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Sample records for african continental crust

  1. Continental crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pakiser, L.C.

    1964-01-01

    The structure of the Earth’s crust (the outer shell of the earth above the M-discontinuity) has been intensively studied in many places by use of geophysical methods. The velocity of seismic compressional waves in the crust and in the upper mantle varies from place to place in the conterminous United States. The average crust is thick in the eastern two-thirds of the United States, in which the crustal and upper-mantle velocities tend to be high. The average crust is thinner in the western one-third of the United States, in which these velocities tend to be low. The concept of eastern and western superprovinces can be used to classify these differences. Crustal and upper-mantle densities probably vary directly with compressional-wave velocity, leading to the conclusion that isostasy is accomplished by the variation in densities of crustal and upper-mantle rocks as well as in crustal thickness, and that there is no single, generally valid isostatic model. The nature of the M-discontinuity is still speculative.

  2. Freshly brewed continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, E.; Hayes, J. L.; Caddick, M. J.; Madrigal, P.

    2015-12-01

    Earth's crust is the life-sustaining interface between our planet's deep interior and surface. Basaltic crusts similar to Earth's oceanic crust characterize terrestrial planets in the solar system while the continental masses, areas of buoyant, thick silicic crust, are a unique characteristic of Earth. Therefore, understanding the processes responsible for the formation of continents is fundamental to reconstructing the evolution of our planet. We use geochemical and geophysical data to reconstruct the evolution of the Central American Land Bridge (Costa Rica and Panama) over the last 70 Ma. We also include new preliminary data from a key turning point (~12-6 Ma) from the evolution from an oceanic arc depleted in incompatible elements to a juvenile continental mass in order to evaluate current models of continental crust formation. We also discovered that seismic P-waves (body waves) travel through the crust at velocities closer to the ones observed in continental crust worldwide. Based on global statistical analyses of all magmas produced today in oceanic arcs compared to the global average composition of continental crust we developed a continental index. Our goal was to quantitatively correlate geochemical composition with the average P-wave velocity of arc crust. We suggest that although the formation and evolution of continents may involve many processes, melting enriched oceanic crust within a subduction zone, a process probably more common in the Achaean where most continental landmasses formed, can produce the starting material necessary for juvenile continental crust formation.

  3. The Continental Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burchfiel, B. Clark

    1983-01-01

    Continental crust underlies the continents, their margins, and also small shallow regions in oceans. The nature of the crust (much older than oceanic crust) and its dynamics are discussed. Research related to and effects of tectonics, volcanism, erosion, and sedimentation on the crust are considered. (JN)

  4. Achaean Continental Crust Under the Pan-African Orogenic Belt, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishikawa, M.

    2001-12-01

    Lützow-Holm Complex, located in East Antarctica, is a Cambrian collision zone between Achaean craton (Napier Complex) and Dronning Moud Land, where occurs the upper amphibolite- to granulite-facies rocks, and it is regarded as a part of the Pan-African orogenic belt during Gondwana continent amalgamation. The exhumation of the granulite-facies rocks with clockwise P-T path has been attributed to extensive surface erosion (up to 30 km thick) of double-thickened crust, but the common belief that higher-pressure garnet bearing rocks e.g. high-pressure granulites and/or eclogites exist at deeper level of crust is not supported by geophysical data. In this paper we reconstruct crustal structure beneath Lützow-Holm Complex by combining ultrasonic velocity of rocks with seismic velocity structure. Consequently our results suggest that Achaean continental crust (lower pressure) exists under the Pan-African Orogenic Belt (higher pressure), and propose a new tectonic model for exhumation of the granulite-facies metamorphic belt instead of the double-thickened crust model. P-wave velocity (Vp) in ultra-high temperature granulites (UHT) was measured up to 1.0 GPa from 25°C to 400°C with a piston-cylinder-type high-pressure apparatus. Rocks measured are meta-igneous UHT rocks collected from Mount Riiser-Larsen, Enderby Land, East Antarctica where the Achaean Napier Complex occurs. Core rock samples with 14mm diameter and 12mm long were subjected to high-pressure experiments. All rocks show a rapid increase of Vp at low pressure up to 0.4 GPa and nearly constant Vp at higher pressures. The Vp values measured at 1.0 GPa and 400°C are 7.17 km/s for a meta-pyroxenite, 6.93 km/s, 6.88 km/s for mafic granulites and 6.17 km/s for an orthopyroxene felsic gneiss. The Vp values measured for the Napier mafic granulites are comparable to the lower crustal layer (6.95 km/s of Vp at depth from 33 to 40 km) under the Lützow-Holm Complex. The present results suggest that the lower crust

  5. Continental crust: a geophysical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Meissner, R.

    1986-01-01

    This book develops an integrated and balanced picture of present knowledge of the continental crust. Crust and lithosphere are first defined, and the formation of crusts as a general planetary phenomenon is described. The background and methods of geophysical studies of the earth's crust and the collection of related geophysical parameters are examined. Creep and friction experiments and the various methods of radiometric age dating are addressed, and geophysical and geological investigations of the crustal structure in various age provinces of the continents are studied. Specific tectonic structures such as rifts, continental margins, and geothermal areas are discussed. Finally, an attempt is made to give a comprehensive view of the evolution of the continental crust and to collect and develop arguments for crustal accretion and recycling. 647 references.

  6. Palaeomagnetism and the continental crust

    SciTech Connect

    Piper, J.D.A.

    1987-01-01

    This book is an introduction to palaeomagnetism offering treatment of theory and practice. It analyzes the palaeomagnetic record over the whole of geological time, from the Archaean to the Cenozoic, and goes on to examine the impact of past geometries and movements of the continental crust at each geological stage. Topics covered include theory of rock and mineral magnetism, field and laboratory methods, growth and consolidation of the continental crust in Archaean and Proterozoic times, Palaeozoic palaeomagnetism and the formation of Pangaea, the geomagnetic fields, continental movements, configurations and mantle convection.

  7. Evolution of the African continental crust as recorded by U-Pb, Lu-Hf and O isotopes in detrital zircons from modern rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iizuka, Tsuyoshi; Campbell, Ian H.; Allen, Charlotte M.; Gill, James B.; Maruyama, Shigenori; Makoka, Frédéric

    2013-04-01

    To better understand the evolutionary history of the African continental crust, a combined U-Pb, Lu-Hf and O isotopic study has been carried out by in situ analyses of approximately 450 detrital zircon grains from the Niger, Nile, Congo, Zambezi and Orange Rivers. The U-Pb isotopic data show age peaks at ca. 2.7, 2.1-1.8, 1.2-1.0, ca. 0.8, 0.7-0.5 and ca. 0.3 Ga. These peaks, with the exception of the one at ca. 0.8 Ga, correspond with the assembly of supercontinents. Furthermore, the detrital zircons that crystallized during these periods of supercontinent assembly have dominantly non-mantle-like O and Hf isotopic signatures, in contrast to the ca. 0.8 Ga detrital zircons which have juvenile characteristics. These data can be interpreted as showing that continental collisions during supercontinent assembly resulted in supermountain building accompanied by remelting of older continental crust, which in turn led to significant erosion of young igneous rocks with non-mantle-like isotopic signatures. Alternatively, the data may indicate that the major mode of crustal development changed during the supercontinent cycle: the generation of juvenile crust in extensional settings was dominant during supercontinent fragmentation, whereas the stabilization of the generated crust via crustal accretion and reworking was important during supercontinent assembly. The Lu-Hf and O isotope systematics indicate that terreigneous sediments could attain elevated 18O/16O via prolonged sediment-sediment recycling over long crustal residence time, and also that reworking of carbonate and chert which generally have elevated 18O/16O and low Hf contents is minor in granitoid magmatism. The highest 18O/16O in detrital zircon abruptly increased at ca. 2.1 Ga and became nearly constant thereafter. This indicates that reworking of mature sediments increased abruptly at that time, probably as a result of a transition in the dynamics of either granitoid crust formation or sedimentary evolution

  8. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland.

    PubMed

    Torsvik, Trond H; Amundsen, Hans E F; Trønnes, Reidar G; Doubrovine, Pavel V; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D; Griffin, William L; Werner, Stephanie C; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-04-14

    The magmatic activity (0-16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland--and especially the Öræfajökull volcano--is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated (87)Sr/(86)Sr and (207)Pb/(204)Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr-Nd-Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2-6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume. PMID:25825769

  9. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland.

    PubMed

    Torsvik, Trond H; Amundsen, Hans E F; Trønnes, Reidar G; Doubrovine, Pavel V; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D; Griffin, William L; Werner, Stephanie C; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-04-14

    The magmatic activity (0-16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland--and especially the Öræfajökull volcano--is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated (87)Sr/(86)Sr and (207)Pb/(204)Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr-Nd-Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2-6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume.

  10. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland

    PubMed Central

    Torsvik, Trond H.; Amundsen, Hans E. F.; Trønnes, Reidar G.; Doubrovine, Pavel V.; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J.; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D.; Griffin, William L.; Werner, Stephanie C.; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-01-01

    The magmatic activity (0–16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland—and especially the Öræfajökull volcano—is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated 87Sr/86Sr and 207Pb/204Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr–Nd–Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2–6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume. PMID:25825769

  11. Earthquakes in Stable Continental Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Arch C.; Kanter, Lisa R.

    1990-01-01

    Discussed are some of the reasons for earthquakes which occur in stable crust away from familiar zones at the ends of tectonic plates. Crust stability and the reactivation of old faults are described using examples from India and Australia. (CW)

  12. The Continental Crust: A Geophysical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Nikolas I.

    Nearly 80 years ago, Yugoslavian seismologist Andrija Mohorovicic recognized, while studying a Balkan earthquake, that velocities of seismic waves increase abruptly at a few tens of kilometers depth , giving rise to the seismological definition of the crust. Since that discovery, many studies concerned with the nature of both the continental and oceanic crusts have appeared in the geophysical literature.Recently, interest in the continental crust has cascaded. This is largely because of an infusion of new data obtained from major reflection programs such as the Consortium for Continental Reflection Profiling (COCORP) and British Institutions Reflection Profiling Syndicate (BIRPS) and increased resolution of refraction studies. In addition, deep continental drilling programs are n ow in fashion. The Continental Crust: A Geophysical Approach is a summary of present knowledge of the continental crust. Meissner has succeeded in writing a book suited to many different readers, from the interested undergraduate to the professional. The book is well documented , with pertinent figures and a complete and up-to-date reference list.

  13. Workshop on the Growth of Continental Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ashwal, Lewis D. (Editor)

    1988-01-01

    Constraints and observations were discussed on a fundamental unsolved problem of global scale relating to the growth of planetary crusts. All of the terrestrial planets were considered, but emphasis was placed on the Earth's continental crust. The title of each session is: (1) Extraterrestrial crustal growth and destruction; (2) Constraints for observations and measurements of terrestrial rocks; (3) Models of crustal growth and destruction; and (4) Process of crustal growth and destruction.

  14. A relatively reduced Hadean continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xiaozhi; Gaillard, Fabrice; Scaillet, Bruno

    2014-05-01

    Among the physical and chemical parameters used to characterize the Earth, oxidation state, as reflected by its prevailing oxygen fugacity (fO2), is a particularly important one. It controls many physicochemical properties and geological processes of the Earth's different reservoirs, and affects the partitioning of elements between coexisting phases and the speciation of degassed volatiles in melts. In the past decades, numerous studies have been conducted to document the evolution of mantle and atmospheric oxidation state with time and in particular the possible transition from an early reduced state to the present oxidized conditions. So far, it has been established that the oxidation state of the uppermost mantle is within ±2 log units of the quartz-fayalite-magnetite (QFM) buffer, probably back to ~4.4 billion years ago (Ga) based on trace-elements studies of mantle-derived komatiites, kimberlites, basalts, volcanics and zircons, and that the O2 levels of atmosphere were initially low and rose markedly ~2.3 Ga known as the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), progressively reaching its present oxidation state of ~10 log units above QFM. In contrast, the secular evolution of oxidation state of the continental crust, an important boundary separating the underlying upper mantle from the surrounding atmosphere and buffering the exchanges and interactions between the Earth's interior and exterior, has rarely been addressed, although the presence of evolved crustal materials on the Earth can be traced back to ~4.4 Ga, e.g. by detrital zircons. Zircon is a common accessory mineral in nature, occurring in a wide variety of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, and is almost ubiquitous in crustal rocks. The physical and chemical durability of zircons makes them widely used in geochemical studies in terms of trace-elements, isotopes, ages and melt/mineral inclusions; in particular, zircons are persistent under most crustal conditions and can survive many secondary

  15. Cyclic growth in Atlantic region continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodwin, A. M.

    1986-01-01

    Atlantic region continental crust evolved in successive stages under the influence of regular, approximately 400 Ma-long tectonic cycles. Data point to a variety of operative tectonic processes ranging from widespread ocean floor consumption (Wilson cycle) to entirely ensialic (Ampferer-style subduction or simple crustal attenuation-compression). Different processes may have operated concurrently in some or different belts. Resolving this remains the major challenge.

  16. Dynamics of the Precambrian Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perchuk, L. L.; Gerya, T. V.; van Reenen, D. D.; Smit, C. A.

    2003-04-01

    The Precambrian continental crust is mainly composed of (1) granite greenstone belts (GGB) and (2) granulite facies complexes (GFC). The GFC are often separated from GGB by inward dipping crustal scale shear zones with characteristic sense of movements reflecting thrusting of GFC onto cratonic rocks. The isotope age of the shear zones is identical to GFC, while the latter are always younger than the granite greenstone belts. The dynamics relationships between these two geological units strongly determine tectonic evolution of the Precambrian continental crust. Numerous thermobarometric studies of magmatic and metamorphic rocks show that the Archaean to Early Protorozoic crust as well as the Mantle were hot and therefore relatively soft. Such geothermal regimes may limit separation and movement of micro continents, limiting collisional mechanisms in evolution of the Precambrian crust. The goal of this paper is to show evidence for an alterative model that is based on the mechanism of gravitational redistribution of rocks within the Precambrian continental crust, which might be initiated by a fluid/heat flow related to mantle plumes. The model is tested on the basis of geological, geochemical, geophysical and petrologic data for many paired GFT GGB complexes around the word. Studied granulite complexes are located in between Archaean GGB from which they are separated by inward dipping crustal scale shear zones with reverse sense of movements. The most important evidence for this mechanism is: (i) the near isobaric cooling (IC) and (ii) decompression cooling (DC) shapes of the retrograde P T paths recorded in GFC, while rocks from the juxtaposed GGB in footwalls of the bounding shear zones record P T loops. The Pmax of the loops corresponds to the Pmin, recorded in GFC. Thus the GGB P T loop reflects the burial and ascending of the juxtaposed GGB while the GFC P T path records the exhumation only. The identical isotopic age of GFC and contacting rocks from the shear

  17. Rapid vertical tectonics in ductile continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearse, Jillian

    Research over the past two decades has shown that in regions of moderately high heat flow, the lower continental crust is ductile enough to flow on geological timescales. Vertical motions taking place within continental interiors produce localized features such as intracratonic basins and domes, and the results of this thesis indicate that ductile crustal flow can contribute significantly to the formation of these otherwise enigmatic features. A major goal of this thesis has been to analyze, quantitatively, the behaviour of loaded continental crust where a ductile layer is present. Specifically, I examine the long-term effects of sublithospheric heating events on crust with embedded density loads. Density anomalies within the crust can be initially supported by elastic stresses but sag appreciably if the elastic crust is thinned modestly. Beginning with a semi-analytic approach, I estimate the additional subsidence that would result from thermal reactivation, and introduce the previously unmodelled phenomenon of thermal annealing of stresses at the base of the elastic crust. In basins caused by intracrustal density loads, reactivated subsidence can be significant (of the order of 1 km, enough to account for about one quarter of the total Michigan basin subsidence). If the crust is sufficiently weakened, the long-term result is detachment of the load followed by rebound and inversion of the basin to form a dome. To model this phenomenon I use a full thermal and viscoelastic finite-element model, and find that such load detachment can occur for geologically reasonable load densities in high heat flow regions. Strikingly, the total upward displacement of material from depth during rebound can be as much as 10 km, enough to exhume the basin completely and expose basement rocks to some depth. Exhumation is rapid, lasting only about 5 to 10 million years. This raises the interesting question of what field evidence might support such a history for a dome: the results of

  18. Growth of the lower continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rudnick, Roberta L.

    1988-01-01

    One of the largest uncertainties in crustal composition and growth models is the nature of the lower continental crust. Specifically, by what processes is it formed and modified, and when is it formed, particularly in reference to the upper crust? The main reason for this lack of information is the scarcity of lower crustal rock samples. These are restricted to two types: rocks which outcrop in granulite facies terrains and granulite facies xenoliths which are transported to the earth's surface by young volcanics. The important conclusions arising from the xenolith studies are: the majority of mafic lower crustal xenoliths formed through cumulate process, resitic xenoliths are rare; and formation and metamorphism of the deep crust is intimately linked to igneous activity and/or orogeny which are manifest in one form or another at the earth's surface. Therefore, estimates of crustal growth based on surface exposures is representative, although the proportion of remobilized pre-existing crust may be significantly greater at the surface than in the deep crust.

  19. Exploring the deep continental crust by drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elders, Wilfred A.

    Although geology transcends national boundaries, geologists are not free of national influences. To the question “Is continental scientific drilling an idea whose time has come?,” answers might range from an enthusiastic “yes” in the Soviet Union and the Federal Republic of Germany, and a qualified “yes” in Sweden, to “We hope so” in Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, but most likely “We don't know” in the United States.In August 1988 at Jaroslavl in the U.S.S.R., Y. A. Kozlovsky, Minister of Geology, challenged participants in the international seminar Superdeep Continental Drilling and Deep Geophysical Research with his proposal for Project GLOBUS, a very-large-scale collaborative study of Earth's crust [Kozlovsky, 1988; Sass and Barber, 1989]. GLOBUS would investigate the crust of all of the world's continents and oceans by a network of geophysical transects, supported by up to 50 deep (5-10 km), to superdeep (>10 km), research boreholes, situated at the nodal points of the net to calibrate the geophysical interpretations and serve as permanent crustal observatories (Figure 1).

  20. The continental crust: Its composition and evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, S.R.; McLennan, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    This book describes the composition of the present upper crust, and deals with possible compositions for the total crust and the inferred composition of the lower crust. The question of the uniformity of crustal composition throughout geological time is discussed. It describes the Archean crust and models for crustal evolution in Archean and Post-Archean time. The rate of growth of the crust through time is assessed, and the effects of the extraction of the crust on mantle compositions. The question of early pre-geological crusts on the Earth is discussed and comparisons are given with crusts on the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus and the Galilean Satellites.

  1. Secular evolution of the continental crust: Implications for crust evolution models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rollinson, Hugh

    2008-12-01

    The present-day flux from mantle to crust is basaltic and yet the average composition of the continental crust is andesitic. This is the crust composition paradox. A new solution to this paradox is proposed whereby the secular evolution in the composition of the continental crust reflects a changing flux from mantle to crust over time. Thus it is proposed that the present-day composition of the continental crust is a time-integrated average. Crustal growth curves show that 48-54% of the continental crust was formed by the end of the Archaean. A mass balance model based upon a tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite compositional model for the Archaean continental crust shows that the post-Archaean mantle to crust flux was predominantly basaltic and likely a mix of arc-plume basalts. Trace element modeling, however, reveals that additional processes also contributed to the average crust composition. Balancing Y, Ho, and Yb concentrations requires a garnetiferous mafic granulite lower Archaean crust, which in turn drives the post-Archaean flux toward a high mg # andesite. This suggests that there was a slab melt contribution to the continents, in addition to basalt. An excess of fluid mobile elements in the continental crust can be explained either by the addition of a slab melt or small fraction melts. A deficiency in Sr requires that the post-Archaean crustal composition has been modified by erosion. Both Archaean and post-Archaean continental crust contain contributions from basalt and a slab melt. In the Archaean crust the slab melt contribution is dominant. In the post-Archaean crust the basaltic contribution is dominant.

  2. Density Sorting During the Evolution of Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelemen, P. B.; Behn, M. D.; Hacker, B. R.

    2015-12-01

    We consider two settings - in addition to "delamination" of arc lower crust - in which dense, mafic eclogites founder into the convecting mantle while buoyant, felsic lithologies accumulate at the base of evolving continental crust. Arc processes play a central role in generating continental crust, but it remains uncertain how basaltic arc crust is transformed to andesitic continental crust. Dense, SiO2-poor products of fractionation may founder from the base of arc crust by "delamination", but lower arc crust after delamination has significantly different trace elements compared to lower continental crust (LCC). In an alternative model, buoyant magmatic rocks generated at arcs are first subducted, mainly via subduction erosion. Upon heating, these buoyant lithologies ascend through the mantle wedge or along a subduction channel, and are "relaminated" at
the base of overlying crust (e.g., Hacker et al EPSL 11, AREPS 15). Average buoyant lavas and plutons
for the Aleutians, Izu-Bonin-Marianas, Kohistan and Talkeetna arcs fall within the range of estimated LCC major and trace elements. Relamination is more efficient in generating continental crust than delamination. Himalayan cross-sections show Indian crust thrust beneath Tibetan crust, with no intervening mantle. There is a horizontal Moho at ca 80 km depth, extending from thickened Indian crust, across the region where Tibetan crust overlies Indian crust, into thickened Tibetan crust. About half the subducted Indian crust is present, whereas the other half is missing. Data (Vp/Vs; Miocene lavas formed by interaction of continental crust with mantle; xenolith thermometry) indicate 1000°C or more from ca 50 km depth to the Moho since the Miocene. We build on earlier studies (LePichon et al Tectonics 92, T'phys 97; Schulte-Pelkum et al Nature 05; Monsalve et al JGR 08) to advance the hypothesis that rapid growth of garnet occurs at 70-80 km and 1000°C within subducting Indian crust. Dense eclogites founder

  3. Continental Crust Growth as a Result of Continental Collision: Ocean Crust Melting and Melt Preservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Y.; Zhao, Z.; Zhou, S.; Zhu, D.; Dong, G.; Mo, X.; Xie, G.; Dong, X.

    2010-12-01

    The significance of the continental crust (CC) on which we live is self-evident. However, our knowledge remains limited on its origin, its way and rate of growth, and how it has acquired the “andesitic” composition from mantle derived magmas. Compared to rocks formed from mantle derived magmas in all tectonic settings, volcanic arc rocks associated with oceanic lithosphere subduction share some common features with the CC; both are relatively depleted in “fluid-insoluble” elements (e.g., Nb, Ta and Ti), but enriched in “fluid-soluble” elements (e.g., U, K and Pb). These chemical characteristics are referred to as the “arc-like signature”, and point to a genetic link between subduction-zone magmatism and CC formation, thus leading to the “island-arc” model widely accepted for the origin of the CC over the past 40 years. However, it has been recognized also that this “island-arc” model has several difficulties. These include (1) bulk arc crust (AC) is basaltic, whereas the bulk CC is andesitic [1]; (2) AC has a variably large Sr excess whereas the CC is Sr deficient [2]; and (3) AC production is mass-balanced by subduction-erosion and sediment recycling, thus contributing no new mass to CC growth, at least in the Phanerozoic [3,4]. Our data on magmatic rocks (both volcanic and intrusive) formed during the India-Asia continental collision (~65 - ~45Ma) [5] show a remarkable compositional similarity to the bulk CC with the typical “arc-like signature” [6]. Also, these syncollisional felsic rocks exhibit strong mantle isotopic signatures, implying that they were recently derived from a mantle source. The petrology and geochemistry of these syncollisional felsic rocks is most consistent with an origin via partial melting of upper oceanic crust (i.e., last fragments of underthrusting oceanic crust) under amphibolite facies conditions, adding net mantle-derived materials to form juvenile CC mass. This leads to the logical and testable hypothesis

  4. Generation of continental crust in intra-oceanic arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, E.; Hayes, J. L.; Kelemen, P. B.; Everson, E. D.; Holbrook, W. S.; Vance, E.

    2014-12-01

    The origin of continental crust is still an unsolved mystery in the evolution of our planet. Although the best candidates to produce juvenile continental crust are intra-oceanic arcs these systems are dominated by basaltic lavas, and when silicic magmas are produced, the incompatible-element compositions are generally too depleted to be a good match for continental crust estimates. Others, such as the W. Aleutians, are dominated by andesitic melts with trace element compositions similar to average continental crust. In order to evaluate which intra-oceanic arcs produced modern continental crust, we developed a geochemical continental index (CI) through a statistical analysis that compared all available data from modern intra-oceanic arcs with global estimates of continental crust. Our results suggest that magmas from Costa Rica (<10 Ma) have a CI <50, closer to the CI (~20) computed from available average continental crust estimates. Transitional CI values of 50-100 were found in the Aleutians, the Iwo-Jima segment of Izu-Bonin, the L. Antilles, Panama, Nicaragua, and Vanuatu. The geochemical signature of the Costa Rican lavas is controlled by melts from the subducting Galapagos tracks. Iwo-Jima and Vanuatu are in a similar tectonic scenario with subducting intraplate seamounts. Melts from the subducting oceanic crust are thought to significantly control the geochemical signature in the W. Aleutians and Panama. In the L. Antilles and E. Aleutians the continental signature may reflect recycling of a component derived from subducting continental sediments. Most of Izu-Bonin, Marianas, S. Scotia and Tonga arcs with a CI >100 have the least continent-like geochemical signatures. In these arcs the subducting plate is old (>100 Ma), not overprinted by enriched intraplate volcanism and the geochemistry may be dominated by slab-derived, aqueous fluids. We also found a strong correlation between the CI and average crustal P-wave velocity, validating the geochemical index

  5. Growth of the continental crust: A planetary-mantle perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, Paul H.

    1988-01-01

    The lack of earth rocks older than about 3.8 Ga is frequently interpreted as evidence that the earth formed little or no subduction-resistant continental crust during the first 700 My of its history. Such models obviously imply that the pre-3.8 Ga earth was covered entirely or almost entirely by smoothly subducting oceanic crust. On the other hand, the thermal regime of the early earth probably tended to cause the oceanic crust at this time to be comparatively thin and comparatively mafic. The present earth is covered by about 50 percent oceanic crust, averaging about 7 km in thickness, and 41 percent continental crust, averaging roughly 40 km in thickness. Thus continentless-early-earth models would seem to imply a total mass of crust less than 1/3 that of the present day earth. Possible explanations are examined.

  6. The extent of continental crust beneath the Seychelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, J. O. S.; Kendall, J.-M.; Collier, J. S.; Rümpker, G.

    2013-11-01

    The granitic islands of the Seychelles Plateau have long been recognised to overlie continental crust, isolated from Madagascar and India during the formation of the Indian Ocean. However, to date the extent of continental crust beneath the Seychelles region remains unknown. This is particularly true beneath the Mascarene Basin between the Seychelles Plateau and Madagascar and beneath the Amirante Arc. Constraining the size and shape of the Seychelles continental fragment is needed for accurate plate reconstructions of the breakup of Gondwana and has implications for the processes of continental breakup in general. Here we present new estimates of crustal thickness and VP/VS from H-κ stacking of receiver functions from a year long deployment of seismic stations across the Seychelles covering the topographic plateau, the Amirante Ridge and the northern Mascarene Basin. These results, combined with gravity modelling of historical ship track data, confirm that continental crust is present beneath the Seychelles Plateau. This is ˜30-33 km thick, but with a relatively high velocity lower crustal layer. This layer thins southwards from ˜10 km to ˜1 km over a distance of ˜50 km, which is consistent with the Seychelles being at the edge of the Deccan plume prior to its separation from India. In contrast, the majority of the Seychelles Islands away from the topographic plateau show no direct evidence for continental crust. The exception to this is the island of Desroche on the northern Amirante Ridge, where thicker low density crust, consistent with a block of continental material is present. We suggest that the northern Amirantes are likely continental in nature and that small fragments of continental material are a common feature of plume affected continental breakup.

  7. Does subduction zone magmatism produce average continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ellam, R. M.; Hawkesworth, C. J.

    1988-01-01

    The question of whether present day subduction zone magmatism produces material of average continental crust composition, which perhaps most would agree is andesitic, is addressed. It was argued that modern andesitic to dacitic rocks in Andean-type settings are produced by plagioclase fractionation of mantle derived basalts, leaving a complementary residue with low Rb/Sr and a positive Eu anomaly. This residue must be removed, for example by delamination, if the average crust produced in these settings is andesitic. The author argued against this, pointing out the absence of evidence for such a signature in the mantle. Either the average crust is not andesitic, a conclusion the author was not entirely comfortable with, or other crust forming processes must be sought. One possibility is that during the Archean, direct slab melting of basaltic or eclogitic oceanic crust produced felsic melts, which together with about 65 percent mafic material, yielded an average crust of andesitic composition.

  8. Continental crust composition constrained by measurements of crustal Poisson's ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zandt, George; Ammon, Charles J.

    1995-03-01

    DECIPHERING the geological evolution of the Earth's continental crust requires knowledge of its bulk composition and global variability. The main uncertainties are associated with the composition of the lower crust. Seismic measurements probe the elastic properties of the crust at depth, from which composition can be inferred. Of particular note is Poisson's ratio,Σ ; this elastic parameter can be determined uniquely from the ratio of P- to S-wave seismic velocity, and provides a better diagnostic of crustal composition than either P- or S-wave velocity alone1. Previous attempts to measure Σ have been limited by difficulties in obtaining coincident P- and S-wave data sampling the entire crust2. Here we report 76 new estimates of crustal Σ spanning all of the continents except Antarctica. We find that, on average, Σ increases with the age of the crust. Our results strongly support the presence of a mafic lower crust beneath cratons, and suggest either a uniformitarian craton formation process involving delamination of the lower crust during continental collisions, followed by magmatic underplating, or a model in which crust formation processes have changed since the Precambrian era.

  9. Mass and Composition of the Continental Crust Estimated Using the CRUST2.0 Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, B. T.; Depaolo, D. J.

    2007-12-01

    The mass, age, and chemical composition of the continental crust are fundamental data for understanding Earth differentiation. The inaccessibility of most of the volume of the crust requires that inferences be made about geochemistry using seismic and heat flow data, with additional constraints provided by scarce lower crustal samples (Rudnick and Fountain, Rev. Geophys., 1995; Rudnick and Gao, Treatise on Geochem., 2003). The global crustal seismic database CRUST2.0 (Bassin, et al., EOS, 2000; Mooney, et al., JGR, 1998; hereafter C2) provides a useful template with which the size and composition of the continents can be assessed, and may be a useful vehicle to organize and analyze diverse geochemical data. We have used C2 to evaluate the modern mass and composition of the continental crust and their uncertainties, and explored our results in the context of global mass balances, such as continents versus depleted mantle. The major source of uncertainty comes from the definition of "continent." The ultimate constraint is the total mass of Earth's crust (oceanic + continental), which, from C2, is 2.77 (in units of 1022 kg). Using crustal thickness as a definition of continent, the mass of continental crust (CC) is 2.195 if the minimum thickness is 12-18km, 2.085 for 22.5km, 2.002 for 25km, and 1.860 for 30km. These numbers include all sediment as continental crust. Using C2 definitions to distinguish oceanic and continental crust (and including oceanic plateaus which contain some continental crust), we calculate the CC mass as 2.171. To estimate chemical composition, we use the C2 reservoir masses. For minimum thickness of 22.5km, C2 yields the proportions 0.016 oceanic sediment, 0.038 continental sediment, 0.321 upper crust, 0.326 middle crust, 0.299 lower crust. Upper, middle, and lower crust are assigned compositions from Rudnick and Gao (2003), continental sediments are assigned upper crust composition, and oceanic sediments are assigned GLOSS composition (Plank

  10. Deep observation and sampling of the earth's continental crust (DOSECC): Continental scientific drilling workshop

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    Research summaries are presented of ongoing or proposed deep drilling programs to explore hydrothermal systems, buried astroblemes, continental crust, magma systems, mountain belt tectonics, subduction zones, and volcanoes. Separate abstracts have been prepared for individual papers. (ACR)

  11. Radiogenic heat production in the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaupart, Claude; Mareschal, Jean-Claude; Iarotsky, Lidia

    2016-10-01

    The thermal structure and evolution of continents depend strongly on the amount and distribution of radioactive heat sources in the crust. Determining the contribution of crustal rocks beneath a superficial layer is a major challenge because heat production depends weakly on major element composition and physical properties such as seismic wavespeed and density. Enriched granitic intrusives that lie at the current erosion level have a large impact on the surface heat flux but little influence on temperatures in the deep crust. Many lower crustal rocks that are poor in heat producing elements are restites from ancient orogenic events, implying that enrichment of the upper crust was achieved at the expense of deeper crustal levels. For the same total heat production, concentrating heat sources in an upper layer acts to reduce temperatures in the lower crust, thereby allowing stabilization of the crust. The present-day structure of the crust is a consequence of orogeny and should not be adopted for thermal models of the orogenic event itself. This review summarizes information extracted from large data sets on heat flow and heat production and provides estimates of crustal stratification and heat production in several geological provinces. Analysis of global and regional data sets reveals the absence of a positive correlation between surface heat flow and crustal thickness, showing that the average crustal heat production is not constant. Differences of heat flow between geological provinces are due in large part to changes of crustal structure and bulk composition. Collating values of the bulk crustal heat production in a few age intervals reveals a clear trend of decrease with increasing age. This trend can be accounted for by radioactive decay, indicating that thermal conditions at the time of crustal stabilization have not changed significantly. For the average crustal thickness of 40 km, Moho temperatures are near solidus values at the time of stabilization

  12. Reflection seismology: The continental crust (1986). Volume 14

    SciTech Connect

    Barazangi, M.; Brown, L.

    1986-01-01

    This volume explores the major problems of deep geology and continental tectonics, the issues of deep crustal fluids, and the geological significance of deep reflections. It reports on seismic results from Precambrian crust to Paleozoic structures, including seismic results from the Appalachian-Hercynian system and new results from the Cordillera of western North America, the young subduction zone of western Canada, and Antarctica.

  13. The Mafic Lower Crust of Neoproterozoic age beneath Western Arabia: Implications for Understanding African Lower Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, R. J.; Mooney, W. D.

    2011-12-01

    We review evidence that the lower crust of Arabia - and by implication, that beneath much of Africa was formed at the same time as the upper crust, rather than being a product of Cenozoic magmatic underplating. Arabia is a recent orphan of Africa, separated by opening of the Red Sea ~20 Ma, so our understanding of its lower crust provides insights into that of Africa. Arabian Shield (exposed in W. Arabia) is mostly Neoproterozoic (880-540 Ma) reflecting a 300-million year process of continental crustal growth due to amalgamated juvenile magmatic arcs welded together by granitoid intrusions that make up as much as 50% of the Shield's surface. Seismic refraction studies of SW Arabia (Mooney et al., 1985) reveal two layers, each ~20 km thick, separated by a well-defined Conrad discontinuity. The upper crust has average Vp ~6.3 km/sec whereas the lower crust has average Vp ~7.0 km/sec, corresponding to a granitic upper crust and gabbroic lower crust. Neogene (<30 ma) lava fields in Arabia (harrats) extend over 2500 km, from Yemen to Syria. Many of these lavas contain xenoliths, providing a remarkable glimpse of the lower-crustal and upper-mantle lithosphere beneath W. Arabia. Lower crustal xenoliths brought up in 8 harrats in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria are mostly 2-pyroxene granulites of igneous (gabbroic, anorthositic, and dioritic) origin. They contain plagioclase, orthopyroxene, and clinopyroxene, and a few contain garnet and rare amphibole and yield mineral-equilibrium temperatures of 700-900°C. Pyroxene-rich and plagioclase-rich suites have mean Al2O3 contents of 13% and 19%, respectively: otherwise the two groups have similar elemental compositions, with ~50% SiO2 and ~1% TiO2, with low K2O (<0.5%) and Na2O (1-3%). Both groups show tholeiitic affinities, unrelated to their alkali basalt hosts. Mean pyroxene-rich and plagioclase-rich suites show distinct mean MgO contents (11% vs. 7%), Mg# (67 vs. 55), and contents of compatible elements Ni (169 vs. 66 ppm

  14. Zircon Age Episodicity and Growth of Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condie, Kent C.; Aster, Richard C.

    2009-10-01

    Granites form when silica-rich magma intrudes into the crust and slowly crystallizes. Such intrusions are discontinuous in space and episodic in time, resulting in a mosaic of ages for granites from a given region. Although the episodicity of granitoid ages is well known [Condie, 1998; Kemp et al., 2006], how representative samples are of age distributions in the preserved continental crust is unclear. This is because sampling strategies are generally dictated by mineral exploration, accessibility of outcrops, or availability of geologic maps, none of which necessarily leads to an unbiased representation of age distributions in the continental crust. For instance, large age peaks at 2.7 and 1.9 billion years ago in the Canadian and Baltic shields may reflect extensive sampling of these shields [Condie et al., 2009a].

  15. Permeability of continental crust influenced by internal and external forcing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rojstaczer, S.A.; Ingebritsen, S.E.; Hayba, D.O.

    2008-01-01

    The permeability of continental crust is so highly variable that it is often considered to defy systematic characterization. However, despite this variability, some order has been gleaned from globally compiled data. What accounts for the apparent coherence of mean permeability in the continental crust (and permeability-depth relations) on a very large scale? Here we argue that large-scale crustal permeability adjusts to accommodate rates of internal and external forcing. In the deeper crust, internal forcing - fluxes induced by metamorphism, magmatism, and mantle degassing - is dominant, whereas in the shallow crust, external forcing - the vigor of the hydrologic cycle - is a primary control. Crustal petrologists have long recognized the likelihood of a causal relation between fluid flux and permeability in the deep, ductile crust, where fluid pressures are typically near-lithostatic. It is less obvious that such a relation should pertain in the relatively cool, brittle upper crust, where near-hydrostatic fluid pressures are the norm. We use first-order calculations and numerical modeling to explore the hypothesis that upper-crustal permeability is influenced by the magnitude of external fluid sources, much as lower-crustal permeability is influenced by the magnitude of internal fluid sources. We compare model-generated permeability structures with various observations of crustal permeability. ?? 2008 The Authors Journal compilation ?? 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Continental crust beneath the Agulhas Plateau, Southwest Indian Ocean

    SciTech Connect

    Tucholke, B.E.; Houtz, R.E.; Barrett, D.M.

    1981-05-10

    The Agulhas Plateau lies 500 km off the Cape of Good Hope in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Acoustic basement beneath the northern one third of this large, aseismic structural high has rugged morphology, but basement in the south is anomalously smooth, excepting a 30- to 90-km-wide zone with irregular relief that trends south-southwest through the center of the plateau. Seismic refraction profiles across the southern plateau indicate that the zone of irregular acoustic basement overlies thickened oceanic crust and that continental crust, locally thinned and intruded by basalts, underlies several regions of smooth acoustic basement. Recovery of quartzo-feldspathic gneisses in dredge hauls confirms the presence of continental crust. The smoothness of acoustic basement probably results from erosion (perhaps initially subaerial) of topographic highs with depositions and cementation of debris in ponds to form high-velocity beds. Basalt flows and sills also may contribute locally to form smooth basement. The rugged basement of the northern plateau appears to be of oceanic origin. A plate reconstruction to the time of initial opening of the South Atlantic places the continental part of the southern plateau adjacent to the southern edge of the Falkland Plateau, and both abut the western Mozambique Ridge. Both the Agulhas and Falkland plateaus were displaced westward during initial rifting in the Early Cretaceous. Formation of an RRR triple junction at the northern edge of the Agulhas continental fragment during middle Cretaceous time may explain the origin of the rugged, thickened oceanic crust beneath plateau as well as the apparent extension of the continental crust and intrusion of basaltic magmas beneath the southern plateau.

  17. Continental crust under the southern Porcupine Seabight west of Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makris, J.; Egloff, R.; Jacob, A. W. B.; Mohr, P.; Murphy, T.; Ryan, P.

    1988-08-01

    Two new seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profiles demonstrate that the crust beneath the southern Porcupine Seabight, out to water depths in excess of 4000 m, is of continental type. They also reveal the rifted margin of the Porcupine basin on its eastern side. Crustal thickness under the Seabight, inclusive of sediments which are up to 6 km thick, decreases from 23 km in the east to about 10 km at a sharp continent-ocean transition in the west.

  18. Recycling lower continental crust in the North China craton.

    PubMed

    Gao, Shan; Rudnick, Roberta L; Yuan, Hong-Ling; Liu, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Yong-Sheng; Xu, Wen-Liang; Ling, Wen-Li; Ayers, John; Wang, Xuan-Che; Wang, Qing-Hai

    2004-12-16

    Foundering of mafic lower continental crust into underlying convecting mantle has been proposed as one means to explain the unusually evolved chemical composition of Earth's continental crust, yet direct evidence of this process has been scarce. Here we report that Late Jurassic high-magnesium andesites, dacites and adakites (siliceous lavas with high strontium and low heavy-rare-earth element and yttrium contents) from the North China craton have chemical and petrographic features consistent with their origin as partial melts of eclogite that subsequently interacted with mantle peridotite. Similar features observed in adakites and some Archaean sodium-rich granitoids of the tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite series have been interpreted to result from interaction of slab melts with the mantle wedge. Unlike their arc-related counterparts, however, the Chinese magmas carry inherited Archaean zircons and have neodymium and strontium isotopic compositions overlapping those of eclogite xenoliths derived from the lower crust of the North China craton. Such features cannot be produced by crustal assimilation of slab melts, given the high Mg#, nickel and chromium contents of the lavas. We infer that the Chinese lavas derive from ancient mafic lower crust that foundered into the convecting mantle and subsequently melted and interacted with peridotite. We suggest that lower crustal foundering occurred within the North China craton during the Late Jurassic, and thus provides constraints on the timing of lithosphere removal beneath the North China craton. PMID:15602559

  19. Recycling lower continental crust in the North China craton.

    PubMed

    Gao, Shan; Rudnick, Roberta L; Yuan, Hong-Ling; Liu, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Yong-Sheng; Xu, Wen-Liang; Ling, Wen-Li; Ayers, John; Wang, Xuan-Che; Wang, Qing-Hai

    2004-12-16

    Foundering of mafic lower continental crust into underlying convecting mantle has been proposed as one means to explain the unusually evolved chemical composition of Earth's continental crust, yet direct evidence of this process has been scarce. Here we report that Late Jurassic high-magnesium andesites, dacites and adakites (siliceous lavas with high strontium and low heavy-rare-earth element and yttrium contents) from the North China craton have chemical and petrographic features consistent with their origin as partial melts of eclogite that subsequently interacted with mantle peridotite. Similar features observed in adakites and some Archaean sodium-rich granitoids of the tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite series have been interpreted to result from interaction of slab melts with the mantle wedge. Unlike their arc-related counterparts, however, the Chinese magmas carry inherited Archaean zircons and have neodymium and strontium isotopic compositions overlapping those of eclogite xenoliths derived from the lower crust of the North China craton. Such features cannot be produced by crustal assimilation of slab melts, given the high Mg#, nickel and chromium contents of the lavas. We infer that the Chinese lavas derive from ancient mafic lower crust that foundered into the convecting mantle and subsequently melted and interacted with peridotite. We suggest that lower crustal foundering occurred within the North China craton during the Late Jurassic, and thus provides constraints on the timing of lithosphere removal beneath the North China craton.

  20. Sulfur and metal fertilization of the lower continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Locmelis, Marek; Fiorentini, Marco L.; Rushmer, Tracy; Arevalo, Ricardo; Adam, John; Denyszyn, Steven W.

    2016-02-01

    Mantle-derived melts and metasomatic fluids are considered to be important in the transport and distribution of trace elements in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. However, the mechanisms that facilitate sulfur and metal transfer from the upper mantle into the lower continental crust are poorly constrained. This study addresses this knowledge gap by examining a series of sulfide- and hydrous mineral-rich alkaline mafic-ultramafic pipes that intruded the lower continental crust of the Ivrea-Verbano Zone in the Italian Western Alps. The pipes are relatively small (< 300 m diameter) and primarily composed of a matrix of subhedral to anhedral amphibole (pargasite), phlogopite and orthopyroxene that enclose sub-centimeter-sized grains of olivine. The 1 to 5 m wide rim portions of the pipes locally contain significant blebby and disseminated Fe-Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide mineralization. Stratigraphic relationships, mineral chemistry, geochemical modeling and phase equilibria suggest that the pipes represent open-ended conduits within a large magmatic plumbing system. The earliest formed pipe rocks were olivine-rich cumulates that reacted with hydrous melts to produce orthopyroxene, amphibole and phlogopite. Sulfides precipitated as immiscible liquid droplets that were retained within a matrix of silicate crystals and scavenged metals from the percolating hydrous melt. New high-precision chemical abrasion TIMS U-Pb dating of zircons from one of the pipes indicates that these pipes were emplaced at 249.1 ± 0.2 Ma, following partial melting of lithospheric mantle pods that were metasomatized during the Eo-Variscan oceanic to continental subduction (~ 420-310 Ma). The thermal energy required to generate partial melting of the metasomatized mantle was most likely derived from crustal extension, lithospheric decompression and subsequent asthenospheric rise during the orogenic collapse of the Variscan belt (< 300 Ma). Unlike previous models, outcomes from this study suggest a

  1. Crustal redistribution, crust-mantle recycling and Phanerozoic evolution of the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clift, Peter D.; Vannucchi, Paola; Morgan, Jason Phipps

    2009-12-01

    We here attempt a global scale mass balance of the continental crust during the Phanerozoic and especially the Cenozoic (65 Ma). Continental crust is mostly recycled back into the mantle as a result of the subduction of sediment in trenches (1.65 km 3/a), by the subduction of eroded forearc basement (1.3 km 3/a) and by the delamination of lower crustal material from orogenic plateaus (ca. 1.1 km 3/a). Subduction of rifted crust in continent-continent collision zones (0.4 km 3/a), and dissolved materials fixed into the oceanic crust (ca. 0.4 km 3/a) are less important crustal sinks. At these rates the entire continental crust could be reworked in around 1.8 Ga. Nd isotope data indicate that ca. 80% of the subducted continental crust is not recycled by melting at shallow levels back into arcs, but is subducted to depth into the upper mantle. Continent-continent collision zones do not generally form new crust, but rather cause crustal loss by subduction and as a result of their physical erosion, which exports crust from the orogen to ocean basins where it may be subducted. Regional sedimentation rates suggest that most orogens have their topography eliminated within 100-200 million years. We estimate that during the Cenozoic the global rivers exported an average of 1.8 km 3/a to the oceans, approximately balancing the subducted loss. Accretion of sediment to active continental margins is a small contribution to crustal construction (ca. 0.3 km 3/a). Similarly, continental large igneous provinces (flood basalts) represent construction of only around 0.12 km 3/a, even after accounting for their intrusive roots. If oceanic plateaus are accreted to continental margins then they would average construction rates of 1.1 km 3/a, meaning that to keep constant crustal volumes, arc magmatism would have to maintain production of around 3.8 km 3/a (or 94 km 3/Ma/km of trench). This slightly exceeds the rates derived from sparse seismic experiments in oceanic arc systems. Although

  2. Evolution of the continental crust as recorded in accessory minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iizuka, Tsuyoshi

    2013-04-01

    Recent developments in precise in situ isotopic analysis by LA-ICPMS and SIMS allow correlating multiple isotopic systems within single grains of accessory minerals such as zircon and monazite. The combined isotope systematics have provided valuable insights into the evolution of the continental crust. Zircon, a common accessory phase in granitoids, can be precisely dated by the U-Pb system. Zircon Lu-Hf isotopic composition is a function of crustal residence time of the magmatic protolith, whereas the O isotopic composition is a sensitive record of reworking of mature sediments such as pelite. An integration of U-Pb, Lu-Hf and O isotopic data for detrital zircons from modern large rivers indicates that: (1) the preserved continental crust dominantly formed between 3.6 and 1.0 Ga, (2) the major mode of crustal development would change during the supercontinent cycle, i.e., the generation of juvenile crust during supercontinent fragmentation versus the stabilization of the generated crust via crustal remelting during supercontinent fragmentation, and (3) reworking of mature sediments increased abruptly at ca. 2.1 Ga. No granitoids are known to have survived since 4.03 Ga. Yet evidence of an even older evolved crust is provided by detrital zircons with ages up to 4.4 Ga from Mt. Narryer and Jack Hills metasedimentary rocks in the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. Recently, such Hadean zircons have been found from outside the Yilgarn Craton, indicating that the young Earth had widespread granitoid crust. In addition, another accessory phase, monazite, in the Mt. Narryer and Jack Hills metasedimentary rocks offers an unique opportunity to advance our knowledge of early crustal evolution. Monazite, a light rare earth element phosphate mineral, occurs as an igneous accessory phase particularly in low-Ca granitoids, in contrast to the occurrence of igneous zircon in a wide range of granitoids. U-Pb and Sm-Nd isotope systematic of monazite are analogous to U-Pb and Lu

  3. Influence of Earth crust composition on continental collision style in Precambrian conditions: Results of supercomputer modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zavyalov, Sergey; Zakharov, Vladimir

    2016-04-01

    A number of issues concerning Precambrian geodynamics still remain unsolved because of uncertainity of many physical (thermal regime, lithosphere thickness, crust thickness, etc.) and chemical (mantle composition, crust composition) parameters, which differed considerably comparing to the present day values. In this work, we show results of numerical supercomputations based on petrological and thermomechanical 2D model, which simulates the process of collision between two continental plates, each 80-160 km thick, with various convergence rates ranging from 5 to 15 cm/year. In the model, the upper mantle temperature is 150-200 ⁰C higher than the modern value, while the continental crust radiogenic heat production is higher than the present value by the factor of 1.5. These settings correspond to Archean conditions. The present study investigates the dependence of collision style on various continental crust parameters, especially on crust composition. The 3 following archetypal settings of continental crust composition are examined: 1) completely felsic continental crust; 2) basic lower crust and felsic upper crust; 3) basic upper crust and felsic lower crust (hereinafter referred to as inverted crust). Modeling results show that collision with completely felsic crust is unlikely. In the case of basic lower crust, a continental subduction and subsequent continental rocks exhumation can take place. Therefore, formation of ultra-high pressure metamorphic rocks is possible. Continental subduction also occurs in the case of inverted continental crust. However, in the latter case, the exhumation of felsic rocks is blocked by upper basic layer and their subsequent interaction depends on their volume ratio. Thus, if the total inverted crust thickness is about 15 km and the thicknesses of the two layers are equal, felsic rocks cannot be exhumed. If the total thickness is 30 to 40 km and that of the felsic layer is 20 to 25 km, it breaks through the basic layer leading to

  4. Formation of lower continental crust by relamination of buoyant arc lavas and plutons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelemen, Peter B.; Behn, Mark D.

    2016-03-01

    The formation of the Earth's continents is enigmatic. Volcanic arc magmas generated above subduction zones have geochemical compositions that are similar to continental crust, implying that arc magmatic processes played a central role in generating continental crust. Yet the deep crust within volcanic arcs has a very different composition from crust at similar depths beneath the continents. It is therefore unclear how arc crust is transformed into continental crust. The densest parts of arc lower crust may delaminate and become recycled into the underlying mantle. Here we show, however, that even after delamination, arc lower crust still has significantly different trace element contents from continental lower crust. We suggest that it is not delamination that determines the composition of continental crust, but relamination. In our conceptual model, buoyant magmatic rocks generated at arcs are subducted. Then, upon heating at depth, they ascend and are relaminated at the base of the overlying crust. A review of the average compositions of buoyant magmatic rocks -- lavas and plutons -- sampled from the Aleutians, Izu-Bonin-Marianas, Kohistan and Talkeetna arcs reveals that they fall within the range of estimated major and trace elements in lower continental crust. Relamination may thus provide an efficient process for generating lower continental crust.

  5. The global Moho depth map for continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranov, Alexey; Morelli, Andrea

    2014-05-01

    Different tectonic units cover the continents: platform, orogens and depression structures. This structural variability is reflected both in thickness and physical properties of the crust. We present a new global Moho map for the continental crust, derived from geophysical data selected from the literature and regional crustal models. The Moho depth is represented with a resolution of 1x1 on a Cartesian grid. A large volume of new data has been analyzed: mostly active seismic experiments, as well as receiver functions and geological studies. We have used the following regional studies: for Europe and Greenland, models EPcrust [Molinari and Morelli, 2011]and EUNAseis [Artemieva and Thybo, 2103]; for North Asia, Moho models from [Cherepanova et al., 2013; Iwasaki et al., 2013; Pavlenkova, 1996]; for Central and Southern Asia, model AsCrust [Baranov, 2010] with updates for India [Reddy and Rao, 2013]; China [Teng et al., 2013];Arabian [Mechie et al., 2013]; for Africa, the model by [Pasyanos and Nyblade, 2007] as a framework and added many others regional studies; for South America, models by [Assumpção et al.,2013; Chulick et al.,2013; Lloyd et al., 2010]; for North America, the model by [Keller, 2013]; for Australia, the model by [Salmon et al., 2013]; for Antarctica, model ANTMoho [Baranov and Morelli, 2013] with update for West Antarctica (POLENET project, [Chaput et al., 2013]). For two orogens we have found the maximum depth at - 75 km (Tibet and Andes). In our model the average thickness of the continental crust is about 34 km (st. deviation 9 km) whereas in CRUST 2.0 model the average Moho for continental areas is about 38 km. The new Moho model for continents exhibits some remarkable disagreement at places with respect to global model CRUST 2.0. The difference in crustal thickness between these two models may amount up to 30 km, mainly due to improved resolution of our model's Moho boundary. There are significant changes in several regions: among them

  6. The geodynamic province of transitional crust adjacent to magma-poor continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibuet, J.; Tucholke, B. E.

    2011-12-01

    Two types of 'transitional crust' have been documented along magma-poor rifted margins. One consists of apparently sub-continental mantle that has been exhumed and serpentinized in a regime of brittle deformation during late stages of rifting. A second is highly thinned continental crust, which in some cases is known to have been supported near sea level until very late in the rift history and thus is interpreted to reflect depth-dependent extension. In both cases it is typically assumed that formation of oceanic crust occurs shortly after the breakup of brittle continental crust and thus that the transitional crust has relatively limited width. We here examine two representative cases of transitional crust, one in the Newfoundland-Iberia rift (exhumed mantle) and one off the Angola-Gabon margin (highly thinned continental crust). Considering the geological and geophysical evidence, we propose that depth-dependent extension (riftward flow of weak lower/middle continental crust and/or upper mantle) may be a common phenomenon on magma-poor margins and that this can result in a much broader zone of transitional crust than has hitherto been assumed. Transitional crust in this extended zone may consist of sub-continental mantle, lower to middle continental crust, or some combination thereof, depending on the strength profile of the pre-rift continental lithosphere. Transitional crust ceases to be emplaced (i.e., final 'breakup' occurs) only when emplacement of heat and melt from the rising asthenosphere becomes dominant over lateral flow of the weak lower lithosphere. This model implies a two-stage breakup: first the rupture of the brittle upper crust and second, the eventual emplacement of oceanic crust. Well-defined magnetic anomalies can form in transitional crust consisting of highly serpentinized, exhumed mantle, and they therefore are not diagnostic of oceanic crust. Where present in transitional crust, these anomalies can be helpful in interpreting the rifting

  7. New Tracers of Gas Migration in the Continental Crust

    SciTech Connect

    Kurz, Mark D.

    2015-11-01

    Noble gases are exceptional tracers in continental settings due to the remarkable isotopic variability between the mantle, crust, and atmosphere, and because they are inert. Due to systematic variability in physical properties, such as diffusion, solubility, and production rates, the combination of helium, neon, and argon provides unique but under-utilized indices of gas migration. Existing noble gas data sets are dominated by measurements of gas and fluid phases from gas wells, ground waters and hot springs. There are very few noble gas measurements from the solid continental crust itself, which means that this important reservoir is poorly characterized. The central goal of this project was to enhance understanding of gas distribution and migration in the continental crust using new measurements of noble gases in whole rocks and minerals from existing continental drill cores, with an emphasis on helium, neon, argon. We carried out whole-rock and mineral-separate noble gas measurements on Precambrian basement samples from the Texas Panhandle. The Texas Panhandle gas field is the southern limb of the giant Hugoton-Panhandle oil and gas field; it has high helium contents (up to ~ 2 %) and 3He/4He of 0.21 (± 0.03) Ra. Because the total amount of helium in the Panhandle gas field is relatively well known, crustal isotopic data and mass balance calculations can be used to constrain the ultimate source rocks, and hence the helium migration paths. The new 3He/4He data range from 0.03 to 0.11 Ra (total), all of which are lower than the gas field values. There is internal isotopic heterogeneity in helium, neon, and argon, within all the samples; crushing extractions yield less radiogenic values than melting, demonstrating that fluid inclusions preserve less radiogenic gases. The new data suggest that the Precambrian basement has lost significant amounts of helium, and shows the importance of measuring helium with neon and argon. The 4He/40Ar values are particularly useful

  8. In situ evidence for continental crust on early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sautter, V.; Toplis, M. J.; Wiens, R. C.; Cousin, A.; Fabre, C.; Gasnault, O.; Maurice, S.; Forni, O.; Lasue, J.; Ollila, A.; Bridges, J. C.; Mangold, N.; Le Mouélic, S.; Fisk, M.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Beck, P.; Pinet, P.; Le Deit, L.; Rapin, W.; Stolper, E. M.; Newsom, H.; Dyar, D.; Lanza, N.; Vaniman, D.; Clegg, S.; Wray, J. J.

    2015-08-01

    Understanding of the geologic evolution of Mars has been greatly improved by recent orbital, in situ and meteorite data, but insights into the earliest period of Martian magmatism (4.1 to 3.7 billion years ago) remain scarce. The landing site of NASA’s Curiosity rover, Gale crater, which formed 3.61 billion years ago within older terrain, provides a window into this earliest igneous history. Along its traverse, Curiosity has discovered light-toned rocks that contrast with basaltic samples found in younger regions. Here we present geochemical data and images of 22 specimens analysed by Curiosity that demonstrate that these light-toned materials are feldspar-rich magmatic rocks. The rocks belong to two distinct geochemical types: alkaline compositions containing up to 67 wt% SiO2 and 14 wt% total alkalis (Na2O + K2O) with fine-grained to porphyritic textures on the one hand, and coarser-grained textures consistent with quartz diorite and granodiorite on the other hand. Our analysis reveals unexpected magmatic diversity and the widespread presence of silica- and feldspar-rich materials in the vicinity of the landing site at Gale crater. Combined with the identification of feldspar-rich rocks elsewhere and the low average density of the crust in the Martian southern hemisphere, we conclude that silica-rich magmatic rocks may constitute a significant fraction of ancient Martian crust and may be analogous to the earliest continental crust on Earth.

  9. Implications for the evolution of continental crust from Hf isotope systematics of Archean detrital zircons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, Ross K.; Patchett, P. Jonathan

    1990-01-01

    Results from the fractionation of zircon by sedimentary processes into continental margin sandstone yield information on the preservation of preexisting continental crust in the form of zircon, making it possible to distinguish between the contrasting theories of gradual growth versus constant volume of continental crust over geologic time. In this work, Hf-176/Hf-177 ratios were determined for detrital zircon fractions from 2.0-2.5, 2.6-3.0, and pre-3.0 Gyr old sandstones from the Canadian-Shield, the North-Atlantic, the Wyoming, and the Kaapvaal Cratons. Results pointed to small amounts of continental crust prior to 3.0 Gyr ago and a rapid addition of continental crust between 2.5 and 3.0 Gyr ago, consistent with the gradual growth of continental crust, and giving evidence against no-growth histories.

  10. Physical processes in the growth of the continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, G.

    1988-01-01

    Major mechanisms of crustal addition are volcanism and plutonism at plate boundaries and within plate interiors. One approach to deciding if island arc magmatism dominated ancient crustal growth is to assess the rate at which the process has operated in the recent past. The localized addition rates were found to be comparable to present day global rates. One physical observable that was used to constrain models of crustal growth is sea level. A simple physical model was developed to explore the consequences of constant freeboard (the height of the continents above sea level). Global geoid and sea floor topography data were used to identify and study oceanic plateaus and swells that have either continental crustal roots or anomalously thick ocean crusts.

  11. Growth of early continental crust by partial melting of eclogite.

    PubMed

    Rapp, Robert P; Shimizu, Nobumichi; Norman, Marc D

    2003-10-01

    The tectonic setting in which the first continental crust formed, and the extent to which modern processes of arc magmatism at convergent plate margins were operative on the early Earth, are matters of debate. Geochemical studies have shown that felsic rocks in both Archaean high-grade metamorphic ('grey gneiss') and low-grade granite-greenstone terranes are comprised dominantly of sodium-rich granitoids of the tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) suite of rocks. Here we present direct experimental evidence showing that partial melting of hydrous basalt in the eclogite facies produces granitoid liquids with major- and trace-element compositions equivalent to Archaean TTG, including the low Nb/Ta and high Zr/Sm ratios of 'average' Archaean TTG, but from a source with initially subchondritic Nb/Ta. In modern environments, basalts with low Nb/Ta form by partial melting of subduction-modified depleted mantle, notably in intraoceanic arc settings in the forearc and back-arc regimes. These observations suggest that TTG magmatism may have taken place beneath granite-greenstone complexes developing along Archaean intraoceanic island arcs by imbricate thrust-stacking and tectonic accretion of a diversity of subduction-related terranes. Partial melting accompanying dehydration of these generally basaltic source materials at the base of thickened, 'arc-like' crust would produce compositionally appropriate TTG granitoids in equilibrium with eclogite residues.

  12. Estimating the global volume of deeply recycled continental crust at continental collision zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

    CRUSTAL RECYCLING AT OCEAN MARGINS: Large volumes of rock and sediment are missing from the submerged forearcs of ocean margin subduction zones--OMSZs. This observation means that (1) oceanic sediment is transported beneath the margin to either crustally underplate the coastal region or reach mantle depths, and that (2) the crust of the forearc is vertically thinned and horizontally truncated and the removed material transported toward the mantle. Transport of rock and sediment debris occurs in the subduction channel that separates the upper and lower plates. At OMSZs the solid-volume flux of recycling crustal material is estimated to be globally ~2.5 km3/yr (i.e., 2.5 Armstrong units or AU). The corresponding rate of forearc truncation (migration of the trench axis toward a fix reference on the continent) is a sluggish 2-3 km/Myr (about 1/50th the orthogonal convergence rate). Nonetheless during the past 2.5 Gyr (i.e., since the beginning of the Proterozoic) a volume of continental material roughly equal to the existing volume (~7 billion cubic km) has been recycled to the mantle at OMSZs. The amount of crust that has been destroyed is so large that recycling must have been a major factor creating the mapped rock pattern and age-fabric of continental crust. RECYCLING AT CONTINENT/ARC COLLISIONS: The rate at which arc magmatism globally adds juvenile crust to OMSZs has been commonly globally estimated at ~1 AU. But new geophysical and dating information from the Aleutian and IBM arcs imply that the addition rate is at least ~5 AU (equivalent to ~125 km3/Myr/km of arc). If the Armstrong posit is correct that since the early Archean a balance has existed between additions and losses of crust, then a recycling sink for an additional 2-3 AU of continental material must exist. As the exposure of exhumed masses of high P/T blueschist bodies documents that subcrustal streaming of continental material occurs at OMSZs, so does the occurrence of exhumed masses of UHP

  13. Subduction and exhumation of continental crust: insights from laboratory models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialas, Robert W.; Funiciello, Francesca; Faccenna, Claudio

    2011-01-01

    When slivers of continental crust and sediment overlying oceanic lithosphere enter a subduction zone, they may be scraped off at shallow levels, subducted to depths of up to 100-200 km and then exhumed as high pressure (HP) and ultra-high pressure (UHP) rocks, or subducted and recycled in the mantle. To investigate the factors that influence the behaviour of subducting slivers of continental material, we use 3-D dynamically consistent laboratory models. A laboratory analogue of a slab-upper mantle system is set up with two linearly viscous layers of silicone putty and glucose syrup in a tank. A sliver of continental material, also composed of silicone putty, overlies the subducting lithosphere, separated by a syrup detachment. The density of the sliver, viscosity of the detachment, geometry of the subducting system (attached plate versus free ridge) and dimensions of the sliver are varied in 34 experiments. By varying the density of the sliver and viscosity of the detachment, we can reproduce a range of sliver behaviour, including subduction, subduction and exhumation from various depths and offscraping. Sliver subduction and exhumation requires sufficient sliver buoyancy and a detachment that is strong enough to hold the sliver during initial subduction, but weak enough to allow adequate sliver displacement or detachment for exhumation. Changes to the system geometry alter the slab dip, subduction velocity, pattern of mantle flow and amount of rollback. Shallower slab dips with more trench rollback produce a mantle flow pattern that aids exhumation. Steeper slab dips allow more buoyancy force to be directed in the up-dip direction of the plane of the plate, and aide exhumation of subducted slivers. Slower subduction can also aide exhumation, but if slab dip is too steep or subduction too slow, the sliver will subduct to only shallow levels and not exhume. Smaller slivers are most easily subducted and exhumed and influenced by the mantle flow.

  14. Geometries of hyperextended continental crust in northeastern continental brazilian margin: insights from potential field and seismic interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magalhães, José; Barbosa, José; Ribeiro, Vanessa; Oliveira, Jefferson; Filho, Osvaldo; Buarque, Bruno

    2016-04-01

    The study region encompasses a set of three basins located at Northeast Brazilian continental margin: Pernambuco (south sector), Paraíba and Natal platform (north sector). These basins were formed during the last stage of separation between South America and African plates during Cretaceous. The continental breakup in these regions occurred probably during the Middle-Upper Albian (~102 m.y). The adjacent basement rocks belong to Borborema Province (BP), which was formed due a complex superposition between Pre-Cambrian orogenic cycles. The structural framework of BP is dominated by large shear zones that divided this province in three main tectonic domains: South, Central and North. The Pernambuco Basin is located in the South Domain and the Paraíba and Natal platform basins are related to the Central Domain. The tectonic and magmatic evolution of the Pernambuco Basin was influenced by oblique rifting (~ 35° to rift axis) and a thermal anomaly probably caused by the Santa Helena hotspot. The north sector represents a continental shelf characterized by basement high with a narrow platform and an abrupt shelf break on transition to the abyssal plain. The continental platform break of this sector was parallel to the rift axis. In this way, we present a regional structural interpretation of these sectors of Brazilian rifted margin based on interpretation and 2D forward modeling of potential field and 2D seismic data. The magnetic maps (Reduction to magnetic pole and Analytic signal) revealed the influence of an alternating pattern of large narrow magnetic and non-magnetic lineaments, oriented NE-SW, E-W and NW-SE. In the Pernambuco Basin these lineaments (NE-SW and E-W) are related to shear zones in the hyperextended basement which is interpreted as a continuation of the granitic-gneissic and metasedimentary rocks of the South Domain of BP. The Paraíba and Natal platform basins show a slight change in the orientation of structures trending E-W (shear zones in

  15. Continental collision zones are primary sites for net continental crust growth — A testable hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Yaoling; Zhao, Zhidan; Zhu, Di-Cheng; Mo, Xuanxue

    2013-12-01

    The significance of the continental crust (CC) on which we live is self-evident. However, our knowledge remains limited on its origin, its way and rate of growth, and how it has acquired the "andesitic" composition from mantle derived magmas. Compared to rocks formed from mantle derived magmas in all geological environments, volcanic arc rocks associated with seafloor subduction share some common features with the CC; both are relatively depleted in "fluid-insoluble" elements (e.g., Nb, Ta and Ti), but enriched in "fluid-soluble" elements (e.g., U, K and Pb). These chemical characteristics are referred to as the "arc-like signature", and point to a possible link between subduction-zone magmatism and CC formation, thus leading to the "island arc" model widely accepted for the origin of the CC over the past 45 years. However, this "island-arc" model has many difficulties: e.g., (1) the bulk arc crust (AC) is basaltic whereas the bulk CC is andesitic; (2) the AC has variably large Sr excess whereas the CC is weakly Sr deficient; and (3) AC production is mass-balanced by subduction erosion and sediment recycling, thus contributing no net mass to the CC growth, at least in the Phanerozoic. Our recent and ongoing studies on granitoid rocks (both volcanic and intrusive) formed in response to the India-Asia continental collision (~ 55 ± 10 Ma) show remarkable compositional similarity to the bulk CC with the typical "arc-like signature". Also, these syncollisional granitoid rocks exhibit strong mantle isotopic signatures, meaning that they were recently derived from a mantle source. The petrology and geochemistry of these syncollisional granitoid rocks are most consistent with an origin via partial melting of the upper ocean crust (i.e., last fragments of underthrusting ocean crust upon collision) under amphibolite facies conditions, adding net mantle-derived materials to form juvenile CC mass. This leads to the logical and testable hypothesis that continental collision

  16. Can Seismology Detect Ductile Deformation in the Deep Continental Crust?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, G. E.; Halliday, J. M.; Butler, R. W.; Casey, M.; Kendall, J.

    2005-12-01

    Various models exist to explain deformation in deep continental crust, broadly divisible into localized simple shear and distributed pure shear. Although seismic imaging is perhaps the most effective way to determine deformation at depth, the veracity of any interpretation depends critically upon knowledge of the seismic properties of the rocks. As a region of active crustal thickening and exhumation, the Nanga Parbat Massif (NPM), Pakistan Himalaya, offers insight into how localized thrust faults at the Earth's surface couple with distributed strain at depth. Gneissic, mylonitic and cataclastic rocks at the surface were sampled as proxies for lithologies and fabrics currently accommodating deformation at depth. The LPO of individual minerals were measured using SEM/EBSD, from which elastic constants, 3D seismic velocities and anisotropies were predicted. Micas contribute most to the bulk anisotropy; only when mica content is low and/or LPO is weak do other minerals contribute significantly. The anisotropy varies with deformation style: background gneiss samples have highest AVs anisotropy (9.5 percent) compared with highly strained gneiss samples (5.1-6.3 percent) and cataclasite (0.4 percent). This suggests that some shear zones are characterized by low anisotropy. Sample elastic constants were used to construct models, based on current ideas of NPM tectonics, through which P-, S- and converted waves were ray traced. Foliation orientation and intensity have dramatic impacts on seismic waves: rocks with 9.5 percent AVs and vertically aligned foliation persistent through 40km of crust induce ~1.5s AVs compared to horizontal alignment that induces only 0.2s AVs. Mode conversions and transverse component energy are also diagnostic of foliation intensity and orientation. The models indicate that it is possible to discriminate between different deformation processes active at depth using seismic measurements and we conclude that the dominant process in the NPM is

  17. A Voyage through Scales - Archives of the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkesworth, Chris

    2015-04-01

    regional studies, and globally the continental crust is characterised by distinctive peaks and troughs in the distribution of ages of magmatic activity, metamorphism, continental margins and mineralisation. This is unexpected in the context of steady state plate tectonics, and it is thought to reflect the different preservation potential of rocks generated in different tectonic settings. In contrast there are other signals, such as the Sr isotope ratios of seawater, mantle temperatures, and redox conditions on the Earth, which appear to retain primary records because they are less sensitive to the numbers of samples of different ages that have been analysed. Bias does appear to be significant for signals that rely on distributions of ages.

  18. Gulf of Mexico plate reconstruction by palinspastic restoration of extended continental crust

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, D.S.

    1984-04-01

    In this study, total tectonic subsidence analysis was used to estimate the mount of crust extension in the Gulf of Mexico to determine its effects on the proposed plate reconstructions. This involves the calculation and mapping of the sediment-unloaded-basement depth from observations of the basement depth, water depth, and sediment compaction properties. The well-known depth-age relation for oceanic crust and a model for the subsidence of extended continental crust allowed within the limits of available data the identification and mapping of crust type and the amount of extension of transitional crust. The zone of extended continental crust under the northern margin of the Gulf is extraordinarily wide, more than 800 km (500 mi) in a cross section through east Texas. The zone of extended crust to the south is much narrower, about 150 km (90 mi) on the margin of the Yucatan Block. Palinspastic restoration shows that the total 950 km (590 mi) of extended and thinned continental crust corresponds to 490 km (300 mi) of continental crust of original thickness. Therefore 460 km (280 mi) of crustal extension occurred during rifting and prior to ocean crust formation. The 460 km (280 mi) of extension along this cross section, and the results of similar calculations on the other cross sections, must be accounted for properly when reconstructing the prerift configuration of the Gulf of Mexico.

  19. Ductile deformation of the continental crust below volcanic and non-volcanic passive margins: insight from high quality industrial seismic profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clerc, Camille; Jolivet, Laurent; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude; Ballard, Jean-François

    2015-04-01

    High quality industrial seismic profiles have now been acquired along most of the world's passive margins. Stunningly increasing resolution over the past decades leads to unravel unexpected structures and to see real images of models drawn from the integration of field data. Some profiles show clear indications of ductile deformation of the deep continental crust, more or less localized along large-scale shallow-dipping shear zones. Maximums of deformation are suggested at the very base of the continental crust, and the Moho appears to be strongly sheared. These shear zones show a top-to-the-continent sense of shear consistent with the activity of counter-regional (continentward) normal faults observed in the upper crust. This pattern is responsible for a migration of the deformation and associated sedimentation or volcanic activity toward the ocean. We present some of the most striking examples and discuss their implications for the time-temperature-subsidence history of the margins. The distal domain of the non-magmatic margins is generally represented with an important sag basin (i.e. West African margins). This kind of sag basin is usually described as a vertically subsiding basin without differential tilting and resting on a highly thinned, little faulted continental crust. In contrast, we present new interpretations of seismic profiles across the West African margins showing evidences of intense syn-sedimentary tectonic activity within the Sag-basin. Sequences of low-angle normal faults horizontalizing in a hyper-stretched and ductile continental crust control a migration of the depot-center toward the ocean, in response to the horizontal extraction of the base of the continental crust and upper mantle. Finally, the hyper-thinned continental crust has undergone a ductile stretching under a cover of early syn-rift sediments, which implies a probable high thermal regime during rifting.

  20. Ages and Growth of the Continental Crust from Radiogenic Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patchett, P. J.; Samson, S. D.

    2003-12-01

    The development and application of radiogenic isotopes to dating of geologic events, and to questions of growth, evolution, and recycling processes in the continental crust are mature areas of scientific inquiry. By this we understand that many of the approaches used to date rocks and constrain the evolution of the continents are well established, even routine, and that the scope of data available on age and evolution of continents is very large. This is not to say that new approaches have not been developed in recent years, or that new approaches and/or insights cannot be developed in the future. However, the science of continental crustal evolution is definitely a domain where many of the problems are well defined, the power of the techniques used to solve them are well known, and the limitations of field and laboratory databases, as well as the preserved geologic record, are understood.From the very early days of crustal evolution studies, it was innovations and improvements in laboratory techniques that drove the pace of discovery (e.g., Holmes, 1911; Nier, 1939). This remained true through all the increments in capability reviewed in this chapter, up to the present day. Thus, continental crustal evolution is an area of Earth science where a species of very laboratory-oriented investigator, the "radiogenic isotope geologist" or "geochronologist," has made major advances, even breakthroughs, in understanding. This is true in spite of the fact that many of the individuals of the species may have lacked field expertise, or even more than a primitive level of geologic background. Because design and building of instruments like radiation detectors or mass spectrometers requires a knowledge of physics, many of the early practitioners of rock dating were physicists, like Alfred Nier (cited above). Since the 1970s, essentially all mass spectrometers have been constructed by specialized commercial firms, and the level of physics expertise among isotope geologists has

  1. The growth of the continental crust: Constraints from radiogenic isotope geochemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Paul N.

    1988-01-01

    Most models for evolution of continental crust are expressed in the form of a diagram illustrating the cumulative crustal mass (normalized relative to the present crustal mass) as a function of time. Thus, geochronological data inevitably play a major role in either constructing or testing crustal growth models. For all models, determining the start-time for effective crustal accretion is of vital importance. To this end, the continuing search for, and reliable characterization of, the most ancient crustal rock-units remains a worthy enterprise. Another important role for geochronology and radiogenic isotope geochemistry is to assess the status of major geological events as period either of new crust generation or of reworking of earlier formed continental crust. For age characterization of major geological provinces, using the critieria outined, the mass (or volume) of crust surviving to the present day should be determinable as a function of crust formation age. More recent developments, however, appear to set severe limitations on recycling of crust, at least by the process of sediment subduction. In modeling crustal growth without recycling, valuable constaints on growth rate variations through time can be provided if variations in the average age of the continental crust can be monitored through geological history. The question of the average age of the exposed continental crust was addressed by determining Sm-Nd crustal residence model ages (T-CR) for fine-grained sediment loads of many of the world's major rivers.

  2. Granitic Perspectives on the Generation and Secular Evolution of the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemp, A. I. S.; Hawkesworth, C. J.

    2003-12-01

    Every geologist is acquainted with the principle of "uniformitarianism," which holds that present-day processes are the key to those that operated in the past. But the extent this applies to the processes driving the growth and differentiation of the Earth's continental crust remains a matter of debate. Unlike its dense oceanic counterpart, which is recycled back into the mantle by subduction within 200 Ma (see Chapter 3.13), the continental crust comprises buoyant quartzofeldspathic materials and is difficult to destroy by subduction. The continental crust is, therefore, the principal record of how conditions on the Earth have changed, and how processes of crust generation have evolved through geological time. It preserves evidence of secular variation in crustal compositions, and thus the way in which the crust has formed throughout Earth's history. Exploring the nature and origin of these variations is the focus of this chapter.Continental rocks are highly differentiated, and so the crust is enriched in incompatible components compared to the primeval chondritic composition (see Chapter 3.01). Of these, water is perhaps the most relevant, both for the origin and evolution of life, and also for many models of crust generation and differentiation. Similarly, the mass of continental crust is just 0.57% of the silicate Earth, and yet it contains ˜35% of the potassium (using the crustal composition estimates in Table 1). Continental rocks comprise the buoyant shell that was once thought to float on a basaltic substratum, inferred from the wide distribution of chemically similar continental flood basalts (von Cotta, 1858). The links with the adjacent oceans were perhaps unclear, "the greatest mountains confront the widest oceans" ( Dana, 1873). Yet, it has long been argued that the rock that has the most similar composition to the average continental crust, andesite, may be generated by fractional crystallization of basalt ( Daly (1914) and Bowen (1928); but see the

  3. Origin of High Electrical Conductivity in the Lower Continental Crust: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xiaozhi

    2011-11-01

    Electromagnetic measurements have demonstrated that the lower continental crust has remarkable electrical anomalies of high conductivity and electrical anisotropy on a global scale (probably with some local exceptions), but their origin is a long-standing and controversial problem. Typical electrical properties of the lower continental crust include: (1) the electrical conductivity is usually 10-4 to 10-1 S/m; (2) the overlying shallow crust and underlying upper mantle are in most cases less conductive; (3) the electrical conductivity is statistically much higher in Phanerozoic than in Precambrian areas; (4) horizontal anisotropy has been resolved in many areas; and (5) in some regions there appear to be correlations between high electrical conductivity and other physical properties such as seismic reflections. The explanation based on conduction by interconnected, highly conductive phases such as fluids, melts, or graphite films in grain boundary zones has various problems in accounting for geophysically resolved electrical conductivity and other chemical and physical properties of the lower crust. The lower continental crust is dominated by mafic granulites (in particular beneath stable regions), with nominally anhydrous clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, and plagioclase as the main assemblages, and the prevailing temperatures are mostly 700-1,000°C as estimated from xenolith data, surface heat flow, and seismic imaging. Pyroxenes have significantly higher Fe content in the lower crust than in the upper mantle (peridotites), and plagioclase has higher Na content in the lower crust than in the shallow crust (granites). Minerals in the lower continental crust generally contain trace amounts of water as H-related point defects, from less than 100 to more than 1,000 ppm H2O (by weight), with concentrations usually higher than those in the upper mantle. Observations of xenolith granulites captured by volcano-related eruptions indicate that the lower continental crust is

  4. Deep structure of the central Lesser Antilles Island Arc: Relevance for the formation of continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, H.; Weinzierl, W.; Becel, A.; Charvis, P.; Evain, M.; Flueh, E. R.; Gailler, A.; Galve, A.; Hirn, A.; Kandilarov, A.; Klaeschen, D.; Laigle, M.; Papenberg, C.; Planert, L.; Roux, E.

    2011-04-01

    Oceanic island arcs are sites of high magma production and contribute to the formation of continental crust. Geophysical studies may provide information on the configuration and composition of island arc crust, however, to date only few seismic profiles exist across active island arcs, limiting our knowledge on the deep structure and processes related to the production of arc crust. We acquired active-source wide-angle seismic data crossing the central Lesser Antilles island arc north of Dominica where the oceanic Tiburon Ridge subducts obliquely beneath the forearc. A combined analysis of wide-angle seismics and pre-stack depth migrated reflection data images the complex structure of the backstop and its segmentation into two individual ridges, suggesting an intricate relation between subducted basement relief and forearc deformation. Tomographic imaging reveals three distinct layers composing the island arc crust. A three kilometer thick upper crust of volcanogenic sedimentary rocks and volcaniclastics is underlain by intermediate to felsic middle crust and plutonic lower crust. The island arc crust may comprise inherited elements of oceanic plateau material contributing to the observed crustal thickness. A high density ultramafic cumulates layer is not detected, which is an important observation for models of continental crust formation. The upper plate Moho is found at a depth of 24 km below the sea floor. Upper mantle velocities are close to the global average. Our study provides important information on the composition of the island arc crust and its deep structure, ranging from intermediate to felsic and mafic conditions.

  5. Crustal radiogenic heat production and the selective survival of ancient continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that the oldest terrestrial rocks have so far revealed no evidence of the impact phase of earth evolution. This observation suggests that processes other than impact were dominant at the time of stabilization of these units. However, a use of the oldest terrestrial rocks as a sample of the early terrestrial crust makes it necessary to consider the possibility that these rocks may represent a biased sample. In the present study, the global continental heat flow data set is used to provide further evidence that potassium, uranium, and thorium abundances are, on the average, low in surviving Archean crust relative to younger continental crust. An investigation is conducted of the implications of relatively low crustal radiogenic heat production to the stabilization of early continental crust, and possible Archean crustal stabilization models are discussed.

  6. Crustal radiogenic heat production and the selective survival of ancient continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that the oldest terrestrial rocks have so far revealed no evidence of the impact phase of Earth evolution. This observation suggests that processes other than impact were dominant at the time of stabilization of these units. However, a use of the oldest terrestrial rocks as a sample of the early terrestrial crust makes it necessary to consider the possibility that these rocks may represent a biased sample. In the present study, the global continental heat flow data set is used to provide further evidence that potassium, uranium, and thorium abundances are, on the average, low in surviving Archean crust relative to younger continental crust. An investigation is conducted of the implications of relatively low crustal radiogenic heat production to the stabilization of early continental crust, and possible Archean crustal stabilization models are discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmers, James

    2014-05-01

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

  8. Sm-nd and rb-sr chronology of continental crust formation.

    PubMed

    McCulloch, M T; Wasserburg, G J

    1978-06-01

    Samarium-neodymium and rubidium-strontium isotopic systematics together with plausible assumptions regarding the geochemical evlution of continental crust material, have been used to ascertain the times at which segments of continental crust were formed. Analyses of composites from the Canadian Shield representing portions of the Superior, Slave, and Churchill structural provinces indicate that these provinces were all formed within the period 2.5 to 2.7 aeons. It has been possible to determine the mean age of sediment provenances, as studies of sedimentary rocks suggest that the samarium-neodymium isotopic system is not substantially disturbed during sedimentation or diagenesis. PMID:17740673

  9. Sm-nd and rb-sr chronology of continental crust formation.

    PubMed

    McCulloch, M T; Wasserburg, G J

    1978-06-01

    Samarium-neodymium and rubidium-strontium isotopic systematics together with plausible assumptions regarding the geochemical evlution of continental crust material, have been used to ascertain the times at which segments of continental crust were formed. Analyses of composites from the Canadian Shield representing portions of the Superior, Slave, and Churchill structural provinces indicate that these provinces were all formed within the period 2.5 to 2.7 aeons. It has been possible to determine the mean age of sediment provenances, as studies of sedimentary rocks suggest that the samarium-neodymium isotopic system is not substantially disturbed during sedimentation or diagenesis.

  10. Postcollisional mafic igneous rocks record crust-mantle interaction during continental deep subduction.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zi-Fu; Dai, Li-Qun; Zheng, Yong-Fei

    2013-01-01

    Findings of coesite and microdiamond in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal protolith led to the recognition of continental subduction to mantle depths. The crust-mantle interaction is expected to take place during subduction of the continental crust beneath the subcontinental lithospheric mantle wedge. This is recorded by postcollisional mafic igneous rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt and its adjacent continental margin in the North China Block. These rocks exhibit the geochemical inheritance of whole-rock trace elements and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes as well as zircon U-Pb ages and Hf-O isotopes from felsic melts derived from the subducted continental crust. Reaction of such melts with the overlying wedge peridotite would transfer the crustal signatures to the mantle sources for postcollisional mafic magmatism. Therefore, postcollisonal mafic igneous rocks above continental subduction zones are an analog to arc volcanics above oceanic subduction zones, providing an additional laboratory for the study of crust-mantle interaction at convergent plate margins. PMID:24301173

  11. Postcollisional mafic igneous rocks record crust-mantle interaction during continental deep subduction

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zi-Fu; Dai, Li-Qun; Zheng, Yong-Fei

    2013-01-01

    Findings of coesite and microdiamond in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal protolith led to the recognition of continental subduction to mantle depths. The crust-mantle interaction is expected to take place during subduction of the continental crust beneath the subcontinental lithospheric mantle wedge. This is recorded by postcollisional mafic igneous rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt and its adjacent continental margin in the North China Block. These rocks exhibit the geochemical inheritance of whole-rock trace elements and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes as well as zircon U-Pb ages and Hf-O isotopes from felsic melts derived from the subducted continental crust. Reaction of such melts with the overlying wedge peridotite would transfer the crustal signatures to the mantle sources for postcollisional mafic magmatism. Therefore, postcollisonal mafic igneous rocks above continental subduction zones are an analog to arc volcanics above oceanic subduction zones, providing an additional laboratory for the study of crust-mantle interaction at convergent plate margins. PMID:24301173

  12. Postcollisional mafic igneous rocks record crust-mantle interaction during continental deep subduction.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zi-Fu; Dai, Li-Qun; Zheng, Yong-Fei

    2013-12-04

    Findings of coesite and microdiamond in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal protolith led to the recognition of continental subduction to mantle depths. The crust-mantle interaction is expected to take place during subduction of the continental crust beneath the subcontinental lithospheric mantle wedge. This is recorded by postcollisional mafic igneous rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt and its adjacent continental margin in the North China Block. These rocks exhibit the geochemical inheritance of whole-rock trace elements and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes as well as zircon U-Pb ages and Hf-O isotopes from felsic melts derived from the subducted continental crust. Reaction of such melts with the overlying wedge peridotite would transfer the crustal signatures to the mantle sources for postcollisional mafic magmatism. Therefore, postcollisonal mafic igneous rocks above continental subduction zones are an analog to arc volcanics above oceanic subduction zones, providing an additional laboratory for the study of crust-mantle interaction at convergent plate margins.

  13. Exploring the Geological Structure of the Continental Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oliver, Jack

    1983-01-01

    Discusses exploration and mapping of the continental basement using the seismic reflection profiling technique as well as drilling methods. Also discusses computer analysis of gravity and magnetic fields. Points out the need for data that can be correlated to surface information. (JM)

  14. No evidence for Hadean continental crust within Earth's oldest evolved rock unit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimink, J. R.; Davies, J. H. F. L.; Chacko, T.; Stern, R. A.; Heaman, L. M.; Sarkar, C.; Schaltegger, U.; Creaser, R. A.; Pearson, D. G.

    2016-10-01

    Due to the acute scarcity of very ancient rocks, the composition of Earth's embryonic crust during the Hadean eon (>4.0 billion years ago) is a critical unknown in our search to understand how the earliest continents evolved. Whether the Hadean Earth was dominated by mafic-composition crust, similar to today's oceanic crust, or included significant amounts of continental crust remains an unsolved question that carries major implications for the earliest atmosphere, the origin of life, and the geochemical evolution of the crust-mantle system. Here we present new U-Pb and Hf isotope data on zircons from the only precisely dated Hadean rock unit on Earth--a 4,019.6 +/- 1.8 Myr tonalitic gneiss unit in the Acasta Gneiss Complex, Canada. Combined zircon and whole-rock geochemical data from this ancient unit shows no indication of derivation from, or interaction with, older Hadean continental crust. Instead, the data provide the first direct evidence that the oldest known evolved crust on Earth was generated from an older ultramafic or mafic reservoir that probably surfaced the early Earth.

  15. Rhenium-osmium isotope systematics and platinum group element concentrations: Loess and the upper continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard; Jahn, Bor-Ming

    2001-10-01

    We investigate the use of loess as a proxy for the concentration and isotopic composition of highly siderophile elements, specifically Os, in the upper continental crust. The 187Os/188Os, platinum group element, and Re concentrations of 16 loess samples from China, Europe, and South America, previously analyzed for major, trace element, and Sr and Nd isotope composition, reveal subtle differences between loess provinces. Despite those differences, the 187Os/188Os of 1.05 ± 0.23 is surprisingly homogenous. Average 187Os/188Os as well as average Os (31 pg/g) and Ir (22 pg/g) concentrations are similar to the lower limit of previous estimates for average upper continental crust, whereas Ru, Pt, and Pd concentrations are intermediate between previous estimates. We argue that hydrogenous enrichment of Os in riverine sediments led Esser and Turekian [1993] to overestimate the Os concentration of upper continental crust (50 pg/g). On the basis of this argument and correlations with major and trace elements we propose that average platinum group element concentrations of loess (i.e., 31 pg Os/g, 22 pg Ir/g, 210 pg Ru/g, 510 pg Pt/g, 520 pg Pd/g) are a proxy for the upper continental crust. We further suggest that the nonchondritic average Os/Ir of 1.4 reflects the combined effects of radiogenic ingrowth of Os from Re decay over the mean lifetime of the upper continental crust and preferential return of Os to the crust during subduction. Rhenium concentrations scatter significantly, with highest values in loess derived from organic-rich sedimentary rocks. Low median Re concentrations most likely reflect depletion of loess in organic matter, an important sink for Re in the upper continental crust. An average 187Re/188Os of 34.5 was calculated on the basis of the measured 187Os/188Os and Nd model ages. This value corresponds to a Re concentration of 198 pg/g. Correcting measured 187Os/188Os = 1.05 and inferred 186Os/188Os = 0.119871 (from 190Pt/188Os = 0.0176) for the older

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  17. Evolving Deformation Style and Rheology During Transpressive Segmentation and Uplift of Continental Lower Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumond, G.; Mahan, K. H.; Williams, M. L.; Goncalves, P.; Jercinovic, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding mechanisms for strain localization and partitioning in the lower crust beneath major fault systems is critical for constraining exactly how these faults accommodate plate convergence. Lateral and vertical variations in strength and material properties can strongly influence the distribution of strain in continental lithosphere, as observed in the vicinity of continental transform faults and intracontinental strike-slip faults. Numerical models that incorporate rheological heterogeneity highlight the importance of strength contrasts for facilitating strain localization. Questions regarding the importance of diffuse vs. localized strain, reactivation, and the role of lateral variation in rheology can be answered directly by studying exhumed deep crustal shear zones and their wall rocks in rare exposures of continental lower crust. We report on the evolving deformation style and rheology of a large panel of continental lower crust (>20,000 km2) during the interaction of two lithosphere-scale shear zones in the western Canadian Shield. Weak, partially molten rocks were juxtaposed against previously-dehydrated stronger rocks during dextral high-T transcurrent shearing along the >400 km-long Grease River strike-slip shear zone at 1.92-1.90 Ga. The pattern and timing of strain and metamorphism across the shear zone is compatible with development of a deep crustal flower structure coincident with this rheological "dichotomy" at ~30-40 km paleodepths. The Grease River shear zone was cut and uplifted in the hanging wall of the Legs Lake shear zone, a >500 km-long intracontinental thrust-sense structure. Reactivation of the Grease River shear zone occurred during uplift as both structures accommodated dextral transpressive strain during segmentation and uplift of continental lower crust (>1.0 GPa) to middle crustal levels (<0.5 GPa) at 1.85 Ga. The strength and style of deformation evolved from distributed strain across partially molten weak crust to localized

  18. Deep observation and sampling of the earth's continental crust (DOSECC). Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-05-01

    The need to validate and refine concepts regarding the structure, properties, and dynamic processes of the earth's continental crust through the use of the drill was the subject of the workshop sponsored by DOSECC, Inc. and held April 29 through May 1, 1985 in Houston, Texas and attended by more than 145 scientists. Scientific objectives and targets for a program of research drilling as part of basic studies of the continental lithosphere were discussed, with over 30 scientific proposals presented. Individual drilling proposals were grouped under several themes; basement structures and deep continental basins, active fault zones, thermal regimes and fossil mineralized hydrothermal/magma systems.

  19. Tectonic erosion, subduction accretion and arc collision as controls on the growth of the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clift, P.; Vannucchi, P.; Draut, A.

    2003-04-01

    Subduction plate boundaries, at which tectonic erosion removes material from the overriding plate, account for 57% of the total length of the global subduction system and are favored where convergence rates exceed 7 cm/yr and where the sedimentary cover is less than 1 km. Accretion conversely preferentially occurs in regions of slow convergence (<8.5 cm/yr) and/or trench sediment thicknesses >1 km. The slope gradients and taper angle of accretionary plate margins correlates with plate convergence rates, while erosive margin slopes appear to be independent of this. Rates of trench retreat do not appear to correlate with any simple characteristic of the plate interaction, but are largely a function of the history of seamount or ridge collisions. Mass balances of the global subduction system indicate that the entire volume of the continental crust can be recycled through the subduction system every 2.6 Ga. Even in accretionary margins a median of only 32% of the incoming sedimentary mass is accreted over time scales of 10 my or greater, resulting in long-term net loss of continental crust along continental active margins. Average magmatic productivity in the active margins must exceed 75 km3/my if the volume of the continental crust is to reach the slow growth rate indicated by isotopic and continental freeboard arguments. Geological arguments indicate that magmatic accretion rates must be faster in oceanic arcs (87-95 km3/my) and less in the continental arcs (65-83 km3/my). Mass balance arguments in oceanic arcs require that their crustal thicknesses must be <29 km and the trench retreat rate <4.7 km/my in order to maintain long term growth. Continental growth is principally achieved through the collision of oceanic island arcs to continental margins. Although oceanic arcs are chemically distinct from continental crust, the collision process involves the loss of mafic and ultramafic lower crust and the emplacement of voluminous, high silica, light rare earth element

  20. Growth of early continental crust controlled by melting of amphibolite in subduction zones.

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen; Tiepolo, Massimo; Vannucci, Riccardo

    2002-06-20

    It is thought that the first continental crust formed by melting of either eclogite or amphibolite, either at subduction zones or on the underside of thick oceanic crust. However, the observed compositions of early crustal rocks and experimental studies have been unable to distinguish between these possibilities. Here we show a clear contrast in trace-element ratios of melts derived from amphibolites and those from eclogites. Partial melting of low-magnesium amphibolite can explain the low niobium/tantalum and high zirconium/samarium ratios in melts, as required for the early continental crust, whereas the melting of eclogite cannot. This indicates that the earliest continental crust formed by melting of amphibolites in subduction-zone environments and not by the melting of eclogite or magnesium-rich amphibolites in the lower part of thick oceanic crust. Moreover, the low niobium/tantalum ratio seen in subduction-zone igneous rocks of all ages is evidence that the melting of rutile-eclogite has never been a volumetrically important process.

  1. Sources of continental crust: neodymium isotope evidence from the sierra nevada and peninsular ranges.

    PubMed

    Depaolo, D J

    1980-08-01

    Granitic rocks from batholiths of the Sierra Nevada and Peninsular Ranges exhibit initial (143)Nd/(144)Nd ratios that vary over a large range and correlate with (87)Sr/(86)Sr ratios. The data suggest that the batholiths represent mixtures of materials derived from (i) chemically depleted mantle identical to the source of island arcs and (ii) old continental crust, probably sediments or metasediments with a provenance age of approximately 1.6 x 10(9) years. These conclusions are consistent with a model for continental growth whereby new crustal additions are repeatedly extracted from the same limited volume of the upper mantle, which has consequently become depleted in elements that are enriched in the crust. There is little evidence that hydrothermally altered, subducted oceanic crust is a primary source of the magmas. PMID:17821189

  2. Sources of continental crust: neodymium isotope evidence from the Sierra Nevada and Peninsular ranges

    SciTech Connect

    DePaolo, D.J.

    1980-08-08

    Granitic rocks from batholiths of the Sierra Nevada and Peninsular Ranges exhibit initial /sup 143/Nd//sup 144/Nd ratios that vary over a large range and correlate with /sup 87/Sr//sup 86/Sr ratios. The data suggest that the batholiths represent mixtures of materials derived from (i) chemically depleted mantle identical to the source of island arcs and (ii) old continental crust, probably sediments or metasediments with a provenance age of approx. 1.6 x 10/sup 9/ years. These conclusions are consistent with a model for continental growth whereby new crustal additions are repeatedly extracted from the same limited volume of the upper mantle, which has consequently become depleted in elements that are enriched in the crust. There is little evidence that hydrothermally altered, subducted oceanic crust is a primary source of the magmas.

  3. Continental crust in deep-water basins of East Arctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artyushkov, Eugene; Belyaev, Igor; Chekhovich, Peter; Poselov, Victor

    2013-04-01

    The nature of the crust in deep-water basins (1.5-4 km) in East Arctic is a matter of debates. The occurrence of continental crust has been demonstrated by deep-sea drilling only for the central part of the Lomonosov Ridge. Many authors suggest that the Mendeleev High and the Makarov and Podvodnikov basins in the Amerasian Basin are underlain by oceanic crust. In these regions the mean P-wave velocities in the consolidated crust are higher than in most continental areas. However, the thickness of this layer is several times larger (15-30 km) than that of the oceanic crust (7 km) and it includes a thin granitic layer (2-5 km). To explain this anomalous structure and thickness of the crust it is commonly supposed that in the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous the oceanic crust was formed in the above regions by sea-floor spreading accompanies by melting out of large masses of crustal material on a hot spot like on the present Iceland hot spot. Other investigators consider the crust in the above regions as a continental one. An important argument is the evolution of the subsidence in time which is quite different from a square root of time that typical of oceanic crust. Thus, according to the dredging data, the Mendeleev High remained near to sea level for 170 Myr since the Late Silurian and until the Early Permian. This would be absolutely impossible for a cooling hot spot on the oceanic crust. Furthermore, the structure of consolidated crust in these areas is similar to that in some ultradeep basins within the continents and on their passive margins, e.g., in the East Barents, North Caspian and North Chukchi basins which were originally formed on continental crust. To produce the water loaded subsidence by 1.5-4 km by lithospheric stretching, the lithosphere should be stretched by 1.5-4 times. However, in most of the seismic reflection profiles, no large tensile deformations can be observed. Under such circumstances the transformation of gabbro in the lower crust into

  4. A comparison of the seismic structure of oceanic island arc crust and continental accreted arc terranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calvert, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    Amalgamation of island arcs and their accretion to pre-existing continents is considered to have been one of the primary mechanisms of continental growth over the last 3 Ga, with arc terranes identified within Late Archean, Proterozoic, and Phanerozoic continental crust. Crustal-scale seismic refraction surveys can provide P wave velocity models that can be used as a proxy for crustal composition, and although they indicate some velocity variation in accreted arcs, these terranes have significantly lower velocities, and are hence significantly more felsic, than modern island arcs. Modern oceanic arcs exhibit significant variations in crustal thickness, from as little as 10 km in the Bonin arc to 35 km in the Aleutian and northern Izu arcs. Although globally island arcs appear to have a mafic composition, intermediate composition crust is inferred in central America and parts of the Izu arc. The absence of a sharp velocity contrast at the Moho appears to be a first order characteristic of island arc crust, and indicates the existence of a broad crust-mantle transition zone. Multichannel seismic reflection surveys complement refraction surveys by revealing structures associated with variations in density and seismic velocity at the scale of a few hundred meters or less to depths of 60 km or more. Surveys from the Mariana and Aleutian arcs show that modern middle and lower arc crust is mostly non-reflective, but reflections are observed from depths 5-25 km below the refraction Moho suggesting the localized presence of arc roots that may comprise gabbro, garnet gabbro, and pyroxenite within a broad transition from mafic lower crust to ultramafic mantle. Such reflective, high velocity roots are likely separated from the overlying arc crust prior to, or during arc-continent collision, and seismic reflections within accreted arc crust document the collisional process and final crustal architecture.

  5. From a collage of microplates to stable continental crust - an example from Precambrian Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korja, Annakaisa

    2013-04-01

    Svecofennian orogen (2.0-1.7 Ga) comprises the oldest undispersed orogenic belt on Baltica and Eurasian plate. Svecofennian orogenic belt evolved from a series of short-lived terrane accretions around Baltica's Archean nucleus during the formation of the Precambrian Nuna supercontinent. Geological and geophysical datasets indicate W-SW growth of Baltica with NE-ward dipping subduction zones. The data suggest a long-lived retreating subduction system in the southwestern parts whereas in the northern and central parts the northeasterly transport of continental fragments or microplates towards the continental nucleus is also documented. The geotectonic environment resembles that of the early stages of the Alpine-Himalayan or Indonesian orogenic system, in which dispersed continental fragments, arcs and microplates have been attached to the Eurasian plate margin. Thus the Svecofennian orogeny can be viewed as proxy for the initial stages of an internal orogenic system. Svecofennian orogeny is a Paleoproterozoic analogue of an evolved orogenic system where terrane accretion is followed by lateral spreading or collapse induced by change in the plate architecture. The exposed parts are composed of granitoid intrusions as well as highly deformed supracrustal units. Supracrustal rocks have been metamorphosed in LP-HT conditions in either paleo-lower-upper crust or paleo-upper-middle crust. Large scale seismic reflection profiles (BABEL and FIRE) across Baltica image the crust as a collage of terranes suggesting that the bedrock has been formed and thickened in sequential accretions. The profiles also image three fold layering of the thickened crust (>55 km) to transect old terrane boundaries, suggesting that the over-thickened bedrock structures have been rearranged in post-collisional spreading and/or collapse processes. The middle crust displays typical large scale flow structures: herringbone and anticlinal ramps, rooted onto large scale listric surfaces also suggestive

  6. Postcollisional mafic igneous rocks record recycling of noble gases by deep subduction of the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Li-Qun; Zheng, Yong-Fei; He, Huai-Yu; Zhao, Zi-Fu

    2016-05-01

    Recycling of noble gases from crustal rocks into the mantle is indicated not only by oceanic basalts and mantle xenoliths, but also by ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks in collisional orogens. It is intriguing whether noble gases in continental crust were recycled into the mantle by deep subduction of the continental crust to mantle depths. Here we firstly report the He, Ne and Ar isotopic compositions of pyroxene from postcollisional mafic igneous rocks in the Dabie orogen, China. The results show that the pyroxene separates from the mafic rocks have low 3He/4He ratios of 0.002 to 1.8 Ra and air-like Ne isotope compositions. Furthermore, the pyroxene exhibits low 40Ar/36Ar ratios of 393.6 to 1599.8, close to those of the air. In combination with whole-rock geochemistry it is found that pyroxene 3He/4He ratios are correlated with whole-rock (La/Yb)N and Sr/Y ratios, εNd(t) values and MgO contents. These observations demonstrate the mass transfer from the deeply subducted continental crust to the overlying mantle wedge, recording the source mixing between the crust-derived melt and the mantle peridotite in the continental subduction zone. A direct addition of the crustal He via crust-derived melt to the mantle leads to the extremely low 3He/4He ratios in the orogenic lithospheric mantle, and the dissolved atmospheric Ar and Ne in the subducted supracrustal rocks results in the air-like Ar and Ne isotope ratios. Therefore, the noble gas isotopic signatures of supracrustal rocks were carried into the mantle by the continental deep subduction to subarc depths and then transferred to the postcollisional mafic igneous rocks via the melt-peridotite reaction at the slab-mantle interface in a continental subduction channel. Our finding firstly establishes the slab-mantle interaction model for recycling of supracrustal noble gases in the continental subduction zone.

  7. Effect of fold structures on seismic anisotropy in continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, W. J.; Vel, S. S.; Johnson, S. E.; Okaya, D.

    2012-04-01

    Tectonic deformation and metamorphism in the middle and lower crust can produce and modify seismic anisotropy owing to the development of micro-scale fabrics including crystallographic preferred orientation and large-scale structures such as folds, domes, faults and shear zones. Although the impact of the microfabrics on seismic anisotropy is well known via petrophysical or thin-section-based measurements, there have been few studies on how the macro-scale structures affect seismic responses. In this study, we investigate the influence of types and limb angles of cylindrical fold structures on seismic anisotropy through tensor manipulation. To calculate the velocity of seismic waves propagating through the fold structures, the elastic stiffness tensor in the Christoffel equation is substituted by geological effective media (GEM) of the folds. Here the Voigt averaging method is used in computing the GEM stiffness analytically or numerically. In this case, the GEM (C*) is decomposed into the product of a structural geometry operator (SGO) and stiffness of a representative rock that makes up the fold (Crep); C* = SGO - Crep. SGO is an operator that reorients Crep at each point of the fold with respect to a geographical reference frame and averages the reoriented stiffnesses. As an example of the representative rock stiffness, we take the stiffness tensor of the Haast schist of South Island, New Zealand (Okaya & Christensen, 2002), which has intrinsic P-wave anisotropy (AVP) of 12.7% and S1-wave anisotropy (AVS1) of 16.5%. While the rock is hexagonal in symmetry, the calculated GEM for the fold structures range between hexagonal to orthorhombic symmetry, depending on limb angle. The common types of folds are described via power or trigonometric functions: cuspate, chevron, sinusoidal, parabolic and box folds. Our results include the velocity behavior with respect to limb angle and incident angle on specific planes of the folds as well as the seismic anisotropy as a

  8. The formation of deep basins in High Arctic from metamorphism in continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artyushkov, Eugene; Belyaev, Igor; Chekhovich, Peter; Petrov, Eugene; Poselov, Viktor

    2014-05-01

    In the East Barents and North Chukchi basins, 16-20 km deep, the crystalline crust is attenuated to 12-18 km (reference profiles 2-AR, 4-AR and 5-AR). P-wave velocities and densities in this layer are characteristic of the oceanic crust. However, the subsidence history in the basins is quite different from that typical of the oceanic crust. In both basins the subsidence continued for several hundred million years and one half of the deposits or more was formed long after the start of the subsidence when cooling of the oceanic plate would be already over. Moreover, the basins are 4-5 km deeper than it could be expected according to the thickness of the crystalline crust above the Moho boundary. In the absence of large free-air gravity anomalies, joint analysis of the gravity and seismic data indicates the existence under the Moho of thick layers of high-density and high-velocity eclogites. As can be seen in high resolution seismic profiles, the intensity of crustal stretching did not exceed 10% in the basins, and their formation can be predominantly attributed to a high-grade metamorphism in the mafic lower part of continental crust. At some episodes, strong increase in the rate of subsidence occurred in the basins. This indicates acceleration of metamorphism catalyzed by infiltration of mantle fluids. A set of the above features, abnormally large depth, long subsidence history with its acceleration at the late stages, and episodes of pronounced acceleration of the subsidence represent characteristic features of some other large hydrocarbon basins, e.g., of the North and South Caspian basins. These features can be used for prospecting new prolific provinces on the Arctic shelf. The Lomonosov ridge, Mendeleev high and the Makarov basin pertain to the same structural type. In the Oligocene they underwent erosion near to sea level with the formation of pronounced unconformity. Then at the end of Oligocene deep-water basins were formed in these regions. Rapid crustal

  9. The Building of Continental Crust in the Archean Superior Province, Canada, Deduced from Heat Flow Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaupart, C. P.; Mareschal, J.

    2013-12-01

    Making continental crust can be achieved in several different ways, including extraction of melts from a mantle plume or from a subducting slab. Cratonization, i.e. the formation of mature stable continental crust, requires two additional steps, horizontal accretion of a number of terranes and belts and vertical internal differentiation leading to separation of an enriched upper crust from a depleted lower crust. Heat flow and heat production data provide constraints on the bulk crustal composition as well as on the degree of internal differentiation, and hence bring key constraints on crust-building processes. Together with older data, new measurements from the Archean Superior Province, Canadian Shield, are used to document how and with what material this large piece of continental crust was built. The southern Superior Province was assembled out of an old nucleus made of gneisses and tonalite-granodiorite plutons called the North Caribou Super Terrane, and a number of belts and terranes that were sequentially docked to its southern margin. The North Caribou area was subjected to magmatic and metamorphic activity spanning about 1.1 Gy from 3.8 to 2.7 Gy. Alternating belts of metasedimentary and volcanic rocks on the one hand and greenstone and plutonic rocks on the other hand made the craton grow to about twice its initial size in ≈100 My. The average heat flow is much lower in the North Caribou core region than in the younger volcanic/plutonic belts (Wabigoon and Wawa-Abitibi) to the South, 30 versus 44 mW/m2. The heat flux is also slightly higher (48mW/m2) in the metasedimentary (English River and Quetico) than in the plutonic belts. The two volcanic/plutonic belts share the same characteristics, testifying to a remarquable uniformity of crust-building mechanisms on a large-scale. The marked difference between the older craton nucleus and the younger belts requires the operation of two very different processes. The very shape and geological structure of the

  10. Water-fluxed melting of the continental crust: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinberg, Roberto F.; Hasalová, Pavlína

    2015-01-01

    Water-fluxed melting, also known as fluid- or water-present melting, is a fundamental process in the differentiation of continents but its importance has been underestimated in the past 20 years during which research efforts focused mostly on dehydration melting reactions involving hydrate phases, in the absence of a separate aqueous phase. The presence of a free aqueous phase in anatectic terranes influences all major physical and chemical aspects of the melting process, from melt volumes, viscosity and ability to segregate from rock pores, to melt chemical and isotopic composition. A review of the literature shows that melting due to the fluxing of aqueous fluids is a widespread process that can take place in diverse tectonic environments. Active tectono-magmatic processes create conditions for the release of aqueous fluids and deformation-driven, transient high permeability channels, capable of fluxing high-temperature regions of the crust where they trigger voluminous melting. Water-fluxed melting can be either congruent in regions at the water-saturated solidus, or incongruent at suprasolidus, P-T conditions. Incongruent melting reactions can give rise to peritectic hornblende, or to nominally anhydrous minerals such as garnet, sillimanite or orthopyroxene. In this case, the presence of an aqueous phase is indicated by a mismatch between the large melt fraction generated and the much smaller fractions predicted in its absence. The relatively small volumes of aqueous fluids compared to that of rocks imply that melting reactions are generally rock buffered. Fluids tend to move upwards and down temperature. However, there are cases in which pressure gradients drive fluids up temperature, potentially fluxing suprasolidus terranes. Crustal regions at conditions equivalent to the water-saturated solidus represent a natural impediment to the up-temperature migration of aqueous fluids because they are consumed in melting reactions. In this case, continued migration

  11. Decoupled Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic evolution of the continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldstein, S. L.

    1988-01-01

    Evidence was presented that the Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic systems are decoupled in crust-mantle evolution. Rare earth element (including Sm and Nd) residue principally in silicates, and are resistant to mobilization by weathering and metamorphism. In contrast, Rb and Sr are easily fractionated by crustal processes and residue in carbonates as well as in silicates. As a result, continental Sr, but not Nd, can be recycled into the mantle by exchange of seawater with basalt at spreading ridges and by subduction of carbonates associated with ridge processes. These effects result in mean Rb-Sr ages of the continental crust and of the upper mantle that are too young. Crustal growth curves based largely on Rb-Sr data, such that of Hurley and Rand, are therefore incorrect.

  12. Implications for the evolution of continental crust from Hf isotope systematics of detrital zircons in Archean sandstones

    SciTech Connect

    Stevenson, R.K.

    1989-01-01

    The fractionation of zircons by sedimentary processes into continental margin sandstone deposits results in a biased preservation of pre-existing continental crust in the form of zircon in those sequences. This provides a unique opportunity to distinguish between the contrasting theories of episodic growth versus constant volume of continental crust over geologic time through Hf isotope ratios of detrital zircons. {sup 176}Hf/{sup 177}Hf ratios were determined for detrital zircon fractions from 2.6-3.0 Ga old sedimentary sequences from the Canadian Shield, North Atlantic, Wyoming, and Kaapvaal Cratons. The data strongly suggest inheritance of pre-3.0 Ga zircons only in areas where pre-3.0 Ga old crust exists today, and imply that the quantity of continental crust prior to 3.0 Ga ago was not much greater in extent than the pre-3.0 Ga crust exposed today. Small amounts of continental crust prior to 3.0 Ga ago and rapid addition of continental crust between 2.5 and 3.0 Ga ago are consistent with the episodic growth theory of crustal evolution.

  13. Numerical Simulations of the Incremental Intrusion of Granitic Magma into Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, W.; Kaus, B. J.; Paterson, S. R.

    2012-12-01

    We have employed the visco-elasto-plastic Finite-Element & Marker-in-cell code, MILAMIN_VEP, to carry out a 2D modeling study of the incremental intrusion of granitic magma into continental crust. Algorithms of multiple pulses of magma and pseudo-diking are implemented into the code. New magma of an initial circular shape is regularly replenished at "magma source" regions at sub-crustal depths. Pseudo-dikes of rectangular shapes are added at location where the maximum differential stress along the melt-solid interface is greater than an assigned tensile strength of the surrounding solid host rock. Preliminary results show that when diking and multiple pulses of magma are included, later pulses of magma rise higher and faster and even reach the Earth's surface in some cases by taking advantage of the pre-heated low-viscosity pathways created by earlier dikes and pulses of magma. Host rocks display bedding rotation, and downward flow at two sides of a growing magma chamber but show discordantly truncation when magma ascend through the weak channels made by dikes. The effect of the thermal structure of the crust was tested as well. In a cold crust, "diking" is critical in breaking the high-viscosity crust, guiding the direction of magma rising, and facilitating later magma pulses to form chambers. In a warmer crust, magma rises in the form of diapirs, after which dikes take over in transporting later pulses of magma to the surface. The simulations also suggest that a magma chamber incrementally constructed by multiple magma bathes is a very dynamic environment featuring intra-chamber convection and recycling previous batches of magma. In simulations without diking and multiple pulses, magma is unable to reach the shallow crust. Instead, it is stuck in the middle crust, as the viscosity of the upper crust is too large to permit rapid motion, and at the same time magma-induced stresses are insufficient to deform the upper crust in a plastic manner. Intra

  14. Has 7% of Continental Crust been Lost since Pangea Broke Up?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholl, D. W.; Stern, R. J.

    2012-12-01

    After modern plate tectonics began, the net growth or loss of continental crust predominantly involved the mass balance at subduction zones (SZs) between the yin of adding mantle-sourced arc igneous rocks and the subtracting yang of recycling existing crust back into the mantle. Field observations suggest that during Mesozoic and Cenozoic time, a rough long-term balance existed at ocean-margin SZs (e.g., W. N. America, Andes). But a different picture, one of net loss, emerges when additions and losses at collisional or crust-suturing SZs (e.g., India-Tibet) are considered. GAINS AND LOSSES SINCE ~200 Ma Because Mesozoic and Cenozoic convergent margins can be field inspected, the net growth of continental crust after the breakup of Pangea at ~200 Ma can be estimated. Pangea breakup also marked the beginning of the present supercontinent cycle. Newly established (Eocene) ocean-margin SZs (e.g., IBM, Tonga-Kermadec) added juvenile arc crust for at least 10-15 Myr at rates ~10-15 times higher than later and elsewhere at long-established SZs (~30 km3/Myr/km). During the Cenozoic, at colliding SZs (e.g., Alps, India-Tibet, Arabia-Eurasia) tomographic and geological data document losses of subducted continental crust sustained for 15-50 Myr at rates ~15 times that typical from the upper plate at ocean-margin SZs (~70 km3/Myr/km). For additions, we considered that as the Atlantic opened in early Jurassic time, new, prodigiously productive SZs were initiated along the western margin of North and Middle America but not along western South America and the eastern margin of Eurasia. In the Cretaceous, new SZs formed along much of the northern margin of the Tethys, along western Sumatra and southern Java, and at the great arc of the Caribbean. In the early Eocene, in the offshore, a lengthy (~20,000 km) curtain of new, voluminously productive intra-oceanic SZs formed from the Aleutian Islands southward to the Kermadec Islands. For subtractions, we applied subduction losses (~70

  15. The long-term fate of density loads in reheated continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearse, J.; Bailey, R. C.

    2003-04-01

    Long-term uncompensated crustal density loads are elastically supported by the continental crust. An interesting question arises if a regional heating event significantly erodes the elastic thickness of the crust: What is the long-term fate of the load? With a weakened crust, the load will subside, until it reaches a depth at which it is again supported elastically by the increased crustal flexure. This process of subsidence also brings the lower part of elastic crust below the level of the brittle-ductile transition, causing further thermal erosion of elastic stresses. This feedback enhances the subsidence. If the subsidence is deep enough, the effective elastic thickness of the upper crust is thinned locally to the point where it can no longer support the load, and the load will collapse into the ductile lower crust. Our calculations show that in regions of high heat flow, this runaway subsidence can occur for geologically plausible density loads. For example, a gravity anomaly of about 25 mgal spread over 40 km (characteristic of the mafic volcanics of the mid-continent gravity high in Michigan) will reach this critical limit when the elastic crust is thermally thinned to about 6 km (a small value, but larger than that estimated for the Basin and Range Province (e.g. Block and Royden, 1990)). Once the load has been released, the crust will rebound, causing a domal uplift of the deposited sediments. Isostasy suggests a few km of uplift. Furthermore, the sunken load at the base of the crust can create a comparable crustal root. The similarity of these results to the observed structures and parameters associated with metamorphic core complexes in the Basin and Range Province suggests that runaway subsidence may be a useful model in interpreting continental metamorphic core complex formation. The lateral injection of ductile midcrustal material to replace the discarded load may be responsible for the shear zones on the flanks of such core complexes, and the space

  16. Evaluating models of the US Continental Crust using Ambient Noise Datasets: A Transdimensional Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olugboji, T. M.; Lekic, V.; Gao, C.; McDonough, W. F.

    2015-12-01

    Seismological information on crustal structure, when combined with other geophysical, petrological and geochemical constraints, provides our best insight into the structure and composition of Earth's continental crust. Traditionally, published models of the continental crust (e.g. Vp profiles) constrained by seismic reflection, refraction experiments and (or) receiver functions are used to infer the thickness and lithology of the upper, middle, and lower crust. In order to be most useful, however, inferences of crustal structure and composition made using seismological models as data need to be presented alongside their uncertainties. Quantifying this uncertainty is the challenge. In this work, we use the transdimensional hierarchical Bayesian inverse (THBI) approach to construct phase velocity maps for surface waves (5s - 40s), while quantifying uncertainties in the phase velocities (model variance and co-variance), as well as data noise (which can affect the model results), all without having to make a-priori choices of model parameterization or regularization. We show that phase velocity maps constructed with THBI are comparable to those from linear, least-squares inversion at long wavelengths, though differences are present across length-scales. Average phase dispersion curves extracted from our maps are statistically significantly different from predictions from a selection of global and regional crustal models (e.g., CRUST1.0 and NACR14), particularly in the western USA and across major sedimentary basins. These model-data inconsistencies suggest that tectonic regionalization and averaging can introduce significant errors into the crustal models. We also preview a second stage analysis where we use the phase-dispersion curves (and their uncertainties) as data to constrain 1-D velocity profiles (with radial anisotropy) across distinct geological provinces in the continental US. We demonstrate, again using the THBI approach, the consequences of more accurate

  17. Experimental constraints on the fate of subducted upper continental crust beyond the "depth of no return"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yanfei; Wu, Yao; Wang, Chao; Zhu, Lüyun; Jin, Zhenmin

    2016-08-01

    The subducted continental crust material will be gravitationally trapped in the deep mantle after having been transported to depths of greater than ∼250-300 km (the "depth of no return"). However, little is known about the status of this trapped continental material as well as its contribution to the mantle heterogeneity after achieving thermal equilibrium with the surrounding mantle. Here, we conduct an experimental study over pressure and temperature ranges of 9-16 GPa and 1300-1800 °C to constrain the fate of these trapped upper continental crust (UCC). The experimental results show that partial melting will occur in the subducted UCC along normal mantle geotherm to produce K-rich melt. The residual phases composed of coesite/stishovite + clinopyroxene + kyanite in the upper mantle, and stishovite + clinopyroxene + K-hollandite + garnet + CAS-phase in the mantle transition zone (MTZ), respectively. The residual phases achieve densities greater than the surrounding mantle, which provides a driving force for descent across the 410-km seismic discontinuity into the MTZ. However, this density relationship is reversed at the base of the MTZ, leaving the descended residues to be accumulated above the 660-km seismic discontinuity and may contribute to the "second continent". The melt is ∼0.6-0.7 g/cm3 less dense than the surrounding mantle, which provides a buoyancy force for ascent of melt to shallow depths. The ascending melt, which preserves a significant portion of the bulk-rock rare earth elements (REEs), large ion lithophile elements (LILEs), and high-filed strength elements (HFSEs), may react with the surrounding mantle. Re-melting of the metasomatized mantle may contribute to the origin of the "enriched mantle sources" (EM-sources). Therefore, the deep subducted continental crust may create geochemical/geophysical heterogeneity in Earth's interior through subduction, stagnation, partial melting and melt segregation.

  18. Insights into chemical weathering of the upper continental crust from the geochemistry of ancient glacial diamictites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Su; Gaschnig, Richard M.; Rudnick, Roberta L.

    2016-03-01

    Glacial diamictites, with ages ranging from ∼2900 to 0.01 Ma, record the changing composition of the upper continental crust through time (Gaschnig et al., 2014). Li concentrations and isotopic compositions, combined with Pb isotopic compositions, chemical index of alteration (CIA) values and relative Sr concentrations are used here to assess the degree of chemical weathering recorded in these deposits and the origin of this signature. The δ7Li values of most of the diamictites (ranging from -3.9 to +3.5) are lower than those of mantle-derived basalts (+3.7 ± 2, 2σ), and the low δ7Li values are generally accompanied by high CIA and low Sr/Sr∗ values (or Sr depletion factor, Sr/Sr∗ = Sr/(Ce∗Nd)0.5), reflecting a weathering signature that may have derived from pre-depositional, syn-depositional, and/or post-depositional weathering processes. Profiles through three glacial diamictites with relatively high CIA (a fresh road cut of the Neoproterozoic Nantuo Formation (CIA = 62-69), and drill cores through the Paleoproterozoic Timeball Hill (CIA = 66-75) and Duitschland Formations (CIA = 84-91)) do not show evidence of significant post-depositional weathering. High Th/U, reflecting loss of uranium during oxidative weathering, is seen in all Paleozoic and Neoproterozoic diamictites and a few Paleoproterozoic deposits. Pb isotopic systematics suggest that this signature was largely inherited from preexisting crust, although a subset of samples (the Neoproterozoic Konnarock, Paleozoic Dwyka, and several of the Paleoproterozoic Duitschland samples) appears to have experienced post-depositional U loss. Modern glaciomarine sediments record little weathering (CIA = 47, Sr/Sr∗ = 0.7, δ7Li = +1.8), consistent with the cold temperatures accompanying glacial periods, and suggesting that limited syn-depositional weathering has occurred. Thus, the chemical weathering signature observed in ancient glacial diamictites appears to be largely inherited from the upper

  19. Adakites, a key to understanding lile depletion in the lower continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rollinson, H.; Tarney, J.

    2003-04-01

    There are now powerful arguments, which indicate that LILE depletion of felsic lower crust during granulite facies metamorphism can no longer be sustained as a mechanism of intra-crustal element fractionation. Instead we propose that LILE depletion of the lower continental crust relates to the process of crust formation. We have taken as our starting position two observations (a) evidence from experimental studies, that through much of the early part of earth history new crust was formed through the partial melting of a basaltic source. In this we include the felsic granulites of the lower continental crust the majority of which are TTG in composition; (b) the suite of elements which is depleted in the lower continental crust overlaps with the suite of elements enriched in island arc magmas, and is thought to have been removed from a subducting slab by dehydration. We argue that the observed element depletion in felsic lower crustal granulites relates to the depletion of the source from which the parent TTG melts were derived. We propose an incremental melting model for a subducting slab in which there is a progression from dehydration to partial melting and adakite-TTG production. Experimental studies show that slab dehydration will produce a residue which is depleted in Rb, which on melting will yield a Rb-depleted adakitic/TTG melt. Different slabs with contrasting thermal histories will experience different dehydration-melting histories. In this way, we seek to explain contrasting K-Rb and U-Th fractionation in slab melts through a combination of dehydration and melting equilibria. Adakites show very variable K/Rb ratios, similar to that found in felsic granulites, although Th-U concentrations are less extreme. Adakites from the Austral volcanic zone (Stern and Killian, CMP, 1996; Sigmarsson et al. Nature 1998) are have high K/Rb ratios comparable to felsic granulites and are depleted in U, a process which can be related to (a) the large slab melt component in

  20. Constraints on the dynamics of melt migration, flow and emplacement across the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavalcante, Carolina; Viegas, Gustavo

    2015-04-01

    The presence of partial melting during deformation produces a drastic change in the rheological behavior of the continental crust. The rock strength decreases with melt fractions as low as ~0.7 %. At pressure/temperature conditions typical of the middle crust, melt-bearing systems may play a critical role in the processes of strain localization and in the overall strength of the continental lithosphere. In eastern Brazil, Neoproterozoic tectonics are often associated with wide partial melting and shear zone development, that promote the exhumation of mid- to lower crustal layers where compositionally heterogeneous anatexites with variable melt fractions and leucosome structures are exposed. The leucosomes usually form interconnected networks of magma that reflect the high melt content present during deformation. In this contribution we address two case studies encompassing the dynamics of melt flow at magma chambers, represented by the Carlos Chagas anatexite, and the mechanisms of melt migration and channeling through shear zones, in which the Patos shear zone serves as an analogue. Through detailed petrostructural studies of anatexites exposed at these settings, we aim to demonstrate the way melt deforms and localizes strain, the different patterns of melt flow pathways across the crust, and the implications for the mechanical behaviour of the Earth's lithosphere during orogenic deformation.

  1. Detrital zircon evidence for Hf isotopic evolution of granitoid crust and continental growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iizuka, Tsuyoshi; Komiya, Tsuyoshi; Rino, Shuji; Maruyama, Shigenori; Hirata, Takafumi

    2010-04-01

    We have determined U-Pb ages, trace element abundances and Hf isotopic compositions of approximately 1000 detrital zircon grains from the Mississippi, Congo, Yangtze and Amazon Rivers. The U-Pb isotopic data reveal the lack of >3.3 Ga zircons in the river sands, and distinct peaks at 2.7-2.5, 2.2-1.9, 1.7-1.6, 1.2-1.0, 0.9-0.4, and <0.3 Ga in the accumulated age distribution. These peaks correspond well with the timing of supercontinent assembly. The Hf isotopic data indicate that many zircons, even those having Archean U-Pb ages, crystallized from magmas involving an older crustal component, suggesting that granitoid magmatism has been the primary agent of differentiation of the continental crust since the Archean era. We calculated Hf isotopic model ages for the zircons to estimate the mean mantle-extraction ages of their source materials. The oldest zircon Hf model ages of about 3.7 Ga for the river sands suggest that some crust generation had taken place by 3.7 Ga, and that it was subsequently reworked into <3.3 Ga granitoid continental crust. The accumulated model age distribution shows peaks at 3.3-3.0, 2.9-2.4, and 2.0-0.9 Ga. The striking attribute of our new data set is the non-uniformitarian secular change in Hf isotopes of granitoid crusts; Hf isotopic compositions of granitoid crusts deviate from the mantle evolution line from about 3.3 to 2.0 Ga, the deviation declines between 2.0 and 1.3 Ga and again increases afterwards. Consideration of mantle-crust mixing models for granitoid genesis suggests that the noted isotopic trends are best explained if the rate of crust generation globally increased in two stages at around (or before) 3.3 and 1.3 Ga, whereas crustal differentiation was important in the evolution of the continental crust at 2.3-2.2 Ga and after 0.6 Ga. Reconciling the isotopic secular change in granitoid crust with that in sedimentary rocks suggests that sedimentary recycling has essentially taken place in continental settings rather than

  2. Tectonic evolution and continental crust growth of Northern Xinjiang in northwestern China: Remnant ocean model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Qin-Qin; Ji, Jian-Qing; Zhao, Lei; Gong, Jun-Feng; Zhou, Jing; He, Guo-Qi; Zhong, Da-Lai; Wang, Jin-Duo; Griffiths, Lee

    2013-11-01

    The Northern Xinjiang region is located in the southwestern part of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB, also known as the Altaid Tectonic Collage). Despite extensive research aimed at understanding the crustal growth of the CAOB and the evolution of the Paleo-Asian Ocean, the tectonic evolution mechanism of continental crust growth in Northern Xinjiang remains controversial. The geology of Northern Xinjiang is characterized by widespread ophiolites, granitoids, intermediate-basic dikes. Most of the ophiolites were generated in the early Paleozoic. The ophiolites are widely spread around the Junggar Basin, but their distribution does not indicate a well-defined band. Their outcrops are generally related to various faults. The basic rocks widespread in Northern Xinjiang are grouped into two categories: (i) gabbros, diabases basalts of the ophiolites and (ii) basic dikes that intrude into the Paleozoic strata granite plutons. The basic rocks associated with the early Paleozoic ophiolites were reworked by later geothermal events with a peak 40Ar/39Ar age of 310-290 Ma. The basic dikes intruded into Paleozoic strata and granite plutons during the Carboniferous-Jurassic, displaying three peaks of emplacement at 260-250 Ma, 220 Ma, and 200-190 Ma. These two types of basic rocks and the documented Variscan magmatic rocks were derived from the same source. Their isotope geochemical characteristics and widespread distribution suggest that since the Paleozoic, a large geochemical province has existed in Northern Xinjiang with an affinity to mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) and ocean island basalts (OIB), which is related to a long-lived remnant ocean and the underlying early Paleozoic oceanic crust. The existence of remnant oceanic crust in Northern Xinjiang was confirmed by seismic, gravity and aeromagnetic data. Therefore, we propose the following remnant ocean model for the Paleozoic tectonic evolution of Northern Xinjiang. It consists of three stages: 1) oceanic crust

  3. Native iron in the continental lower crust: petrological and geophysical implications.

    PubMed

    Haggerty, S E; Toft, P B

    1985-08-16

    Lower crustal granulite xenoliths recovered from a kimberlite pipe in western Africa contain native iron (Fe(0)) as a decomposition product of garnet and ilmenite. Magnetic measurements show that less than 0.1 percent (by volume) of iron metal is present. Data from geothermometry and oxygen geobarometry indicate that the oxide and metal phases equilibrated between iron-wüstite and magnetite-wüstite buffers, which may represent the oxidation state of the continental lower crust, and the depleted lithospheric upper mantle. Ferromagnetic native iron could be stable to a depth of approximately 95 kilometers and should be considered in the interpretation of long-wavelength static magnetic anomalies.

  4. Native iron in the continental lower crust - Petrological and geophysical implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haggerty, S. E.; Toft, P. B.

    1985-01-01

    Lower crustal granulite xenoliths recovered from a kimberlite pipe in western Africa contain native iron (Fe) as a decomposition product of garnet and ilmenite. Magnetic measurements show that less than 0.1 percent (by volume) of iron metal is present. Data from geothermometry and oxygen geobarometry indicate that the oxide and metal phases equilibrated between iron-wuestite and magnetite-wuestite buffers, which may represent the oxidation state of the continental lower crust, and the depleted lithospheric upper mantle. Ferromagnetic native iron could be stable to a depth of about 95 kilometers and should be considered in the interpretation of long-wavelength static magnetic anomalies.

  5. Native iron in the continental lower crust - petrological and geophysical implications

    SciTech Connect

    Haggerty, S.E.; Toft, P.B.

    1985-08-01

    Lower crustal granulite xenoliths recovered from a kimberlite pipe in western Africa contain native iron (Fe) as a decomposition product of garnet and ilmenite. Magnetic measurements show that less than 0.1 percent (by volume) of iron metal is present. Data from geothermometry and oxygen geobarometry indicate that the oxide and metal phases equilibrated between iron-wuestite and magnetite-wuestite buffers, which may represent the oxidation state of the continental lower crust, and the depleted lithospheric upper mantle. Ferromagnetic native iron could be stable to a depth of about 95 kilometers and should be considered in the interpretation of long-wavelength static magnetic anomalies. 32 references.

  6. Thallium isotope composition of the upper continental crust and rivers - An investigation of the continental sources of dissolved marine thallium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nielsen, S.G.; Rehkamper, M.; Porcelli, D.; Andersson, P.; Halliday, A.N.; Swarzenski, P.W.; Latkoczy, C.; Gunther, D.

    2005-01-01

    The thallium (Tl) concentrations and isotope compositions of various river and estuarine waters, suspended riverine particulates and loess have been determined. These data are used to evaluate whether weathering reactions are associated with significant Tl isotope fractionation and to estimate the average Tl isotope composition of the upper continental crust as well as the mean Tl concentration and isotope composition of river water. Such parameters provide key constraints on the dissolved Tl fluxes to the oceans from rivers and mineral aerosols. The Tl isotope data for loess and suspended riverine detritus are relatively uniform with a mean of ??205Tl = -2.0 ?? 0.3 (??205Tl represents the deviation of the 205Tl/203Tl isotope ratio of a sample from NIST SRM 997 Tl in parts per 104). For waters from four major and eight smaller rivers, the majority were found to have Tl concentrations between 1 and 7 ng/kg. Most have Tl isotope compositions very similar (within ??1.5 ??205Tl) to that deduced for the upper continental crust, which indicates that no significant Tl isotope fractionation occurs during weathering. Based on these results, it is estimated that rivers have a mean natural Tl concentration and isotope composition of 6 ?? 4 ng/kg and ??205Tl = -2.5 ?? 1.0, respectively. In the Amazon estuary, both additions and losses of Tl were observed, and these correlate with variations in Fe and Mn contents. The changes in Tl concentrations have much lower amplitudes, however, and are not associated with significant Tl isotope effects. In the Kalix estuary, the Tl concentrations and isotope compositions can be explained by two-component mixing between river water and a high-salinity end member that is enriched in Tl relative to seawater. These results indicate that Tl can display variable behavior in estuarine systems but large additions and losses of Tl were not observed in the present study. Copyright ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Volcanic-plutonic parity and the differentiation of the continental crust.

    PubMed

    Keller, C Brenhin; Schoene, Blair; Barboni, Melanie; Samperton, Kyle M; Husson, Jon M

    2015-07-16

    The continental crust is central to the biological and geological history of Earth. However, crustal heterogeneity has prevented a thorough geochemical comparison of its primary igneous building blocks-volcanic and plutonic rocks-and the processes by which they differentiate to felsic compositions. Our analysis of a comprehensive global data set of volcanic and plutonic whole-rock geochemistry shows that differentiation trends from primitive basaltic to felsic compositions for volcanic versus plutonic samples are generally indistinguishable in subduction-zone settings, but are divergent in continental rifts. Offsets in major- and trace-element differentiation patterns in rift settings suggest higher water content in plutonic magmas and reduced eruptibility of hydrous silicate magmas relative to dry rift volcanics. In both tectonic settings, our results indicate that fractional crystallization, rather than crustal melting, is predominantly responsible for the production of intermediate and felsic magmas, emphasizing the role of mafic cumulates as a residue of crustal differentiation. PMID:26178961

  8. Recycling of lower continental crust through foundering of cumulates from contaminated mafic intrusions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arndt, Nicholas T.; Goldstein, Steven L.

    1988-01-01

    A mechanism is presented for recycling of lower continental material back into the mantle. Picritic magmas, possible parental to volumious continental volcanics such as the Karoo and Deccan, became trapped at the Moho, where they interacted with and become contaminated by lower crustal materials. Upon crystallization, the magmas differentiated into lower ultramafic cumulate zones and upper gabbroic-anorthositic zones. The ultramafic cumulates are denser than underlying mantle and sink, carrying lower crustal components as trapped liquid, as xenoliths or rafts, and as constituents of cumulate minerals. This model provides a potentially significant crust-mantle differentiation mechanism, and may also represent a contributing factor in crustal recycling, possibly important in producing some OIB reservoirs.

  9. Volcanic-plutonic parity and the differentiation of the continental crust.

    PubMed

    Keller, C Brenhin; Schoene, Blair; Barboni, Melanie; Samperton, Kyle M; Husson, Jon M

    2015-07-16

    The continental crust is central to the biological and geological history of Earth. However, crustal heterogeneity has prevented a thorough geochemical comparison of its primary igneous building blocks-volcanic and plutonic rocks-and the processes by which they differentiate to felsic compositions. Our analysis of a comprehensive global data set of volcanic and plutonic whole-rock geochemistry shows that differentiation trends from primitive basaltic to felsic compositions for volcanic versus plutonic samples are generally indistinguishable in subduction-zone settings, but are divergent in continental rifts. Offsets in major- and trace-element differentiation patterns in rift settings suggest higher water content in plutonic magmas and reduced eruptibility of hydrous silicate magmas relative to dry rift volcanics. In both tectonic settings, our results indicate that fractional crystallization, rather than crustal melting, is predominantly responsible for the production of intermediate and felsic magmas, emphasizing the role of mafic cumulates as a residue of crustal differentiation.

  10. Tectonic controls on hydrothermal mineralisation in hot continental crust: Thermal modelling and spatial analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gessner, K.; Porwal, A.

    2009-04-01

    Hydrothermal ore deposits provide a record of excess energy flux and mass transfer in the Earth's lithosphere. The heterogeneous distribution of ore deposits in space and time provides a challenge to uniformitarian geodynamic and tectonic concepts, but unusual thermal and structural events often coincide with high mineral endowment. In the Australian Proterozoic continental backarcs and intracratonic rifts host large resources of base metals, gold, and uranium. We present thermal models and spatial analyses of mineral occurrences within the Mount Isa Inlier, an inverted Mesoproterozoic rift in northwest Queensland, Australia, to demonstrate how thermal structure, tectonic style and crustal scale fluid flow are related. In the Mount Isa Inlier, radiogenic heat production contributes significantly to present day surface heat flow, and Mesoproterozoic geotherms of 40°C km-1 in the upper crust can be inferred from lithosphere-scale conductive models. The combination of thick continental crust and high temperatures implies that localization of deformation was limited to a thin upper crustal layer. During rifting mid-crustal rocks intruded by syn-extensional granites were exhumed as metamorphic core complexes in strike-parallel linear basement belts. The resulting horizontal strength contrast between sedimentary basins and shallow basement domains became a focus for deformation during subsequent crustal shortening. Our spatial analysis of mineral occurrences demonstrates that epigenetic copper mineralization at Mount Isa correlates positively with steep fault zones bounding linear basement domains, and granites within these domains. Mineralization potential is greatly increased, because high permeability along steep fault zones enables hydrothermal fluid flow between magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary reservoirs. We argue that the deformation behavior of hot continental lithosphere generates a favorable environment for hydrothermal mineralization by linking shallow

  11. EAG Eminent Speaker: Two types of Archean continental crust: plume and plate tectonics on early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Kranendonk, M. J.

    2012-04-01

    Over 4.5 billion years, Earth has evolved from a molten ball to a cooler planet with large continental plates, but how and when continents grew and plate tectonics started remain poorly understood. In this paper, I review the evidence that 3.5-3.2 Ga continental nuclei of the Pilbara (Australia) and Kaapvaal (southern Africa) cratons formed as thick volcanic plateaux over hot, upwelling mantle and survived due to contemporaneous development of highly depleted, buoyant, unsubductable mantle roots. This type of crust is distinct from, but complimentary to, high-grade gneiss terranes, as exemplified by the North Atlantic Craton of West Greenland, which formed through subduction-accretion tectonics on what is envisaged as a vigorously convecting early Earth with small plates. Thus, it is proposed that two types of crust formed on early Earth, in much the same way as in modern Earth, but with distinct differences resulting from a hotter Archean mantle. Volcanic plateaux provided a variety of stable habitats for early life, including chemical nutrient rich, shallow-water hydrothermal systems and shallow marine carbonate platforms.

  12. Evolution of continental crust and mantle heterogeneity: Evidence from Hf isotopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonathan, Patchett P.; Kouvo, O.; Hedge, C.E.; Tatsumoto, M.

    1982-01-01

    We present initial 176Hf/177 Hf ratios for many samples of continental crust 3.7-0.3 Gy old. Results are based chiefly on zircons (1% Hf) and whole rocks: zircons are shown to be reliable carriers of essentially the initial Hf itself when properly chosen on the basis of U-Pb studies. Pre-3.0 Gy gneisses were apparently derived from an unfractionated mantle, but both depleted and undepleted mantle are evident as magma sources from 2.9 Gy to present. This mantle was sampled mainly from major crustal growth episodes 2.8, 1.8 and 0.7 Gy ago, all of which show gross heterogeneity of 176Hf/177Hf in magma sources from ??Hf=0 to +14, or about 60% of the variability of the present mantle. The approximate ??Hf=2??Nd relationship in ancient and modern igneous rocks shows that 176Lu/177Hf fractionates in general twice as much as 147Sm/144Nd in mantle melting processes. This allows an estimation of the relative value of the unknown bulk solid/liquid distribution coefficient for Hf. DLu/DHf=??? 2.3 holds for most mantle source regions. For garnet to be an important residual mantle phase, it must hold Hf strongly in order to preserve Hf-Nd isotopic relationships. The ancient Hf initials are consistent with only a small proportion of recycled older cratons in new continental crust, and with quasi-continuous, episodic growth of the continental crust with time. However, recycling of crust less than 150 My old cannot realistically be detected using Hf initials. The mantle shows clearly the general positive ??Hf resulting from a residual geochemical state at least back to 2.9 Gy ago, and seems to have repeatedly possessed a similar degree of heterogeneity, rather than a continuously-developing depletion. This is consistent with a complex dynamic disequilibrium model for the creation, maintenance and destruction of heterogeneity in the mantle. ?? 1981 Springer-Verlag.

  13. Subduction Tectonic Erosion, Sediment Accretion and Arc Collisions in maintaining the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clift, P.; Vannucchi, P.; Schouten, H.

    2007-12-01

    Estimates of modern continental crustal recycling in subduction zones can be made from plate convergence velocities, the thicknesses of trench sediments, volumes and ages of accretionary complexes together with rates of trench retreat. Plate convergence rates appear to be the primary control on crustal subduction, with convergence >7.5 cm/yr associated with tectonic erosion. Collision of aseismic ridges with trenches drives around two thirds of forearc tectonic erosion over periods >10 m.y.. Globally material subduction at least as deep as the magmatic roots of arc systems is around 3.0 Armstrong Units (1 AU = 1 km3/yr), of which 1.65 AU comprises subducted sediments, with 1.33 AU of eroded forearc crust. Recycling rates along a single margin may show strong temporal variation over 1 m.y. periods. Isotopic variations in Costa Rican tephra suggest that sediment accretion is the most common mode of tectonism, but this is separated by short periods of dramatic erosion that cause net crustal loss. Even where erosion is continuous this can operate in a fast steady-state mode or a slower temporary style. On the Central Andean margin tectonic erosion since 20 Ma has caused trench retreat, but slow subsidence under the coastal zone implies steepening of the forearc taper rather than large scale retreat. The Neogene mass loss rate of 13 km3/m.y./km is 5-10 times lower than the long-term average. Since 2 Ma this rate has slowed further due to underplating under the coastal zone. A climatic role in driving continental erosion and moving the margin into a more accretionary state has been suggested but is hard to demonstrate. Average global mass loss requires that Cenozoic arc productivity lies close to 75 km3/m.y./km if the volume of the continental crust is to be maintained. Efficient accretion of oceanic arc crust is essential in maintaining the total crustal volume. In the classic Taiwan-Luzon example local crustal mass balancing implies that ~90% of the igneous arc crust

  14. Subduction Tectonic Erosion, Sediment Accretion and Arc Collisions in maintaining the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clift, P.; Vannucchi, P.; Schouten, H.

    2004-12-01

    Estimates of modern continental crustal recycling in subduction zones can be made from plate convergence velocities, the thicknesses of trench sediments, volumes and ages of accretionary complexes together with rates of trench retreat. Plate convergence rates appear to be the primary control on crustal subduction, with convergence >7.5 cm/yr associated with tectonic erosion. Collision of aseismic ridges with trenches drives around two thirds of forearc tectonic erosion over periods >10 m.y.. Globally material subduction at least as deep as the magmatic roots of arc systems is around 3.0 Armstrong Units (1 AU = 1 km3/yr), of which 1.65 AU comprises subducted sediments, with 1.33 AU of eroded forearc crust. Recycling rates along a single margin may show strong temporal variation over 1 m.y. periods. Isotopic variations in Costa Rican tephra suggest that sediment accretion is the most common mode of tectonism, but this is separated by short periods of dramatic erosion that cause net crustal loss. Even where erosion is continuous this can operate in a fast steady-state mode or a slower temporary style. On the Central Andean margin tectonic erosion since 20 Ma has caused trench retreat, but slow subsidence under the coastal zone implies steepening of the forearc taper rather than large scale retreat. The Neogene mass loss rate of 13 km3/m.y./km is 5-10 times lower than the long-term average. Since 2 Ma this rate has slowed further due to underplating under the coastal zone. A climatic role in driving continental erosion and moving the margin into a more accretionary state has been suggested but is hard to demonstrate. Average global mass loss requires that Cenozoic arc productivity lies close to 75 km3/m.y./km if the volume of the continental crust is to be maintained. Efficient accretion of oceanic arc crust is essential in maintaining the total crustal volume. In the classic Taiwan-Luzon example local crustal mass balancing implies that ~90% of the igneous arc crust

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  16. Is there continental crust underneath the northern Natal Valley and the Mozambique Coastal Plains?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leinweber, Volker Thor; Jokat, W.

    2011-07-01

    To draw conclusions about the crustal nature and history of the Natal Valley and the Mozambique Ridge, systematic potential field data were obtained during the AISTEK III cruise with R/V Pelagia in 2009. This paper presents and interprets the results of that expedition. The new magnetic data reveal a pattern of linear magnetic spreading anomalies, NW-SE trending in the southwestern part of the Mozambique Ridge and E-W trending on its central part. The Ariel Graben, which separates the Mozambique Ridge from the Northern Natal Valley, is represented by a pronounced negative anomaly in the magnetic- as well as the free-air gravity field. The Northern Natal Valley bears a complicated pattern of anomalies with mainly SW-NE trends. In the Northern Natal Valley, no indications for a continent-ocean-boundary between continental crust in the north and oceanic crust in the south exist, either in the free-air gravity or in the magnetic field. The magnetic wavelengths of the Mozambique Coastal Plains are similar to those of the Northern Natal Valley and the Mozambique Ridge. Particularly in the gravity data, the Mozambique coastal plains, the Northern Natal Valley and the Mozambique Ridge appear as one continuous geological province. We interpret the region from the Mateke-Sabi monocline in the north to the southwestern tip of the Mozambique Ridge as mainly being floored by thickened oceanic crust.

  17. The fate of mafic and ultramafic intrusions in the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roman, Alberto; Jaupart, Claude

    2016-11-01

    Geochemical and petrological data indicate that the bulk continental crust results from the fractionation of basaltic magmas followed by the foundering of residual mafic cumulates. Structural and geological evidence for foundering has been elusive and it is argued that it lies in the shapes of mafic intrusions that have been preserved in the crust. Numerical calculations of visco-elasto-plastic deformation induced by a dense intrusive body in continental crust have been carried out for a wide range of physical conditions. Three regimes are defined on the basis of the amount of dense material that remains at the original emplacement level as well as on the shape of the residual body. With strong encasing rocks, the intrusion deforms weakly in a sagging regime characterized by downwarping of the floor. At the other extreme, the intrusion sinks through weak surroundings, leaving behind a very small volume of material. In an intermediate regime, the intrusion does not sink wholesale and undergoes a dramatic change of shape. A residual body is preserved with a shape that depends on the aspect ratio of the initial intrusion. For aspect ratios of order one, the residual body is funnel-shaped above a thin and deep vertical extension. For the small aspect ratios that typify large igneous complexes such as the Bushveld, South Africa, the residual body is characterized by thick peripheral lobes with inward-dipping igneous layers and a thinner central area that has lost some of the basal cumulates. The transitions between these regimes depend on the rheology and temperature of encasing rocks.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  19. Brittle-viscous deformation cycles in the dry lower continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menegon, Luca; Pennacchioni, Giorgio

    2015-04-01

    the main deformation mechanisms in the ultramylonites. Nucleation of hornblende indicates synkinematic fluid infiltration. Ongoing measurements of intracrystalline water content along gradients from the pristine anorthosite to the ultramylonite will shed light on the effect of water infiltration on the deformation mechanisms of plagioclase and clinopyroxene. In summary, this study indicates that brittle (coseismic) fracturing was essential to induce grain size reduction and fluid infiltration in the dry and strong lower crust. These processes promoted weakening by activating grain size sensitive creep in the fine-grained hydrated material and resulted in the ductile shear zones localized to the brittle precursors. In the absence of intense fracturing dry granulites would not undergo deformation and metamorphism, and would survive metastably in the course of Wilson cycles. This has obvious implications for long-term continental dynamics and for strain localization at plate boundaries, and will need to be included in future geodynamic models.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Evaluating the influence of chemical weathering on the composition of the continental crust using lithium and its isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudnick, R. L.; Liu, X.

    2011-12-01

    The continental crust has an "intermediate" bulk composition that is distinct from primary melts of peridotitic mantle (basalt or picrite). This mismatch between the "building blocks" and the "edifice" of the continental crust points to the operation of processes that preferentially remove mafic to ultramafic material from the continents. Such processes include lower crustal recycling (via density foundering or lower crustal subduction - e.g., relamination, Hacker et al., 2011, EPSL), generation of evolved melts via slab melting, and/or chemical weathering. Stable isotope systems document the influence of chemical weathering on the bulk crust composition: the oxygen isotope composition of the bulk crust is distinctly heavier than that of primary, mantle-derived melts (Simon and Lecuyer, 2005, G-cubed) and the Li isotopic composition of the bulk crust is distinctly lighter than that of mantle-derive melts (Teng et al., 2004, GCA; 2008, Chem. Geol.). Both signatures mark the imprint of chemical weathering on the bulk crust composition. Here, we use a simple mass balance model for lithium inputs and outputs from the continental crust to quantify the mass lost due to chemical weathering. We find that a minimum of 15%, a maximum of 60%, and a best estimate of ~40% of the original juvenile rock mass may have been lost via chemical weathering. The accumulated percentage of mass loss due to chemical weathering leads to an average global chemical weathering rate (CWR) of ~ 8×10^9 to 2×10^10 t/yr since 3.5 Ga, which is about an order of magnitude higher than the minimum estimates based on modern rivers (Gaillardet et al., 1999, Chem. Geol.). While we cannot constrain the exact portion of crustal mass loss via chemical weathering, given the uncertainties of the calculation, we can demonstrate that the weathering flux is non-zero. Therefore, chemical weathering must play a role in the evolution of the composition and mass of the continental crust.

  2. Hyper-extended continental crust deformation in the light of Coulomb critical wedge theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nirrengarten, Michael; Manatschal, Gianreto; Yuan, Xiaoping; Kusznir, Nick; Maillot, Bertrand

    2016-04-01

    The rocks forming the wedge shape termination of hyper-extended continental crust are deformed in the frictional field during the last stage of continental rifting due to cooling and hydration. Seismic interpretation and field evidence show that the basal boundary of the wedge is a low frictional décollement level. The wedge shape, the frictional deformation and the basal décollement correspond to the requirements of the critical Coulomb wedge (CCW) theory which describes the stability limit of a frictional wedge over a décollement. In a simple shear separation model the upper-plate margin (in the hangingwall of the detachment fault) corresponds to a tectonic extensional wedge whereas the lower plate (in the footwall of the detachment fault) is a gravitational wedge. This major difference causes the asymmetry of conjugate hyper-extended rifted margins. We measure a dataset of upper and lower hyper-extended wedge and compare it to the stability envelope of the CCW theory for serpentine and clay friction. We find a good fit by adjusting fluid pressure. The main results of our analysis are that the crustal wedges of lower plate margins are close to the critical shape, which explains their low variability whereas upper plate wedges can be critical, sub- or sup- critical due to the detachment evolution during rifting. On the upper plate side, according to the Coulomb tectonic extensional wedge, faults should be oriented toward the continent. Observations showed some continentward faults in the termination of the continental crust but there are also oceanward faults. This can be explained by two processes, first continentward faults are created only over the detachment, therefore if part of the hyper-extended upper plate crust is not directly over the detachment it will not be part of the wedge. Secondly the tip block of the wedge can be detached creating an extensional allochthon induced by the flattening of the detachment near the surface, therefore continentward

  3. Natural constraints on the rheology of the lower continental crust (Musgrave Ranges, Central Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawemann, Friedrich; Mancktelow, Neil; Wex, Sebastian; Camacho, Alfredo; Pennacchioni, Giorgio

    2015-04-01

    Current models and extrapolated laboratory data generally predict viscous flow in the lower continental crust and any localized brittle deformation at these depths has been proposed to reflect downward propagation of the frictional-viscous transition zone during short-term seismic events and related high strain rates. Better natural constraints on this proposed rheological behaviour can be obtained directly from currently exposed lower crust that has not been strongly overprinted during its exhumation. One of the largest and best preserved lower crustal sections is located in the Musgrave Ranges, Central Australia. The Petermann Orogeny (550 Ma) in this area is characterized by the development of localized shear zones on a wide range of scales, overprinting water-deficient granulites of Musgravian age (1.2 Ga) as well as younger granites and gabbros. Shearing is rarely localized on lithological inhomogeneities, but rather on precursor fractures and on commonly associated pseudotachylytes. The only exception is that older dolerite dykes are often exploited, possibly because they are planar layers of markedly smaller grain size. Sheared pseudotachylyte often appears caramel-coloured in the field and has a fine grained assemblage of Grt+Cpx+Fsp. Multiple generations of pseudotachylyte formed broadly coeval with shearing are indicated by clasts of sheared pseudotachylyte within pseudotachylyte veins that then themselves subsequently sheared. The ductile shear zones formed under sub-eclogitic conditions of ca. 650°C and 1.2 GPa, generally typical of the lower continental crust. However, the P-T conditions during pseudotachylyte formation cannot be readily determined using classical geothermobarometry, because of the fine grain sizes and possible disequilibrium. The software "Xmaptools" (by Pierre Lanari) allows the quantification of X-ray maps produced by EDS or WDS. It provides both very precise definition of local mineral compositions for exchange geothermobarometry

  4. Heat flow studies: Constraints on the distribution of uranium, thorium and potassium in the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaupart, Claude; Sclater, John G.; Simmons, Gene

    1981-02-01

    To study the amount of heat generated by radioactive decay in the continental crust, the usual practice in the literature is to fit to the heat flow and radioactivity data a relationship of the form: Q = Q r + D · A where Q and A are the observed heat flow and radiogenic heat production. Q r is the "reduced" heat flow and D is a depth scale. This procedure implicitly assumes that uranium, thorium and potassium have identical distributions in the crust. We suggest that significant information may be lost as the three radioelements may in fact be affected by processes operating over different depths. Data published for four heat flow provinces throughout the world are used to estimate the distributions of uranium, thorium and potassium in the continental crust. These distributions are characterized by a depth scales defined as follows: D i =∫0h C i(z)C i(0)dz where h is the thickness of the layer containing the bulk of radioactivity and C i(z) the concentration of element i at depth z. Three depth scales are computed from a least-squares fit to the following relationship: Q = Q r + D U · A U + D T · A T + D K · A T where Q is the observed heat flow and Q r some constant (a reduced heat flow). A i is the heat generation rate due to the radioactive decay of element i, and D i is the corresponding depth scale. The analysis suggests that the three distributions are different and that they have the same basic features in the four provinces considered. The depth scale for potassium is large in granitic areas, that for thorium is small and that for uranium lies between the other two. We propose a simple model according to which each radioelement essentially provides a record for one process. Potassium gives a depth scale for the primary differentiation of the crust. Thorium gives the depth scale of magmatic or metamorphic fluid circulation. Finally, the uranium distribution reflects the late effects of alteration due to meteoric water. We show that the heat flow and

  5. On the relationship between sequential faulting, margin asymmetry and highly thinned continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The architecture of magma-poor continental margins is remarkably variable. The width of highly thinned continental crust (with a thickness < 10 km) varies from 70 km off Iberia, and 200 km offshore Angola, to over 300 km in the Antarctic Enderby Basin. The respective conjugate margin, however, is restricted to few tens of kilometres resulting in large scale crustal asymmetry. Growing evidence from rifted continental margins in the North and South Atlantic, as well as from the East Australia/Lord Howe Rise margin pair supports the idea that rifts with a very wide margin and a narrow conjugate are rather the rule than the exception. In this study, we use numerical thermo-mechanical models to investigate the dynamics of rifting. Our simulations apply an elasto-visco-plastic rheology formulation that relies on laboratory-derived flow laws for crustal and mantle rock. The models are constrained by geophysical and geological observations like limited melt generation, cold initial geotherms, and mafic lower crustal rheology. We show that small-scale lateral rift migration simultaneously explains the observed margin asymmetry and the presence of highly thinned continental crust. Rift migration results from two fundamental processes: (1) Strain hardening in the rift centre due to cooling of upwelling mantle material; (2) Formation of a low viscosity exhumation channel adjacent to the rift centre that is generated by heat transfer from the upwelling mantle and enhanced by viscous strain softening. Rift migration takes place in a steady-state manner and is accomplished by oceanward-younging sequential faults within the upper crust and balanced through lower crustal flow. We demonstrate that the rate of extension has paramount control on margin width. Since higher velocities lead to elevated heat flow within the rift and hence to hot and weak lower crust, a larger low-viscosity exhumation channel is generated that facilitates rift migration leading to wider margins. The South

  6. Native iron in the continental lower crust: petrological and geophysical implications.

    PubMed

    Haggerty, S E; Toft, P B

    1985-08-16

    Lower crustal granulite xenoliths recovered from a kimberlite pipe in western Africa contain native iron (Fe(0)) as a decomposition product of garnet and ilmenite. Magnetic measurements show that less than 0.1 percent (by volume) of iron metal is present. Data from geothermometry and oxygen geobarometry indicate that the oxide and metal phases equilibrated between iron-wüstite and magnetite-wüstite buffers, which may represent the oxidation state of the continental lower crust, and the depleted lithospheric upper mantle. Ferromagnetic native iron could be stable to a depth of approximately 95 kilometers and should be considered in the interpretation of long-wavelength static magnetic anomalies. PMID:17739375

  7. Geological implications of a permeability-depth curve for the continental crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingebritsen, S.E.; Manning, C.E.

    1999-01-01

    The decrease in permeability (k) of the continental crust with depth (z), as constrained by geothermal data and calculated fluid flux during metamorphism, is given by log k = -14 - 3.2 log z, where A is in meters squared and z is in kilometers. At moderate to great crustal depths (>???5 km), this curve is defined mainly by data from prograde metamorphic systems, and is thus applicable to orogenic belts where the crust is being thickened and/or heated; lower permeabilities may occur in stable cratonic regions. This k-z relation implies that typical metamorphic fluid flux values of ???10-11 m/s are consistent with fluid pressures significantly above hydrostatic values. The k-z curve also predicts that metamorphic CO2 flux from large orogens may be sufficient to cause significant climatic effects, if retrograde carbonation reactions are minimal, and suggests a significant capacity for diffuse degassing of Earth (1015-1016 g/yr) in tectonically active regions.

  8. Possible transient creep events in a brittle-ductile continental crust: observations, experiments and potential models.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavier, Luc

    2016-04-01

    In a given tectonic province and over thousands to millions of years, slip on faults is believed to be constant and approximately equal to the local tectonic rate in agreement with rigid plate tectonic theory. In this model the ductile lower crust flows in response to this steady plate motion. Moreover brittle and ductile behaviors interact only at a sharp boundary defined as the brittle ductile transition (BDT). However in the continental lithosphere brittle and ductile behavior may coexist over a large range of pressure and temperature conditions for different mineral compositions. This generates heterogeneities in the brittle and ductile crust that are often ignored in models of shear zones. We hypothesize that the interaction between brittle (elastic) and ductile (viscous) behavior may cause deviations from steady-state slip and generates transient creep events on shear zones that release many meters of creep over years to thousands of years marked by a single period of tectonic activity followed by quiescence. We present a set of numerical and analytical models, analogue experiments as well as some observations in nature that may support this hypothesis. In this presentation we extend an analytic formulation to model creep events within shear zones at the transition between brittle and ductile behavior in the crust. We assume that creep events are triggered by a set of interconnected fractures modeled as propagating dislocations. The amount of connectivity controls the nature and the intensity of the transient creep events. The shear zone behaves as a forced damped oscillator that can release strain accumulated during jammed/locked periods. The creep can be over-, critically-, or under-damped. The time scale of the events may vary between seconds to thousands of years depending on the viscous, elastic and plastic (fractures) properties of the shear zone.

  9. Missing Lead and High 3He/4He in Ancient Sulfides Associated with Continental Crust Formation

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shichun; Lee, Cin-Ty A.; Yin, Qing-Zhu

    2014-01-01

    Major terrestrial reservoirs have Pb isotopes more radiogenic than the bulk silicate Earth. This requires a missing unradiogenic Pb reservoir, which has been argued to reside in the lower continental crust or dissolved in the core. Chalcophile element studies indicate that continent formation requires the formation of sulfide-bearing mafic cumulates in arcs. Because Pb, but not U, partitions into sulfides, we show that continent formation must have simultaneously generated time-integrated unradiogenic Pb reservoirs composed of sulfide-bearing cumulates, now recycled back into the mantle or stored deep in the continental lithosphere. The generation of such cumulates could also lead to coupled He-Pb isotopic systematics because 4He is also produced during U-Th-Pb decay. Here, we show that He may be soluble in sulfide melts, such that sulfide-bearing cumulates would be enriched in both Pb and He relative to U and Th, “freezing” in He and Pb isotopes of the ambient mantle at the time of sulfide formation. This implies that ancient sulfide-bearing cumulates would be characterized by unradiogenic Pb and He isotopes (high-3He/4He). These primitive signatures are usually attributed to primordial, undifferentiated mantle, but in this case, they are the very imprint of mantle differentiation via continent formation. PMID:24937103

  10. The Mg isotopic systematics of granitoids in continental arcs and implications for the role of chemical weathering in crust formation.

    PubMed

    Shen, Bing; Jacobsen, Benjamin; Lee, Cin-Ty A; Yin, Qing-Zhu; Morton, Douglas M

    2009-12-01

    Continental crust is too Si-rich and Mg-poor to derive directly from mantle melting, which generates basaltic rather than felsic magmas. Converting basalt to more felsic compositions requires a second step involving Mg loss, which is thought to be dominated by internal igneous differentiation. However, igneous differentiation alone may not be able to generate granites, the most silicic endmember making up the upper continental crust. Here, we show that granites from the eastern Peninsular Ranges Batholith (PRB) in southern California are isotopically heavy in Mg compared with PRB granodiorites and canonical mantle. Specifically, Mg isotopes correlate positively with Si content and O, Sr, and Pb isotopes and negatively with Mg content. The elevated Sr and Pb isotopes require that a component in the source of the granitic magmas to be ancient preexisting crust making up the prebatholithic crustal basement, but the accompanying O and Mg isotope fractionations suggest that this prebatholithic crust preserved a signature of low-temperature alteration. The protolith of this basement rock may have been the residue of chemical weathering, which progressively leached Mg from the residue, leaving the remaining Mg highly fractionated in terms of its isotopic signature. Our observations indicate that ancient continental crust preserves the isotopic signature of compositional modification by chemical weathering.

  11. The Mg isotopic systematics of granitoids in continental arcs and implications for the role of chemical weathering in crust formation

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Bing; Jacobsen, Benjamin; Lee, Cin-Ty A.; Yin, Qing-Zhu; Morton, Douglas M.

    2009-01-01

    Continental crust is too Si-rich and Mg-poor to derive directly from mantle melting, which generates basaltic rather than felsic magmas. Converting basalt to more felsic compositions requires a second step involving Mg loss, which is thought to be dominated by internal igneous differentiation. However, igneous differentiation alone may not be able to generate granites, the most silicic endmember making up the upper continental crust. Here, we show that granites from the eastern Peninsular Ranges Batholith (PRB) in southern California are isotopically heavy in Mg compared with PRB granodiorites and canonical mantle. Specifically, Mg isotopes correlate positively with Si content and O, Sr, and Pb isotopes and negatively with Mg content. The elevated Sr and Pb isotopes require that a component in the source of the granitic magmas to be ancient preexisting crust making up the prebatholithic crustal basement, but the accompanying O and Mg isotope fractionations suggest that this prebatholithic crust preserved a signature of low-temperature alteration. The protolith of this basement rock may have been the residue of chemical weathering, which progressively leached Mg from the residue, leaving the remaining Mg highly fractionated in terms of its isotopic signature. Our observations indicate that ancient continental crust preserves the isotopic signature of compositional modification by chemical weathering. PMID:19920171

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. The complex 3-D transition from continental crust to backarc magmatism and exhumed mantle in the Central Tyrrhenian basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prada, M.; Sallares, V.; Ranero, C. R.; Vendrell, M. G.; Grevemeyer, I.; Zitellini, N.; de Franco, R.

    2015-10-01

    Geophysical data from the MEDOC experiment across the Northern Tyrrhenian backarc basin has mapped a failed rift during backarc extension of cratonic Variscan lithosphere. In contrast, data across the Central Tyrrhenian have revealed the presence of magmatic accretion followed by mantle exhumation after continental breakup. Here we analyse the MEDOC transect E-F, which extends from Sardinia to the Campania margin at 40.5°N, to define the distribution of geological domains in the transition from the complex Central Tyrrhenian to the extended continental crust of the Northern Tyrrhenian. The crust and uppermost mantle structure along this ˜400-km-long transect have been investigated based on wide-angle seismic data, gravity modelling and multichannel seismic reflection imaging. The P-wave tomographic model together with a P-wave-velocity-derived density model and the multichannel seismic images reveal seven different domains along this transect, in contrast to the simpler structure to the south and north. The stretched continental crust under Sardinia margin abuts the magmatic crust of Cornaglia Terrace, where accretion likely occurred during backarc extension. Eastwards, around Secchi seamount, a second segment of thinned continental crust (7-8 km) is observed. Two short segments of magmatically modified continental crust are separated by the ˜5-km-wide segment of the Vavilov basin possibly made of exhumed mantle rocks. The eastern segment of the 40.5°N transect E-F is characterized by continental crust extending from mainland Italy towards the Campania margin. Ground truthing and prior geophysical information obtained north and south of transect E-F was integrated in this study to map the spatial distribution of basement domains in the Central Tyrrhenian basin. The northward transition of crustal domains depicts a complex 3-D structure represented by abrupt spatial changes of magmatic and non-magmatic crustal domains. These observations imply rapid variations

  14. Precollisional, multistage exhumation of subducted continental crust: The Sesia Zone, western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babist, J.; Handy, M. R.; Konrad-Schmolke, M.; Hammerschmidt, K.

    2006-12-01

    The Sesia Zone within the Tertiary arc of the western Alps is a relic of the subducted part of the Adriatic continental margin along the SE border of the Tethyan ocean. The Sesia Zone comprises three basement nappes which individuated during Late Cretaceous (65-80 Ma) subduction to different depths at high-pressure (HP, blueschist, eclogite facies) conditions (peak pressures of 1.0-1.2, 1.0-1.5, and 1.5-2.0 GPa). The thrusts bounding these nappes developed where the crust was previously thinned during Jurassic rifting. Crustal-scale shear zones partly overprinted these early thrusts and exhumed coherent slices of crust containing HP rocks. Initial exhumation of the internal part of the accreted margin involved thrusting (D1) and transpressional shearing (D2) along a subvertical, E-W trending mylonitic shear zone under retrograde blueschist- to greenschist-facies conditions. This exhumation was nearly isothermal to a depth of about 25 km, where the basement nappes were juxtaposed. Subsequent exhumation of these nappes to a common depth of about 15-20 km occurred in the footwall of a greenschist-facies, top-SE extensional shear zone (D3) preserved in some of the highest mountain peaks of the Sesia Zone. New Rb-Sr mineral ages constrain D2 to have occurred at about 60-65 Ma and D3 at about 45-55 Ma. Thus top-SE extensional exhumation was broadly coeval with Eocene, SE directed subduction of the Liguro-Piemont oceanic lithosphere beneath the Adriatic margin. Slow cooling and erosional denudation of the Sesia Zone from 45 to 30 Ma occurred in the hanging wall of the Gressoney extensional shear zone (D4), which itself contributed to the exhumation of Eocene HP and ultra-HP oceanic rocks in its footwall. By 30 Ma, HP rocks of the Sesia Zone were intruded by shallow granitic plutons which were eroded and redeposited within volcanoclastic sediments. Oligo-Miocene Insubric backfolding and thrusting (D5) only exhumed northeastern parts of the Sesia Zone, where HP metamorphism

  15. Early evolution of the continental crust, the oxygenated atmosphere and oceans, and the heterogeneous mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohmoto, H.

    2011-12-01

    The current paradigm for the evolution of early Earth is that, only since ~2.5 Ga ago, the Earth began to: (a) form a large granitic continental crust; (b) form an oxygenated atmosphere; (c) operate oxidative weathering of rocks on land; (d) form Fe-poor, but S-, U- and Mo-rich, oceans; (e) operate large-scale transfers of elements between oceans and oceanic crust at MORs; (f) subduct the altered oceanic crust; (g) create the mantle heterogeneity, especially in the concentrations and isotopic compositions of Fe(III), Fe(II), U, Pb, alkali elements, C, S, REEs, and many other elements; (h) create chemical and isotopic variations among OIB-, OPB-, and MORB magmas, and between I- and S-type granitoid magmas; and (i) create variations in the chemical and isotopic compositions of volcanic gas. Submarine hydrothermal fluids have typically developed from seawater-rock interactions during deep (>2 km) circulation of seawater through underlying hot volcanic rocks. When the heated hydrothermal fluids ascend toward the seafloor, they mix with local bottom seawater to precipitate a variety of minerals on and beneath the seafloor. Thus, the mineralogy and geochemistry of submarine hydrothermal deposits and associated volcanic rocks can be used to decipher the chemistry of the contemporaneous seawater, which in turn indicate the chemistry of the atmosphere and the compositions and size of the continental crust. The results of mineralogical and geochemical investigations by our and other research groups on submarine hydrothermal deposits (VMS and BIF) and hydrothermally-altered submarine volcanic rocks in Australia, South Africa, and Canada, ~3.5-2.5 Ga in ages, suggest that the above processes (a)-(i) had began by ~3.5 Ga ago. Supportive evidence includes, but not restricted to, the similarities between Archean submarine rocks and modern ones in: (1) the abundance of ferric oxides; (2) the Fe(III)/Fe(I) ratios; (3) the abundance of barite; (4) the increased Li contents; (5) the

  16. The African Plate: A history of oceanic crust accretion and subduction since the Jurassic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, C.; Torsvik, T. H.; Labails, C.; van Hinsbergen, D.; Werner, S.; Medvedev, S.

    2012-04-01

    Initially part of Gondwana and Pangea, and now surrounded almost entirely by spreading centres, the African plate moved relatively slowly for the last 200 million years. Yet both Africa's cratons and passive margins were affected by tectonic stresses developed at distant plate boundaries. Moreover, the African plate was partly underlain by hot mantle (at least for the last 300 Ma) - either a series of hotspots or a superswell, or both - that contributed to episodic volcanism, basin-swell topography, and consequent sediment deposition, erosion, and structural deformation. A systematic study of the African plate boundaries since the opening of surrounding oceanic basins is presently lacking. This is mainly because geophysical data are sparse and there are still controversies regarding the ages of oceanic crust. The publication of individual geophysical datasets and more recently, global Digital Map of Magnetic Anomalies (WDMAM, EMAG2) prompted us to systematically reconstruct the ages and extent of oceanic crust around Africa for the last 200 Ma. Location of Continent Ocean Boundary/Continent Ocean Transition and older oceanic crust (Jurassic and Cretaceous) are updates in the light of gravity, magnetic and seismic data and models of passive margin formation. Reconstructed NeoTethys oceanic crust is based on a new model of microcontinent and intr-oceanic subduction zone evolution in this area.The new set of oceanic palaeo-age grid models constitutes the basis for estimating the dynamics of oceanic crust through time and will be used as input for quantifying the paleo-ridge push and slab pull that contributed to the African plate palaeo-stresses and had the potential to influence the formation of sedimentary basins.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, V.C.

    1989-01-01

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

  18. Hafnium isotope evidence from Archean granitic rocks for deep-mantle origin of continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guitreau, Martin; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Martin, Hervé; Mojzsis, Stephen J.; Albarède, Francis

    2012-07-01

    Combined whole-rock and zircon MC-ICP-MS Lu-Hf isotope data are reported for a large collection of Archean granitoids belonging to typical tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) suites. Our data demonstrate that the time-integrated Lu/Hf of the mantle source of TTGs has not significantly changed over the last 4 Gy. Continents therefore most likely grew from nearly primordial unfractionated material extracted from the deep mantle via rising plumes that left a depleted melt residue in the upper mantle. The deep mantle could retain its primitive relative element abundances over time because sinking plates are largely stripped barren of their oceanic and continental crust components at subduction zones; this process results in only small proportions (<15-25%) of present-day continental mass getting recycled to great depths. Zircon populations extracted from the analyzed TTGs have Hf isotopic compositions broadly consistent with those of their host whole-rocks, whereas the U-Pb system in the same grains is often disturbed, causing a discrepancy that creates spurious initial ɛHf values. This problem is endemic to the Archean detrital zircon record and consistent with experimental results bearing on the relative retentivity of Hf vs. U and Pb in zircon. We argue that this behavior biases the Archean zircon record toward negative ɛHf values, which are at odds with the present TTG data set. If Hadean Jack Hills zircons are considered in light of these results, the mantle source of continents has remained unchanged for the last 4.3 Gy.

  19. Evolution of Continental Lower Crust Recorded By an Exhumed Deep Crustal Intracontinental Shear Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumond, G.; Mahan, K. H.; Regan, S. P.; Williams, M. L.; Goncalves, P.; Wood, V. R.

    2014-12-01

    Exposures of deep crustal shear zones are fundamental records of strain localization and the temporal evolution of ductile to brittle behavior as these tectonites were exhumed to the surface. We present results from a decade of field-based research on a deeply exhumed (~35 km-paleodepths) strike-slip shear zone in the western Churchill province of the Canadian Shield. The Grease River shear zone is a >400 km-long and 7 km-thick structure that cuts the Athabasca granulite terrane, North America's largest exposure of continental lower crust (>20,000 km2). The shear zone is dominated by granulite- to amphibolite-grade L-S and L>S tectonites characterized by penetrative NE-striking steeply-dipping foliations with gently-plunging to sub-horizontal stretching and intersection lineations. These fabrics are locally overprinted by pseudotachylyte and narrow (<500 m-thick) greenschist-grade zones of cataclasite. Dextral kinematics are defined by deflected foliation trajectories, C' shear bands, and well-developed σ- and δ-type porphyroclasts of Kfs + Pl + Opx + Grt + Hb in felsic to intermediate granulite paragneisses and orthogneisses. Data collected along a well-exposed, nearly 150 km-long segment of the shear zone documents a >100 m.y. episodic record of transpressive to strike-slip intracontinental strain accumulation that coincided with two oppositely convergent orogenies: the east-vergent arc-continent collision of the 1.94-1.90 Ga Taltson orogen and the west-vergent continent-continent collision of the 1.9-1.8 Ga Trans-Hudson orogen. Deformation mechanisms evolved from distributed ductile dynamic recrystallization and grain-size reduction to localized pseudotachylyte development, cataclastic flow, and brittle faulting. Lower crustal behavior during strain localization was dynamic. Melt-weakened mono-cyclic crust was juxtaposed against strong isobarically-cooled poly-cyclic crust along the shear zone at 1.92-1.90 Ga. Brittle-ductile reactivation of the structure

  20. Noble gases preserve history of retentive continental crust in the Bravo Dome natural CO2 field, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathaye, Kiran J.; Smye, Andrew J.; Jordan, Jacob S.; Hesse, Marc A.

    2016-06-01

    Budgets of 4He and 40Ar provide constraints on the chemical evolution of the solid Earth and atmosphere. Although continental crust accounts for the majority of 4He and 40Ar degassed from the Earth, degassing mechanisms are subject to scholarly debate. Here we provide a constraint on crustal degassing by comparing the noble gases accumulated in the Bravo Dome natural CO2 reservoir, New Mexico USA, with the radiogenic production in the underlying crust. A detailed geological model of the reservoir is used to provide absolute abundances and geostatistical uncertainty of 4He, 40Ar, 21Ne, 20Ne, 36Ar, and 84Kr. The present-day production rate of crustal radiogenic 4He and 40Ar, henceforth referred to as 4He* and 40Ar*, is estimated using the basement composition, surface and mantle heat flow, and seismic estimates of crustal density. After subtracting mantle and atmospheric contributions, the reservoir contains less than 0.02% of the radiogenic production in the underlying crust. This shows unequivocally that radiogenic noble gases are effectively retained in cratonic continental crust over millennial timescales. This also requires that approximately 1.5 Gt of mantle derived CO2 migrated through the crust without mobilizing the crustally accumulated gases. This observation suggests transport along a localized fracture network. Therefore, the retention of noble gases in stable crystalline continental crust allows shallow accumulations of radiogenic gases to record tectonic history. At Bravo Dome, the crustal 4He*/40Ar* ratio is one fifth of the expected crustal production ratio, recording the preferential release of 4He during the Ancestral Rocky Mountain orogeny, 300 Ma.

  1. The crust-mantle interaction in continental subduction channels: Zircon evidence from orogenic peridotite in the Sulu orogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hai-Yong; Chen, Ren-Xu; Zheng, Yong-Fei; Hu, Zhaochu

    2016-02-01

    A combined secondary ion mass spectrometer and laser ablation-(multicollector)-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer study of zircon U-Pb ages, trace elements, and O and Hf isotopes was carried out for orogenic peridotite and its host gneiss in the Sulu orogen. Newly grown zircon domains exhibit weak zoning or no zoning, relatively low Th/U ratios (<0.1), low heavy rare earth element (HREE) contents, steep middle rare earth element-HREE patterns, negative Eu anomalies, and negative to low δ18O values of -11.3 to 0.9‰ and U-Pb ages of 220 ± 2 to 231 ± 4 Ma. Thus, these zircons would have grown from metasomatic fluids during the early exhumation of deeply subducted continental crust. The infiltration of metasomatic fluids into the peridotite is also indicated by the occurrence of hydrous minerals such as amphibole, serpentine, and chlorite. In contrast, relict zircon domains exhibit magmatic zircon characteristics. Their U-Pb ages and trace element and Hf-O isotope compositions are similar to those for protolith zircons from ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt. Thus, these relict magmatic zircons would be physically transported into the peridotite by metasomatic fluids originated from the deeply subducted continental crust. Therefore, the peridotite underwent metasomatism by aqueous solutions derived from dehydration of the deeply subducted continental crust during the early exhumation. It is these crustally derived fluids that would have brought not only such chemical components as Zr and Si but also tiny zircon grains from the deeply subducted crustal rocks into the peridotite at the slab-mantle interface in continental subduction channels. As such, the orogenic peridotite records the crust-mantle interaction at the deep continental subduction zone.

  2. Nickel isotopic compositions of ferromanganese crusts and the constancy of deep ocean inputs and continental weathering effects over the Cenozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gall, L.; Williams, H. M.; Siebert, C.; Halliday, A. N.; Herrington, R. J.; Hein, J. R.

    2013-08-01

    The global variability in nickel (Ni) isotope compositions in ferromanganese crusts is investigated by analysing surface samples of 24 crusts from various ocean basins by MC-ICPMS, using a double-spike for mass bias correction. Ferromanganese crusts have δ60Ni isotopic compositions that are significantly heavier than any other samples thus far reported (-0.1‰ to 0.3 ‰), with surface scrapings ranging between 0.9 ‰ and 2.5 ‰ (relative to NIST SRM986). There is no well resolved difference between ocean basins, although the data indicate somewhat lighter values in the Atlantic than in the Pacific, nor is there any evidence that the variations are related to biological fractionation, presence of different water masses, or bottom water redox conditions. Preliminary data for laterite samples demonstrate that weathering is accompanied by isotopic fractionation of Ni, which should lead to rivers and seawater being isotopically heavy. This is consistent with the slightly heavier than average isotopic compositions recorded in crusts that are sampled close to continental regions. Furthermore, the isotopic compositions of crusts growing close to a hydrothermal source are clustered around ∼ 1.5 ‰, suggesting that hydrothermal fluids entering the ocean may have a Ni isotopic composition similar to this value. Based on these data, the heavy Ni isotopic compositions of ferromanganese crusts are likely due to input of isotopically heavy Ni to the ocean from continental weathering and possibly also from hydrothermal fluids. A depth profile through one crust, CD29-2, from the north central Pacific Ocean displays large variations in Ni isotope composition (1.1 - 2.3 ‰) through the last 76 Myr. Although there may have been some redistribution of Ni associated with phosphatisation, there is no systematic difference in Ni isotopic composition between deeper, older parts and shallower, younger parts of the crust, which may suggest that oceanic sources and sinks of Ni have

  3. The Role of Plumes in Breakup Processes - Traces Found in the Deep Crustal Structure at the Intersection of Walvis Ridge with the African Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fromm, T.; Jokat, W.; Behrmann, J. H.; Ryberg, T.; Weber, M. H.

    2014-12-01

    Large igneous provinces (LIP) are often found in close temporal and spatial proximity with continental breakups, supporting the model, that an arriving mantle plume produces large amounts of melt and has a massive influence on the breakup process. The South Atlantic is a classical example, with flood basalts on both adjacent continents and a paired age progressing ridge system connecting them with the current hotspot location at Tristan da Cunha. To estimate the influence of the plume on the preexisting continental crust, a large-scale geophysical experiment was conducted in 2011 at the intersection of Walvis Ridge with the African continent. We present four P-wave velocity models derived from seismic refraction data. One extends 430 km along the ridge crest and continues onshore to a total length of 730 km, while the other three crossing the ridge perpendicular: one (480 km long) far offshore in the oceanic regime, one (600 km) close to shelf break and the last one (400 km) onshore. Crustal velocities beneath Walvis Ridge range between 5.5 km/s and 7.0 km/s, which are typical velocities for oceanic crust. The crustal thickness, however, is approximately three times larger than of normal oceanic crust: 17 km in the western part increasing to 22 km towards the continent. The continent ocean transition is characterized by 30 km thick crust with a high velocity body (HVB) in the lower crust and seismic velocities up to 7.5 km/s. The western extend of the HVB is to a similar distance from shore as for HVBs observed south of Walvis Ridge. In contrast, the eastern boundary lies well within the continental domain, at the 40 km thick crust of the Kaoko fold belt. Here, the variation of seismic velocities indicates that hot material intruded the continental crust during the initial rifting stage. However, beyond this relatively sharp boundary (40 km wide), the remaining continental crust seems unaffected by intrusions and the root of the Kaoko belt is no eroded. The cross

  4. Compositional evolution of the upper continental crust through time, as constrained by ancient glacial diamictites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaschnig, Richard M.; Rudnick, Roberta L.; McDonough, William F.; Kaufman, Alan J.; Valley, John W.; Hu, Zhaochu; Gao, Shan; Beck, Michelle L.

    2016-08-01

    The composition of the fine-grained matrix of glacial diamictites from the Mesoarchean, Paleoproterozoic, Neoproterozoic, and Paleozoic, collected from four modern continents, reflects the secular evolution of the average composition of the upper continental crust (UCC). The effects of localized provenance are present in some cases, but distinctive geochemical signatures exist in diamictites of the same age from different localities, suggesting that these are global signatures. Archean UCC, dominated by greenstone basalts and to a lesser extent komatiites, was more mafic, based on major elements and transition metal trace elements. Temporal changes in oxygen isotope ratios, rare earth elements, and high field strength elements indicate that the UCC became more differentiated and that tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite suites became less important with time, findings consistent with previous studies. We also document the concentrations of siderophile and chalcophile elements (Ga, Ge, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, W, Tl, Bi) and lithophile Be in the UCC through time, and use the data for the younger diamictites to construct a new estimate of average UCC along with associated uncertainties.

  5. Construction of mass-age curves for the continental crust: An empirical model and an example from the western US

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Depaolo, D. J.; Schubert, G. S.; Linn, Ann

    1988-01-01

    The methodology of determining crustal mass-age curves is discussed. Problems in doing this include determination of model ages and accounting for mixing of materials of different ages during crust forming processes. These difficulties can be overcome with some reasonable assumptions and estimates of rock volumes based on areal proportions. This technique was used to construct a reasonably well constrained mass-age curve for the southwestern U.S. based on isotopic measurements on over 100 samples. The results imply that the crust in this area grew episodically at 2.8, 1.8, and 0.1 Ga. It is estimated that it would take on the order of 10000 to 100000 individual Sm-Nd isotopic measurements to carry out a similar exercise for continental crust world wide.

  6. Intrusion of granitic magma into the continental crust facilitated by magma pulsing and dike-diapir interactions: Numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Wenrong; Kaus, Boris J. P.; Paterson, Scott

    2016-06-01

    We conducted a 2-D thermomechanical modeling study of intrusion of granitic magma into the continental crust to explore the roles of multiple pulsing and dike-diapir interactions in the presence of visco-elasto-plastic rheology. Multiple pulsing is simulated by replenishing source regions with new pulses of magma at a certain temporal frequency. Parameterized "pseudo-dike zones" above magma pulses are included. Simulation results show that both diking and pulsing are crucial factors facilitating the magma ascent and emplacement. Multiple pulses keep the magmatic system from freezing and facilitate the initiation of pseudo-dike zones, which in turn heat the host rock roof, lower its viscosity, and create pathways for later ascending pulses of magma. Without diking, magma cannot penetrate the highly viscous upper crust. Without multiple pulsing, a single magma body solidifies quickly and it cannot ascent over a long distance. Our results shed light on the incremental growth of magma chambers, recycling of continental crust, and evolution of a continental arc such as the Sierra Nevada arc in California.

  7. Investigating the Processes of Crust Formation and Intraplate Continental Volcanism in the High Lava Plains, Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, R. W.; James, D. E.; Fouch, M. J.; Grove, T. L.; Hart, W. K.; Grunder, A. L.; Duncan, R. A.; Keller, G. R.; Harder, S. H.; Kincaid, C. R.

    2006-12-01

    East of the southern Cascades is an area of voluminous Late-Cenozoic volcanism built on an immature crustal section accreted to North America in the Mesozoic. With the exception of the Snake River Plain, the High Lava Plains (HLP) of eastern Oregon has been the most volcanically active area in the western United States in the late Cenozoic. Through much of this area, the oldest exposed basement is early Miocene intermediate composition volcanic rocks. Beginning at approximately 16.5 Ma, the HLP was blanketed with flood basalts from both the Steens and Columbia River eruptive centers. The flood basalt era was followed by a time- progressive migration of large silicic centers beginning near the Oregon-Nevada-Idaho borders and extending to the present day activity at Newberry volcano. Quaternary basaltic volcanism is scattered along this whole trend, making the HLP more of a hot-line than a hot-spot. A variety of mechanisms have been proposed to explain this activity including: outflow of the Yellowstone plume-head, back-arc spreading, lithosphere delamination, Basin and Range extension, and asthenospheric inflow around the northward migrating edge of the subducting Juan de Fuca plate. These models make distinct predictions about the flow patterns and temperature structure of the shallow mantle underlying this area, but geophysical information capable of discriminating these models is sparse to absent. To remedy this situation and better define the causes of the voluminous volcanism in this area, the HLP project, funded by the NSF Continental Dynamics program, has initiated a multi-level broadband and active-source seismic study combined with field geology, geochemistry, petrology, geochronology and 3D geodynamic modeling of an area reaching from the southern Cascades across eastern Oregon into Idaho and northernmost Nevada. The seismic part of the project employs very dense station spacing that will provide high-resolution images of the crust and upper 100 km of the

  8. 2.6-2.7 Ga continental crust growth in Yangtze craton, South China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, K.; Gao, S.; Wu, Y.

    2013-12-01

    A combined study of zircon U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopes and whole rock major and trace elements and Sr-Nd isotopes has been conducted for 10 granitic and tonalitic-trondhjemitic-granodioritic (TTG) gneisses from the Kongling terrain, the only known Archean microcontinent in the Yangtze craton, South China. The results reveal a significant magmatic event at ~2.6-2.7 Ga (Fig. 1), in addition to the previously reported ~2.9 Ga and ~3.2-3.3 Ga magmatism (Zhang et al., 2006; Jiao et al., 2009; Gao et al., 2011). The ~2.6-2.7 Ga rocks show relatively high REE (530-1074 ppm), apparently negative Eu anomaly (Eu/Eu* = 0.22-0.35), low #Mg (19.51-22.63) and low LaN/YbN (10.3-24.2). Besides, they have high K-feldspar proportion and relatively evaluated (K2O+Na2O)/CaO, TFeO/MgO, Zr, Nb, Ce and Y contents. Their 10000 × Ga/Al ratios range between 3.00 and 3.54. All these features suggest that the protoliths of these gneisses are A-type granites. Most of the ~2.6-2.7 Ga zircon grains have ɛHf(t) values >0 (up to 7.93, close to the depleted mantle value). This clearly indicates a considerably higher proportion of new crustal components in the ~2.6-2.7 Ga granitoids compared to the ~3.2-3.3 Ga and ~2.9 Ga TTGs. Our results support the conclusion of worldwide studies of igneous and detrital zircons that age peaks at 2.65-2.76 Ga represent increases in the volume of juvenile continental crust. The present study also confirms the existence of the two older magmatic events in the Kongling terrain. Both whole rock ɛNd(t) values (-3.74 to 1.59) and the zircon ɛHf(t) values (-11.18 to 3.55) for the ~2.9 Ga TTG and the Hf isotopes of ~3.2-3.3 Ga igneous zircons (-7.37 to 3.12) are chondritic or subchondritic, suggesting that they were mainly generated by reworking of older rocks with a small amount of new crustal additions. References Gao, S., Yang, J., Zhou, L., Li, M., Hu, Z.C., Guo, J.L., Yuan, H.L., Gong, H.J., Xiao, G.Q., Wei, J.Q., 2011. Age and growth of the Archean Kongling terrain

  9. Chromium isotope signature during continental crust subduction recorded in metamorphic rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Ji; Liu, Jia; Qin, Liping; Wang, Shui-Jiong; Li, Shuguang; Xia, Jiuxing; Ke, Shan; Yang, Jingsui

    2015-11-01

    The chromium isotope compositions of 27 metamorphic mafic rocks with varying metamorphic degrees from eastern China were systematically measured to investigate the Cr isotope behavior during continental crust subduction. The Cr isotope compositions of all samples studied were Bulk Silicate Earth (BSE) like, with δ53CrNIST979 of greenschists, amphibolites, and eclogites ranging from -0.06‰ to -0.17‰, -0.05‰ to -0.27‰, and -0.01‰ to -0.24‰, respectively. The lack of resolvable isotopic variability among the metamorphic rocks from different metamorphic zones indicated that no systematic Cr isotope fractionation was associated with the degree of metamorphism. However, the Cr isotopic variability among homologous samples may have reflected effects induced by metamorphic dehydration with a change of redox state, rather than protolith heterogeneity (i.e., magma differentiation). In addition, the differences in δ53Cr (Δ53CrCpx-Gt) between coexisting clinopyroxene (Cpx) and garnet (Gt) from two garnet pyroxenites were 0.06‰ and 0.34‰, respectively, indicating that significant inter-mineral Cr isotope disequilibria could occur during metamorphism. To provide a basis for comparison with metamorphic rocks and to provide further constraints on the potential Cr isotope heterogeneity in the mantle and in the protolith of some metamorphic rocks, we analyzed mantle-derived chromites and the associated peridotites from Luobusa, and we obtained the following general order: chromite-free peridotites (-0.21‰ to -0.11‰) < chromite-bearing peridotite (-0.07‰) < chromite (-0.06‰). These findings imply potential mantle heterogeneity as a result of partial melting or fractional crystallization associated with chromite.

  10. Interdisciplinary approach to exploit the tectonic memory in the continental crust of collisional belts.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosso, G.; Marotta, A. M.; Rebay, G.; Regorda, A.; Roda, M.; Spalla, M. I.; Zanoni, D.; Zucali, M.

    2015-12-01

    Collisional belts result by thoroughly competing thermo-mechanical disaggregation and coupling within both continental and oceanic lithospheric slices, during construction of tectono-metamorphic architectures. In multiply reworked metamorphics, tectonic units may be contoured nowadays on the base of coherent thermo-baric and structural time-sequences rather than simply relying on lithologic affinities. Sequences of equilibrium assemblages and related fabric imprints are an approach that appears as a more reliable procedure, that enables to define tectonic units as the volume of crustal slices that underwent corresponding variations during the dynamics of an active margin and takes into account a history of physical imprints. The dimensions of these tectonic units may have varied over time and must be reconstructed combining the tracers of structural and metamorphic changes of basement rocks, since such kind of tectono-metamorphic units (TMUs) is a realistic configuration of the discrete portions of orogenic crust that experienced a coherent sequence of metamorphic and textural variations. Their translational trajectories, and bulk shape changes during deformation, cannot simply be derived from the analysis of the geometries and kinematics of tectonic units, but are to be obtained by adding the reconstruction of quantitative P-T-d-t paths making full use of fossil mineral equilibria. The joint TMU field-and-laboratory definition is an investigation procedure that bears a distinct thermo-tectonic connotation, that, through modelling, offers the opportunity to test the physical compatibilities of plate-scale interconnected variables, such as density, viscosity, and heat transfer, with respect to what current interpretative geologic histories may imply. Comparison between predictions from numerical modelling and natural data obtained by this analytical approach can help to solve ambiguities on geodynamic significance of structural and thermal signatures, also as a

  11. New perspectives on the Li isotopic composition of the upper continental crust and its weathering signature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauzéat, Lucie; Rudnick, Roberta L.; Chauvel, Catherine; Garçon, Marion; Tang, Ming

    2015-10-01

    Lithium isotopes are increasingly used to trace both present-day and past weathering processes at the surface of the Earth, and could potentially be used to evaluate the average degree of past weathering recorded by the upper continental crust (UCC). Yet the previous estimate of average δ7Li of the UCC has a rather large uncertainty, hindering the use of Li isotopes for this purpose. New δ7Li for desert and periglacial loess deposits (windblown dust) from several parts of the world (Europe, Argentina, China and Tajikistan) demonstrate that the former are more homogeneous than the latter, and may therefore serve as excellent proxies of the average composition of large tracts of the UCC. The Li isotopic compositions and concentrations of desert loess samples are controlled by eolian sorting that can be quantified by a binary mixing between a weathered, fine-grained end-member, dominated by phyllosilicates and having low δ7Li, and an unweathered, coarse-grained end-member, that is a mixture of quartz and plagioclase having higher δ7Li. We use correlations between insoluble elements (REE, Nd/Hf and Fe2O3/SiO2), Li concentrations (henceforth referred as [Li]), and δ7Li to estimate a new, more precise, average Li isotopic composition and concentration for the UCC: [ Li ] = 30.5 ± 3.6 (2 σ) ppm, and δ7Li = + 0.6 ± 0.6 (2 σ). The δ7Li for desert loess deposits is anti-correlated with the chemical index of alteration (CIA). Using this relationship, along with our average δ7Li, we infer that (1) the present-day CIA of the average UCC is 61-2+4 (2 σ), higher than the common reference value of 53, and (2) the average proportion of chemically weathered components is as high as 37-10+17 (2 σ)% at the surface of the Earth.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

    At ocean margins where two plates converge, the oceanic plate sinks or is subducted beneath an upper one topped by a layer of terrestrial crust. This crust is constructed of continental or island arc material. The subduction process either builds juvenile masses of terrestrial crust through arc volcanism or new areas of crust through the piling up of accretionary masses (prisms) of sedimentary deposits and fragments of thicker crustal bodies scraped off the subducting lower plate. At convergent margins, terrestrial material can also bypass the accretionary prism as a result of sediment subduction, and terrestrial matter can be removed from the upper plate by processes of subduction erosion. Sediment subduction occurs where sediment remains attached to the subducting oceanic plate and underthrusts the seaward position of the upper plate's resistive buttress (backstop) of consolidated sediment and rock. Sediment subduction occurs at two types of convergent margins: type 1 margins where accretionary prisms form and type 2 margins where little net accretion takes place. At type 2 margins (???19,000 km in global length), effectively all incoming sediment is subducted beneath the massif of basement or framework rocks forming the landward trench slope. At accreting or type 1 margins, sediment subduction begins at the seaward position of an active buttress of consolidated accretionary material that accumulated in front of a starting or core buttress of framework rocks. Where small-to-mediumsized prisms have formed (???16,300 km), approximately 20% of the incoming sediment is skimmed off a detachment surface or decollement and frontally accreted to the active buttress. The remaining 80% subducts beneath the buttress and may either underplate older parts of the frontal body or bypass the prism entirely and underthrust the leading edge of the margin's rock framework. At margins bordered by large prisms (???8,200 km), roughly 70% of the incoming trench floor section is

  14. Subduction of lower continental crust beneath the Pamir imaged by receiver functions from the seismological TIPAGE network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, F. M.; Yuan, X.; Schurr, B.; Mechie, J.; Sippl, C.; Kufner, S.; Haberland, C. A.; Minaev, V.; Oimahmadov, I.; Gadoev, M.; Abdybachaev, U.; Orunbaev, S.

    2013-12-01

    As the northwestern promontory of the Tibetan Plateau, the Pamir forms an outstanding part of the India-Asia convergence zone. The Pamir plateau has an average elevation of more than 4000 m surrounded by peaks exceeding 7000 m at its northern, eastern and southern borders. The Pamir is thought to consist of the same collage of continental terranes as Tibet. However, in this region the Indian-Asian continental collision presents an extreme situation since, compared to Tibet, in the Pamir a similar amount of north-south convergence has been accommodated within a much smaller distance. The Pamir hosts a zone of intermediate depth earthquakes being the seismic imprint of Earth's most spectacular active intra-continental subduction zone. We present receiver function (RF) images from the TIPAGE seismic profile giving evidence that the intermediate depth seismicity is situated within a subducted layer of lower continental crust: We observe a southerly dipping 10-15 km thick low-velocity zone (LVZ), that starts from the base of the crust and extends to a depth of more than 150 km enveloping the intermediate depth earthquakes that have been located with high precision from our local network records. In a second northwest to southeast cross section we observe that towards the western Pamir the dip direction of the LVZ bends to the southeast following the geometry of the intermediate depth seismic zone. Our observations imply that the complete arcuate intermediate depth seismic zone beneath the Pamir traces a slab of subducting Eurasian continental lower crust. These observations provide important implications for the geodynamics of continental collision: First, it shows that under extreme conditions lower crust can be brought to mantle depths despite its buoyancy, a fact that is also testified by the exhumation of ultra-high pressure metamorphic rocks. Recent results from teleseismic tomography show a signal of Asian mantle lithosphere down to 600 km depth, implying a great

  15. The Pakistan Himalaya: Tectonics at the NW corner of exposed Indian continental crust (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dipietro, J. A.

    2009-12-01

    Lithotectonic units in the Himalaya maintain structural continuity from Nepal to Zanskar where they are deformed across a broad, arc-parallel, anticlinorium that plunges northwest such that the Tethyan sequence on the north limb, although truncated by the Indus Suture zone and Ladakh batholith, appears to wrap around the nose of the fold to form the Kashmir Tethys on the south limb. From a wide syn-metamorphic thrust zone in Nepal, the MCT southwest of the Kashmir Tethys narrows to form a late- to post-metamorphic thrust that shallows with the plunge of the anticlinorium. Structural continuity is disrupted by middle Miocene to active transverse fault zones that form the western margins of the Nanga Parbat and Hazara syntaxes (the Raikot-Diamir and Jhelum-Balakot fault zones respectively). It is here that Lesser, Greater, and Tethys Himalayan units lose their identity as defined and understood in the Central Himalaya. Both transverse fault zones are east-side-up and associated with antiforms that bring Lower Proterozoic rock to the surface. The MCT is folded around the nose of the Hazara antiform where it steepens to include a complete Lower Proterozoic to Mesozoic rock sequence in its hanging wall block. The Pakistan Himalaya west of the syntaxis, including the Swat area, forms the NW corner of exposed Indian continental crust. Metamorphism and major deformation are associated with two opposing thrust systems that occurred nearly synchronously prior to and possibly during the metamorphic peak. The earliest is associated with underthrusting beneath southwestward advancing ophiolitic mélange of the Indus suture zone consistent with early fold vergence and stretching lineations in Swat, and with kinematic indicators east of the syntaxis in Zanskar. This was followed by underthusting beneath southeastward advancing Nawagai ophiolitic mélange consistent with kinematic indicators in the West Pakistan fold belt. Both mélange units are metamorphosed with Indian plate

  16. Ductile strain rates measurements reveal continental crust long-term deformation modes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutonnet, E.; Leloup, P. H.; Sassier, C.; Gardien, V.; Ricard, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Any discussion on the long-term crustal rheology is hindered by our poor knowledge of deformation rates in the deep crust. These rates have only been estimated to be ≤10-15 and ≥10-13 s-1 in the "stable" and highly deforming zones respectively, and measured in a few peculiar cases. Because quartz ribbons are ubiquitous in continental shear zones, the quartz-strain-rate-metry (QRS) method, based on experimentally calibrated quartz piezometers and ductile flow laws, could provide deformation rates measurements in many geological contexts. However, the results are highly sensitive on the deformation temperature that is difficult to measure. Furthermore, results vary by three orders of magnitude depending on the chosen piezometer and rheological law. If recent technical progress allow measuring more precisely the deformation temperature, it is still not clear what is the most accurate piezometer - rheological law association. We solved that dilemma by comparing strain rates measured by the QRS method with a reference one measured with another method on the same outcrop of the Ailao Shan - Red River (ASRR) shear zone. At site C1, by combining dating of syntectonic dykes and measurements of their deformation, the strain rate is calculated between 3 and 4 x10-14 s-1 between 29 to 22 Ma, (Sassier et al., JGR, 2009). Quartz ribbons sampled in site C1 show large grains recrystallized by grain boundary migration (GBM), themselves recrystallized at lower temperature by sub-grain rotation (SGR). The mean recrystallized quartz grain size for the SGR event range between 74.0 and 79.3 μm. The associated stresses, measured with Shimizu (JSG, 2008) piezometer, range between 35.2 and 38.1 MPa. Conditions of deformation of P≈ 1.5 kbar and T≈ 430°C were inferred by combining several thermobarometers on quartz, such as TitaniQ, fluid inclusions microthermometry and crystallographic fabrics. The calculated strain rate with five flow laws and three piezometers range between 3

  17. Seismic imaging of deep crustal melt sills beneath Costa Rica suggests a method for the formation of the Archean continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, Nicholas; Rychert, Catherine A.

    2015-11-01

    Continental crust formed billions of years ago but cannot be explained by a simple evolution of primary mantle magmas. A multi-step process is required that likely includes re-melting of wet metamorphosed basalt at high pressures. Such a process could occur at depth in oceanic crust that has been thickened by a large magmatic event. In Central America, variations in geologically inferred, pre-existing oceanic crustal thickness beneath the arc provides an excellent opportunity to study its effect on magma storage, re-melting of meta-basalts, and the potential for creating continental crust. We use surface waves derived from ambient noise tomography to image 6% radially anisotropic structures in the thickened oceanic plateau crust of Costa Rica that likely represent deep crustal melt sills. In Nicaragua, where the arc is forming on thinner oceanic crust, we do not image these deep crustal melt sills. The presence of these deep sills correlates with more felsic arc outputs from the Costa Rican Arc suggesting pre-existing thickened crust accelerates processing of primary basalts to continental compositions. In the Archean, reprocessing thickened oceanic crust by subsequent hydrated hotspot volcanism or subduction zone volcanism may have similarly enhanced formation of early continental crust. This mechanism may have been particularly important if subduction did not initiate until 3 Ga.

  18. Quantifying the Relationship between Strike-slip Fault Spacing and Brittle Crust Thickness in Continental Settings based on Sandbox Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, J. C.; Zuza, A. V.; Yin, A.

    2015-12-01

    Parallel and evenly spaced strike-slip faults occur widely in continental settings. The fault spacing varies from 10s of km along transform fault systems (e.g., southern California and New Zealand) to 200-400 km in continental interiors (e.g., central Tibet, central Asia, and North China plains). In order to understand the role of the brittle crust rheology and thickness in controlling the fault spacing in continental settings, we performed a series of sandbox experiments using medium-grained dry sand under strike-slip simple-shear conditions. With a self-built sliding device, we determined the yield strength of the dry sand to follow a Coulomb fracture relationship: Tn = 0.5173Sn + 15.475(Pa), with R2 = 0.936, where Tn is the shear stress, Sn is the normal stress, R is the coefficient of linear correlation, and 15.475 Pa is the cohesive strength. In our experiments, we created parallel Riedel shears in a simple shear zone with sand layer thickness varying from 1 cm to 6 cm. The relationship between the fault spacing (S) and the sand layer thickness (T) fits a linear equation of S = 0.5528T + 4.765, with R2 = 0.975. Assuming that the cohesive strength of the continental crust is 1-5 MPa and neglecting the density difference between rock and sand, the scaling relationship between sand and crustal thickness can be approximated as 1:1 X 105 to 1:5 X 105, which means that our experiments simulate a range of crustal thicknesses from 1 km to 30 km. The relevance of the S-T relationship obtained from this study will be tested in areas of active strike-slip tectonics, where the thickness of the brittle crust can be determined by the thickness of the seismogenic zones.

  19. H2O-fluid-saturated melting of subducted continental crust facilitates exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure rocks in continental subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labrousse, L.; Duretz, T.; Gerya, T.

    2015-10-01

    We present two-dimensional numerical models of plate subduction and collision inspired by the Scandinavian Caledonian orogeny to investigate the possible impact of continental crust partial melting on the exhumation of ultra-high pressure metamorphic rocks. Three possible reactions were tested: low temperature solidus representing H2O-fluid-saturated partial melting, and two end-member reaction curves for dehydration melting. Thermo-mechanical effects of partial melting were implemented as (1) a viscosity decrease as a determined rheologically critical melt percentage was reached (here 0.1), (2) a change in effective heat capacity and adiabatic heating/cooling accounting for a latent heat term in the heat equation. Among the 3 tested reactions, only H2O-fluid-saturated partial melting drastically modifies the collision dynamics from the non-melting reference model holding all other parameters constant. A substantially low general viscosity truncation (here 1017 Pa s) is needed to properly resolve the effect of partial melting on deep collision processes. Low temperature melting indeed induces the development of a low viscosity buoyant plume prior to slab detachment, where migmatites exhume from UHP conditions at rates and with pressure-temperature paths similar to the natural values acknowledged for the Norwegian Caledonides. High temperature melting has no drastic influence on early collision dynamics. While positive buoyancy remains the first order driver for the exhumation of buried continental rocks, exhumation initiates in these cases with eduction subsequent to slab detachment. Melting and formation of a migmatite plume can later occur along decompression path while continental crust undergoes thermal reequilibration at temperatures above 900 °C. Some of the partially molten material can also relaminate in the overriding plate rather than exhume within the collision zone. Even if minor in terms of amount of magma produced, H2O-fluid-saturated partial melting

  20. Making Earth's earliest continental crust - an analogue from voluminous Neogene silicic volcanism in NE-Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berg, Sylvia E.; Troll, Valentin R.; Burchardt, Steffi; Riishuus, Morten S.; Deegan, Frances M.; Harris, Chris; Whitehouse, Martin J.; Gústafsson, Ludvik E.

    2014-05-01

    Borgarfjörður Eystri in NE-Iceland represents the second-most voluminous exposure of silicic eruptive rocks in Iceland and is a superb example of bimodal volcanism (Bunsen-Daly gap), which represents a long-standing controversy that touches on the problem of crustal growth in early Earth. The silicic rocks in NE-Iceland approach 25 % of the exposed rock mass in the region (Gústafsson et al., 1989), thus they significantly exceed the usual ≤ 12 % in Iceland as a whole (e.g. Walker, 1966; Jonasson, 2007). The origin, significance, and duration of the voluminous (> 300 km3) and dominantly explosive silicic activity in Borgarfjörður Eystri is not yet constrained (c.f. Gústafsson, 1992), leaving us unclear as to what causes silicic volcanism in otherwise basaltic provinces. Here we report SIMS zircon U-Pb ages and δ18O values from the region, which record the commencement of silicic igneous activity with rhyolite lavas at 13.5 to 12.8 Ma, closely followed by large caldera-forming ignimbrite eruptions from the Breiðavik and Dyrfjöll central volcanoes (12.4 Ma). Silicic activity ended abruptly with dacite lava at 12.1 Ma, defining a ≤ 1 Myr long window of silicic volcanism. Magma δ18O values estimated from zircon range from 3.1 to 5.5 (± 0.3; n = 170) and indicate up to 45 % assimilation of a low-δ18O component (e.g. typically δ18O = 0 ‰, Bindeman et al., 2012). A Neogene rift relocation (Martin et al., 2011) or the birth of an off-rift zone to the east of the mature rift associated with a thermal/chemical pulse in the Iceland plume (Óskarsson & Riishuus, 2013), likely brought mantle-derived magma into contact with fertile hydrothermally-altered basaltic crust. The resulting interaction triggered large-scale crustal melting and generated mixed-origin silicic melts. Such rapid formation of silicic magmas from sustained basaltic volcanism may serve as an analogue for generating continental crust in a subduction-free early Earth (e.g. ≥ 3 Ga, Kamber et

  1. Seismic Scattering from Heterogeneity in the Continental Crust and Upper mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thybo, H. J.; Nielsen, L.

    2003-12-01

    We document pronounced seismic scattering from three heterogeneous zones in the continental crust and upper mantle under Eurasia: (1) The lower crust, (2) The mantle low-velocity zone, and (3) An interval around the top of the mantle transition zone. We model the scattering by use of viscoelastic, full wavefield, 2D finite-difference synthetic seismograms. The calculations are for large models of seismic velocity (2500 by 550 km), which include by heterogeneous layers, defined by random fluctuations of the elastic parameters and Q-values. Our primary data source is Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE) seismic data sets collected in the former Soviet Union. High-frequency signals (up to 10 Hz with centre frequencies of 2-4 Hz) from the PNEs were recorded with a nominal receiver spacing of 10-15 km along profiles of up to 4000 km length. (1) Lower crustal scattering explains the characteristics of the teleseismic (or long-range) Pn wave at all frequencies in the data. This wave propagates as a whispering-gallery phase to more than 3000 km offset from the sources with apparent mantle velocity. It requires a large, positive vertical upper mantle velocity gradient. The model is consistent with outcrop and seismic observations. We reject a previously published model for the teleseismic Pn in terms of upper mantle scattering which only explains the wavefield characteristics at high frequency, but not at low frequency. It also leads to strong damping of later arrivals, in disagreement with observations. (2) Heterogeneity in the mantle low-velocity zone below the 8° discontinuity at 100 km depth causes scattering of the main frequencies (2-4 Hz) of the seismic wavefield. The scattering is primarily observed directly behind the first arrivals in the 800-1400 km offset range. Pronounced delay of the first arrivals beyond ca. 800 km offset demonstrates the presence of the mantle low velocity zone. The best fit to observations is obtained by including an 80 km thick heterogeneous

  2. Petrology and geochronology of crustal xenoliths from the Bering Strait region: Linking deep and shallow processes in extending continental crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Akinin, V.V.; Miller, E.L.; Wooden, J.L.

    2009-01-01

    Petrologic, geochemical, and metamorphic data on gneissic xenoliths derived from the middle and lower crust in the Neogene Bering Sea basalt province, coupled with U-Pb geochronology of their zircons using sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe-reverse geometry (SHRIMP-RG), yield a detailed comparison between the P-T-t and magmatic history of the lower crust and magmatic, metamorphic, and deformational history of the upper crust. Our results provide unique insights into the nature of lithospheric processes that accompany the extension of continental crust. The gneissic, mostly maficxenoliths (constituting less than two percent of the total xenolith population) from lavas in the Enmelen, RU, St. Lawrence, Nunivak, and Seward Peninsula fields most likely originated through magmatic fractionation processes with continued residence at granulite-facies conditions. Zircon single-grain ages (n ??? 125) are interpreted as both magmatic and metamorphic and are entirely Cretaceous to Paleocene in age (ca. 138-60 Ma). Their age distributions correspond to the main ages of magmatism in two belts of supracrustal volcanic and plutonic rocks in the Bering Sea region. Oscillatory-zoned igneous zircons, Late Cretaceous to Paleocene metamorphic zircons and overgrowths, and lack of any older inheritance in zircons from the xenoliths provide strong evidence for juvenile addition of material to the crust at this time. Surface exposures of Precambrian and Paleozoic rocks locally reached upper amphibolite-facies (sillimanite grade) to granulite-facies conditions within a series of extension-related metamorphic culminations or gneiss domes, which developed within the Cretaceous magmatic belt. Metamorphic gradients and inferred geotherms (??30-50 ??C/km) from both the gneiss domes and xenoliths aretoo high to be explained by crustal thickening alone. Magmatic heat input from the mantle is necessary to explain both the petrology of the magmas and elevated metamorphic temperatures. Deep

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  4. The Origin of Voluminous Dacite (vs. Andesite) at Mature, Thick Continental Arcs: A Reflection of Processes in the Deep Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, R. A.

    2013-12-01

    An outstanding question is why some continental arc segments are characterized by voluminous eruptions of dacite (65-70 wt% SiO2), whereas others erupt more andesite (58-64 wt% SiO2) than any other magma type. An example of the former is the Altiplano-Puna region of the central Andean arc, which has erupted a predominance of dacite over all magma types 10-1 Ma (de Silva, 1989). In contrast, a 200-km arc segment of the Mexican volcanic arc (Michoacán-Guanajuato arc segment) has erupted ~75% andesite, ~26% basaltic andesite and < 10% basalt, with no dacite, over the last 1-2 Myrs (e.g., Ownby et al., 2011). Possible plutonic equivalents of these two contrasting arc segments are: (1) the eastern Peninsular/Sierra Nevada batholiths, where plutons of dacitic (65-70 wt% SiO2) composition predominate, and (2) the western Peninsular/Sierra Nevada batholiths, where plutons with 58-65 wt% SiO2 are more abundant than those with 65-70 wt% SiO2 (e.g., Gromet and Silver, 1987; Oliver et al., 1993). A consistent feature is the predominance of dacitic magma where subduction occurs along mature, thick (50-75 km) continental crust, whereas andesite is more abundant where crustal thickness is average (~35-45 km). For the Michoacán-Guanajuato arc segment, on the basis of phenocryst modes, major- and trace-element data, as well as phase-equilibrium experiments from the literature, it is proposed that the andesites were derived by partial melting (>20%) of hornblende-rich (~40%) gabbronorite in the deep crust, driven by mantle-derived basalt intrusions at depths of 30-40 km. The absence of any dacite or rhyolite along this arc segment indicates that interstitial liquid from crystal-rich andesites never segregated to form eruptible magma. Thus, little upper-crust differentiation occurred along this arc segment. On the basis of phase-equilibrium experiments in the literature (e.g., Sisson et al., 2005), it is proposed that rhyolite and dacite did form during partial melting of the lower

  5. Copper systematics during mantle melting and crustal differentiation in arcs: implications for S and Pb budgets of the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Chin, E. J.; Dasgupta, R.; Luffi, P. I.; Le Roux, V.

    2010-12-01

    During mid-ocean ridge melting, Cu behaves like Sc and is therefore moderately incompatible, as evidenced by the twofold increase in Cu content in MORBs compared to the mantle. However, Cu content in the continental crust is comparable to that of the mantle, implying that during continental crust formation, Cu becomes effectively compatible. Cu is one of the only elements that exhibits Jekyll and Hyde behavior. This switch to being compatible is consistent with the observation that for the majority of arc magmas (as well as MORBs), Cu decreases with increasing SiO2 and decreasing MgO. Using natural samples, we infer new partition coefficients that indicate Cu is incompatible in olivine, pyroxenes, amphiboles, and biotite. The only mineral to exert significant control on Cu partitioning is sulfide. Cu behaves incompatibly during mantle melting because the modal abundance of sulfides relative to silicate minerals is extremely low. The monotonic decrease in Cu in most differentiating arc magmas requires sulfide saturation. In addition, the similar abundances of Cu in many primitive arc magmas compared to MORBs suggests that mantle melting in both environments occurs not only at sulfide saturation but without the need for excess Cu (or S). In a few cases, however, primitive arc magmas begin with high Cu or show increases in Cu with differentiation, which most likely requires unusually high oxygen fugacities in the source or magmatic evolution towards high oxygen fugacity. Such cases may be important for the origin of Cu porphyry deposits, but are generally rare. Because of the close link between Cu and sulfide during magma differentiation, Cu can be used as a proxy for the pre-degassed S content of arc magmas. The S content of continental crust, like many volatile elements, is basically unconstrained, but it can be inferred from Cu, which is much better constrained. Finally, the fact that the continental crust is highly depleted in Cu implies that there is a missing

  6. Origin of granulite terranes and the formation of the lowermost continental crust.

    PubMed

    Bohlen, S R; Mezger, K

    1989-04-21

    Differences in composition and pressures of equilibration between exposed, regional granulite terranes and suites of granulite xenoliths of crustal origin indicate that granulite terranes do not represent exhumed lowermost crust, as had been thought, but rather middle and lower-middle crustal levels. Application of well-calibrated barometers indicate that exposed granulites record equilibration pressures of 0.6 to 0.8 gigapascal (20 to 30 kilometers depth of burial), whereas granulite xenoliths, which also tend to be more mafic, record pressures of at least 1.0 to 1.5 gigapascals (35 to 50 kilometers depth of burial). Thickening of the crust by the crystallization of mafic magmas at the crust-mantle boundary may account for both the formation of regional granulite terranes at shallower depths and the formation of deep-seated mafic crust represented by many xenolith suites.

  7. Origin of granulite terranes and the formation of the lowermost continental crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohlen, S.R.; Mezger, K.

    1989-01-01

    Differences in composition and pressures of equilibration between exposed, regional granulite terranes and suites of granulite xenoliths of crustal origin indicate that granulite terranes do not represent exhumed lowermost crust, as had been thought, but rather middle and lower-middle crustal levels. Application of well-calibrated barometers indicate that exposed granulites record equilibration pressures of 0.6 to 0.8 gigapascal (20 to 30 kilometers depth of burial), whereas granulite xenoliths, which also tend to be more mafic, record pressures of at least 1.0 to 1.5 gigapascals (35 to 50 kilometers depth of burial). Thickening of the crust by the crystalliztion of mafic magmas at the crust-mantle boundary may account for both the formation of regional granulite terranes at shallower depths and the formation of deep-seated mafic crust represented by many xenolith suites.

  8. Origin of granulite terranes and the formation of the lowermost continental crust.

    PubMed

    Bohlen, S R; Mezger, K

    1989-04-21

    Differences in composition and pressures of equilibration between exposed, regional granulite terranes and suites of granulite xenoliths of crustal origin indicate that granulite terranes do not represent exhumed lowermost crust, as had been thought, but rather middle and lower-middle crustal levels. Application of well-calibrated barometers indicate that exposed granulites record equilibration pressures of 0.6 to 0.8 gigapascal (20 to 30 kilometers depth of burial), whereas granulite xenoliths, which also tend to be more mafic, record pressures of at least 1.0 to 1.5 gigapascals (35 to 50 kilometers depth of burial). Thickening of the crust by the crystallization of mafic magmas at the crust-mantle boundary may account for both the formation of regional granulite terranes at shallower depths and the formation of deep-seated mafic crust represented by many xenolith suites. PMID:17738304

  9. The Rock Record Has It About Right—No Significant Continental Crust Formation Prior to 3.8 Ga

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vervoort, J. D.; Kemp, A. I.; Fisher, C.; Bauer, A.; Bowring, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Although limited in its exposed extent and by its quality of preservation, the geologic record through the first two billion years of Earth's history provides surprisingly tight constraints on the growth and evolution of continental crust. The magmatic zircon record for this period is dominated by Neoarchean U-Pb ages, with greatly diminishing abundance of older rocks and no known zircon bearing rocks much older than 4.0 Ga. A similar pattern exists for the ages of detrital zircons but with important addition of zircons as old as 4.4 Ga, mostly from the Jack Hills metaconglomerate. It has been suggested that this represents an artefact of preservation rather than the actual production rate of older crust, with the implication that large volumes of older crust have been destroyed by various recycling processes. This undoubtedly has happened to some extent, but there is considerable uncertainty as to how much has been destroyed and the nature of the early-formed crust. Here is where the long-lived radiogenic isotopic record, particularly Lu-Hf, can provide important information on the sources of the zircons by integrating age and tracer isotopic information in not only the same sample or zircon but even in the same domain of zircon. Using the most robust data from zircon and whole rock samples, excluding those with unconstrained ages and mixed-domain analyses, the most radiogenic Hf isotope compositions are characterized by ~ chondritic Hf isotopic compositions from 4.4 to ~ 3.8 Ga and a nearly linear evolution trend from epsilon Hf of 0 at 3.8 Ga to ~ epsilon Hf of +16 at present. There remains no evidence from the Hf isotope record for widespread mantle depletion prior to 3.8 Ga. Excluding the Jack Hills zircons, there is a conspicuous lack of pre 3.9 Ga zircons in even the oldest sediments1. This indicates that crust prior to 3.8 Ga was likely small in volume and/or effectively recycled back into the mantle on short time scales and did not result in significant

  10. Archean Arctic continental crust fingerprints revealing by zircons from Alpha Ridge bottom rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeev, Sergey; Petrov, Oleg; Morozov, Andrey; Shevchenko, Sergey; Presnyakov, Sergey; Antonov, Anton; Belyatsky, Boris

    2015-04-01

    nowadays iceberg formation. Moreover, no Grenvillian-age zircons were revealed in studied sample. The nearest areas of Paleo- and Mesoarchean rocks appearance are deeply inland territories like Acasta Gneiss Complex, Uivak Gneisses, the Superior Province, Anabar and Aldan Shields, Northern China craton (Anshan complex), thus, a only possibility to bring some fragments of basement rocks from these areas to oceanic coast is transcontinental river transportation. The second possibility - this gneissic clast has a local provenance and has undergone a submarine weathering, shallow marine avalanche, proximal transportation by alongside ocean flows, tidal waves abrasion, and as so, reflects local bedrock geology, i.e. adjacent Alpha Ridge rock composition. Additional confirmation of this can be seen in a wide distribution of Qu-sandstones with Paleo-Mezoarchean zircons, and finds of similar allochtonous zircons in dolerites along Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge profile. The studied fragment is a unique evidence for the possible existence of Paleoarchean continental crust within the submarine Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge in Arctic Ocean.

  11. Growth of continental crust: Clues from Nd isotopes and Nb-Th relationships in mantle-derived magmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arndt, N. T.; Chauvel, C.; Jochum, K.-P.; Gruau, G.; Hofmann, A. W.

    1988-01-01

    Isotope and trace element geochemistry of Precambrian mantle derived rocks and implications for the formation of the continental crust is discussed. Epsilon Nd values of Archean komatiites are variable, but range up to at least +5, suggesting that the Archean mantle was heterogeneous and, in part, very depleted as far back as 3.4 to 3.5 Ga. This may be taken as evidence for separation of continental crust very early in Earth history. If these komatiite sources were allowed to evolve in a closed system, they would produce modern day reservoirs with much higher epsilon Nd values than is observed. This implies recycling of some sort of enriched material, perhaps subducted sediments, although other possibilities exist. Archean volcanics show lower Nb/Th than modern volcanics, suggesting a more primitive mantle source than that observed nowadays. However, Cretaceous komatiites from Gorgona island have similar Nb/Th to Archean volcanics, indicating either the Archean mantle source was indeed more primitive, or Archean magmas were derived from a deep ocean island source like that proposed for Gorgona.

  12. Structure of thinned continental crust across the Orphan Basin from a dense wide-angle seismic profile and gravity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, K. W. Helen; Watremez, Louise; Louden, Keith E.; Nedimovíć, Mladen R.

    2015-09-01

    We present a 500-km long, 2-D P-wave velocity model across the Orphan Basin, offshore NE Newfoundland, Canada, from Flemish Cap to the Bonavista Platform, formed using refraction and wide-angle reflection data from 89 ocean-bottom seismometers. This layered model builds on a recent traveltime tomography result using additional constraints from coincident multichannel seismic reflection and gravity data plus borehole logs from three wells. The model shows (i) post-rift Tertiary (velocities ˜1.7-3.5 km s-1) and (ii) both post-rift and syn-rift, Cretaceous and Jurassic sediments (˜4-5 km s-1), deposited within an eastern and a western sub-basin that are separated by a major basement block. The existence of Jurassic sediments indicates a pre-Cretaceous rifting phase in the eastern sub-basin, and possibly in the western sub-basin. However, there is no evidence that Triassic sediments are widespread across the Orphan Basin. Two upper crustal sublayers and one lower crustal layer are defined by differences in velocities (5.4-6.1, 6.1-6.5 and 6.3-7.1 km s-1, respectively) and vertical velocity gradients (mean = 0.14, 0.10 and 0.05 s-1, respectively). Crustal thinning is asymmetric across the Orphan Basin. Within the eastern sub-basin, continental crust beneath Flemish Cap (˜32 km thick; β ˜ 1.1) thins westward into a 35-km-wide zone of hyperextended crust (<10 km thick; β > 3.4) beneath an 11-km-deep sedimentary basin. Within the western sub-basin, the Bonavista Platform crust (˜32 km thick) thins eastward into a 116-km-wide zone of hyperextended crust. Two zones of thicker crust (β = 2-3.5) exist within the central section, with muted topography within the eastern part and large basement highs in the western part, separated by the eastward dipping White Sail Fault (WSF). The zone to the east of the WSF displays higher velocities in the lower crust than to the west. This can only be explained by a lateral ductile flow across the zone boundary. By combining the two

  13. P-wave velocity in granulites from South India: implications for the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramachandran, C.

    1992-01-01

    P-wave velocities ( Vp) were measured in 160 high-grade metamorphic rocks from the South Indian granulite terrain (SGT). The wide variations observed in the Vp of charnockites and gneisses could be due to the complex prograde and retrograde metamorphic histories of the two major rock types of the SGT. The velocity-density relation showed distinct trends for charnockites and gneisses. Initial stages of retrograde metamorphism in charnockites significantly affected their magnetic properties, however, its effect on velocity and density is not diagnostic. Contrasting physical properties on either side of the Palghat-Cauvery (P-C) shear zone lends support for the contention that the P-C shear zone is a major paleosuture. The laboratory mean Vpof the rocks from the northern SGT are comparable with the mid-crustal DSS velocity in the adjacent granite greenstone terrain (GGT), suggesting that the GGT is possibly underlain by a felsic granulite basement. The physical properties of the high-grade metamorphic rocks from SGT are significantly lower than that of the lower crust. The physical properties and tectonic considerations show that the granulites of South India may not be of lower crustal origin and hence not representative of the lower crust, as generally thought. A simplified two-layer crustal model with a predominantly felsic granulite upper crust and a mafic granulite lower crust, is suggested for the SGT.

  14. Formation of metamorphic core complexes in non-over-thickened continental crust: A case study of Liaodong Peninsula (East Asia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kun; Burov, Evgueni; Gumiaux, Charles; Chen, Yan; Lu, Gang; Mezri, Leila; Zhao, Liang

    2015-12-01

    Pre-thickened hot orogenic crust is often considered a necessary condition for the formation of continental metamorphic core complexes (MCCs). However, the discovery of MCCs in the Liaodong Peninsula, where the crust has a normal thickness (~ 35 km), challenges the universality of this scenario. Therefore, we implement a series of 2-D numerical thermo-mechanical modeling experiments in which we investigate the conditions of MCC formation in normal crusts, as well as the relationships between the underlying mechanisms and the syn-rift basin evolution. In these experiments, we explore the impact of the lithostratigraphic and thermo-rheological structure of the crust. We also examine the lithosphere thickness, strain softening, extension rate, and surface erosion/ sedimentation processes. The experiments demonstrate that high thermal gradients and crustal heterogeneities result only in a symmetric spreading dome, which is geometrically incompatible with the observations of the MCCs in the Liaodong Peninsula. According to our further findings, the strain softening should play a key role in the development of asymmetric strain localization and domal topography uplift, while synchronous surface erosion controls the polarity of the syn-rift basin. The synthetic model data are compatible with the geological observations and cooling history based on the thermo-chronology for the eastern part of the East Asia during the late Mesozoic to the early Cenozoic. The model-predicted P-T-t paths are essentially different from those inferred for the other known MCCs, confirming the exceptional character of the MCC formation in the wide rift system of the East Asia.

  15. Magma Migration Through the Continental Crust - 3-D Seismic and Thermo-mechanical Constraints on Sites of Crustal Contamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, M.; Wheeler, W.

    2002-12-01

    Current understanding of the processes and pathways by which magma travels from its mantle source, through the crust to the Earth's surface is limited by the lack of continuously exposed sections through "fossil" magmatic systems. We report results from a 50 x 30 km 3-D seismic reflection survey of part of the Voring rifted continental margin of Norway which provide the first detailed images of an entire crustal magmatic plumbing system, from a Moho-level magma chamber, through complexes of sills and dykes in the mid to upper crust, to lavas and vent fields extruded at the early Tertiary paleosurface. The Voring margin of Norway formed during a period of Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary (Eocene) continental break-up when Greenland rifted away from Eurasia, resulting in the opening the NE Atlantic Ocean. Rifting was accompanied by widespread magmatic activity, inferred to be related to the impingement of the Iceland mantle plume on the base of the continental lithosphere. Regionally, magma migration occurred in at least two pulses: 62-59 Ma (main initial phase) and 57-54 Ma (continental break-up phase). Wide-angle seismic experiments indicate the presence of a laccolith-like "high-velocity body" (HVB) in the lower crust beneath most of the outer Voring Basin with P-wave velocities (Vp 7.1-7.4 km/s) characteristic of basaltic igneous rocks, overlying typical mantle rocks with Vp of over 8 km/s. The HVB locally reaches 8 km thickness and at break-up (54 Ma) measured 300 km x 500 km - corresponding to a volume of 450,000 cubic km of basaltic magma. It is interpreted as a magmatic underplate formed over a period of several million years as rising basaltic magmas ponded at the Moho at their level of neutral buoyancy. A laterally extensive sill complex (1000 m thick) occurs at the interface between thinned crystalline basement and the overlying Mesozoic sedimentary sequence. This is interpreted as one of the main intra-crustal magma storage reservoirs and is the most

  16. Garnet-forming reactions in felsic orthogneiss: Implications for densification and strengthening of the lower continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, M. L.; Dumond, G.; Mahan, K.; Regan, S.; Holland, M.

    2014-11-01

    Growth of garnet and pyroxene in orthogneiss from the Athabasca granulite terrane (AGT), northern Saskatchewan, provides a model for progressive densification and strengthening of the lower continental crust with implications for the recycling and long-term evolution of continental crust. Two distinct assemblages and textures are preserved in granitic and granodioritic gneiss. Low-strain orthogneiss displays igneous textures and assemblages of Opx+Kfs+Pl+Mag+Qz (± Bt, Hbl, Ilm). High-strain, dynamically recrystallized tectonites have additional garnet, clinopyroxene, and a more Na-rich plagioclase, along with relict orthopyroxene. The reaction (Opx+Ca-rich Pl=Grt+Cpx+Na-rich Pl+Qz) is informally called the “Mary reaction” after documented occurrences in the Mary granitoid batholith. The reaction represents the transition from medium-pressure to high-pressure granulite (Green and Ringwood, 1967), but reaction progress was achieved in these deep crustal rocks along an isobaric cooling path at ca. 1 GPa (35-40 km-depth). Ambient P-T conditions were well within the product (low-T-side) stability field. The abundance of the product assemblage (Grt+Cpx+Na-rich Pl) increases with deformation. Metastable igneous assemblages are widely preserved in low-strain samples. With increasing strain, garnet occurs within recrystallized mantles of plagioclase porphyroclasts, and clinopyroxene occurs in the deformed tails of orthopyroxene crystals. Deformation is interpreted to aid in the breakdown of plagioclase and/or the nucleation of garnet and clinopyroxene. Garnet and pyroxene modes have been observed to exceed 10 vol% in the AGT, but larger amounts are possible because Ca-rich plagioclase and orthopyroxene remnants are widely preserved. Densities increase from ca. 2.6 to ca. 3.0 g/cm and modeled P-wave velocities approach 7.0 km/s in felsic rocks. Densities in mafic rocks approach 3.4 cm. The reaction occurred at least twice in the AGT, 2.6 and 1.9 Ga, and may have

  17. Generation of new continental crust and terrane accretion in Southeastern Alaska and Western British Columbia: constraints from P- and S-wave wide-angle seismic data (ACCRETE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozov, Igor B.; Smithson, Scott B.; Chen, Jingru; Hollister, Lincoln S.

    2001-11-01

    The ACCRETE study addresses the question of continental assemblage in southeastern Alaska and western British Columbia through accretion of exotic terranes and generation of new crust by magmatic addition in a former continental arc. We present results of wide-angle P- and S-wave seismic interpretation of a 300-km long marine-land seismic line across the contacts between accreted terranes and Coast Mountains. Additional constraints on the model are obtained from correlation with geologic mapping. Our results indicate that the Coast Shear Zone (CSZ) is a nearly vertical fault zone probably related to a transpressive regime. West of the CSZ, the mid-Cretaceous (90 Ma) thrust belt is rooted in the deep crust and is truncated by the CSZ. From the interpretation of the imaged sub-vertical reflecting zones, we infer the positions of the Alexander-Wrangellia terrane boundary (AWB) and of Tertiary extensional grabens within Dixon Entrance near its intersection with the profile. The observed values of Vp and Vp/Vs in the lower crust of the Alexander terrane are similar to those of oceanic crust and distinctly different from the Coast Mountains Batholith (CMB) to the northeast. The crust under the CMB (32 km) is thinner than the average continental crust, and the Moho is sharp (˜200 m) and highly reflective. The low-velocity mantle (7.9 km/s) suggests high temperature consistent with the stability of garnet in mafic rocks in the lower crust. The lower crustal velocity of 6.9 km/s supports a lower crust composed of interlayered garnet pyroxene granulite and quartzofeldspathic-restite related to batholith generation. The crustal section under the CMB is seismically identical to the lower two thirds of normal crust, heated and inflated by intrusions of tonalite, and gabbro interlayered with restites from batholith generation and uplifted during exhumation.

  18. Mineralogical Evidence for the Bulk Transformation of Continental Crust to Ultrahigh-Pressure Conditions in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterman, E. M.; Hacker, B. R.; Kylander-Clark, A. R.

    2005-12-01

    Evidence for (ultra)high-pressure --(U)HP-- metamorphism in modern orogenic belts and the preservation of exhumed (U)HP terranes around the world suggest that subduction and exhumation of continental crust plays an important role in Phanerozoic plate tectonics. The Western Gneiss region (WGR) of Norway, a major (U)HP province extending over 60,000 km2, provides an excellent opportunity to study how subduction to depths >100 km affects continental crust. By studying a ~60 km wide transect bounded to the north by Vartdalsfjorden and Rovdefjorden and the south by the Möre og Romsdal county boundary, we are able to examine mineralogical changes that occurred during subduction and exhumation within a rock composed predominantly of orthogneiss and variably transformed mafic bodies, which indicate the depths to which these rocks were subducted. Previous studies (e.g. Hacker et al., 2005) have suggested that Caledonian deformation in WGR host gneisses is primarily limited to brittle-ductile fabrics characterized by greenschist to lower-amphibolite facies metamorphism; the majority of the deformation in the rocks, including the pervasive foliation and foliation-parallel isoclinal folds, occurred between 1200 and 900 Ma. On the northern half of our study area, however, locally occurring neoblastic garnet crosscuts the foliation in the gneiss. The boundary of this garnet zone coincides with the local HP-UHP boundary, as determined by the presence of coesite in eclogite. Because garnet can retain information about changes in pressure and temperature, as well as the availability of water within the crust to catalyze chemical reactions, our findings suggest that 1) portions of the orthogneiss did transform at high pressures, 2) the presence of garnet within the orthogneiss may indicate conditions that approximate UHP and can therefore be useful in defining the boundaries between UHP and HP conditions, and 3) the growth of garnet during (U)HP metamorphism may be controlled by

  19. Anatexis and metamorphism in tectonically thickened continental crust exemplified by the Sevier hinterland, western North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patino Douce, Alberto E.; Humphreys, Eugene D.; Johnston, A. Dana

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents a thermal and petrologic model of anatexis and metamorphism in regions of crustal thickening exemplified by the Sevier hinterland in western North America, and uses the model to examine the geological and physical processes leading to crustally derived magmatism. The results of numerical experiments show that anatexis was an inevitable end-product of Barrovian metamorphism in the thickened crust of the late Mesozoic Sevier orogenic belt and that the advection of heat across the lithosphere, in the form of mantle-derived mafic magmas, was not required for melting of metasedimentary rocks. It is suggested that, in the Sevier belt, as in other intracontinental orogenic belts, anatexis occurred in the midcrust and not at the base of the crust.

  20. Granite formation and the continental crust: an experimental and field perspective on the key role of deep crustal fractionation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müntener, Othmar; Ulmer, Peter; Nandedkar, Rohit; Hürlimann, Niklaus

    2014-05-01

    A major question in Earth Sciences is how continental crust forms and how it is modified over geological timescales. Statistical geochemistry advocates for a secular evolution of granitoids from the Archean to the present. Several processes are constantly modifying the continental crust yet the initial formation of silicic crust is generally related to two hypotheses. One is melting of mafic or pelitic crust while the alternative is fractionation from primary mantle derived melts, but both processes may occur simultaneously. Volatiles and heat play a key role in determining the respective solidi of lower crustal rocks, with the important difference that volatiles available for partial melting processes are restricted to structural bound volatiles in hydrous phases, while crystallization produces a much larger variability of potential magmatic water contents. Here we present an experimental perspective on both melting and crystallization processes in the lower crust, with an emphasis on experimentally derived liquid lines of descent by fractional and equilibrium crystallization at middle to lower crustal levels for hydrous, calc-alkaline magmas. These results indicate that fractionation can explain some features of plutonic-volcanic systems that are commonly ascribed to partial melting. Experimental data at pressures of 0.7 to 1.5 GPa, simulating thin and thick lower continental crustal settings are compiled. The temperature ranged from near-liquidus conditions at 1300 - 1150 °C to near-solidus conditions at 700 °C. We investigate the mutual phase relations of the principal phases olivine, cpx, opx, garnet, amphibole, plagioclase and Fe-Ti-oxides. Crystallization experiments and field data demonstrate that liquids at 0.7 to 1.0 GPa evolve from metaluminous to slightly peraluminous, corundum normative compositions. We use new trace element partitioning data to model the trace element evolution of siliceous magmas. These data relax the necessity of generating large

  1. Application program of CRUST-1 10km continental scientific drilling rig in SK-2 scientific drilling well

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Youhong; Gao, Ke; Yu, Ping; Liu, Baochang; Guo, Wei; Ma, Yinlong; Yang, Yang

    2014-05-01

    SK-2 Well is located in DaQing city,where is site of the largest oil field in China,Heilongjiang province, north-east of China.The objective of SK-2 well is to obtain full cores of cretaceous formation in Song Liao basin,and to build the time tunnel of Cretaceous greenhouse climate change,and to clarify the causes,processes and results of the formations of DaQing oil field. This will ensure to achieve our ultimate goals,to test the CRUST-1 drilling rig and improve China's deep scientific drilling technology,to form the scientific drilling technology,method and system with independent intellectual property rights,and to provide technical knowledge and information for China's ten kilometers super-deep scientific drilling technical resources.SK-2 Well is at 6400 meter depth, where the drilling inclination is 90 degree and the continuous coring length is 3535 meter that from 2865 to 6400 meter,the recovery rate of the core is greater or equal to 95 percent with 100 millimeters core diameter and 3.9 degree per 100 meter geothermal gradient.The CRUST-1 rig is designated with special drilling equipment for continental scientific drilling combined to the oil drilling equipment ability with advanced geological drilling technology which is highly automatic and intelligent. CRUST-1 drilling ability is 10000 meter with the maximum hook load 700 tons, the total power is 4610 Kilowatt.CRUST-1 will be integrated with a complete set of automation equipment,including big torque hydraulic top drive,high accuracy automatic drilling rod feeding system, suspended automatic drill string discharge device,hydraulic intelligent iron roughneck,and hydraulic automatic catwalk to fully meet the drilling process requirements of SK-2.Designed with advanced drilling technique for 260 degree in the bottom of SK-2 well and hard rock,including the drilling tools of high temperature hydraulic hammer,high temperature resistance and high strength aluminum drill pipe,high temperature preparation of mud

  2. Granitoid formation is ineffective in isotopically homogenizing continental crust: Evidence from archean rocks of the Wind River Mountains, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Frost, C.D. ); Hulsebosch, T.P. ); Chamberlain, K.R.; Frost, B.R. )

    1992-01-01

    The Archean core of the Laramide Wind River uplift records evidence of at least three major granitoid-forming episodes. The oldest, the Dry Creek gneiss (DCG), was emplaced by 2.8 Ga and occupies the northeastern part of the range. Mafic, pelitic and ultramafic inclusions occur in the DCG. Elsewhere in the Wind River Mountains there is evidence for crustal components as old as 3.8 Ga. The Bridger batholith (BB), intruded at 2.67 Ga, is found in the west-central Wind River Mountains. The Wind River batholith (WRB) refers to the youngest Late Archean granodiorites and granites which are found throughout the range and includes granitoids previously name the Louis Lake, Bears Ears, Popo Agie, and Middle Mountain intrusions. Although granitoids of the Wind River batholith have been dated at 2.63 and 2.55 Ga, they are considered together here because there is a complete gradation in rock type and because definite intrusive contacts are scarce. The DCG, BB, and WRB each span the metaluminous/peraluminous boundary and are indistinguishable on Harker diagrams. Each has variable trace element and isotopic characteristics which do not correlate with silica content. Although the isotopic characteristics of these granitoids may be explained by mixing of variable amounts of preexisting continental crust and contemporary depleted mantle, this hypothesis is difficult to reconcile with the evolved nature of even those samples with the most mantle-like isotopic signatures. The authors suggest that each of these granitoid batholiths was formed primarily by remelting of pre-existing heterogeneous continental crust, and that the granite-forming process was not effective in obliterating these trace element and isotopic heterogeneities. Isotopic homogeneity in granitoid batholiths may reflect the isotopic homogeneity of their sources rather than an effective magmatic mixing process.

  3. Building continental-scale 3D subsurface layers in the Digital Crust project: constrained interpolation and uncertainty estimation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yulaeva, E.; Fan, Y.; Moosdorf, N.; Richard, S. M.; Bristol, S.; Peters, S. E.; Zaslavsky, I.; Ingebritsen, S.

    2015-12-01

    The Digital Crust EarthCube building block creates a framework for integrating disparate 3D/4D information from multiple sources into a comprehensive model of the structure and composition of the Earth's upper crust, and to demonstrate the utility of this model in several research scenarios. One of such scenarios is estimation of various crustal properties related to fluid dynamics (e.g. permeability and porosity) at each node of any arbitrary unstructured 3D grid to support continental-scale numerical models of fluid flow and transport. Starting from Macrostrat, an existing 4D database of 33,903 chronostratigraphic units, and employing GeoDeepDive, a software system for extracting structured information from unstructured documents, we construct 3D gridded fields of sediment/rock porosity, permeability and geochemistry for large sedimentary basins of North America, which will be used to improve our understanding of large-scale fluid flow, chemical weathering rates, and geochemical fluxes into the ocean. In this talk, we discuss the methods, data gaps (particularly in geologically complex terrain), and various physical and geological constraints on interpolation and uncertainty estimation.

  4. Subducted upper and lower continental crust contributes to magmatism in the collision sector of the Sunda-Banda arc, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elburg, M. A.; van Bergen, M. J.; Foden, J. D.

    2004-01-01

    Pb isotopes in igneous rocks from the Banda-Sunda arc show extreme along-arc variations, which correspond to major lithologic changes in crustal components entering the subduction system. An increase in 206Pb/204Pb ratios toward the zone of collision with the Australian continent reflects input of subducted upper-crustal material; maximum values coincide with anomalously radiogenic 3He/4He ratios that have been earlier attributed to the involvement of the continental margin. The collision zone is further characterized by 208Pb/204Pb ratios that are higher for a given 207Pb/204Pb value than observed in the noncollisional sectors, and in the central part of the collision zone, the 206Pb/204Pb ratios are lower than the most radiogenic values in the adjacent areas. We propose that these Pb isotope signatures reflect input of subducted lower crust, mobilized as a result of slab-window formation during arc-continent collision. Variations in Pb isotopes in the collision zone are solely determined by variations in the nature and proportions of different subducted components. The Pb isotope arrays in the noncollision area may be dominated by slab components as well and could reflect mixing between subducted oceanic crust and entrained sediments, rather than between subarc mantle and subducted sediments. Our new interpretation of the Indonesian Pb isotope data does not call for involvement of ocean-island basalt (OIB) type mantle or Australian subcontinental lithospheric mantle, as has been suggested previously.

  5. Magnetic mineralogy of pyroxenite xenoliths from Hannuoba basalts, northern North China Craton: Implications for magnetism in the continental lower crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhiyong; Zheng, Jianping; Zeng, Qingli; Liu, Qingsheng; Griffin, W. L.

    2014-02-01

    Studies of the petrology, mineral chemistry, and rock magnetic properties of nine pyroxenite xenoliths from Hannuoba basalts, northern North China Craton, have been made to determine the magnetization signature of the continental lower crust. These pyroxenites are weakly magnetic with low average susceptibility (χ) and saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (Mrs) of 39.59 × 10-8 m3 kg-1 and 12.05 × 10-3 Am2 kg-1, respectively. The magnetic minerals are mainly magnetite, pyrrhotite, and Fe-rich spinel, which significantly contribute to χ and natural remanent magnetization. Magnetite occurs as interstitial microcrystals together with zeolite aggregates, indicating a secondary origin in a supergene environment. In contrast, pyrrhotite and Fe-rich spinel were formed prior to the xenoliths' ascent to the surface, as evidenced by their dominant occurrence as tiny inclusions and thin exsolution lamellae in pyroxene. The Fe-rich spinel has ~ 50% mole fraction of Fe3O4 and corresponds to the strongest magnetization, and its coexistence with Mg-rich spinel implies a reheating event due to the underplating of basaltic magma. Besides, armalcolite and ilmenite were found in the reaction rims between xenoliths and the basalt, but they contribute little to the whole rock magnetization. However, these pyroxenite xenoliths would be nonmagnetic at in situ depths, as well as peridotite and mafic granulite xenoliths derived from the crust-mantle transition zone (~ 32-42 km). Therefore, we suggest the limiting depth of magnetization at the boundary between weakly magnetic deep-seated (lower crust and upper mantle) xenoliths and strongly magnetic Archean granulite facies rocks (~ 32 km) in Hannuoba, northern North China Craton.

  6. Granodiorite and alkaline suite at Gale crater: continental crust on early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sautter, V.; Toplis, M. J.; Cousin, A.; Fabre, C.; Wiens, R. C.; Mangold, N.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Pinet, P.; Rapin, W.; Fisk, M.; Le Deit, L.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Maurice, S.; Lasue, J.; Stolper, E.; Beck, P.; Wray, J.; Bridges, J. C.; Le Mouelic, S.

    2015-10-01

    The Curiosity rover landed at Gale, an early Hesperian age crater formed within Noachian terrains on Mars. The rover encountered a great variety of felsic igneous float rocks ranging from granodiorite to trachy andesite and trachyte during the first part of the traverse up to sol 550. They are the first in-situ evidence of low density early Noachian crust on Mars, sampled by Peace Vallis river cross-cutting the crater wall over a 2-3km thick vertical section, below the basaltic regolite.

  7. An estimation of continental crust magnetization and susceptibility from Magsat data for the conterminous United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schnetzler, C. C.

    1985-01-01

    The Magsat-derived magnetic anomaly field over the United States was inverted to magnetization in a seismically determined variable-thickness lower crust. The results are quite similar to those obtained from a previous inversion of POGO data. The average magnetization is 3.45 + or - 1.0 A/m, which gives a bulk magnetic susceptibility of 8.7 + or - 2.4 x 10 to the -2nd (SI units) for the lower crustal layer consistent with a mafic composition. These values are also consistent with previous estimates of lower crustal magnetization from aeromagnetic data and with laboratory measurements of mafic rock susceptibilities.

  8. Flow and kinematics of partially molten continental crust measured by both low- and high-field AMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teyssier, C.; Ferre, E.; Martin-Hernandez, F.

    2002-12-01

    There is considerable debate about the flow of the partially molten mid- to lower continental crust during orogenic deformation. Geologic observations of migmatite terrains suggest that deformation of orogenic crust is controlled by both horizontal flow, leading to layered migmatite, and vertical flow, reflecting the emplacement of gneiss domes cored by migmatite. Lateral flow of the mid- to lower crust has been described by the popular channel-flow model, and vertical flow is driven by gravitational instabilities. Unfortunately, fabrics in migmatites are difficult to unravel due to pervasive, high-temperature recrystallization. Planar fabrics such as migmatitic banding, layering, or foliation, are usually preserved macroscopically, but lineations are commonly unclear. Therefore, the petrofabric analysis of migmatites, including the definition of sense of shear, is problematic. We have developed a new structural methodology for the study of migmatite based on the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) combined with image analysis. Our results on Archean migmatites of the Minnesota River Valley establish this method as a powerful petrofabric tool. Dimension stone quarries provide ideal sampling sites. The migmatites are coarse grained, granitic to tonalitic in composition and display a centimeter scale compositional layering. The layering and the regional foliation are subhorizontal to shallowly dipping to the NE. Mineral lineations are largely not observable. Low-field magnetism is carried mainly by primary multidomain magnetite grains ranging 20-200 microns in size. The magnetic susceptibilities are generally high, around 5000 to 10000 10-6 SI. The degree of magnetic anisotropy is large, between 1.2 and 1.3. The principal axes of the low-field AMS ellipsoid coincide with those defined by the foliation, and the magnetic lineation is consistently oriented E-W; the degree of anisotropy is broadly correlated with mineral fabric intensity. In high-field (HF = 1

  9. Identification of Geostructures of the Continental Crust Particularly as They Relate to Mineral Resource Evaluation. [Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lathram, E. H. (Principal Investigator)

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. A pattern of very old geostructures was recognized, reflecting structures in the crust. This pattern is not peculiar to Alaska, but can be recognized throughout the northern cordillera. A new metallogenic hypothesis for Alaska was developed, based on the relationship of space image linears to known mineral deposits. Using image linear analysis, regional geologic features were also recognized; these features may be used to guide in the location of undiscovered oil and/or gas accumulations in northern Alaska. The effectiveness of ERTS data in enhancing medium and small scale mapping was demonstrated. ERTS data were also used to recognize and monitor the state of large scale vehicular scars on Arctic tundra.

  10. Permeability of the continental crust: Implications of geothermal data and metamorphic systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manning, C.E.; Ingebritsen, S.E.

    1999-01-01

    In the upper crust, where hydraulic gradients are typically 10 MPa km-1, the mean permeabilities required to accommodate the estimated metamorphic fluid fluxes decrease from ~10-16 m2 to ~10-18 m2 between 5- and 12-km depth. Below ~12 km, which broadly corresponds to the brittle-plastic transition, mean k is effectively independent of depth at ~10(-18.5??1) m2. Consideration of the permeability values inferred from thermal modeling and metamorphic fluxes suggests a quasi-exponential decay of permeability with depth of log k ~ -3.2 log z - 14, where k is in meters squared and z is in kilometers. At mid to lower crustal depths this curve lies just below the threshold value for significant advection of heat. Such conditions may represent an optimum for metamorphism, allowing the maximum transport of fluid and solute mass that is possible without advective cooling.

  11. Extending the western North American Proterozoic and Paleozoic continental crust through the Mojave Desert

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, M.W.; Walker, J.D. )

    1992-08-01

    Data supporting the existence of Proterozoic basement in the central and western Mojave Desert include U-Pb zircon geochronology and Nd, Sr, and Pb isotopic values of quartzofeldspathic gneisses, detrital zircon provenance ages, and the presence of basement clasts in Paleozoic and Mesozoic conglomerates. These data corroborate existing isotopic data from Mesozoic and Tertiary intrusive rocks that suggest involvement of Proterozoic crust in their genesis. Exposures of Proterozoic basement and Late Proterozoic and Paleozoic transitional miogeoclinal-cratonal facies trends in the central and western Mojave Desert consistently imply that cratonal North America continues westward uninterrupted through this region to the San Andreas fault. These data place geographic limits on the position of several pre-Tertiary tectonic elements speculated to exist in the Mojave Desert.

  12. Thin Crust over the Marion Rise - Remelting the Residue of the African Super Plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dick, H. J.; ZHOU, H.

    2011-12-01

    The Marion Rise is a ~3100-km long section of the SW Indian Ridge that runs up from ~5600-m depth near the Rodriguez Triple Junction to ~860-m depth as it passes north of the Marion Hotspot. It is characterized by a deep rift valley along most of its length, and numerous large-offset transforms. These characteristics are inconsistent with the rise being supported by sub-axial asthenospheric flow down the ridge axis from the Marion Plume. The large-offset transforms would block such flow even if the plume had sufficient flux to support the rise. Moreover, abyssal peridotites are abundant along the entire length, with nearly amagmatic spreading occurring well up the rise. This and the deep rift valley both indicate that the crust is thin or even missing along nearly its entire length. At the same time, basalt glasses and mantle peridotites show striking along axis variations in chemistry that indicate they are the complimentary residues of increasingly high degrees of mantle melting as the crest of the rise is approached. The thin crust along the rise, however, is inconsistent with increased melt production, and can only be accounted for as the result of remelting a previously depleted mantle residue centered on the Marion Plume. Mantle anisotropy and tomography (e.g.: Behn et al., EPSL 2004) are consistent with the northward movement of southern Africa over the last 100 Ma, such that the Marion Hotspot would appear to be a vestigial remnant of the African Super Plume. This, as well as isotopic data from the ridge (Meyzen et al., G3 2005) indicate that the present-day mantle beneath the ridge is the residue of the generation of the Karoo flood basalts in which the present day hotspot is imbedded. Thus, the Marion Rise is supported by an isostatic anomaly due to emplacement of the depleted plume head associated with eruption of the Karoo basalts into the asthenosphere beneath southern African. With the northward migration of Africa, this residue is entrained into the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Tracing the subducted oceanic crust beneath the central California continental margin: Results from ocean bottom seismometers deployed during the 1986 Pacific Gas and Electric EDGE experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Trehu, A. )

    1991-04-10

    Large aperture seismic data were collected on several ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) deployed along a deep crustal seismic profile that was shot across the central California continental margin. The line of shots extends from the oceanic crust seaward of the Santa Lucia Escarpment to the California coast near Morro Bay and crosses the Santa Lucia Basin, Santa Lucia Bank, Santa Maria Basin, and Hosgri fault zone. The OBS data permits one to trace the subducted oceanic crust from seaward of the Santa Lucia Escarpment to beneath the central part of the Santa Maria Basin. Just seaward of the Santa Lucia Escarpment, the oceanic crust is subhorizontal and covered by a thin layer of low-velocity sediment. The velocity (4.5 km/s) and gradient (1.20-1.25 km/s/km) of the upper oceanic crust in this region are well determined and agree with earlier determinations of the crustal structure of the eastern Pacific. Beneath the Santa Lucia Escarpment and Santa Lucia Basin, the oceanic crust dips approximately 16{degrees} to the east. It is overlain by material with a velocity that increases from 4.8 to 6.4 km/s at a depth of 1.7-5.5 km below the seafloor beneath the Santa Lucia Basin. A low-velocity zone may be sandwiched between the subducted crust and this shallow high-velocity material, which the authors interpret to represent obducted oceanic crustal material. Beneath the eastern edge of Santa Lucia Basin, the dip of the subducted oceanic crust decreases to less that 2{degrees}. The configuration of the subducted crust in this region is consistent with imbrication of the subducted crust. Beneath the central Santa Maria Basin, the top of the subducted oceanic crust is at a depth of about 14-16 km and the Moho is at 19-21 km.

  15. Roles of magmatic oxygen fugacity and water content in generating signatures of continental crust in the Alaska-Aleutian arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, K. A.; Cottrell, E.; Brounce, M. N.; Gentes, Z.

    2014-12-01

    Early depletion of Fe during magmatic differentiation is a characteristic of many arc magmas, and this may drive them towards the bulk composition of continental crust. In the Alaska-Aleutian arc, magmas are strongly Fe-depleted both in the east, where the arc sits atop pre-existing continental crust, and in the west, where the system is oceanic but convergence is highly oblique. Primary basaltic arc magmas may achieve early Fe depletion through a combination of high magmatic H2O, which delays silicate saturation, and high oxygen fugacity (fO2), which promotes early onset of Fe-oxide crystallization. Alternatively, low-Fe, high Mg# magmas may emerge directly from the arc mantle, possibly due to slab melting, driving mixing with Fe-rich basaltic magmas. Yet, the relative importance of H2O, fO2, and magmatic bulk composition in generating Fe-depletion is not clearly resolved. Here, we present new measurements of the oxidation state of Fe (Fe3+/∑Fe ratio; a proxy for magmatic fO2), in combination with major element and volatile data, of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from four Alaska-Aleutian arc volcanoes (Okmok, Seguam, Korovin, Augustine), acquired using XANES spectroscopy. We use the Tholeiitic Index (THI) of Zimmer et al., 2010 to quantify the behavior of Fe in each volcano magma series (<1 is Fe-depleted, >1 is Fe-enriched). These volcanoes span a range of THI, from 0.9-0.65. The Fe3+/∑Fe ratios of Aleutian basalts, corrected for fractional crystallization to 6 wt.% MgO (i.e., Fe3+/∑Fe6.0) range from 0.22-0.31 and correlate strongly with THI (r2>0.99), such that more Fe-depleted magmas contain a greater proportion of oxidized Fe. The maximum dissolved H2O contents of basaltic melt inclusions from these volcanoes also strongly correlate with THI (r2>0.96), and with measured Fe3+/∑Fe ratios (although H2O is not the direct cause of oxidation). These links point to a slab-derived origin of both H2O and oxidation and thus relate slab fluxes to the Fe

  16. Gold distribution in Archean continental crust: Evaluating the effects of intracrustal differentiation in the Tanzanian Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, K.; Rudnick, R. L.; McDonough, W. F.; Manya, S.

    2013-12-01

    We have evaluated the vertical distribution of gold in variably metamorphosed igneous rocks in the Tanzanian Craton: 2.6 Ga upper-crustal greenschist-facies greenstone belt basalts and andesites from the Lake Victoria Gold Field of northern Tanzania, and compositionally similar 2.6 Ga lower-crustal mafic granulite-facies xenoliths that were carried in rift-related basalts that erupted nearby. We implemented the preconcentration method of Pitcairn et al. (2006), which utilizes chromatographic separation of gold from acid-digested rocks using diisobutyl ketone (DIBK), followed by standard addition ICP-MS to determine the distribution of gold in the crust. Repeat analyses of the certified reference material TDB-1, a whole-rock powder diabase dike from Tremblay Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada (certified gold concentration = 6.3 × 1.0 ng/g), yielded an average gold concentration of 6.5 × 1.1 ng/g. Results were reproducible to within 17% for rock powder aliquots between 200-600 mg (n=38), where 400 mg sample aliquots were reproducible to within 6% (n=9), and 600 mg aliquots were reproducible to within 4.5% (n=4). Better reproducibility for the greater sample aliquots likely reflects the 'nugget' effect. Rock samples in the 0.1-0.8 ng/g gold concentration range reproduced to within 27% for 400-600 mg sample aliquots. Although the lavas come from an area containing gold deposits, all were more than 5 km from any gold mine. The Tanzanian greenstone belt basalts have the highest gold concentrations (9 ng/g to 62 μg/g, ave. = 40 (+68/-25) ng/g, 1σ (n=10)), followed by the greenstone belt andesites (0.4 to 120 ng/g, ave. = 1.1 (+0.9/-0.5) ng/g, 1σ (n=14)). The lowest concentrations were observed in the granulite-facies lower-crustal xenoliths (0.1 to 3.3 ng/g, ave. = 0.3 (+0.3/-0.1) ng/g, 1σ (n=21)). Gold is incompatible in silicates and can partition into hydrothermal and/or magmatic fluid or vapour during high-grade metamorphic dehydration reactions or partial melting

  17. Magmatic processes that generate chemically distinct silicic magmas in NW Costa Rica and the evolution of juvenile continental crust in oceanic arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogel, T. A.; Deering, C. D.; Patino, L. C.; Alvarado, G. E.; Szymanski, D. W.

    2010-12-01

    Northwestern Costa Rica is built upon an oceanic plateau that has developed chemical and geophysical characteristics of the upper continental crust. A major factor in converting the oceanic plateau to continental crust is the production, evolution and emplacement of silicic magmas. In Costa Rica, the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) forms the overriding plate in the subduction of the Cocos Plate - a process that has occurred for at least the last 25 my. Igneous rocks in Costa Rica older than about 10 Ma have chemical compositions typical of oceanic basalts and intra-oceanic arcs. In contrast, younger igneous deposits (<10 Ma) contain abundant silicic rocks with geochemical signatures similar to the average continental crust, which are significantly enriched in SiO2, alkalis and light rare-earth elements. The silicic deposits of NW Costa Rica occur in two major compositional groups: a high-Ti and a low-Ti group with no overlap between the two. The major and trace element characteristics of these groups are consistent with these magmas being derived from liquids that were extracted from crystal mushes. In relative terms, the high-Ti silicic liquids were extracted from a hot, dry crystal mush with low-oxygen fugacity where plagioclase and pyroxene were the dominant phases crystallizing, along with lesser amounts of hornblende. In contrast, the low-Ti silicic liquids were extracted from a cool, wet crystal mush with high oxygen fugacity where plagioclase and amphibole were the dominant phases crystallizing. The hot-dry-reducing magmas dominate the older sequence, but the youngest sequence contains only magmas from the cold-wet-oxidized group. Silicic volcanic deposits from other oceanic arcs (e.g. Izu-Bonin, Marianas) have chemical characteristics distinctly different from continental crust, whereas the NW Costa Rican silicic deposits have chemical characteristics nearly identical to the upper continental crust. The transition in NW Costa Rica from mafic oceanic

  18. Magmatic processes that generate chemically distinct silicic magmas in NW Costa Rica and the evolution of juvenile continental crust in oceanic arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deering, Chad D.; Vogel, Thomas A.; Patino, Lina C.; Szymanski, David W.; Alvarado, Guillermo E.

    2012-02-01

    Northwestern Costa Rica is built upon an oceanic plateau that has developed chemical and geophysical characteristics of the upper continental crust. A major factor in converting the oceanic plateau to continental crust is the production, evolution, and emplacement of silicic magmas. In Costa Rica, the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) forms the overriding plate in the subduction of the Cocos Plate—a process that has occurred for at least the last 25 my. Igneous rocks in Costa Rica older than about 8 Ma have chemical compositions typical of ocean island basalts and intra-oceanic arcs. In contrast, younger igneous deposits contain abundant silicic rocks, which are significantly enriched in SiO2, alkalis, and light rare-earth elements and are geochemically similar to the average upper continental crust. Geophysical evidence (high Vp seismic velocities) also indicates a relatively thick (~40 km), addition of evolved igneous rocks to the CLIP. The silicic deposits of NW Costa Rica occur in two major compositional groups: a high-Ti and a low-Ti group with no overlap between the two. The major and trace element characteristics of these groups are consistent with these magmas being derived from liquids that were extracted from crystal mushes—either produced by crystallization or by partial melting of plutons near their solidi. In relative terms, the high-Ti silicic liquids were extracted from a hot, dry crystal mush with low oxygen fugacity, where plagioclase and pyroxene were the dominant phases crystallizing, along with lesser amounts of hornblende. In contrast, the low-Ti silicic liquids were extracted from a cool, wet crystal mush with high oxygen fugacity, where plagioclase and amphibole were the dominant phases crystallizing. The hot-dry-reducing magmas dominate the older sequence, but the youngest sequence contains only magmas from the cold-wet-oxidized group. Silicic volcanic deposits from other oceanic arcs (e.g., Izu-Bonin, Marianas) have chemical

  19. A metagenomic window into carbon metabolism at 3 km depth in Precambrian continental crust.

    PubMed

    Magnabosco, Cara; Ryan, Kathleen; Lau, Maggie C Y; Kuloyo, Olukayode; Sherwood Lollar, Barbara; Kieft, Thomas L; van Heerden, Esta; Onstott, Tullis C

    2016-03-01

    Subsurface microbial communities comprise a significant fraction of the global prokaryotic biomass; however, the carbon metabolisms that support the deep biosphere have been relatively unexplored. In order to determine the predominant carbon metabolisms within a 3-km deep fracture fluid system accessed via the Tau Tona gold mine (Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa), metagenomic and thermodynamic analyses were combined. Within our system of study, the energy-conserving reductive acetyl-CoA (Wood-Ljungdahl) pathway was found to be the most abundant carbon fixation pathway identified in the metagenome. Carbon monoxide dehydrogenase genes that have the potential to participate in (1) both autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolisms through the reversible oxidization of CO and subsequent transfer of electrons for sulfate reduction, (2) direct utilization of H2 and (3) methanogenesis were identified. The most abundant members of the metagenome belonged to Euryarchaeota (22%) and Firmicutes (57%)-by far, the highest relative abundance of Euryarchaeota yet reported from deep fracture fluids in South Africa and one of only five Firmicutes-dominated deep fracture fluids identified in the region. Importantly, by combining the metagenomics data and thermodynamic modeling of this study with previously published isotopic and community composition data from the South African subsurface, we are able to demonstrate that Firmicutes-dominated communities are associated with a particular hydrogeologic environment, specifically the older, more saline and more reducing waters. PMID:26325359

  20. A metagenomic window into carbon metabolism at 3 km depth in Precambrian continental crust.

    PubMed

    Magnabosco, Cara; Ryan, Kathleen; Lau, Maggie C Y; Kuloyo, Olukayode; Sherwood Lollar, Barbara; Kieft, Thomas L; van Heerden, Esta; Onstott, Tullis C

    2016-03-01

    Subsurface microbial communities comprise a significant fraction of the global prokaryotic biomass; however, the carbon metabolisms that support the deep biosphere have been relatively unexplored. In order to determine the predominant carbon metabolisms within a 3-km deep fracture fluid system accessed via the Tau Tona gold mine (Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa), metagenomic and thermodynamic analyses were combined. Within our system of study, the energy-conserving reductive acetyl-CoA (Wood-Ljungdahl) pathway was found to be the most abundant carbon fixation pathway identified in the metagenome. Carbon monoxide dehydrogenase genes that have the potential to participate in (1) both autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolisms through the reversible oxidization of CO and subsequent transfer of electrons for sulfate reduction, (2) direct utilization of H2 and (3) methanogenesis were identified. The most abundant members of the metagenome belonged to Euryarchaeota (22%) and Firmicutes (57%)-by far, the highest relative abundance of Euryarchaeota yet reported from deep fracture fluids in South Africa and one of only five Firmicutes-dominated deep fracture fluids identified in the region. Importantly, by combining the metagenomics data and thermodynamic modeling of this study with previously published isotopic and community composition data from the South African subsurface, we are able to demonstrate that Firmicutes-dominated communities are associated with a particular hydrogeologic environment, specifically the older, more saline and more reducing waters.

  1. Brittle versus ductile deformation as the main control of the deep fluid circulation in continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Violay, Marie; Madonna, Claudio; Burg, Jean-Pierre

    2016-04-01

    The Japan Beyond-Brittle Project (JBBP) and the Taupo Volcanic Zone-Deep geothermal drilling project in New Zealand (TVZ-DGDP) proposed a new concept of engineered geothermal development where reservoirs are created in ductile rocks. This system has several advantages including (1) a simpler design and control of the reservoir due to homogeneous rock properties and stress states in the ductile domain ,(2) possible extraction of supercritical fluids (3) less probability for induced earthquakes. However, it is at present unknwon what and how porosity and permeability can be engineered in such environments. It has been proposed that the magmatic chamber is surrounded by a hot and ductile carapace through which heat transfer is conductive because the plastic behaviour of the rock will close possible fluid pathways. Further outward, as temperature declines, the rock will encounter the brittle-ductile transition with a concomitant increase in porosity and permeability. The thickness of the conduction-dominated, ductile boundary zone between the magmatic chamber and the convecting geothermal fluid directly determines the rate of heat transfer. To examine the brittle to ductile transition in the context of the Japanese crust, we conducted deformation experiments on very-fine-grain granite in conventional servocontrolled, gas-medium triaxial apparatus (from Paterson instrument). Temperature ranged from 600° C to 1100° C and effective confining pressure from 100 to 150 MPa. Dilatancy was measured during deformation. The method consisted in monitoring the volume of pore fluid that flows into or out of the sample at constant pore pressure. Permeability was measured under static conditions by transient pressure pulse method. Mechanical and micro-structural observations at experimental constant strain rate of 10‑5 s‑1 indicated that the granite was brittle and dilatant up to 900 ° C. At higher temperatures the deformation mode becomes macroscopically ductile, i

  2. Heat flow and near-surface radioactivity in the Australian continental crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sass, J.H.; Jaeger, J.C.; Munroe, Robert J.

    1976-01-01

    Heat-flow data have been obtained at 44 sites in various parts of Australia. These include seven sites from the old (~ 2500 m.y.) Precambrian shield of Western Australia, seventeen from the younger (~ 600- 2000 m.y.) Precambrian rocks of South Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland, and twenty within the eastern Paleozoic and younger rocks. Thirty of the sites are located where no previous heat-flow data existed, and the remainder provide significant extensions or refinements of areas previously studied. Where the holes studied penetrated the crystalline basement rocks, or where the latter rocks were exposed within a few kilometers of the holes, the upper crustal radiogenic heat production has been estimated based on gamma-ray spectrometric determinations of U, Th, and K abundances. Three heat-flow provinces are recognized in Australia based on the linear relation (q = q* + DA0 ) between heat flow q and surface radioactivity A0. New data from the Western Australian shield support earlier studies showing that heat flow is low to normal with values ranging from 0.7 to 1.2 hfu and with the majority of values less than 1.0 hfu, and the parameters q* = 0.63 hfu and 0 = 4.5 km determined previously were confirmed. Heat flow in the Proterozoic shield of central Australia is quite variable, with values ranging between about l and 3 hfu. This variability is attributed mainly to variations in near-surface crustal radioactivity. The parameters of the heat-flow line are q* = 0.64 hfu and 0 = 11.1 km and moderately high temperatures are predicted for the lower crust and upper mantle. Previous suggestions of a band of l ow- to - normal heat flow near the coast in eastern Australia were confirmed in some areas, but the zone is interrupted in at least one region (the Sydney Basin), where heat flow is about 2.0 hfu over a large area. The reduced heat flow, q*, in the Paleozoic intrusive rocks of eastern Australia varies from about 0.8 to 2.0 hfu . This variability might

  3. Brittle versus ductile deformation as the main control of the deep fluid circulation in continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Violay, Marie; Madonna, Claudio; Burg, Jean-Pierre

    2016-04-01

    The Japan Beyond-Brittle Project (JBBP) and the Taupo Volcanic Zone-Deep geothermal drilling project in New Zealand (TVZ-DGDP) proposed a new concept of engineered geothermal development where reservoirs are created in ductile rocks. This system has several advantages including (1) a simpler design and control of the reservoir due to homogeneous rock properties and stress states in the ductile domain ,(2) possible extraction of supercritical fluids (3) less probability for induced earthquakes. However, it is at present unknwon what and how porosity and permeability can be engineered in such environments. It has been proposed that the magmatic chamber is surrounded by a hot and ductile carapace through which heat transfer is conductive because the plastic behaviour of the rock will close possible fluid pathways. Further outward, as temperature declines, the rock will encounter the brittle-ductile transition with a concomitant increase in porosity and permeability. The thickness of the conduction-dominated, ductile boundary zone between the magmatic chamber and the convecting geothermal fluid directly determines the rate of heat transfer. To examine the brittle to ductile transition in the context of the Japanese crust, we conducted deformation experiments on very-fine-grain granite in conventional servocontrolled, gas-medium triaxial apparatus (from Paterson instrument). Temperature ranged from 600° C to 1100° C and effective confining pressure from 100 to 150 MPa. Dilatancy was measured during deformation. The method consisted in monitoring the volume of pore fluid that flows into or out of the sample at constant pore pressure. Permeability was measured under static conditions by transient pressure pulse method. Mechanical and micro-structural observations at experimental constant strain rate of 10-5 s-1 indicated that the granite was brittle and dilatant up to 900 ° C. At higher temperatures the deformation mode becomes macroscopically ductile, i

  4. Fractional Crystallisation of Archaean Trondhjemite Magma at 12-7 Kbar: Constraints on Rheology of Archaean Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarkar, Saheli; Saha, Lopamudra; Satyanarayan, Manavalan; Pati, Jayanta

    2015-04-01

    Fractional Crystallisation of Archaean Trondhjemite Magma at 12-7 Kbar: Constraints on Rheology of Archaean Continental Crust Sarkar, S.1, Saha, L.1, Satyanarayan, M2. and Pati, J.K.3 1. Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee-247667, Haridwar, India, 2. HR-ICPMS Lab, Geochemistry Group, CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad-50007, India. 3. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Nehru Science Centre, University of Allahabad, Allahabad-211002, India. Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTGs) group of rocks, that mostly constitute the Archaean continental crusts, evolved through a time period of ~3.8 Ga-2.7 Ga with major episodes of juvenile magma generations at ~3.6 Ga and ~2.7 Ga. Geochemical signatures, especially HREE depletions of most TTGs conform to formation of this type of magma by partial melting of amphibolites or eclogites at 15-20 kbar pressure. While TTGs (mostly sodic in compositions) dominates the Eoarchaean (~3.8-3.6 Ga) to Mesoarchaean (~3.2-3.0 Ga) domains, granitic rocks (with significantly high potassium contents) became more dominant in the Neoarchaean period. The most commonly accepted model proposed for the formation of the potassic granite in the Neoarchaean time is by partial melting of TTGs along subduction zones. However Archaean granite intrusive into the gabbro-ultramafic complex from Scourie, NW Scotland has been interpreted to have formed by fractional crystallization of hornblende and plagioclase from co-existing trondhjemitic gneiss. In this study we have studied fractional crystallization paths from a Mesoarchaean trondhjemite from the central Bundelkhand craton, India using MELTS algorithm. Fractional crystallization modeling has been performed at pressure ranges of 20 kbar to 7 kbar. Calculations have shown crystallization of garnet-clinopyroxene bearing assemblages with progressive cooling of the magma at 20 kbar. At pressure ranges 19-16 kbar, solid phases

  5. A small number of candidate gene SNPs reveal continental ancestry in African Americans.

    PubMed

    Kodaman, Nuri; Aldrich, Melinda C; Smith, Jeffrey R; Signorello, Lisa B; Bradley, Kevin; Breyer, Joan; Cohen, Sarah S; Long, Jirong; Cai, Qiuyin; Giles, Justin; Bush, William S; Blot, William J; Matthews, Charles E; Williams, Scott M

    2013-01-01

    Using genetic data from an obesity candidate gene study of self-reported African Americans and European Americans, we investigated the number of Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs) and candidate gene SNPs necessary to infer continental ancestry. Proportions of African and European ancestry were assessed with STRUCTURE (K = 2), using 276 AIMs. These reference values were compared to estimates derived using 120, 60, 30, and 15 SNP subsets randomly chosen from the 276 AIMs and from 1144 SNPs in 44 candidate genes. All subsets generated estimates of ancestry consistent with the reference estimates, with mean correlations greater than 0.99 for all subsets of AIMs, and mean correlations of 0.99 ± 0.003; 0.98 ± 0.01; 0.93 ± 0.03; and 0.81 ± 0.11 for subsets of 120, 60, 30, and 15 candidate gene SNPs, respectively. Among African Americans, the median absolute difference from reference African ancestry values ranged from 0.01 to 0.03 for the four AIMs subsets and from 0.03 to 0.09 for the four candidate gene SNP subsets. Furthermore, YRI/CEU Fst values provided a metric to predict the performance of candidate gene SNPs. Our results demonstrate that a small number of SNPs randomly selected from candidate genes can be used to estimate admixture proportions in African Americans reliably.

  6. Subduction-modified oceanic crust in the sources of continental picrite dikes from the Karoo LIP?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinonen, J. S.; Carlson, R. W.; Riley, T. R.; Luttinen, A. V.; Horan, M. F.

    2013-12-01

    The Ahlmannryggen mountain range in East Antarctica hosts unusual LILE-depleted, but Fe- and Ti-enriched ultramafic dikes (Group 3) that belong to the Jurassic (~180 Ma) Karoo continental flood basalt (CFB) province. Their high initial ɛNd (+5 to +9) indicates their origin within the sublithospheric mantle beneath the Gondwana supercontinent. Using the new Pb and Os isotopic data and previously published geochemical and mineral chemical data, we try to constrain their mantle sources. The dikes that lack evidence of crustal contamination exhibit very radiogenic ɛNd (+8.6 to +9.0), relatively radiogenic 206Pb/204Pb (18.2-18.4) and 87Sr/86Sr (0.7035-0.7037), and unradiogenic 187Os/188Os (0.124-0.125) at 180 Ma. These isotopic compositions are unlike those typical of MORBs, excluding depleted mantle as the sole source contributor. The Pb isotopic composition of the dikes plots close to the 4.43 Ga geochron and hence is compatible with derivation from an early-depleted reservoir (EDR), recently suggested to be a major source component in CFBs. However, the high ɛNd of the dikes exceeds the ɛNd estimated for EDR (+4.9 to +8.5 at 180 Ma) and the relative Nb, Fe, and Ti enrichment (pyroxenite fingerprint) of the dikes is not readily ascribed to EDR source. Based on our isotopic and trace element modeling, we regard that the mantle source of the picrite dikes contained seawater-altered and subduction-modified MORB with a recycling age of 0.8 Ga. Such a source component would explain the unusual combination of elevated initial 87Sr/86Sr, ɛNd, and 206Pb/204Pb, relative depletion in fluid-mobile LILE, U, Th, Pb, and LREE, and relative enrichment in Nb, Fe, Ti, and other HFSE. Behavior of Re and Os in subduction environments is not well constrained, but loss of Re from recycled MORB, as observed in some subduction-associated eclogites and blueschists, and predominant contribution of Os from depleted peridotite matrix could have produced the observed low 187Os/188Os

  7. Geochemical and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic evidence for ancient lower continental crust beneath the Xi Ujimqin area of NE China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xiaofeng; Guo, Feng; Xiao, Peixi; Kang, Lei; Xi, Rengang

    2016-05-01

    The Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) is the largest Phanerozoic accretionary orogen on Earth. The role that Precambrian continental microblocks played in its formation, however, remains a highly controversial topic. New zircon U-Pb age data and whole-rock geochemical and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic studies on Permian (253-251 Ma) andesites from the Xi Ujimqin area provide the first evidence for the existence of a continental lower mafic crust in the eastern segment of the CAOB. These Permian lavas generally have chemical compositions similar to experimental melts of garnet pyroxenites. Based on Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositional differences, they can be further subdivided into two groups. Group 1 has moderately radiogenic Sr (87Sr/86Sr(i) = 0.7060-0.7062) and nonradiogenic Nd (εNd(t) = - 9.0-8.3) and Pb (e.g., 206Pb/204Pb = 17.18-17.23) isotopic compositions similar to the ancient lower mafic crust beneath the North China Craton (NCC). Compared with Group 1, Group 2 has less radiogenic Sr (87Sr/86Sr(i) = 0.7051-0.7055), and more radiogenic Nd (εNd(t) = - 0.2-+1.4) and Pb (e.g., 206Pb/204Pb = 18.04-18.20) isotopic compositions as observed in the Phanerozoic granitoids and felsic lavas of the CAOB. The combined geochemical and isotopic data indicate that Group 1 was derived from ancient lower mafic crust of the NCC affinity, with a residual assemblage of pyroxene + plagioclase + amphibole. The source for Group 2 was a mixture of ancient lower mafic crust and a juvenile crustal component, and melting left a residue of orthopyroxene + clinopyroxene + plagioclase + garnet + amphibole. Generation of these two types of late Permian andesites favors a model whereby breakoff of a subducted slab and subsequent lithospheric extension triggered extensive asthenospheric upwelling and melting of the continental mafic lower crust of the eastern CAOB. The discovery of ancient lower continental crust of the NCC affinity in the CAOB implies that the NCC experienced continental breakup during

  8. Similar quartz crystallographic textures in rocks of continental earth's crust (by neutron diffraction data): III. Relation of quartz texture types with means and conditions of texture formation

    SciTech Connect

    Nikitin, A. N. Ivankina, T. I.; Ullemeyer, K.; Vasin, R. N.

    2008-09-15

    Examples of different rocks collected in different regions of the continental earth's crust are presented. Groups of quartz crystallographic textures of the same type are selected for these rocks. The relationship between the types of textures and the physical means and conditions of their formation is analyzed. The effect of the {alpha}-{beta} phase transition in quartz on the texture transformations in rocks is considered.

  9. Full seismic waveform inversion of the African crust and Mantle - Initial Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afanasiev, Michael; Ermert, Laura; Staring, Myrna; Trampert, Jeannot; Fichtner, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    We report on the progress of a continental-scale full-waveform inversion (FWI) of Africa. From a geodynamic perspective, Africa presents an especially interesting case. This interest stems from the presence of several anomalous features such as a triple junction in the Afar region, a broad region of high topography to the south, and several smaller surface expressions such as the Cameroon Volcanic Line and Congo Basin. The mechanisms behind these anomalies are not fully clear, and debate on their origin spans causative mechanisms from isostatic forcing, to the influence of localized asthenospheric upwelling, to the presence of deep mantle plumes. As well, the connection of these features to the African LLSVP is uncertain. Tomographic images of Africa present unique challenges due to uneven station coverage: while tectonically active areas such as the Afar rift are well sampled, much of the continent exhibits a severe dearth of seismic stations. As well, while mostly surrounded by tectonically active spreading plate boundaries (a fact which contributes to the difficulties in explaining the South's high topography), sizeable seismic events (M > 5) in the continent's interior are relatively rare. To deal with these issues, we present a combined earthquake and ambient noise full-waveform inversion of Africa. The noise component serves to boost near-surface sensitivity, and aids in mitigating issues related to the sparse source / station coverage. The earthquake component, which includes local and teleseismic sources, aims to better resolve deeper structure. This component also has the added benefit of being especially useful in the search for mantle plumes: synthetic tests have shown that the subtle scattering of elastic waves off mantle plumes makes the plumes an ideal target for FWI [1]. We hope that this new model presents a fresh high-resolution image of sub-African geodynamic structure, and helps advance the debate regarding the causative mechanisms of its surface

  10. Arc-continent collision and the formation of continental crust: A new geochemical and isotopic record from the Ordovician Tyrone Igneous Complex, Ireland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Clift, Peter D.; Amato, Jeffrey M.; Blusztajn, Jerzy; Schouten, Hans

    2009-01-01

    Collisions between oceanic island-arc terranes and passive continental margins are thought to have been important in the formation of continental crust throughout much of Earth's history. Magmatic evolution during this stage of the plate-tectonic cycle is evident in several areas of the Ordovician Grampian-Taconic orogen, as we demonstrate in the first detailed geochemical study of the Tyrone Igneous Complex, Ireland. New U-Pb zircon dating yields ages of 493 2 Ma from a primitive mafic intrusion, indicating intra-oceanic subduction in Tremadoc time, and 475 10 Ma from a light rare earth element (LREE)-enriched tonalite intrusion that incorporated Laurentian continental material by early Arenig time (Early Ordovician, Stage 2) during arc-continent collision. Notably, LREE enrichment in volcanism and silicic intrusions of the Tyrone Igneous Complex exceeds that of average Dalradian (Laurentian) continental material that would have been thrust under the colliding forearc and potentially recycled into arc magmatism. This implies that crystal fractionation, in addition to magmatic mixing and assimilation, was important to the formation of new crust in the Grampian-Taconic orogeny. Because similar super-enrichment of orogenic melts occurred elsewhere in the Caledonides in the British Isles and Newfoundland, the addition of new, highly enriched melt to this accreted arc terrane was apparently widespread spatially and temporally. Such super-enrichment of magmatism, especially if accompanied by loss of corresponding lower crustal residues, supports the theory that arc-continent collision plays an important role in altering bulk crustal composition toward typical values for ancient continental crust. ?? 2009 Geological Society of London.

  11. From continental priorities to local conservation: a multi-level analysis for African tortoises.

    PubMed

    Bombi, Pierluigi; D'Amen, Manuela; Luiselli, Luca

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial tortoises are the most endangered group of vertebrates but they are still largely ignored for defining global conservation priorities. In this paper, we explored within a hierarchical framework the potential contribution of prioritization studies at the continental scale to the planning of local initiatives for the conservation of African tortoises at the regional level. First, we modeled the distribution of all the African tortoise species, we calculated three indicators of conservation priority (i.e., species richness, conservation value, and complementarity), and we carried out a gap analysis at continental scale. Second, we focused on the most important region for tortoise conservation and performed the same analyses at higher resolution. Finally, we compared the results from the two scales for understanding the degree to which they are complementary. Southern Africa emerged from the continental analysis as the most important region for tortoises. Within this area, the high-resolution analysis pointed out specific core sites for conservation. The relative degree of species protection was assessed similarly at the two different resolutions. Two species appeared particularly vulnerable at both scales. Priority indices calculated at high resolution were correlated to the values calculated for the corresponding cells at low resolution but the congruence was stronger for species richness. Our results suggest to integrate the calculation of conservation value and complementarity into a hierarchical framework driven by species richness. The advantages of large scale planning include its broad perspective on complementarity and the capability to identify regions with greatest conservation potential. In this light, continental analyses allow targeting fine scale studies toward regions with maximum priority. The regional analyses at fine scale allow planning conservation measure at a resolution similar to that required for the practical implementation

  12. Evolution of the depleted mantle and growth of the continental crust: An early beginning or a slow start?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vervoort, Jeff

    2014-05-01

    A fundamental principle of the geochemical evolution of the Earth holds that continental crust formed by extraction of melts from the mantle leaving part of the mantle depleted in incompatible elements. Nd and Hf isotopes have long been used to show that this process has been an essential feature of the Earth throughout its history, but the details of the record—and its implications for for addressing questions of the mechanisms, timing, and volumes of crustal production—remain hotly debated, particularly for the early Earth. One reason for the uncertainty in the isotopic record is a paucity of Archean rocks > 3.5 Ga and the ones that have survived often have had complex geologic histories, resulting in either compromised isotopic systematics and/or complicated mixtures of components with different ages and isotopic compositions. To address these potential complexities two approaches have been used to constrain the isotopic record: 1) Nd and Hf isotopic compositions of least altered rocks with well-constrained crystallization ages; and 2) Hf isotope composition of zircons in both magmatic rocks and in clastic sediments. The latter approach has found great utility by virtue of coupling U-Pb age constraints with Lu-Hf tracer isotopic information. A further advantage of the integrated U-Pb and Hf approach has been to examine zircons bereft of their corresponding whole rock. This has allowed the extension of the Hf isotopic record to the Hadean by examining detrital zircons from places like the Jack Hills. One unintended consequence of two different (Nd, Hf) approaches has been the creation of isotopic records not in agreement with each other, resulting in different interpretations. The Nd isotopic record, based solely on whole-rock analyses, shows evidence for the development of a depleted mantle signature in the oldest mantle-derived rocks. These data appear to correlate with positive 142 Nd anomalies, consistent with very early development of depleted and

  13. Brittle/Ductile deformation at depth during continental crust eclogitization (Mont-Emilius klippe, Western Internal Alps).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertgen, Solenn; Yamato, Philippe; Morales, Luiz; Angiboust, Samuel

    2016-04-01

    Eclogitic rocks are important for understanding tectonics at large scale as they provide key constraints on both the evolution (P-T-t-ɛ paths) and the deformation modes of the crust along the subduction interface. We herein focus our study on eclogitized mafic dykes remnants exposed within granulites from the continental basement silver of the Mt. Emilius klippe (Western Internal Alps, Italy). These eclogites exhibit highly deformed garnetite and clinopyroxenite levels. In some places, these rocks with a ± mylonitic aspect can be found as clasts within meter-thick brecciated fault rocks formed close to metamorphic peak conditions in eclogite facies. Especially, the garnet-rich levels tend to behave in a brittle fashion while deformation within clinopyroxene-rich levels is mostly accommodated by creep. This is evidenced by the presence of elongated grains, subgrain boundaries and intense grain size reduction close to rigid garnets. Crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) measurements in garnets indicate a quasi-random distribution. In most of the clinopyroxenes levels nevertheless, the CPO is relatively strong, with multiples of uniform distribution varying from 4 to 5.5 (value of 1 is random texture). This CPO is characterized by a strong alignment of poles (001) parallel to the lineation and (100) and [010] distributed along girdles cross-cutting the foliation plane. Our study thus attests that the materials along the subduction interface at P~2.0-2.5 GPa and T~500-550°C can locally be brittle where deformation is classically envisioned as ductile. In addition to this deformation analysis, we present a petrological study of these eclogites, from the outcrop to the microscopic scale, tracking the chemical evolution associated to the observed deformation. Based on all these data, we finally propose a tectono-metamorphic history for these rocks allowing to explain the co-existence of ductile and brittle features developed in the same metamorphic facies, and

  14. Palaeoproterozoic high-pressure granulite overprint of the Archaean continental crust: evidence for homogeneous crustal thickening (Man Rise, Ivory Coast)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitra, Pavel; Kouamelan, Alain N.; Ballèvre, Michel; Peucat, Jean-Jacques

    2010-05-01

    well as coeval intrusion of juvenile magmas. Crustal shortening was mainly accommodated by transpressive shear zones and by lateral crustal spreading rather than large-scale thrust systems. The occurrence of high-pressure granulites does not imply thrust-dominated tectonics. Feybesse, J.-L. & Milési, J.-P., 1994. The Archean/Proterozoic contact zone in West Africa: a mountain belt of décollement thrusting and folding on a continental margin related to 2.1 Ga convergence of Archean cratons? Precambrian Research, 69, 199-227. Schulmann, K., Schaltegger, U., Ježek, J., et al. 2002. Rapid burial and exhumation during orogeny: thickening and synconvergent exhumation of thermally weakened and thinned crust (Variscan orogen in Western Europe). American Journal of Science, 302, 856-879. Schulmann, K., Lexa, O., Štípská, P. et al., 2008. Vertical extrusion and horizontal channel flow of orogenic lower crust: key exhumation mechanisms in large hot orogens? Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 26(2), 273-297.

  15. Magma chamber evolution: implication for the generation of continental crust: A case study in Kekeli batholith, North Qilian Orogenic Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, H.; Niu, Y.

    2013-12-01

    plus minor other felsic minerals (Kfs, Qtz). The charnockite sample QL10-26 has the highest TiO2, pyroxene with Amp reaction rims and the most radiogenic WR-Hf (ɛHf(t) = 26) and therefore represent the most primitive mafic endmember. The leucogranite samples have the lowest ɛHf(t) and ɛNd(t) and thus represent the crustal endmember. Other samples with intermediate composition between these two endmembers also have the intermediate isotopic compositions in between. The various zircon types with complex internal structures present in most samples reflect complex source materials. All these observations are consistent with the scenario that the mantle-derived basaltic magmas interacted with granitic magmas derived from the lower crust. Considering the petrotectonic associations, it is probable that the Kekeli Batholith may represent a fossil magma chamber that crystallized at the base of a continental arc crust associated with a subduction zone. Schmitz, M.D., Vervoort, J.D., Bowring, S.A., Patchett, P.J., 2004. Decoupling of the Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd isotope systems during the evolution of granulitic lower crust beneath southern Africa. Geology 32, 405.

  16. Shallow origin for South Atlantic Dupal Anomaly from lower continental crust: Geochemical evidence from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 26°S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regelous, Marcel; Niu, Yaoling; Abouchami, Wafa; Castillo, Pat R.

    2009-09-01

    We measured trace element concentrations and Pb isotope compositions of fresh volcanic glass samples from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 26°S, and from nearby off-axis seamounts. The samples have previously been studied for major elements and Sr-Nd-He isotopes. All samples are depleted MORB, and include some of the most incompatible trace element depleted lavas yet reported from the Atlantic. The seamount lavas are more depleted in highly incompatible elements than the axial lavas, but have high Sr, Pb and Eu concentrations, relative to REE of similar incompatibility. The lavas with the highest Sr/Nd, Pb/Ce and Eu/Eu* have the highest 3He/4He (up to 11.0 R/RA) ratios and the lowest incompatible trace element concentrations. They also have the highest 87Sr/86Sr (up to 0.7036) and 208Pb/204Pb for a given 206Pb/204Pb ratio, which are characteristics of lavas from the Dupal Anomaly in the South Atlantic, and of many EM-1 type intraplate lavas generally. Our data place constraints on the origin of the Dupal Anomaly. The enrichments in Sr, Pb and Eu, together with the low Ca/Al ratios of the seamount lavas indicate that their mantle source consists of material that at one time contained plagioclase, and must therefore have resided at crustal pressures. We argue that the trace element and isotopic compositions of the seamount lavas are best explained by derivation from a mantle source contaminated with lower continental crust, which was introduced into the upper mantle during continental rifting and breakup in the South Atlantic. Our results support previous suggestions that the Dupal Anomaly in the South Atlantic has a relatively recent, shallow origin in lower continental crust and continental lithospheric mantle, rather than in recycled material supplied from the deeper mantle by plumes. Plate reconstructions place the Parana-Etendeka flood basalt province over the central part of the Dupal Anomaly at the time of rifting of South America and Africa at 134 Ma. The flood

  17. Petrologic and chemical changes in ductile shear zones as a function of depth in the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xin-Yue

    Petrologic and geochemical changes in ductile shear zones are important for understanding deformational and geochemical processes of the continental crust. This study examines three shear zones that formed under conditions varying from lower greenschist facies to upper amphibolite facies in order to document the petrologic and geochemical changes of deformed rocks at various metamorphic grades. The studied shear zones include two greenschist facies shear zones in the southern Appalachians and an upper amphibolite facies shear zone in southern Ontario. The mylonitic gneisses and mylonites in the Roses Mill shear zone of central Virginia are derived from a ferrodiorite protolith and characterized by a lower greenschist facies mineral assemblage. Both pressure solution and recrystallization were operative deformation mechanisms during mylonitization in this shear zone. Strain-driven dissolution and solution transfer played an important role in the mobilization of felsic components (Si, Al, K, Na, and Ca). During mylonitization, 17% to 32% bulk rock volume losses of mylonites are mainly attributed to removal of these mobile felsic components by a fluid phase. Mafic components (Fe, Mg, Ti, Mn and P) and trace elements, REE, Y, V and Sc, were immobile. At Rosman, North Carolina, the Brevard shear zone (BSZ) shows a deformational transition from the coarse-grained Henderson augen gneiss (HAG) to proto-mylonite, mylonite and ultra-mylonite. The mylonites contain a retrograde mineral assemblage as a product of fluid-assisted chemical breakdown of K-feldspar and biotite at higher greenschist facies conditions. Recrystallization and intra-crystalline plastic deformation are major deformation mechanisms in the BSZ. Fluid-assisted mylonitization in the BSZ led to 6% to 23% bulk volume losses in mylonites. During mylonitization, both major felsic and mafic elements and trace elements, Rb, Sr, Zr, V, Sc, and LREE were mobile; however, the HREEs were likely immobile. A shear zone

  18. Geothermal modelling of faulted metamorphic crystalline crust: a new model of the Continental Deep Drilling Site KTB (Germany)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szalaiová, Eva; Rabbel, Wolfgang; Marquart, Gabriele; Vogt, Christian

    2015-11-01

    The area of the 9.1-km-deep Continental Deep Drillhole (KTB) in Germany is used as a case study for a geothermal reservoir situated in folded and faulted metamorphic crystalline crust. The presented approach is based on the analysis of 3-D seismic reflection data combined with borehole data and hydrothermal numerical modelling. The KTB location exemplarily contains all elements that make seismic prospecting in crystalline environment often more difficult than in sedimentary units, basically complicated tectonics and fracturing and low-coherent strata. In a first step major rock units including two known nearly parallel fault zones are identified down to a depth of 12 km. These units form the basis of a gridded 3-D numerical model for investigating temperature and fluid flow. Conductive and advective heat transport takes place mainly in a metamorphic block composed of gneisses and metabasites that show considerable differences in thermal conductivity and heat production. Therefore, in a second step, the structure of this unit is investigated by seismic waveform modelling. The third step of interpretation consists of applying wavenumber filtering and log-Gabor-filtering for locating fractures. Since fracture networks are the major fluid pathways in the crystalline, we associate the fracture density distribution with distributions of relative porosity and permeability that can be calibrated by logging data and forward modelling of the temperature field. The resulting permeability distribution shows values between 10-16 and 10-19 m2 and does not correlate with particular rock units. Once thermohydraulic rock properties are attributed to the numerical model, the differential equations for heat and fluid transport in porous media are solved numerically based on a finite difference approach. The hydraulic potential caused by topography and a heat flux of 54 mW m-2 were applied as boundary conditions at the top and bottom of the model. Fluid flow is generally slow and

  19. Iron, zinc, magnesium and uranium isotopic fractionation during continental crust differentiation: The tale from migmatites, granitoids, and pegmatites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Telus, Myriam; Dauphas, Nicolas; Moynier, Frédéric; Tissot, François L. H.; Teng, Fang-Zhen; Nabelek, Peter I.; Craddock, Paul R.; Groat, Lee A.

    2012-11-01

    The causes of some stable isotopic variations in felsic rocks are not well understood. In particular, the origin of the heavy Fe isotopic compositions (i.e., high δ56Fe values, deviation in ‰ of the 56Fe/54Fe ratio relative to IRMM-014) of granites with SiO2 > 70 wt.% compared with less silicic rocks is still debated. It has been interpreted to reflect isotopic fractionation during late stage aqueous fluid exsolution, magma differentiation, partial melting, or Soret (thermal) diffusion. The present study addresses this issue by comparing the Fe isotopic compositions of a large range of differentiated crustal rocks (whole rocks of migmatites, granitoids, and pegmatites; mineral separates) with the isotopic compositions of Zn, Mg and U. The samples include granites, migmatites and pegmatites from the Black Hills, South Dakota (USA), as well as I-, S-, and A-type granitoids from Lachlan Fold Belt (Australia). The nature of the protolith (i.e., I- or S-type) does not influence the Fe isotopic composition of granitoids. Leucosomes (partial melts in migmatites) tend to have higher δ56Fe values than melanosomes (melt residues) indicating that partial melting of continental crust material can possibly fractionate Fe isotopes. No clear positive correlation is found between the isotopic compositions of Mg, U and Fe, which rules out the process of Soret diffusion in the systems studied here. Zinc isotopes were measured to trace fluid exsolution because Zn can easily be mobilized by aqueous fluids as chloride complexes. Pegmatites and some granitic rocks with high δ56Fe values also have high δ66Zn values. In addition, high-SiO2 granites show a large dispersion in the Zn/Fe ratio that cannot easily be explained by magma differentiation alone. These results suggest that fluid exsolution is responsible for some of the Fe isotopic fractionation documented in felsic rocks and in particular in pegmatites. However, some granites with high δ56Fe values have unfractionated δ66

  20. Formation of continental crust in a temporally linked arc magma system from 5 to 30 km depth: ~ 90 Ma plutonism in the Cascades Crystalline Core composite arc section

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratschbacher, B. C.; Miller, J. S.; Kent, A. J.; Miller, R. B.; Anderson, J. L.; Paterson, S. R.

    2015-12-01

    Continental crust has an andesitic bulk composition with a mafic lower crust and a granodioritic upper crust. The formation of stratified continental crust in general and the vertical extent of processes active in arc crustal columns leading to the differentiation of primitive, mantle-derived melts entering the lower crust are highly debated. To investigate where in the crustal column magma mixing, fractionation, assimilation and crystal growth occur and to what extent, we study the ~ 90 Ma magmatic flare-up event of the Cascades arc, a magma plumbing system from ~ 5 to 30 km depth. We focus on three intrusive complexes, emplaced at different depths during major regional shortening in an exceptionally thick crust (≥ 55 km1) but which are temporally related: the upper crustal Black Peak intrusion (1-3 kbar at 3.7 to 11 km; ~ 86.8 to 91.7 Ma2), the mid-crustal Mt. Stuart intrusion (3.5-4.0 kbar at 13 to 15 km; 90.8 and 96.3 Ma3) and the deep crustal Tenpeak intrusion (7 to 10 kbar at 25 to 37 km; 89.7 to 92.3 Ma4). These intrusive complexes are well characterized by geochronology showing that they have been constructed incrementally by multiple magma batches over their lifespans and thus allow the monitoring and comparison of geochemical parameters over time at different depths. We use a combination of whole rock major and trace element data and isotopes combined with detailed investigation of amphibole, which has been recognized to be important in the generation of calc-alkaline rocks in arcs to test the following hypotheses: (a) compositional bimodality is produced in the lower crust, whereas upper crustal levels are dominated by mixing to form intermediate compositions, or (b) differentiation occurs throughout the crustal column with different crystallizing phases and their compositions controlling the bulk chemistry. 1. Miller et al. 2009: GSA Special Paper 456, p. 125-149 2. Shea 2014: PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3. Anderson et al. 2012

  1. Paternal lineages signal distinct genetic contributions from British Loyalists and continental Africans among different Bahamian islands.

    PubMed

    Simms, Tanya M; Martinez, Emanuel; Herrera, Kristian J; Wright, Marisil R; Perez, Omar A; Hernandez, Michelle; Ramirez, Evelyn C; McCartney, Quinn; Herrera, Rene J

    2011-12-01

    Over the past 500 years, the Bahamas has been influenced by a wide array of settlers, some of whom have left marked genetic imprints throughout the archipelago. To assess the extent of each group's genetic contributions, high-resolution Y-chromosome analyses were performed, for the first time, to delineate the patriarchal ancestry of six islands in the Northwest (Abaco and Grand Bahama) and Central (Eleuthera, Exuma, Long Island, and New Providence) Bahamas and their genetic relationships with previously published reference populations. Our results reveal genetic signals emanating primarily from African and European sources, with the predominantly sub-Saharan African and Western European haplogroups E1b1a-M2 and R1b1b1-M269, respectively, accounting for greater than 75% of all Bahamian patrilineages. Surprisingly, we observe notable discrepancies among the six Bahamian populations in their distribution of these lineages, with E1b1a-M2 predominating Y-chromosomes in the collections from Abaco, Exuma, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, and New Providence, whereas R1b1b1-M269 is found at elevated levels in the Long Island population. Substantial Y-STR haplotype variation within sub-haplogroups E1b1a7a-U174 and E1b1ba8-U175 (greater than any continental African collection) is also noted, possibly indicating genetic influences from a variety of West and Central African groups. Furthermore, differential European genetic contributions in each island (with the exception of Exuma) reflect settlement patterns of the British Loyalists subsequent to the American Revolution.

  2. Continental hyperextension, mantle exhumation and thin oceanic crust at the continent-ocean transition, West Iberia: new insights from wide-angle seismic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davy, Richard; Minshull, Tim; Bayrakci, Gaye; Bull, Jon; Klaeschen, Dirk; Papenberg, Cord; Reston, Timothy; Sawyer, Dale; Zelt, Colin

    2016-04-01

    Anomalously thin oceanic crust and expanses of exhumed and serpentinised mantle material at magma-poor rift margins are now a globally observed phenomena that characterizes the seaward limit of the continent-ocean transition. Hyperextension of continental crust at the Deep Galicia rifted margin in the North Atlantic has been accommodated by the rotation of continental fault blocks, which are underlain by the S-reflector, an interpreted detachment fault, along which exhumed and serpentinized mantle peridotite is observed. West of these features, the enigmatic Peridotite Ridge has been suggested to delimit the seaward extent of the continent-ocean transition. An outstanding question at this margin is where oceanic crust begins, with little existing data to constrain this boundary and a lack of clear seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies. Here we present results from a 160-km-long wide-angle seismic profile (WE-1). Forward modelling and travel time tomography models of the crustal compressional velocity structure reveal highly thinned and rotated crustal blocks overlying the S-reflector, which correlates with the 6.0 - 7.0 kms-1 velocity contours, corresponding to peridotite serpentinization of 60 - 30 %, respectively. West of the Peridotite Ridge we observe a basement layer which is 2.8 - 3.5 km thick in which velocities increase smoothly and rapidly from ˜4.6 kms-1 to 7.3 - 7.6 kms-1,with an average velocity gradient of 1.00 s-1. Below this, velocities slowly increase toward typical mantle velocities. Such a downward increase into mantle velocities is interpreted as decreasing serpentinization of mantle material with depth. However, sparse Moho reflections indicate the onset of an anomalously thin oceanic crust, which increases in thickness from ˜0.5 km to ˜1.5 km over a distance of 35 km, seaward.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Crustal structure of the Altiplano from broadband regional waveform modeling: Implications for the composition of thick continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swenson, Jennifer L.; Beck, Susan L.; Zandt, George

    2000-01-01

    We have modeled the full waveforms from six intermediate-depth and two shallow earthquakes recorded at regional distances by the BANJO Broadband Andean Joint Experiment (BANJO) and Seismic Exploration of the Deep Altiplano (SEDA) portable seismic networks in the central Andes. In this study we utilize data from those BANJO and SEDA stations located within the Altiplano and Eastern Cordillera. We used reflectivity synthetic seismograms and a grid search to constrain four parameters of the Altiplano-Eastern Cordillera lithosphere: crustal thickness, average crustal velocity (Vp), and crustal and upper mantle Poisson's ratios (σcrust and σmantle). Using our grid search, we investigated the crustal and upper mantle structure along 36 individual event station paths and applied forward modeling to 56 event station paths. Robust models for the Altiplano that provide the best overall fit between the data and synthetic seismograms are characterized by an average Vp of 5.75-6.25 km/s, crustal thicknesses of 60-65 km, σcrust = 0.25, and σmantle = 0.27-0.29. We find a north-south variation in the structure of the Altiplano, with the crust south of the BANJO transect characterized by either lower than average crustal P wave velocities or a slightly higher σcrust relative to crust north of the BANJO transect. These results are consistent with a model of crustal thickening caused predominantly by tectonic shortening of felsic crust, rather than by underplating or magmatic intrusion from the mantle.

  5. Moroccan crustal response to continental drift.

    PubMed

    Kanes, W H; Saadi, M; Ehrlich, E; Alem, A

    1973-06-01

    The formation and development of a zone of spreading beneath the continental crust resulted in the breakup of Pangea and formation of the Atlantic Ocean. The crust of Morocco bears an extremely complete record of the crustal response to this episode of mantle dynamics. Structural and related depositional patterns indicate that the African margin had stabilized by the Middle Jurassic as a marine carbonate environment; that it was dominated by tensile stresses in the early Mesozoic, resulting in two fault systems paralleling the Atlantic and Mediterranean margins and a basin and range structural-depositional style; and that it was affected by late Paleozoic metamorphism and intrusion. Mesozoic events record the latter portion of African involvement in the spreading episode; late Paleozoic thermal orogenesis might reflect the earlier events in the initiation of the spreading center and its development beneath significant continental crust. In that case, more than 100 million years were required for mantle dynamics to break up Pangea.

  6. Moroccan crustal response to continental drift.

    PubMed

    Kanes, W H; Saadi, M; Ehrlich, E; Alem, A

    1973-06-01

    The formation and development of a zone of spreading beneath the continental crust resulted in the breakup of Pangea and formation of the Atlantic Ocean. The crust of Morocco bears an extremely complete record of the crustal response to this episode of mantle dynamics. Structural and related depositional patterns indicate that the African margin had stabilized by the Middle Jurassic as a marine carbonate environment; that it was dominated by tensile stresses in the early Mesozoic, resulting in two fault systems paralleling the Atlantic and Mediterranean margins and a basin and range structural-depositional style; and that it was affected by late Paleozoic metamorphism and intrusion. Mesozoic events record the latter portion of African involvement in the spreading episode; late Paleozoic thermal orogenesis might reflect the earlier events in the initiation of the spreading center and its development beneath significant continental crust. In that case, more than 100 million years were required for mantle dynamics to break up Pangea. PMID:17735922

  7. Reconstruction of Holocene southern African continental climate using biomarkers from salt pan sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belz, Lukas; Schüller, Irka; Wehrmann, Achim; Wilkes, Heinz

    2015-04-01

    The climate system of southern Africa is strongly influenced by large scale atmospheric and marine circulation processes and, therefore, very sensitive to global climate change. Recent publications provided evidence for strong spatial and temporal climate variability in southern Africa over the Holocene. It is of major importance to understand the mechanisms driving the southern African climate system in order to estimate regional implications of current global change. However, proxy datasets from continental geoarchives especially of the semi-arid western Kalahari region are still scarce. A main problem is the absence of conventional continental climatic archives, due to the lack of lacustrine systems. In this study we are exploring the utility of sediments from western Kalahari salt pans, i.e. local depressions which are flooded temporarily during rainfall events. Besides the analyses of basic geochemical bulk parameters including TOC, δ13Corg, TIC, δ13Ccarb, δ18Ocarb, TN, δ15N, the paleo-climatic approach focuses on reconstruction of local vegetation assemblages to identify changes in the ecosystem. This is pursued using plant biomarkers, particularly leaf wax n-alkanes and n-alcohols and their stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures. Preliminary results show prominent shifts in n-alkane distribution and δ13C values of the C33 homologue during late Pleistocene and early Holocene. These shifts correlate to changes of the TOC content. Our data indicate changes in carbon sources which possibly reflect major environmental changes.

  8. Late Mesozoic North African continental margin: Sedimentary sequences and subsidence history

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhnt, W.; Obert, D.

    1988-08-01

    Cretaceous facies types and subsidence history have been studied along two well outcropping and almost complete transversals through the Tellian units of the Mesozoic North African margin, the Western Rif (Morocco), and the Babors (Algeria). Sedimentologic observations and characteristic foraminiferal assemblages enabled estimates for Late Cretaceous paleobathymetries. Both palinspastic reconstruction and sedimentologic and biofacies analyses led to the following results. (1) The morphology and evolution of the Cretaceous North African margin, which in general represents a classic passive continental margin, were complicated by various factors such as Late Cretaceous compressional and lateral movements, the onset of (tectonically controlled ) diapirism, and the existence of intramarginal highs and basins. (2) The Cretaceous subsidence history of both areas can be divided into four stages which are accompanied by characteristic sedimentary formations: (I) distension and subsidence of the margin (Early Cretaceous); (II) a first compressional phase with uplift and slight metamorphism in the Albian/early Cenomanian which affected mainly the northerly paleogeographic zones, accompanied by first diapiric movements and resedimentation of Triassic saliferous material; (III) a Late Cretaceous stage of subsidence (Cenomanian-Santonian); and (IV) a second compressional phase starting with the Campanian and reflected by the formation of sedimentary klippes and olistostromes. (3) As a general trend, sedimentary basins deepened from south to north during Campanian/Maastrichtian time, giving rise to a characteristic succession of bathymetric zones which have been observed on both transversals.

  9. MORB mantle hosts the missing Eu (Sr, Nb, Ta and Ti) in the continental crust: New perspectives on crustal growth, crust-mantle differentiation and chemical structure of oceanic upper mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Yaoling; O'Hara, Michael J.

    2009-09-01

    We have examined the high quality data of 306 mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) glass samples from the East Pacific Rise (EPR), near-EPR seamounts, Pacific Antarctic Ridge (PAR), near-PAR seamounts, Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), and near-MAR seamounts. The data show a correlated variation between Eu/Eu* and Sr/Sr*, and both decrease with decreasing MgO, pointing to the effect of plagioclase crystallization. The observation that samples with MgO > 9.5 wt.% (before plagioclase on the liquidus) show Eu/Eu* > 1 and Sr/Sr* > 1 and that none of the major phases (i.e., olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, spinel and garnet) in the sub-ridge mantle melting region can effectively fractionate Eu and Sr from otherwise similarly incompatible elements indicates that the depleted MORB mantle (DMM) possesses excess Sr and Eu, i.e., [Sr/Sr*]DMM > 1 and [Eu/Eu*]DMM > 1. Furthermore, the well-established observation that DNb ≈ DTh, DTa ≈ DU and DTi ≈ DSm during MORB mantle melting, yet primitive MORB melts all have [Nb/Th]PMMORB > 1, [Ta/U]PMMORB > 1 and [Ti/Sm]PMMORB > 1 (where PM indicates primitive mantle normalized), also points to the presence of excess Nb, Ta and Ti in the DMM, i.e., [Nb/Th]PMDMM > 1, [Ta/U]PMDMM > 1 and [Ti/Sm]PMDMM > 1. The excesses of Eu, Sr, Nb, Ta and Ti in the DMM complement the well-known deficiencies of these elements in the bulk continental crust (BCC). These new observations, which support the notion that the DMM and BCC are complementary in terms of the overall abundances of incompatible elements, offer new insights into the crust-mantle differentiation. These observations are best explained by partial melting of amphibolite of MORB protolith during continental collision, which produces andesitic melts with a remarkable compositional (major and trace element abundances as well as key elemental ratios) similarity to the BCC, as revealed by andesites in southern Tibet produced during the India-Asia continental collision. An average amphibolite of MORB

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  11. Continental crust subducted deeply into lithospheric mantle: the driving force of Early Carboniferous magmatism in the Variscan collisional orogen (Bohemian Massif)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janoušek, Vojtěch; Schulmann, Karel; Lexa, Ondrej; Holub, František; Franěk, Jan; Vrána, Stanislav

    2014-05-01

    The vigorous Late Devonian-Early Carboniferous plutonic activity in the core of the Bohemian Massif was marked by a transition from normal-K calc-alkaline, arc-related (~375-355 Ma), through high-K calc-alkaline (~346 Ma) to (ultra-)potassic (343-335 Ma) suites, the latter associated with mainly felsic HP granulites enclosing Grt/Spl mantle peridotite bodies. The changing chemistry, especially an increase in K2O/Na2O and 87Sr/86Sri with decrease in 143Nd/144Ndi in the basic end-members, cannot be reconciled by contamination during ascent. Instead it has to reflect the character of the mantle sources, changing over time. The tectonic model invokes an oceanic subduction passing to subduction of the attenuated Saxothuringian crust under the rifted Gondwana margin (Teplá-Barrandian and Moldanubian domains). The deep burial of this mostly refractory felsic metaigneous material is evidenced by the presence of coesite/diamond (Massonne 2001; Kotková et al. 2011) in the detached UHP slices exhumed through the subduction channel and thrusted over the Saxothuringian basement, and by the abundance of felsic HP granulites (> 2.3 GPa), some bearing evidence for small-scale HP melt separation, in the orogen's core (Vrána et al. 2013). The subduction channel was most likely formed by 'dirty' serpentinites contaminated by the melts/fluids derived from the underlying continental-crust slab (Zheng 2012). Upon the passage through the orogenic mantle, the continental crust-slab derived material not only contaminated the adjacent mantle forming small bodies/veins of pyroxenites (Becker 1996), glimmerites (Becker et al. 1999) or even phlogopite- and apatite-bearing peridotites (Naemura et al. 2009) but the felsic HP-HT granulites also sampled the individual peridotite types at various levels. Eventually the subducted felsic material would form an (U)HP continental wedge under the forearc/arc region, to be later redistributed under the Moldanubian crust by channel flow and crustal

  12. First findings of Paleo- and Mesoarchean zircons in the rocks from the Central Arctic province of oceanic rises as an evidence of the ancient continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeev, S. A.; Presnyakov, S. L.; Antonov, A. V.; Belyatsky, B. V.; Rodionov, N. V.; Shevchenko, S. S.

    2015-07-01

    This report presents the results of local U-Pb zircon dating (SIMS SHRIMP II) for a sample of migmatite gneiss dredged on the western slope of Alpha Ridge in the Arctic Ocean in the course of the "Arktika-2012" Russian polar expedition. The distribution of U-Pb ages of the examined zircon points to the Early Precambrian origin of this gneiss, for the bulk of the zircon was crystallized at least 3450 Ma ago from a magmatic melt under acidic volcanism at the primary crust formation. Zircon of the second generation was crystallized 3300 Ma ago under the remelting of acid volcanics and appearance of migmatite gneisses under the amphibolite facies of metamorphism. Most likely, a partial recrystallization of zircon and formation of microfolded structures and foliation took place 3000 Ma ago at the stage of rocks deformation. The latest zircon was formed 1900 Ma ago from the crust fluid or melt under the low-gradient metamorphism. In view of the possibility of the appearance of the treated clastogenic gneiss fragment under current oceanic erosion, the obtained results allow one to affirm that the occurrence of a fragment of the most ancient sialic continental crust formed at least 3450 Ma ago is possible at the submarine rises of the Arctic Ocean (Alpha Ridge and the Mendeleev Rise).

  13. Seismic structure of the crust and lithospheric mantle of the southern African cratonic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youssof, M.; Thybo, H.; Artemieva, I. M.; Levander, A.

    2013-12-01

    We present a new seismic model for the structure of the crust and lithospheric mantle in southern Africa constrained by a joint study of seismic receiver functions and finite-frequency tomography, using the high-quality data from the South Africa Seismic Experiment (SASE). A) The crust has a highly heterogeneous structure with short wavelength variations in (i) thickness, (ii) composition (reflected in Vp/Vs-ratio calculated for all SASE stations), and (iii) Moho sharpness (which is quantified and mapped for the entire region) (Youssof et al., Tectonophysics, in review). By mapping these three parameters, we distinguish ~20 crustal blocks that do not everywhere coincide with surface tectonic features. Our RFs also demonstrate strong azimuthal anisotropy in the crust, with a typical crustal contribution to the total S-wave splitting of at least 30%. Spatial correlation of the S-wave polarization directions of crustal and mantle anisotropy indicates (i) the presence of three distinct Archean lithospheric terranes and (ii) coupling between the crust and lithospheric mantle in most of the study area, with a strong decoupling in western Kaapvaal where the crustal anisotropy is strongest. The similarity of anisotropy directions in the crust and mantle beneath much of the Kaapvaal craton indicates that (a) the seismic anisotropy originates at the time of cratonization and (b) the observed correspondence between the present direction of absolute plate motion (APM) and lithosphere anisotropy is coincidental. B) A new 3D high-resolution seismic model of the lithospheric mantle has been determined from finite frequency tomographic inversions of teleseismic P- and S- body wave data. The two velocity models are very similar in structure, but differ in the relative P- and S-wave velocity anomalies. We find that: 1) the fast lithospheric keels extends very deep, perhaps to depths of 300-350 km and 250 km beneath the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons, respectively, and 2) the Archean

  14. Estimation of the influence of daily rotation of the earth on the stress state of the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebetskii, Yu. L.

    2016-07-01

    The problem of formation of additional planetary stresses in the crust initiated by the action of tangential inertia mass forces that are caused by the daily rotation of the Earth is considered. It is established that the stress state formed in the crust has three levels of different geodynamic types: horizontal tension, shear, and compression with a meridional orientation of maximum compression. It is shown that the revealed deep zonality of planetary stresses can explain the regularity of representation of ruptures of various types for planetary fracturing.

  15. Growth of continental crust and its episodic reworking over >800 Ma: evidence from Hf-Nd isotope data on the Pietersburg block (South Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurent, Oscar; Zeh, Armin; Moyen, Jean-François; Doucelance, Régis; Martin, Hervé

    2014-05-01

    The formation and evolution of the continental crust during the Precambrian, and in particular during the Archaean eon (4.0-2.5 Ga), is still a matter of debate. In particular, it is not yet clear in which tectonic environment the genesis of crust took place and how the large volume of granitoid rocks that form ~70% of the Archaean crust were extracted from the mantle. Many studies highlighted that radiogenic isotope systems, especially Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd, are powerful tools to unravel the respective extent of crustal growth and recycling in Archaean terranes. This work presents coupled Hf and Nd isotope data (analyzed both in situ in accessory minerals and in whole rock samples) of Meso- to Neoarchaean granitoids, applied to unravel the processes of crust formation and evolution of the Pietersburg crustal block in South Africa. This crustal segment, the northermost one of the Archaean Kaapvaal Craton, is separated from older crust (3.65-3.10 Ga) by a large-scale suture zone, and the processes related to amalgamation of both blocks and their subsequent evolution are still unclear. The Pietersburg block is made up of a wide range of Archaean granitoid rocks, including tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) series, high-K monzogranites as well as (grano)diorites belonging to the so-called "sanukitoid" group [1], all intruded by late Paleoproterozoic alkaline complexes. Age determinations highlighted two stages of granitoid formation: (1) TTG magmatism took place episodically over >400 Ma between 3.34 and 2.89 Ga, with a major pulse at 2.97-2.90 Ga; while (2) all the other (high-K) granitoid types emplaced subsequently between 2.84 and 2.69 Ga before a long magmatic shutdown until the intrusion of alkaline complexes at ~2.00 Ga [2-3]. Isotope systematics reveal that these two stages are related to juvenile crust formation and crust reworking, respectively. Indeed, all Hf-Nd isotope data from TTG gneisses are suprachondritic, pointing to a juvenile origin and precluding

  16. Brittle extension of the continental crust along a rooted system of low-angle normal faults: Colorado River extensional corridor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    John, B. E.; Howard, K. A.

    1985-01-01

    A transect across the 100 km wide Colorado River extensional corridor of mid-Tertiary age shows that the upper 10 to 15 km of crystalline crust extended along an imbricate system of brittle low-angle normal faults. The faults cut gently down a section in the NE-direction of tectonic transport from a headwall breakaway in the Old Woman Mountains, California. Successively higher allochthons above a basal detachment fault are futher displaced from the headwall, some as much as tens of kilometers. Allochthonous blocks are tilted toward the headwall as evidenced by the dip of the cappoing Tertiary strata and originally horizontal Proterozoic diabase sheets. On the down-dip side of the corridor in Arizona, the faults root under the unbroken Hualapai Mountains and the Colorado Plateau. Slip on faults at all exposed levels of the crust was unidirectional. Brittle thinning above these faults affected the entire upper crust, and wholly removed it locally along the central corridor or core complex region. Isostatic uplift exposed metamorphic core complexes in the domed footwall. These data support a model that the crust in California moved out from under Arizona along an asymmetric, rooted normal-slip shear system. Ductile deformation must have accompanied mid-Tertiary crustal extension at deeper structural levels in Arizona.

  17. Constraints on the viscosity of the continental crust and mantle from GPS measurements and postseismic deformation models in western Mongolia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vergnolle, M.; Pollitz, F.; Calais, E.

    2003-01-01

    We use GPS measurements and models of postseismic deformation caused by seven M6.8 to 8.4 earthquakes that occurred in the past 100 years in Mongolia to assess the viscosity of the lower crust and upper mantle. We find an upper mantle viscosity between 1 ?? 1018 and 4 ?? 1018 Pa s. The presence of such a weak mantle is consistent with results from independent seismological and petrological studies that show an abnormally hot upper mantle beneath Mongolia. The viscosity of the lower crust is less well constrained, but a weak lower crust (3 ?? 1016 to 2 ?? 1017 Pa s) is preferred by the data. Using our best fit upper mantle and lower crust viscosities, we find that the postseismic effects of viscoelastic relaxation on present-day horizontal GPS velocities are small (<2 mm yr-1) but still persist 100 years after the 1905, M8.4, Bolnay earthquake. This study shows that the GPS velocity field in the Baikal-Mongolia area can be modeled as the sum of (1) a rigid translation and rotation of the whole network, (2) a 3-5 mm yr-1 simple shear velocity gradient between the Siberian platform to the north and northern China to the south, and (3) the contribution of postseismic deformation, mostly caused by the 1905 Bolnay-Tsetserleg sequence and by the smaller, but more recent, 1957 Bogd earthquake. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  18. The Taitao Granites: I-type granites formed by subduction of the Chile Ridge and its implication in growth of continental crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anma, Ryo

    2016-04-01

    Late Miocene to Early Pliocene granite plutons are exposed at the tip of the Taitao peninsula, the westernmost promontory of the Chilean coast, together with a contemporaneous ophiolite with a Penrose-type stratigraphy. Namely, the Taitao granites and the Taitao ohiolite, respectively, are located at ~30 km southeast of the Chile triple junction, where a spreading center of the Chile ridge system is subducting underneath the South America plate. This unique tectonic setting provides an excellent opportunity to study the generation processes of granitic magmas at a ridge subduction environment, and the complex magmatic interactions between the subducting ridge, overlying crust and sediments, and mantle. This paper reviews previous studies on the Taitao ophiolite/granite complex and use geochemical data and U-Pb age distributions of zircons separated from igneous and sedimentary rocks from the area to discuss the mechanism that formed juvenile magma of calc-alkaline I-type granites during ridge subduction. Our model implies that the magmas of the Taitao granites formed mainly due to partial melting of hot oceanic crust adjacent to the subducting mid-oceanic ridge that has been under influence of deep crustal contamination and/or metasomatized sub-arc mantle through slab window. The partial melting took place under garnet-free-amphibolite conditions. The juvenile magmas then incorporated a different amount of subducted sediments to form the I-type granites with various compositions. The Taitao granites provide an ideal case study field that shows the processes to develop continental crusts out of oceanic crusts through ridge subduction.

  19. Subduction of hydrated basalt of the oceanic crust: Implications for recycling of water into the upper mantle and continental growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rapp, R. P.

    1994-01-01

    Subduction zones are presently the dominant sites on Earth for recycling and mass transfer between the crust and mantle; they feed hydrated basaltic oceanic crust into the upper mantle, where dehydration reactions release aqueous fluids and/or hydrous melts. The loci for fluid and/or melt generation will be determined by the intersection of dehydration reaction boundaries of primary hydrous minerals within the subducted lithosphere with slab geotherms. For metabasalt of the oceanic crust, amphibole is the dominant hydrous mineral. The dehydration melting solidus, vapor-absent melting phase relationships; and amphibole-out phase boundary for a number of natural metabasalts have been determined experimentally, and the pressure-temperature conditions of each of these appear to be dependent on bulk composition. Whether or not the dehydration of amphibole is a fluid-generating or partial melting reaction depends on a number of factors specific to a given subduction zone, such as age and thickness of the subducting oceanic lithosphere, the rate of convergence, and the maturity of the subduction zone. In general, subduction of young, hot oceanic lithosphere will result in partial melting of metabasalt of the oceanic crust within the garnet stability field; these melts are characteristically high-Al2O3 trondhjemites, tonalites and dacites. The presence of residual garnet during partial melting imparts a distinctive trace element signature (e.g., high La/Yb, high Sr/Y and Cr/Y combined with low Cr and Y contents relative to demonstrably mantle-derived arc magmas). Water in eclogitized, subducted basalt of the oceanic crust is therefore strongly partitioned into melts generated below about 3.5 GPa in 'hot' subduction zones. Although phase equilibria experiments relevant to 'cold' subduction of hydrated natural basalts are underway in a number of high-pressure laboratories, little is known with respect to the stability of more exotic hydrous minerals (e.g., ellenbergite) and

  20. Two-stage exhumation of subducted Saxothuringian continental crust records underplating in the subduction channel and collisional forced folding (Krkonoše-Jizera Mts., Bohemian Massif)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeřábek, Petr; Konopásek, Jiří; Žáčková, Eliška

    2016-08-01

    The Krkonoše-Jizera Massif in the northern part of the Variscan Bohemian Massif provides insight into the exhumation mechanisms for subducted continental crust. The studied region exposes a relatively large portion of a flat-lying subduction-related complex that extends approximately 50 km away from the paleosuture. wide extent of HP-LT metamorphism has been confirmed by new P-T estimates indicating temperatures of 400-450 °C at 14-16 kbar and 450-520 °C at 14-18 kbar for the easternmost and westernmost parts of the studied area, respectively. A detailed study of metamorphic assemblages associated with individual deformation fabrics together with analysis of quartz deformation microstructures and textures allowed characterisation of the observed deformation structures in terms of their subduction-exhumation memory. An integration of the lithostratigraphic, metamorphic and structural data documents a subduction of distal and proximal parts of the Saxothuringian passive margin to high-pressure conditions and their subsequent exhumation during two distinct stages. The initial stage of exhumation has an adiabatic character interpreted as the buoyancy driven return of continental material from the subduction channel resulting in underplating and progressive nappe stacking at the base of the Teplá-Barrandian upper plate. With the transition from continental subduction to continental collision during later stages of the convergence, the underplated high-pressure rocks were further exhumed due to shortening in the accretionary wedge. This shortening is associated with the formation of large-scale recumbent forced folds extending across the entire studied area.

  1. Growth rate of the preserved continental crust: II. Constraints from Hf and O isotopes in detrital zircons from Greater Russian Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Christina Yan; Campbell, Ian H.; Stepanov, Aleksandr S.; Allen, Charlotte M.; Burtsev, Igor N.

    2011-03-01

    Detrital zircons from the Ob, Yenisey, Lena, Amur, Volga, Dnieper, Don and Pechora rivers have been analyzed for U-Th-Pb, O and Lu-Hf isotopes to constrain the growth rate of the preserved continental crust in Greater Russia. Four major periods of zircon crystallization, 0.1-0.55, 0.95-1.3, 1.45-2.0 and 2.5-2.9 Ga, were resolved from a compilation of 1366 zircon U/Pb ages. The Archean zircons have δ18O values lying between 4.53‰ and 7.33‰, whereas Proterozoic and Phanerozoic zircons have a larger range of δ18O values in each of the recognized U/Pb time intervals with maximum δ18O values up to 12‰. We interpret the zircons with δ18O between 4.5‰ and 6.5‰ to have been derived from a magmatic precursor that contains little or no sedimentary component. The variable δ18O values of the zircons were used to constrain the 176Lu/ 177Hf ratios of the crustal source region of the zircons, which, in turn, were used to calculate Hf model ages (T DMV). The crustal incubation time, the time difference between primitive crust formation (dated by T DMV) and crustal melting (dated by zircon U/Pb age), varies between 300 to 1000 Myr for the majority of analyzed zircon grains, but can be up to 2500 Myr. The average T DMV Hf model age weighted by the fraction of zircons in the river load is 2.12 Ga, which is in reasonable agreement with the area-weighted average of 2.25 Ga. The T DMV Hf model age crustal growth curve for zircons with mantle-like δ18O values (4.5-6.5‰), weighted by area, shows that growth of the Great Russian continental crust started at 4.2 Ga, and that there are two principal periods of crustal growth, 3.6-3.3 Ga and 0.8-0.6 Ga, which are separated by an interval of low but more or less continuous growth. An alternative interpretation, in which the average 176Lu/ 177Hf ratio (0.0115) of the continental crust is used for the Paleoproterozoic zircons from the Lena River, lowers the average T DMV age of these grains by about 500 Myr and delays the onset

  2. Fluids in deeply subducted continental crust: Petrology, mineral chemistry and fluid inclusion of UHP metamorphic veins from the Sulu orogen, eastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ze-Ming; Shen, Kun; Sun, Wei-Dong; Liu, Yong-Sheng; Liou, J. G.; Shi, Cao; Wang, Jin-Li

    2008-07-01

    The complex vein associations hosted in southern Sulu ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) eclogites contain quartz ± omphacite (or jadeite) ± kyanite ± allanite ± zoisite ± rutile ± garnet. These minerals have chemical compositions similar to those of host eclogites. Inclusions of polycrystalline quartz pseudomorphs after coesite were identified in vein allanite and garnet, and coesite inclusions were found in vein zircon. These facts suggest that the veins together with host eclogites have been subjected to synchronous UHP metamorphism. The vein minerals contain relatively high concentrations of rare earth elements (REE), high-field-strength elements (HFSE) and transition metal elements (TME). A kyanite-quartz vein has a whole-rock composition similar to adjacent UHP metamorphic granitic gneisses. Abundant primary multi-solid fluid inclusions trapped within UHP vein minerals contain complex daughter minerals of muscovite, calcite, anhydrite, magnetite, pyrite, apatite, celestite and liquid and gas phase of H 2O with solids up to 30-70% of the inclusion volume. The presence of daughter minerals anhydrite and magnetite indicates the subduction fluids were oxidizing, and provides a possible interpretation for the high oxygen fugacity of subduction zone magmas. These characteristics imply that the UHP vein minerals were crystallized from supercritical silicate-rich aqueous fluids that were in equilibrium with peak-UHP minerals, and that the fluids in deeply subducted continental crust may contain very high concentrations of silicate as well as HREE, HFSE and TME. Such fluids might have resulted in major fractionation between Nb and Ta, i.e. the UHP fluids have subchondritic Nb/Ta values, whereas the host eclogites after extraction of the fluids have suprachondritic Nb/Ta values. Therefore, voluminous residual eclogites with high Nb/Ta ratios may be the complementary suprachondritic reservoir capable of balancing the subchondritic depleted mantle and continental crust

  3. Continental hyperextension, mantle exhumation, and thin oceanic crust at the continent-ocean transition, West Iberia: New insights from wide-angle seismic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davy, R. G.; Minshull, T. A.; Bayrakci, G.; Bull, J. M.; Klaeschen, D.; Papenberg, C.; Reston, T. J.; Sawyer, D. S.; Zelt, C. A.

    2016-05-01

    Hyperextension of continental crust at the Deep Galicia rifted margin in the North Atlantic has been accommodated by the rotation of continental fault blocks, which are underlain by the S reflector, an interpreted detachment fault, along which exhumed and serpentinized mantle peridotite is observed. West of these features, the enigmatic Peridotite Ridge has been inferred to delimit the western extent of the continent-ocean transition. An outstanding question at this margin is where oceanic crust begins, with little existing data to constrain this boundary and a lack of clear seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies. Here we present results from a 160 km long wide-angle seismic profile (Western Extension 1). Travel time tomography models of the crustal compressional velocity structure reveal highly thinned and rotated crustal blocks separated from the underlying mantle by the S reflector. The S reflector correlates with the 6.0-7.0 km s-1 velocity contours, corresponding to peridotite serpentinization of 60-30%, respectively. West of the Peridotite Ridge, shallow and sparse Moho reflections indicate the earliest formation of an anomalously thin oceanic crustal layer, which increases in thickness from ~0.5 km at ~20 km west of the Peridotite Ridge to ~1.5 km, 35 km further west. P wave velocities increase smoothly and rapidly below top basement, to a depth of 2.8-3.5 km, with an average velocity gradient of 1.0 s-1. Below this, velocities slowly increase toward typical mantle velocities. Such a downward increase into mantle velocities is interpreted as decreasing serpentinization of mantle rock with depth.

  4. Rare earth geochemistry of Lewisian granulite-facies gneisses, northwest Scotland: Implications for the petrogenesis of the Archaean lower continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, Barry L.; Tarney, John

    1980-12-01

    Rare earth element (REE) data, together with data for major elements and 14 other trace elements, are presented for ultramafic, mafic, intermediate, tonalitic, trondhjemitic, anorthositic and microline gneisses, representative of the range of rock types making up the 2.9-b.y. Lewisian granulite complex of northwest Scotland. The data are used to constrain petrogenetic models for the Archaean lower crust. Ultramafic gneisses have flat REE patterns with 3-5 times chondrite abundance. The more Fe-rich mafic gneisses show slight light-REE enrichment, range up to 40 times chondritic and some have negative Eu anomalies. Intermediate gneisses have more fractionated REE distributions (Ce N/Yb N= 4-25) but with rather constant heavy REE. Tonalitic gneiss REE patterns are also strongly fractionated, show variable heavy-REE depletion and have positive Eu anomalies. REE patterns of trondhjemitic gneisses are very strongly fractionated (Ce N/Yb N up to ˜ 300), show strong heavy-REE depletion and most have marked positive anomalies. Anorthosites and microcline gneisses have similar REE distributions to the trondhjemites in spite of different major element compositions. Modelling of the REE and other trace element patterns of processes such as fractional crystallisation and partial melting suggests that whereas the mafic gneisses can be related by low-pressure fractional crystallisation, the more silicic gneisses can only be related by high-pressure partial melting of a mafic source. Most of the gneisses represent liquid compositions; few can be regarded as cumulates or the residues of partial melting. The computed average Lewisian granulite does have a positive Eu anomaly, but this is imparted by the more fractionated tonalites and trondhjemites and not by the more mafic components of the gneiss complex. Elements such as K, Rb, Cs, Th and U are removed from the lower crust by a fluid (CO 2-rich) not a melt phase during granulite-facies metamorphism. The Archean lower crust is

  5. Three-dimensional field perspective on deformation, flow, and growth of the lower continental crust (Dharwar craton, India)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chardon, Dominique; Jayananda, Mudlappa

    2008-02-01

    The study of fabric development and juvenile batholith emplacement across the tilted crustal section of the Eastern Dharwar craton shows that horizontal, constrictional deformation affected large volumes of the midcrust and lower crust at the time of regional partial melting and magmatic accretion. Constriction is achieved by a combination of coeval shallow and steep planar fabrics sharing a common horizontal elongation direction, two sets of conjugate strike-slip shears, and extensional shear zones. The Eastern Dharwar craton illustrates an end-member deformation mode by which a particularly weakened lithosphere responds to shortening by developing distributed, horizontal plane strain on a crustal scale, resulting from the combination of crustal shortening and lateral gravity-driven flow. Thinning accompanying constrictional deformation is interpreted as compensating for juvenile magmatic accretion and thickening of greenstone belts and as acting to maintain a stable crustal thickness. Such a midcrustal to lower crustal deformation process may provide a resolution of the batholithic room problem in a softened crust submitted to lateral shortening and may explain nearly isobaric retrograde pressure-temperature-time paths of high temperature-low pressure high-grade terrains.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Deep seismic data represent a key to understand the geometry and mechanism of continental rifting. The passive continental margin of NW-Africa is one of the oldest on earth, formed during the Upper Triassic-Lower Liassic rifting of the central Atlantic Ocean over 200 Ma. We present new and existing wide-angle and reflection seismic data from three study regions along the margin located in the North Moroccan salt basin, on the central continental margin offshore Safi and in the south, offshore Dakhla. In each of the study areas several combined wide-angle and reflection seismic profiles perpendicular and parallel to the margin have been acquired and forward modelled using comparable methods. The thickness of unthinned continental crust decreases from 36 km in the North to about 27 km in the South. In the North Moroccan Basin continental crust thins from originally 36 km to about 8 km in a 150 km wide zone. The basin itself is underlain by highly thinned continental crust. Offshore safi thinning of the continental crust is confined to a 130 km wide zone with no neighboring sedimentary basin underlain by continental crust. In both areas the zone of crustal thinning is characterised by the presence of large blocks and abundant salt diapirs. In the south crustal thinning is more rapid in a zone of 90 km and asymmetric with the upper crust thinning more closely to the continent than the lower crust, probably due to depth-dependent stretching and the presence of the precambrian Reguibat Ridge on land. Oceanic crust is characterised by a thickness of 7-8 km along the complete margin. Relatively high velocities of up to 7.5 km/s have been imaged between magnetic anomalies S1 and M25, and are probably related to changes in the spreading velocities at the time of the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian plate reorganisation. Volcanic activity seems to be confined to the region next to the Canary Islands, and is thus not related to the initial opening of the oceanic, which was related to no

  7. Coupling of Oceanic and Continental Crust During Eocene Eclogite-Facies Metamorphism: Evidence From the Monte Rosa Nappe, Western Alps, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapen, T. J.; Johnson, C. M.; Baumgartner, L. P.; Skora, S.; Mahlen, N. J.; Beard, B. L.

    2006-12-01

    Subduction of continental crust to HP-UHP metamorphic conditions requires overcoming density contrasts that are unfavorable to deep burial, whereas exhumation of these rocks can be reasonably explained through buoyancy-assisted transport in the subduction channel to more shallow depths. In the western Alps, both continental and oceanic lithosphere has been subducted to eclogite-facies metamorphic conditions. The burial and exhumation histories of these sections of lithosphere bear directly on the dynamics of subduction and the stacking of units within the subduction channel. We address the burial history of the continental crust with high precision U-Pb rutile and Lu-Hf garnet geochronology of the eclogite-facies Monte Rosa nappe (MR), western Alps, Italy. U-Pb rutile ages from quartz-carbonate-white mica-rutile veins that are hosted within eclogite and schist of the MR, Gressoney Valley, Italy, indicate that it was at eclogite-facies metamorphic conditions at 42.6 +/- 0.6 Ma. The sample area (Indren glacier, Furgg zone; Dal Piaz, 2001) consists of eclogite boudins that are surrounded by micaceous schist. Associated with the eclogite and schist are quartz-carbonate-white mica-rutile veins that formed in tension cracks in the eclogite and along the contact between eclogite and surrounding schist. Intrusion of the veins occurred at eclogite-facies metamorphic conditions (480-570°C, >1.3-1.4 GPa) based on textural relations, oxygen isotope thermometry, and geothermobarometry. Lu-Hf geochronology of garnet from a chloritoid-talc-garnet-phengite-quartz-calcite-pyrite - chalcopyrite bearing boudin within talc-chloritoid whiteschists of the MR, Val d'Ayas, Italy (Chopin and Monie, 1984; Pawlig, 2001) yields an age of 40.54 +/- 0.36 Ma. The talc-chloritoid whiteschists from the area record pressures and temperatures of 1.6-2.4 GPa and 500-530°C (Chopin and Monie, 1984; Le Bayon et al., 2006) indicating near UHP metamorphic conditions. Based on the age, P-T, and textural

  8. Lower crust exhumation and ongoing continental convergence in the Variscan Maures-Tanneron Massif, France, geological synthesis and numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerbault, Muriel; Schneider, Julie; Corsini, Michel; Reverso-Peila, Alexandre

    2015-04-01

    The Maures-Tanneron Massif together with Corsica and Sardinia compose the present day southeastern part of the Variscan belt. Pressure-temperature-time patterns were compiled to adress how rocks once forming a thick orogenic crust were exhumed, from burial conditions of ca. 10 kb and ca. 800°C. A continuous evolution from subduction to collision, from ca. 420 Ma to 290 Ma has recently been proposed by Schneider et al., 2014, ending with orthogonal Permean rifting. Here we complement this study by exploring the thermo-mechanical conditions prevailing during the massive exhumation of this orogenic crust. Based on field observations and petrological analysis indicative of the acceleration of partial melting during ongoing convergence, our numerical models test a scenario in which pre-thickened units located at 40-60 km depth, would have molten due to internal heating and burrial, and were progressively exhumed by gravitationally-driven instabilities to the surface, within ~15-25 Myrs. Assuming temperature dependent elasto-visco-plastic behavior, we have tested rheological layering including mafic or felsic units, far-field convergence and surface processes, as well as temperature-dependent melting conditions and density and viscosity evolution. In order to reproduce asymmetrical exhumation over the given time-scales and over an extent area of more than 50 km synchroneous with the development of compressional folds in the upper crust, a best fit was obtained for an applied far-field convergence of 0.5 cm/yr, equivalent to present day Alpine convergence rates, and a bulk crustal viscosity of at least 102° Pa.s. Crustal heat source had to contribute significantly, whereas a too shallow mantle heat source triggers exceedingly warm and fast exhumation. We propose that the evolution from transpressional to tensile conditions perpendicular to the orogenic axis (north-south Permean rifting versus East-West vergence of the orogenic structures), occurred progressively as

  9. 87Sr/86Sr Ratios in Carbonate From the Red Lake and Steep Rock Groups in Canada Suggest Rb-enriched Continental Crust was Influencing Seawater Chemistry Prior to 3.0 Ga

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satkoski, A.; Fralick, P. W.; Beard, B. L.; Johnson, C.

    2015-12-01

    Previous work has suggested that prior to 2.5 Ga, Sr isotope compositions of seawater were essentially mantle buffered and the effects of continental weathering on seawater chemistry were negligible. To test this, we collected Sr isotope data from 2.93 and 2.80 Ga carbonates that are part of the Red Lake and Steep Rock groups (Canada), respectively. To better understand carbonate formation and any post-depositional alteration, Sr isotopes are considered with O isotopes and REEs, as well as Rb and Sr contents, including correction for decay of 87Rb. All samples have Y/Ho ratios higher than chondrite and have positive La anomalies, which, combined with low Rb contents suggests that clastic contamination is negligible. Samples we consider near pristine have δ18O (VSMOW) values >20‰. Samples with the highest Y/Ho ratios and largest La anomalies from Red Lake and Steep Rock have initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios of 0.7018-0.7020. This Sr isotope composition is significantly more radiogenic than contemporaneous mantle (0.7011-0.7012), especially at a time when the isotopic difference between the crust and mantle was much less than today. This implies that radiogenic continental crust was emergent and shed detritus into the world's oceans prior to 3.0 Ga, in contrast with proposals for submerged continental crust, but in line with new estimates that continental crust at 3.0 Ga was 60-70% of current volume. We contend that this large amount of crust combined with enhanced Archean weathering could account for the radiogenic Sr isotope compositions we report here, and suggests a significant impact from continental weathering on ocean chemistry during the Archean.

  10. Continental growth through time by underplating of subducted oceanic crust: Evidence from kimberlites in South Africa and SW Pacific

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Lawrence A.; Neal, Clive R.

    1988-01-01

    In the dynamic model of plate tectonics, it is evident that crustal components are returned to the mantle by subduction. Chemical signatures of these subducted components were identified in ocean island volcanics and in island arc volcanics. Indeed, an origin involving a subducted protolith was postulated for certain types of xenoliths in kimberlite, including diamonds. Recent studies of eclogite xenoliths in kimberlite from southern Africa and megacrysts form the Malaitan alnoite, Solomon islands, indicate that lithospheric underplating by subducted oceanic crust has occurred in these two contrasting areas. The results of new eclogite studies from the Bellsbank kimberlite, South Africa, and isotopic data from the Malaitan alnoite megacryst suite. This forms the basis for discerning the role of lithospheric underplating in the growth of cratons and in the evolution of mantle-derived magma.

  11. Comprehensive Analysis of Pan-African Mitochondrial DNA Variation Provides New Insights into Continental Variation and Demography.

    PubMed

    Cerezo, María; Gusmão, Leonor; Černý, Viktor; Uddin, Nabeel; Syndercombe-Court, Denise; Gómez-Carballa, Alberto; Göbel, Tanja; Schneider, Peter M; Salas, Antonio

    2016-03-20

    Africa is the cradle of all human beings, and although it has been the focus of a number of genetic studies, there are many questions that remain unresolved. We have performed one of the largest and most comprehensive meta-analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages carried out in the African continent to date. We generated high-throughput mtDNA single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data (230 SNPs) from 2024 Africans, where more than 500 of them were additionally genotyped for the control region. These data were analyzed together with over 12,700 control region profiles collected from the literature, representing more than 300 population samples from Africa. Insights into the African homeland of humans are discussed. Phylogeographic patterns for the African continent are shown at a high phylogeographic resolution as well as at the population and regional levels. The deepest branch of the mtDNA tree, haplogroup L0, shows the highest sub-haplogroup diversity in Southeast and East Africa, suggesting this region as the homeland for modern humans. Several demographic estimates point to the coast as a facilitator of human migration in Africa, but the data indicate complex patterns, perhaps mirroring the effect of recent continental-scaled demographic events in re-shaping African mtDNA variability.

  12. Comprehensive Analysis of Pan-African Mitochondrial DNA Variation Provides New Insights into Continental Variation and Demography.

    PubMed

    Cerezo, María; Gusmão, Leonor; Černý, Viktor; Uddin, Nabeel; Syndercombe-Court, Denise; Gómez-Carballa, Alberto; Göbel, Tanja; Schneider, Peter M; Salas, Antonio

    2016-03-20

    Africa is the cradle of all human beings, and although it has been the focus of a number of genetic studies, there are many questions that remain unresolved. We have performed one of the largest and most comprehensive meta-analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages carried out in the African continent to date. We generated high-throughput mtDNA single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data (230 SNPs) from 2024 Africans, where more than 500 of them were additionally genotyped for the control region. These data were analyzed together with over 12,700 control region profiles collected from the literature, representing more than 300 population samples from Africa. Insights into the African homeland of humans are discussed. Phylogeographic patterns for the African continent are shown at a high phylogeographic resolution as well as at the population and regional levels. The deepest branch of the mtDNA tree, haplogroup L0, shows the highest sub-haplogroup diversity in Southeast and East Africa, suggesting this region as the homeland for modern humans. Several demographic estimates point to the coast as a facilitator of human migration in Africa, but the data indicate complex patterns, perhaps mirroring the effect of recent continental-scaled demographic events in re-shaping African mtDNA variability. PMID:27020033

  13. An archean suture zone in the Tobacco Root Mountains? (1984) Evolution of Archean Continental Crust, SW Montana (1985)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mogk, D. W.; Kain, L.

    1985-01-01

    The Lake Plateau area of the Beartooth Mountains, Montana were mapped and geochemically sampled. The allochthonous nature of the Stillwater Complex was interpreted as a Cordilleran-style continental margin. The metamorphic and tectonic history of the Beartooth Mountains was addressed. The Archean geology of the Spanish Peaks area, northern Madison Range was addressed. A voluminous granulite terrain of supracrustal origin was identified, as well as a heretofore unknown Archean batholithic complex. Mapping, petrologic, and geochemical investigations of the Blacktail Mountains, on the western margin of the Wyoming Province, are completed. Mapping at a scale of 1:24000 in the Archean rocks of the Gravelly Range is near completion. This sequence is dominantly of stable-platform origin. Samples were collected for geothermometric/barometric analysis and for U-Pb zircon age dating. The analyses provide the basis for additional geochemical and geochronologic studies. A model for the tectonic and geochemical evolution of the Archean basement of SW Montana is presented.

  14. Mid to late proterozoic magmatism within Northeastern North America and its iplications for the growth of the continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclelland, J. M.

    1988-01-01

    Recent studies of the mangerite-charnockite-alaskite suite exposed in the Adirondack Highlands strongly suggest that these rocks were emplaced under anorogenic, or mildly extensional, conditions. The characteristic signatures of the rocks are high (FeO/FeO+MgO) and (FeO/Fe2O3); mildly alkaline to subalkaline and metaluminous trends; high Ga/Al2O3; and within plate concentrations of Nb vs Y, Ta vs Yb, Rb vs (Y+Nb), and Rb vs (Yb+Ta). Evolved members of the series are low in CaO and MgO and high in alkalies and halogens. All of these properties are consistent with anorogenic magmatism comprising acidic crustal melts and mantle derived mafic additions to the crust. Major and minor element trends, as well as field evidence, strongly suggest that the anorogenic acidic suite is coeval, but not comagmatic, with closely associated anorthositic massifs. Present outcrop configurations are consistent with the evolution of the acidic and anorthositic rocks in zoned, bimodal magma chambers cored by the mafic constituents and overlain by explosive, caldera-type volcanism. Age determinations indicate that the emplacement of the anorthosite-charnockite suite extended over approximately 500 Ma in the Grenville and adjacent Nain, Provinces.

  15. Limited Flow of Continental Crust at UHP Depths: Coupled Age and Trace-Element Analyses of Titanite in the Western Gneiss Region, Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garber, J. M.; Hacker, B. R.; Kylander-Clark, A. R.

    2015-12-01

    Coupled age and trace-element data from titanites in the Western Gneiss Region (WGR) of Norway suggest that continental crust underwent limited recrystallization and ductile flow through ~40 My of deep subduction and subsequent exhumation. Precambrian igneous titanites in granitic to tonalitic orthogneisses from the WGR were metastably preserved though Caledonian ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphism and variably recrystallized through subsequent amphibolite-facies metamorphism from ~420-385 Ma. The inherited Precambrian titanites are not present everywhere but rather cluster primarily in a cooler "southern domain" (peak T ~650oC) and a hotter "northern domain" (peak T ~750-800oC).Titanite data were collected using LASS (laser-ablation split stream inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry) at UCSB, and a principal component analysis (PCA) was used to define age and trace-element populations. These data indicate that inherited titanites are LREE-enriched, HFSE-enriched, and have higher Th/U, consistent with Precambrian neocrystallization from a granitic melt. In contrast, the recrystallized titanites have generally lower Th/U and flat, LREE-depleted, or hump-shaped trace-element patterns. These data suggest that (1) Caledonian titanite recrystallization occurred in the presence of LREE-depleted melts or fluids, or that (2) recrystallization was accompanied by a "typical" granitic melt, but that titanite/bulk-rock distribution coefficients are different for neo- and recrystallization; on-going whole-rock analyses will clarify these hypotheses. Critically, the geochemical signature of recrystallized titanite in felsic orthogneisses is comparable across the entire WGR - emphasizing that the petrologic process of titanite recrystallization was similar orogen-wide, but was less extensive in the domains where inherited titanite was preserved. In this case, large volumes of crust outside of the "old domains" may also have retained metastable titanite during subduction

  16. Continental environment variations (climate, erosion) recorded by Marine quaternary sediments of the northwestern and eastern African margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faugères, J. C.; Pujol, Cl.

    Samples collected from 4 sites on the northwestern and eastern African margins were used to test the reliability of marine sedimentary record of continental environmental variations, during the last Glacial and Interglacial climatic cycle. On the northwestern margin which is passive and stable (between Cape Verde and Cape Blanc), climatic variations are marked by parameters such as sedimentary facies, sedimentary dynamics, sedimentation rates or faunal assemblages. These parameters are controlled by climatic changes that modify continental environments (erosion conditions, rate of terrigenous supplies) and marine environments as well (sea-level, currents and biogenic sediment productivity). On the opposite, in the Gulf of Aden, 3 sites show the extent to which tectonics may affect the record of environment modifications due to climatic changes. In the East of the Gulf, on the Sukra margin that is passive but with young and still active structures, the continental slope is uneven with tectonic basins acting as sediment traps. Here, several parameters like sedimentation rates become unreliable for they no longer reflect the importance of terrigenous inputs nor that of primary productivity. Further to the West, the deep narrow trough of Alula Fartak and the epicontinental domain belonging to the Assal rift (Ghubbet el Kharab), are part of highly active tectonic and volcanic margins. Continental environment variations cease to be recorded through sedimentological parameters which are closely related to morpho-structural and volcanic factors.

  17. Strain localization in the middle- to upper continental crust: examples from the Patos and Pernambuco shear zones (Borborema Province, NE Brazil)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viegas, G.; Archanjo, C. J.; Hollanda, M. H.; Vauchez, A. R.

    2014-12-01

    The accommodation of deformation in the Earth's lithosphere typically results in a heterogeneous distribution of strain in the continental crust, which is a function of effective pressure, temperature and strain rate at different structural levels. In Northeast Brazil, the Borborema Province is characterized by an interconnected, crustal-scale shear zone system associated with a widespread granitic plutonism. Two of the most prominent structures of this system, the Patos and Pernambuco shear zones, are characterized by ~ 600 km long E-W striking mylonite belts in which strain localization processes are observed either in association with partial melting in the Patos strike-slip fault, or as zones of overprinting brittle-ductile deformation in the Pernambuco shear zone. Deformation mechanisms are distinct across the Patos shear zone, mainly marked by crystalline plasticity and diffusion creep in the high-temperature northern border, magmatic flow in the central region and dislocation creep coupled with microfracturing in the southern sector. The Espinho Branco migmatite (~ 565 Ma) acts as a weak rheological layer that accumulates strain in the northern portion of the fault. Alternatively, the absence of partial melting and the dominant cataclastic/plastic flow regime lead to grain-size sensitive strain localization at the southern border. The Pernambuco shear zone was nucleated at the vicinities of two granitoid batholiths at c.a. 588 Ma. Low-temperature mylonites adjacent to the batholiths show several microstructures indicating coeval activity of brittle-ductile deformation. Recent zircon U-Pb (SHRIMP) data on these mylonites yielded mean ages of ~ 539 Ma, suggesting successive events of thermal input and shearing within the structure. These features suggest that strain localization processes exert an important control on the rheology of the continental lithosphere; the accommodation of deformation in the middle crust is mainly attained by the presence of weak

  18. Early Cretaceous low-Mg# adakitic rocks in the southern margin of the central North China Craton: Partial melting of thickened lower continental crust and tectonic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, D.

    2015-12-01

    This paper reports new whole-rock geochemical, Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic, and zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopic data for Early Cretaceous intrusive rocks in the Sanmenxia-Houma area of central China, and uses these data to constrain the petrogenesis of low-Mg adakitic rocks (LMAR) and the spatial extent of the influence of the deeply subducted Yangtze slab during the Triassic evolution of this region. New zircon LA-ICP-MS U-Pb data indicate that the early- and late-stage southern Quli, Qiligou, and Gaomiao porphyritic quartz diorites, the Canfang granodiorite, and the northern Wangmao porphyritic quartz monzodiorite were emplaced during the Early Cretaceous (~130 Ma) and the late Early Cretaceous (116 Ma). These rocks are characterized by high Na2O/K2O, Sr/Y, and (La/Yb)n ratios as well as high Sr concentrations, low Mg# values, and low heavy rare earth element and Y concentrations, all of which indicate an LMAR affinity. The samples have relatively high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7054-0.7095), and low eNd(t) (-11.90 to -22.20) and eHf(t) (-16.7 to -32.7) values, indicative of a lower continental crust origin. The presence of Neoproterozoic (754-542 Ma) and inherited Late Triassic (220 Ma) metamorphic zircons within the late Early Cretaceous LMAR and the relatively high 206Pb/204Pb ratios of these rocks suggest that they formed from primary magmas derived from partial melting of Yangtze Craton (YC) basement material that had undergone ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism. In contrast, the presence of Paleoproterozoic and Archean inherited zircons within early Early Cretaceous LMAR in this area and the relatively low 206Pb/204Pb ratios of these rocks are indicative of derivation from primary magmas generated by partial melting of the thickened lower continental crust of the North China Craton (NCC). These rocks may have formed in an extensional environment associated with the upwelling of asthenospheric mantle material. The presence of YC basement material within the NCC in the

  19. Heat Flow, Lower Crustal Thermochronology, and Transient Geotherms in the Mesozoic Southern African Continental Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, M. D.; Bell, D. R.; Bowring, S. A.

    2002-12-01

    -bounding orogenic belts8. We conclude that the elevated present-day surface heat flow in the Proterozoic belts can be wholly, if non-uniquely, attributed to variations in crustal radiogenic heat production. This modeling reconciles heat flow data with independent indications of a cratonic lithospheric thermal state from select off-craton kimberlite-borne mantle xenoliths suites3,6, while weakening inferences of differential Proterozoic versus Archean lithospheric thickness. These results also necessitate further consideration of advective heat transport mechanisms for the transient, and spatially heterogeneous elevation of Late Mesozoic thermal gradients throughout the southern African continent. Mesozoic thermal and chemical modification of the lithospheric mantle may be a consistent feature of the Gondwanide continental fragments. 1Ballard and Pollack (1987) EPSL 85:253-264; 2Jones (1987) JGR 92:6273-6289; 3Finnerty and Boyd (1987) in Nixon (ed) Mantle Xenoliths, pp. 381-402; 4Boyd and Gurney (1986) Science 232:472-477; 5Brown et al. (1998) Ext. Abs. 7IKC:105-107; 6Bell et al. (2002) Lithos in press; 7Nguuri et al. (2001) GRL 28:2501-2504; 8Schmitz and Bowring (2002) CMP in press.

  20. Pressure-dependent seismic reflection amplitude changes in crystalline crust: lessons learned at the Continental Deep Drilling Site (KTB)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beilecke, T.; Bram, K.; Buske, S.

    2010-01-01

    We conducted an active seismic experiment aimed at measuring changes in seismic reflection amplitudes as a consequence of fresh water injection and corresponding pressure changes at the German Continental Deep Drilling site (KTB). The injection took place at the bottom of the 4-km-deep pilot borehole in the SE2 fault zone in crystalline rock units between the springs of 2004 and 2005. Prior to the experiment, theoretical calculations indicated a possible increase in the compressional wave reflection coefficient as a result of an injection-induced reduction of the seismic velocities within the fault zone. Despite good repeatability of the emitted source signals, the experiment suffered from missing the clear reflection signals expected from the fault zone with regard to seismic data from past experiments. Applying various data-processing steps did not enhance the signals enough to obtain clear reflections or even pressure-dependent reflection amplitude changes. The signal-to-noise ratio remains smaller than the effects under observation. Provided that reflections are present in the data, the error bar of the recorded signals is of the order of 100 per cent. Therefore, we conclude that the experiment was not successful in seismically measuring pressure variations. However, important lessons for land seismic time-lapse measurements in crystalline environments have been learned: (i) The source should be capable of emitting frequencies below 30 Hz. (ii) The detector array setup proved to be partly questionable because in a scattering environment like the crystalline rocks at the KTB site, the incidence of a plane wave precondition might be violated for high-frequency signals. (iii) Near-surface variations of elastic properties likely influence seismic monitoring. (iv) Using a step function, that is a first-order pressure discontinuity, to model the subsurface pressure build-up, is very likely too simple an approach.

  1. High temperature pseudotachylytes and ductile shear zones in dry rocks from the continental lower crust (Lofoten, Norway)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menegon, Luca; Pennacchioni, Giorgio; Harris, Katherine; Wood, Elliot

    2014-05-01

    overgrow the plagioclase porphyroclasts; in some cases small garnets nucleated along thin microfractures discordant to the pseudotachylyte vein or along the pseudotachylyte boundary. In the host rock garnet form thin continuous coronitic rims surrounding biotite and opaque and discontinuous one around pyroxene. The mineral assemblage of ultramlylonites is also consistent with high grade metamorphic conditions (recrystallized plagioclase and clinopyroxene, biotite and amphibole). Nucleation of ductile shear zones is dictated by the availability of pseudotachylyte veins; remarkably, lithological boundaries have not been exploited by ductile shear zones. Brittle deformation and extreme grain size reduction are likely to be necessary conditions in order to promote ductile strain localization in dry rocks in the lower crust.

  2. Ancient plate kinematics derived from the deformation pattern of continental crust: Paleo- and Neo-Tethys opening coeval with prolonged Gondwana-Laurussia convergence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroner, Uwe; Roscher, Marco; Romer, Rolf L.

    2016-06-01

    The formation and destruction of supercontinents requires prolonged convergent tectonics between particular plates, followed by intra-continental extension during subsequent breakup stages. A specific feature of the Late Paleozoic supercontinent Pangea is the prolonged and diachronous formation of the collisional belts of the Rheic suture zone coeval with recurrent continental breakup and subsequent formation of the mid-ocean ridge systems of the Paleo- and Neo-Tethys oceans at the Devonian and Permian margins of the Gondwana plate, respectively. To decide whether these processes are causally related or not, it is necessary to accurately reconstruct the plate motion of Gondwana relative to Laurussia. Here we propose that the strain pattern preserved in the continental crust can be used for the reconstruction of ancient plate kinematics. We present Euler pole locations for the three fundamental stages of the Late Paleozoic assembly of Pangea and closure of the Rheic Ocean: (I) Early Devonian (ca. 400 Ma) collisional tectonics affected Gondwana at the Armorican Spur north of western Africa and at the promontory of the South China block/Australia of eastern Gondwana, resulting in the Variscan and the Qinling orogenies, respectively. The Euler pole of the rotational axis between Gondwana and Laurussia is positioned east of Gondwana close to Australia. (II) Continued subduction of the western Rheic Ocean initiates the clockwise rotation of Gondwana that is responsible for the separation of the South China block from Gondwana and the opening of Paleo-Tethys during the Late Devonian. The position of the rotational axis north of Africa reveals a shift of the Euler pole to the west. (III) The terminal closure of the Rheic Ocean resulted in the final tectonics of the Alleghanides, the Mauritanides and the Ouachita-Sonora-Marathon belt, occurred after the cessation of the Variscan orogeny in Central Europe, and is coeval with the formation of the Central European Extensional

  3. Reply to comment by J.D. Clemens and G. Stevens on 'Water-fluxed melting of the continental crust: A review'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinberg, Roberto F.; Hasalová, Pavlína

    2015-10-01

    Airport halls and kitchen benches everywhere attest to the importance of water-fluxed melting. They commonly show migmatites lacking anhydrous peritectic minerals, as is expected from the reactions listed in Table 2 in Weinberg and Hasalová (2015), W&H henceforth. The question we should ask is not whether it is a significant process but how and when it happens. We start this response by clarifying that in W&H, we never meant to imply that water-fluxed melting is the dominant melting process, but that it is widespread and relevant to understanding the evolution of the continental crust. The aim of our paper was to review the many reported cases in which water-fluxed melting has been inferred, to draw attention to its common occurrence, to suggest how this may take place and discuss its possible role in crustal evolution. In order to avoid confusion, in this reply we refer consistently to their Fig. 1, referring to Fig. 1 in Clemens and Stevens (2015), or to our Fig. 1 shown here.

  4. Generation of continental crust in the northern part of the Borborema Province, northeastern Brazil, from Archaean to Neoproterozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Souza, Zorano Sérgio; Kalsbeek, Feiko; Deng, Xiao-Dong; Frei, Robert; Kokfelt, Thomas Find; Dantas, Elton Luiz; Li, Jian-Wei; Pimentel, Márcio Martins; Galindo, Antonio Carlos

    2016-07-01

    This work deals with the origin and evolution of the magmatic rocks in the area north of the Patos Lineament in the Borborema Province (BP). This northeastern segment of NE Brazil is composed of at least six different tectonic blocks with ages varying from late-Archaean to late-Palaeoproterozoic. Archaean rocks cover ca. 5% of the region. They were emplaced over a period of 700 Ma, with at least seven events of magma generation, at 3.41, 3.36, 3.25, 3.18, 3.12, 3.03, and 2.69 Ga. The rocks are subalkaline to slightly alkaline, with affinity to I- and M-type magmas; they follow trondhjemitic or potassium calc-alkaline differentiation trends. They have epsilon Nd(t) of +1.4 to -4.2 and negative anomalies for Ta-Nb, P and Ti, consistent with a convergent tectonic setting. Both subducted oceanic crust and upper mantle (depleted or metasomatised) served as sources of the magmas. After a time lapse of about 350 m y., large-scale emplacement of Paleoproterozoic units took place. These rocks cover about 50% of the region. Their geochemistry indicates juvenile magmatism with a minor contribution from crustal sources. These rocks also exhibit potassic calc-alkaline differentiation trends, again akin to I- and M-type magmas, and show negative anomalies for Ta-Nb, Ti and P. Depleted and metasomatised mantle, resulting from interaction with adakitic or trondhjemitic melts in a subduction zone setting, is interpreted to be the main source of the magmas, predominanting over crustal recycling. U-Pb ages indicate generation of plutonic rocks at 2.24-2.22 Ga (in some places at about 2.4-2.3 Ga) and 2.13-2.11 Ga, and andesitic volcanism at 2.15 Ga. Isotopic evidence indicates juvenile magmatism (epsilon Nd(t) of +2.9 to -2.9). After a time lapse of about 200 m y. a period of within-plate magmatic activity followed, with acidic volcanism (1.79 Ga) in Orós, granitic plutonism (1.74 Ga) in the Seridó region, anorthosites (1.70 Ga) and A-type granites (1.6 Ga) in the Transverse Zone

  5. Devonian granitoids and their hosted mafic enclaves in the Gorny Altai terrane, northwestern Central Asian Orogenic Belt: crust-mantle interaction in a continental arc setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Ming; Sun, Min

    2016-04-01

    Granitoids are a major component in the upper continental crust and hold key information on how did the continental crust grow and differentiate. This study focuses on the Yaloman intrusive complex from the Gorny Altai terrane, northwestern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). The association of granitoids and mafic enclaves can provide important clues on the source nature, petrogenetic processes and geodynamic setting of the Yaloman intrusive complex, which in turn will shed light on the crustal evolution in the northwestern CAOB. Zircon U-Pb dating shows that the granitoids, including quartz diorites and granodiorites, were emplaced in ca. 389-387 Ma. The moderate Na2O + K2O contents and low A/CNK values indicate that these rocks belong to the sub-alkaline series with metaluminous to weakly peraluminous compositions. The granitoids yield two-stage zircon Hf model ages of ca. 0.79-1.07 Ga and whole-rock Nd model ages of ca. 0.90-0.99 Ga, respectively, implying that they were mainly sourced from Neoproterozoic juvenile crustal materials. The mafic enclaves show an almost identical crystallization age of ca. 389 Ma. The identification of coarse-grained xenocrysts and acicular apatites, together with the fine-grained texture, makes us infer that these enclaves are likely to represent magmatic globules commingled with the host magmas. The low SiO2 and high MgO contents of the mafic enclaves further suggest that substantial mantle-derived mafic melts were probably involved in their formation. Importantly, the SiO2 contents of the granitoids and mafic enclaves are well correlated with other major elements and most of the trace elements. Also a broadly negative correlation exists between the SiO2 contents and whole-rock epsilon Nd (390 Ma) values of the granitoids. Given the observation of reversely zoned plagioclases within the granitoids and the common occurrence of igneous mafic enclaves, we propose that magma mixing probably played an important role in the formation

  6. Metamorphic record and Thermo-mechanical modelling of lower crust exhumation during the Palaeoproterozoic Eburnean orogeny, West African Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerbault, Muriel; Ganne, Jerome; Block, Sylvain

    2014-05-01

    A thermo-mechanical interpretation of the metamorphic evolution of moderate- to high-pressure volcano-sedimentary rocks (6-8 to >10 Kb) in the Birimian Province (2.2-2.0 Ga) of the West African Craton is explored in terms of burial and exhumation processes. Metamorphic data collected in Burkina Faso, southwest Ghana and eastern Senegal suggest that during the Eburnean orogeny (~2.1 Ga),this Palaeoproterozoic Birimian crust was dominated by moderate apparent geothermal gradients of 20-30°C/km (M2a), that produced greenschist- to amphibolite-facies metamorphic assemblages associated with regional shortening and granitoid intrusions. The M2a gradient is superimposed on a colder thermal regime (M1 : <10-15 °C/km) that produced high-P greenschist- to blueschist-facies metamorphic assemblages, and which most likely recorded the earlier formation of the protolith. The geodynamical origin of M1 is not directly addressed here. Thermo-mechanical two-dimensional numerical models were built in order to test whether late-stage compressional tectonics could generate the exhumation of meta-sediments, collected in Ca0-poor granitoids and which record elevated metamorphic pressures (P> 6-8 Kb). The poor data quality provide limited constraints on the appropriate initial setup conditions, and a number of tests have led us to conceptualize the spatial distribution of a hypothezised succession of volcanic island arcs emplaced on top of CaO rich TTG (Tonalite- Trondjhemite-Granodiorite suites) basement, tectonically paired with sedimentary basins. We postulated therefore the preexistence of wide (about 250 km) and thick flexural sedimentary basins (depth 15 km) in an orogenic mafic crust (about 20 km thick), underplated by a more felsic and lighter layer representing a TTG melange. The numerical results show that a mechanism of burial, heating and exhumation of meta-sediments can occur by simultaneous folding and gravitational instabilities within the broad extent of the basin

  7. 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

  8. Timing and mechanisms of mafic magma ascent/emplacement in the continental middle crust: an example from the Permian Sondalo gabbroic complex (Alps, N-Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petri, Benoît; Mohn, Geoffroy; Skrzypek, Etienne; Mateeva, Tsvetomila; Galster, Federico; Robion, Philippe; Schulmann, Karel; Manatschal, Gianreto; Müntener, Othmar

    2015-04-01

    We explore the mechanisms of mafic magma ascent and emplacement in the continental crust by studying the mid-crustal Permian Sondalo gabbroic complex (Campo unit, Eastern Central Alps, N-Italy). We characterized the structure and anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) fabric of the concentric gabbroic to dioritic intrusions. We used Laser Ablation ICP-MS U-Pb zircon dating on magmatic and metamorphic rock samples, zircon trace element geochemistry and existing P-T estimates to constrain the timing and depth of magma emplacement. Petrological and geochemical observations provide insights on the crystallization sequence in the magmatic rocks and facilitate the interpretation of the AMS record. The magmatic and magnetic fabrics (foliations and lineations) of the pluton reflect their original orientations and are essentially vertical, indicating vertical magma transfer through the crust. The intrusion was emplaced in two phases. (1) The concordant orientation between the main magmatic foliation and the host-rock xenoliths elongation and foliation in the centre of the pluton suggest that the first magma ascent phase occurred through fracture opening parallel to the vertical fabric of the host metasedimentary rocks. Trace element analyses point to late-magmatic zircon crystallization, which enable to interpret the associated U-Pb results of 289-288 Ma as the age of this initial emplacement stage. (2) The second magma ascent phase is marked by a rheological change in the host-rock. The temperature increase in the contact aureole induced partial melting and decreasing mechanical strength in the metasediments. This resulted in the formation of a vertical foliation in the metamorphic aureole and a weaker but concordant magmatic foliation at the rim of the pluton. This ascent phase occurred at 288-285 Ma and accounts for the contrasted P-T evolution of metasedimentary rocks in the contact aureole. Thermal models of the intrusion indicate that the contact aureole

  9. Recycling of oceanic crust from a stagnant slab in the mantle transition zone: Evidence from Cenozoic continental basalts in Zhejiang Province, SE China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yan-Qing; Ma, Chang-Qian; Robinson, Paul T.; Zhou, Qin; Liu, Ming-Liang

    2015-08-01

    Cenozoic continental basalts from Zhejiang Province, southeast China are tholeiitic to weakly alkalic in composition, with moderate MgO contents (6-11 wt.%) and an average Mg# of 62. They display typical OIB-like trace element features, including enrichment in most incompatible elements, both LILE and LREE, and negative K, Pb, Zr, Hf anomalies. In particular, they are characterized by high Fe/Mn (73 ± 5), La/Yb (19 ± 6) and Nb/Ta (18.8 ± 0.4) ratios, which can be attributed to the presence of residual clinopyroxene, garnet and rutile in the mantle source. Based on these minerals, the following hybrid source rocks are hypothesized: garnet pyroxenite/eclogite and peridotite. Clinopyroxene-liquid thermobarometry indicates clinopyroxene crystallization temperatures of > 1257 °C. This is higher than the assumed temperature at the base of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) (~ 1220 °C) beneath Zhejiang, thus the magmas were presumably derived from the asthenosphere. Some typical geochemical features such as negative K, Pb anomalies, positive Ba, Sr, Nb, Ta anomalies and the extremely high Os isotopic signatures, suggest participation of EM-like mantle sources, indicative of ancient subducted oceanic crust. (87Sr/86Sr)i (0.7037-0.7046) and 143Nd/144Nd (0.512832-0.512990) isotope ratios point to the presence of mixed components in the source region, i.e., DMM, EM1 and EM2. Recent seismic tomographic images of the mantle beneath Zhejiang suggest the presence of a subducted slab of oceanic lithosphere in the transition zone. Based on the combined geophysical and geochemical evidence, we propose that the major source of the Zhejiang basaltic magmas was the ancient subducted oceanic slab in the transition zone with an EM-like signature. The other magma sources include depleted asthenospheric peridotite possessing a DMM-like signature. The dynamics of this upwelling hybrid magma was apparently related to westward subduction of the Pacific plate underneath the

  10. Platinum-group element abundances and Re-Os isotopic systematics of the upper continental crust through time: Evidence from glacial diamictites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Kang; Walker, Richard J.; Rudnick, Roberta L.; Gao, Shan; Gaschnig, Richard M.; Puchtel, Igor S.; Tang, Ming; Hu, Zhao-Chu

    2016-10-01

    The fine-grained matrix of glacial diamictites, deposited periodically by continental ice sheets over much of Earth history, provides insights into the average composition and chemical evolution of the upper continental crust (UCC) (Gaschnig et al., 2016, and references therein). The concentrations of platinum-group elements (PGEs, including Os, Ir, Ru, Pt and Pd) and the geochemically related Re, as well as 187Re/188Os and 187Os/188Os ratios, are reported here for globally-distributed glacial diamictites that were deposited during the Mesoarchean, Paleoproterozoic, Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic eras. The medians and averages of PGE concentrations of these diamictite composites decrease from the Mesoarchean to the Neoproterozoic, mimicking decreases in the concentrations of first-row transition elements (Sc, V, Cr, Co and Ni). By contrast, Re concentrations are highly variable with no discernable trend, owing to its high solubility. Assuming these diamictites are representative of average UCC through time, the new data are fully consistent with the previous inference that the Archean UCC contained a greater proportion of mafic-ultramafic rocks relative to younger UCC. Linear regressions of PGEs versus Cr and Ni concentrations in all the diamictite composites from the four time periods are used to estimate the following concentrations of the PGEs in the present-day UCC: 0.059 ± 0.016 ng/g Os, 0.036 ± 0.008 ng/g Ir, 0.079 ± 0.026 ng/g Ru, 0.80 ± 0.22 ng/g Pt and 0.80 ± 0.26 ng/g Pd (2σ of 10,000 bootstrapping regression results). These PGE estimates are slightly higher than the estimates obtained from loess samples. We suggest this probably results from loess preferentially sampling younger UCC rocks that have lower PGE concentrations, or PGEs being fractionated during loess formation. A Re concentration of 0.25 ± 0.12 ng/g (2σ) is obtained from a regression of Re versus Mo. From this, time-integrated 187Re/188Os and 187Os/188Os ratios for the UCC are

  11. Sudbuction-related tectonic mixing between serpentinized mantle and continental crust in the internal Western Alps: exhumed portion of a marble cake?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spalla, M.; Zucali, M.; Cantù, M.; Roda, M.; Marotta, A.

    2011-12-01

    The pre-Alpine continental crust of the Western Alps is widely affected by subduction-related high-pressure low-temperature (HP-LT) metamorphism and the Sesia-Lanzo Zone (SLZ) represents the widest crustal complex re-equilibrated under HP conditions during Late-Cretaceous (early-Alpine) times. Its Alpine tectonic evolution is compatible with an uplift during active oceanic lithosphere subduction (e.g. Spalla et al., 1996; Meda et al., 2010; Zucali & Spalla, 2011). In the SLZ three main lithologic complexes have been recognized (e.g. Compagnoni et al., 1977): i) Gneiss Minuti complex (GMC); ii) Eclogitic Micaschists complex (EMC); iii) II Dioritic-Kinzigitic Zone (IIDK). IIDK consists of kilometer-size lenses of pelitic and mafic granulites that escaped eclogite facies re-equilibration. EMC and GMC, both pervasively eclogitised, strongly differ in the volume percentage of greenschist facies re-equilibration (Stuenitz, 1989; Spalla et al., 1991). In the southern SLZ the metamorphic complex of Rocca Canavese thrust sheets (RCT; Pognante, 1989 a; Pognante, 1989b) has been recognised, on the ground of its strongly contrasted Alpine metamorphic evolution, characterized by a P-climax recorded under very LT conditions. A new multi-scale structural analysis, performed to acquire new detailed petrologic data and to refine the tectonic trajectory of such a peculiar metamorphic complex, pointed out that RCT is a tectonic mixing of serpentinized mantle and continental rocks deformed together under high pressure conditions. Field analysis reports a superposed grid of metamorphic foliations allowing regional scale correlation of structural and metamorphic stages, after micro-structural identification of mineral assemblages marking successive fabrics in each rock type. Chemical data on variations of mineral compositions in different micro-structural sites, led to the reconstruction of a PTdt (Pressure-Temperature-relative deformation time) path and opened therefore the possibility

  12. Combining kimberlite (U-Th)/He dating with the mantle xenolith record to decipher elevation change in continental interiors: an example from the southern African Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, J. R.; Flowers, R. M.; Bell, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    Deciphering the patterns and causes of erosion and elevation change histories in continental interiors is commonly not straightforward. Many continental shield regions are repeatedly intruded by small volume kimberlite magmas, which often contain rich xenolith records of the state of the lithosphere and the sedimentary cover at the time of eruption. Here we show that dating kimberlites with apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronometry (AHe), a tool used to constrain thermal histories within the upper 1-3 km of the crust, can tightly bracket the timing of erosion through comparison of cooling dates and eruption ages. Mantle xenoliths from kimberlites erupted at different times also record perturbations to the lithospheric mantle, indicators of changes to the mantle below. The coeval deep and shallow records of kimberlite pipes thus allow the potential to link deep earth processes with the surface response. The southern African Plateau was elevated from sea level to >1000 m elevation in post-Paleozoic time while distal from convergent plate boundaries and with little surface deformation. The timing and mechanisms of surface uplift are debated. AHe data for four kimberlites off the southwestern corner of the Kaapvaal Craton indicate a substantial Mesozoic unroofing episode that was largely completed by 90 Ma. This erosion phase is contemporaneous with significant warming, metasomatism, and thinning of the lithospheric mantle revealed in the peridotite xenoliths and garnet xenocrysts in these same pipes. We suggest that this surface signal is the erosional response to regional, mantle-induced surface uplift. These data also detect a lesser Cenozoic erosion signature in some pipes, focused around a proposed Tertiary paleo-tributary to the Orange River, suggesting that the Cenozoic signal is associated with drainage network evolution rather than long-wavelength surface uplift. Preliminary data from an E-W transect of kimberlites across the Kaapvaal Craton from Kimberley to the

  13. Electrical conductivity of albite-(quartz)-water and albite-water-NaCl systems and its implication to the high conductivity anomalies in the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Xinzhuan; Yoshino, Takashi; Shimojuku, Akira

    2015-02-01

    The electrical conductivities of albite-water, albite-quartz-water and albite-water-NaCl systems have been measured in terms of impedance spectroscopy at 1 GPa and 400-1000 K. The relationship between electrical conductivity and temperature in the albite-(quartz)-water system cannot be expressed by the Arrhenian formula, whereas that in the brine-bearing system follow the Arrhenian law showing small temperature dependence. The electrical conductivity of the albite-(quartz)-water samples decreased with decreasing temperature from 1000 to 800 K, then increased rapidly upon further cooling from 800 to around 550 K. The bulk conductivities of the albite-(quartz)-water system are consistent with variation of the total concentration of the dissolved electric charge carriers of H+, OH-, Na+, AlO-2 and HSiO-3 in aqueous fluid with temperature based on the thermal dynamic calibration. There is a small negative dependence of bulk conductivity on aqueous fluid fraction. Electrical conductivity of the albite-water-NaCl samples is higher than that of the albite-(quartz)-water samples, which shows the following features: (1) small dependence of conductivity on the temperature; (2) increase of electrical conductivity with the fluid fraction and the salinity. Our results suggest that the high conductivity anomalies of 10-1 S/m typically observed in the continental crust can be explained by the presence of albite and quartz with fluid fraction as low as 0.014 at temperatures lower than 650 K. In the case that the geotherm is higher than 650 K, the observed value of 10-1 S/m can be explained by the brine-bearing albite with a fluid fraction of 1 vol% if the salinity is similar to the seawater.

  14. Vertical tectonics at a continental crust-oceanic plateau plate boundary zone: Fission track thermochronology of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villagómez, Diego; Spikings, Richard; Mora, AndréS.; GuzmáN, Georgina; Ojeda, GermáN.; CortéS, Elizabeth; van der Lelij, Roelant

    2011-08-01

    The topographically prominent Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta forms part of a faulted block of continental crust located along the northern boundary of the South American Plate, hosts the highest elevation in the world (˜5.75 km) whose local base is at sea level, and juxtaposes oceanic plateau rocks of the Caribbean Plate. Quantification of the amount and timing of exhumation constrains interpretations of the history of the plate boundary, and the driving forces of rock uplift along the active margin. The Sierra Nevada Province of the southernmost Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta exhumed at elevated rates (≥0.2 Km/My) during 65-58 Ma in response to the collision of the Caribbean Plateau with northwestern South America. A second pulse of exhumation (≥0.32 Km/My) during 50-40 Ma was driven by underthrusting of the Caribbean Plate beneath northern South America. Subsequent exhumation at 40-25 Ma (≥0.15 Km/My) is recorded proximal to the Santa Marta-Bucaramanga Fault. More northerly regions of the Sierra Nevada Province exhumed rapidly during 26-29 Ma (˜0.7 Km/My). Further northward, the Santa Marta Province exhumed at elevated rates during 30-25 Ma and 25-16 Ma. The highest exhumation rates within the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta progressed toward the northwest via the propagation of NW verging thrusts. Exhumation is not recorded after ˜16 Ma, which is unexpected given the high elevation and high erosive power of the climate, implying that rock and surface uplift that gave rise to the current topography was very recent (i.e., ≤1 Ma?), and there has been insufficient time to expose the fossil apatite partial annealing zone.

  15. Boron isotopes in tourmaline from the ca. 3.7-3.8 Ga Isua supracrustal belt, Greenland: Sources for boron in Eoarchean continental crust and seawater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grew, Edward S.; Dymek, Robert F.; De Hoog, Jan C. M.; Harley, Simon L.; Boak, Jeremy; Hazen, Robert M.; Yates, Martin G.

    2015-08-01

    Boron is highly concentrated in Earth's crust relative to primitive mantle. However, when present-day crustal concentrations were achieved remains debatable. It has been proposed that seawater boron δ11B was lower than at present, consistent with a model relating increase in sea-water δ11B to the proportion of B extracted from Earth's mantle into the oceans and crust. Our in situ ion microprobe analyses of tourmaline in 17 samples from the Eoarchean Isua supracrustal belt, Southwest Greenland, gave the following average δ11B with uncertainties ranging from ±0.4 to ±1.9‰: δ11B = -7.1 to -11.5‰ in amphibolite; δ11B = -10.5 to -25.3‰ in mica schist; δ11B = -19.2‰ in metachert (one sample), and δ11B = -21.9‰ in metaconglomerate (one sample). Tourmaline is largely schorl-dravite, rarely uvite-feruvite, and shows color and compositional zoning. δ11B varies from grain to grain in most samples; grains in a kyanite-staurolite schist are isotopically zoned, possibly because the rims incorporated B released by muscovite breakdown. The patterns in color-zoned tourmaline grains in our samples are not consistent with detrital origin of the cores, which rules out the possibility of there being tourmaline detritus from pre-existing continental crust in the studied samples. The tourmaline-bearing rocks are found in both the ca. 3700 Ma northern and ca. 3800 Ma southern terranes in the Isua supracrustal belt. Following an approach suggested by Chaussidon and Appel, we estimated Eoarchean seawater δ11B by calculating back from δ11B of tourmaline in metasedimentary rocks using fractionation of boron isotopes between clays and muscovite, tourmaline and aqueous fluid. This calculation gave an estimated δ11B ≈ +14 ± 15‰ for Eoarchean seawater, 25‰ lower than present-day seawater (δ11B = +39.5‰). For comparison, an estimate obtained simply by direct comparison of δ11B for Eoarchean and Phanerozoic tourmaline presumed to have crystallized in similar

  16. Shear Wave Velocity Structure of Southern African Crust: Evidence for Compositional Heterogeneity within Archaean and Proterozoic Terrains

    SciTech Connect

    Kgaswane, E M; Nyblade, A A; Julia, J; Dirks, P H H M; Durrheim, R J; Pasyanos, M E

    2008-11-11

    Crustal structure in southern Africa has been investigated by jointly inverting receiver functions and Rayleigh wave group velocities for 89 broadband seismic stations spanning much of the Precambrian shield of southern Africa. 1-D shear wave velocity profiles obtained from the inversion yield Moho depths that are similar to those reported in previous studies and show considerable variability in the shear wave velocity structure of the lower part of the crust between some terrains. For many of the Archaean and Proterozoic terrains in the shield, S velocities reach 4.0 km/s or higher over a substantial part of the lower crust. However, for most of the Kimberley terrain and adjacent parts of the Kheis Province and Witwatersrand terrain, as well as for the western part of the Tokwe terrain, mean shear wave velocities of {le} 3.9 km/s characterize the lower part of the crust along with slightly ({approx}5 km) thinner crust. These findings indicate that the lower crust across much of the shield has a predominantly mafic composition, except for the southwest portion of the Kaapvaal Craton and western portion of the Zimbabwe Craton, where the lower crust is intermediate-to-felsic in composition. The parts of the Kaapvaal Craton underlain by intermediate-to-felsic lower crust coincide with regions where Ventersdorp rocks have been preserved, and thus we suggest that the intermediate-to-felsic composition of the lower crust and the shallower Moho may have resulted from crustal melting during the Ventersdorp tectonomagmatic event at c. 2.7 Ga and concomitant crustal thinning caused by rifting.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lisitzin, Alexandre P.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  20. Southern African continental climate since the late Pleistocene: Insights from biomarker analyses of Kalahari salt pan sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belz, Lukas; Schüller, Irka; Wehrmann, Achim; Wilkes, Heinz

    2016-04-01

    The climate system of sub-tropical southern Africa is mainly controlled by large scale atmospheric and marine circulation processes and, therefore, very sensitive to global climate change. This underlines the importance of paleoenvironmental reconstructions in order to estimate regional implications of current global changes. However, the majority of studies on southern African paleoclimate are based on the investigation of marine sedimentary archives and past climate development especially in continental areas is still poorly understood. This emphasizes the necessity of continental proxy-data from this area. Proxy datasets from local geoarchives especially of the southwestern Kalahari region are still scarce. A main problem is the absence of conventional continental climatic archives, due to the lack of lacustrine systems. In this study we are exploring the utility of sediments from western Kalahari salt pans, i.e. local depressions which are flooded temporarily during rainfall events. An age model based on 14C dating of total organic carbon (TOC) shows evidence that sedimentation predominates over erosional processes with respect to pan formation. Besides the analyses of basic geochemical bulk parameters including TOC, δ13CTOC, total inorganic carbon, δ13CTIC, δ18OTIC, total nitrogen and δ15N, our paleo-climatic approach focuses on reconstruction of local vegetation assemblages to identify changes in the ecosystem. This is pursued using plant biomarkers, particularly leaf wax n-alkanes and n-alcohols and their stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures. Results show prominent shifts in n-alkane and n-alkanol distributions and compound specific carbon isotope values, pointing to changes to a more grass dominated environment during Heinrich Stadial 1 (18.5-14.6 ka BP), while hydrogen isotope values suggest wetter phases during Holocene and LGM. This high variability indicates the local vulnerability to global change.

  1. Lu-Hf systematics of the ultra-high temperature Napier Complex, East Antarctica: evidence for the early Archean formation of continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, S.; Mukasa, S. B.; Andronikov, A. V.; Osanai, Y.; Harley, S. L.; Kelly, N. M.

    2009-12-01

    The Napier Complex in East Antarctica comprises some of the oldest rocks on earth (~3.8 billion years old), overprinted by an ultra-high temperature (UHT) metamorphic event near the Archean-Proterozoic boundary. Garnet, orthopyroxene, sapphirine, osumilite, rutile and a whole rock representing an equilibrated assemblage from this belt yield a Lu-Hf isochron age of 2,403 ± 43 Ma. Preservation of the UHT mineral assemblage in the rock analyzed suggests rapid cooling with closure likely to have occurred for the Lu-Hf system at post-peak UHT conditions near a temperature of ~800C. Individual zircon grains from Gage Ridge within the Napier Complex yielded a remarkably uniform range of 176Hf/177Hf values between 0.280433 ± 7 and 0.280505 ± 10, corresponding to ɛHf > +5.6 at 3.85 Ga relative to the chondritic uniform reservoir (CHUR). Because of their exceedingly low Lu/Hf values (<0.001), the grains are effectively recording the initial Hf isotope composition of the magmatic systems from which the gneiss protoliths crystallized. These results indicate that (1) the source of the crustal materials that formed the Napier Complex at 3.85 Ga were depleted relative to the CHUR. The extent of depletion involved is higher than has been predicted by extrapolation from the Lu-Hf isotopic evolution inferred for the source of Proterozoic and Phanerozoic basalts, judging from an fLu/Hf value of 0.51, (2) the depleted mantle reservoir has been in existence since very early in Earth’s history, in agreement with the early differentiation of the Earth that the latest core formation models require, and (3) an extremely depleted source also mean that the bulk of continental crust was extracted from the mantle by ~3.8 Ga. Moreover, the results demonstrate that even the oldest silicic rocks in the complex are not likely to have formed from remobilized older crustal materials, but were instead juvenile products of mantle melting. In addition, zircons with metamorphic rims have a similar

  2. Ultrasonic velocity drops and anisotropy reduction in mica-schist analogues due to melting with implications for seismic imaging of continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almqvist, Bjarne S. G.; Misra, Santanu; Klonowska, Iwona; Mainprice, David; Majka, Jarosław

    2015-09-01

    Melt generation in the continental crust is thought to significantly influence seismic bulk velocities and anisotropy, although existing laboratory data provide limited constraints on such seismic attributes. In this study we measured ultrasonic compressional wave speeds (Vp) and anisotropy during sample compaction, mica-breakdown and melt-generation in synthetic, foliated quartz-muscovite aggregates. Measurements were performed at peak conditions of 300 MPa hydrostatic confining pressure and 750 °C, over a six hour time period, for three separate samples where wave propagation directions were aligned at 0°, 45° and 90° with respect to the foliation plane. The experiments are initially marked by sample compaction and rapid reduction in porosity (from 25% to <2 vol%), with a corresponding increase in Vp. During initial stages of the experiment Vp ranges from 4.65 to 5.45 km/s, depending on the direction of the P wave propagation, resulting in up to ∼16% anisotropy, which originates mainly from the preferred orientation of muscovite and possible incipient melt lenses oriented parallel to foliation. As the experiment progresses the bulk Vp decreases gradually and Vp anisotropy drops from ∼16% to ∼2% after five hours into the experiment. The drop in anisotropy is caused by muscovite-breakdown and increasing amount of partial melting of the aggregate. The bulk velocities are considerably lower than predicted for a mixture of muscovite and β-quartz (stable at 300 MPa and 750 °C). Thermodynamic modeling indicates that mica breakdown and production of melt with ∼2 wt% dissolved water in the aggregate can explain the low Vp, even though β-quartz is stable; the modeled Vp is ∼4.75 km/s at 300 MPa and 750 °C. These ultrasonic attributes signify movement of the melt to fill vacant pores and coating grain boundaries, effectively connecting melt films and reducing seismic anisotropy. The results may apply to regions where crustal melting is on-going, in

  3. Late Permian Melt Percolation through the Crust of North-Central Africa and Its Possible Relationship to the African Large Low Shear Velocity Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shellnutt, J. G.; Lee, T. Y.; Yang, C. C.; Wu, J. C.; Wang, K. L.; Lo, C. H.

    2014-12-01

    The Doba gabbro was collected from an exploration well through the Cretaceous Doba Basin of Southern Chad. The gabbro is comprised mostly of plagioclase, clinopyroxene and Fe-Ti oxide minerals and displays cumulus mineral textures. Whole rock 40Ar/39Ar step-heating geochronology yielded a Late Permian plateau age of 257 ± 1 Ma. The major and trace elemental geochemistry shows that the gabbro is mildly alkalic to tholeiitic in composition and has trace element ratios (i.e. La/YbN > 7; Sm/YbPM > 3.4; Nb/Y > 1; Zr/Y > 5) indicative of a basaltic melt derived from a garnet-bearing sublithospheric mantle source. The moderately enriched Sr-Nd isotopes (i.e. ISr = 0.70495 to 0.70839; eNd(T) = -1.0 to -1.3) fall within the mantle array (i.e. OIB-like) and are similar to other Late Permian plutonic rocks of North-Central Africa (i.e. ISr = 0.7040 to 0.7070). The Late Permian plutonic igneous complexes of North-Central Africa are geologically associated with tectonic lineaments suggesting they acted as conduits for sublithospheric melts to migrate to middle/upper crustal levels. The source of the magmas may be related to the spatial-temporal association of North-Central Africa with the African large low shear velocity province (LLSVP). The African LLSVP has remained stable since the Late Carboniferous and was beneath the Doba basin during the Permian. We suggest that melts derived from deep seated sources related to the African LLSVP percolated through the North-Central African crust via older tectonic lineaments and form a discontiguous magmatic province.

  4. Petrochemical and petrophysical characterization of the lower crust and the Moho beneath the West African Craton, based on Xenoliths from Kimberlites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haggerty, Stephen E.; Toft, Paul B.

    1988-01-01

    Additional evidence to the composition of the lower crust and uppermost mantle was presented in the form of xenolith data. Xenoliths from the 2.7-Ga West African Craton indicate that the Moho beneath this shield is a chemically and physically gradational boundary, with intercalations of garnet granulite and garnet eclogite. Inclusions in diamonds indicate a depleted upper mantle source, and zenolith barometry and thermometry data suggest a high mantle geotherm with a kink near the Moho. Metallic iron in the xenoliths indicates that the uppermost mantle has a significant magnetization, and that the depth to the Curie isotherm, which is usually considered to be at or above the Moho, may be deeper than the Moho.

  5. Climatic changes along the northwestern African Continental Margin over the last 30 kyrs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ternois, Yann; Sicre, Marie-Alexandrine; Paterne, Martine

    2000-01-01

    Two sediment cores were investigated to study the regional climatic variability of the NW African upwelling over the late Quaternary. Biomarker data and Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) predicted from alkenones at 25°N and 21°N exhibited distinct features. The amplitude of the last deglaciation was estimated to 4.5°C at 25°N and 2-2.5°C at 21°N. At 25°N, terrestrial and marine glacial inputs were higher than Holocene ones as a result of a strengthening of the trade winds and intensification of oceanic production. In contrast, at 21°N, warmer SSTs and lower organic carbon and alkenone productions during the last glacial suggest a regression of the upwelling and therefore a change of wind regime. Low glacial n-alkanols are consistent with the migration of the vegetation belt during the maximum of African aridity, while their decrease towards the core-top may be indicative of anthropogenic disturbances.

  6. Argon, oxygen, and boron isotopic evidence documenting 40ArE accumulation in phengite during water-rich high-pressure subduction metasomatism of continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menold, Carrie A.; Grove, Marty; Sievers, Natalie E.; Manning, Craig E.; Yin, An; Young, Edward D.; Ziegler, Karen

    2016-07-01

    were even older, exceeding the time of eclogite formation by a factor of 1.7. In contrast, lower pressure retrograde muscovite present within the host gneiss and in discrete shear zones cutting the selvage yield 40Ar/39Ar ages that were younger than the time of HP metamorphism and consistent with regional cooling age patterns. Our observation of high 40ArE concentrations in phengite from schistose rocks infiltrated by regionally extensive fluids at HP conditions runs contrary to widely held expectations. Conventional wisdom dictates that low phengite/fluid partition coefficients for argon (Dphg/fluid Ar =10-3to10-5) coupled with the dry, closed systems conditions that are widely reported to characterize HP metamorphism of continental crust explains why high concentrations of 40ArE partitions are able to accumulate within phengite. We alternatively propose that phengite/fluid partition coefficients for argon increase linearly with pressure to values as high as 10-2 to allow phengites to accumulate large amounts of 40ArE from aqueous fluids under HP to UHP conditions.

  7. No ecological opportunity signal on a continental scale? Diversification and life-history evolution of African true toads (Anura: Bufonidae).

    PubMed

    Liedtke, H Christoph; Müller, Hendrik; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Menegon, Michele; Gonwouo, LeGrand Nono; Barej, Michael F; Gvoždík, Václav; Schmitz, Andreas; Channing, Alan; Nagel, Peter; Loader, Simon P

    2016-08-01

    The niche-filling process predicted by the "ecological opportunity" (EO) model is an often-invoked mechanism for generating exceptional diversity in island colonizers. Whether the same process governs lineage accumulation and trait disparity during continental colonization events is less clear. Here, we test this prediction by investigating the rate dynamics and trait evolution of one of Africa's most widespread amphibian colonizers, the true toads (Bufonidae). By reconstructing the most complete molecular phylogeny of African Bufonidae to date, we find that the diversification of lineages in Africa best conforms to a constant rate model throughout time and across subclades, with little support for EO. Evolutionary rates of life-history traits have similarly been constant over time. However, an analysis of generalists and specialists showed a shift toward higher speciation rates associated with habitat specialization. The overall lack of EO signal can be interpreted in a number of ways and we propose several explanations. Firstly, methodological issues might preclude the detection of EO. Secondly, colonizers might not experience true EO conditions and due to the size, ecological heterogeneity and age of landmasses, the diversification processes might be more complex. Thirdly, lower speciation rates of habitat generalists may have affected overall proliferation of lineages. PMID:27312525

  8. Evidence of cretaceous to recent West African intertropical vegetation from continental sediment spore-pollen analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salard-Cheboldaeff, M.; Dejax, J.

    The succession of spore-pollen assemblages during the Cretaceous and Tertiary, as defined in each of the basin from Senegal to Angola, gives the possibility to consider the intertropical African flora evolution for the past 120 M.a. During the Early Cretaceous, xeric-adapted gymnosperms and various ferns were predominant the flora which nevertheless comprises previously unknown early angiosperm pollen. During the Middle Cretaceous, gymnospers were gradually replaced by angiosperms; these became more and more abundant, along with the diversification of new genera and species. During the Paleocene, the radiation of the monocotyledons (mainly that of the palm-trees) as well as a greater diversification among the dicotyledons and ferms are noteworthy. Since gymnosperms had almost disappeared by the Eocene, the diversification of the dicotyledons went on until the neogene, when all extinct pollen types are already present. These important modifications of the vegetation reflect evolutionary trends as well as climatic changes during the Cretaceous: the climate, firstly hot, dry and perhaps arid, did probably induced salt deposition, and later became gradually more humid under oceanic influences which arose in connection with the Gondwana break-up.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Deep continental margin reflectors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  11. Tectonic structure and evolution of the Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  12. Living in biological soil crust communities of African deserts—Physiological traits of green algal Klebsormidium species (Streptophyta) to cope with desiccation, light and temperature gradients

    PubMed Central

    Karsten, Ulf; Herburger, Klaus; Holzinger, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Green algae of the genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical members of biological soil crusts (BSCs) worldwide. The phylogeny and ecophysiology of Klebsormidium has been intensively studied in recent years, and a new lineage called superclade G, which was isolated from BSCs in arid southern Africa and comprising undescribed species, was reported. Three different African strains, that have previously been isolated from hot-desert BSCs and molecular-taxonomically characterized, were comparatively investigated. In addition, Klebsormidium subtilissimum from a cold-desert habitat (Alaska, USA, superclade E) was included in the study as well. Photosynthetic performance was measured under different controlled abiotic conditions, including dehydration and rehydration, as well as under a light and temperature gradient. All Klebsormidium strains exhibited optimum photosynthetic oxygen production at low photon fluence rates, but with no indication of photoinhibition under high light conditions pointing to flexible acclimation mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus. Respiration under lower temperatures was generally much less effective than photosynthesis, while the opposite was true for higher temperatures. The Klebsormidium strains tested showed a decrease and inhibition of the effective quantum yield during desiccation, however with different kinetics. While the single celled and small filamentous strains exhibited relatively fast inhibition, the uniserate filament forming isolates desiccated slower. Except one, all other strains fully recovered effective quantum yield after rehydration. The presented data provide an explanation for the regular occurrence of Klebsormidium strains or species in hot and cold deserts, which are characterized by low water availability and other stressful conditions. PMID:26422081

  13. Living in biological soil crust communities of African deserts-Physiological traits of green algal Klebsormidium species (Streptophyta) to cope with desiccation, light and temperature gradients.

    PubMed

    Karsten, Ulf; Herburger, Klaus; Holzinger, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Green algae of the genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical members of biological soil crusts (BSCs) worldwide. The phylogeny and ecophysiology of Klebsormidium has been intensively studied in recent years, and a new lineage called superclade G, which was isolated from BSCs in arid southern Africa and comprising undescribed species, was reported. Three different African strains, that have previously been isolated from hot-desert BSCs and molecular-taxonomically characterized, were comparatively investigated. In addition, Klebsormidium subtilissimum from a cold-desert habitat (Alaska, USA, superclade E) was included in the study as well. Photosynthetic performance was measured under different controlled abiotic conditions, including dehydration and rehydration, as well as under a light and temperature gradient. All Klebsormidium strains exhibited optimum photosynthetic oxygen production at low photon fluence rates, but with no indication of photoinhibition under high light conditions pointing to flexible acclimation mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus. Respiration under lower temperatures was generally much less effective than photosynthesis, while the opposite was true for higher temperatures. The Klebsormidium strains tested showed a decrease and inhibition of the effective quantum yield during desiccation, however with different kinetics. While the single celled and small filamentous strains exhibited relatively fast inhibition, the uniserate filament forming isolates desiccated slower. Except one, all other strains fully recovered effective quantum yield after rehydration. The presented data provide an explanation for the regular occurrence of Klebsormidium strains or species in hot and cold deserts, which are characterized by low water availability and other stressful conditions.

  14. Comment on 'Electrical conductivity of albite-(quartz)-water and albite-water-NaCl systems and its implication to the high conductivity anomalies in the continental crust' by Guo, X., Yoshino, T. & Shimojuku, A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glover, P. W. J.

    2015-08-01

    In their otherwise excellent study of the electrical conductivity of mineral systems including albite and aqueous fluids in the continental crust, Guo et al. (2015) note that when Archie's Law (Archie, 1942) is fitted to the data for bulk conductivity as a function of fluid fraction, the exponent values are negative for all measurements made between 500 K and 900 K. They note that the negative values indicate that the bulk conductivity decreases with increasing fluid fraction and that this is opposite to the accepted behaviour (e.g., Glover, 2015). Guo et al. (2015) attempt to explain the behaviour by noting that the melting point of the Ab-Qtz-H2O system varies with increasing water content. However, there is an underlying problem with their use of the simple Archie's law.

  15. Mineral Dilution and Shallow Groundwater Dynamics as Motor to Drive Fluid Migration in the Deep Crystalline Crust - Interpretation of Hydraulic Investigations From the 9,101 m Super Deep German Continental Drillhole -

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessels, W.; Graesle, W.

    2002-12-01

    . 633-635. KESSELS, W. and KšCK, J (1995): Hydraulic Communication in the Crystalline Rock Between the two Boreholes of the Continental Deep Drilling Programme in Germany, Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Abstr., 32, S. 37-47. M™LLER, P., WEISE, S., ALTHAUS, E., BACH, W., BEHR, H. J., BORCHARDT, R, BRŽUER, K., DRESCHER, J., ERZINGER, J., FABER, E., HORN, E., HUENGES, E., KŽMPF, W., KESSELS, W., KIRSTEN, T., LANDWEHR, D., LODEMANN, M., MACHON, L., PEKDEGER, A., PIELOW, H.-U., REUTEL, C., SIMON, K., WALTER, J., WEINLICH, F. H., ZIMMER, M. (1997): Paleo- and Recent Fluids in the Upper Continental Crust - Results from the German Continental Deep Drilling Projekt (KTB), Journal of Geophysical Resarch, 102, B8, S 18223 - 18254. HUENGES, E., ENGESER, B., ERZINGER, J., KESSELS, W., KšCK, J. (1997): The Permeable Crust: Geohydraulic Properties Down to 9000 m Depth - Results from the German Continental Deep Drilling Project (KTB), Journal of Geophysical Resarch, 102, B8, S 18 255 -18 265.

  16. Drift of continental rafts with asymmetric heating.

    PubMed

    Knopoff, L; Poehls, K A; Smith, R C

    1972-06-01

    A laboratory model of a lithospheric raft is propelled through a viscous asthenospheric layer with constant velocity of scaled magnitude appropriate to continental drift. The propulsion is due to differential heat concentration in the model oceanic and continental crusts.

  17. PTtD evolution of continental crust during subduction-collision processes : example of the Briançonnais domain (Western Alps, France).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strzerzynski, P.; Guillot, S.; Leloup, P. H.; Arnaud, N.; Vidal, O.; Ledru, P.; Courrioux, G.; Darmendrail, X.

    2009-04-01

    Understanding exhumation processes of high to ultra-high pressure (HP to UHP) terrains during plate convergence is a major challenge for the comprehension of plate convergence processes and mountain building. Contemporaneous contraction and extension coupled with erosion are frequently proposed to drive the exhumation process. In the internal alpine belt, HP and UHP metamorphism are recorded both in the Piemont oceanic unit and in the continental units such as the Internal Crystalline Massifs and the Briançonnais zone. In the western Alps, the consensus is to relate the top to NW then W directed D1 thrusting phase to nappe stacking and exhumation of the HP to UHP units within a subduction channel. Although there is an agreement on the occurrence of a top to the east D2 tectonic phase, its significance in terms of shortening or extensional deformation is controversial. On one hand, top to the east D2 shear zones and associated folds are interpreted as backthrusts or backfolds active during the Oligocene syn-collisional shortening phase, post-dating the exhumation of the HP units. On the other hand, D2 structures are interpreted as top the east normal faults that are active during the exhumation of the HP unit within a subduction channel. To decipher between these two different interpretations, we conducted a combined structural, petrological and geochronological study of the Modane-Aussois area in order to build a PTtD path of the Briançonnais zone. The current construction of a high velocity railway tunnel between the Maurienne and Susa valleys provides the opportunity to gather a large amount of geological data in the internal Western Alps and to extend surface observation at depth. We provide a structural analysis on ductile and brittle domains. New PT estimates are obtained using pseudosection and multiequilibra methods. Ar/Ar step heating on phengite provide time constraint on tectonic phases. Then, in light of our data and available literature, we focus on

  18. What drives the Tibetan crust to the South East Asia? Role of upper mantle density discontinuities as inferred from the continental geoid anomalies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajesh, S.

    2012-04-01

    The Himalaya-Tibet orogen formed as a result of the northward convergence of India into the Asia over the past 55 Ma had caused the north south crustal shortening and Cenozoic upliftment of the Tibetan plateau, which significantly affected the tectonic and climatic framework of the Asia. Geodetic measurements have also shown eastward crustal extrusion of Tibet, especially along major east-southeast strike slip faults at a slip rate of 15-20 mm a-1 and around 40 mm a-1. Such continental scale deformations have been modeled as block rotation by fault boundary stresses developed due to the India-Eurasia collision. However, the Thin Sheet model explained the crustal deformation mechanism by considering varying gravitational potential energy arise out of varying crustal thickness of the viscous lithosphere. The Channel Flow model, which also suggests extrusion is a boundary fault guided flow along the shallow crustal brittle-ductile regime. Although many models have proposed, but no consensus in these models to explain the dynamics of measured surface geodetic deformation of the Tibetan plateau. But what remains conspicuous is the origin of driving forces that cause the observed Tibetan crustal flow towards the South East Asia. Is the crustal flow originated only because of the differential stresses that developed in the shallow crustal brittle-ductile regime? Or should the stress transfer to the shallow crustal layers as a result of gravitational potential energy gradient driven upper mantle flow also to be accounted. In this work, I examine the role of latter in the light of depth distribution of continental geoid anomalies beneath the Himalaya-Tibet across major upper mantle density discontinuities. These discontinuity surfaces in the upper mantle are susceptible to hold the plastic deformation that may occur as a result of the density gradient driven flow. The distribution of geoid anomalies across these density discontinuities at 220, 410 and 660 km depth in the

  19. Genome-wide association study of white blood cell count in 16,388 African Americans: the continental origins and genetic epidemiology network (COGENT).

    PubMed

    Reiner, Alexander P; Lettre, Guillaume; Nalls, Michael A; Ganesh, Santhi K; Mathias, Rasika; Austin, Melissa A; Dean, Eric; Arepalli, Sampath; Britton, Angela; Chen, Zhao; Couper, David; Curb, J David; Eaton, Charles B; Fornage, Myriam; Grant, Struan F A; Harris, Tamara B; Hernandez, Dena; Kamatini, Naoyuki; Keating, Brendan J; Kubo, Michiaki; LaCroix, Andrea; Lange, Leslie A; Liu, Simin; Lohman, Kurt; Meng, Yan; Mohler, Emile R; Musani, Solomon; Nakamura, Yusuke; O'Donnell, Christopher J; Okada, Yukinori; Palmer, Cameron D; Papanicolaou, George J; Patel, Kushang V; Singleton, Andrew B; Takahashi, Atsushi; Tang, Hua; Taylor, Herman A; Taylor, Kent; Thomson, Cynthia; Yanek, Lisa R; Yang, Lingyao; Ziv, Elad; Zonderman, Alan B; Folsom, Aaron R; Evans, Michele K; Liu, Yongmei; Becker, Diane M; Snively, Beverly M; Wilson, James G

    2011-06-01

    Total white blood cell (WBC) and neutrophil counts are lower among individuals of African descent due to the common African-derived "null" variant of the Duffy Antigen Receptor for Chemokines (DARC) gene. Additional common genetic polymorphisms were recently associated with total WBC and WBC sub-type levels in European and Japanese populations. No additional loci that account for WBC variability have been identified in African Americans. In order to address this, we performed a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) of total WBC and cell subtype counts in 16,388 African-American participants from 7 population-based cohorts available in the Continental Origins and Genetic Epidemiology Network. In addition to the DARC locus on chromosome 1q23, we identified two other regions (chromosomes 4q13 and 16q22) associated with WBC in African Americans (P<2.5×10(-8)). The lead SNP (rs9131) on chromosome 4q13 is located in the CXCL2 gene, which encodes a chemotactic cytokine for polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Independent evidence of the novel CXCL2 association with WBC was present in 3,551 Hispanic Americans, 14,767 Japanese, and 19,509 European Americans. The index SNP (rs12149261) on chromosome 16q22 associated with WBC count is located in a large inter-chromosomal segmental duplication encompassing part of the hydrocephalus inducing homolog (HYDIN) gene. We demonstrate that the chromosome 16q22 association finding is most likely due to a genotyping artifact as a consequence of sequence similarity between duplicated regions on chromosomes 16q22 and 1q21. Among the WBC loci recently identified in European or Japanese populations, replication was observed in our African-American meta-analysis for rs445 of CDK6 on chromosome 7q21 and rs4065321 of PSMD3-CSF3 region on chromosome 17q21. In summary, the CXCL2, CDK6, and PSMD3-CSF3 regions are associated with WBC count in African American and other populations. We also demonstrate that large inter-chromosomal duplications can

  20. Geochemistry of Mesoproterozoic sedimentary rocks of upper Vindhyan Group, southeastern Rajasthan and implications for weathering history, composition and tectonic setting of continental crust in the northern part of Indian shield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raza, Mahshar; Khan, Abdullah; Bhardwaj, V. R.; Rais, Sarwar

    2012-04-01

    The upper Vindhyan succession of southeastern Rajasthan is divisible into Kaimur, Rewa and Bhander Groups. The major and trace element (including rare earth elements) data of the upper Vindhyan shales and sandstones are investigated to determine the weathering history, composition, and tectonic setting of Mesoproterozoic continental crust. CIA (chemical index of alteration) values, A-CN-K plot (A = Al2O3, CN = CaO* + Na2O, K = K2O) and depletion in U, Na2O, CaO, Sr and Ba suggest that the source area experienced moderate to high degree of chemical weathering under warm and humid conditions. Provenance modeling indicates that the Kaimur sandstones are best modeled with a mixture having 40% granitic gneiss, 20% Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTG), 20% mafic enclaves and 20% Berach Granite of the Banded Gneissic Complex (BGC). A mixture of 60% granitic gneiss, 20% mafic enclaves and 20% Berach Granite of the BGC can model the Rewa and Bhander Groups. It is suggested that the upper Vindhyan sedimentation commenced at the time of Delhi-Sausar orogeny at about 1100-1000 Ma. The orogenic movements uplifted the parts of old continental crust in the BGC terrain creating positive areas, which exposed older crustal blocks containing TTG as important component. The debris of Kaimur sandstone probably derived from these uplifted blocks. As indicated by Palaeocurrent data, the Rewa and Bhander formations were derived from Bundelkhand Granitic Gneiss Complex (BGGC) occurring to the north of the basin and/or the Chotanagpur Granitic Gneiss Complex (CGGC) of eastern Indian shield. The derivation of Lower and upper groups of Vindhyan succession from different source terrains of identical composition suggests that at the time of Vindhyan sedimentation, the BGC of Rajasthan, the BGGC of Central India and the CGGC of eastern India had similar lithological composition. This implies that well before the origin of the Vindhyan basin these discrete terrains evolved as a single unit

  1. Observations on how does the continental crust thin and break-up in the eastern Gulf of Aden (Oman/Socotra)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leroy, Sylvie; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; d'Acremont, Elia; Lucazeau, Francis; Nonn, Chloe; Keir, Derek

    2014-05-01

    Reflection seismic lines and seismological investigations across conjugate margins of the Oman/Socotra margins allow a detailed description of the crustal structure and a discussion on the structures and the age of the deformation. Analysis of the full dataset enables mapping the area where the continental extension seems to be coupled to the mantle illustrating the exhumation phase. The crustal thinning is abrupt occurring mostly at the shoreline on both margins and shows along-margin variations. The receiver functions computations show that the western part of Socotra correspond to an outcropping necking zone whereas the eastern part to the proximal part. The thinning progressively migrates towards the locus of final breakup, which is interpreted by a progressive weakening of the mantle by lithospheric thinning and exhumation process. Then, a stage of uplift and erosion is observed in the proximal margins after the thinning phase. Uplift is usually higher where crustal thinning is more important in the deep basin, which could be interpreted by the onset of small-scale convection driven by the lateral temperature gradients at the necking zone.

  2. The 3.98-3.63 Ga zircons as indicators of major processes operating in the ancient continental crust of the east Antarctic shield (Enderby Land)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belyatsky, B. V.; Rodionov, N. V.; Antonov, A. V.; Sergeev, S. A.

    2011-06-01

    This study presents new results on zircons from the enderbite-charnockite rocks of Enderby Land, East Antarctica. U-Pb age of 3981 ± 8 Ma (SIMS SHRIMP II), which was first obtained for a protolith of massive enderbites from Aker Peaks, eastern Napier Mts, suggests that the existence of sialic crust in the study area at 4 Ga. Although there was only one magmatic zircon (of 150 grains analyzed) in the study area known with the oldest age, its significance cannot be overestimated, since it may indirectly evidence the existence of an Early Archean crustal block with a minimum age of 4 Ga, which extends for over 300 km across Enderby Land from its western to eastern part. Based on the U-Pb systematics, REE and trace element distributions in zircons from charnockite and enderbite gneisses, high-aluminous gneisses, and basic granulites, we first revealed that an early high-temperature metamorphic event accompanied by the emplacement of granodiorite intrusions occurred in the vicinity of Aker Peaks at 3620-3630 Ma. Although the 2850-3050 metamorphic overprints are clearly observed in some other areas of Enderby Land and are widely considered to be of critical importance on a regional scale, their metamorphic signatures are apparently absent from the U-Pb systematics of the studied zircon, thus suggesting the presence of similar old zircons in the study area. At the same time, all samples in this study record a 2480-2550 Ma granulite-amphibolite facies overprint represented as new zircon growths or recrystallization of earlier phases.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  4. Continental crustal composition and lower crustal models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, S. R.

    1983-01-01

    The composition of the upper crust is well established as being close to that of granodiorite. The upper crustal composition is reflected in the uniform REE abundances in shales which represent an homogenization of the various REE patterns. This composition can only persist to depths of 10-15 km, for heat flow and geochemical balance reasons. The composition of the total crust is model dependent. One constraint is that it should be capable of generating the upper granodioritic (S.L.) crust by partial melting within the crust. This composition is based on the andesite model, which assumes that the total crust has grown by accretion of island arc material. A representation of the growth rate of the continental crust is shown. The composition of the lower crust, which comprises 60-80% of the continental crust, remains a major unknown factor for models of terrestrial crustal evolution. Two approaches are used to model the lower crust.

  5. Nature of crust in the central Red Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Neil C.; Park, Yongcheol

    2014-07-01

    A transition between continental crust in the northern Red Sea and oceanic crust in the southern Red Sea coincides broadly with a southward increase in plate tectonic separation rate and with a decrease in upper mantle seismic velocity. We re-evaluate here the nature of crust in the intervening central Red Sea with the results of legacy seismic refraction experiments and recently released marine gravity anomalies derived from satellite altimeter measurements. In the refraction data, collected east of Thetis Deep, velocities of 6.6-6.9 km s- 1 of a deep refracting layer, which are similar to measured velocities of unaltered gabbro samples, extend outside the deep to 65 km from the axis. The new version of the marine gravity field reveals trends crossing the central Red Sea. Whereas some of them connect with major lineaments in the surrounding African-Arabian shield, those around Thetis Deep die out towards the coastlines. They can be paired across the ridge and lie slightly oblique to plate motions, as is typical of oceanic fracture zones or non-transform discontinuities migrating away from hotspots. Taken together these observations support the view that an oceanic rather than extended continental crust underlies this part of the central Red Sea. The crestal mountains around the median valleys of slow-spreading ridges are typically 500-1000 m lower at spreading discontinuities. Around Thetis Deep, the similar pattern in the gravity field to those of slow-spreading ridges suggests that the crestal mountains may variably block or impede flowage of evaporites towards the spreading centre, whereas the discontinuities may mark areas where flowage is unobstructed. Limited multibeam data collected in transits outside Thetis Deep show oblique fabrics as expected from these predicted movements.

  6. Layered granitoids: Interaction between continental crust recycling processes and mantle-derived magmatism: Examples from the Évora Massif (Ossa-Morena Zone, southwest Iberia, Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moita, Patrícia; Santos, José F.; Pereira, M. Francisco

    2009-08-01

    of the leucogranite magma. The Almansor outcrop is then interpreted as the remnants of a shear zone that operated as a pathway for melts that moved upward through the crust providing the locus for differentiation and mingling/mixing of magmas, whilst Alto de São Bento would correspond to the zone, at a higher crustal level, where magmas were trapped and forced to spread horizontally. At Valverde (the third area) foliated and non-foliated granitoids are spatially related and field criteria links these rocks to metamorphic protolith and anatectic melt, respectively. However, petrographic, geochemical and isotopic information shows that they all are compositionally identical trondhjemites with no evidence of metamorphic fabric. In the foliated rocks, mesoscopic features are interpreted as resulting from melt segregation structures formed in a crystallizing mush. In contrast to the previous areas, the Valverde trondhjemites probably do not belong to the main calc-alkaline plutonic suite of the Évora Massif, since they have a distinct Sr and Nd isotope signature.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  8. Deep crust and mantle structure linked to subduction of the Pacific plate at a continental margin from an active seismic source study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, T. A.; Okaya, D. A.; Henrys, S. A.; Savage, M. K.; Sato, H.; Iwasaki, T.

    2013-12-01

    We present new results that bear on mantle structure in a subduction zone of both the down going and over-riding plates. Wellington region, New Zealand, sits on the Australian plate a mere ~ 15-25 km above the subducted Pacific plate. This is rare: most active continental margins have at least 30-50 km of free board above subduction zones (cf, Pacific NW, Honshu). Such a shallow setting offers unusually good conditions for making terrestrial observations of the subduction process. In 2010-11 an active source seismic experiment (SAHKE) was carried out across the Wellington region. Both active and passive seismic methods were used to establish a model of the crustal structure and upper mantle structure beneath SAHKE (Henrys et al , 2013). We recorded 12 x 500 kg dynamite shots on ~ 1000 recorders place at 100 m spacing from coast to coast. These data contain excellent returns from the subduction zone at two-way travel times of 7-15 s, but we also recorded coherent reflection energy down to 30 s two-way-travel-time on vertical recorders and 47 s on horizontal recorders. We performed a low-fold stack of these deep reflections and see two zones. The deepest reflections define a westward 17 degree-dipping zone at ~ 100 km deep that is possibly the base of the subducted Pacific plate. The westward dip on this 100 km deep reflector matches that for the top of the plate. Moreover, the total plate thickness implied is ~ 80 km, which matches that predicted for 100 my old oceanic lithosphere. The other deep reflection zone dips eastward across the shot gathers and is typically seen at two-way travel times of 18-25 s on the vertical phones. We also see the same event as a Vs arrival on horizontal phones at two-way travel times of 34-47s. When migrated these reflections define an east dipping reflector that is within the mantle of the overriding Australian plate, and the surface projection of the reflector is ~ 80 km west of SAHKE line. This finding raises the question of what

  9. Active seismic monitoring of changes of the reflection response of a crystalline shear zone due to fluid injection in the crust at the Continental Deep Drilling Site, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beilecke, T.; Kurt, B.; Stefan, B.

    2005-12-01

    In theory and in the laboratory variations of the hydraulic pressure can be detected with seismic methods: A lowering of the hydraulic pressure leads to the closure of micro-cracks within the rock (increase of the differential or effective pressure). Subsequently, the seismic velocities increase. An increase of the hydraulic pressure leads to reverse seismic effects. Consequently, seismic impedance contrasts and associated reflection amplitudes vary in the case of a propagating fluid pressure front in a rock matrix with inhomogeneous permeability - as is the case at shear zones. The largest amplitude changes can be expected with vertical ray inclination on the impedance contrast. Generally, the expected effects are small however (Kaselow, 2004). The practical utilization of active seismics for the detection of pressure changes at large scale in hard rock is currently being studied at the Continental Deep Drilling Site (KTB). The injection of water (200 l/min) in a depth of about 4000 m into the so-called SE2 shear zone in the KTB pilot hole was monitored with active seismics between May 2004 and April 2005. The core of the experiment layout is a fixed 5-arm geophone array consisting of 24 3-component geophones, buried at about 70 cm depth. The source signal is a vertical vibrator sweep of 30 s length with the spectrum 30-120 Hz. The signal is sent into the ground 32 times during each cycle, detected with the array and recorded separately for each geophone channel, without prior correlation with the source signal. This allows maximum post-processing with seismic processing and analysis tools and especially permits the use of array properties to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. Critical parameters of the experiment are the repeatability of the source signal as well as the stability of the receiver properties. Another pivot is the hydraulic pressure and its distribution built up within the rock matrix. Estimations based on model calculations show that a change of

  10. Fatigue properties for the fracture strength of columnar accessory minerals embedded within metamorphic tectonites: implications for stress magnitude in continental crust at the depth of the brittle-plastic transition zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, N.; Iwashita, N.; Masuda, T.

    2009-04-01

    1. Introduction Previous studies have compiled yield-strength profiles of continental lithosphere based on the results of laboratory measurements and numerical calculations; however, yield-strength values remain poorly constrained, especially at depths below the brittle-plastic transition zone. Recent studies by the authors have refined the microboudin technique for estimating palaeostress magnitude in the deep crust (> 10 km depth). This technique has the potential to provide important information on stress levels in the deep continental crust, an environment to which available in situ stress measurements and palaeopiezometric methods cannot be applied. In applying the microboudinage technique, obtaining an estimate of the palaeostress magnitude requires knowledge of the fracture strength of columnar accessory minerals (e.g., tourmaline, amphibole, and epidote) that are subjected to brittle fracturing during plastic deformation of the surrounding matrix minerals. The absolute magnitude of fracture strength is known to show a marked reduction in the case of fatigue fracture. Fatigue fracture falls into two categories: static fatigue and cyclic fatigue. In the field of experimental rock deformation, stress corrosion by water molecules (static fatigue) is commonly invoked as the mechanism of fatigue fracture; however, evidence of both static and cyclic fatigue has been reported from studies of natural geological samples. The present study focused on the fatigue properties of columnar accessory minerals at high temperatures, with the aim of improving the accuracy of estimates of natural palaeostress magnitude at depth in the crust. 2. Constant stress-rate test A constant stress-rate test was performed to determine the influence of static fatigue on the strength of columnar accessory minerals. The test was conducted under three-point bending with a span distance of 10 mm. Temperature conditions and the crosshead speed were set in the ranges of ambient to 600°C, and 0

  11. Lithospheric transition from the Variscan Iberian Massif to the Jurassic oceanic crust of the Central Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernàndez, M.; Marzán, I.; Torne, M.

    2004-08-01

    A 1000-km-long lithospheric transect running from the Variscan Iberian Massif (VIM) to the oceanic domain of the Northwest African margin is investigated. The main goal of the study is to image the lateral changes in crustal and lithospheric structure from a complete section of an old and stable orogenic belt—the Variscan Iberian Massif—to the adjacent Jurassic passive margin of SW Iberia, and across the transpressive and seismically active Africa-Eurasia plate boundary. The modelling approach incorporates available seismic data and integrates elevation, gravity, geoid and heat flow data under the assumptions of thermal steady state and local isostasy. The results show that the Variscan Iberian crust has a roughly constant thickness of ˜30 km, in opposition to previous works that propose a prominent thickening beneath the South Portuguese Zone (SPZ). The three layers forming the Variscan crust show noticeable thickness variations along the profile. The upper crust thins from central Iberia (about 20 km thick) to the Ossa Morena Zone (OMZ) and the NE region of the South Portuguese Zone where locally the thickness of the upper crust is <8 km. Conversely, there is a clear thickening of the middle crust (up to 17 km thick) under the Ossa Morena Zone, whereas the thickness of the lower crust remains quite constant (˜6 km). Under the margin, the thinning of the continental crust is quite gentle and occurs over distances of ˜200 km, resembling the crustal attitude observed further north along the West Iberian margins. In the oceanic domain, there is a 160-km-wide Ocean Transition Zone located between the thinned continental crust of the continental shelf and slope and the true oceanic crust of the Seine Abyssal Plain. The total lithospheric thickness varies from about 120 km at the ends of the model profile to less than 100 km below the Ossa Morena and the South Portuguese zones. An outstanding result is the mass deficit at deep lithospheric mantle levels required

  12. Composition of the ancient north american crust.

    PubMed

    Condie, K C

    1967-02-24

    Geochemical studies of Wyoming Precambrian graywackes derived from continental crust older than 3.2 x 10(9) years indicate that their source area was at least as highly differentiated as most younger Precambrian crust. The composition of this early crust (approximately that of calcium-rich granite) is not unlike that of the 2.5 to 3.2 x 10(9) year old North American crust. Limited geochemical data suggest that the composition of North America may not have changed significantly during the last 3.0 to 3.5 x 10(9) years.

  13. Interrelationships between continental freeboard, tectonics and mantle temperature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galer, S. J. G.

    1991-01-01

    Oceanic hypsometry and isentropic melting models are combined to address the question of freeboard from the middle Archean to the present. In addition to the fraction of continental crust, the factors governing the long-term balance of the continental freeboard include the mantle potential temperature (TP), the oceanic lithosphere thickness, and the plate creation rate (C0). It is shown that variation in TP far outweighs the other factors in importance, with freeboard decreasing by 1 km for every TP increase of about 80 C. The huge ten- to thirtyfold increases in C0 backward in geological time that have been invoked to explain near-constant freeboard are shown to be unnecessary. The low value found for TP is consistent with the preservation of ancient diamonds in the deep South African lithosphere. It is concluded from this that the present cooling rate of the earth of about 46 C/Ga has general applicability over much of geological time.

  14. Crusts: biological

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Elias, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and fungi, are an essential part of dryland ecosystems. They are critical in the stabilization of soils, protecting them from wind and water erosion. Similarly, these soil surface communities also stabilized soils on early Earth, allowing vascular plants to establish. They contribute nitrogen and carbon to otherwise relatively infertile dryland soils, and have a strong influence on hydrologic cycles. Their presence can also influence vascular plant establishment and nutrition.

  15. Quaternary sedimentary processes on the northwestern African continental margin - An integrated study using side-scan sonar, high-resolution profiling, and core data

    SciTech Connect

    Masson, D.G.; Huggett, Q.J.; Weaver, P.P.E. ); Kidd, R.B. ); Gardner, J.V. )

    1991-08-01

    Side-scan sonar data, cores, and high-resolution profiles have been used to produce an integrated model of sedimentation for the continental margin west of the Canary Islands. Long-range side-scan sonar (GLORIA) data and a grid of 3.5-kHz profiles, covering some 200,000 km{sup 2} allow a regional appraisal of sedimentation. More detailed studies of selected areas have been undertaken using a new 30 kHz deep-towed side-scan sonar (TOBI) developed by the U.K. Institute of Oceanographic Sciences. Sediment cores have been used both to calibrate acoustic facies identified on sonographs and for detailed stratigraphic studies. The most recent significant sedimentation event in the area is to Saharan Sediment Slide, which carried material from the upper continental slope off West Africa to the edge of the Madeira Abyssal Plain, a distance of some 1000 km. The authors data shows the downslope evolution of the debris flow. Near the Canaries, it is a 20-m-thick deposit rafting coherent blocks of more than 1 km diameter; side-scan records show a strong flow-parallel fabric on a scale of tens of meters. On the lower slope, the debris flow thins to a few meters, the flow fabric disappears, and the rafted blocks decrease to meters in diameter. Side-scan data from the lower slope show that the Saharan Slide buries an older landscape of turbidity current channels, typically 1 km wide and 50 m deep. Evidence from the Madeiran Abyssal Plain indicates a history of large but infrequent turbidity currents, the emplacement of which is related to the effects of sea level changes on the northwest African margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-05-01

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

  17. Geochemistry and isotopic evolution of the central African Domes, Bangweulu and Irumide regions: Evidence for cryptic Archean sources and a Paleoproterozoic continental arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debruyne, David; Van Wilderode, Jorik; Balcaen, Lieve; Vanhaecke, Frank; Muchez, Philippe

    2014-12-01

    The interregional cratonic relations between the Paleo- and Mesoproterozoic basement units surrounding the Neoproterozoic Central African Copperbelt are still largely unresolved, although they are regarded as major potential metal sources. This study focuses on the Domes region basement at depth below the Copperbelt and its relationship to the neighboring Bangweulu Block and its destabilized margin, the Irumide Belt. We applied an integrated whole rock petrochemical and Sm-Nd isotopic approach to major lithological units to assess the proposed mid-Proterozoic arc setting for the Domes basement inliers along with their relationship to the neighboring areas. The available petrochemical and isotopic data for the Paleoproterozoic eastern Domes granitoids and magmatic units in the SW Bangweulu Block is consistent with a continental arc setting. Moreover, the mid-Paleoproterozoic Nd isotope ratios preclude an island arc because they are significantly less radiogenic than the depleted mantle. Predominantly Archean and Early Paleoproterozoic depleted mantle model ages in all terranes indicate limited juvenile input during Paleo- and Mesoproterozoic magmatic phases. Finally, broadly similar model ages in the Domes inliers and the Bangweulu-Irumide region suggest a relationship between these terranes.

  18. The Khida terrane - Geochronological and isotopic evidence for Paleoproterozoic and Archean crust in the eastern Arabian Shield of Saudi Arabia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Whitehouse, M.J.; Stoeser, D.B.; Stacey, J.S.

    2001-01-01

    The Khida terrane of the eastern Arabian Shield of Saudi Arabia has been proposed as being underlain by Paleoproterozoic to Archean continental crust (Stoeser and Stacey, 1988). Detailed geological aspects of the Khida terrane, particularly resulting from new fieldwork during 1999, are discussed in a companion abstract (Stoeser et al., this volume). We present conventional and ion- microprobe U-Pb zircon geoenronology, Nd whole-rock, and feldspar Pb isotopic data that further elucidate the pre-Pan-African evolution of the Khida terrane. Locations for the Muhayil samples described below are shown in figure 2 of Stoeser et al. (this volume). 

  19. Continental collisions and seismic signature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meissner, R.; Wever, Th.; Sadowiak, P.

    1991-04-01

    Reflection seismics in compressional belts has revealed the structure of crustal shortening and thickening processes, showing complex patterns of indentation and interfingering of colliding crusts and subcrustal lithospheres. Generally, in the upper crust large zones of detachments develop, often showing duplexes and 'crocodile' structures. The lower crust from zones of active collision (e.g. Alps, Pyrenees) is characterized by strongly dipping reflections. The base of the crust with the Moho must be continuously equilibrating after orogenic collapse as areas of former continental collision exhibit flat Mohos and subhorizontal reflections. The depth to the Moho increases during collision and decreases after the onset of post-orogenic extension, until finally the crustal root disappears completely together with the erosion of the mountains. Processes, active during continental collisions and orogenic collapse, create distinct structures which are imaged by reflection seismic profiling. Examples are shown and discussed.

  20. Geology and metallogeny of the Ar Rayn terrane, eastern Arabian shield: Evolution of a Neoproterozoic continental-margin arc during assembly of Gondwana within the East African orogen

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doebrich, J.L.; Al-Jehani, A. M.; Siddiqui, A.A.; Hayes, T.S.; Wooden, J.L.; Johnson, P.R.

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Reaction zone between pre-UHP titanite and host rock: insights into fluid-rock interaction and deformation mechanisms during exhumation of deeply subducted continental crust (Dabie Shan UHP unit, China)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wawrzenitz, N.; Romer, R. L.; Grasemann, B.; Morales, L. F. G.

    2012-04-01

    Exhumed crustal UHP rocks may occur as relict blocks in strongly metasomatized matrix rocks. Due to variations in competence between the mm to km sized blocks and their ductile matrix, the largely undeformed blocks may preserve the pre-subduction and the prograde history, whereas the matrix rocks have been ductilely deformed to high magnitudes and record successive stages of deformation. The reaction zones between blocks and matrix, however, provide insights into the fluid-rock interaction, deformation and the deformation mechanisms active during the exhumation of deeply subducted continental crust in the subduction channel. We investigate a titanite megacryst (3 cm in diameter) in a calc-silicate marble from the UHP unit in the Dabie Shan, China. The core of the titanite megacryst grew prograde during subduction. Its U-Pb system remained closed and yields a maximum age for UHP metamorphism. Sr and Nd isotope compositions in the core demonstrate that the titanite megacryst precipitated from a homogeneous fluid source. During metamorphism in the subduction zone, infiltration of external fluids resulted first in Sr-loss from the marbles and then introduction of Sr with unusually low 87Sr/86S values (Romer et al., 2003), leading to the contrasting 87Sr/86Sr values in the titanite megacryst and the hosting UHP marbles (Wawrzenitz et al., 2006). Related to deformation in the calc-silicate marble matrix, the rim of the titanite megacryst has been replaced during the following dissolution-precipitation reactions: (i) Pseudomorphic replacement of the old titanite megacryst by coupled dissolution-reprecipitation. Fluid migrated into the old grain producing a sharp boundary of the replacement front. (ii) New small titanite grains grew with their long axes parallel to the foliation of the marble matrix, reflecting the activation of dissolution precipitation creep. In the matrix, the foliation is defined by the orientation of the basal planes of phengitic white mica. The new

  2. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Luan C.; Hall, Stuart A.; Bird, Dale E.; Ball, Philip J.

    2016-06-01

    The Early Jurassic separation of Antarctica from Africa plays an important role in our understanding of the dispersal of Gondwana and Pangea. Previous reconstruction models contain overlaps and gaps in the restored margins that reflect difficulties in accurately delineating the continent-ocean-boundary (COB) and determining the amount and distribution of extended continental crust. This study focuses on the evolution of the African margin adjacent to the Mozambique Basin and the conjugate Antarctic margin near the Riiser-Larsen Sea. Satellite-derived gravity data have been used to trace the orientations and landward limits of fracture zones. A 3-D gravity inversion has produced a crustal thickness model that reliably quantifies the extent and amount of stretched crust. Crustal thicknesses together with fracture zone terminations reveal COBs that are significantly closer to the African and Antarctic coasts than previously recognized. Correlation of fracture zone azimuths and identified COBs suggests Antarctica began drifting away from Africa at approximately 171 Ma in a roughly SSE direction. An areal-balancing method has been used to restore the crust to a uniform prerift thickness so as to perform a nonrigid reconstruction for both nonvolcanic and volcanic margins. Both margins reveal a trend of increasing extension from east to west. Our results suggest Africa underwent extension of 60-120 km, while Antarctic crust was stretched by 105-180 km. Various models tested to determine the direction of extension during rifting suggest that Antarctica moved away from Africa in a WNW-ESE direction during the period between 184 and 171 Ma prior to the onset of seafloor spreading.

  3. Synchronous oceanic spreading and continental rifting in West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Continental breakup in Africa: From superplume to rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  5. Deep crustal structure of the North-West African margin from combined wide-angle and reflection seismic data (MIRROR seismic survey)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biari, Y.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Sahabi, M.; Aslanian, D.; Schnurle, P.; Berglar, K.; Moulin, M.; Mehdi, K.; Graindorge, D.; Evain, M.; Benabdellouahed, M.; Reichert, C.

    2015-08-01

    The structure of the Moroccan and Nova Scotia conjugate rifted margins is of key importance for understanding the Mesozoic break-up and evolution of the northern central Atlantic Ocean basin. Seven combined multichannel reflection (MCS) and wide-angle seismic (OBS) data profiles were acquired along the Atlantic Moroccan margin between the latitudes of 31.5° and 33° N during the MIRROR seismic survey in 2011, in order to image the transition from continental to oceanic crust, to study the variation in crustal structure, and to characterize the crust under the West African Coast Magnetic Anomaly (WACMA). The data were modeled using a forward modeling approach. The final models image crustal thinning from 36 km thickness below the continent to approximately 8 km in the oceanic domain. A 100 km wide zone characterized by rough basement topography and high seismic velocities up to 7.4 km/s in the lower crust is observed westward of the West African Coast Magnetic Anomaly. No basin underlain by continental crust has been imaged in this region, as has been identified north of our study area. Comparison to the conjugate Nova Scotian margin shows a similar continental crustal thickness and layer geometry, and the existence of exhumed and serpentinized upper mantle material on the Canadian side only. The oceanic crustal thickness is lower on the Canadian margin.

  6. Thermal models pertaining to continental growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, Paul; Ashwal, Lew

    1988-01-01

    Thermal models are important to understanding continental growth as the genesis, stabilization, and possible recycling of continental crust are closely related to the tectonic processes of the earth which are driven primarily by heat. The thermal energy budget of the earth was slowly decreasing since core formation, and thus the energy driving the terrestrial tectonic engine was decreasing. This fundamental observation was used to develop a logic tree defining the options for continental growth throughout earth history.

  7. Lunar and terrestrial crusts - A contrast in origin and evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, S. R.

    1982-09-01

    Planetary crusts, differing in composition from that of the bulk planet, and containing large concentrations of incompatible elements such as K, U and Th, may arise in two distinctly different ways. The first, exemplified by the moon, involves flotation of a feldspathic crust during an initial melting episode in which much of the planetary body was molten. The second, probably more common type of crust is formed as a consequence of partial melting, in response to radioactive heating, in the planetary interior and the eruption of basaltic lavas. Examples include the lunar maria and the oceanic crust of the earth. Subsequent partial melting epsiodes, involving recycling into the mantle, or lower crustal melting epsiodes produce more acidic crusts, of which the terrestrial continental crust forms the type example. The upper crust requires at least three successive partial melting events.

  8. Deep seismic reflection profiling and continental growth curves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klemperer, Simon L.

    1988-01-01

    The results of deep seismic reflection profiling is discussed which shows that the lower crust is prominently layered, in many continental areas, regardless of the age of the surface rocks. The seismic Moho is commonly shallower than the petrological Moho, leading to the question of the nature and origin of this prominent reflector in the deep crust. The lower crust is much less well defined in Phanerozoic and Proterozoic accreted terranes, suggesting possible differences in types of lower crusts.

  9. Composition of the continental plates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilluly, J.

    1954-01-01

    The structures of continental plates and of oceanic basins suggested by several seismologists are utilized to estimate the relative volumes of sial and sima in the earth's crust. It seems that sial of the composition of the average igneous rock constitutes fully 26% and perhaps as much as 43% of the total crust. This ratio is far higher than seems likely if the sial had been entirely derived through fractional crystallization of a basaltic magma. The relative paucity of intermediate rocks as compared with granite and gabbro in the crust points in the same direction. The tentative conclusion is reached that the sial owes a large part of its volume to some process other than fractional crystallization of basalt-possibly to the emanation of low-melting constituents such as water, silica, potassa, soda, and alumina directly from the mantle to the crust. ?? 1954 Springer-Verlag.

  10. La marge européenne de la Téthys jurassique en Corse : datation de trondhjémites de Balagne et indices de croûte continentale sous le domaine Balano-LigureThe European margin of the Jurassic Tethys in Corsica: dating of Balagne trondhjemites and evidence to support a continental crust beneath the Balagne-Ligurian domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Philippe; Cocherie, Alain; Lahondère, Didier; Fanning, C. Mark

    Vein trondhjemite in gabbro of the Carnispola Bridge has been dated to 169±3 Ma (UPb on zircon). This date indicates that E-MORB-type ophiolites were emplaced in the marginal Balagne part of the Ligurian Jurassic basin about some 10 Ma before the emplacement of N-MORB ophiolites in the most central part of the ocean. In addition, the presence of inherited zircons with Ordovician (431±8 Ma) and Archean (2693±12 Ma) ages reveals that the Balagne ophiolites were emplaced on a thinned continental crust. Finally, the 298±4 Ma age of zircons from eclogitised meta-arkose in the eclogitic Morteda-Farinole unit ('Schistes lustrés' zone) confirms the attribution of these rocks to a palaeogeographic area that laid between continent and ocean, along the edge of the Hercynian granite batholith in Corsica. To cite this article: P. Rossi et al., C. R. Geoscience 334 (2002) 313-322.

  11. Isotopic and chemical constraints on mantle-crust evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobsen, S.B. )

    1988-06-01

    A formalism for the general treatment of three-layer mantle-crust evolution models is presented and various published models are shown to be special cases of this more general model. The Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, and Rb-Sr isotopic present day mass balance for the continental crust-depleted mantle systems is consistent with {approximately}30% of the mantle being depleted. A growth curve for the continental crust is calculated on the basis of total inversion of the Sm-Nd isotopic data for all of Earth history. The curve suggests that by about 3.8 Ga ago, {approximately}40% of the present continental volume was present. Both the estimated continental recycling and addition rates show maxima around 3.0 Ga. The resulting continental addition rates are also very high 4.5-4.0 Ga ago and during the Phanerozoic. The Sm-Nd data are not compatible with a steady state model for the crust over the past 2-3 Ga. The major uncertainty in evaluating crust-mantle evolution models is the extent of exchange between the upper and lower mantle.

  12. Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Tang, Ming; Chen, Kang; Rudnick, Roberta L

    2016-01-22

    The Archean Eon witnessed the production of early continental crust, the emergence of life, and fundamental changes to the atmosphere. The nature of the first continental crust, which was the interface between the surface and deep Earth, has been obscured by the weathering, erosion, and tectonism that followed its formation. We used Ni/Co and Cr/Zn ratios in Archean terrigenous sedimentary rocks and Archean igneous/metaigneous rocks to track the bulk MgO composition of the Archean upper continental crust. This crust evolved from a highly mafic bulk composition before 3.0 billion years ago to a felsic bulk composition by 2.5 billion years ago. This compositional change was attended by a fivefold increase in the mass of the upper continental crust due to addition of granitic rocks, suggesting the onset of global plate tectonics at ~3.0 billion years ago. PMID:26798012

  13. Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Tang, Ming; Chen, Kang; Rudnick, Roberta L

    2016-01-22

    The Archean Eon witnessed the production of early continental crust, the emergence of life, and fundamental changes to the atmosphere. The nature of the first continental crust, which was the interface between the surface and deep Earth, has been obscured by the weathering, erosion, and tectonism that followed its formation. We used Ni/Co and Cr/Zn ratios in Archean terrigenous sedimentary rocks and Archean igneous/metaigneous rocks to track the bulk MgO composition of the Archean upper continental crust. This crust evolved from a highly mafic bulk composition before 3.0 billion years ago to a felsic bulk composition by 2.5 billion years ago. This compositional change was attended by a fivefold increase in the mass of the upper continental crust due to addition of granitic rocks, suggesting the onset of global plate tectonics at ~3.0 billion years ago.

  14. Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Ming; Chen, Kang; Rudnick, Roberta L.

    2016-01-01

    The Archean Eon witnessed the production of early continental crust, the emergence of life, and fundamental changes to the atmosphere. The nature of the first continental crust, which was the interface between the surface and deep Earth, has been obscured by the weathering, erosion, and tectonism that followed its formation. We used Ni/Co and Cr/Zn ratios in Archean terrigenous sedimentary rocks and Archean igneous/metaigneous rocks to track the bulk MgO composition of the Archean upper continental crust. This crust evolved from a highly mafic bulk composition before 3.0 billion years ago to a felsic bulk composition by 2.5 billion years ago. This compositional change was attended by a fivefold increase in the mass of the upper continental crust due to addition of granitic rocks, suggesting the onset of global plate tectonics at ~3.0 billion years ago.

  15. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, L. C.; Hall, S. A.; Ball, P.; Bird, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    The Early Jurassic separation of Antarctica from Africa plays an important role in our understanding of the dispersal of Gondwana. Previously proposed reconstruction models often contain overlaps and gaps in the restored margins that reflect difficulties in accurately delineating the continent-ocean boundary (COB) and determining the amount and distribution of extended continental crust. This study focuses on the evolution of the African margin adjacent to the Mozambique Basin and the conjugate margin of Antarctica near the Riiser Larsen Sea. New satellite-derived gravity data have been used to trace the orientations and landward limits of fracture zones in the study area. A 3-D gravity inversion has produced a crustal thickness model that reliably quantifies the extent and amount of stretched crust. Information on crustal thickness along with the identification of fracture zones reveal the COBs that are located significantly closer to the coasts of Africa and Antarctica than previously recognized. Correlation of both fracture zone azimuths and the identified COBs over the conjugate margins suggest Antarctica began drifting away from Africa at approximately 171 Ma in a roughly SSE direction. Of several scenarios examined, the Beira High is most likely oceanic and may be a conjugate feature of the southern Astrid Ridge. An areal-balancing method that involves restoring the crust to a uniform pre-rift thickness has been used to perform the non-rigid reconstruction for both non-volcanic and volcanic margin with magmatic underplating. Based on the results, Africa underwent extension of 65-105 km while Antarctic crust was stretched by 90-190 km. Both margins reveal a trend of increasing extension from east to west. Various models tested to determine the direction of extension during rifting suggest that Antarctica underwent a counter-clockwise rotation with respect to Africa between 186-171 Ma prior to the onset of seafloor spreading.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R.

    1996-12-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R. )

    1996-01-01

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

  18. Relamination of mafic subducting crust throughout Earth's history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maunder, Ben; van Hunen, Jeroen; Magni, Valentina; Bouilhol, Pierre

    2016-09-01

    Earth has likely cooled by several hundred degrees over its history, which has probably affected subduction dynamics and associated magmatism. Today, the process of compositional buoyancy driven upwelling, and subsequent underplating, of subducted materials (commonly referred to as "relamination") is thought to play a role in the formation of continental crust. Given that Archean continental crust formation is best explained by the involvement of mafic material, we investigate the feasibility of mafic crust relamination under a wide range of conditions applicable to modern and early Earth subduction zones, to assess if such a process might have been viable in an early Earth setting. Our numerical parametric study illustrates that the hotter, thicker-crust conditions of the early Earth favour the upward relamination of mafic subducting crust. The amount of relaminating subducting crust is observed to vary significantly, with subduction convergence rate having the strongest control on the volume of relaminated material. Indeed, removal of the entire mafic crust from the subducting slab is possible for slow subduction (∼2 cm/yr) under Archean conditions. We also observe great variability in the depth at which this separation occurs (80-120 km), with events corresponding to shallower detachment being more voluminous, and that relaminating material has to remain metastably buoyant until this separation depth, which is supported by geological, geophysical and geodynamical observations. Furthermore, this relamination behaviour is commonly episodic with a typical repeat time of approximately 10 Myrs, similar to timescales of episodicity observed in the Archean rock record. We demonstrate that this relamination process can result in the heating of considerable quantities of mafic material (to temperatures in excess of 900 °C), which is then emplaced below the over-riding lithosphere. As such, our results have implications for Archean subduction zone magmatism, for

  19. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust.

    PubMed

    Day, James M D; Ash, Richard D; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J; Rumble, Douglas; McDonough, William F; Walker, Richard J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52 +/- 0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System. PMID:19129845

  20. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day, James M. D.; Ash, Richard D.; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J.; Rumble, Douglas, III; McDonough, William F.; Walker, Richard J.; Taylor, Lawrence A.

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52+/-0.06Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System.

  1. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust.

    PubMed

    Day, James M D; Ash, Richard D; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J; Rumble, Douglas; McDonough, William F; Walker, Richard J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52 +/- 0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System.

  2. Temperature distribution in the crust and mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeanloz, R.; Morris, S.

    1986-01-01

    In an attempt to understand the temperature distribution in the earth, experimental constraints on the geotherm in the crust and mantle are considered. The basic form of the geotherm is interpreted on the basis of two dominant mechanisms by which heat is transported in the earth: (1) conduction through the rock, and (2) advection by thermal flow. Data reveal that: (1) the temperature distributions through continental lithosphere and through oceanic lithosphere more than 60 million years old are practically indistinguishable, (2) crustal uplift is instrumental in modifying continental geotherms, and (3) the average temperature through the Archean crust and mantle was similar to that at present. It is noted that current limitations in understanding the constitution of the lower mantle can lead to significant uncertainties in the thermal response time of the planetary interior.

  3. Constraints on continental crustal mass loss via chemical weathering using lithium and its isotopes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiao-Ming; Rudnick, Roberta L.

    2011-01-01

    Chemical weathering, as well as physical erosion, changes the composition and shapes the surface of the continental crust. However, the amount of continental material that has been lost over Earth’s history due to chemical weathering is poorly constrained. Using a mass balance model for lithium inputs and outputs from the continental crust, we find that the mass of continental crust that has been lost due to chemical weathering is at least 15% of the original mass of the juvenile continental crust, and may be as high as 60%, with a best estimate of approximately 45%. Our results suggest that chemical weathering and subsequent subduction of soluble elements have major impacts on both the mass and the compositional evolution of the continental crust. PMID:22184221

  4. Constraints on continental crustal mass loss via chemical weathering using lithium and its isotopes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiao-Ming; Rudnick, Roberta L

    2011-12-27

    Chemical weathering, as well as physical erosion, changes the composition and shapes the surface of the continental crust. However, the amount of continental material that has been lost over Earth's history due to chemical weathering is poorly constrained. Using a mass balance model for lithium inputs and outputs from the continental crust, we find that the mass of continental crust that has been lost due to chemical weathering is at least 15% of the original mass of the juvenile continental crust, and may be as high as 60%, with a best estimate of approximately 45%. Our results suggest that chemical weathering and subsequent subduction of soluble elements have major impacts on both the mass and the compositional evolution of the continental crust.

  5. Coseismic and postseismic Coulomb stress changes on intra-continental dip-slip faults and the role of viscoelastic relaxation in the lower crust: insights from 3D finite-element models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagge, Meike; Hampel, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    Investigating the stress interaction of faults plays a crucial role for assessing seismic hazard of a region. The calculation of Coulomb stress changes allows quantifying stress changes on so-called receiver faults in the surrounding of a source fault that was ruptured during an earthquake. Positive Coulomb stress changes bring receiver faults closer to failure, while a negative value indicates a delay of the next earthquake. Besides the coseismic ('static') stress changes, postseismic ('transient') stress changes induced by postseismic viscoelastic relaxation occur. Here we use 3D finite-element models with arrays of normal or thrust faults to study the coseismic stress changes and the stress changes arising from postseismic relaxation in the lower crust. The lithosphere is divided into an elastic upper crust, a viscoelastic lower crust and a viscoelastic lithospheric mantle. Gravity is included in the models. Driven by extension or shortening of the model, slip on the fault planes develops in a self-consistent way. We modelled an earthquake on a 40-km-long source fault with a coseismic slip of 2 m and calculated the displacement fields and Coulomb stress changes during the coseismic and postseismic phases. The results for the coseismic phase (Bagge and Hampel, Tectonophysics in press) show that synthetic receiver faults in the hanging wall and footwall of the source fault exhibit a symmetric distribution of the coseismic Coulomb stress changes on each fault, with large areas of negative stress changes but also some smaller areas of positive values. In contrast, faults positioned in along-strike prolongation of the source fault and outside of its hanging wall and footwall undergo mostly positive stress changes. Postseismic stress changes caused by viscous flow modify the static stress changes in a way that the net Coulomb stress changes on the receiver faults change significantly through space and time. Our models allow deciphering the combined effect of stress

  6. Continental magnetic anomaly constraints on continental reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

    Crustal magnetic anomalies mapped by the MAGSAT satellite for North and South America, Europe, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica and adjacent marine areas were adjusted to a common elevation of 400 km and differentially reduced to the radial pole of intensity 60,000 nT. These radially polarized anomalies are normalized for differential inclination, declination and intensity effects of the geomagnetic field, so that in principle they directly reflected the geometric and magnetic polarization attributes of sources which include regional petrologic variations of the crust and upper mantle, and crustal thickness and thermal perturbations. Continental anomalies demonstrate remarkably detailed correlation of regional magnetic sources across rifted margins when plotted on a reconstruction of Pangea. Accordingly, they suggest further fundamental constraints on the geologic evolution of the continents and their reconstructions.

  7. Crust rheology, slab detachment and topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duretz, T.; Gerya, T. V.

    2012-04-01

    The collision between continents following the closure of an ocean can lead to the subduction of continental crust. The introduction of buoyant crust within subduction zones triggers the development of extensional stresses in slabs which eventually result in their detachment. The dynamic consequences of slab detachment affects the development of topography, the exhumation of high-pressure rocks and the geodynamic evolution of collision zones. We employ two-dimensional thermo-mechanical modelling in order to study the importance of crustal rheology on the evolution of spontaneous subduction-collision systems and the occurrence of slab detachment. The modelling results indicate that varying the rheological structure of the crust can results in a broad range of collisional evolutions involving slab detachment, delamination (associated to slab rollback), or the combination of both mechanisms. By enhancing mechanical coupling at the Moho, a strong crust leads to the deep subduction of the crust (180 km). These collisions are subjected to slab detachment and subsequent coherent exhumation of the crust accommodated by eduction (inversion of subduction sense) and thrusting. In these conditions, slab detachment promotes the development of a high (> 4.5 km) and narrow (< 200 km) topographic plateau located in the vicinity of the suture. A contrasting style of collision is obtained by employing a weak crustal rheology. The weak mechanical coupling at the Moho promotes the widespread delamination of the lithosphere, preventing slab detachment to occur. Further shortening leads to buckling and thickening of the crust resulting in the development of topographic bulging on the lower plate. Collisions involving rheologically layered crust are characterised by a decoupling level at mid-crustal depths. These initial condition favours the delamination of the upper crust as well as the deep subduction of the lower crust. These collisions are thus successively affected by delamination

  8. Meteorite fusion crust variability.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thaisen, Kevin G.; Taylor, Lawrence A.

    2009-06-01

    Two assumptions commonly employed in meteorite interpretation are that fusion crust compositions represent the bulk-rock chemistry of the interior meteorite and that the vesicles within the fusion crust result from the release of implanted solar wind volatiles. Electron microprobe analyses of thin sections from lunar meteorite Miller Range (MIL) 05035 and eucrite Bates Nunataks (BTN) 00300 were performed to determine if the chemical compositions of the fusion crust varied and/or represented the published bulk rock composition. It was determined that fusion crust compositions are significantly influenced by the incorporation of fragments from the substrate, and by the composition and grain size of those minerals. Because of compositional heterogeneities throughout the meteorite, one cannot assume that fusion crust composition represents the bulk rock composition. If the compositional variability within the fusion crust and mineralogical differences among thin sections goes unnoticed, then the perceived composition and petrogenetic models of formation will be incorrect. The formation of vesicles within these fusion crusts were also compared to current theories attributing vesicles to a solar wind origin. Previous work from the STONE-5 experiment, where terrestrial rocks were exposed on the exterior of a spacecraft heatshield, produced a vesicular fusion crust without prolonged exposure to solar wind suggesting that the high temperatures experienced by a meteorite during passage through the Earth's atmosphere are sufficient to cause boiling of the melt. Therefore, the assumption that all vesicles found within a fusion crust are due to the release of implanted volatiles of solar wind may not be justified.

  9. Stored mafic/ultramafic crust and early Archean mantle depletion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chase, Clement G.; Patchett, P. J.

    1990-01-01

    Both early and late Archean rocks from greenstone belts and felsic gneiss complexes exhibit positive epsilon(Nd) values of +1 to +5 by 3.5 Ga, demonstrating that a depleted mantle reservoir existed very early. The amount of preserved pre-3.0 Ga continental crust cannot explain such high epsilon values in the depleted residue unless the volume of residual mantle was very small: a layer less than 70 km thick by 3.0 Ga. Repeated and exclusive sampling of such a thin layer, especially in forming the felsic gneiss complexes, is implausible. Extraction of enough continental crust to deplete the early mantle and its destructive recycling before 3.0 Ga ago requires another implausibility, that the sites of crustal generation of recycling were substantially distinct. In contrast, formation of mafic or ultramafic crust analogous to present-day oceanic crust was continuous from very early times. Recycled subducted oceanic lithosphere is a likely contributor to present-day hotspot magmas, and forms a reservoir at least comparable in volume to continental crust. Subduction of an early mafic/ultramafic oceanic crust and temporary storage rather than immediate mixing back into undifferentiated mantle may be responsible for the depletion and high epsilon(Nd) values of the Archean upper mantle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. The Oceanic Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Francheteau, Jean

    1983-01-01

    The earth's oceanic crust is created and destroyed in a flow outward from midocean ridges to subduction zones, where it plunges back into the mantle. The nature and dynamics of the crust, instrumentation used in investigations of this earth feature, and research efforts/findings are discussed. (JN)

  12. Evolution of the Archaean crust by delamination and shallow subduction.

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen F; Buhre, Stephan; Jacob, Dorrit E

    2003-01-16

    The Archaean oceanic crust was probably thicker than present-day oceanic crust owing to higher heat flow and thus higher degrees of melting at mid-ocean ridges. These conditions would also have led to a different bulk composition of oceanic crust in the early Archaean, that would probably have consisted of magnesium-rich picrite (with variably differentiated portions made up of basalt, gabbro, ultramafic cumulates and picrite). It is unclear whether these differences would have influenced crustal subduction and recycling processes, as experiments that have investigated the metamorphic reactions that take place during subduction have to date considered only modern mid-ocean-ridge basalts. Here we present data from high-pressure experiments that show that metamorphism of ultramafic cumulates and picrites produces pyroxenites, which we infer would have delaminated and melted to produce basaltic rocks, rather than continental crust as has previously been thought. Instead, the formation of continental crust requires subduction and melting of garnet-amphibolite--formed only in the upper regions of oceanic crust--which is thought to have first occurred on a large scale during subduction in the late Archaean. We deduce from this that shallow subduction and recycling of oceanic crust took place in the early Archaean, and that this would have resulted in strong depletion of only a thin layer of the uppermost mantle. The misfit between geochemical depletion models and geophysical models for mantle convection (which include deep subduction) might therefore be explained by continuous deepening of this depleted layer through geological time.

  13. Seismic-reflection signature of cretaceous continental breakup on the wilkes land margin, antarctica.

    PubMed

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

    1985-09-13

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

  14. On causal links between flood basalts and continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-03-01

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

  15. Continental volume and freeboard through geological time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, G.; Reymer, A. P. S.

    1985-01-01

    The consequences of approximately constant freeboard for continental growth are explored using a model that relates the volumes of isostatically compensated continents and oceans to the secular decline in terrestrial heat flow. It is found that a post-Archean increase in freeboard by 200 m requires continental growth of only 10 percent, while a decrease in freeboard by 200 m during this same period necessitates a crustal growth of 40 percent. Shrinkage of the continental crust since the end of the Archean can be ruled out. Changes of more than 10 percent in post-Archean crustal thickness are highly unlikely.

  16. Regional magnetic anomaly constraints on continental breakup

    SciTech Connect

    von Frese, R.R.B.; Hinze, W.J.; Olivier, R.; Bentley, C.R.

    1986-01-01

    Continental lithosphere magnetic anomalies mapped by the Magsat satellite are related to tectonic features associated with regional compositional variations of the crust and upper mantle and crustal thickness and thermal perturbations. These continental-scale anomaly patterns when corrected for varying observation elevation and the global change in the direction and intensity of the geomagnetic field show remarkable correlation of regional lithospheric magnetic sources across rifted continental margins when plotted on a reconstruction of Pangea. Accordingly, these anomalies provide new and fundamental constraints on the geologic evolution and dynamics of the continents and oceans.

  17. Evolution of the earth's crust: Evidence from comparative planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowman, P. D., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    Geochemical data and orbital photography from Apollo, Mariner, and Venera missions were combined with terrestrial geologic evidence to study the problem of why the earth has two contrasting types of crust (oceanic and continental). The following outline of terrestrial crustal evolution is proposed. A global crust of intermediate to acidic composition, high in aluminum, was formed by igneous processes early in the earth's history; portions survive in some shield areas as granitic and anorthositic gneisses. This crust was fractured by major impacts and tectonic processes, followed by basaltic eruptions analogous to the lunar maria and the smooth plains of the north hemisphere of Mars. Seafloor spreading and subduction ensued, during which portions of the early continental crust and sediments derived therefrom were thrust under the remaining continental crust. The process is exemplified today in regions such as the Andes/Peru-Chile trench system. Underplating may have been roughly concentric, and the higher radioactive element content of the underplated sialic material could thus eventually cause concentric zones of regional metamorphism and magmatism.

  18. 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.

  19. Icelandic-type crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foulger, G.R.; Du, Z.; Julian, B.R.

    2003-01-01

    Numerous seismic studies, in particular using receiver functions and explosion seismology, have provided a detailed picture of the structure and thickness of the crust beneath the Iceland transverse ridge. We review the results and propose a structural model that is consistent with all the observations. The upper crust is typically 7 ?? 1 km thick, heterogeneous and has high velocity gradients. The lower crust is typically 15-30 ?? 5 km thick and begins where the velocity gradient decreases radically. This generally occurs at the V p ??? 6.5 km s-1 level. A low-velocity zone ??? 10 000 km2 in area and up to ??? 15 km thick occupies the lower crust beneath central Iceland, and may represent a submerged, trapped oceanic microplate. The crust-mantle boundary is a transition zone ???5 ?? 3 km thick throughout which V p increases progressively from ???7.2 to ???8.0 km s-1. It may be gradational or a zone of alternating high- and low-velocity layers. There is no seismic evidence for melt or exceptionally high temperatures in or near this zone. Isostasy indicates that the density contrast between the lower crust and the mantle is only ???90 kg m-3 compared with ???300 kg m-3 for normal oceanic crust, indicating compositional anomalies that are as yet not understood. The seismological crust is ???30 km thick beneath the Greenland-Iceland and Iceland-Faeroe ridges, and eastern Iceland, ???20 km beneath western Iceland, and ???40 km thick beneath central Iceland. This pattern is not what is predicted for an eastward-migrating plume. Low attenuation and normal V p/V s ratios in the lower crust beneath central and southwestern Iceland, and normal uppermost mantle velocities in general, suggest that the crust and uppermost mantle are subsolidus and cooler than at equivalent depths beneath the East Pacific Rise. Seismic data from Iceland have historically been interpreted both in terms of thin-hot and thick-cold crust models, both of which have been cited as supporting the plume

  20. Shear wave velocity structure of the Anatolian Plate: anomalously slow crust in southwestern Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delph, Jonathan R.; Biryol, C. Berk; Beck, Susan L.; Zandt, George; Ward, Kevin M.

    2015-07-01

    The Anatolian Plate is composed of different lithospheric blocks and ribbon continents amalgamated during the closure of the Paleotethys Ocean and Neotethys Ocean along a subduction margin. Using ambient noise tomography, we investigate the crustal and uppermost mantle shear wave velocity structure of the Anatolian Plate. A total of 215 broad-band seismic stations were used spanning 7 yr of recording to compute 13 778 cross-correlations and obtain Rayleigh wave dispersion measurements for periods between 8 and 40 s. We then perform a shear wave inversion to calculate the seismic velocity structure of the crust and uppermost mantle. Our results show that the overall crustal shear wave velocities of the Anatolian crust are low (˜3.4 km s-1), indicative of a felsic overall composition. We find that prominent lateral seismic velocity gradients correlate with Tethyan suture zones, supporting the idea that the neotectonic structures of Turkey are exploiting the lithospheric weaknesses associated with the amalgamation of Anatolia. Anomalously slow shear wave velocities (˜3.15 km s-1 at 25 km) are located in the western limb of the Isparta Angle in southwestern Turkey. In the upper crust, we find that these low shear wave velocities correlate well with the projected location of a carbonate platform unit (Bey Dağlari) beneath the Lycian Nappe complex. In the lower crust and upper mantle of this region, we propose that the anomalously slow velocities are due to the introduction of aqueous fluids related to the underplating of accretionary material from the underthrusting of a buoyant, attenuated continental fragment similar to the Eratosthenes seamount. We suggest that this fragment controlled the location of the formation of the Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator fault in the eastern Aegean Sea during rapid slab rollback of the Aegean Arc in early Miocene times. Lastly, we observe that the uppermost mantle beneath continental Anatolia is generally slow (˜4.2 km s-1

  1. Pb isotopic evidence for early Archaean crust in South Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, P. N.; Kalsbeek, F.

    1986-01-01

    The results of an isotopic remote sensing study focussed on delineating the extent of Early Archean crust north and south of the Nuuk area and in south Greenland is presented. Contamination of the Late Archean Nuk gneisses and equivalents by unradiogenic Pb uniquely characteristic of Amitsoq gneiss was detected as far south as Sermilik about 70 km south of Nuuk and only as far north as the mouth of Godthabsfjord. This study was extended to the southern part of the Archean craton and the adjoining Early Proterozoic Ketilidian orogenic belt where the Pb isotopes suggest several episodes of reworking of older uranium depleted continental crust. The technique of using the Pb isotope character of younger felsic rocks, in this case Late Archean and Early Proterozoic gneisses and granites to sense the age and isotopic character of older components, is a particularly powerful tool for reconstructing the evolutionary growth and development of continental crust.

  2. Dynamics of Continental Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moresi, L. N.; Betts, P. G.; Miller, M. S.

    2013-12-01

    Subduction zones become congested when they try to swallow buoyant exotic crust. Accretionary mountain belts (orogens) that form at these convergent plate margins are the principal sites of lateral continental growth through Earth's history. Modern examples of accretionary margins are the North and South American Cordilleras and southwest Pacific. The geologic record is riddled with accretionary orogens, such as the Tasmanides along the eastern margin of the supercontinent Gondwana and the Altaides that formed on the southern margin of Laurasia. Both the modern and ancient examples are characterised by episodic switches between extension and shortening associated with transitions from collision of exotic crust and subduction related rollback. We present three-dimensional dynamic models that show for the first time how accretionary margins evolve from the initial collision, through a period of plate margin instability, to re-establishment of a stable convergent margin. The models illustrate how significant curvature of the orogenic system develops, as well as the mechanism for tectonic escape of the back arc region. The complexity of the morphology and evolution of the system are driven by lateral rollback of a tightly arcuate trench migrating parallel to the plate boundary and orthogonal to the convergence direction. We find geological and geophysical evidence for this process in the Tasmanides of eastern Australia, but infer that this is a global phenomena throughout Earth's evolution.

  3. Dynamics of continental accretion.

    PubMed

    Moresi, L; Betts, P G; Miller, M S; Cayley, R A

    2014-04-10

    Subduction zones become congested when they try to consume buoyant, exotic crust. The accretionary mountain belts (orogens) that form at these convergent plate margins have been the principal sites of lateral continental growth through Earth's history. Modern examples of accretionary margins are the North American Cordilleras and southwest Pacific subduction zones. The geologic record contains abundant accretionary orogens, such as the Tasmanides, along the eastern margin of the supercontinent Gondwana, and the Altaïdes, which formed on the southern margin of Laurasia. In modern and ancient examples of long-lived accretionary orogens, the overriding plate is subjected to episodes of crustal extension and back-arc basin development, often related to subduction rollback and transient episodes of orogenesis and crustal shortening, coincident with accretion of exotic crust. Here we present three-dimensional dynamic models that show how accretionary margins evolve from the initial collision, through a period of plate margin instability, to re-establishment of a stable convergent margin. The models illustrate how significant curvature of the orogenic system develops, as well as the mechanism for tectonic escape of the back-arc region. The complexity of the morphology and the evolution of the system are caused by lateral rollback of a tightly arcuate trench migrating parallel to the plate boundary and orthogonally to the convergence direction. We find geological and geophysical evidence for this process in the Tasmanides of eastern Australia, and infer that this is a recurrent and global phenomenon.

  4. Structure of the Crust beneath Cameroon, West Africa, from the Joint Inversion of Rayleigh Wave Group Velocities and Receiver Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Tokam, A K; Tabod, C T; Nyblade, A A; Julia, J; Wiens, D A; Pasyanos, M E

    2010-02-18

    The Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL) is a major geologic feature that cuts across Cameroon from the south west to the north east. It is a unique volcanic lineament which has both an oceanic and a continental sector and consists of a chain of Tertiary to Recent, generally alkaline volcanoes stretching from the Atlantic island of Pagalu to the interior of the African continent. The oceanic sector includes the islands of Bioko (formerly Fernando Po) and Sao Tome and Principe while the continental sector includes the Etinde, Cameroon, Manengouba, Bamboutos, Oku and Mandara mountains, as well as the Adamawa and Biu Plateaus. In addition to the CVL, three other major tectonic features characterize the region: the Benue Trough located northwest of the CVL, the Central African Shear Zone (CASZ), trending N70 degrees E, roughly parallel to the CVL, and the Congo Craton in southern Cameroon. The origin of the CVL is still the subject of considerable debate, with both plume and non-plume models invoked by many authors (e.g., Deruelle et al., 2007; Ngako et al, 2006; Ritsema and Allen, 2003; Burke, 2001; Ebinger and Sleep, 1998; Lee et al, 1994; Dorbath et al., 1986; Fairhead and Binks, 1991; King and Ritsema, 2000; Reusch et al., 2010). Crustal structure beneath Cameroon has been investigated previously using active (Stuart et al, 1985) and passive (Dorbath et al., 1986; Tabod, 1991; Tabod et al, 1992; Plomerova et al, 1993) source seismic data, revealing a crust about 33 km thick at the south-western end of the continental portion of the CVL (Tabod, 1991) and the Adamawa Plateau, and thinner crust (23 km thick) beneath the Garoua Rift in the north (Stuart et al, 1985) (Figure 1). Estimates of crustal thickness obtained using gravity data show similar variations between the Garoua rift, Adamawa Plateau, and southern part of the CVL (Poudjom et al., 1995; Nnange et al., 2000). In this study, we investigate further crustal structure beneath the CVL and the adjacent regions in

  5. The nature of orogenic crust in the central Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, Susan L.; Zandt, George

    2002-10-01

    The central Andes (16°-22°S) are part of an active continental margin mountain belt and the result of shortening of the weak western edge of South America between the strong lithospheres of the subducting Nazca plate and the underthrusting Brazilian shield. We have combined receiver function and surface wave dispersion results from the BANJO-SEDA project with other geophysical studies to characterize the nature of the continental crust and mantle lithospheric structure. The major results are as follows: (1) The crust supporting the high elevations is thick and has a felsic to intermediate bulk composition. (2) The relatively strong Brazilian lithosphere is underthrusting as far west (65.5°W) as the high elevations of the western part of the Eastern Cordillera (EC) but does not underthrust the entire Altiplano. (3) The subcrustal lithosphere is delaminating piecemeal under the Altiplano-EC boundary but is not completely removed beneath the central Altiplano. The Altiplano crust is characterized by a brittle upper crust decoupled from a very weak lower crust that is dominated by ductile deformation, leading to lower crustal flow and flat topography. In contrast, in the high-relief, inland-sloping regions of the EC and sub-Andean zone, the upper crust is still strongly coupled across the basal thrust of the fold-thrust belt to the underthrusting Brazilian Shield lithosphere. Subcrustal shortening between the Altiplano and Brazilian lithosphere appears to be accommodated by delamination near the Altiplano-EC boundary. Our study suggests that orogenic reworking may be an important part of the "felsification" of continental crust.

  6. Corium crust strength measurements.

    SciTech Connect

    Lomperski, S.; Nuclear Engineering Division

    2009-11-01

    Corium strength is of interest in the context of a severe reactor accident in which molten core material melts through the reactor vessel and collects on the containment basemat. Some accident management strategies involve pouring water over the melt to solidify it and halt corium/concrete interactions. The effectiveness of this method could be influenced by the strength of the corium crust at the interface between the melt and coolant. A strong, coherent crust anchored to the containment walls could allow the yet-molten corium to fall away from the crust as it erodes the basemat, thereby thermally decoupling the melt from the coolant and sharply reducing the cooling rate. This paper presents a diverse collection of measurements of the mechanical strength of corium. The data is based on load tests of corium samples in three different contexts: (1) small blocks cut from the debris of the large-scale MACE experiments, (2) 30 cm-diameter, 75 kg ingots produced by SSWICS quench tests, and (3) high temperature crusts loaded during large-scale corium/concrete interaction (CCI) tests. In every case the corium consisted of varying proportions of UO{sub 2}, ZrO{sub 2}, and the constituents of concrete to represent a LWR melt at different stages of a molten core/concrete interaction. The collection of data was used to assess the strength and stability of an anchored, plant-scale crust. The results indicate that such a crust is likely to be too weak to support itself above the melt. It is therefore improbable that an anchored crust configuration could persist and the melt become thermally decoupled from the water layer to restrict cooling and prolong an attack of the reactor cavity concrete.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Weathering crusts on peridotite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bucher, Kurt; Stober, Ingrid; Müller-Sigmund, Hiltrud

    2015-05-01

    Chemical weathering of dark-green massive peridotite, including partly serpentinized peridotite, produces a distinct and remarkable brown weathering rind when exposed to the atmosphere long enough. The structure and mineral composition of crusts on rocks from the Ronda peridotite, Spain, have been studied in some detail. The generic overall weathering reaction serpentinized peridotite + rainwater = weathering rind + runoff water describes the crust-forming process. This hydration reaction depends on water supply from the outcrop surface to the reaction front separating green peridotite from the brown crust. The reaction pauses after drying and resumes at the front after wetting. The overall net reaction transforms olivine to serpentine in a volume-conserving replacement reaction. The crust formation can be viewed as secondary serpentinization of peridotite that has been strongly altered by primary hydrothermal serpentinization. The reaction stoichiometry of the crust-related serpentinization is preserved and reflected by the composition of runoff waters in the peridotite massif. The brown color of the rind is caused by amorphous Fe(III) hydroxide, a side product from the oxidation of Fe(II) released by the dissolution of fayalite component in olivine.

  9. Raindrop induced crust formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szabó, Judit Alexandra; Jakab, Gergely; Józsa, Sándor; Németh, Tibor; Kovács, Ivett; Szalai, Zoltán

    2016-04-01

    Rainfall simulators are wildly used to study soil erosion because all parts of the erosion process can be simulated with them. Small-scale laboratory rainfall simulator was used to examine the detachment phase of the erosion and study the redistribution trend of the organic and mineral components of the soil. Splash erosion often creates crust on the soil surface that decreases porosity and infiltration. Crusts have crucial role in physical soil degradation processes, erosion and crop production fall. Intensive rainfall on a recently tilled Regosol and a Cambisol plots detached the aggregates and the occurred runoff scattered the individual particles on the surface. Oriented thin sections from the various morphological types of surface crusts were made similar as a thin section from any rock but during the preparation the samples were saturated often with dilute two-component adhesive to solidify the soil to preserve the crust. Raman spectroscopy and XRD analysis measurements are in progress in order to identify spatial changes in organic matter and mineralogical composition among the crust layers. Preliminary results suggest the separation of the mineral and organic soil components. The lighter organic matter seems to be enriched in the soil loss while the heavier minerals are deposited and stratified in the deeper micromorphological positions of the surface. The understanding of this selectivity is necessary in soil loss estimation.

  10. Use and abuse of crust-formation ages

    SciTech Connect

    Arndt, N.T.; Goldstein, S.L.

    1987-10-01

    Samarium-neodymium (Sm-Nd) isotopic studies can be used to evaluate the history of crustal growth and sometimes to give crust-formation ages, which reflect the time of differentiation of crust from the mantle. If, however, a sample is a mixture of material derived from the mantle at different times, Sm-Nd systematics may provide only an estimate of the average time that the material in the sample has been resident in the continental crust. In such cases, Sm-Nd isotopes give no direct information on the timing of crustal formation. These ages can be interpreted as the time of crust-mantle segregation only if supported by other geologic and geochronological information. Misinterpretation can lead to false conclusions about the history of crustal development.

  11. Ferromanganese crusts as indicators for paleoceanographic events in the NE Atlantic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koschinsky, A.; Halbach, P.; Hein, J.R.; Mangini, A.

    1996-01-01

    Hydrogenetic ferromanganese crusts reflect the chemical conditions of the seawater from which they formed. Fine-scale geochemical analysis of crust layers in combination with age determinations can therefore be used to investigate paleoceanographic changes which are recorded in geochemical gradients in the crusts. At Tropic seamount (off northwest Africa), uniform crust growth influenced by terrigenous input from the African continent occurred during approximately the past 12 Ma. Phosphatization of these crusts is minor. In contrast, crusts from Lion seamount, located between Madeira and the Portuguese coast, display a much more variable growth history. A pronounced increase in Ni, Cu, and Zn is observed in some intervals of the crusts, which probably reflects increased surface productivity. A thick older phosphatized generation occurs in many samples. Hydrographic profiles indicate that Mediterranean outflow water (MOW) may play an important role in the composition of these crusts. 10Be dating of one sample confirms that the interruption of the MOW during the Messinian salinity crisis (6.2-5 Ma ago) resulted in changes in element composition. Sr-isotope dating of the apatite phase of the old crust generation has been carried out to obtain a minimum age for the older generation of Atlantic crusts and to determine whether crust phosphatization in the Atlantic can be related to phosphatization episodes recorded in Pacific crusts. The preliminary data show that the old phosphatized crust generation might be as old as approximately 30-40 Ma.

  12. Ferromanganese crusts as indicators for paleoceanographic events in the NE Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koschinsky, A.; Halbach, P.; Hein, J. R.; Mangini, A.

    Hydrogenetic ferromanganese crusts reflect the chemical conditions of the seawater from which they formed. Fine-scale geochemical analysis of crust layers in combination with age determinations can therefore be used to investigate paleoceanographic changes which are recorded in geochemical gradients in the crusts. At Tropic seamount (off northwest Africa), uniform crust growth influenced by terrigenous input from the African continent occurred during approximately the past 12Ma. Phosphatization of these crusts is minor. In contrast, crusts from Lion seamount, located between Madeira and the Portuguese coast, display a much more variable growth history. A pronounced increase in Ni, Cu, and Zn is observed in some intervals of the crusts, which probably reflects increased surface productivity. A thick older phosphatized generation occurs in many samples. Hydrographic profiles indicate that Mediterranean outflow water (MOW) may play an important role in the composition of these crusts. 10Be dating of one sample confirms that the interruption of the MOW during the Messinian salinity crisis (6.2-5Ma ago) resulted in changes in element composition. Sr-isotope dating of the apatite phase of the old crust generation has been carried out to obtain a minimum age for the older generation of Atlantic crusts and to determine whether crust phosphatization in the Atlantic can be related to phosphatization episodes recorded in Pacific crusts. The preliminary data show that the old phosphatized crust generation might be as old as approximately 30-40Ma.

  13. Melt evolution and residence in extending crust: Thermal modeling of the crust and crustal magmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karakas, Ozge; Dufek, Josef

    2015-09-01

    Tectonic extension and magmatism often act in concert to modify the thermal, mechanical, and chemical structure of the crust. Quantifying the effects of extension and magma flux on melting relationships in the crust is fundamental to determining the rate of crustal melting versus fractionation, magma residence time, and the growth of continental crust in rift environments. In order to understand the coupled control of tectonic extension and magma emplacement on crustal thermal evolution, we develop a numerical model that accounts for extension and thermal-petrographic processes in diverse extensional settings. We show that magma flux exerts the primary control on melt generation and tectonic extension amplifies the volume of melt residing in the crustal column. Diking into an extending crust produces hybrid magmas composed of 1) residual melt remaining after partial crystallization of basalt (mantle-derived melt) and 2) melt from partial melting of the crust (crustal melt). In an extending crust, mantle-derived melts are more prevalent than crustal melts across a range of magma fluxes, tectonic extension rates, and magmatic water contents. In most of the conditions, crustal temperatures do not reach their solidus temperatures to initiate partial melting of these igneous lithologies. Energy balance calculations show that the total enthalpy transported by dikes is primarily used for increasing the sensible heat of the cold surrounding crust with little energy contributing to latent heat of melting the crust (maximum crustal melting efficiency is 6%). In the lower crust, an extensive mush region develops for most of the conditions. Upper crustal crystalline mush is produced by continuous emplacement of magma with geologically reasonable flux and extension rates on timescales of 106 yr. Addition of tectonic effects and non-linear melt fraction relationships demonstrates that the magma flux required to sustain partially molten regions in the upper crust is within the

  14. Ductile extensional shear zones in the lower crust of a passive margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clerc, Camille; Jolivet, Laurent; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude

    2015-12-01

    We describe and interpret an unpublished set of ION Geophysical seismic reflection profile showing strong organized seismic reflectors at the base of the continental crust of the Uruguayan volcanic rifted margin. We distinguish two main groups of reflectors in the lowermost continental crust. A first group, at depths ranging from 32 km below the continent to 16 km in the continent-ocean transition, comprises reflectors continuous over tens of kilometers, peculiarly visible near the mantle-crust boundary. A second group of reflectors dipping toward the ESE (oceanward) is widely distributed in the lower crust. These reflectors are slightly curved and tend to merge and become sub-parallel with the first group of reflectors. Together they draw the pattern of thick shallow-dipping top-to-the continent shear zones affecting the lower continental crust. Such sense of shear is also consistent with the continentward dip of the normal faults that control the deposition of the thick syn-tectonic volcanic formations (SDR). A major portion of the continental crust behaved in a ductile manner and recorded a component of top-to-the continent penetrative simple shear during rifting indicative of a lateral movement between the upper crust and the mantle.

  15. Dynamics of Pre-3 Ga Crust-Mantle Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patchett, P. J.; Chase, C. G.; Vervoort, J. D.

    2004-05-01

    During 3.0 to 2.7 Ga, the Earth's crust underwent a non-uniformitarian change from a pre-3.0 Ga environment where long-term preservation of cratons was rare and difficult, to post-2.7 Ga conditions where cratons were established and new continental crust generation took place largely at craton margins. Many models view the Earth's surface during pre-3 Ga time as broadly equivalent to the post 2.7 Ga regime. Any such uniformitarian or gradual evolution cannot explain the conundrum that only a tiny amount of pre-3 Ga crust is preserved today coupled with the fact that very little pre-3 Ga crust was incorporated into the large amount of new craton that came into existence during 3.0-2.7 Ga. If large volumes of pre-3 Ga continental crust existed, it disappeared either just prior to 3 Ga, or during 3.0-2.7 Ga. To explain sudden appearance of surviving but dominantly juvenile continental crust in a model where continents were large prior to 3 Ga, it would be necessary either that pre-3 Ga continent was recycled into the mantle at sites systematically different from those where new 3.0-2.7 Ga crust was made, or that widespread continent destruction preceded the 3.0-2.7 Ga crustal genesis. From expected mantle overturn in response to the heat budget, it is likely that most pre-3 Ga crust was both more mafic and shorter-lived than after 3 Ga. Although Nd and Hf ratios for pre-3 Ga rocks are uncertain due to polymetamorphism, it appears that depleted upper mantle was widespread by 2.7 Ga, even pre-3 Ga. Depletion may have been largely achieved by formation, subduction and storage of mafic crust for periods of 200-500 m.y. The rapid change to large surviving continents during 3.0-2.7 Ga was due to declining mantle overturn, and particularly to development of the ability to maintain subduction in one zone of the earth's surface for the time needed to allow evolution to felsic igneous rock compositions. In as much as storage of subducted slabs is probably occurring today, and

  16. Ophiolites and oceanic crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moores, E.M.; Jackson, E.D.

    1974-01-01

    OPHIOLITES consist of a pseudostratiform sequence, of harzburgite, tectonite, ultramafic and mafic cumulates sometimes including gabbro and quartz diorite (plagiogranite) intrusions, dolerite dyke swarms, pillow lava 1, and deep-sea sediments2-4. This assemblage occurs in all Phanerozoic mountain systems and is interpreted as fossil oceanic crust and uppermost mantle5-10. Outstanding problems include differences between the chemical properties of Ophiolites and rocks thought to represent present-day oceanic crust11,12, the lack in some complexes of recognised dyke swarms or cumulates, and the relative thinness of ophiolite mafic rocks compared with standard oceanic crustal sections5,8,13. ?? 1974 Nature Publishing Group.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    measured scarp heights of up to 75 m. The scarps are degraded and lack evidence of recent surface rupture; slip-rates along these faults are interpreted to be low. We aim to determine explicit slip rates for these faults using our 40Ar-39Ar analyses, for comparison with the time-averaged slip rate along the border fault system. Our detailed analysis of faults and their association with volcanic products will provide insights into how strain is partitioned in 4 dimensions across the rift, as well as the potential significance of tectonic-magmatic interactions during early continental breakup.

  18. Crustal architecture and deep structure of the Namibian passive continental margin around Walvis Ridge from wide-angle seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrmann, Jan H.; Planert, Lars; Jokat, Wilfried; Ryberg, Trond; Bialas, Jörg; Jegen, Marion

    2013-04-01

    The opening of the South Atlantic ocean basin was accompanied by voluminous magmatism on the conjugate continental margins of Africa and South America, including the formation of the Parana and Entendeka large igneous provinces (LIP), the build-up of up to 100 km wide volcanic wedges characterized by seaward dipping reflector sequences (SDR), as well as the formation of paired hotspot tracks on the rifted African and South American plates, the Walvis Ridge and the Rio Grande Rise. The area is considered as type example for hotspot or plume-related continental break-up. However, SDR, and LIP-related features on land are concentrated south of the hotspot tracks. The segmentation of the margins offers a prime opportunity to study the magmatic signal in space and time, and investigate the interrelation with rift-related deformation. A globally significant question we address here is whether magmatism drives continental break-up, or whether even rifting accompanied by abundant magmatism is in response to crustal and lithospheric stretching governed by large-scale plate kinematics. In 2010/11, an amphibious set of wide-angle seismic data was acquired around the landfall of Walvis Ridge at the Namibian passive continental margin. The experiments were designed to provide crustal velocity information and to investigate the structure of the upper mantle. In particular, we aimed at identifying deep fault zones and variations in Moho depth, constrain the velocity signature of SDR sequences, as well as the extent of magmatic addition to the lower crust near the continent-ocean transition. Sediment cover down to the igneous basement was additionally constrained by reflection seismic data. Here, we present tomographic analysis of the seismic data of one long NNW oriented profile parallel to the continental margin across Walvis Ridge, and a second amphibious profile from the Angola Basin across Walvis Ridge and into the continental interior, crossing the area of the Etendeka

  19. Pseudotachylites and Earthquakes: New Evidence for the "Jelly Sandwich" Rheology of Continental Lithosphere (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, W.; Yang, Z.

    2009-12-01

    The occurrence of pseudotachylite, an often-used proxy for brittle, seismogenic deformation, in mafic granulite facies has been cited as key evidence for the lower continental crust being stronger than the underlying uppermost mantle (“crème brûlée” model). Such reasoning seems unsound in that spectacular examples of pseudotachylite, exceeding 100 meters in length, occur in outcrops of the upper mantle. So if pseudotachylites indicate high mechanical strength, then the mantle lithosphere must be strong, supporting the “jelly sandwich” model of rheology. Moreover, pseudotachylites do occur in rocks of amphibolite facies where hydrous minerals are abundant, ruling out the notion that pseudotachylite implies dry conditions in the crust. Recent results from laboratory experiments also indicate that in general, mafic granulite is weaker than peridotite (Wang et al. [2008] and H. Green, personal communication). Perhaps the only stone left unturned is the pathological case where absolute-dry, mafic granulite were to juxtapose with hydrous peridotite - a hypothetical situation not observed in nature and yet to be linked with any specific, known geological processes. Meanwhile, cases of well-established, large- to moderate-sized earthquakes in the sub-continental mantle lithosphere (SCML) have been steadily accumulating, including events that generated clear underside reflections off the Moho above the hypocenters. Furthermore, a continent-wide analysis of precisely determined focal depths along and near the East African rift system (EARS) shows that different segments of the EARS exhibit three distinct patterns in focal depths, with a clear bimodal distribution beneath well-known but amagmatic rift valleys. The peaks of seismic moment release occur in the upper to mid-crust and near and below the Moho - a pattern established in several regions more than 25 years ago that implies a similar vertical distribution in limiting stress of the continental lithosphere

  20. The northern Egyptian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badawy, Ahmed; Mohamed, Gad; Omar, Khaled; Farid, Walid

    2015-01-01

    Africa displays a variety of continental margin structures, tectonics and sedimentary records. The northern Egyptian continental margin represents the NE portion of the North African passive continental margin. Economically, this region is of great importance as a very rich and productive hydrocarbon zone in Egypt. Moreover, it is characterized by remarkable tectonic setting accompanied by active tectonic processes from the old Tethys to recent Mediterranean. In this article, seismicity of the northern Egyptian continental margin has been re-evaluated for more than 100-years and the source parameters of three recent earthquakes (October 2012, January 2013 and July 2013) have been estimated. Moment tensor inversions of 19th October 2012 and 17th January 2013 earthquakes reveal normal faulting mechanism with strike-slip component having seismic moment of 3.5E16 N m and 4.3E15 N m respectively. The operation of the Egyptian National Seismic Network (ENSN) since the end of 1997 has significantly enhanced the old picture of earthquake activity across northern Egyptian continental margin whereas; the record-ability (annual rate) has changed from 2-events/year to 54-event/year before and after ENSN respectively. The spatial distribution of earthquakes foci indicated that the activity tends to cluster at three zones: Mediterranean Ridge (MR), Nile Cone (NC) and Eratosthenes Seamount (ERS). However, two seismic gaps are reported along Levant Basin (LEV) and Herodotus Basin (HER).

  1. East African and Kuunga Orogenies in Tanzania - South Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritz, H.; Hauzenberger, C. A.; Tenczer, V.

    2012-04-01

    Tanzania and southern Kenya hold a key position for reconstructing Gondwana consolidation because here different orogen belts with different tectonic styles interfere. The older, ca. 650-620 Ma East African Orogeny resulted from the amalgamation of arc terranes in the northern Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS) and continental collision between East African pieces and parts of the Azania terrane in the south (Collins and Pisarevsky, 2005). The change form arc suturing to continental collision settings is found in southern Kenya where southernmost arcs of the ANS conjoin with thickened continental margin suites of the Eastern Granulite Belt. The younger ca. 570-530 Ma Kuunga orogeny heads from the Damara - Zambesi - Irumide Belts (De Waele et al., 2006) over Tanzania - Mozambique to southern India and clashes with the East African orogen in southern-central Tanzania. Two transitional orogen settings may be defined, (1) that between island arcs and inverted passive continental margin within the East African Orogen and, (2) that between N-S trending East African and W-E trending Kuungan orogenies. The Neoproterozoic island arc suites of SE-Kenya are exposed as a narrow stripe between western Azania and the Eastern Granulite belt. This suture is a steep, NNW stretched belt that aligns roughly with the prominent southern ANS shear zones that converge at the southern tip of the ANS (Athi and Aswa shear zones). Oblique convergence resulted in low-vorticity sinstral shear during early phases of deformation. Syn-magmatic and syn-tectonic textures are compatible with deformation at granulite metamorphic conditions and rocks exhumed quickly during ongoing transcurrent motion. The belt is typified as wrench tectonic belt with horizontal northwards flow of rocks within deeper portions of an island arc. The adjacent Eastern Granulite Nappe experienced westward directed, subhorizontal, low-vorticity, high temperature flow at partly extreme metamorphic conditions (900°C, 1.2 to 1.4 GPa

  2. Flexural extension of the upper continental crust in collisional foredeeps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradley, D.C.; Kidd, W.S.F.

    1991-01-01

    Normal faults on the outer slopes of trenches and collisional foredeeps reveal that high-amplitude lithospheric flexure can result in inelastic extensional deformation of the convex side of a flexed plate. This process, which we call "flexural extension', differs fundamentally from rifting in that the lower lithosphere contracts while the upper lithosphere extends. Structural evidence does not support common illustrations of flexural normal faults as planar-irrotational structures which simply die out at shallow crustal depths. Instead, the surface geology shows that flexural normal faulting must be rotational with respect to the enveloping surface of the flexed plate. This toppled domino geometry implies the presence at depth of a detachment or zone of distributed ductile simple shear where fault displacement and block rotation are accommodated. -from Authors

  3. Chemical transport through continental crust: (Annual) progress report, 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-03-20

    The main objective of these studies is to understand the extent and mechanisms of chemical migration over a range of temperatures and in diverse geologic media. During 1988--1989 we continued to attack these problems through studies in the granite-pegmatite systems of the Black Hills, South Dakota. Mineral chemistry, major element chemistry and trace element modeling of the Harney Peak Granite (Black Hills, South Dakota) suggest that 75% to 80% fractional crystallization was the dominant mechanism in producing evolved tourmaline-bearing granite (high B, Li, Rb, Cs, Be, Nb) from a biotite-muscovite granite. To evaluate the petrogenetic-evolutionary relations between the granite and the surrounding rare-element pegmatite field, over 500 K-feldspars (Kf) were analyzed from 60 unzoned to complexly zoned pegmatites. Pegmatites with Kf relatively high in Ba (>140 ppM) and relatively low in Rb (<1000 ppM) and Cs (<30 ppM) are distributed in regions of high pegmatite density (>200 pegmatites/sq. mile), whereas highly evolved pegmatites with Kf enriched in Rb (>4000 ppM) and Cs (>500 ppM) are distributed in regions of low pegmatite density (<100 pegmatites/sq. mile). The extent of pegmatite evolution as reflected in the Kf documents the relation between the degree of fractionation and internal zoning characteristics. Modeling of these data is a major task for the next grant year to provide new insights into chemical and thermal transport in the midcrust.

  4. Mineralization through geologic time: Evolution of continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Veizer, Jan; Laznicka, Peter; Jansen, S. L.

    1988-01-01

    In analogy to living systems, geologic entities (e.g., rocks, mineral deposits, tectonic realms and domains) are involved in the process of perpetual generation and destruction (birth/death cycles). This results in time distribution patterns akin to age structures in living populations and the systematics is amenable to treatment by the concepts of population dynamics. Utilizing this theoretical approach, the survivorship patterns for major realms of the plate tectonic system, for consitutent rocks, and for the entombed mineral resources are predicted. The present inventory encompasses global economic accumulations of metals by geologic age. The deposits of these metals were assigned to nine broad genetic categories, with an attempt to relate each category to tectonic setting within the framework of global plate tectonics.

  5. Workshop on the Deep Continental Crust of South India

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ashwal, Lewis D. (Editor)

    1988-01-01

    The various theories in the field on the Southern Indian granulite formation are discussed in this workshop proceeding. That some widely accepted ideas about the origin of granulites, particularly relating to the role of metamorphic fluids, will have to be modified, is one outcome of the workshop. Extended abstracts of the papers presented, summaries of the attendant discussions, up-to-date accounts of the geology of the South Indian Precambrian Shield, and detailed field trip guides to all areas visited are presented. It should serve as a convenient source of information and reference to those interested in the classic Precambrian high grade terrains on Earth.

  6. Characterization of the crust of Maine by seismic reflection and refraction

    SciTech Connect

    Stewart, D.B.; Luetgert, J.H.; Unger, J.D.; Phillips, J.D.

    1985-01-01

    Major structural features of the crust of Main and adjacent Quebec appear in both seismic reflection and refraction profiles gathered in 1983 and 1984 through US-Canada cooperative experiments and associated gravity, magnetic, and geologic studies. Excepting gabbroic plutons, the upper crust is sialic throughout Maine with velocity 5.7-6.3 km/sec; below approx.22 km, velocity increases to 6.8-7.2 km/sec. Crustal thinning, from 40 km in the NW to 35 km in the SE, accounts for all the increase in the regional gravity field to the SE. The crust-mantle transition is gradational but yields multiple strong Moho reflections and clear Pn arrivals. Seismic data permit five different kinds of continental crust (terranes) to be characterized. The terranes are separated by boundaries that penetrate most of the crust. No ancient oceanic crust was identified. In northwestern Maine, crust II with the Chain Lakes Massif and superposed ophiolite was obducted in the Taconian orogeny onto sialic (Grenville.) Crust I. Crust II is in steep contact with high grade sialic metamorphic rocks of crust III approx.10 km SE of the NW border of the Merrimack synclinorium. The contact is covered by approx.12 km of Silurian and Devonian metasedimentary rocks. Crust III contacts crust IV along the Norumbega fault zone; high grade Precambrian and lower Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks thrust southeastward make up the upper part of crust IV. Crust IV contacts crust V along the Turtle Head fault zone in Penobscot Bay. In Crust V approx.12 km of bimodal Lower Paleozoic volcanic rocks cover Precambrian rocks at medium grade. The irregular shapes of granitic plutons were determined to depths of 6-10 km.

  7. Lithospheric Shear Velocity Models Beneath Continental Margins in Antarctica Inferred From Genetic Algorithm Inversion for Teleseismic Receiver Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanao, M.; Shibutani, T.

    2005-12-01

    Seismic shear velocity models of the crust and the uppermost mantle were studied by teleseismic receiver function analyses beneath the permanent stations of the Federation of Digital Seismographic Networks (FDSN) at Antarctic continental margins. In order to eliminate the starting model dependency, a non-linear Genetic Algorithm (GA) was introduced in the time domain inversion of the receiver functions. A plenty of velocity models with an acceptable fit to the receiver function waveforms were generated during the inversion, and a stable model was produced by employing a weighted average of the best 1,000 models encountered in the development of the GA. The shear velocity model beneath the MAW (67.6S, 62.9E) has a sharp Moho boundary at 44 km depth that might have involved in a reworked metamorphic event of adjacent Archaean Napier Complex. A fairly sharp Moho was identified about 28 km depth beneath DRV (66.7S, 140.0E), with a middle grade variation of the crustal velocities that might have been caused by the Early Proterozoic metamorphism. A similar sharp Moho has been found at 40 km beneath SYO (69.0S, 39.6E). Thus Moho depth is consistent with that from refraction / wide-angle reflection surveys around the station. Fairly complicated velocity variations within the crust may have a relationship with lithology of granulite facies metamorphic rocks in the shallow crust associated with Pan-African events. Broadening low velocity zones about 30 km depths with transitional crust-mantle boundary at VNDA (77.5S, 161.9E), might be caused by the rift system besides the Trans Antarctic Mountains. As for the Antarctic Peninsular, very broad Moho was found around 36 km depths around PMSA (64.8S, 64.0W). The evidence of velocity variations within the crust reflects the tectonic histories of each terrain where these permanent stations are located.

  8. Evolution of the Archaean crust by delamination and shallow subduction.

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen F; Buhre, Stephan; Jacob, Dorrit E

    2003-01-16

    The Archaean oceanic crust was probably thicker than present-day oceanic crust owing to higher heat flow and thus higher degrees of melting at mid-ocean ridges. These conditions would also have led to a different bulk composition of oceanic crust in the early Archaean, that would probably have consisted of magnesium-rich picrite (with variably differentiated portions made up of basalt, gabbro, ultramafic cumulates and picrite). It is unclear whether these differences would have influenced crustal subduction and recycling processes, as experiments that have investigated the metamorphic reactions that take place during subduction have to date considered only modern mid-ocean-ridge basalts. Here we present data from high-pressure experiments that show that metamorphism of ultramafic cumulates and picrites produces pyroxenites, which we infer would have delaminated and melted to produce basaltic rocks, rather than continental crust as has previously been thought. Instead, the formation of continental crust requires subduction and melting of garnet-amphibolite--formed only in the upper regions of oceanic crust--which is thought to have first occurred on a large scale during subduction in the late Archaean. We deduce from this that shallow subduction and recycling of oceanic crust took place in the early Archaean, and that this would have resulted in strong depletion of only a thin layer of the uppermost mantle. The misfit between geochemical depletion models and geophysical models for mantle convection (which include deep subduction) might therefore be explained by continuous deepening of this depleted layer through geological time. PMID:12529633

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  10. Trace element chemistry of zircons from oceanic crust: A method for distinguishing detrital zircon provenance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimes, Craig B.; John, Barbara E.; Kelemen, P.B.; Mazdab, F.K.; Wooden, J.L.; Cheadle, Michael J.; Hanghoj, K.; Schwartz, J.J.

    2007-01-01

    We present newly acquired trace element compositions for more than 300 zircon grains in 36 gabbros formed at the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic and Southwest Indian Ridges. Rare earth element patterns for zircon from modern oceanic crust completely overlap with those for zircon crystallized in continental granitoids. However, plots of U versus Yb and U/Yb versus Hf or Y discriminate zircons crystallized in oceanic crust from continental zircon, and provide a relatively robust method for distinguishing zircons from these environments. Approximately 80% of the modern ocean crust zircons are distinct from the field defined by more than 1700 continental zircons from Archean and Phanerozoic samples. These discrimination diagrams provide a new tool for fingerprinting ocean crust zircons derived from reservoirs like that of modern mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) in both modern and ancient detrital zircon populations. Hadean detrital zircons previously reported from the Acasta Gneiss, Canada, and the Narryer Gneiss terrane, Western Australia, plot in the continental granitoid field, supporting hypotheses that at least some Hadean detrital zircons crystallized in continental crust forming magmas and not from a reservoir like modern MORB. ?? 2007 The Geological Society of America.

  11. Neutron star crusts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenz, C. P.; Ravenhall, D. G.; Pethick, C. J.

    1993-01-01

    We calculate properties of neutron star matter at subnuclear densities using an improved nuclear Hamiltonian. Nuclei disappear and the matter becomes uniform at a density of about 0.6n(s), where n(s) of about 0.16/cu fm is the saturation density of nuclear matter. As a consequence, the mass of matter in the crusts of neutron stars is only about half as large as previously estimated. In about half of that crustal mass, nuclear matter occurs in shapes very different from the roughly spherical nuclei familiar at lower densities. The thinner crust and the unusual nuclear shape have important consequences for theories of the rotational and thermal evolution of neutron stars, especialy theories of glitches.

  12. Psoriasis or crusted scabies.

    PubMed

    Goyal, N N; Wong, G A

    2008-03-01

    We describe a case of a 67-year-old woman with a 1-year history of nail thickening and a non-itchy erythematous scaly eruption on the fingertips. She was diagnosed with psoriasis and started on methotrexate after having had no response to topical calcipotriol. The diagnosis was reviewed after it was revealed by another consultant that the patient's husband had been attending dermatology clinics for several years with chronic pruritus, which had been repeatedly thought to be due to scabies. Our patient was found to have crusted scabies after a positive skin scraping showed numerous mites. She was treated with topical permethrin, keratolytics and oral ivermectin. We also review the literature on crusted scabies and its management, with recommendations.

  13. Lithospheric thickness jumps at the S-Atlantic continental margins from satellite gravity data and modelled isostatic anomalies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahraki, Meysam; Schmeling, Harro; Haas, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Isostatic equilibrium is a good approximation for passive continental margins. In these regions, geoid anomalies are proportional to the local dipole moment of density-depth distributions, which can be used to constrain the thickness of lithospheric jumps and corresponding tectonic stress. We analysed satellite derived geoid data and, after filtering, extracted typical averaged profiles across the Western and Eastern passive margins of the South Atlantic. They show geoid jumps of 8.1 m and 7.0 m for the Argentinian and African sides, respectively. Together with topography data and reasonable assumptions about densities these jumps are interpreted as isostatic geoid anomalies and yield best-fitting crustal and lithospheric thicknesses. They reveal a small asymmetry between the African and S-American crusts and lithospheres by a few kilometers. On both sides, the continental lithosphere is about 15 - 30km thicker than the oceanic lithosphere. To keep such geoid jumps stable over O(100Ma) fully dynamic models show that lithospheric viscosities must be of the order of 1e23 Pa s.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Continental and oceanic crustal magnetization modelling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harrison, C. G. A.; Hayling, K. L.

    1984-01-01

    Inversion of magnetic data from the MAGSAT satellite, to arrive at intensities of magnetization of the Earth's crust, was performed by two different methods. The first method uses a spherical harmonic model of the magnetic field. The coefficients believed to represent sources in the Earth's crust can then be inverted to arrive at vertical dipole moments per unit area at the Earth's surface. The spherical harmonic models contain coefficients of degrees of harmonics up to 23. The dipole moment per unit area for a surface element can then be determined by summing the contribution for each individual degree of harmonic. The magnetic moments were calculated for continental and oceanic areas separately as well as over certain latitudinal segments. Of primary concern was to determine whether there are any differences between continental and oceanic areas. The second analysis with magnetization intensities was made using narrower ranges of degrees of harmonics, assuming that higher degrees are present in the core field signal.

  16. Orogen styles in the East African Orogen: A review of the Neoproterozoic to Cambrian tectonic evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritz, H.; Abdelsalam, M.; Ali, K. A.; Bingen, B.; Collins, A. S.; Fowler, A. R.; Ghebreab, W.; Hauzenberger, C. A.; Johnson, P. R.; Kusky, T. M.; Macey, P.; Muhongo, S.; Stern, R. J.; Viola, G.

    2013-10-01

    The East African Orogen, extending from southern Israel, Sinai and Jordan in the north to Mozambique and Madagascar in the south, is the world´s largest Neoproterozoic to Cambrian orogenic complex. It comprises a collage of individual oceanic domains and continental fragments between the Archean Sahara-Congo-Kalahari Cratons in the west and Neoproterozoic India in the east. Orogen consolidation was achieved during distinct phases of orogeny between ∼850 and 550 Ma. The northern part of the orogen, the Arabian-Nubian Shield, is predominantly juvenile Neoproterozoic crust that formed in and adjacent to the Mozambique Ocean. The ocean closed during a protracted period of island-arc and microcontinent accretion between ∼850 and 620 Ma. To the south of the Arabian Nubian Shield, the Eastern Granulite-Cabo Delgado Nappe Complex of southern Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique was an extended crust that formed adjacent to theMozambique Ocean and experienced a ∼650-620 Ma granulite-facies metamorphism. Completion of the nappe assembly around 620 Ma is defined as the East African Orogeny and was related to closure of the Mozambique Ocean. Oceans persisted after 620 Ma between East Antarctica, India, southern parts of the Congo-Tanzania-Bangweulu Cratons and the Zimbabwe-Kalahari Craton. They closed during the ∼600-500 Ma Kuungan or Malagasy Orogeny, a tectonothermal event that affected large portions of southern Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar and Antarctica. The East African and Kuungan Orogenies were followed by phases of post-orogenic extension. Early ∼600-550 Ma extension is recorded in the Arabian-Nubian Shield and the Eastern Granulite-Cabo Delgado Nappe Complex. Later ∼550-480 Ma extension affected Mozambique and southern Madagascar. Both extension phases, although diachronous,are interpreted as the result of lithospheric delamination. Along the strike of the East African Orogen, different geodynamic settings resulted in the evolution of

  17. Orogen styles in the East African Orogen: A review of the Neoproterozoic to Cambrian tectonic evolution☆

    PubMed Central

    Fritz, H.; Abdelsalam, M.; Ali, K.A.; Bingen, B.; Collins, A.S.; Fowler, A.R.; Ghebreab, W.; Hauzenberger, C.A.; Johnson, P.R.; Kusky, T.M.; Macey, P.; Muhongo, S.; Stern, R.J.; Viola, G.

    2013-01-01

    The East African Orogen, extending from southern Israel, Sinai and Jordan in the north to Mozambique and Madagascar in the south, is the world́s largest Neoproterozoic to Cambrian orogenic complex. It comprises a collage of individual oceanic domains and continental fragments between the Archean Sahara–Congo–Kalahari Cratons in the west and Neoproterozoic India in the east. Orogen consolidation was achieved during distinct phases of orogeny between ∼850 and 550 Ma. The northern part of the orogen, the Arabian–Nubian Shield, is predominantly juvenile Neoproterozoic crust that formed in and adjacent to the Mozambique Ocean. The ocean closed during a protracted period of island-arc and microcontinent accretion between ∼850 and 620 Ma. To the south of the Arabian Nubian Shield, the Eastern Granulite–Cabo Delgado Nappe Complex of southern Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique was an extended crust that formed adjacent to theMozambique Ocean and experienced a ∼650–620 Ma granulite-facies metamorphism. Completion of the nappe assembly around 620 Ma is defined as the East African Orogeny and was related to closure of the Mozambique Ocean. Oceans persisted after 620 Ma between East Antarctica, India, southern parts of the Congo–Tanzania–Bangweulu Cratons and the Zimbabwe–Kalahari Craton. They closed during the ∼600–500 Ma Kuungan or Malagasy Orogeny, a tectonothermal event that affected large portions of southern Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar and Antarctica. The East African and Kuungan Orogenies were followed by phases of post-orogenic extension. Early ∼600–550 Ma extension is recorded in the Arabian–Nubian Shield and the Eastern Granulite–Cabo Delgado Nappe Complex. Later ∼550–480 Ma extension affected Mozambique and southern Madagascar. Both extension phases, although diachronous,are interpreted as the result of lithospheric delamination. Along the strike of the East African Orogen, different geodynamic settings

  18. The dynamics of continental extension and divergent margin formation

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, D.S. )

    1990-05-01

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

  19. Formation of Continental Fragments: The Tamayo Bank, Gulf of California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wijk, J.; Abera, R.; Axen, G. J.

    2015-12-01

    Potential field data are used to construct a two-dimensional crustal model along a profile through the Tamayo Trough and Bank in the Gulf of California. The model is constrained by seismic reflection and refraction data, and field observations. The potential field data do not fit a model where the crust of the Tamayo trough is continental, but they fit well with a model where the Tamayo trough crust is oceanic. This implies that the Tamayo Bank is entirely bounded by oceanic crust and is a microcontinent. The oceanic crust of the Tamayo trough that separates the Tamayo Bank from the mainland of Mexico is thin (~4 km), so oceanic spreading was probably magma-starved before it ceased. This led us to come up with a model that explains the formation of microcontinents that are smaller in size and are not found in the proximity of hotspots. At first, seafloor spreading commences following continental breakup. When the magma supply to the ridge slows down, the plate boundary strengthens. Hence, the ridge may be abandoned while tectonic extension begins elsewhere, or slow spreading may continue while a new ridge starts to develop. The old spreading ridge becomes extinct. An asymmetric ocean basin forms if the ridge jumps within oceanic lithosphere; a microcontinent forms if the ridge jumps into a continental margin. This model for formation of continental fragments is applicable to other regions as well, eliminating the need of mantle plume impingement to facilitate rifting of a young continental margin and microcontinent formation.

  20. Implication of Flow in the Lower Crust on Strain Localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Pourhiet, Laetitia

    2016-04-01

    A major difference between oceanic and continental crust is the capacity of the lower crust to flow. This has been the moto of the research group centered around Genia Burov over the last 15 years and I will try to summarize the results of number of numerical models run in different geodynamic setting to tackle the question of the rheology of the lithosphere and crust at the scale of plate tectonics. I will insist on how apriori very complex numerical models have helped the community to build our intuition on geodynamics processes and change the way of thinking the interactions between mantle process and crustal processes which are the core of plate tectonic and beyond. I will finally discuss what have we learn about the rheology of the lithosphere so far and how we intend to pursues evgeni's fundamental contribution to the field.

  1. Evidence of heterogeneous crustal origin for the Pan-African Mbengwi granitoids and the associated mafic intrusions (northwestern Cameroon, central Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbassa, Benoît Joseph; Kamgang, Pierre; Grégoire, Michel; Njonfang, Emmanuel; Benoit, Mathieu; Itiga, Zénon; Duchene, Stéphanie; Bessong, Moïse; Nguet, Pauline Wonkwenmendam; Nfomou, Ntepe

    2016-02-01

    The Mbengwi plutonics consist of intermediate to felsic granitoids forming a continuous magmatic series from monzonite to granite and mafic intrusions. Their mineralogical composition consists of quartz, plagioclases, K-feldspars, biotite, muscovite, and amphibole. The accessory phase includes opaque minerals + titanite ± apatite ± zircon, while secondary minerals are pyrite, phengite, chlorite, epidote, and rarely calcite. These plutonics are assigned high-K calc-alkaline to shoshonitic series, metaluminous to weakly peraluminous and mostly belong to an I-type suite (A/CNK = 0.63-1.2). They are typically post-collisional, with a subduction signature probably being inherited from their protoliths emplaced during the subduction phase. The Sr and Nd isotopic data evidence that these plutonics result from melting of the lower continental crust with variable contribution of the oceanic crust. Their geochemical features are similar to those of western Cameroon granitoids related to the Pan-African D1 event in Cameroon.

  2. A change in the geodynamics of continental growth 3 billion years ago.

    PubMed

    Dhuime, Bruno; Hawkesworth, Chris J; Cawood, Peter A; Storey, Craig D

    2012-03-16

    Models for the growth of continental crust rely on knowing the balance between the generation of new crust and the reworking of old crust throughout Earth's history. The oxygen isotopic composition of zircons, for which uranium-lead and hafnium isotopic data provide age constraints, is a key archive of crustal reworking. We identified systematic variations in hafnium and oxygen isotopes in zircons of different ages that reveal the relative proportions of reworked crust and of new crust through time. Growth of continental crust appears to have been a continuous process, albeit at variable rates. A marked decrease in the rate of crustal growth at ~3 billion years ago may be linked to the onset of subduction-driven plate tectonics. PMID:22422979

  3. Continental tectonics in the aftermath of plate tectonics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Molnar, Peter

    1988-01-01

    It is shown that the basic tenet of plate tectonics, rigid-body movements of large plates of lithosphere, fails to apply to continental interiors. There, buoyant continental crust can detach from the underlying mantle to form mountain ranges and broad zones of diffuse tectonic activity. The role of crustal blocks and of the detachment of crustal fragments in this process is discussed. Future areas of investigation are addressed.

  4. Aleutian basin oceanic crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christeson, Gail L.; Barth, Ginger A.

    2015-01-01

    We present two-dimensional P-wave velocity structure along two wide-angle ocean bottom seismometer profiles from the Aleutian basin in the Bering Sea. The basement here is commonly considered to be trapped oceanic crust, yet there is a change in orientation of magnetic lineations and gravity features within the basin that might reflect later processes. Line 1 extends ∼225 km from southwest to northeast, while Line 2 extends ∼225 km from northwest to southeast and crosses the observed change in magnetic lineation orientation. Velocities of the sediment layer increase from 2.0 km/s at the seafloor to 3.0–3.4 km/s just above basement, crustal velocities increase from 5.1–5.6 km/s at the top of basement to 7.0–7.1 km/s at the base of the crust, and upper mantle velocities are 8.1–8.2 km/s. Average sediment thickness is 3.8–3.9 km for both profiles. Crustal thickness varies from 6.2 to 9.6 km, with average thickness of 7.2 km on Line 1 and 8.8 km on Line 2. There is no clear change in crustal structure associated with a change in orientation of magnetic lineations and gravity features. The velocity structure is consistent with that of normal or thickened oceanic crust. The observed increase in crustal thickness from west to east is interpreted as reflecting an increase in melt supply during crustal formation.

  5. [Crusted scabies: A review].

    PubMed

    Jouret, G; Bounemeur, R; Presle, A; Takin, R

    2016-04-01

    Crusted scabies is a rare and severe form of infestation by Sarcoptes scabies var. hominis. It is characterized by profuse hyperkeratosis containing over 4000 mites per gram of skin, with treatment being long and difficult. The condition is both direct and indirectly contagious. It has a central role in epidemic cycles of scabies, the incidence of which is on the rise in economically stable countries. Recent discoveries concerning the biology of mites, the pathophysiology of hyperkeratosis and the key role of IL-17 in this severe form open up new therapeutic perspectives.

  6. Subduction to Continental Delamination: Insights From Laboratory Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gogus, O. H.; Corbi, F.; Faccenna, C.; Pysklywec, R. N.

    2009-05-01

    The evolution of the lithosphere through subduction-collision and delamination and its surface/crustal response (topography/deformation) is investigated in this work. We present a series of lithosphere scale two dimensional (2-D) and three dimensional (3-D) laboratory experiments to better understand such processes. In these experiments, an idealized viscously deforming crust-mantle lithosphere-mantle system is configured with silicone putty (representing lithospheric mantle and upper crust) and glucose syrup (representing the upper mantle and lower crust). The initial focus was to investigate the physical development of delamination versus continental subduction without plate convergence. Experiments show that the delamination or continental subduction is strongly dependent on the density of the crust (both crust and mantle lithosphere subducts when crust has a higher density, instead of delamination), while in the investigated range, the viscosity of the weak layer does not have much influence on the process. In all the experiments, the topography is asymmetric with subsidence above the delaminating hinge due to the dynamic vertical pulling driven by the delaminating slab, and uplift above the delaminated region due to the buoyancy of asthenosphere. Our investigation on the oceanic subduction with a convergence rate of ~ 3cm/year plate velocity suggests that subduction -collision - delamination is well defined and at the end, the delaminating crust from the lithosphere is overthrusted on top of the overriding plate. Our results provide integrated insights on the Alpine-Himalayan type orogenies, in particular the neotectonic evolution of Eastern Anatolian plateau.

  7. The Architecture, Chemistry, and Evolution of Continental Magmatic Arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ducea, Mihai N.; Saleeby, Jason B.; Bergantz, George

    2015-05-01

    Continental magmatic arcs form above subduction zones where the upper plate is continental lithosphere and/or accreted transitional lithosphere. The best-studied examples are found along the western margin of the Americas. They are Earth's largest sites of intermediate magmatism. They are long lived (tens to hundreds of millions of years) and spatially complex; their location migrates laterally due to a host of tectonic causes. Episodes of crustal and lithospheric thickening alternating with periods of root foundering produce cyclic vertical changes in arcs. The average plutonic and volcanic rocks in these arcs straddle the compositional boundary between an andesite and a dacite, very similar to that of continental crust; about half of that comes from newly added mafic material from the mantle. Arc products of the upper crust differentiated from deep crustal (>40 km) residual materials, which are unstable in the lithosphere. Continental arcs evolve into stable continental masses over time; trace elemental budgets, however, present challenges to the concept that Phanerozoic arcs are the main factories of continental crust.

  8. Ancient oceanic crust in island arc lower crust: Evidence from oxygen isotopes in zircons from the Tanzawa Tonalitic Pluton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Kazue; Kitajima, Kouki; Sawaki, Yusuke; Hattori, Kentaro; Hirata, Takafumi; Maruyama, Shigenori

    2015-07-01

    Knowledge of the lithological variability and genesis of island arc crust is important for understanding continental growth. Although the volcanic architecture of island arcs is comparatively well known, the nature of island arc middle- and lower-crust remains uncertain owing to limited exposure. One of the best targets for deciphering the evolution of an island arc system is the Tanzawa Tonalites (4-9 Ma), in the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc. These tonalities which occupied a mid-crustal position were generated by partial melting of lower crust. To constrain protoliths of the plutonic rocks in the island arc lower crust, in-situ O-isotopic analysis using an IMS-1280 Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer was carried out on 202 zircon grains separated from 4 plutons in the Tanzawa Tonalite. δ18O value of the zircons ranges from 4.1‰ to 5.5‰ and some zircons have δ18O slightly lower than the mantle range. The low zircon δ18O values from the Tanzawa Tonalite suggest that their protoliths involved materials with lower δ18O values than those of the mantle. Hydrothermally altered gabbros in the lower oceanic crust often have lower δ18O values than mantle and can be primary components of arc lower crust. The Tanzawa Tonalite is interpreted to have been formed by partial melting of island arc lower crust. Thus the low δ18O values in zircons from the Tanzawa Tonalites may originate by melting of the hydrothermally altered gabbro. Ancient oceanic crustal material was likely present in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc lower crust, at the time of formation of the Tanzawa Tonalites.

  9. Early Continental Rifting of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  10. Hybrid accretionary/collisional mechanism of Paleozoic Asian continental growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulmann, Karel; Lexa, Ondrej; Janousek, Vojtech; Pavla, Stipska; Yingde, Jiang; Alexandra, Guy; Min, Sun

    2016-04-01

    Continental crust is formed above subduction zones by well-known process of "juvenile crust growth". This new crust is in modern Earth assembled into continents by two ways: (i) short-lived collisions of continental blocks with the Eurasian continent along the "Alpine-Himalayan collisional/interior orogens" in the heart of the Pangean continental plates realm; and (ii) long lived lateral accretion of ocean-floor fragments along "circum-Pacific accretionary/peripheral orogens" at the border of the Pacific oceanic plate. This configuration has existed since the late Proterozoic, when the giant accretionary Terra Australis Orogen developed at periphery of an old Palaeo-Pacific ocean together with collisional Caledonian and Variscan orogens. At the same time, the large (ca. 9 millions km2) Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) developed in the NE part of the Pangea. This orogen reveals features of both peripheral and interior orogens, which implies that the generally accepted "peripheral-accretionary" and "interior- collisional" paradigm is not applicable here. To solve this conundrum a new model of unprecedented Phanerozoic continental growth is proposed. In this model, the CAOB precursor evolved at the interface of old exterior and young interior oceans. Subsequently, the new lithospheric domain was transferred by advancing subduction into the interior of the Pangean mostly continental realm. During this process the oceanic crust was transformed into continental crust and it was only later when this specific lithosphere was incorporated into the Asian continent. If true, this concept represents revolutionary insight into processes of crustal growth explaining the enigma of anchoring hybrid lithosphere inside a continent without its subduction or Tibetan-type thickening.

  11. Thin and layered subcontinental crust of the great Basin western north America inherited from Paleozoic marginal ocean basins?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Churkin, M.; McKee, E.H.

    1974-01-01

    The seismic profile of the crust of the northern part of the Basin and Range province by its thinness and layering is intermediate between typical continental and oceanic crust and resembles that of marginal ocean basins, especially those with thick sedimentary fill. The geologic history of the Great Basin indicates that it was the site of a succession of marginal ocean basins opening and closing behind volcanic arcs during much of Paleozoic time. A long process of sedimentation and deformation followed throughout the Mesozoic modifying, but possibly not completely transforming the originally oceanic crust to continental crust. In the Cenozoic, after at least 40 m.y. of quiescence and stable conditions, substantial crustal and upper-mantle changes are recorded by elevation of the entire region in isostatic equilibrium, crustal extension resulting in Basin and Range faulting, extensive volcanism, high heat flow and a low-velocity mantle. These phenomena, apparently the result of plate tectonics, are superimposed on the inherited subcontinental crust that developed from an oceanic origin in Paleozoic time and possibly retained some of its thin and layered characteristics. The present anomalous crust in the Great Basin represents an accretion of oceanic geosynclinal material to a Precambrian continental nucleus apparently as an intermediate step in the process of conversion of oceanic crust into a stable continental landmass or craton. ?? 1974.

  12. Earth's continental crustal gold endowment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frimmel, H. E.

    2008-03-01

    The analysis of the temporal distribution of gold deposits, combined with gold production data as well as reserve and resource estimates for different genetic types of gold deposit, revealed that the bulk of the gold known to be concentrated in ore bodies was added to the continental crust during a giant Mesoarchaean gold event at a time (3 Ga) when the mantle temperature reached a maximum and the dominant style of tectonic movement changed from vertical, plume-related to subhorizontal plate tectonic. A magmatic derivation of the first generation of crustal gold from a relatively hot mantle that was characterized by a high degree of partial melting is inferred from the gold chemistry, specifically high Os contents. While a large proportion of that gold is still present in only marginally modified palaeoplacer deposits of the Mesoarchaean Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa, accounting for about 40% of all known gold, the remainder has been recycled repeatedly on a lithospheric scale, predominantly by plate-tectonically induced magmatic and hydrothermal fluid circulation, to produce the current variety of gold deposit types. Post-Archaean juvenile gold addition to the continental crust has been limited, but a mantle contribution to some of the largest orogenic or intrusion-related gold deposits is indicated, notably for the Late Palaeozoic Tien Shan gold province. Magmatic fluids in active plate margins seem to be the most effective transport medium for gold mobilization, giving rise to a large proportion of volcanic-arc related gold deposits. Due to their generally shallow crustal level of formation, they have a low preservation potential. In contrast, those gold deposits that form at greater depth are more widespread also in older rocks. This explains the high proportion of orogenic (including intrusion-related) gold (32%) amongst all known gold deposits. The overall proportion of gold concentrated in known ore bodies is only 7 × 10- 7 of the estimated total

  13. Palaeozoic oceanic crust preserved beneath the eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granot, Roi

    2016-09-01

    Subduction of oceanic crust into the mantle results in the relatively young Mesozoic-Cenozoic age of the current oceanic basins, thus, hindering our knowledge of ancient oceanic lithospheres. Believed to be an exception, the eastern Mediterranean Sea (containing the Herodotus and Levant basins) preserves the southern margin of the Neotethyan, or older, ocean. An exceptionally thick sedimentary cover and a lack of accurate magnetic anomaly data have led to contradicting views about its crustal nature and age. Here I analyse total and vector magnetic anomaly data from the Herodotus Basin. I identify a long sequence of lineated magnetic anomalies, which imply that the crust is oceanic. I use the shape, or skewness, of these magnetic anomalies to constrain the timing of crustal formation and find that it formed about 340 million years ago. I suggest that this oceanic crust formed either along the Tethys spreading system, implying the Neotethys Ocean came into being earlier than previously thought, or during the amalgamation of the Pangaea Supercontinent. Finally, the transition from the rather weak and stretched continental crust found in the Levant Basin to the relatively strong oceanic Herodotus crust seems to guide the present-day seismicity pattern as well as the plate kinematic evolution of the region.

  14. Fractal behavior in continental crustal heat production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vedanti, N.; Srivastava, R. P.; Pandey, O. P.; Dimri, V. P.

    2011-02-01

    The distribution of crustal heat production, which is the most important component in the elucidation of continental thermal structure, still remains a theoretical assumption. In general the heat production values must decrease with depth, but the form of decrease of heat production in the crust is not well understood. The commonly used heat production models are: "block model", in which heat production is constant from the surface to a given depth and the "exponential model", in which heat production diminishes as an exponential function of depth. The exponential model is more widely used wherein sources of the errors are heterogeneity of rock and long wavelength changes due to changes in lithology and tectonic elements, and as such exponential distribution does not work satisfactorily for the entire crust. In the present study, we analyze for the first time, deep crustal heat production data of six global areas namely Dharwar craton (India), Kaapvaal craton (South Africa), Baltic shield (Kola, Russia), Hidaka metamorphic belt (Japan), Nissho pluton (Japan) and Continental Deep Drilling site (KTB, Germany). The power spectrum of all the studied data sets exhibits power law behaviour. This would mean slower decay of heat production with depth, which conforms to the known geologic composition of the crust. Minimum value of the scaling exponent has been found for the KTB borehole, which is apparently related to higher heat production of gneisses, however for other study areas, scaling exponent is almost similar. We also found that the lower values of scaling exponents are related to higher heat production in the crust as is the case in KTB. Present finding has a direct relevance in computation of temperature-depth profiles in continental regions.

  15. MAGSAT anomaly map and continental drift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemouel, J. L. (Principal Investigator); Galdeano, A.; Ducruix, J.

    1981-01-01

    Anomaly maps of high quality are needed to display unambiguously the so called long wave length anomalies. The anomalies were analyzed in terms of continental drift and the nature of their sources is discussed. The map presented confirms the thinness of the oceanic magnetized layer. Continental magnetic anomalies are characterized by elongated structures generally of east-west trend. Paleomagnetic reconstruction shows that the anomalies found in India, Australia, and Antarctic exhibit a fair consistency with the African anomalies. It is also shown that anomalies are locked under the continents and have a fixed geometry.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  17. Modes of continental extension in a crustal wedge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Guangliang; Lavier, Luc L.; Choi, Eunseo

    2015-07-01

    We ran numerical experiments of the extension of a crustal wedge as an approximation to extension in an orogenic belt or a continental margin. We study the effects of the strength of the lower crust and of a weak mid-crustal shear zone on the resulting extension styles. A weak mid-crustal shear zone effectively decouples upper crustal extension from lower crustal flow. Without the mid-crustal shear zone, the degree of coupling between the upper and the lower crust increases and extension of the whole crust tends to focus on the thickest part of the wedge. We identify three distinct modes of extension determined by the strength of the lower crust, which are characterized by 1) localized, asymmetric crustal exhumation in a single massif when the lower crust is weak, 2) the formation of rolling-hinge normal faults and the exhumation of lower crust in multiple core complexes with an intermediate strength lower crust, and 3) distributed domino faulting over the weak mid-crustal shear zone when the lower crust is strong. A frictionally stronger mid-crustal shear zone does not change the overall model behaviors but extension occurred over multiple rolling-hinges. The 3 modes of extension share characteristics similar to geological models proposed to explain the formation of metamorphic core complexes: 1) the crustal flow model for the weak lower crust, 2) the rolling-hinge and crustal flow models when the lower crust is intermediate and 3) the flexural uplift model when the lower crust is strong. Finally we show that the intensity of decoupling between the far field extension and lower crustal flow driven by the regional pressure gradient in the wedge control the overall style of extension in the models.

  18. Continental accretion: contrasting Mesozoic and Early Proterozoic tectonic regimes in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condie, Kent C.; Chomiak, Beverly

    1996-11-01

    Juvenile continental crust was accreted to southern and western North America during the Early Proterozoic and Mesozoic, respectively. Graywacke, granite, granodiorite, and basalt comprise most of the accreted Early Proterozoic crust, whereas graywacke, andesite, basalt, and granodiorite comprise most of the Mesozoic crust. In addition, carbonates, ultramafics, pelagic sediments, and tonalite/diorite are minor but important components in the juvenile Mesozoic crust, whereas rhyolites are important in the Early Proterozoic crust. Mesozoic supracrustal rocks vary significantly in chemical composition, while Early Proterozoic supracrustals have a limited compositional range and exhibit a linear relation between many element concentrations suggesting a genetic linkage between accreted terranes. Although SiO 2, Al 2O 3, FeO, and incompatible elements are more enriched in Early Proterozoic than in Mesozoic supracrustal rocks, negative Eu anomalies are typical of rocks of both ages. Early Proterozoic granitoids are enriched in LILE (large ion lithophile elements) compared to Mesozoic granitoids, and granitoids of both ages of are enriched in LILE and have larger Eu anomalies than associated supracrustal rocks. Accreted Mesozoic upper crust is similar to andesite in chemical composition, and the bulk crust is similar to basaltic andesite. In contrast, accreted Early Proterozoic upper crust and bulk crust are similar to granodiorite and andesite, respectively. Incompatible elements are depleted in the Mesozoic compared to the Early Proterozoic crust, but both crustal types have negative NbTa anomalies. Depending on the composition assumed for the lower crust, both ages of crust have either very small or negligible Eu anomalies. Lifespans of the Early Proterozoic terranes (time interval between oldest rocks in a terrane and its collision with North America) are 20-80 My, whereas lifespans of Mesozoic terranes are 50-500 My, with most falling between 50 and 200 My. Within

  19. The East African Orogen: Accretion versus Collision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kröner, A.; Muhongo, S.; Sommer, H.; Vogt, M.

    2003-04-01

    The East African Orogen is an extensive Neoproterozoic (Pan-African) orogenic belt extending from Arabia to Mozambique and containing elements of both accretion and collision tectonics. The predominantly upper crustal northern part (Arabian-Nubian Shield, ANS) consists of Neoproterozoic juvenile arc assemblages that accreted onto the African continent along ophiolite-decorated sutures. In contrast, the tectonic evolution of the predominantly middle to lower crustal southern part (Mozambique belt, MB) is still poorly understood, and simple continental collision models as previously applied are not compatible with new isotopic and petrological data. Published Nd isotopic systematics and our new zircon ages demonstrate that large parts of the high-grade MB in Tanzania consists of late Archaean to Palaeoproterozoic granitoid gneisses which may either constitute an extension of the Tanzania craton to the E, reworked during the Pan-African orogeny, or these rocks may constitute a separate terrane, or terranes, tectonically interdigitated with Neoproterozoic gneisses, similar to the situation in Madagascar. Small-scale tectonic interlayering of >1800 Ma and 650-800 Ma gneisses have been documented at several localities, and the amount of pre-Neoproterozoic crust in the MB appears to be ˜70% or more. Relatively small volumes of ˜1000-1100 Ma granitoids have so far only been recorded in southern Tanzania, and their significance in the orogenic evolution and their relation to more extensive rocks of this age in northern Mozambique are not known. High-grade metamorphism in the MB of Tanzania led to granulite and charnockite formation and occurred at 620-640 Ma, slightly earlier than in Mozambique (˜615 Ma) but significantly earlier than in Malawi (˜550-580 Ma) and in Madagascar (˜550-560 Ma). The significance of these age differences is not understood. Petrological data suggest both clockwise and anti-clockwise PT path for the metamorphic assemblages, suggesting that

  20. Continental rifting: a planetary perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Muehlberger, W.R.

    1985-01-01

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

  1. Palaeoclimate, Sedimentation and Continental Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, A. M.; Barrett, S. F.; Scotese, C. R.

    1981-05-01

    Climate has a pervasive effect on sedimentation today, and the same climatic patterns are reflected in the distribution of lithofacies through the Palaeozoic, as the continents migrate beneath the climatic zones. The low-latitude hot wet zone is represented by thick clastics, coals and carbonates and is best developed along east coasts where prevailing winds bring moisture and heated surface waters toward the continent. The desert zones occur on the west sides of continents centred at 20 degrees north and south, and these dry belts are represented in the geological record by evaporites. Tillites, thick clastics and coals occur in the temperate rainy belts, especially on the windward, west sides of continents above 40 degrees latitude. Continental accretion occurs where subduction zones coincide with rainy zones, such that the products of erosion are transported to the trench, and thus thrust back, extending the margin of the continent. The opposite process of `tectonic erosion', wherein the descending oceanic slab continually `rasps' away the margin of the continental crust, may occur in areas where rainfall and surface run-off is insufficient to provide trench sediments. This process has been operating adjacent to the Atacama Desert in South America during the past 200 Ma. To judge by the eastward migration of the calc-alkaline intrusive foci, about 250 km of the margin of South America have been transported down the subduction zone during this period.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Subduction of thick crust: the Alaska example (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abers, G. A.; Kim, Y.; Christensen, D. H.

    2013-12-01

    It is a paradigm of plate tectonics that oceanic lithosphere subducts readily, while lithosphere transporting much thicker continental crust does not. Analyses of plate buoyancy have included a variety of effects, such as eclogitization, crustal compositional stratification, and plate strength, but all lead to the conclusion that crust needs to be thinner than about 15-25 km in order to subduct. A test of this conclusion is underway in southern Alaska, where the Yakutat terrane is being driven by the Pacific plate into the Alaskan margin. Its crust is 15-30 km thick, varying along strike, with a seismic velocity structure resembling an oceanic plateau; thus it spans the predicted limit in thickness of subductable crust. In the eastern thicker part, the terrane appears to be colliding and driving orogenesis in the St. Elias-Chugach ranges, although voluminous volcanism of the Wrangell Volcanic Field may be a consequence of some crust subducting. Farther west, the Yakutat terrane is 15-20 km thick and clearly subducting beneath the Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula. It forms the slab subducting beneath the central Alaska Range 400 km inland. The thick crust has been imaged at all depths less than 130 km, through receiver functions, travel-time tomography, and offshore by active-source imaging, with similar structure in most images. Greater than 130 km depth the imaged crust vanishes in seismic images, consistent with predicted depths of eclogitization of weakly hydrated metagabbroic crust, and the lack of a velocity contrast between eclogite and peridotite. Lithosphere including the thick Yakutat crust gives a net buoyancy close to neutral, so its subduction will depend on other factors. The high buoyancy may be responsible for the remarkably shallow dip of the plate at depths less than 50 km, producing one of the widest seismogenic thrust zones on the planet, allowing it to host the great (Mw 9.3) 1964 Gulf of Alaska earthquake. The shallow dip may also aid

  4. Geophysical Investigation of Continental Margin Development, and Early Spreading History of the South Atlantic South of the Walvis Ridge/Rio Grande Rise.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragoi, D.; Hall, S.; Bird, D.

    2006-12-01

    Crustal models of the transition from continental (>30 km) to normal oceanic crust between 22°S and 32°S on the African side and from 28°S and 43°S on the S. American side have been constructed from extensive gravity and magnetic anomaly data together with more limited seismic reflection and refraction data. Offshore gravity highs related to major crustal thinning can be followed along each margin. A smaller, more seaward gravity high observed on the African side coincides with previously mapped magnetic anomaly M4 and appears to delineate the landward limit of normal oceanic crust. The transition zone width is relatively uniform ~320±30 km on the African margin but increases southward from ~300 km to >400 km on the S. American side. The zone of magmatic underplating beneath the thinned crust has a uniform width of ~200 km on the African side but is somewhat narrower (~130 km) and also decreases southwards on the S. American side. Seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies C31 to C34, and M0 to M4 have been identified on both sides. Distinctive C34 anomalies can be clearly correlated except where masked by large amplitude (~1000 nT) anomalies produced by seafloor topography of the Walvis Ridge. C34 spreading rates are slightly asymmetrical with 42 mm/yr on the S. American side compared with 38 mm/yr on the African side. M0 to M4 anomalies are more difficult to identify and reliably correlate over each margin. M0-M4 spreading appears to be asymmetric with more rapid spreading on the S. American side. The C34-M0 distance is noticeably larger on the S. American side suggesting that asymmetrical spreading may continue into the Cretaceous Quiet Zone. A more probable explanation for the asymmetry is that one or more ridge jumps occurred between 84 and 120 Ma. Residualized free air satellite gravity data have been used to delineate fracture zones (FZs) associated with the early opening. More than 10 flow lines determined from these FZs intersect the mapped C34, M0 and M4

  5. Cobalt in ferromanganese crusts as a monitor of hydrothermal discharge on the Pacific sea floor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manheim, F. T.; Lane-Bostwick, C. M.

    1988-01-01

    Ferromanganese oxide crusts, which accumulate on unsedimented surfaces in the open ocean1-6, derive most of their metal content from dissolved and particulate matter in ambient bottom water7,8, in proportions modified by the variable scavenging efficiency of the oxide phase for susceptible ions9. They differ in this respect from abyssal nodules, much of whose metals are remobilized from host sediments. Here we present maps of cobalt concentration and inferred accumulation rate of ferromanganese crusts from the Pacific Ocean. We propose that depletion of cobalt in Pacific crusts measures the location and intensity of submarine hydrothermal discharge. Use of the 'cobalt chronometer', an algorithm inversely relating cobalt content and crust growth rate, permits mapping of the accumulation rate of ferromanganese crusts with only indirect recourse to radioactivity-based dating methods. These maps show that crusts in hydrothermal areas grow from two to more than four orders of magnitude faster than in the Central Pacific Ocean. Cobalt-enriched crusts are found where water masses are most isolated from continental-coastal and hydrothermal sources of metals, now and in the past. This relationship can resolve the problem of cobalt enrichment in crusts without recourse to hypotheses invoking special cobalt sources or enrichment mechanisms. ?? 1988 Nature Publishing Group.

  6. Osmium isotope stratigraphy of a marine ferromanganese crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klemm, V.; Levasseur, S.; Frank, M.; Hein, J.R.; Halliday, A.N.

    2005-01-01

    Ferromanganese crusts provide records of long term change in ocean circulation and continental weathering. However, calibrating their age prior to 10 Ma has been entirely based on empirical growth rate models using Co concentrations, which have inherently large uncertainties and fail to detect hiatuses and erosional events. We present a new method for dating these crusts by measuring their osmium (Os) isotope record and matching it to the well-known marine Os isotope evolution of the past 80 Ma. The well-characterised crust CD29-2 from the central Pacific, was believed to define a record of paleooceanographic change from 50 Ma. Previous growth rate estimates based on the Co method are consistent with the new Os isotope stratigraphy but the dating was grossly inaccurate due to long hiatuses that are now detectable. The new chronology shows that it in fact started growing prior to 70 Ma in the late Cretaceous and stopped growing or was eroded between 13.5 and 47 Ma. With this new technique it is now possible to exploit the full potential of the oceanographic and climatic records stored in Fe-Mn crusts. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. A Comparison of Microbial Communities from Deep Igneous Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, A. R.; Flores, G. E.; Fisk, M. R.; Colwell, F. S.; Thurber, A. R.; Mason, O. U.; Popa, R.

    2013-12-01

    Recent investigations of life in Earth's crust have revealed common themes in organism function, taxonomy, and diversity. Capacities for hydrogen oxidation, carbon fixation, methanogenesis and methanotrophy, iron and sulfur metabolisms, and hydrocarbon degradation often predominate in deep life communities, and crustal mineralogy has been hypothesized as a driving force for determining deep life community assemblages. Recently, we found that minerals characteristic of the igneous crust harbored unique communities when incubated in the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank borehole IODP 1301A. Here we present attached mineral biofilm morphologies and a comparison of our mineral communities to those from a variety of locations, contamination states, and igneous crustal or mineralogical types. We found that differences in borehole mineral communities were reflected in biofilm morphologies. Olivine biofilms were thick, carbon-rich films with embedded cells of uniform size and shape and often contained secondary minerals. Encrusted cells, spherical and rod-shaped cells, and tubes were indicative of glass surfaces. We also found that the attached communities from incubated borehole minerals were taxonomically more similar to native, attached communities from marine and continental crust than to communities from the aquifer water that seeded it. Our findings further support the hypothesis that mineralogy selects for microbial communities that have distinct phylogenetic, morphological, and potentially functional, signatures. This has important implications for resolving ecosystem function and microbial distributions in igneous crust, the largest deep habitat on Earth.

  8. A novel Antarctic microbial endolithic community within gypsum crusts.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Kevin A; Lawley, Blair

    2003-07-01

    A novel endolithic microbial habitat is described from a climatically extreme site at Two Step Cliffs, Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula (71 degrees 54'S, 68 degrees 13'W). Small endolithic colonies (<3 mm in diameter) are found within the translucent gypsum crust that forms on the surface of sandstone boulders. Gypsum crusts are found on ice-free rocks throughout the Antarctic and therefore offer potential colonization sites at more inhospitable locations, including sites at higher latitudes. Cyanobacterial, bacterial and fungal components were cultured from the crust material and have been identified as Chloroglea sp., Sphingomonas sp. and Verticillium sp. respectively. A non-cultured, black-pigmented fungus was also found. Cyanobacterial primary productivity is low: at depths of 1.2 and 2.5 mm within the crust, estimates of possible cell divisions per year were < 38 and four respectively. This microniche is proposed to provide protection from desiccation, rapid temperature variation and UV radiation flux while allowing penetration of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) for utilization by phototrophs. The endolithic communities are less extensive than those of the Dry Valleys, continental Antarctica, probably owing to only recent deglaciation (<7000 year ago). PMID:12823188

  9. Distribution of oceanic versus transitional crust in deep Gulf of Mexico Basin - implications for early history

    SciTech Connect

    Buffler, R.T.; Sawyer, D.S.

    1985-02-01

    Regional studies of seismic reflection and refraction data in the deep Gulf of Mexico basin outline in considerable detail the distribution of oceanic vs. transitional crust. Oceanic crust forms a narrow east-west belt up to 300 km wide across the deep Gulf. Most current models for early Gulf evolution suggest the belt was emplaced in the Late Jurassic following widespread deposition of salt on rifted and attenuated continental crust (transitional crust). The southern boundary is defined by a zone of prominent salt structures along the northern margin of the Sigsbee salt basin. The northern boundary is obscured below the Texas-Louisiana slope, but is inferred from the distribution of large vertical salt structures. The eastern boundary is clearly marked by onlap and pinch-out of thick Jurassic sedimentary sequences. This distribution is corroborated by regional magnetic and gravity data and total tectonic subsidence analysis, and provides constraints for early Gulf basin reconstructions. An appropriate reconstruction must account for plate motion accommodated by ocean crust formation and extension of continental crust. The data seem most consistent with a model in which the Yucatan block moved generally south and rotated somewhat counterclockwise. This reconstruction implies very little lateral displacement along transform faults between Yucatan and Florida during early basin history. This is supported by seismic stratigraphic studies and DSDP drilling in the southeastern Gulf.

  10. The Magnetic Signature of Zones of Continental Collision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purucker, M. E.; Whaler, K. A.

    2007-12-01

    Near-surface and satellite maps of the crustal component of the magnetic field can be interpreted in terms of thermal conditions at depth because the magnetic properties of rocks depend on their temperature. Observations related to continental deformation at diffuse plate boundaries are often considered in relation to three length scales: the thickness of the seismogenic upper crust, the entire continental crust, and the mechanical lithosphere. The lower boundary of the magnetic crust coincides with the Moho, or in the presence of an elevated geotherm, with the Curie isotherm. New global perspectives on the magnetic signature of zones of continental collision are afforded by the recently published Magnetic Anomaly Map of the World (Purucker, 2007, EOS, 88, 263), the MF-5 satellite magnetic field (Maus et al., 2007, Gcubed), and NASA's ST-5 constellation mission in 2006. The thickness of the magnetic crust can be estimated by integrating the MF-5 satellite magnetic field into the 3SMAC compositional and thermal model of the lithosphere, and a minimum estimate of the magnetization can be estimated using a Greens function approach. We compare our magnetic maps with the diffuse plate boundary maps of Gordon (1998) and Dumoulin et al. (1998). The diffuse plate boundary zones exhibit intermediate (22-31 km) magnetic thicknessses, significantly less than those of the adjacent stable plate. The diffuse NE Asia plate boundary zone, from the Lena River delta to the Sea of Okhotsk, is especially well- expressed in both satellite and near-surface magnetic maps.

  11. Crustal structure of Precambrian terranes in the southern African subcontinent with implications for secular variation in crustal genesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kachingwe, Marsella; Nyblade, Andrew; Julià, Jordi

    2015-07-01

    New estimates of crustal thickness, Poisson's ratio and crustal shear wave velocity have been obtained for 39 stations in Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia by modelling P-wave receiver functions using the H-κ stacking method and jointly inverting the receiver functions with Rayleigh-wave phase and group velocities. These estimates, combined with similar results from previous studies, have been examined for secular trends in Precambrian crustal structure within the southern African subcontinent. In both Archean and Proterozoic terranes we find similar Moho depths [38-39 ± 3 km SD (standard deviation)], crustal Poisson's ratio (0.26 ± 0.01 SD), mean crustal shear wave velocity (3.7 ± 0.1 km s-1 SD), and amounts of heterogeneity in the thickness of the mafic lower crust, as defined by shear wave velocities ≥4.0 km s-1. In addition, the amount of variability in these crustal parameters is similar within each individual age grouping as between age groupings. Thus, the results provide little evidence for secular variation in Precambrian crustal structure, including between Meso- and Neoarchean crust. This finding suggests that (1) continental crustal has been generated by similar processes since the Mesoarchean or (2) plate tectonic processes have reworked and modified the crust through time, erasing variations in structure resulting from crustal genesis.

  12. Crustal structure of the eastern Algerian continental margin and adjacent deep basin: implications for late Cenozoic geodynamic evolution of the western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouyahiaoui, B.; Sage, F.; Abtout, A.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Yelles-Chaouche, K.; Schnürle, P.; Marok, A.; Déverchère, J.; Arab, M.; Galve, A.; Collot, J. Y.

    2015-06-01

    We determine the deep structure of the eastern Algerian basin and its southern margin in the Annaba region (easternmost Algeria), to better constrain the plate kinematic reconstruction in this region. This study is based on new geophysical data collected during the SPIRAL cruise in 2009, which included a wide-angle, 240-km-long, onshore-offshore seismic profile, multichannel seismic reflection lines and gravity and magnetic data, complemented by the available geophysical data for the study area. The analysis and modelling of the wide-angle seismic data including refracted and reflected arrival travel times, and integrated with the multichannel seismic reflection lines, reveal the detailed structure of an ocean-to-continent transition. In the deep basin, there is an ˜5.5-km-thick oceanic crust that is composed of two layers. The upper layer of the crust is defined by a high velocity gradient and P-wave velocities between 4.8 and 6.0 km s-1, from the top to the bottom. The lower crust is defined by a lower velocity gradient and P-wave velocity between 6.0 and 7.1 km s-1. The Poisson ratio in the lower crust deduced from S-wave modelling is 0.28, which indicates that the lower crust is composed mainly of gabbros. Below the continental edge, a typical continental crust with P-wave velocities between 5.2 and 7.0 km s-1, from the top to the bottom, shows a gradual seaward thinning of ˜15 km over an ˜35-km distance. This thinning is regularly distributed between the upper and lower crusts, and it characterizes a rifted margin, which has resulted from backarc extension at the rear of the Kabylian block, here represented by the Edough Massif at the shoreline. Above the continental basement, an ˜2-km-thick, pre-Messinian sediment layer with a complex internal structure is interpreted as allochthonous nappes of flysch backthrusted on the margin during the collision of Kabylia with the African margin. The crustal structure, moreover, provides evidence for Miocene

  13. Granite magma formation, transport and emplacement in the Earth's crust.

    PubMed

    Petford, N; Cruden, A R; McCaffrey, K J; Vigneresse, J L

    2000-12-01

    The origin of granites was once a question solely for petrologists and geochemists. But in recent years a consensus has emerged that recognizes the essential role of deformation in the segregation, transport and emplacement of silica-rich melts in the continental crust. Accepted petrological models are being questioned, either because they require unrealistic rheological behaviours of rocks and magmas, or because they do not satisfactorily explain the available structural or geophysical data. Provided flow is continuous, mechanical considerations suggest that--far from being geologically sluggish--granite magmatism is a rapid, dynamic process operating at timescales of < or = 100,000 years, irrespective of tectonic setting.

  14. CHIC - Coupling Habitability, Interior and Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, Lena; Labbe, Francois; Boiveau, Thomas; Rivoldini, Attilio; Van Hoolst, Tim

    2014-05-01

    We present a new code developed for simulating convection in terrestrial planets and icy moons. The code CHIC is written in Fortran and employs the finite volume method and finite difference method for solving energy, mass and momentum equations in either silicate or icy mantles. The code uses either Cartesian (2D and 3D box) or spherical coordinates (2D cylinder or annulus). It furthermore contains a 1D parametrised model to obtain temperature profiles in specific regions, for example in the iron core or in the silicate mantle (solving only the energy equation). The 2D/3D convection model uses the same input parameters as the 1D model, which allows for comparison of the different models and adaptation of the 1D model, if needed. The code has already been benchmarked for the following aspects: - viscosity-dependent rheology (Blankenbach et al., 1989) - pseudo-plastic deformation (Tosi et al., in preparation phase) - subduction mechanism and plastic deformation (Quinquis et al., in preparation phase) New features that are currently developed and benchmarked include: - compressibility (following King et al., 2009 and Leng and Zhong, 2008) - different melt modules (Plesa et al., in preparation phase) - freezing of an inner core (comparison with GAIA code, Huettig and Stemmer, 2008) - build-up of oceanic and continental crust (Noack et al., in preparation phase) The code represents a useful tool to couple the interior with the surface of a planet (e.g. via build-up and erosion of crust) and it's atmosphere (via outgassing on the one hand and subduction of hydrated crust and carbonates back into the mantle). It will be applied to investigate several factors that might influence the habitability of a terrestrial planet, and will also be used to simulate icy bodies with high-pressure ice phases. References: Blankenbach et al. (1989). A benchmark comparison for mantle convection codes. GJI 98, 23-38. Huettig and Stemmer (2008). Finite volume discretization for dynamic

  15. Collision zone magmatism aids continental crustal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savov, Ivan; Meliksetian, Khachatur; Ralf, Halama; Gevorg, Navasardian; Chuck, Connor; Massimo, D'Antonio; Samuele, Agostini; Osamu, Ishizuka; Sergei, Karapetian; Arkadi, Karakhanian

    2014-05-01

    The continental crust has a broadly andesitic bulk composition and is predominantly generated at convergent margins. However, estimates of the bulk composition of oceanic arcs indicate a bulk composition closer to basalt than to andesite. Hence, reworking processes that transform basaltic island arc crust into andesitic continental crust are essential[1] and explaining growth of andesitic continental crust via accretion of arc crustal fragments remains problematic. Recent studies of magmatism in the Great Tibetan Plateau[2], as site of multiple and still active continent-continent collisions, have proposed that andesitic CC is generated via amalgamation of large volumes of collision-related felsic magmas generated by melting of hydrated oceanic crust with mantle geochemical signatures. We aim to test this hypothesis by evaluating geochemical data from the volcanically and tectonically active Lesser Caucasus region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and E. Turkey), as the only other region where active continent-continent collision takes place. We will benefit from the newly compiled volcano-tectonic database of collision-related volcanic and plutonic rocks of Armenia that is comparable in quality and detail to the one available on Tibet. Our dataset combines several detailed studies from the large Aragats shield volcano[3] and associated monogenetic volcanic fields (near the capital city of Yerevan), as well as > 500 Quaternary to Holocene volcanoes from Gegham, Vardenis and Syunik volcanic highlands (toward Armenia-Nagorno-Karabakh-Azerbaijan-Iran border). The Armenian collision-related magmatism is