning has recently been imaged (Lekic et al., 2011), the Rio Grande Rift is not underlain by an anomalously shallow LAB. This observation appears to rule out

  3. Seismic evidence for stratification in composition and anisotropic fabric within the thick lithosphere of Kalahari Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sodoudi, F.; Yuan, X.; Kind, R.; Lebedev, S.; Tilmann, F. J.

    2013-12-01

    S receiver functions obtained from the data of 97 seismic stations present evidence for the existence of a layered and thick lithosphere beneath the Kalahari Craton. We identified three negative discontinuities within the lithosphere of the Archean cratons and Proterozoic mobile belts of southern Africa. We also employed a novel combination of SRFs and surface-wave analysis to constrain the anisotropic properties of the lithosphere and its internal layering. Our results show that frozen-in anisotropy and compositional changes can generate sharp Mid-Lithospheric Discontinuities (MLD) at depths of 85 and 150-200 km, respectively. We found that a 50 km thick anisotropic layer containing 3% S wave anisotropy and with a fast-velocity axis different from that in the layer beneath can account for the first MLD at about 85 km depth. This depth is largely consistent with that of 8° discontinuity suggested as a global characteristic of cratonic lithosphere. Significant correlation between the depths of an apparent boundary separating the depleted and metasomatic refertilized lithosphere, as inferred from chemical tomography, and those of our second MLD (at 150-200 km depth) led us to characterize this negative discontinuity as a compositional boundary, most likely due to the modification of the cratonic mantle lithosphere by magma infiltration. We detected this MLD at a depth of about 150 km beneath the Zimbabwe Craton and Limpopo belt with a steep deepening to about 200 km underneath the Kaapvaal Craton and its passive margin. The deepening of this boundary is spatially correlated with the surficial expression of the ancient Thabazimbi-Murchison Lineament (TML). This may imply that the translithospheric TML isolates the lithospheric block of the relatively younger Limpopo terrane from that of the ancient Kaapvaal terrane. Finally, the largest velocity contrast (3.6-4.7%) is observed at a boundary located at depths of 260-280 km beneath the Archean domains and the older

  4. Controls of Lithospheric Mechanical Strength on the Deformation Pattern of Tien Shan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y.; Xiong, X.; Zheng, Y.; Hu, X.; Zhang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The Tien Shan is an outstanding example of intracontinental mountain belt, which was built rapidly and formed far away from plate boundaries. It exhibits 300~500 km in width and extends ~2000 km EW, located in central Asia. The Tien Shan is a key area for solution of the problems relating to intracontinental geodynamics. During last decades, despite a large amount of results based on various geological, geophysical and geodetic data about the Tien Shan, however, deformation mechanism remains controversial and other several principal problems related to its structure and evolution also have not been completely resolved. As for patterns of continental deformation, they are always controlled by both the forces applied to the lithosphere and by lithospheric resistance to the forces. The latter is often measured by the mechanical strength of lithosphere. The lateral variation of strength of lithosphere has been recognized to be an important factor controlling the spatial construction and temporal evolution of continent. In this study, we investigate the mechanical strength (Te) of lithosphere in the Tien Shan using wavelet coherency between Bouguer anomaly and topography. The patterns of Te variations are closely related to major tectonic boundaries and blocks. Mechanical strength exhibits a weak zone (Te~5-20km) beneath the Tien Shan while its surrounding blocks including Tarim Basin, Junggar Basin and Kazakh platform are characterized by a strong lithosphere (Te>40km). The lateral variations in mechanical strength and velocity field of horizontal movement with GPS demonstrate that strain localization appears at the margins of Tarim Basin, which is also the strong lithospheric domain. It is suggested that the weak lithosphere allows the crustal stress accumulation and the strong lithosphere helps to stress transfer. There is also a good agreement between mechanical strength and shear wave velocity structure in upper mantle. It indicates a strong domain located in the

  5. Intraplate Seismicity and Lithospheric Strength as Inferred from 3D Seismic Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Focal mechanism studies and other stress indicators indicate that intraplate earthquakes in central and eastern North America are consistent with an ENE-WSW compressive stress field that acts on existing faults. Here we argue that either locally thinned lithosphere (as beneath the Reelfoot Rift, central US) or regional lithospheric thinning (as beneath the edge of the North American craton or the rifted continental margin) constitutes zones of relatively low lithospheric strength where crustal strain accumulates. We use seismic surface waves to determine the 3D shear-wave seismic velocity structure of the lithosphere, and find that the Reelfoot Rift is underlain by a zone with low mantle seismic velocities that extends to at least 200 km depth. Thus, the Reelfoot Rift, which hosts the New Madrid Seismic Zone, is unique among North American paleo-rifts in term of the properties in the mantle. We hypothesize that this low-velocity mantle volume is weaker than its surroundings and that the Reelfoot Rift consequently has relatively lower elastic plate thickness that would tend to concentrate tectonic stress within this zone. On a continental scale, the 3D velocity model clearly identifies an approximately 220-km-thick, high seismic velocity lithospheric root beneath the North America craton which has a low rate of crustal seismicity and very few events with Mw≥6. We attribute the relatively aseismic nature of the craton to dry, cold conditions within the cratonic lower crust and mantle lithosphere. Conversely, we find that a high proportion of intraplate events are concentrated around the pronounced lateral gradient in lithospheric thickness that surrounds the craton. We attribute this observation to a lateral decrease in lithospheric strength at the edge of the North American craton. This relationship between intraplate seismicity and lithospheric properties is apparent in maps that compare regional and continental lithospheric thickness with crustal seismicity. We

  6. Lithosphere Removal in the Central Andes: Reconciling Seismic Images and Elevation History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henderson, O.; Currie, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Shortening of the upper crust should be accompanied by thickening of the deeper lithosphere. However, for many orogens, including the central Andes, geophysical and geological observations indicate that mantle lithosphere is spatially heterogeneous, being anomalously thin or absent. Seismic studies of the central Andes suggest that mantle lithosphere is locally removed. Also, present day elevations of the central Andean Plateau have been explained by rapid removal of mantle lithosphere over the last 10 Ma. Yet, the geological record is innately incomplete, and seismic tomography and receiver functions can offer only a present day snapshot of the subsurface. None of these techniques provides concrete insight into the physical processes responsible for current Andean elevations (3-5 km). A 2D plane-strain thermo-mechanical code, SOPALE, is used to examine the deep lithospheric dynamics connected to mantle lithosphere removal within a subduction zone setting, such as the Andes. Three models have been tested: removal by viscous dripping, by delamination, and a model with no removal. The removal models contain a high density eclogite root, creating a contrast between mantle lithosphere and mantle material. For the viscous drip models, mantle lithosphere is removed within 2.5-5 Myrs, descending subvertically through the mantle, causing subsequent surface rebound. Prior to this rebound, surface topography subsides locally over the dense root. This subsidence is influenced by crustal rheology, where weaker crustal rheologies produce deep, narrower basins (25-75 km wide, ~1 km deep), and stronger crustal rheologies produce shallow, broader basins (300-400 km wide, ~0.5 km deep). Delamination, which involves the coherent removal of mantle lithosphere along the Moho, affects a larger region, and is reflected in broader basins that extend into the back-arc. In all models, the deep lithosphere dynamics have an appreciable effect on surface topography, therefore, removal events

  7. Effective elastic thickness of the Venusian lithosphere with lateral viscosity variations in the mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moresi, Louis

    1993-01-01

    Both the Earth and Venus have a convecting mantle at the top of which is a relatively strong, mechanical boundary layer. The surface topography and gravity signals which result from the convection within the viscous mantle are modified by the elastic properties of this lithospheric boundary layer. In particular the ability of the lithosphere to support loads and transmit stresses from below is a function of the wavelength of the load--the lithosphere is strong to loading at shorter wavelengths. As a consequence it is usual to expect that long wavelength topography cannot be supported by the mechanical strength of the lithosphere and must be compensated--isostatically or dynamically--within the uppermost mantle or the crust. The flexural rigidity of the lithosphere can therefore be determined by estimating the greatest wavelength at which uncompensated surface topography can be supported, usually by measuring the admittance as a function of wavelength. In fact this procedure for determining the elastic thickness relies upon being able to distinguish topography with underlying support from that supported by the brittle lithosphere on the basis of their each having a characteristic value of the admittance. However, in the presence of lateral viscosity variations in the mantle, it is possible for topography to be generated which is NOT compensated by density anomalies in the underlying mantle at the same wavelength. Although this effect is not likely to be important for the Earth, on Venus, where the high surface temperatures would be expected to give a weaker lithosphere, lateral viscosity variations in the mantle can give a misleadingly large apparent elastic thickness for the lithosphere.

  8. Lithospheric buckling and intra-arc stresses: A mechanism for arc segmentation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, Kerri L.

    1989-01-01

    Comparison of segment development of a number of arcs has shown that consistent relationships between segmentation, volcanism and variable stresses exists. Researchers successfully modeled these relationships using the conceptual model of lithospheric buckling of Yamaoka et al. (1986; 1987). Lithosphere buckling (deformation) provides the needed mechanism to explain segmentation phenomenon; offsets in volcanic fronts, distribution of calderas within segments, variable segment stresses and the chemical diversity seen between segment boundary and segment interior magmas.

  9. Lithospheric deformation induced by loading of the Hawaiian Islands and its implications for mantle rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Shijie; Watts, A. B.

    2013-11-01

    long-term rheological properties of the lithosphere are fundamental for understanding both surface tectonics and mantle dynamics on Earth. In this study, we have developed 3-D finite element models for computing the load-induced surface deformation and stress for lithosphere and mantle with realistic nonlinear viscoelastic rheology including the frictional sliding, low-temperature plasticity, and high-temperature creep. We have determined the lithospheric deformation and stress due to volcano loading in the Hawaiian Islands region for the last few million years. By comparing model predictions with seismic observations of the depth to the top of oceanic crust and depth dependence of seismicity in the Hawaiian Islands region, we have sought to constrain lithospheric rheology. Our calculations show that the load-induced surface deformation is controlled by low-temperature plasticity and frictional sliding but is insensitive to high-temperature creep. Lithospheric strength predicted from laboratory-derived low-temperature plasticity needs to be reduced significantly, and a frictional coefficient μf ranging from 0.1 to 0.7 is required in order to account for the observations. However, μf = 0.1 weakens the shallow part of the lithosphere so much that it causes the minima in strain rate and stress to occur at too large depths to be consistent with the observed depth distribution of seismicity. Our results therefore suggest a value for μf between 0.25 and 0.7. Finally, the maximum stress that accumulates in the deformed lithosphere beneath the Hawaiian Islands is about 100-200 MPa for models that match the observations, and this stress may be viewed as the largest lithospheric stress on Earth.

  10. Crustal And Lithospheric Thickness Variation Across Alaska In Advance Of Earthscope Transportable Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Driscoll, L.; Miller, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    The Alaskan northern Cordillera is situated at the nexus of a major Pacific-North America plate boundary transition, characterized by the geometric complexity of a highly curved strike-slip fault system and ongoing shallow angle subduction. Existing seismic data from stations throughout southern Alaska and northward across the Dalton Highway are analyzed. Preliminary P wave receiver functions are presented to identify lateral variations in crustal thickness. S wave receiver functions reveal velocity discontinuities within the upper mantle, and we identify novel lithospheric structures. In the northern interior below the Brooks Range, 130 km thick lithosphere contrasts with the interior region that has shallow negative conversions (80 km), marking thinner lithosphere in the greater backarc region where heat flow is observed to be high. In the southeast Coastal Ranges, we interpret a thinner (80-90 km) North American lithosphere above a deeper interface that represents the base of the colliding Yakutat microplate. These imaging results provide context for the distribution of strain throughout the Alaskan Orocline. The presence of thick lithosphere below the Brooks Range may indicate strong lithosphere that deflects strain into central and southwestern Alaska. Thin lithosphere in east Alaska and adjacent Yukon Territory coincides with the occurrence of inboard crustal seismicity, and may be indicative of transmitted compression caused by the collision of the Yakutat microplate. The spatial distribution of the subducted portion of the Yakutat is found to lie below the Wrangell Volcanic Field and St. Elias Mountains. We establish new tectonic elements within a complex lithospheric system, and produce hypotheses that will be suitable for testing with upcoming seismic installations.

  11. Mesozoic subsidence rates and lithospheric loading in western Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Chamberlain, V.E.; McKerrow, W.S.; Lambert, R.S.

    1987-08-01

    The Mesozoic stratigraphy of the Foothills area of the Western Canada basin has been used to estimate sedimentation rates, and, hence, relative crustal subsidence rates, in this region throughout the Mesozoic. Average rates of subsidence range from 0 m/Ma to 120 m/Ma, with prominent maximums occurring three times during the Mesozoic - first during the Tithonian, when rates rose to 100 m/Ma, second, during the Albian to early Santonian, when rates rose to 120 m/Ma in the north and to 70 m/Ma in the south, with subsidence occurring earlier in the north than in the south. The third period of subsidence occurred during the Campanian and Maastrichtian with rates rising to 120 m/Ma in the southern part of the basin. Tectonic loading of the lithosphere is the probable cause of these peak crustal subsidence rates, the three separate episodes being due to the arrival of accreted terranes, first in northeast Oregon and central west Idaho during the Late Jurassic, secondly in the central Yukon during the Early Cretaceous, and thirdly in southeast British Columbia during the Late Cretaceous. During non-peak periods, average rates of subsidence ranged from 3.5 m/Ma to 35 m/Ma in the Triassic, from 0 m/Ma to 20 m/Ma in the Jurassic, and from 0 m/Ma to 30 m/Ma in the Cretaceous.

  12. A Swarm lithospheric magnetic field model to SH degree 80

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thébault, Erwan; Vigneron, Pierre; Langlais, Benoit; Hulot, Gauthier

    2016-07-01

    The Swarm constellation of satellites was launched in November 2013 and since then has delivered high-quality scalar and vector magnetic field measurements. A consortium of several research institutions was selected by the European Space Agency to provide a number of scientific products to be made available to the scientific community on a regular basis. In this study, we present the dedicated lithospheric field inversion model. It uses carefully selected magnetic field scalar and vector measurements from the three Swarm satellites between March 2014 and December 2015 and directly benefits from the explicit expression of the magnetic field gradients by the lower pair of Swarm satellites. The modeling scheme is a two-step one and relies first on a regional modeling approach that is very sensitive to small spatial scales and weak signals which we seek to describe. The final model is built from adjacent regional solutions and consists in a global spherical harmonics model expressed between degrees 16 and 80. The quality of the derived model is assessed through a comparison with independent models based on Swarm and the CHAMP satellites. This comparison emphasizes the high level of accuracy of the current model after only 2 years of measurements but also highlights the possible improvements which will be possible once the lowest two satellites reach lower altitudes.

  13. Constitutive models of faults in the viscoelastic lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moresi, Louis; Muhlhaus, Hans; Mansour, John; Miller, Meghan

    2013-04-01

    Moresi and Muhlhaus (2006) presented an algorithm for describing shear band formation and evolution as a coallescence of small, planar, fricition-failure surfaces. This algorithm assumed that sliding initially occurs at the angle to the maximum compressive stress dictated by Anderson faulting theory and demonstrated that shear bands form with the same angle as the microscopic angle of initial failure. Here we utilize the same microscopic model to generate frictional slip on prescribed surfaces which represent faults of arbitrary geometry in the viscoelastic lithosphere. The faults are actually represented by anisotropic weak zones of finite width, but they are instantiated from a 2D manifold represented by a cloud of points with associated normals and mechanical/history properties. Within the hybrid particle / finite-element code, Underworld, this approach gives a very flexible mechanism for describing complex 3D geometrical patterns of faults with no need to mirror this complexity in the thermal/mechanical solver. We explore a number of examples to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of this particular approach including a 3D model of the deformation of Southern California which accounts for the major fault systems. L. Moresi and H.-B. Mühlhaus, Anisotropic viscous models of large-deformation Mohr-Coulomb failure. Philosophical Magazine, 86:3287-3305, 2006.

  14. Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Lithosphere, Biosphere: A Global Geophysical Union

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milly, P.

    2009-05-01

    Water moves freely among the major spheres of the earth system, and, in so doing, it unites them. The atmosphere is driven, moistened and clouded by water in its changing phases, with ubiquitous climatic consequences. The biosphere's organisms depend on the "universal solvent" for access to and internal transport of nutrients, so much so that water availability defines the very geography of photosynthesis and life. The lithosphere is variously loaded, inflated, lubricated and eroded by water, with geodynamic consequences of all sorts. The ever-changing gravitational pull of earth's wandering waters is felt even in the exosphere. The movement of water among the spheres is partially regulated by, and has enormous consequences for, the anthroposphere. The influence of the hydrosphere on the other spheres creates interesting opportunities (indeed, necessities) for hydrologists to play with puzzles and problems beyond their own traditional sphere. In the experience of the speaker, the American Geophysical Union has been a playground that promotes such play, and the future promises more interdisciplinary fun; we have nothing to fear but spheres by themselves.

  15. Thermal Structure and Lithospheric Mobility of Super-Earths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, U.; Stein, C.; Lowman, J. P.

    2010-12-01

    In recent years the understanding of the structure and dynamics of super-Earth exoplanets has attracted a lot of interest. In particular, the possibility of plate tectonics on Super-Earths has received considerable attention. Terrestrial planets with higher masses than the Earth are assumed to have higher Rayleigh numbers, heating rates and viscosity contrasts than the Earth which will affect the surface mobility. Utilizing two-dimensional numerical mantle convection models we study the effect of these parameters on the thermal structure and lithospheric mobility of super-Earths. In our models we allow for plate-like surface behaviour by considering temperature- and pressure-dependent viscosity in combination with either a stress-dependent rheology or the force-balance method. Our results reveal the strong influence of these parameters on the surface behaviour. The controlling parameter for the observed transition from mobile-lid to stagnant-lid convection is the heating rate. We show that for a parameter set assumed to be relevant for super-Earth exoplanets stagnant-lid convection prevails.

  16. Global rate and distribution of H2 gas produced by serpentinization within oceanic lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worman, Stacey L.; Pratson, Lincoln F.; Karson, Jeffrey A.; Klein, Emily M.

    2016-06-01

    It has recently been estimated that serpentinization within continental lithosphere produces H2 at rates comparable to oceanic lithosphere (both are ~1011 mol H2/yr). Here we present a simple model that suggests that H2 production rates along the mid-oceanic ridge alone (i.e., excluding other marine settings) may exceed continental production by an order of magnitude (~1012 mol H2/yr). In our model, H2 production rates increase with spreading rate and the net thickness of serpentinizing peridotite (S-P) in a column of lithosphere. Lithosphere with a faster spreading rate therefore requires a relatively smaller net thickness of S-P to produce H2 at the same rate as lithosphere with a slower rate and greater thickness of S-P. We apply our model globally, incorporating an inverse relationship between spreading rate and net thickness of S-P to be consistent with observations that serpentinization is more common within lithosphere spreading at slower rates.

  17. The relationship between the instantaneous velocity field and the rate of moment release in the lithosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pollitz, F.F.

    2003-01-01

    Instantaneous velocity gradients within the continental lithosphere are often related to the tectonic driving forces. This relationship is direct if the forces are secular, as for the case of loading of a locked section of a subduction interface by the downgoing plate. If the forces are static, as for the case of lateral variations in gravitational potential energy, then velocity gradients can be produced only if the lithosphere has, on average, zero strength. The static force model may be related to the long-term velocity field but not the instantaneous velocity field (typically measured geodetically over a period of several years) because over short time intervals the upper lithosphere behaves elastically. In order to describe both the short- and long-term behaviour of an (elastic) lithosphere-(viscoelastic) asthenosphere system in a self-consistent manner, I construct a deformation model termed the expected interseismic velocity (EIV) model. Assuming that the lithosphere is populated with faults that rupture continually, each with a definite mean recurrence time, and that the Earth is well approximated as a linear elastic-viscoelastic coupled system, I derive a simple relationship between the instantaneous velocity field and the average rate of moment release in the lithosphere. Examples with synthetic fault networks demonstrate that velocity gradients in actively deforming regions may to a large extent be the product of compounded viscoelastic relaxation from past earthquakes on hundreds of faults distributed over large (??? 106 km2) areas.

  18. A sharp lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary imaged beneath eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Rychert, Catherine A; Fischer, Karen M; Rondenay, Stéphane

    2005-07-28

    Plate tectonic theory hinges on the concept of a relatively rigid lithosphere moving over a weaker asthenosphere, yet the nature of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary remains poorly understood. The gradient in seismic velocity that occurs at this boundary is central to constraining the physical and chemical properties that create differences in mechanical strength between the two layers. For example, if the lithosphere is simply a thermal boundary layer that is more rigid owing to colder temperatures, mantle flow models indicate that the velocity gradient at its base would occur over tens of kilometres. In contrast, if the asthenosphere is weak owing to volatile enrichment or the presence of partial melt, the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary could occur over a much smaller depth range. Here we use converted seismic phases in eastern North America to image a very sharp seismic velocity gradient at the base of the lithosphere-a 3-11 per cent drop in shear-wave velocity over a depth range of 11 km or less at 90-110 km depth. Such a strong, sharp boundary cannot be reconciled with a purely thermal gradient, but could be explained by an asthenosphere that contains a few per cent partial melt or that is enriched in volatiles relative to the lithosphere.

  19. The effect of a vertical temperature gradient in the lithosphere on seismic and tectonic waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birger, B. I.

    2008-09-01

    A linear analysis of the stability of the lithosphere considered as a viscoelastic layer with an equilibrium vertical gradient of temperature is carried out. The problem is solved with a complete system of linearized equations of a continuous medium represented in the dimensionless form and containing a set of dimensionless parameters that determine thermomechanical properties of the lithosphere. As a result of the stability analysis, decrements are found that give the time dependence of perturbations and correspond to high-frequency seismic waves and low-frequency tectonic waves. The frequency and velocity of seismic waves are determined by the elasticity and inertial properties of the lithosphere, and their attenuation, by viscous properties of the lithosphere. The temperature gradient existing in the lithosphere influences seismic waves very weakly. On the contrary, the pattern of tectonic waves is controlled by the temperature gradient and viscous properties, while the effect of elastic and inertial properties on these waves is negligibly small. The stability of a viscoelastic lithosphere is examined using such rheological models as the Maxwell, standard linear, and Andrade media (the frequency of tectonic waves is zero in the Maxwell medium).

  20. Microearthquake activity, lithospheric structure, and deformation modes at an amagmatic ultraslow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge segment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid, Florian; Schlindwein, Vera

    2016-07-01

    While nascent oceanic lithosphere at slow to fast spreading mid-ocean ridges (MOR) is relatively well studied, much less is known about the lithospheric structure and properties at ultraslow MORs. Here we present microearthquake data from a 1 year ocean bottom seismometer deployment at the amagmatic, oblique supersegment of the ultraslow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge. A refraction seismic experiment was performed to constrain upper lithosphere P-velocities and results were used to construct a 1D velocity model for earthquake location. Earthquake foci were located individually and subsequently relocated relative to each other to sharpen the image of seismically active structures. Frequent earthquake activity extends to 31 km beneath the seafloor, indicating an exceptionally thick brittle lithosphere and an undulating brittle-ductile transition that implies significant variations in the along-axis thermal structure of the lithosphere. We observe a strong relation between petrology, microseismicity distribution, and topography along the ridge axis: Peridotite-dominated areas associate with deepest hypocenters, vast volumes of lithosphere that deforms aseismically as a consequence of alteration, and the deepest axial rift valley. Areas of basalt exposure correspond to shallower hypocenters, shallower and more rugged axial seafloor. Focal mechanisms deviate from pure extension and are spatially variable. Earthquakes form an undulating band of background seismicity and do not delineate discrete detachment faults as common on slow spreading ridges. Instead, the seismicity band sharply terminates to the south, immediately beneath the rift boundary. Considering the deep alteration, large steep boundary faults might be present but are entirely aseismic.

  1. Spatial patterns in the distribution of kimberlites: relationship to tectonic processes and lithosphere structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chemia, Zurab; Artemieva, Irina; Thybo, Hans

    2015-04-01

    Since the discovery of diamonds in kimberlite-type rocks more than a century ago, a number of theories regarding the processes involved in kimberlite emplacement have been put forward to explain the unique properties of kimberlite magmatism. Geological data suggests that pre-existing lithosphere weakness zones may control the spatial patterns of kimberlites, but this hypothesis has never been tested by geophysical methods. As the first step in our analysis of tectonic and lithosphere control of kimberlite-type magmatism, we perform a detailed global analysis of the spatial patterns of kimberlites, and present the first results. The analysis is based on the assumption that the kimberlite emplacement is a two-stage process, and the two stages are controlled by the crustal and lithospheric mantle rheologies, respectively. Stage 1 includes the first-order, lithosphere-scale process that initiate the rise of kimberlite melts through the lithospheric mantle, which forms the major pipe. Stage 2 (second-order process) begins when the major pipe splits into daughter sub-pipes (tree-like pattern) at crustal depths. We apply cluster analysis to the spatial distribution of all known kimberlite fields with the goal of establishing characteristic scales for the stage 1 and stage 2 processes. To reveal similarities between the kimberlite data we use the density-based clustering technique, such as density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (DBSCAN), which is efficient for large data sets, requires one input parameter, and can deal with clusters of any shape. The results indicate that characteristic scales for the stage 2 are almost globally uniform and thus are almost independent of the structure and the mantle lithosphere. In contrast, the characteristic scales for stage 1 (lithosphere-scale process) that initiate the rise of kimberlite melts through the lithospheric mantle forms the major pipes with characteristic distance ranging from 100 to 300 km and are

  2. Lithospheric structure of North America imaged using waveform inversion of global and USArray data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Andrew; Lebedev, Sergei

    2015-04-01

    The North American continent has had a long, eventful tectonic history. The assembly of the stable cratonic core has undergone numerous collisions and accretion at its boundaries, major rifting episodes within it, as well as the loss of ancient lithosphere beneath parts of it, all of which are type examples of key elements of cratonic dynamics and evolution. Seismic tomography offers rich evidence on the structure and evolution of the cratonic lithosphere. With the deployment of the USArray during the last decade, much of the North American continent has been densely sampled with broadband seismic data. The resolution of regional-scale imaging, however, remains uneven, with important questions regarding deep structure, lateral extent and evolution difficult to answer. Here we present a new high-resolution model of the upper mantle beneath North America constrained by waveform fits of over 700,000 vertical-component broadband seismograms. Automated multimode waveform inversion was used to extract structural information from surface and S waveforms, yielding resolving power from the crust down to the transition zone, and improved resolution for a variety of features in North America. The internal structure of the Craton is resolved in detail, with clear delineation of the ancient cratonic lithosphere from the recently deforming continental margins. The northern boundaries of the cratonic lithosphere closely follow the coastlines, with North America's and Greenland's lithospheric roots clearly separated. Strong lateral velocity gradients at depth observed in western Canada indicate the transition from cratonic lithosphere to Cordillera closely follows the surface trace of the Deformation Front. On the eastern margin of the continent, where multiple episodes of continental rifting are superimposed, the craton boundary coincides with the western extent of the Appalachian orogenic front, with significantly lower lateral velocity gradients than in the west. Finally, high

  3. Comparison between spatial-temporal variations in paleoelevation and modern lithospheric structure of the Andean plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garzione, C. N.; Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.; Bershaw, J.; Auerbach, D.; Smith, J. J.

    2008-12-01

    Modern lithospheric structure of active mountain belts in comparison to paleoelevation reconstructions provides insights into the geodynamic processes that lead to the rise of orogenic plateaus. High altitude stable isotope records of fossil mammal teeth and pedogenic carbonates, collected between 17°S and 24°S, are used to reconstruct spatial and temporal variations in isotopic composition of paleo-surface waters. Both Subandean and Altiplano records are compared to modern rainfall compositions to evaluate climate trends over time that are potentially related to changes in paleoelevation. Prior paleoelevation estimates from the northern Altiplano near Callapa (17.5°S, 3800 m) suggest rapid late Miocene surface uplift of ~2.5 ± 1 km between 10.3 and 6.4 Ma. Based on relatively positive δ18O values of sedimentary carbonates that range in age from 16.3 Ma to 10.3 Ma from sites in both the northern and southern Altiplano, we infer a regional middle Miocene elevation approximately 1.5 to 2.5 km lower than modern elevations. Further evaluation of a late Miocene site near Quehua (20.0°S, 3800 m) in the southern Altiplano will indicate whether there is similar evidence for late Miocene surface uplift that would support the inference that a vast region of lower lithosphere was removed. Present day lithospheric structure, imaged by seismological studies, indicate that the upper mantle beneath the Altiplano and Eastern Cordillera is heterogeneous with large north south variations. The northern Altiplano is underlain by low seismic velocities consistent with little or no lithosphere. The central Altiplano seismic images indicate high velocities consistent with lithospheric mantle. However, the upper mantle beneath the Altiplano-Eastern Cordillera boundary has low seismic velocities strongly suggestive of little if any lithospheric mantle. The southern Altiplano and northern Puna appear to have much less mantle lithosphere and major surface volcanism. Taken together the

  4. The Residue of Lithospheric Convergence in the Alpine-Pannonian-Carpathian system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houseman, G. A.; Stuart, G. W.; Hetenyi, G.; Lorinczi, P.; Dando, B. D.

    2009-12-01

    The continuing collision of the Adriatic block with European continental lithosphere has its clearest expression now in the Alpine collision zone. In the Early Miocene the collision zone extended further east and included probably all of the regions within the Carpathian Mountain Range. In the Mid-Miocene between about 17