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Sample records for afro-arabian rift system

  1. Evolution and extinction of Afro-Arabian primates near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary.

    PubMed

    Seiffert, Erik R

    2007-01-01

    Revised age estimates for the primate-bearing localities of the Jebel Qatrani Formation (Fayum area, northern Egypt) have provided a new perspective on primate response to early Oligocene climate change in North Africa. Environmental changes associated with early Oligocene cooling might have driven the local extinction of at least 4 strepsirrhine primate clades (adapids, djebelemurines, plesiopithecids and galagids). Contrary to previous suggestions, oligopithecid (and possibly proteopithecid) anthropoids persisted beyond the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (EOB) in the Fayum area, and the former group evidently continued to diversify through the early Oligocene at lower latitudes. Propliopithecids and parapithecine parapithecids first appear in the Jebel Qatrani Formation millions of years after the EOB, so their derived dental and gnathic features can no longer be interpreted as sudden adaptive morphological responses to earliest Oligocene climatic events. Evidence for latitudinal contraction of Afro-Arabian primate distribution through the early Oligocene suggests that the profound late Oligocene restructuring of Afro-Arabian primate communities is most likely to have occurred in equatorial and low-latitude tropical Africa.

  2. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

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

  4. The Lithosphere of The East African Rift System: Insights From Three-Dimensional Density Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woldetinsae, G.; Götze, H. J.

    2004-12-01

    We use the gravity data that cover the large part of the Afro-Arabian rift system, the eastern branch (Ethiopia-Afar and northern Kenya), in order to produce a regional density model. In an earlier work the new and old gravity data were compiled, evaluated and homogenised using a consistent data reduction procedures. Three basic constraints widely spaced over a 1500 km rift length have been generated between 1969 and 2003 by an international consortium with information from isostatic models, global tomography, geological, geochemical evidences, and petrological and experimental results. These are integrated and applied to the model to constrain upper and lower crustal structures underneath the Rift and Plateau areas. New crustal thickness estimations (Dugda et al., 2004 in press) and inferences from recent velocity models along the axis of the Main Ethiopian Rift (Keller et al., 2004) are added to the density model. Thirty parallel planes cutting across the entire plateau region and Rift system (Afar-Ethiopia-Kenya) are interactively modelled using a starting geometry that invoke asthenospheric upwelling. Densities for the upper crust are calculated using Nafe Drake method, averaged from earlier interpretation and measured ones from the Geological Survey of Ethiopia database (e.g. Geothermal project, GSE petrophysical laboratory, pers. communication). Densities for lower crust are estimated using the approach by Sobolov and Babyko (1994). We used also lower crustal densities calculated by (Simyu and Keller, 1997) for the northern part of Kenya rift. The preliminary model offers a possibility to quantify depth, thickness and volumes of different geological interfaces and bodies. As for example, the estimation of the volume of volcanic constructs on the western plateau of Ethiopia is relatively larger than the eastern plateau. The load map derived from the model indicated maximum crustal loads at the crust/mantle interface (ca. 40km) on the eastern and western flanks

  5. A brief Oligocene period of flood volcanism in Yemen: Implications for the duration and rate of continental flood volcanism at the Afro-Arabian triple junction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, J.; Snee, L.; Menzies, M.

    1996-01-01

    -Gulf of Aden rifting. The sequence of events - surface uplift (?), flood magmatism and subsequent upper crustal extension - in Yemen is consistent with the involvement of a mantle plume at the Afro-Arabian triple junction. However, the overall eruption rate for this flood volcanic province is only 0.03 km3/yr, much slower than that postulated for other plume-related provinces such as the Deccan or Siberian Traps, but perhaps comparable to the Parana??-Etendeka province, which also contains significant amounts of rhyolitic volcanic products like those of Yemen-Ethiopia. The highly variable eruption rates in individual provinces must reflect the very different character of individual plumes, or the control of lithospheric structure and plate tectonic stresses on the surface manifestations of plumes. The long duration of CFV and large amounts of rhyolitic volcanism at the Afro-Arabian triple junction may be attributed to the relatively slow separation of the African and Arabian plates compared with, for example, the rifting of India and the Deccan Traps.

  6. Paleomagnetism and 40Ar / 39Ar Geochronology of Yemeni Oligocene volcanics: Implications for timing and duration of Afro-Arabian traps and geometry of the Oligocene paleomagnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riisager, Peter; Knight, Kim B.; Baker, Joel A.; Ukstins Peate, Ingrid; Al-Kadasi, Mohamed; Al-Subbary, Abdulkarim; Renne, Paul R.

    2005-09-01

    A combined paleomagnetic and 40Ar / 39Ar study was carried out along eight stratigraphically overlapping sections in the Oligocene Afro-Arabian flood volcanic province in Yemen (73 sites). The composite section covers the entire volcanic stratigraphy in the sampling region and represents five polarity zones that are correlated to the geomagnetic polarity time scale based on 40Ar / 39Ar ages from this and previous studies. The resulting magnetostratigraphy is similar to that of the conjugate margin in Ethiopia. The earliest basaltic volcanism took place in a reverse polarity chron that appears to correspond to C11r, while the massive rhyolitic ignimbrite eruptions correlated to ash layers in Oligocene Indian Ocean sediment 2700 km away from the Afro-Arabian traps, appear to have taken place during magnetochron C11n. The youngest ignimbrite was emplaced during magnetochron C9n. Both 40Ar / 39Ar and paleomagnetic data suggest rapid < 1 Ma eruption of the basal basalt units and punctuated eruption of the upper silicic units over a duration potentially as long as 3 Ma with interspersed eruptive hiatuses. Eruption of the basal basalts may have preceded the Oi2 cooling event. The paleomagnetic pole λ = 74.2°N, φ = 249.1°E (A95 = 3.6°; N = 48) is supported by a positive reversal test. Paleosecular variation, estimated as the angular standard deviation of the VGP distribution 14.2° + 2.3° / - 1.7°, is close to expected, suggesting that the paleomagnetic pole represents a time-averaged field. The pole is in excellent accord with the paleomagnetic poles obtained from the Ethiopian part of the Afro-Arabian province, after closure of the Red Sea. By analyzing Afro-Arabian paleomagnetic data in conjunction with contemporaneous paleomagnetic poles available from different latitudes we argue that the Oligocene paleomagnetic field was dominated by the axial dipole with insignificant non-dipole field contributions.

  7. Lithospheric mantle evolution in the Afro-Arabian domain: Insights from Bir Ali mantle xenoliths (Yemen)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sgualdo, P.; Aviado, K.; Beccaluva, L.; Bianchini, G.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Bryce, J. G.; Graham, D. W.; Natali, C.; Siena, F.

    2015-05-01

    Detailed petrological and geochemical investigations of an extensive sampling of mantle xenoliths from the Neogene-Quaternary Bir Ali diatreme (southern Yemen) indicate that the underlying lithospheric mantle consists predominantly of medium- to fine-grained (often foliated) spinel-peridotites (85-90%) and spinel-pyroxenites (10-15%) showing thermobarometric estimates in the P-T range of 0.9-2.0 GPa and 900-1150 °C. Peridotites, including lherzolites, harzburgites and dunites delineate continuous chemical, modal and mineralogical variations compatible with large extractions of basic melts occurring since the late Proterozoic (~ 2 Ga, according to Lu-Hf model ages). Pyroxenites may represent intrusions of subalkaline basic melts interacting and equilibrated with the host peridotite. Subsequent metasomatism has led to modal changes, with evidence of reaction patches and clinopyroxene and spinel destabilization, as well as formation of new phases (glass, amphibole and feldspar). These changes are accompanied by enrichment of the most incompatible elements and isotopic compositions. 143Nd/144Nd ranges from 0.51419 to 0.51209 (εNd from + 30.3 to - 10.5), 176Hf/177Hf from 0.28459 to 0.28239 (εHf from + 64.4 to - 13.6), and 208Pb/204Pb from 36.85 to 41.56, thus extending from the depleted mantle (DM) towards the enriched OIB mantle (EM and HIMU) components. 3He/4He (R/RA) ratios vary from 7.2 to 7.9 with He concentrations co-varying with the most incompatible element enrichment, in parallel with metasomatic effects. These metasomatic events, particularly effective in harzburgites and dunites, are attributable to the variable interaction with alkaline basic melts related to the general extensional and rifting regime affecting the East Africa-Arabian domain during the Cenozoic. In this respect, Bir Ali mantle xenoliths resemble those occurring along the Arabian margins and the East Africa Rift system, similarly affected by alkaline metasomatism, whereas they are

  8. Minerals as mantle fingerprints: Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf in clinopyroxene and He in olivine distinguish an unusual ancient mantle lithosphere beneath the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Shirey, S. B.; Graham, D. W.

    2011-12-01

    The East African Rift System is a complex region that holds keys to understanding the fundamental geodynamics of continental break-up. In this region, the volcanic record preserves over 30 Myrs of geochemical variability associated with the interplay between shallow and deep asthenospheric sources, continental lithospheric mantle, and continental crust. One fundamental question that is still subject to debate concerns the relationship between the lithospheric mantle and the voluminous flood basalt province that erupted at ~30 Ma in Ethiopia and Yemen. Whole-rock Re-Os isotopic data demonstrate the high-Ti (HT2) flood basalts (187Os/188Ost = 0.1247-0.1329) and peridotite xenoliths (187Os/188Ost = 0.1235-0.1377) from NW Ethiopia have similar isotopic compositions. However, Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotopic signatures from peridotite clinopyroxene grains are different from those of the flood basalts. The peridotite clinopyroxene separates bear isotopic affinities to anciently depleted mantle (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7019-0.7029; ɛNd = 12.6-18.5; ɛHf = 13.8-27.6) - more depleted than the MORB source - rather than to the OIB-like 30 Ma flood basalts (87Sr/86Sr ~ 0.704; ɛNd = 4.7-6.7; ɛHf = 12.1-13.5). Peridotite clinopyroxenes display two groups of 206Pb/204Pb compositions: the higher 206Pb/204Pb group (18.7-19.3) is compositionally similar to the flood basalts (206Pb/204Pb = 18.97-19.02) whereas the lower 206Pb/204Pb group (17.1-17.9) overlaps with depleted mantle. This suggests that the Pb isotope systematics in some of the peridotites have been metasomatically perturbed. Helium isotopes were analyzed by crushing olivine separated from the peridotites and the flood basalts. Olivine in the peridotites has low He concentrations (0.78-4.7 ncc/g) and low 3He/4He (4.6-6.6 RA), demonstrating that they cannot be the petrogenetic precursor to the high 3He/4He (>12 RA) flood basalts. Notably, these peridotites have 3He/4He signatures consistent with a lithospheric mantle source. Therefore

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  10. Magmatic Versus Amagmatic Rifting in the East African Rift System from Pn and Sn Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donnell, J. P.; Nyblade, A.

    2014-12-01

    Geodynamic models of rifting currently rely on the mechanism of hot mantle upwelling and decompressional melting to weaken lithospheric rock to the degree that rifting can initiate. However, many rift segments worldwide are apparently amagmatic. The East African Rift System is a prime example, with large sections of the system subaerially amagmatic. We seek to address the question of whether these apparently amagmatic rift segments merely lack a surficial expression of magmatism which exists at depth, or whether rifting is genuinely amagmatic. Based on regional earthquakes recorded by the Tanzania Broadband Seismic Experiment, the Kenya Broadband Seismic Experiment, the AfricaArray East African Seismic Experiment and several permanent GSN stations, we probe for uppermost mantle melt signatures along the East African Rift System using P- and S-wave speed ratios derived from Pn and Sn tomography. Pn- and Sn-velocity models, and their ratio which can be diagnostic of the presence of fluids, will be presented.

  11. The Offshore East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, D.; Klimke, J.; Jokat, W.; Stollhofen, H.; Mahanjane, S.

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies have addressed various aspects of the East African Rift system but surprisingly few on the offshore continuation of the south-eastern branch of the rift into the Mozambique Channel. The most prominent article has been published almost 30 years ago by Mougenot et al. (1986) and is based on vintage seismic data. Several studies investigating earthquakes and plate motions from GPS measurements reveal recent deformation along the offshore branch of the East African Rift system. Slip vectors from earthquakes data in Mozambique's offshore basins show a consistent NE direction. Fault plane solutions reveal ~ E-W extensional failure with focal depth clustering around 19 km and 40 km, respectively. Here, we present new evidence for neotectonic deformation derived from modern seismic reflection data and supported by additional geophysical data. The modern rift system obviously reactivates structures from the disintegration of eastern Gondwana. During the Jurassic/Cretaceous opening of the Somali and Mozambique Basins, Madagascar moved southwards along a major shear zone, to its present position. Since the Miocene, parts of the shear zone became reactivated and structurally overprinted by the East African rift system. The Kerimbas Graben offshore northern Mozambique is the most prominent manifestation of recent extensional deformation. Bathymetry data shows that it deepens northwards, with approximately 700 m downthrown on the eastern shoulder. The graben can be subdivided into four subbasins by crosscutting structural lineaments with a NW-SE trend. Together with the N-S striking graben-bounding faults, this resembles a conjugate fault system. In seismic reflection data normal faulting is distinct not only at the earthquake epicenters. The faults cut through the sedimentary successions and typically reach the seafloor, indicating ongoing recent deformation. Reference: Mougenot, D., Recq, M., Virlogeux, P., and Lepvrier, C., 1986, Seaward extension of the East

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, S.

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Morphotectonics of the Tunka rift and its bordering mountains in the Baikal rift system, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shchetnikov, Alexander

    2016-11-01

    The Tunka section of the Baikal rift system presents a uniform alternation of the following neostructural forms: tilted horsts and asymmetrical block uplifts on the northern flank; the central system of the rift valleys; and the arched uplift of the southern flank. This is a standard set of morphostructural elements for the Baikal rift system. The main morphological feature of the Tunka rift is the strong inclination of its floor, ranging from 900 m to 200 km in general elevation above Lake Baikal. Such traits of recent geodynamics as volcanism, thermal activity, and seismicity are also different from other parts of the rift zone. All of these features of the Tunka rift are related to the deep structure of the rift zone. The peculiarities of the neotectonic structure of the Tunka rift, which are clearly expressed morphologically as is typical of the Baikal rift system, as well as its unique features are in accordance with deep geodynamic processes of the region. On the other hand, the development of the rift basin structures of the southwestern area near Baikal is complicated by inversion deformations. Local uplifts followed by deformations of the basin sedimentary cover and inverted morphostructures expressed in relief are fixed against the background of the general subsidence of blocks of the pre-Cenozoic basement grabens. The Tunka rift has repeatedly experienced inversion deformations throughout its history. The last wave of such deformations involved the southwestern region near Baikal in the second half of the late Pleistocene. During the Quaternary, the positive component prevailed in the whole range of vertical movements of the inter-rift and interbasin blocks; since the late Neogene, these structures have experienced a slow but steady uplift, accompanied by their extension at the expense of the bordering basins. The remote influence of the India-Asia collision on the formation of the southwestern section of the Baikal rift system is very significant and

  16. The mesoproterozoic midcontinent rift system, Lake Superior region, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

    Exposures in the Lake Superior region, and associated geophysical evidence, show that a 2000 km-long rift system developed within the North American craton ??? 1109-1087 Ma, the age span of the most of the volcanic rocks. This system is characterized by immense volumes of mafic igneous rocks, mostly subaerial plateau basalts, generated in two major pulses largely by a hot mantle plume. A new ocean basin was nearly formed before rifting ceased, perhaps due to the remote effect of the Grenville continental collision to the east. Broad sagging/subsidence, combined with a system of axial half-grabens separated along the length of the rift by accommodation zones, provided conditions for the accumulation of as much as 20 km of volcanic rocks and as much as 10 km of post-rift clastic sediments, both along the rift axis and in basins flanking a central, post-volcanic horst. Pre-rift mature, quartzose sandstones imply little or no uplift prior to the onset of rift volcanism. Early post-rift red-bed sediments consist almost entirely of intrabasinally derived volcanic sediment deposited in alluvial fan to fluvial settings; the exception is one gray to black carbon-bearing lacustrine(?) unit. This early sedimentation phase was followed by broad crustal sagging and deposition of progressively more mature red-bed, fluvial sediments with an extra-basinal provenance. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-06-01

    Exposures in the Lake Superior region, and associated geophysical evidence, show that a 2000 km-long rift system developed within the North American craton ∽1109-1087 Ma, the age span of most of the volcanic rocks. This system is characterized by immense volumes of mafic igneous rocks, mostly subaerial plateau basalts, generated in two major pulses largely by a hot mantle plume. A new ocean basin was nearly formed before rifting ceased, perhaps due to the remote effect of the Grenville continental collision to the east. Broad sagging/subsidence, combined with a system of axial half-grabens separated along the length of the rift by accommodation zones, provided conditions for the accumulation of as much as 20 km of volcanic rocks and as much as 10 km of post-rift clastic sediments, both along the rift axis and in basins flanking a central, post-volcanic horst. Pre-rift mature, quartzose sandstones imply little or no uplift prior to the onset of rift volcanism. Early post-rift red-bed sediments consist almost entirely of intrabasinally derived volcanic sediment deposited in alluvial fan to fluvial settings; the exception is one gray to black carbon-bearing lacustrine(?) unit. This early sedimentation phase was followed by broad crustal sagging and deposition of progressively more mature red-bed, fluvial sediments with an extra-basinal provenance.

  18. Mid-Continent rift system - a frontier hydrocarbon province

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-08-01

    Geophysical evidence in the Mid-Continent has led to delineation of a rift system active during the Proterozoic Y Era. The Mid-Continent rift system can be traced by the Mid-Continent gravity high and corresponding aeromagnetic anomaly signature from the surface exposure of the Keweenawan Supergroup in the Lake Superior basin southwest in the subsurface through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. The aeromagnetic anomaly signature of the rift trend discloses where these sediments have been preserved. Thick accumulations of upper Proterozoic sediments are indicated by both upward continuation of the aeromagnetic profiles across the rift trend and gravity models which incorporate: 1) a deep mafic body to create the narrow gravity high, 2) anomalously thick crust to account for the more regional gravity low, and 3) sedimentary accumulations on the Precambrian surface to explain the small-scale notches which occur within the narrow gravity high. Reflection seismic data are virtually unknown in the rift area; however, data recently acquired by COCORP across the southern end of the feature in Kansas provide evidence of thick stratified sequences in the rift valley. Studies of the East African rift have revealed that the tropical rift valley is an exceptionally fertile environment for deposition and preservation of kerogenous material. The Sirte, Suez, Viking, Dnieper-Donetz, and Tsaidam basins are just a few of the rift basins currently classed as giant producers. The existence of a rift basin trend with thick accumulations of preserved sediments, demonstrably organic rich, introduces the northern Mid-Continent US as a new frontier for hydrocarbon exploration.

  19. 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

  20. The role of inheritance in structuring hyperextended rift systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manatschal, Gianreto; Lavier, Luc; Chenin, Pauline

    2015-04-01

    A long-standing question in Earth Sciences is related to the importance of inheritance in controlling tectonic processes. In contrast to physical processes that are generally applicable, assessing the role of inheritance suffers from two major problems: firstly, it is difficult to appraise without having insights into the history of a geological system; and secondly all inherited features are not reactivated during subsequent deformation phases. Therefore, the aim of our presentation is to give some conceptual framework about how inheritance may control the architecture and evolution of hyperextended rift systems. We use the term inheritance to refer to the difference between an "ideal" layer-cake type lithosphere and a "real" lithosphere containing heterogeneities and we define 3 types of inheritance, namely structural, compositional and thermal inheritance. Moreover, we assume that the evolution of hyperextended rift systems reflects the interplay between their inheritance (innate/"genetic code") and the physical processes at play (acquired/external factors). Thus, by observing the architecture and evolution of hyperextended rift systems and integrating the physical processes, one my get hints on what may have been the original inheritance of a system. Using this approach, we focus on 3 well-studied rift systems that are the Alpine Tethys, Pyrenean-Bay of Biscay and Iberia-Newfoundland rift systems. For the studied examples we can show that: 1) strain localization on a local scale and during early stages of rifting is controlled by inherited structures and weaknesses 2) the architecture of the necking zone seems to be influenced by the distribution and importance of ductile layers during decoupled deformation and is consequently controlled by the thermal structure and/or the inherited composition of the curst 3) the location of breakup in the 3 examples is not significantly controlled by the inherited structures 4) inherited mantle composition and rift

  1. Geophysical glimpses into the Ferrigno Rift at the northwestern tip of the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bingham, Robert; Ferraccioli, Fausto

    2014-05-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) forms one of the largest continental rift systems on Earth. The WARS is of major significance as it forms the lithospheric cradle for the marine-based and potentially unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Seismic refraction, reflection, aeromagnetic, gravity and drilling in the Ross Sea have revealed most of what we know about its structure, tectonic and magmatic patterns and sedimentary basins. Aerogeophysical research and passive seismic networks have considerably extended our knowledge of the WARS and its influence on the overlying WAIS in the Siple Coast and Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) regions. The Bellingshausen Sea Embayment region has however remained largely unexplored, and hence the possible extent of the WARS in this sector has remained poorly constrained. Here we use a combination of reconnaissance ground-based and airborne radar observations, airborne gravity, satellite gravity and aeromagnetic data to investigate the WARS in the Bellingshausen Sea Embayment, in the area of the Ferrigno Ice Stream (Bingham et al., 2012, Nature). This region is of high significance, as it one of the main sectors of the WAIS that is currently exhibiting rapid ice loss, thought to be driven primarily by oceanic warming. Assessing geological controls on subice topography and ice dynamics is therefore of prime importance in this part of the WAIS. Ground-based and airborne radar image a subglacial basin beneath the Ferrigno Ice Stream that is up to 1.5 kilometres deep and that connects the ice-sheet interior to the Bellingshausen Sea margin. We interpret this basin as a narrow, glacially overdeepened rift basin that formed at the northwestern tip of the WARS. Satellite gravity data cannot resolve such a narrow rift basin but indicate that the crust beneath the region is likely thinned, lending support to the hypothesis that this area is indeed part of the WARS. Widely-spaced aeromagnetic data image a linear low along the inferred

  2. Metallogeny of the midcontinent rift system of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  3. The timing of uplift, volcanism, and rifting peripheral to the Red Sea: a case for passive rifting?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohannon, R.G.; Naeser, C.W.; Schmidt, D.L.; Zimmermann, R.A.

    1989-01-01

    Prior to the formation of the Red Sea the northeastern Afro/Arabian continent had low relief and was largely below sea level from the Late Cretaceous to the early Oligocene. The events leading to the formation of the Red Sea followed the sequence (1) alkaline volcanism and rifting beginning about 30-32 Ma affecting a narrow linear zone in the continent, (2) rotational block faulting and detachment faulting, well underway by 25 Ma, (3) gabbro and diorite magmatism, andesite to rhyolite volcanism, and fine-grained nonmarine sedimentation in the rift between 20 and 25 Ma, (4) fine-grained marine sedimentation in the rift as the early shelves started to subside in the middle Miocene, and (5) uplift of the adjacent continents (about 3 km) and subsidence of the shelves (about 4 km) between 13.8 and 5 Ma. The youth of the uplift is suggested by 44 fission track dates on apatites from rocks of the Proterozoic Arabian Shield that range in age from 13.8 to 568 Ma. The youngest of these ages, coupled with the present high relief along the Arabian escarpment and published heat flow measurements, indicate that 2.5-4 km uplift has occurred in the last 13.8 m.y. -from Authors

  4. The Midcontinent rift system in Kansas

    SciTech Connect

    Berendsen, P. . Kansas Geological Survey)

    1993-03-01

    A sequence of rift-related mafic volcanic rocks, volcanoclastic-, and clastic sedimentary rocks are recognized in cuttings and cores from about seventy wells in Kansas. The age (1,097.5 Ma) for gabbro in the Poersch [number sign]1 well in northern Kansas, as well as the general petrographic characteristics of the sedimentary rocks throughout the area favors a correlation with established Keweenawan stratigraphy in the Lake Superior region. Rift-related northeast-trending faults and older northwest-trending faults divide the area up into a number of orthogonal fault blocks or basins. Depending upon the tectonic history of the individual basin all or part of the Keweenawan section may be preserved. It is believed that large amounts of Keweenawan clastic sedimentary rock were eroded from the nemaha uplift east of the central graben of the rift and transported in an easterly direction. Prior to deposition of Paleozoic rocks the area was peneplaned. Correlation of various stratigraphic units over any distance is complicated by tectonic activity occurring at several times during the Precambrian and Paleozoic. Stratabound or stratiform deposits can occur both in the Precambrian as well as the overlying Paleozoic rocks. The possibility of massive sulfides to occur in the mafic intrusive rocks must not be excluded. In the core from the Poersch [number sign]1 well sulfides are recognized in gabbroic sills or dikes. Dark, fissile shale, similar to the Nonesuch Shale in the [number sign]1--4 Finn well averages 0.75% organic carbon. Thermal maturation within the rift probably ranges from within the oil window to over maturity.

  5. Combining detrital geochronology and sedimentology to assess basin development in the Rukwa Rift of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah; Roberts, Eric; Mtelela, Cassy; Downie, Bob

    2015-04-01

    We have employed a multifaceted approach to sedimentary provenance analysis in order to assess the timing and magnitude of tectonic events, sedimentation, and landscape development in the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Our approach, termed 'Sedimentary Triple Dating', integrates: (1) U-Pb dating via LA-ICPMS; (2) fission track; and (3) (U-Th)/He thermochronology of detrital zircon and apatite. We integrate geochronology, thermochronology, and provenance analysis to relate the initiation of rifting events to regional dynamic uplift, sedimentation patterns, and interpret the far-reaching climatic and evolutionary effects of fluctuating rift flank topography in the Rukwa Rift, a segment of the Western Branch. This work provides additional data to support the recent concept of synchronous development of the Western and Eastern branches of the East African Rift System ~25 Ma, and better constrains the age, location and provenance of subsequent rifting and sedimentation events in the Rukwa Rift Basin. Investigation of well cuttings and outcrop samples from the Neogene-Recent Lake Beds Succession in the Rukwa Rift Basin revealed a suite of previously unrecognized tuffaceous deposits at the base of the succession. A population of euhedral, magmatic zircons from a basal Lake Beds tuff and Miocene-Pliocene detrital zircons from well cuttings suggest that Neogene rift reactivation and volcanism began ~9-10 Ma. This timing is consistent with demonstrated rifting in Uganda and Malawi, as well as with the initiation of volcanism in the Rungwe Volcanic Province at the southern end of the Rukwa Rift, and the estimated development of Lake Tanganyika to the north. Moreover, there appear to be a suite of unconformity bounded stratigraphic units that make up the Lower Lake Beds succession, and detrital zircon maximum depositional ages from these units suggests episodic sedimentation in the rift, punctuated by long hiatuses or uplift, rather than steady subsidence and

  6. Experiments on oblique rifting in brittle-ductile systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tron, Virginie; Brun, Jean-Pierre

    1991-03-01

    Oblique rifting arises when the bulk extension direction is not perpendicular to the boundaries of a deforming zone. Several scale experiments of oblique rifting acting on a brittle-ductile system are here presented. Models are two-layer slabs of sand and silicone. Uniaxial stretching is applied oblique to the external boundaries ( α = 0°, 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 90°). Resulting fault patterns are analysed on both the free surface and serial cross-sections. In the experiments oblique rifting is characterized by en-echelon fault patterns, mean fault trends not perpendicular to the stretching vector, and mean initial fault dips higher than for dip-slip normal faults. For low obliquity rifting (α ⩾ 45°) curved faults are frequent, displacement along them varying from dip-slip to dominantly strike-slip. For high obliquity rifting (α < 45°) motion is partitioned amongst distinct families of oblique-slip faults and strike-slip faults.

  7. Innovative tephra studies in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K.; Heiken, Grant

    Geosciences investigations form the foundation for paleoanthropological research in the East African Rift System. However, innovative applications of tephra studies for constraining spatial and temporal relations of diverse geological processes, biostratigraphic records, and paleoenvironmental conditions within the East African Rift System were fueled by paleoanthropological investigations into the origin and evolution of hominids and material culture. Tephra is a collective, size-independent term used for any material ejected during an explosive volcanic eruption.The East African Rift System has become a magnet for paleoanthropological research ever since the discovery of the first hominids at Olduvai Gorge, in Tanzania, in the 1950s [Leakey et al., 1961]. Currently, numerous multidisciplinary scientific teams from academic institutions in the United States and Western Europe make annual pilgrimages for a couple of months to conduct paleoanthropological field research in the fossil-rich sedimentary deposits of the East African Rift System in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. The field expedition consists of geological, paleontological, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental investigations.

  8. Mapping of the major structures of the African rift system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. ERTS-1 imagery of the African rift system has already proved of great value in structural geological studies. One of the interesting megastructures expressed on the imagery occurs some 40 km east of the eastern margin of the main Ethiopian rift, in Arussi province, and extending between latitude 71/2 and 81/4 deg N. The Badda-Encuolo ridge proves to have been a line of major Tertiary volcanism and probably supplied the thick Trap Series flood basalt sequence exposed farther east in the canyons of the Webi Shebeli drainage system. The ridge itself was built up by the waning activity of the Sagatu line of volcanism. Serendipitious has been the discovery on Mt. Badda of several deeply glaciated valleys, many of which show clearly on the ERTS-1 imagery. It seems that Mt. Badda was one of the most important glacial centers in eastern Africa during the Pleistocene. Three major late-Tertiary trachytic centers lie between the Badda-Encuolo ridge and the rift valley. The relationships of these three volcanoes to each other and to the rift faulting is revealed for the first time by the ERTS-1 imagery, as is the form of the cladera of Baltata and the crater of Chilalo.

  9. Clastic rocks associated with the Midcontinent rift system in Iowa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Raymond R.; McKay, Robert M.

    1997-01-01

    The Middle Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) of North America is a failed rift that formed in response to region-wide stresses about 1,100 Ma. In Iowa, the MRS is buried beneath 2,200?3,500 ft of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks and Quaternary glaciogenic deposits. An extremely large volume of sediments was deposited within basins associated with the rift at several stages during its development. Although the uplift of a rift-axial horst resulted in the erosional removal of most of these clastic rocks from the central region of the MRS in Iowa, thick sequences are preserved in a series of horst-bounding basins. Recent studies incorporating petrographic analysis, geophysical modeling, and other analytical procedures have led to the establishment of a preliminary stratigraphy for these clastic rocks and interpretations of basin geometries. This information has allowed the refinement of existing theories and history of MRS formation in Iowa. Additionally, drill samples previously interpreted as indicating the existence of early Paleozoic basins overlying the Proterozoic MRS basins were re-examined. Samples previously interpreted as deep-lying Paleozoic rocks are now known to have caved from upper levels of the drillhole and were out of stratigraphic position. No deep Paleozoic basins exist in this area. These investigations led to the development of petrographic parameters useful in differentiating the Proterozoic MRS Red clastics from Paleozoic clastic rocks having similar lithologies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  11. Recent seismicity of the East African Rift system and its implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kebede, Fekadu; Kulhánek, Ota

    1991-09-01

    The seismicity of the East African Rift system and southern Red Sea is studied here. Location of earthquake epicenters in East Africa shows that there is a seismicity gap in space and time between the Main Ethiopian Rift system and the eastern rift. However, distribution of earthquake epicenters together with the energy mapping suggest a continuity of seismic activity or stress field from the Main Ethiopian Rift system to the western rift system via the southernmost rifts of Ethiopia. In general (except for some earthquakes which occurred at different complex tectonics regions) mechanisms of earthquakes studied here show dominantly normal faulting suggesting that the rift system is an extensional zone on the continent. The presence of greater focal depth earthquakes to the southern part of the rift system may indicate that softer materials at a shallower depth are present in Afar and neighboring regions than in the remaining part of the East African Rift system. This interpretation is supported by other geophysical studies (low electrical resistivity and gravity data) performed in Afar. It is also supported by low and high stress drops found for the northern part (Afar depression) and southern part of the East African Rift system, respectively.

  12. Benue trough and the mid-African rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, D.

    1996-01-29

    Large areas of the Anambra and Gongola basins have distinct petroleum exploration problems: a geologically persistent high geothermal gradient that promoted Cretaceous source rock maturation into the gas phase very early on; intrusive lead-zinc mineralization veins attributed to the Senonian igneous and folding event; and meteoric water-flushing along the periphery of the basins. From preliminary analysis, these basins have to be considered high risk for the discovery of commercial oil accumulations. On the other hand, the petroleum potential of the Bornu basins seems favorable. This Nigerian northernmost rift basin continues into the Kanem basin of western Chad, which has proven oil accumulations in Coniacian deltaic sands. Cretaceous paleofacies is considered to be relatively continuous throughout both basins. Paleo-geothermal history is also considered to be similar, although some igneous activity is recorded in the Bornu basin (Senonian?). There is a very real possibility of kerogen-rich non-marine basal Albo-Aptian basin fill lacustrine source rocks, as found in the Doba basin, could be present in the deepest sections of the Nigerian rift basins. Due to the depths involved, no well is expected to penetrate the incipient graben-fill stage sequences; however, possible oil migration from these tectono-stratigraphic units would certainly enhance the petroleum potential of cooler sections of the rift system. As opposed to interpreted thermogenic gas which seems to be prevalent in the Anambra basin.

  13. Hydrothermal vents is Lake Tanganyika, East African Rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Tiercelin, J.J.; Pflumio, C.; Castrec, M.

    1993-06-01

    Sublacustrine hydrothermal vents with associated massive sulfides were discovered during April 1987 at Pemba and Cape Banza on the Zaire side of the northern basin of Lake Tanganyika, East African Rift system. New investigations by a team of ten scuba divers during the multinational (France, Zaire, Germany, and Burundi) TANGANYDRO expedition (August-October 1991) found hydrothermal vents down to a depth of 46 m along north-trending active faults bounding the Tanganyika rift on the western side. Temperatures from 53 to 103 {degrees}C were measured in hydrothermal fluids and sediments. Veins of massive sulfides 1-10 cm thick (pyrite and marcasite banding) were found associated with vents at the Pemba site. At Cape Banza, active vents are characterized by 1-70-cm-high aragonite chimneys, and there are microcrystalline pyrite coatings on the walls of hydrothermal pipes. Hydrothermal fluid end members show distinctive compositions at the two sites. The Pemba end member is a NaHCO{sub 3}-enriched fluid similar to the NaHCO{sub 3} thermal fluids form lakes Magadi and Bogoria in the eastern branch of the rift. The Cape Banza end member is a solution enriched in NaCl. Such brines may have a deep-seated basement origin, as do the Uvinza NaCl brines on the eastern flank of the Tanganyika basin. Geothermometric calculations have yielded temperatures of fluid-rock interaction of 219 and 179 {degrees}C in the Pemba and Cape Banza systems, respectively. Abundant white or reddish-brown microbial colonies resembling Beggiatoa mats were found surrounding the active vents. Thermal fluid circulation is permitted by opening of cracks related to 130{degrees}N normal-dextral faults that intersect the north-south major rift trend. The sources of heat for such hydrothermal systems may relate to the existence of magmatic bodies under the rift, which is suggested by the isotopic composition of carbon dioxide released at Pemba and Cape Banza. 21 refs., 2 figs.

  14. Discussion on final rifting evolution and breakup : insights from the Mid Norwegian - North East Greenland rifted system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peron-Pinvidic, Gwenn; Terje Osmundsen, Per

    2016-04-01

    In terms of rifted margin studies, the characteristics of the distal and outer domains are among the today's most debated questions. The architecture and composition of deep margins are rarely well constrained and hence little understood. Except from in a handful number of cases (eg. Iberia-Newfoundland, Southern Australia, Red Sea), basement samples are not available to decipher between the various interpretations allowed by geophysical models. No consensus has been reached on the basement composition, tectonic structures, sedimentary geometries or magmatic content. The result is that non-unique end-member interpretations and models are still proposed in the literature. So, although these domains mark the connection between continents and oceans, and thus correspond to unique stages in the Earth's lithospheric life cycle, their spatial and temporal evolution are still unresolved. The Norwegian-Greenland Sea rift system represents an exceptional laboratory to work on questions related to rifting, rifted margin formation and sedimentary basin evolution. It has been extensively studied for decades by both the academic and the industry communities. The proven and expected oil and gas potentials led to the methodical acquisition of world-class geophysical datasets, which permit the detailed research and thorough testing of concepts at local and regional scales. This contribution is issued from a three years project funded by ExxonMobil aiming at better understanding the crustal-scale nature and evolution of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. The idea was to take advantage of the data availability on this specific rift system to investigate further the full crustal conjugate scale history of rifting, confronting the various available datasets. In this contribution, we will review the possible structural and sedimentary geometries of the distal margin, and their connection to the oceanic domain. We will discuss the definition of 'breakup' and introduce a first order conceptual

  15. The Lake Albert Rift (uganda, East African Rift System): Deformation, Basin and Relief Evolution Since 17 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brendan, Simon; François, Guillocheau; Cécile, Robin; Olivier, Dauteuil; Thierry, Nalpas; Martin, Pickford; Brigitte, Senut; Philippe, Lays; Philippe, Bourges; Martine, Bez

    2016-04-01

    .5 Ma: Rift stage 1 (subsidence rate: > 500m/Ma up to 600-800 m/Ma; sedimentation rate: 2.4 km3/Ma) - Rifting climax; - 2.5-0.4 Ma: uplift of the Ruwenzori Mountains and shifting from an alluvial system to a network of bedrock river incision - Rift Stage 2 (subsidence rate: 450 to 250 m/Ma; sedimentation rate: 1.5 km3/Ma); - 0.4-0 Ma: long wavelength downwarping of the Tanzanian Craton, initiation of the Lake Victoria trough, drainage network inversion and uplift of the present-day Ugandan escarpment (normal faulting motion of the border faults) with formation of perched valleys associated to the Lower Pleistocene (2.5-0.4 Ma) rivers network. At larger scale, comparison of the Lake Albert Rift evolution with the data available in the basins of both eastern and western branches of the East African Rift System shows that most of the sedimentary basins experienced the same geometrical evolution from large basins with limited fault controls during Late Miocene to narrow true rift in Late Pleistocene (e.g. Northern and Central Kenyan Basins), in agreement with the volcanism distribution, large (width >100 km) during the Miocene times, narrower (width x10 km) from Late Pliocene to Pleistocene times and today limited to narrow rifts.

  16. Rift-wide correlation of 1.1 Ga Midcontinent rift system basalts: Implications for multiple mantle sources during rift development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicholson, S.W.; Shirey, S.B.; Schulz, K.J.; Green, J.C.

    1997-01-01

    Magmatism that accompanied the 1.1 Ga Midcontinent rift system (MRS) is attributed to the upwelling and decompression melting of a mantle plume beneath North America. Five distinctive flood-basalt compositions are recognized in the rift-related basalt succession along the south shore of western Lake Superior, based on stratigraphically correlated major element, trace element, and Nd isotopic analyses. These distinctive compositions can be correlated with equivalent basalt types in comparable stratigraphic positions in other MRS localities around western Lake Superior. Four of these compositions are also recognized at Mamainse Point more than 200 km away in eastern Lake Superior. These regionally correlative basalt compositions provide the basis for determining the sequential contribution of various mantle sources to flood-basalt magmatism during rift development, extending a model originally developed for eastern Lake Superior. In this refined model, the earliest basalts were derived from small degrees of partial melting at great depth of an enriched, ocean-island-type plume mantle source (??Nd(1100) value of about 0), followed by magmas representing melts from this plume source and interaction with another mantle source, most likely continental lithospheric mantle (??Nd(1100) < 0). The relative contribution of this second mantle source diminished with time as larger degree partial melts of the plume became the dominant source for the voluminous younger basalts (??Nd(1100) value of about 0). Towards the end of magmatism, mixtures of melts from the plume and a depleted asthenospheric mantle source became dominant (??Nd(1100) = 0 to +3).

  17. The Corinth Rift Laboratory, Greece (CRL) : A Multidisciplinary Near Fault Observatory (NFO) on a Fast Rifting System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernard, P.; Lyon-Caen, H.; Deschamps, A.; Briole, P.; Lambotte, S.; Ford, M.; Scotti, O.; Beck, C.; Hubert-Ferrari, A.; Boiselet, A.; Godano, M.; Matrullo, E.; Meyer, N.; Albini, P.; Elias, P.; Nercessian, A.; Katsonopoulou, D.; Papadimitriou, P.; Voulgaris, N.; Kapetanidis, V.; Sokos, E.; Serpetsidaki, A.; el Arem, S.; Dublanchet, P.; Duverger, C.; Makropoulos, K.; Tselentis, A.

    2014-12-01

    The western rift of Corinth (Greece) is one of the most active tectonic structures of the euro-mediterranean area. Its NS opening rate is 1.5 cm/yr ( strain rate of 10-6/yr) results into a high microseismicity level and a few destructive, M>6 earthquakes per century, activating a system of mostly north dipping normal faults. Since 2001, monitoring arrays of the European Corinth Rift Laboratory (CRL, www.crlab.eu) allowed to better track the mechanical processes at work, with short period and broad band seismometers, cGPS, borehole strainmeters, EM stations, …). The recent (300 kyr) tectonic history has been revealed by onland (uplifted fan deltas and terraces) and offshore geological studies (mapping, shallow seismic, coring), showing a fast evolution of the normal fault system. The microseismicity, dominated by swarms lasting from days to months, mostly clusters in a layer 1 to 3 km thick, between 6 and 9 km in depth, dipping towards north, on which most faults are rooting. The diffusion of the microseismicity suggests its triggering by pore pressure transients, with no or barely detected strain. Despite a large proportion of multiplets, true repeaters seem seldom, suggesting a minor contribution of creep in their triggering, although transient or steady creep is clearly detected on the shallow part of some majors faults. The microseismic layer may thus be an immature, downward growing detachment, and the dominant rifting mechanism might be a mode I, anelastic strain beneath the rift axis , for which a mechanical model is under development. Paleoseismological (trenching, paleoshorelines, turbidites), archeological and historical studies completed the catalogues of instrumental seismicity, motivating attempts of time dependent hazard assessment. The Near Fault Observatory of CRL is thus a multidisciplinary research infrastructure aiming at a better understanding and modeling of multiscale, coupled seismic/aseismic processes on fault systems.

  18. Volcanic water flows could have flooded Ganymede's planetary rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Allison, M.L.; Clifford, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Global expansion on Ganymede of only 1 or 2% created a planetary rift system which was resurfaced over a significant period of the planet's history creating bright, grooved terrain. The most reasonable model entails flooding of grabens by water or slush magmas which rose to the surface along normal faults in the rift system. Various models exist for the origin of the water magmas including isostatic rise of freezing ice I or diapirs of unstable ice III. A model considering the heat balance at the surface of an ice-covered water flow is constructed with the simplifying assumption that both laminar flow and a solid ice cover are achieved relatively soon after eruption. The ice cover will thicken until the underlying flowing water is entirely frozen. Energy into the system comes from solar radiation and the latent heat of freezing. Energy lost will be by evaporative and radiative cooling at the ice surface and by conduction into the substratum. Solving the heat balance allows a prediction for the volume of magma that can flood the surface. For example a flow 5 m thick will take tens of days to freeze, so that discharge rates equal to that of average terrestrial basalt flows could flood relatively large areas of the surface before freezing. Volcanic flooding is therefore a physically viable mechanism for the origin of bright terrain. During freezing the water/ice volume increases, lifting and fracturing the ice cover. These fractures may localize continued tectonic forces producing large displacements and creating the present grooved terrain.

  19. Beta Regio rift system on Venus: Geologic interpretation of Magellan images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

    Magellan SAR images and altimetric data were used to produce a new geologic map of the Northern part of Beta Regio within the frames of C1-30N279 mapsheet. It was part of our contributions into C1-formate geologic mapping efforts. The original map is at 1:8,000,000 scale. The rift structures are typical for Beta Regio on Venus. There are many large uplifted tessera areas on Beta upland. They occupy areas of higher topography. These tessera are partly burried by younger volcanic cover of plain material. These observations show that Beta upland was formed mainly due to lithospheric tectonical uplifting, and only partly was constructed by volcanic activity. A number of rift valleis traverse Beta upland and spread to the surrounding lowlands. The largest rift crosses Beta N to S. Typical width of rifts is 40 to 160 km. Rift valleis in this region are structurally represented by crustal grabens and half-grabens. There are symmetrical and asymmetrical rifts. A lot of them have shoulder uplifts with the relative high up to 0.5-1 km and width 40 to 60 km. Preliminary analysis of the largest rift valley structural cross-sections leads to the conclusion that it originated due to a 5-10 percent crustal extension. The prominent shield volcano - Theia Mons - is located at the center of Beta rift system. It could be considered as the surface manifestation of the upper mantle hot spot. Most of the rift belts are located radially to Theia Mons. The set of these data leads to conclusion that Beta rift system has an 'active-passive' origin. It was formed due to the regional tectonic lithospheric extension. Rifting was accelerated by the upper mantle hot spot located under the center of passive extension (under Beta Regio).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, Samson; Ghebreab, Woldai

    2013-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1994-01-01

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

  4. Failure was not an option- the Mid-Continent Rift system succeeded

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merino, M.; Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Keller, G. R.; Flesch, L. M.; Jurdy, D. M.

    2013-12-01

    The 1.1 Ga Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) in North America is often viewed as a failed rift formed by isolated midplate volcanism and extension within the ~1.3-~0.98 Ga Grenville orogeny. An alternative view is suggested by analogy with younger and morphologically similar rift systems, whose plate tectonic settings are more easily understood because their surroundings - including seafloor with magnetic anomalies - have not been deformed or destroyed by subsequent collisions and rifting events. In this view, the MCR was part of a larger plate boundary rifting event that resulted in a successful episode of seafloor spreading. This view is motivated by various pieces of evidence. The MCR rifting looks much like rigid plate block motion, such as associated with the West Central African Rift systems formed during the Mesozoic breakup of Africa and South America and the ongoing rifting in the East African Rift region with seafloor spreading in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. This view explains the affinities of the Grenville-age rocks in the central and southern Appalachians to Amazonia rather than Canadian Grenville-age Appalachian rocks. The MCR extends farther to the south than traditionally assumed along the East Continental Gravity High (a buried feature from Ohio to Alabama). This failed portion of the rift system connected to the rift successfully separating Laurentia and Amazonia. The seafloor spreading separating Amazonia from Laurentia may explain the former's relative motion toward Greenland and Baltica. This model is consistent with some of the ~1.1 Ga geological events in Amazonia. A change in the apparent polar wander path for Laurentia during the period of volcanism of the MCR could be attributed to this plate reconfiguration. The extensional phase on the MCR may have ended because motion was taken up by seafloor spreading between Laurentia and Amazonia rather ending due to another continental collision. Later reverse faulting on the MCR normal faults due to

  5. Structural geology of the African rift system: Summary of new data from ERTS-1 imagery. [Precambrian influence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.

    1974-01-01

    ERTS imagery reveals for the first time the structural pattern of the African rift system as a whole. The strong influence of Precambrian structures on this pattern is clearly evident, especially along zones of cataclastic deformation, but the rift pattern is seen to be ultimately independent in origin and nature from Precambrian tectonism. Continuity of rift structures from one swell to another is noted. The widening of the Gregory rift as its northern end reflects an underlying Precambrian structural divergence, and is not a consequence of reaching the swell margin. Although the Western Rift is now proven to terminate at the Aswa Mylonite Zone, in southern Sudan, lineaments extend northeastwards from Lake Albert to the Eastern Rift at Lake Stefanie. The importance of en-echelon structures in the African rifts is seen to have been exaggerated.

  6. Mapping of the major structures of the African rift system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The new fault map of the main Ethiopian rift, based on aerial photo compilations, generally agrees well with the maps produced from ERTS-1 imagery. Characteristically, the ERTS-1 imagery shows some of the major faults to be more extensive than realized from ground studies, though due to the angle of sun illumination some east-facing fault scarps are not easily discernible on the imagery. The Corbetti caldera, shows up surprisingly poor on the imagery, and is shown to be an adjunct to an older, larger caldera now occupied by Lakes Awassa and Shallo. The lithological boundaries mapped by De Paola in the rift are difficult to discern on the ERTS-1 imagery. On the Somalian plateau, east of the rift, a denuded caldera has been identified as the source of much of the lavas of the Batu Mountains. Further south, ERTS-1 imagery amplifies the structural and lithological mapping of the Precambrian rocks of the Shakisso-Arero area, and of the Kenya-Ethiopia border region. For the first time with some certainty, it is now possible to say that on the evidence of the ERTS-1 imagery, the Western Rift does not continue northeast beyond the Sudan-Uganda border, and is thus not to be sought in western Ethiopia.

  7. Genetic features of petroleum systems in rift basins of eastern China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Qiang, J.; McCabe, P.J.

    1998-01-01

    Most oil-bearing basins in eastern China are Mesozoic-Cenozoic continental rifts which have played a habitat for oil and gas in China. Investigation of the petroleum systems may give a better understanding of the oil and gas habitats in these basins. Of the essential elements of the petroleum system, the source rock is the most important in rift basins. However, rift tectonic evolution controls all the essential elements and processes nevessary for a petroleum system. A four stage evolution model is suggested for the controls in the rift basin. A rift basin may consist of sub-basins, depressions, sub-depressions, and major, moderate, and minor uplifts. A depression or sub-depression has its own depocentre (mainly occupied by source rock) and all kinds of lacustrine sediments, and thus has all the essential elements of a petroleum system. However, only those depressions or sub-depressions which are rich in organic matter and deeply buried to generate oil and gas form petroleum systems. Immature oil, another characteristic, complicates the petroleum system in the rift basins. Three types of oil and gas habitats are described as a result of this analysis of the petroleum systems of the 26 largest oil and gas fields discovered in eastern China rift basins: uplifts between oil source centres are the most prospective areas for oil and gas accumulations, slopes connecting oil source centres and uplifts are the second, and the third type is subtle traps in the soil source centre.Most oil-bearing basins in eastern China are Mesozoic-Cenozoic continental rifts which have played a habitat for oil and gas in China. Investigation of the petroleum systems may give a better understanding of the oil and gas habitats in these basins. Of the essential elements of the petroleum system, the source rock is the most important in rift basins. However, rift tectonic evolution controls all the essential elements and processes necessary for a petroleum system. A four stage evolution model

  8. Variation in magma volume along the two arms of the Midcontinent Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merino, M.; Keller, G. R.; Stein, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    The 2000km-long Midcontinent Rift System (MCRS) has two major arms meeting in the Lake Superior region. One extends southwestward at least as far as central Kansas, and the other extends southeastward through Michigan. Gravity and magnetic anomalies delimit the rift zone because the highly magnetic and dense mafic igneous rocks filling the central grabens of the rift system have strong susceptibility and density contrasts with adjacent rock formations. Because the rift lies hidden beneath gently dipping Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks except in the Lake Superior region, most models of rift structure have been extrapolated from the few areas that have seismic reflection data. A fundamental question is how the two arms differ. The west arm is more pronounced than the east arm in the gravity data. Whether this difference is due to the east arm being buried by the Michigan Basin or reflects magma volume has implications for the formation of the MCRS. Existing gravity models are not standardized across the rift and therefore cannot be used to directly compare the arms. We have thus conducted gravity modeling with a uniform approach and find that the west arm has significantly more magma and that the magma volume along the west arm increases toward Lake Superior. These results imply that there was more spreading along the western arm and that the spreading on this arm decreased southward, consistent with the arms being boundaries of a microplate rotating with respect to the Superior province with its rotation pole to the southwest.

  9. Littoral sedimentation of rift lakes: an illustrated overview from the modern to Pliocene Lake Turkana (East African Rift System, Kenya)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, Mathieu; Nutz, Alexis

    2015-04-01

    Existing depositional models for rift lakes can be summarized as clastics transported by axial and lateral rivers, then distributed by fan-deltas and/or deltas into a standing water body which is dominated by settling of fine particles, and experiencing occasional coarser underflows. Even if known from paleolakes and modern lakes, reworking of clastics by alongshore drift, waves and storms are rarely considered in depositional models. However, if we consider the lake Turkana Basin (East African Rift System, Kenya) it is obvious that this vision is incomplete. Three representative time slices are considered here: the modern Lake Turkana, the Megalake Turkana which developed thanks to the African Humid Period (Holocene), and the Plio-Pleistocene highstand episodes of paleolake Turkana (Nachukui, Shungura and Koobi Fora Formations, Omo Group). First, remarkable clastic morphosedimentary structures such as beach ridges, spits, washover fans, lagoons, or wave-dominated deltas are very well developed along the shoreline of modern lake Turkana, suggesting strong hydrodynamics responsible for a major reworking of the fluvial-derived clastics all along the littoral zone (longshore and cross-shore transport) of the lake. Similarly, past hydrodynamics are recorded from prominent raised beach ridges and spits, well-preserved all around the lake, above its present water-level (~360 m asl) and up to ~455 m. These large-scale clastic morphosedimentary structures also record the maximum extent of Megalake Turkana during the African Humid Period, as well as its subsequent regression forced by the end of the Holocene climatic optimum. Several hundreds of meters of fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine deposits spanning the Pliocene-Pleistocene are exposed in the Turkana basin thanks to tectonic faulting. These deposits are world famous for their paleontological and archeological content that documents the very early story of Mankind. They also preserve several paleolake highstand episodes with

  10. Seismic anisotropy of the lithosphere/asthenosphere system beneath the Rwenzori region of the Albertine Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homuth, B.; Löbl, U.; Batte, A. G.; Link, K.; Kasereka, C. M.; Rümpker, G.

    2016-09-01

    Shear-wave splitting measurements from local and teleseismic earthquakes are used to investigate the seismic anisotropy in the upper mantle beneath the Rwenzori region of the East African Rift system. At most stations, shear-wave splitting parameters obtained from individual earthquakes exhibit only minor variations with backazimuth. We therefore employ a joint inversion of SKS waveforms to derive hypothetical one-layer parameters. The corresponding fast polarizations are generally rift parallel and the average delay time is about 1 s. Shear phases from local events within the crust are characterized by an average delay time of 0.04 s. Delay times from local mantle earthquakes are in the range of 0.2 s. This observation suggests that the dominant source region for seismic anisotropy beneath the rift is located within the mantle. We use finite-frequency waveform modeling to test different models of anisotropy within the lithosphere/asthenosphere system of the rift. The results show that the rift-parallel fast polarizations are consistent with horizontal transverse isotropy (HTI anisotropy) caused by rift-parallel magmatic intrusions or lenses located within the lithospheric mantle—as it would be expected during the early stages of continental rifting. Furthermore, the short-scale spatial variations in the fast polarizations observed in the southern part of the study area can be explained by effects due to sedimentary basins of low isotropic velocity in combination with a shift in the orientation of anisotropic fabrics in the upper mantle. A uniform anisotropic layer in relation to large-scale asthenospheric mantle flow is less consistent with the observed splitting parameters.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1999-01-01

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

  12. The 1789 Rifting Event in the Hengill Volcanic System, SW-Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saemundsson, K.

    2006-12-01

    A volcano-tectonic episode in South Iceland in the 18th century was initiated by rifting and eruptions along the 30 km long Laki fissure within the Eastern Volcanic Zone (EVZ) and an eruption at the northern Reykjanes Reykjanes Ridge in 1783, forming the island of Nýey. Severe earthquakes within the South Iceland Seismic Zone (SISZ) followed in 1784. The sequence ended in 1789, with a rifting event in the Hengill volcanic system, located at the junction of the Western Volcanic Zone (WVZ) with the SISZ. The Hengill system consists of a central volcano, Mt. Hengill, which is transected by a 60 km long SW-NE striking rift zone. The rift north of Mt. Hengill forms a 6 km wide graben, partly filled with the lake Thingvallavatn. The central volcano is marked by high volcanic production, occurrences of acid rocks and a high temperature geothermal field. Rifting events within the Hengill system are considered to be mainly associated with crustal dike propagation as dikes have only breached the surface in an eruption four times during the Holocene. Extension rate is signified by tension gashes of about 70 m aggregate width across the rift zone in a 10,000 year old lava and by a maximum throw of about 40 m at Thingvellir near its western margin. In 1789, settlements only existed at the distal ends of the Hengill rift zone, at Selvogur and Thingvellir. A fairly detailed contemporary description of the rifting event exists, written by the vicar of Thingvellir. He states that the rifting 1789 began in early June and lasted 10 days with considerable earthquake activity. The central part of the Thingvellir graben subsided and the lake transgressed beyond its former shore while the margins of the graben were elevated so that water wells ran dry. Trails across the main boundary faults of Almannagjá and Hrafnagjá became impassable for horses. Old surface fissures widened and new formed. Fault movement was also observed southwest of lake Thingvallavatn, where a fault subsidence

  13. Combining hydrologic and groundwater modelling to characterize a regional aquifer system within a rift setting (Gidabo River Basin, Main Ethiopian Rift)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birk, Steffen; Mechal, Abraham; Wagner, Thomas; Dietzel, Martin; Leis, Albrecht; Winkler, Gerfried; Mogessie, Aberra

    2016-04-01

    The development of groundwater resources within the Ethiopian Rift is complicated by the strong physiographic contrasts between the rift floor and the highland and by the manifold hydrogeological setting composed of volcanic rocks of different type and age that are intersected by numerous faults. Hydrogeochemical and isotope data from various regions within the Ethiopian Rift suggest that the aquifers within the semi-arid rift floor receive a significant contribution of groundwater flow from the humid highland. For example, the major ion composition of groundwater samples from Gidabo River Basin (3302 km²) in the southern part of the Main Ethiopian Rift reveals a mixing trend from the highland toward the rift floor; moreover, the stable isotopes of water, deuterium and O-18, of the rift-floor samples indicate a component recharged in the highland. This work aims to assess if the hydrological and hydrogeological data available for Gidabo River Basin is consistent with these findings and to characterize the regional aquifer system within the rift setting. For this purpose, a two-step approach is employed: First, the semi-distributed hydrological model SWAT is used to obtain an estimate of the spatial and temporal distribution of groundwater recharge within the watershed; second, the numerical groundwater flow model MODFLOW is employed to infer aquifer properties and groundwater flow components. The hydrological model was calibrated and validated using discharge data from three stream gauging stations within the watershed (Mechal et al., Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 2015, doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.09.001). The resulting recharge distribution exhibits a strong decrease from the highland, where the mean annual recharge amounts to several hundred millimetres, to the rift floor, where annual recharge largely is around 100 mm and below. Using this recharge distribution as input, a two-dimensional steady-state groundwater flow model was calibrated to hydraulic

  14. Rift systems on Venus: An assessment of mechanical and thermal models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

    The formation and distribution of major tectonic features on Venus are closely linked to the dominant mechanism of lithospheric heat loss. Among the most spectacular and extensive of the major tectonic features on Venus are the Chasmata, deep linear valleys generally interpreted to be the products of lithospheric extension and rifting. Systems of chasmata and related features can be traced along several tectonic zones up to 20,000 km in linear extent. Mechanical and thermal models for terrestrial continental-rifting are applied to the rift systems of Venus. The models are tested against known topographic and tectonic characteristics of Venus chasmata as well as independent information on the physical properties of the Venus crust and lithosphere.

  15. Rift border system: The interplay between tectonics and sedimentation in the Reconcavo basin, northeastern Brazil

    SciTech Connect

    Magnavita, L.P.; Silva, T.F. da

    1995-11-01

    A geometric and depositional model is proposed to explain the tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the main border of the Reconcavo basin. The architecture of the rift margin is characterized by a rift border system constituted by (1) a master fault, (2) a step, and (3) a clastic wedge. This footwall-derived clastic wedge is interpreted as alluvial fans and fan deltas composed of conglomerates that interfinger with hanging-wall strata. The analysis of the vertical distribution of coarse-grained components of this wedge suggests that its composition is geographically controlled, and no regular inverted stratigraphy is commonly described for this type of succession. During an initial lacustrine phase, turbidites accumulated farther from and parallel to the rift margin. The mapping of marker beds that bound these lacustrine turbidite deposits may be used to infer major periods of clastic influx and, therefore, to correlate with periods of fault-related subsidence or climatic fluctuations in the depositional basin and erosion of the sediment source area. Periods of limited back-faulting and basin expansion toward the main border are distinguished through patterns of progradation and aggradation indicating progressive retreat of the rift border and younging; in the footwall direction. The overall evolution of the rift border seems to be related to extension, block rotation, hanging-wall subsidence, and footwall uplift associated with the initial master fault, with limited propagation of faults away from the basin into the footwall.

  16. Earthquakes and Geological Structures of the St. Lawrence Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamontagne, M.; Ranalli, G.

    2013-12-01

    The St. Lawrence Rift System (SLRS), which includes the Ottawa-Bonnechère and Saguenay grabens, is located well inside the North American plate. Most historic and the some 350 earthquakes recorded yearly occur in three main seismically active zones, namely Charlevoix (CSZ), Western Quebec (WQSZ), and Lower St. Lawrence (LSLSZ)). Outside these areas, most of the Canadian Shield and bordering regions have had a very low level of earthquake activity. In the SLRS, moderate to large earthquakes (Moment magnitude (M) 5.5 to M 7) are known to have occurred since 1663 causing landslides and damage mostly to unreinforced masonry elements of buildings located on ground capable of amplifying ground motions. Most earthquakes in these seismic zones share common characteristics such as mid- to upper crustal focal depths, no known surface ruptures and proximity to SLRS faults. Variations also exist such as vast seismically-active region (WQSZ and LSLSZ), presence of a large water body (CSZ and LSLSZ), and absence of SLRS faults near concentration of earthquakes (WQSZ). The CSZ is the best studied seismic zone and there, earthquakes occur in the Canadian Shield, mostly in a 30 X 85 km rectangle elongated along the trend of the St. Lawrence River with local variations in focal depth distribution. Faults related to the SLRS and to a meteor impact structure exist and earthquakes occur along the SLRS faults as well as in between these faults. Overall, the SLRS faults are probably reactivated by the larger earthquakes (M ≥ 4.5) of the 20th century (CSZ in 1925; WQCSZ in 1935 and 1944; Saguenay in 1988) for which we have focal mechanisms. We propose that caution be exercised when linking historical events that have uncertain epicentres with SLRS faults. Similarly, SLRS faults should not be necessarily considered to be the reactivated structures for most small to moderate earthquakes (M < 4.5). A good example of this is the earthquakes of the WQSZ that tend to concentrate in a well

  17. The Midcontinent rift system and the Precambrian basement in southern Michigan

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, W.A. . Dept. of Geology)

    1994-04-01

    The Precambrian basement within Michigan consists of at least three provinces, each characterized by distinctive potential field anomalies: (1) the Eastern Granite-Rhyolite Province (EGRP) in the south, (2) the Grenville Province in the southeast and (3) the Penokean Province to the north. Also located within the basement is the Mid-Michigan rift (MMR), which is the eastern arm of the Midcontinent rift system (MRS). Southwest and parallel to the MMR is a series of linear positive gravity anomalies which has been referred to as the Ft. Wayne rift (FWR) and the Southwest Michigan Anomaly (SWMA). The EGRP, which is characterized by undeformed and unmetamorphosed rhyolite to dacite and epizonal granites, was emplaced ca. 1510--1450 Ma. However, the EGRP may be comprised of several terranes of varying extent and origin based on analysis of potential field data and rock and mineral ages. The MMR and the FWR/SWMA are characterized by linear arrays of positive magnetic and gravity anomalies, which are probably due to thick accumulations of mafic igneous rocks within the rifts. The extent and trends of the FWR/SWMA have been largely inferred from geophysical data with a presumption of the age of about 1,100 Ma. The continuation of the MMR southward into Ohio and Kentucky as a sequence of gravity highs is questionable and needs further resolution. The FWR/SWMA may be part of the East Continent Rift Basin (ECRB). The ECRB, which is a large complex of related rift basins of Keweenawan age (1300 --1100 Ma), may be an extension of the MRS but it is not physically continuous with it. The ECRB lies to the west of the Grenville Front and extends at least from northwest Ohio to central Kentucky. Extensions of the ECRB north and south are speculative.

  18. Current kinematics and dynamics of Africa and the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D. S.; Flesch, L. M.; Calais, E.; Ghosh, A.

    2014-06-01

    Although the East African Rift System (EARS) is an archetype continental rift, the forces driving its evolution remain debated. Some contend buoyancy forces arising from gravitational potential energy (GPE) gradients within the lithosphere drive rifting. Others argue for a major role of the diverging mantle flow associated with the African Superplume. Here we quantify the forces driving present-day continental rifting in East Africa by (1) solving the depth averaged 3-D force balance equations for 3-D deviatoric stress associated with GPE, (2) inverting for a stress field boundary condition that we interpret as originating from large-scale mantle tractions, (3) calculating dynamic velocities due to lithospheric buoyancy forces, lateral viscosity variations, and velocity boundary conditions, and (4) calculating dynamic velocities that result from the stress response of horizontal mantle tractions acting on a viscous lithosphere in Africa and surroundings. We find deviatoric stress associated with lithospheric GPE gradients are ˜8-20 MPa in EARS, and the minimum deviatoric stress resulting from basal shear is ˜1.6 MPa along the EARS. Our dynamic velocity calculations confirm that a force contribution from GPE gradients alone is sufficient to drive Nubia-Somalia divergence and that additional forcing from horizontal mantle tractions overestimates surface kinematics. Stresses from GPE gradients appear sufficient to sustain present-day rifting in East Africa; however, they are lower than the vertically integrated strength of the lithosphere along most of the EARS. This indicates additional processes are required to initiate rupture of continental lithosphere, but once it is initiated, lithospheric buoyancy forces are enough to maintain rifting.

  19. Characterising East Antarctic Lithosphere and its Rift Systems using Gravity Inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, Alan P. M.; Kusznir, Nick J.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Leat, Phil T.; Jordan, Tom A. R. M.; Purucker, Michael E.; Golynsky, A. V. Sasha; Rogozhina, Irina

    2013-04-01

    Since the International Geophysical Year (1957), a view has prevailed that East Antarctica has a relatively homogeneous lithospheric structure, consisting of a craton-like mosaic of Precambrian terranes, stable since the Pan-African orogeny ~500 million years ago (e.g. Ferracioli et al. 2011). Recent recognition of a continental-scale rift system cutting the East Antarctic interior has crystallised an alternative view of much more recent geological activity with important implications. The newly defined East Antarctic Rift System (EARS) (Ferraccioli et al. 2011) appears to extend from at least the South Pole to the continental margin at the Lambert Rift, a distance of 2500 km. This is comparable in scale to the well-studied East African rift system. New analysis of RadarSat data by Golynsky & Golynsky (2009) indicates that further rift zones may form widely distributed extension zones within the continent. A pilot study (Vaughan et al. 2012), using a newly developed gravity inversion technique (Chappell & Kusznir 2008) with existing public domain satellite data, shows distinct crustal thickness provinces with overall high average thickness separated by thinner, possibly rifted, crust. Understanding the nature of crustal thickness in East Antarctica is critical because: 1) this is poorly known along the ocean-continent transition, but is necessary to improve the plate reconstruction fit between Antarctica, Australia and India in Gondwana, which will also better define how and when these continents separated; 2) lateral variation in crustal thickness can be used to test supercontinent reconstructions and assess the effects of crystalline basement architecture and mechanical properties on rifting; 3) rift zone trajectories through East Antarctica will define the geometry of zones of crustal and lithospheric thinning at plate-scale; 4) it is not clear why or when the crust of East Antarctica became so thick and elevated, but knowing this can be used to test models of

  20. Tomography of the East African Rift System in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, A.; Silveira, G. M.; Custodio, S.; Chamussa, J.; Lebedev, S.; Chang, S. J.; Ferreira, A. M. G.; Fonseca, J. F. B. D.

    2014-12-01

    Unlike the majority of the East African Rift, the Mozambique region has not been deeply studied, not only due to political instabilities but also because of the difficult access to its most interior regions. An earthquake with M7 occurred in Machaze in 2006, which triggered the investigation of this particular region. The MOZART project (funded by FCT, Lisbon) installed a temporary seismic network, with a total of 30 broadband stations from the SEIS-UK pool, from April 2011 to July 2013. Preliminary locations of the seismicity were estimated with the data recorded from April 2011 to July 2012. A total of 307 earthquakes were located, with ML magnitudes ranging from 0.9 to 3.9. We observe a linear northeast-southwest distribution of the seismicity that seems associated to the Inhaminga fault. The seismicity has an extension of ~300km reaching the Machaze earthquake area. The northeast sector of the seismicity shows a good correlation with the topography, tracing the Urema rift valley. In order to obtain an initial velocity model of the region, the ambient noise method is used. This method is applied to the entire data set available and two additional stations of the AfricaARRAY project. Ambient noise surface wave tomography is possible by computing cross-correlations between all pairs of stations and measuring the group velocities for all interstation paths. With this approach we obtain Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves in the period range from 3 to 50 seconds. Group velocity maps are calculated for several periods and allowing a geological and tectonic interpretation. In order to extend the investigation to longer wave periods and thus probe both the crust and upper mantle, we apply a recent implementation of the surface-wave two-station method (teleseismic interferometry - Meier el al 2004) to augment our dataset with Rayleigh wave phase velocities curves in a broad period range. Using this method we expect to be able to explore the lithosphere

  1. Surface Wave Analysis of Regional Earthquakes in the Eastern Rift System (Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva, S. J. C.; Guidarelli, M.; Ebinger, C. J.; Roecker, S. W.; Tiberi, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Northern Tanzania Divergence (NTD), the youngest part of the East African Rift System, presents the opportunity to obtain insights about the birth and early stages of rifting before it progresses to mature rifting and seafloor spreading. This region is particularly interesting because the Eastern rift splits into three arms in this area and develops in a region of thick and cold lithosphere, amid the Archaean Tanzanian craton and the Proterozoic orogenic belt (the Masai block). We analyzed about two thousand seismic events recorded by the 39 broadband stations of the CRAFTI network during its two-year deployment in the NTD area in 2013 to 2014. We present the results of surface wave tomographic inversion obtained from fundamental-mode Rayleigh waves for short periods (between 4 to 14 seconds). Group velocity dispersion curves obtained via multiple filter analysis are path-averaged and inverted to produce 0.1º x 0.1º nodal grid tomographic maps for discrete periods using a 2D generalization of the Backus and Gilbert method. To quantify our results in terms of S-wave velocity structure the average group velocity dispersion curves are then inverted, using a linearized least-squares inversion scheme, in order to obtain the shear wave velocity structure for the upper 20 km of the crust. Low velocity anomalies are observed in the region 50 km south of Lake Natron, as well as in the area of the Ngorongoro crater. The implications of our results for the local tectonics and the development of the rifting system will be discussed in light of the growing geophysical database from this region.

  2. Surface-wave Tomography of East African Rift System using Ambient Seismic Noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, S.; Kang, T.; Baag, C.; Nyblade, A. A.

    2008-12-01

    The surface-wave tomography technique for the ambient seismic noise is applied to the east African rift system to investigate shallow crustal structures of the region. Even if the technique has been widely used in many regions to investigate crustal structure in the world, there have been difficulties in application of the technique to the east African region because of unstable data conditions of PASSCAL experiments. A meticulous check of record by record enables us of applying the technique to understand the tectonic environment of the region. The long-period data of one month showing good quality in cross-correlation results are used in this study. They are from the 1994-95 Tanzania Passive-Source Seismic Experiment for the Tanzania craton and its surrounding rift zone, and from the 2000-02 Ethiopia/Kenya Broadband Seismic Experiment and the adjacent permanent stations of the African Array for the Ethiopia rift. The Rayleigh- and Love-wave group-speed maps were inverted using LSQR algorithm for several period bands (5 - 50 s). The preliminary group-speed distribution maps yield results roughly consistent with regional geology. The tomographic images of the Tanzania region show a strong high velocity anomaly at the location corresponding to the Tanzania craton and low velocity anomalies at the surrounding rift regions. For the Ethiopia regions, the features of low velocity anomalies roughly agree with the Tertiary volcanic regions. Combining the Tanzania and Ethiopia broadband arrays, the outline of the east African rift system can be identified as the low velocity anomalies in the surface-wave tomographic results. The structural variation with depth and the feature of the regional shear-wave anisotropy of crust will be explored by converting group- speed dispersion curves into shear-wave velocity structure.

  3. Sedimentary fill of 1100 Ma mid-continent rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Ojakangas, R.W.

    1986-05-01

    In the Lake Superior region, four sequences of sedimentary rocks reflect the tectonic-sedimentary framework before, during, and after the magmatic event that resulted in 10,000 m of dominantly basaltic volcanic rocks and large layered gabbroic intrusions. The oldest sequence includes four geographically separated, thin (100 m) pre-volcanic, white to pink, quartzose sandstone units that were deposited in braided alluvial plain-lacustrine environments within the shallow basin that was the initial manifestation of rifting. The second sedimentary sequence consists of immature sediment, largely derived from the volcanic sequence and deposited in alluvial fan, fluvial, and lacustrine environments during intervals between extrusive episodes. These red silty to conglomeratic units range from a few centimeters to hundreds of meters in thickness. The Oronto Group and the younger Bayfield Group and their equivalents are post-volcanic, dominantly red-bed sequences of siltstone, sandstone, and conglomerate, deposited in alluvial fan, fluvial, and lacustrine environments within the elongate basin. The Oronto Group (600 m) includes the Copper Harbor Conglomerate, the Nonesuch Shale (gray, carbonaceous, pyritiferous, and cupriferous argillaceous siltstone) and the Freda Sandstone. The Bayfield Group (2100 m) includes the Orienta Sandstone, the Devils Island Sandstone (100 m of orthoquartzite), and the Chequamegon Sandstone. Whereas volcanic detritus is dominant in most of the Oronto Group and the equivalent Solor Church Formation, extrabasinal granitic detritus dominants in the Bayfield Group and its equivalents (Fond de Lac Formation, Hinckley Sandstone, and Jacobsville Sandstone). Paleocurrent data indicate a general basinward transport of sediment during deposition of the four sequences, 1100 Ma(.) to 950 Ma(.).

  4. Sedimentary budgets of the Tanzania coastal basin and implications for uplift history of the East African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Said, Aymen; Moder, Christoph; Clark, Stuart; Abdelmalak, Mohamed Mansour

    2015-11-01

    Data from 23 wells were used to quantify the sedimentary budgets in the Tanzania coastal basin in order to unravel the uplift chronology of the sourcing area located in the East African Rift System. We quantified the siliciclastic sedimentary volumes preserved in the Tanzania coastal basin corrected for compaction and in situ (e.g., carbonates) production. We found that the drainage areas, which supplied sediments to this basin, were eroded in four episodes: (1) during the middle Jurassic, (2) during the Campanian-Palaeocene, (3) during the middle Eocene and (4) during the Miocene. Three of these high erosion and sedimentation periods are more likely related to uplift events in the East African Rift System and earlier rift shoulders and plume uplifts. Indeed, rapid cooling in the rift system and high denudation rates in the sediment source area are coeval with these recorded pulses. However, the middle Eocene pulse was synchronous with a fall in the sea level, a climatic change and slow cooling of the rift flanks and thus seems more likely due to climatic and eustatic variations. We show that the rift shoulders of the East African rift system have inherited their present relief from at least three epeirogenic uplift pulses of middle Jurassic, Campanian-Palaeocene, and Miocene ages.

  5. Tectonic and sediment supply control of deep rift lake turbidite systems: Lake Baikal, Russia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Karabanov, E.B.; Colman, Steven M.; Escutia, C.

    1999-01-01

    Tectonically influenced half-graben morphology controls the amount and type of sediment supply and consequent type of late Quaternary turbidite systems developed in the active rift basins of Lake Baikal, Russia. Steep border fault slopes (footwall) on the northwest sides of half-graben basins provide a limited supply of coarser grained clastic material to multiple small fan deltas. These multiple sediment sources in turn laterally feed small (65 km) axially fed elongate mud-rich fans sourced by regional exterior drainage of the Selenga River that supplies large quantities of silt. Basin plain turbidites in the center of the linear basins and axial channels that are controlled by rift-parallel faults are fed from, and interfinger with, aprons and fans. The predictability of the turbidite systems in Lake Baikal provides the best example yet studied of how tectonics and sediment supply interact to control the development of a wide variety of coeval turbidite systems on a single basin floor.

  6. Characterising Antarctic and Southern Ocean Lithosphere with Magnetic and Gravity Imaging of East Antarctic Rift Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, A. P.; Kusznir, N. J.; Ferraccioli, F.; Jordan, T. A.; Purucker, M. E.; Golynsky, A. V.; Rogozhina, I.

    2012-12-01

    Since the International Geophysical Year (1957), a view has prevailed that the lithospheric structure of East Antarctica is relatively homogeneous, forming a geological block of largely cratonic nature, consisting of a mosaic of Precambrian terranes, stable since the Pan-African orogeny ~500 million years ago. Recent recognition of a continental-scale rift system cutting the East Antarctic interior indicates that this is incorrect, and has crystallised an alternative view of much more recent geological activity with important implications for tectonic reconstructions and controls on ice sheet formation and stability. The newly defined East Antarctic Rift System appears to extend from at least the South Pole to the continental margin at the Lambert Rift, a distance of 2500 km. This is comparable in scale to the well-studied East African rift system. New analysis of RadarSat data pioneered by Golynsky & Golynsky indicates that further rift zones may extend the East Antarctic Rift System into widely distributed extension zones within the continent. We have carried out a pilot study, using a newly developed gravity inversion technique with existing public domain satellite data, which shows that East Antarctica consists of distinct crustal thickness provinces with anomalously thick areas separated by thin, possibly rifted crust and overall high average thickness. Understanding the nature of crustal thickness in East Antarctica is critical because: 1) Better understanding of crustal thickness in Antarctica, especially along the ocean-continent transition (OCT), will make it possible to improve the plate reconstruction fit between Antarctica, Australia and India in Gondwana and also refine constraints on how and when these continents separated; 2) crustal thickness provinces can be used to aid supercontinent reconstructions and provide new assessments of the influence of basement architecture and mechanical properties on rifting processes; 3) tracking rift zones through

  7. Diachronous Growth of Normal Fault Systems in Multiphase Rift Basins: Structural Evolution of the East Shetland Basin, Northern North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claringbould, Johan S.; Bell, Rebecca E.; A-L. Jackson, Christopher; Gawthorpe, Robert L.; Odinsen, Tore

    2015-04-01

    Our ability to determine the structural evolution and interaction of fault systems (kinematically linked group of faults that are in the km to 10s of km scale) within a rift basin is typically limited by the spatial extent and temporal resolution of the available data and methods used. Physical and numerical models provide predictions on how fault systems nucleate, grow and interact, but these models need to be tested with natural examples. Although field studies and individual 3D seismic surveys can provide a detailed structural evolution of individual fault systems, they are often spatially limited and cannot be used examine the interaction of fault systems throughout the entire basin. In contrast, regional subsurface studies, commonly conducted on widely spaced 2D seismic surveys, are able to capture the general structural evolution of a rift basin, but lack the spatial and temporal detail. Moreover, these studies typically describe the structural evolution of rifts as comprising multiple discrete tectonic stages (i.e. pre-, syn- and post-rift). This simplified approach does not, however, consider that the timing of activity can be strongly diachronous along and between faults that form part of a kinematically linked system within a rift basin. This study focuses on the East Shetland Basin (ESB), a multiphase rift basin located on the western margin of the North Viking Graben, northern North Sea. Most previous studies suggest the basin evolved in response to two discrete phases of extension in the Permian-Triassic and Middle-Late Jurassic, with the overall geometry of the latter rift to be the result of selective reactivation of faults associated with the former rift. Gradually eastwards thickening intra-rift strata (deposited between two rift phases) that form wedges between and within fault blocks have led to two strongly contrasting tectonic interpretations: (i) Early-Middle Jurassic differential thermal subsidence after Permian-Triassic rifting; or (ii

  8. Transect across the West Antarctic rift system in the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trey, H.; Cooper, A. K.; Pellis, G.; Della, Vedova B.; Cochrane, G.; Brancolini, Giuliano; Makris, J.

    1999-01-01

    In 1994, the ACRUP (Antarctic Crustal Profile) project recorded a 670-km-long geophysical transect across the southern Ross Sea to study the velocity and density structure of the crust and uppermost mantle of the West Antarctic rift system. Ray-trace modeling of P- and S-waves recorded on 47 ocean bottom seismograph (OBS) records, with strong seismic arrivals from airgun shots to distances of up to 120 km, show that crustal velocities and geometries vary significantly along the transect. The three major sedimentary basins (early-rift grabens), the Victoria Land Basin, the Central Trough and the Eastern Basin are underlain by highly extended crust and shallow mantle (minimum depth of about 16 km). Beneath the adjacent basement highs, Coulman High and Central High, Moho deepens, and lies at a depth of 21 and 24 km, respectively. Crustal layers have P-wave velocities that range from 5.8 to 7.0 km/s and S-wave velocities from 3.6 to 4.2 km/s. A distinct reflection (PiP) is observed on numerous OBS from an intra-crustal boundary between the upper and lower crust at a depth of about 10 to 12 km. Local zones of high velocities and inferred high densities are observed and modeled in the crust under the axes of the three major sedimentary basins. These zones, which are also marked by positive gravity anomalies, may be places where mafic dikes and sills pervade the crust. We postulate that there has been differential crustal extension across the West Antarctic rift system, with greatest extension beneath the early-rift grabens. The large amount of crustal stretching below the major rift basins may reflect the existence of deep crustal suture zones which initiated in an early stage of the rifting, defined areas of crustal weakness and thereby enhanced stress focussing followed by intense crustal thinning in these areas. The ACRUP data are consistent with the prior concept that most extension and basin down-faulting occurred in the Ross Sea during late Mesozoic time, with

  9. Sismotectonics in the western branch of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, Damien; Kervyn, François; Mulumba, Jean-Luc; Kipata, Louis; Sebagenzi, Stanislas; Mavonga, Georges; Macheyeki, Athanas; Temu, Elly Bryan

    2013-04-01

    The western branch of the East African rift system is known of its particular seismic activity with larger magnitude (up to Ms 7.3) and more frequent destructive earthquakes than in the eastern branch. As a contribution to the IGCP 601 project Seismotectonic Map of Africa, we compiled the known active faults, thermal springs and historical seismicity in Central Africa. Using the rich archives of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, publications and own field observations, we present a compilation of available data relative to the current seismotectonic activity along the western branch of the East African rift system, in DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. Neotectonic activity related to the western rift branch is in general well expressed and relatively well studied in the eastern flank of this rift branch, in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. In contrast, the western flank of this rift branch, largely exposed in the DRC, has attracted less attention. However, data collected during the colonial times show significant sismotectonic activity in East DRC, not only in the western flank of the western rift branch, but extending far westwards up to the margin of the Congo basin. In particular, our predecessors paid a special attention to the mapping and description of thermal springs, noticing that they are often controlled by active faults. In addition, the operators of the relatively dense network of meteorological stations installed in the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi also recorded were with variable level of completeness and detail the earthquakes that they could felt. This provides a rich database that is used to complete the existing knowledge on historical seismicity. An important effort has still to be paid to identify and map potentially active fault due to poor field accessibility, tropical climate weathering and vegetation coverage. The main problem in the compilation of active fault data is that very few of them have been investigated by paleoseismic trenching

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. Increased mantle heat flow with on-going rifting of the West Antarctic rift system inferred from characterisation of plagioclase peridotite in the shallow Antarctic mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, A. P.; Cooper, A. F.; Price, R. C.

    2014-03-01

    The lithospheric, and shallow asthenospheric, mantle in Southern Victoria Land are known to record anomalously high heat flow but the cause remains imperfectly understood. To address this issue plagioclase peridotite xenoliths have been collected from Cenozoic alkalic igneous rocks at three localities along a 150 km transect across the western shoulder of the West Antarctic rift system in Southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. There is a geochemical, thermal and chronological progression across this section of the rift shoulder from relatively hot, young and thick lithosphere in the west to cooler, older and thinner lithosphere in the east. Overprinting this progression are relatively more recent mantle refertilising events. Melt depletion and refertilisation was relatively limited in the lithospheric mantle to the west but has been more extensive in the east. Thermometry obtained from orthopyroxene in these plagioclase peridotites indicates that those samples most recently affected by refertilising melts have attained the highest temperatures, above those predicted from idealised dynamic rift or Northern Victoria Land geotherms and higher than those prevailing in the equivalent East Antarctic mantle. Anomalously high heat flow can thus be attributed to entrapment of syn-rift melts in the lithosphere, probably since regional magmatism commenced at least 24 Myr ago. The chemistry and mineralogy of shallow plagioclase peridotite mantle can be explained by up to 8% melt extraction and a series of refertilisation events. These include: (a) up to 8% refertilisation by a N-MORB melt; (b) metasomatism involving up to 1% addition of a subduction-related component; and (c) addition of ~ 1.5% average calcio-carbonatite. A high MgO group of clinopyroxenes can be modelled by the addition of up to 1% alkalic melt. Melt extraction and refertilisation mainly occurred in the spinel stability field prior to decompression and uplift. In this region mantle plagioclase originates by a

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. Orthorhombic faults system at the onset of the Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic Barents Sea rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collanega, Luca; Breda, Anna; Massironi, Matteo

    2016-04-01

    The structures of the Late Mesozoic/Cenozoic Barents Sea rifting have been investigated with multichannel 3D seismics, covering an area of 7700 sqKm in the Hoop Fault Complex, a transitional area between the platform and the marginal basins. The main structural lineaments have been mapped in a time domain 3D surface and their activity ranges have been constrained through the sin-sedimentary thickness variations detected in time-thickness maps. Two main fault systems have been identified: an orthorhombic fault system consisting of two fault sets trending almost perpendicularly one to the other (WNW-ESE and NNE-SSW) and a graben/half-graben system, elongated approximately N-S in the central part of the study area. While the graben/half-graben system can be explained through the theory of Anderson, this landmark theory fails to explain the simultaneous activity of the two fault sets of the orthorhombic system. So far, the models that can better explain orthorhombic fault arrangements are the slip model by Reches (Reches, 1978; Reches, 1983; Reches and Dieterich, 1983) and the odd-axis model by Krantz (Krantz, 1988). However, these models are not definitive and a strong quest to better understand polymodal faulting is actual (Healy et al., 2015). In the study area, the presence of both a classical Andersonian and an orthorhombic system indicates that these models are not alternative but are both effective and necessary to explain faulting in different circumstances. Indeed, the Andersonian plain strain and the orthorhombic deformation have affected different part of the succession during different phases of the rifting. In particular, the orthorhombic system has affected only the Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic interval of the succession and it was the main active system during the initial phase of the rifting. On the other hand, the graben/half-graben system has affected the whole sedimentary succession, with an increasing activity during the development of the rifting. It has

  15. The Rwenzori Mountains, a Palaeoproterozoic crustal shear belt crossing the Albertine rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehn, D.; Link, K.; Sachau, T.; Passchier, C. W.; Aanyu, K.; Spikings, A.; Harbinson, R.

    2016-09-01

    This contribution discusses the development of the Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt in the Rwenzori Mountains and its influence on the western part of the East African Rift System in Uganda. The Buganda-Toro belt is composed of several thick-skinned nappes consisting of Archaean Gneisses and Palaeoproterozoic cover units that are thrusted northwards. The high Rwenzori Mountains are located in the frontal unit of this belt with retrograde greenschist facies gneisses towards the north, which are unconformably overlain by metasediments and amphibolites. Towards the south, the metasediments are overthrust by the next migmatitic gneiss unit that belongs to a crustal-scale nappe. The southwards dipping metasedimentary and volcanic sequence in the high Rwenzori Mountains shows an inverse metamorphic grade with greenschist facies conditions in the north and amphibolite facies conditions in the south. Early D1 deformation structures are overgrown by cordierite, which in turn grows into D2 deformation, representing the major northwards directed thrusting event. We argue that the inverse metamorphic gradient develops because higher grade rocks are exhumed in the footwall of a crustal-scale nappe, whereas the exhumation decreases towards the north away from the nappe leading to a decrease in metamorphic grade. The D2 deformation event is followed by a D3 E-W compression, a D4 with the development of steep shear zones with a NNE-SSW and SSE-NNW trend including the large Nyamwamba shear followed by a local D5 retrograde event and D6 brittle reverse faulting. The Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt is relatively stiff and crosses the NNE-SSW running rift system exactly at the node where the highest peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains are situated and where the Lake George rift terminates towards the north. Orientation of brittle and ductile fabrics show some similarities indicating that the cross-cutting Buganda-Toro belt influenced rift propagation and brittle fault development

  16. The Rwenzori Mountains, a Palaeoproterozoic crustal shear belt crossing the Albertine rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehn, D.; Link, K.; Sachau, T.; Passchier, C. W.; Aanyu, K.; Spikings, A.; Harbinson, R.

    2015-04-01

    This contribution discusses the development of the Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt in the Rwenzori Mountains and its influence on the western part of the East African Rift System in Uganda. The Buganda-Toro belt is composed of several thick-skinned nappes consisting of Archaean Gneisses and Palaeoproterozoic cover units that are thrusted northwards. The high Rwenzori Mountains are located in the frontal unit of this belt with retrograde greenschist facies gneisses towards the north, which are unconformably overlain by metasediments and amphibolites. Towards the south, the metasediments are overthrust by the next migmatitic gneiss unit that belongs to a crustal-scale nappe. The southwards dipping metasedimentary and volcanic sequence in the high Rwenzori Mountains shows an inverse metamorphic grade with greenschist facies conditions in the north and amphibolite facies conditions in the south. Early D1 deformation structures are overgrown by cordierite, which in turn grows into D2 deformation, representing the major northwards directed thrusting event. We argue that the inverse metamorphic gradient develops because higher grade rocks are exhumed in the footwall of a crustal-scale nappe, whereas the exhumation decreases towards the north away from the nappe leading to a decrease in metamorphic grade. The D2 deformation event is followed by a D3 E-W compression, a D4 with the development of steep shear zones with a NNE-SSW and SSE-NNW trend including the large Nyamwamba shear followed by a local D5 retrograde event and D6 brittle reverse faulting. The Palaeoproterozoic Buganda-Toro belt is relatively stiff and crosses the NNE-SSW running rift system exactly at the node where the highest peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains are situated and where the Lake George rift terminates towards the north. Orientation of brittle and ductile fabrics show some similarities indicating that the cross-cutting Buganda-Toro belt influenced rift propagation and brittle fault development

  17. Evolution of the western East African Rift System reflected in provenance changes of Miocene to Pleistocene synrift sediments (Albertine Rift, Uganda)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Sandra; Hornung, Jens; Hinderer, Matthias

    2016-08-01

    Miocene to Pleistocene synrift sediments in the Albertine Graben reflect the complex geodynamic evolution in the Western branch of the East African Rift System. In this study we focus on the provenance of these siliciclastic deposits to identify sediment sources and supply paths with the ultimate goal to reconstruct the exhumation history of different tectonic blocks during prolonged rifting, with specific focus on the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda. We present framework and heavy mineral petrographic data combined with varietal studies of detrital garnet and rutile, based on logged sediment sections on the Ugandan side of Lake Albert (Kisegi-Nyabusosi area). The analyzed sedimentary units have a feldspatho-quartzose composition and distinct variations in heavy mineral assemblages and mineral chemical composition indicating two provenance changes. The Miocene part of the stratigraphy is dominated by garnet, zircon, tourmaline and rutile, whereas Pliocene to Pleistocene sediment yields high amounts of less stable amphibole and epidote. An abrupt switch in heavy mineral assemblages occurs during the early Pliocene ( 5.5-5.0 Ma) and clearly postdates the formation of Palaeolake Obweruka at 8 Ma. Provenance signatures point to major sediment supply from the northeast and subsequently from the southeast. We interpret this first shift as transition from the pre-rift to the syn-rift stage. In this scenario, formation of Palaeolake Obweruka is due to higher humidity in the upper Miocene, rather than forced rifting. A second change of sediment composition is documented by mineral geochemistry and coincides with fragmentation of Palaeolake Obweruka starting at 2.5 Ma. Detrital garnet in sediment of Miocene to Pliocene age is rich in pyrope and almandine and calculated Zr-in-rutile temperatures range between 550 and 950 °C. In contrast, garnet occurring in Pleistocene sediment (Nyabusosi Formation) has a higher spessartine component and rutile thermometry is

  18. Seismic anisotropy of the lithosphere/asthenosphere system beneath the Rwenzori region of the East-African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homuth, Benjamin; Löbl, Ulrike; Batte, Arthur; Link, Klemens; Kasereka, Celestine; Rümpker, Georg

    2014-05-01

    We present results from a temporary seismic network of 32 broad-band stations located around the Rwenzori region of the Albertine rift at the border between Uganda and DR Congo. The study aims to constrain seismic anisotropy and mantle deformation processes in relation to the formation of the rift zone. Shear-wave splitting measurements from local and teleseismic earthquakes are used to investigate the seismic anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle beneath the Rwenzori region. At most stations, shear-wave splitting parameters obtained from individual earthquakes exhibit only minor variations with backazimuth. We therefore employ a joint inversion of SKS waveforms to derive hypothetical one-layer parameters. The corresponding fast polarizations are generally rift-parallel and the average delay time is about 1 s. On the other hand, shear phases from local events within the crust are characterized by a bimodal pattern of fast polarizations and an average delay time of 0.04 s. This observation suggests that the dominant source region for seismic anisotropy beneath the rift is located within the mantle. We use finite-frequency waveform modeling to test different models of anisotropy within the lithosphere/asthenosphere system of the rift. The results show that the rift-parallel fast polarizations are consistent with HTI anisotropy caused by rift-parallel magmatic intrusions or lenses located within the lithospheric mantle - as it would be expected during the early stages of continental rifting. Furthermore, the short-scale spatial variations in the fast polarizations observed in the southern part of the study area can be explained by effects due to sedimentary basins of low isotropic velocity in combination with a shift in the orientation of anisotropic fabrics in the upper mantle. A uniform anisotropic layer in relation to large-scale asthenospheric mantle flow is less consistent with the observed splitting parameters.

  19. History of the development of the East African Rift System: A series of interpreted maps through time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macgregor, Duncan

    2015-01-01

    This review paper presents a series of time reconstruction maps of the 'East African Rift System' ('EARS'), illustrating the progressive development of fault trends, subsidence, volcanism and topography. These maps build on previous basin specific interpretations and integrate released data from recent petroleum drilling. N-S trending EARS rifting commenced in the petroliferous South Lokichar Basin of northern Kenya in the Late Eocene to Oligocene, though there seem to be few further deep rifts of this age other than those immediately adjoining it. At various times during the Mid-Late Miocene, a series of small rifts and depressions formed between Ethiopia and Malawi, heralding the main regional rift subsidence phase and further rift propagation in the Plio-Pleistocene. A wide variation is thus seen in the ages of initiation of EARS basins, though the majority of fault activity, structural growth, subsidence, and associated uplift of East Africa seem to have occurred in the last 5-9 Ma, and particularly in the last 1-2 Ma. These perceptions are key to our understanding of the influence of the diverse tectonic histories on the petroleum prospectivity of undrilled basins.

  20. Spatial instability of the rift in the St. Paul multifault transform fracture system, Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sokolov, S. Yu.; Zaraiskaya, Yu. A.; Mazarovich, A. O.; Efimov, V. N.; Sokolov, N. S.

    2016-05-01

    The structure of the acoustic basement of the eastern part of the St. Paul multifault transform fracture system hosts rift paleovalleys and a paleonodal depression that mismatch the position of the currently active zones. This displacement zone, which is composed of five fault troughs, is unstable in terms of the position of the rift segments, which jumped according to redistribution of stresses. The St. Paul system is characterized by straightening of the transform transition between two remote segments of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). The eastern part of the system contains anomalous bright-spot-like reflectors on the flattened basement, which is a result of atypical magmatism, that forms the standard ridge relief of the acoustic basement. Deformations of the acoustic basement have a presedimentation character. The present-day deformations with lower amplitude in comparison to the basement are accompanied by acoustic brightening of the sedimentary sequence. The axial Bouguer anomalies in the east of the system continue to the north for 120 km from the active segments of the St. Paul system. Currently seismically active segments of the spreading system are characterized by increasing amplitudes of the E-W displacement along the fault troughs. Cross-correlation of the lengths of the active structural elements of the MAR zone (segments of the ridge and transform fracture zones of displacement) indicates that, statistically, the multifault transform fracture system is a specific type of oceanic strike-slip faults.

  1. A morphotectonic study of an extensional fault zone in a magma-rich rift: the Baringo Trachyte Fault System, central Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, B.; Tiercelin, J.-J.; Richert, J.-P.; Gente, P.; Sturchio, N. C.; Stead, D.; Le Turdu, C.

    2000-05-01

    The Baringo Trachyte Fault System is located within the central Kenya Rift and forms part of a N-S-trending linked extensional fault network. This fault system bounds to the west the 8 km deep Baringo Basin which itself lies within the axial valley of the central Kenya Rift. It mainly affects a middle Pleistocene trachytic dome (510 ka), the so-called Baringo Trachyte (BT). A morphotectonic study of the 10 km long BT master fault and associated downthrow geometries provides constraints on the evolution of a magma-type rift fault system from an initial stage of crack opening through to propagation. A model of radial fault growth is proposed in order to account for the longitudinal segmentation of the main fault escarpment from the median part to the tips. The small-scale half-graben geometry developed in the median high-strain zone is progressively accommodated laterally by both flexure and related narrow compensation grabens. The resulting crack swarms are well-developed at the free southern tip zone. Both the spatial distribution of rock-breaking products and their relations to the immediate hangingwall provide further evidence for this hypothesis. Well-developed screes and other gravity-driven structures (slumps) preferentially occur along the median part of the Baringo Trachyte Fault Escarpment, probably as earthquake-induced features. The hangingwall fault zone shows an asymmetrical triangular-shape with a maximum width of about half the length of the main scarp. This zone of maximum deformation and subsidence appears to be laterally controlled by two major, conjugate, transverse basement discontinuities lying with a conjugate geometry. Its internal architecture is dominated by antithetic westerly-dipping normal faults bounding discrete half-grabens, locally infilled by syn-tectonic volcaniclastics. Chronological data on hydrothermal silica filling open cracks on the BT footwall suggest that the master fault evolution occurred from 345 to 198 ka, as the

  2. Post-Pan-African tectonic evolution of South Malawi in relation to the Karroo and recent East African rift systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castaing, C.

    1991-05-01

    Structural studies conducted in the Lengwe and Mwabvi Karroo basins and in the basement in South Malawi, using regional maps and published data extended to cover Southeast Africa, serve to propose a series of geodynamic reconstructions which reveal the persistence of an extensional tectonic regime, the minimum stress σ3 of which has varied through time. The period of Karroo rifting and the tholeiitic and alkaline magmatism which terminated it, were controlled by NW-SE extension, which resulted in the creation of roughly NE-SW troughs articulated by the Tanganyika-Malawi and Zambesi pre-transform systems. These were NW-SE sinistral-slip systems with directions of movement dipping slightly to the Southeast, which enabled the Mwanza fault to play an important role in the evolution of the Karroo basins of the Shire Valley. The Cretaceous was a transition period between the Karroo rifting and the formation of the Recent East African Rift System. Extension was NE-SW, with some evidence for a local compressional episode in the Lengwe basin. Beginning in the Cenozoic, the extension once more became NW-SE and controlled the evolution in transtension of the Recent East African Rift System. This history highlights the major role of transverse faults systems dominated by strike-slip motion in the evolution and perpetuation of the continental rift systems. These faults are of a greater geological persistence than the normal faults bounding the grabens, especially when they are located on major basement anisotropies.

  3. Tectonoestratigraphic and Thermal Models of the Tiburon and Wagner Basins, northern Gulf of California Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contreras, J.; Ramirez Zerpa, N. A.; Negrete-Aranda, R.

    2014-12-01

    The northern Gulf of California Rift System consist sofa series faults that accommodate both normal and strike-slip motion. The faults formed a series of half-greens filled with more than 7 km of siliciclastic suc­cessions. Here, we present tectonostratigraphic and heat flow models for the Tiburón basin, in the southern part of the system, and the Wag­ner basin in the north. The models are constrained by two-dimensional seis­mic lines and by two deep boreholes drilled by PEMEX­-PEP. Analysis of the seismic lines and models' results show that: (i) subsidence of the basins is controlled by high-angle normal faults and by flow of the lower crust, (ii) basins share a common history, and (iii) there are significant differences in the way brittle strain was partitioned in the basins, a feature frequently observed in rift basins. On one hand, the bounding faults of the Tiburón basin have a nested geometry and became active following a west-to-east sequence of activation. The Tiburon half-graben was formed by two pulses of fault activity. One took place during the protogulf extensional phase in the Miocene and the other during the opening of Gulf of California in the Pleistocene. On the other hand, the Wagner basin is the result of two fault generations. During the late-to middle Miocene, the west-dipping Cerro Prieto and San Felipe faults formed a domino array. Then, during the Pleistocene the Consag and Wagner faults dissected the hanging-wall of the Cerro Prieto fault forming the modern Wagner basin. Thermal modeling of the deep borehole temperatures suggests that the heat flow in these basins in the order of 110 mW/m2 which is in agreement with superficial heat flow measurements in the northern Gulf of California Rift System.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Ambient Noise Tomography of the East African Rift System in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, Ana; Custódio, Susana; Chamussa, José; Silveira, Graça; Chang, Sung-Joon; Lebedev, Sergei; Ferreira, Ana; Fonseca, João

    2014-05-01

    Project MOZART - MOZAmbique Rift Tomography (funded by FCT, Lisbon) deployed a total of 30 temporary broadband seismic stations from the SEIS-UK Pool in central and south Mozambique and in NE South Africa. The purpose of this project is the study of the East African Rift System (EARS) in Mozambique. We estimated preliminary locations with the data recorded from April 2011 to July 2012. A total of 307 earthquakes were located, with ML magnitudes ranging from 0.9 to 3.9. We observe a linear northeast-southwest distribution of the seismicity that seems associated to the Inhaminga fault. The seismicity in the northeast sector correlates well with the topography, tracing the Urema rift valley. The seismicity extends to ~300km, reaching the M7 2006 Machaze earthquake area. In order to obtain an initial velocity model of the region, we applied the ambient noise method to the MOZART data and two additional stations from AfricaARRAY. Cross-correlations were computed between all pairs of stations, and we obtained Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves for all interstation paths, in the period range from 3 to 50 seconds. The geographical distribution of the group velocity anomalies is in good agreement with the geology map of Mozambique, having lower group velocities in sedimentary basins areas and higher velocities in cratonic regions. We also observe two main regions with different velocities that may indicate a structure not proposed in previous studies. We perform a three-dimensional inversion to obtain the S-wave velocity of the crust and upper mantle, and in order to extend the investigation to longer periods we apply a recent implementation of the surface-wave two-station method (teleseismic interferometry), while augmenting our dataset with Rayleigh wave phase velocities curves in broad period ranges. In this way we expect to be able to look into the lithosphere-asthenosphere depth range.

  6. Age relationships for magmatic units of Mid-Continent rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Van Schmus, W.R.

    1989-03-01

    K-Ar ages ranging from about 600 to 1000 Ma have recently been reported for gabbro and basalt recovered from the Texaco 1 Poersch well in Kansas. This has prompted suggestions that rift magmatism there may be distinctly younger than that in the Lake Superior region, and that development of the rift may have lasted several hundred million years. Review of ages from Keweenawan volcanic and plutonic rocks in the Lake Superior region shows that the best results are obtained from U-Pb analyses of zircon and baddeleyite; recent published results range from 1087 to 1108 Ma, with uncertainties on individual ages of /plus minus/ 4 m.y. This finding is consistent with earlier reported U-Pb zircon results. Virtually all other techniques are susceptible to geologic error and generally yield ages of significant less than 1100 Ma. The reliability decreases approximately in the sequence Rb-Sr (whole rock), K-Ar (biotite), Ar/sup 39/-Ar/sup 40/ (whole rock), K-Ar (whole rock), with fresh, coarse-grained plutonic rocks yielding older ages than altered, fine-grained volcanic rocks. K-Ar data on altered, fine-grained mafic rocks, therefore, are very poor indicators of original crystallization ages. Since the rocks from the Texaco 1 Poersch well are fine grained and slightly to moderately altered, their true ages are probably substantially older than 800-900 Ma. Interpretations based on the K-Ar ages from this well are ill advised; tectonic interpretation of the Mid-Continent rift system must wait for more accurate results. Several possibilities exist for obtaining more reliable ages from samples of the Poersch well and other, older wells in the region. These studies are in progress, and any available results will be presented.

  7. Seismic hazard assessment of the Kivu rift segment based on a new sismo-tectonic zonation model (Western Branch of the East African Rift system)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havenith, Hans-Balder; Delvaux, Damien

    2015-04-01

    In the frame of the Belgian GeoRisCA multi-risk assessment project focused on the Kivu and Northern Tanganyika Region, a seismic hazard map has been produced for this area. It is based on a on a recently re-compiled catalogue using various local and global earthquake catalogues. The use of macroseismic epicenters determined from felt earthquakes allowed to extend the time-range back to the beginning of the 20th century, thus spanning about 100 years. The magnitudes have been homogenized to Mw and the coherence of the catalogue has been checked and validated. The seismo-tectonic zonation includes 10 seismic source areas that have been defined on the basis of the regional geological structure, neotectonic fault systems, basin architecture and distribution of earthquake epicenters. The seismic catalogue was filtered by removing obvious aftershocks and Gutenberg-Richter Laws were determined for each zone. On the basis of this seismo-tectonic information and existing attenuation laws that had been established by Twesigomwe (1997) and Mavonga et al. (2007) for this area, seismic hazard has been computed with the Crisis 2012 (Ordaz et al., 2012) software. The outputs of this assessment clearly show higher PGA values (for 475 years return period) along the Rift than the previous estimates by Twesigomwe (1997) and Mavonga (2007) while the same attenuation laws had been used. The main reason for these higher PGA values is likely to be related to the more detailed zonation of the Rift structure marked by a strong gradient of the seismicity from outside the rift zone to the inside. Mavonga, T. (2007). An estimate of the attenuation relationship for the strong ground motion in the Kivu Province, Western Rift Valley of Africa. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 62, 13-21. Ordaz M, Martinelli F, Aguilar A, Arboleda J, Meletti C, D'Amico V. (2012). CRISIS 2012, Program for computing seismic hazard. Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de M

  8. Seismic Anisotropy of the Lithosphere/Asthenosphere System Beneath the Rwenzori Region of the East-African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homuth, B.; Löbl, U.; Batte, A.; Link, K.; Kasereka, C.; Rumpker, G.

    2014-12-01

    We present results from a temporary seismic network of 32 broad-band stations located around the Rwenzori region of the Albertine rift at the border between Uganda and DR Congo. The study aims to constrain seismic anisotropy and mantle deformation processes in relation to the formation of the rift zone. Shear-wave splitting measurements from local and teleseismic earthquakes are used to investigate the seismic anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle beneath the Rwenzori region. At most stations, shear-wave splitting parameters obtained from individual earthquakes exhibit only minor variations with backazimuth. We therefore employ a joint inversion of SKS waveforms to derive hypothetical one-layer parameters. The corresponding fast polarizations are generally rift-parallel and the average delay time is about 1 s. On the other hand, shear phases from local events within the crust are characterized by an average delay time of 0.04 s. This observation suggests that the dominant source region for seismic anisotropy beneath the rift is located within the mantle. We use finite-frequency waveform modeling to test different models of anisotropy within the lithosphere/asthenosphere system of the rift. The results show that the rift-parallel fast polarizations are consistent with HTI anisotropy caused by magmatic intrusions or lenses located within the lithospheric mantle - as it would be expected during the early stages of continental rifting. Furthermore, the short-scale spatial variations in the fast polarizations observed in the southern part of the study area can be explained by effects due to sedimentary basins of low isotropic velocity in combination with a shift in the orientation of anisotropic fabrics in the upper mantle. A uniform anisotropic layer in relation to large-scale asthenospheric mantle flow is less consistent with the observed splitting parameters.

  9. The East African Rift System and the impact of orographic changes on regional climate and the resulting aridification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sommerfeld, Anja; Prömmel, Kerstin; Cubasch, Ulrich

    2016-09-01

    Several proxy data indicate an aridification of the East African climate during the Neogene, which might be influenced by the orographic changes of the East African Rift System (EARS) induced by tectonic forcing during the last 20 million years. To investigate the impact of the orography and especially of the rifts, the regional climate model CCLM is used, covering the EARS with Lake Victoria in the centre of the model domain. CCLM is driven by the ERA-Interim reanalysis and applied with a double-nesting method resulting in a very high spatial resolution of 7 km. The resolution clearly shows the shoulders and rifts of the western and eastern branch of the EARS and the Rwenzoris within the western branch. To analyse the orographic influence on climate, a new technique of modifying the orography is used in this sensitivity study. The shoulders of the branches are lowered and the rifts are elevated, resulting in a smoothed orography structure with less altitude difference between the shoulders and rifts. The changes in 2 m-temperature are very local and associated with the changes in the orography. The vertically integrated moisture transport is characterised by less vortices, and its zonal component is increased over the branches. The resulting amount of precipitation is mainly decreased west of the western branch and increased in the rift of the western branch. In the eastern branch, however, the changes in the amount of precipitation are not significant. The changes in the precipitation and temperature patterns lead to a shift of biomes towards a vegetation coverage characterised by more humid conditions in the northern part of the model domain and more arid conditions in the South. Thus, the aridification found in the proxy data can be attributed to the orographic changes of the rifts only in the northern model domain.

  10. Footwall progradation in syn-rift carbonate platform-slope systems (Early Jurassic, Northern Apennines, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabbi, Simone; Santantonio, Massimo

    2012-12-01

    The so-called Umbria-Marche Domain of Northern Apennines represents a vast depositional system, also stretching across the Adriatic Sea subsurface, that was characterized by dominantly pelagic sedimentation through most of its Jurassic to Oligocene/Early Miocene history. The pelagic succession is underlain by Hettangian shallow-water carbonates (Calcare Massiccio Fm.), constituting a regional carbonate platform that was subjected to tectonic extension due to rifting of the Adria/African Plate in the earliest Jurassic. While tectonic subsidence of the hangingwalls drove the drowning of the platform around the Hettangian/Sinemurian boundary, the production of benthic carbonate on footwall blocks continued parallel to faulting, through a sequence of facies that was abruptly terminated by drowning and development of condensed pelagites in the early Pliensbachian. By then rifting had ceased, so that the Pliensbachian to Early Cretaceous hangingwall deposits represent a post-rift basin-fill succession onlapping the tectonically-generated escarpment margins of the highs. During the early phases of syndepositional faulting, the carbonate factories of footwall blocks were still temporarily able to fill part of the accommodation space produced by the normal faults by prograding into the incipient basins. In this paper we describe for the first time a relatively low-angle (< 10°) clinoform bed package documenting such an ephemeral phase of lateral growth of a carbonate factory. The clinoforms are sigmoidal, and form low-relief (maximum 5-7 m) bodies representing a shallow-water slope that was productive due to development of a Lithocodium-dominated factory. Continued faulting and hangingwall subsidence then decoupled the slope from the platform top, halting the growth of clinoforms and causing the platform margin to switch from accretionary to bypass mode as the pre-rift substrate became exposed along a submarine fault escarpment. The downfaulted clinoform slope was then

  11. Ancient origin and recent divergence of a haplochromine cichlid lineage from isolated water bodies in the East African Rift system.

    PubMed

    Hermann, C M; Sefc, K M; Koblmüller, S

    2011-11-01

    Phylogenetic analysis identified haplochromine cichlids from isolated water bodies in the eastern branch of the East African Rift system as an ancient lineage separated from their western sister group in the course of the South Kenyan-North Tanzanian rift system formation. Within this lineage, the close phylogenetic relatedness among taxa indicates a recent common ancestry and historical connections between now separated water bodies. In connection with a total lack of local genetic diversity attributable to population bottlenecks, the data suggest cycles of extinction and colonization in the unstable habitat provided by the small lakes and rivers in this geologically highly active area.

  12. Mineralization potential along the trend of the Keweenawan- age Central North American Rift System in Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berendsen, P.

    1989-01-01

    The tectonic and sedimentary environment of the Central North American Rift System (CNARS) provides an excellent setting for major mineral deposits. Major north-northeast-trending high-angle normal or reverse faults and northwest-trending transcurrent fault systems may exercise control over ore forming processes. Gabbro and basalt are the dominant igneous rock types. Carbonatite and kimberlite occur in Nebraska and Kansas. Concentrations of Cu, Ni, Co, Ti, Au, Ag and PG minerals are known to occur in this setting. Arkosic sandstone, siltstone, shale, and minor carbonate units occur on top of the rift basalts and in flanking basins where they may reach thicknesses of 10 km (6 miles). The potential for stratiform or unconformity-related metalliferous deposits should be considered. The rift as a whole remains largely unexplored.

  13. Feedback between magmatic, tectonic and glacial processes in the West Antarctic Rift System (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocchi, S.

    2010-12-01

    The western Ross Sea coast of the West Antarctic rift system (WARS) is littered with mid-Eocene to Present alkaline plutons, dike swarms and volcanoes. The mafic igneous products have OIB-HIMU signature, similar to basalts associated with long-lived hotspot tracks, pointing to the possible occurrence of one or more mantle plumes active during the Cenozoic or the Mesozoic. However, He and Pb isotope data suggest alternative views, with a rather shallow magma source not involving deep, undegassed mantle, and affected by a metasomatic episode as young as hundred(s) of million years, an order of magnitude less than typically invoked for mantle plume sources. A shallow rift-driving mechanism is supported also by the geometric relationships between magma emplacement and regional rift-related fault systems. Further, these faults were active coeval with magma emplacement, as demonstrated by the age of a fault-generated pseudotachylyte (34 Ma) and by apatite fission track thermochronology. In a wider perspective, these faults are in striking continuity with Southern Ocean fracture zones, and mantle tomography depicts a low-velocity anomaly of linear (not circular) shape overlapping the belt of these fracture zones. The lack of firm evidence for plume activity is thus at odds with a clear link between large-scale tectonic features and magma emplacement, supporting this three-stage model. (1) The WARS Late Cretaceous amagmatic extension led to metasomatism of the sublithospheric mantle, later rheologically incorporated into the lithosphere. (2) During Eocene-Oligocene times, craton-ward mantle flow under the thinned WARS heated up the mantle at the edge of the Antarctic lithosphere. In mid Eocene, the differential velocity across Southern Ocean fracture zones reactivated Paleozoic translithospheric discontinuities in northern Victoria Land as intraplate dextral strike-slip fault systems, promoting local mantle decompression melting and rise of magmas in plutons and dike

  14. Estimating the age of formation of lakes: An example from Lake Tanganyika, East African Rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, A.; Soreghan, M.J.; Scholz, C.A.

    1993-06-01

    Age estimates for ancient lakes are important for determining their histories and their rates of biotic and tectonic evolution. In the absence of dated core material from the lake`s sedimentary basement, several techniques have been used to generate such age estimates. The most common of these, herein called the reflection seismic-radiocarbon method (RSRM), combines estimates of short-term sediment-accumulation rates derived from radiocarbon-dated cores and depth-to-basement estimates derived from reflection-seismic data at or near the same locality to estimate an age to basement. Age estimates form the RSRM suggest that the structural basins of central Lake Tanganyika began to form between 9 and 12 Ma. Estimates for the northern and southern basins are younger (7 to 8 Ma and 2 to 4 Ma, respectively). The diachroneity of estimates for different segments of the lake is equivocal, and may be due to erosional loss of record in the northern and southern structural basins or to progressive opening of the rift. The RSRM age estimates for Lake Tanganyika are considerably younger than most prior estimates and clarify the extensional history of the western branch of the East African Rift system. 31 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  15. Stratigraphy of Mid-Continent rift system in Kansas as revealed by recent exploration wells

    SciTech Connect

    Newell, K.D.; Berendsen, P.; Watney, W.L.; Doveton, J.H.; Steeples, D.

    1989-03-01

    The Texaco 1 Poersch well in Kansas (11,300 ft TD) was the first significant exploration test of the Mid-Continent Rift System (MRS). An upper succession of rift-related rocks (2846-7429 ft) contains approximately 90% mafic igneous rocks with minor pegmatites and 10% oxidized siltstone and arkose. Arkose and subarkose with minor siltstone and shale make up 90% of a lower succession (7429 ft to TD). The remaining lower succession is composed of mafic igneous rocks. Mafic rocks are typically alkali basalts. Individual flows (detected by presence of amygdules, interflow sediments, compositional differences, and oxidized zones) range in thickness from 20 to 250 ft. Sedimentary rocks in the lower succession are divided into three sequences, each 1000-2000 ft thick. The sequences overlie relatively thin mafic flows or intrusives. Each sequence is generally composed of fining-upward units (50-150 ft thick) attributed to episodic movement and erosion of fault blocks in alluvial fan-dominated sedimentary environments. Shales and siltstones are too oxidized to be viable petroleum source rocks, but gray shale with approximately 0.5% total organic carbon was found in the MRS by the 1-4 Finn well, 21 mi to the northeast. Geologic examination of several shallower Precambrian tests holes near 1 Poersch shows considerable variability in sedimentary and tectonic settings along the MRS. Correlation between wells in Kansas and exposed areas of the MRS is still problematic. Additional wells will be necessary to better understand its hydrocarbon potential.

  16. The 1990 to 1991 Sudan earthquake sequence and the extent of the East african rift system.

    PubMed

    Girdler, R W; McConnell, D A

    1994-04-01

    One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Africa (surface wave magnitude M(s) = 7.2) occurred about 50 kilometers east of the Upper River Nile on 20 May 1990. Four days later, two more large earthquakes (M(s) = 6.4 and 7.0) occurred about 50 kilometers to the northwest in the Nile Valley. In the following months, a further 60 events were recorded by seismic stations worldwide. The earthquakes are associated with two fault systems: one east of the Nile with azimuth southeast and one along the Nile Valley with azimuth north-northeast. The activity alternated between the two fault systems and indicates that the northern extremity of the western branch of the East African Rift System extends at least 350 kilometers north of Lake Albert.

  17. Reactivation of a segmented hyper-extended rift system: the example of the Pamplona transfer zone in the western Pyrenees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lescoutre, Rodolphe; Schaeffer, Frédéric; Masini, Emmanuel; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies have revealed the importance of rift-inheritance on the formation of orogens but little consideration was given to rift segmentation and the role of transfer zones on the architecture of mountain chains. Indeed, structural mapping of passive margins pointed out the occurrence of a strong variability in the rift architecture along the margin when crossing through peculiar features that represent transfer zones. These transfer zones are generally oriented in the extension direction and relay the deformation between rift segments. The aim of this study is twofold: 1) characterize and define the Pamplona fault system as well as the structures and architecture of the basins bounding this major paleo-transfer fault located in the Western Pyrenees, and 2) understand its role during the subsequent Pyrenean convergence. The influence of the Pamplona fault system on the structuration of the Mauléon basin to the northeast and the Basque-Cantabrian basin to the southwest is substantial as expressed by their large offset and the occurrence of exhumed deep crustal and mantle rocks flooring the two basins. On the one hand, field work in the Labourd Massif and the western termination of the Mauléon basin enabled to describe faults and their relations to sedimentary sequences. This work also allowed describing the formation and reactivation of faults according to their orientation and their activity with respect to key markers (pre-Trias and post-Cenomanian). A strong relationship between rift architecture (proximal to distal domains) and structural inheritance is suggested. On the other hand, preliminary results from fieldwork, literature compilation and new tomographic imaging enable to determine the role and the history of the Pamplona fault system during Late Cretaceous compression. A significant work of this starting PhD project will be to determine the rift structures that have been reactivated and to assess their influence on the final architecture of the

  18. Syn-Rift Systems of East Godavari Sub Basin: Its Evolution and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dash, J., Jr.; Zaman, B.

    2014-12-01

    Krishna Godavari (K.G.) basin is a passive margin basin developed along the Eastern coast of India. This basin has a polyhistoric evolution with multiple rift systems. Rift basin exploration has provided the oil and gas industry with almost one third of discovered global hydrocarbon resources. Understanding synrift sequences, their evolution, depositional styles and hydrocarbon prospectivity has become important with recent discovery of the wells, G-4-6,YS-AF and KG-8 in the K.G. offshore basin. The East Godavari subbasin is a hydrocarbon producing basin from synrift and pre-rift sediments, and hence this was selected as the study area for this research. The study has been carried out by utilizing data of around 58 wells (w1-w58) drilled in the study area 25 of which are hydrocarbon bearing with organic thickness varying from 200 m to 600 m. Age data generated by palaentology and palynology studies have been utilized for calibration of key well logs to differentiate between formations within prerift and synrift sediments. The electrologs of wells like resistivity, gamma ray, neutron, density and sonic logs have been utilized for correlation of different formations in all the drilled wells. The individual thicknesses of sand, shale and coal in the formations have been calculated and tabulated. For Golapalli formation, the isopach and isolith maps were generated which revealed that there were four depocentres with input from the north direction. Schematic geological cross sections were prepared using the well data and seismic data to understand the facies variation across the basin. The sedimentological and petrophysical analysis reports and electro log suites were referred to decipher the environment of deposition, the reservoir characteristics, and play types. The geochemical reports [w4 (Tmax)= 455-468 °C; w1 (Tmax) = 467-514 °C; w4(VRO)= 0.65-0.85; w1(VRO)= 0.83-1.13] revealed the source facies, its maturation and migration timings i.e. the petroleum systems

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Rift zones and magma plumbing system of Piton de la Fournaise volcano: How do they differ from Hawaii and Etna?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michon, Laurent; Ferrazzini, Valérie; Di Muro, Andrea; Villeneuve, Nicolas; Famin, Vincent

    2015-09-01

    On ocean basaltic volcanoes, magma transfer to the surface proceeds by subvertical ascent from the mantle lithosphere through the oceanic crust and the volcanic edifice, possibly followed by lateral propagation along rift zones. We use a 19-year-long database of volcano-tectonic seismic events together with detailed mapping of the cinder cones and eruptive fissures to determine the geometry and the dynamics of the magma paths intersecting the edifice of Piton de la Fournaise volcano. We show that the overall plumbing system, from about 30 km depth to the surface, is composed of two structural levels that feed distinct types of rift zones. The deep plumbing system is rooted between Piton des Neiges and Piton de la Fournaise volcanoes and has a N30-40 orientation. Above 20 km below sea level (bsl), the main axis switches to a N120 orientation, which permits magma transfer from the lithospheric mantle to the base of the oceanic crust, below the summit of Piton de la Fournaise. The related NW-SE rift zone is 15 km wide, linear, spotted by small to large pyroclastic cones and related lava flows and emits slightly alkaline magmas resulting from high-pressure fractionation of clinopyroxene ± olivine. This rift zone has low magma production rate of ~ 0.5-3.6 × 10- 3 m3s- 1 and an eruption periodicity of around 200 years over the last 30 ka. Seismic data suggest that the long-lasting activity of this rift zone result from regional NNE-SSW extension, which reactivates inherited lithospheric faults by the effect of underplating and/or thermal erosion of the mantle lithosphere. The shallow plumbing system (< 11 km bsl) connects the base of the crust with the Central Cone. It is separated from the deep plumbing system by a relatively large aseismic zone between 8 and 11 km bsl, which may represent a deep storage level of magma. The shallow plumbing system feeds frequent, short-lived summit and flank (NE and SE flanks) eruptions along summit and outer rift zones, respectively

  1. Rift basins - Origin, history, and distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K. C.

    1985-01-01

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

  2. Unravelling the influence of orogenic inheritance on the architecture and tectonic evolution of hyper-extended rift systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chenin, Pauline; Manatschal, Gianreto; Lavier, Luc

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this starting PhD thesis is to determine under what conditions inheritance produced by former orogens influences subsequent rifting, and to unravel the influence of inherited structures and heterogeneities on the architecture and tectonic evolution of hyper-extended rift systems. To complete this task, we map along the Central and North Atlantic margin 1) rift domains; 2) age of the major rift events; and 3) key structure and heterogeneities inherited from the Caledonian and Variscan orogens. We will then study these data in the light of minimal numerical modelling experiments and use them as a basis for designing more comprehensive numerical models for the North Atlantic rifting. In order to map the Atlantic margins, we use gravity, magnetic data, seismic reflection and refraction to identify the necking zone and the continentward limit of the oceanic domain. This allows us to define the proximal domain where continental crust is not or barely thinned on one side, the unequivocal oceanic domain on the other side, and the hyper-extended domain between them. Within the hyper-extended domain, we rely on seismic data (refraction and reflection) to distinguish the area where the crust and the mantle are decoupled from the area where they are coupled, and to identify potential zones with mantle exhumation and/or magmatic additions. Previous studies mapped these domains along Iberia-Newfoundland and Bay of Biscay. The objective of this PhD is to extend this mapping further to the North, along the Irish, UK and Norwegian margins, into domains with polyphase rifting and magmatic additions. One of the goals of this work is to highlight potential correlations between first-order changes in the architecture and/or magmatic evolution of the Atlantic margin and first-order structures and heterogeneities inherited from the Caledonian and/or Variscan orogens. We also aim to assess the importance of inheritance in structuring and controlling the evolution of hyper

  3. Hawaii Rifts

    SciTech Connect

    Nicole Lautze

    2015-01-01

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

  4. The Goodman swell: a lithospheric flexure caused by crustal loading along the Midcontinent rift system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterman, Z.E.; Sims, P.K.

    1988-01-01

    Rb-Sr biotite ages of Archean and Early to Middle Proterozoic crystalline rocks in northern Wisconsin and adjacent Upper Peninsula of Michigan describe a regionally systematic pattern related to differential uplift. An "age low' occurs in northern Wisconsin where values range from 1070-1172 Ma for rocks with crystallization ages of 1760 to 1865 Ma. These values overlap with the main episode of mafic igneous activity (1090 to 1120 Ma) along the Midcontinent rift system (MRS). We interpret these low biotite ages as registering closure due to cooling below the 300??C isotherm as a consequence of uplift and rapid erosion of an area that we are informally naming the Goodman swell. We interpret the swell to be a forebulge imposed on an elastic crust by loading of mafic igneous rocks along and within the axis of the MRS. -from Authors

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  6. Exploring Crustal Structure and Mantle Seismic Anisotropy Associated with the Incipient Southern and Southwestern Branches of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Reed, C. A.; Gao, S. S.; Liu, K. H.; Massinque, B.; Mdala, H. S.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Moidaki, M.; Mutamina, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    In spite of numerous geoscientific studies, the mechanisms responsible for the initiation and development of continental rifts are still poorly understood. The key information required to constrain various geodynamic models on rift initiation can be derived from the crust/mantle structure and anisotropy beneath incipient rifts such as the Southern and Southwestern branches of the East African Rift System. As part of a National Science Foundation funded interdisciplinary project, 50 PASSCAL broadband seismic stations were deployed across the Malawi, Luangwa, and Okavango rift zones from the summer of 2012 to the summer of 2014. Preliminary results from these 50 SAFARI (Seismic Arrays for African Rift Initiation) and adjacent stations are presented utilizing shear-wave splitting (SWS) and P-S receiver function techniques. 1109 pairs of high-quality SWS measurements, consisting of fast polarization orientations and splitting times, have been obtained from a total of 361 seismic events. The results demonstrate dominantly NE-SW fast orientations throughout Botswana as well as along the northwestern flank of the Luangwa rift valley. Meanwhile, fast orientations beneath the eastern Luangwa rift flank rotate from NNW to NNE along the western border of the Malawi rift. Stations located alongside the western Malawi rift border faults yield ENE fast orientations, with stations situated in Mozambique exhibiting more E-W orientations. In the northern extent of the study region, fast orientations parallel the trend of the Rukwa and Usangu rift basins. Receiver function results reveal that, relative to the adjacent Pan-African mobile belts, the Luangwa rift zone has a thin (30 to 35 km) crust. The crustal thickness within the Okavango rift basin is highly variable. Preliminary findings indicate a northeastward thinning along the southeast Okavango border fault system congruent with decreasing extension toward the southwest. The Vp/Vs measurements in the Okavango basin are roughly

  7. Tectonics of the baikal rift deduced from volcanism and sedimentation: a review oriented to the Baikal and Hovsgol lake systems.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Alexei V; Demonterova, Elena I

    2009-01-01

    As known from inland sedimentary records, boreholes, and geophysical data, the initiation of the Baikal rift basins began as early as the Eocene. Dating of volcanic rocks on the rift shoulders indicates that volcanism started later, in the Early Miocene or probably in the Late Oligocene. Prominent tectonic uplift took place at about 20 Ma, but information (from both sediments and volcanics) on the initial stage of the rifting is scarce and incomplete. A comprehensive record of sedimentation derived from two stacked boreholes drilled at the submerged Akademichesky ridge indicates that the deep freshwater Lake Baikal existed for at least 8.4 Ma, while the exact formation of the lake in its roughly present-day shape and volume is unknown. Four important events of tectonic/environmental changes at about approximately 7, approximately 5, approximately 2.5, and approximately 0.1 Ma are seen in that record. The first event probably corresponds to a stage of rift propagation from the historical center towards the wings of the rift system. Rifting in the Hovsgol area was initiated at about this time. The event of ~5 Ma is a likely candidate for the boundary between slow and fast stages of rifting. It is reflected in a drastic change of sedimentation rate due to isolation of the Akademichesky ridge from the central and northern Lake Baikal basins. The youngest event of 0.1 Ma is reflected by the (87)0Sr/ (86)Sr ratio increase in Lake Baikal waters and probably related to an increasing rate of mountain growth (and hence erosion) resulting from glacial rebounding. The latter is responsible for the reorganization of the outflow pattern with the termination of the paleo-Manzurka outlet and the formation of the Angara outlet. The event of approximately 2.5 Ma is reflected in the decrease of the (87)Sr/(86)Sr and Na/Al ratios in Lake Baikal waters. We suggest that it is associated with a decrease of the dust load due to a reorganization of the atmospheric circulations in Mainland

  8. East African Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This rare, cloud free view of the East African Rift Valley, Kenya (1.5N, 35.5E) shows a clear view of the Turkwell River Valley, an offshoot of the African REift System. The East African Rift is part of a vast plate fracture which extends from southern Turkey, through the Red Sea, East Africa and into Mozambique. Dark green patches of forests are seen along the rift margin and tea plantations occupy the cooler higher ground.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  10. Differential opening of the Central and South Atlantic Oceans and the opening of the West African rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fairhead, J. D.; Binks, R. M.

    1991-02-01

    Plate tectonic studies of the development of the Central and South Atlantic Oceans using Seasat and Geosat altimeter and magnetic anomaly isochron data now provide quantitative models of seafloor spreading through time. Such models enable an initial assessment of the differential opening between these two oceanic basins to be determined. The Equatorial Atlantic is an integral part of this oceanic rifting process, allowing stresses arising from the differential opening to be dissipated into both the Caribbean and Africa along its northern and southern boundaries respectively. The tectonic model for the West African rift system, based on geological and geophysical studies, shows a series of strike-slip fault zones diverging into Africa from the Gulf of Guinea and dissipating their shear movement into the development of extensional basins orientated perpendicular to these faults zones. The development of the West African rift system was contemporaneous with the early opening of the South Atlantic, continued to develop well after the final breakup of South America from Africa and did not cease until the late Cretaceous when there was a major phase of basin inversion and deformation. Santonian ( ~ 80 Ma) deformation across the Benue Trough (Nigeria) is broadly contemporaneous with dextral shear reactivation of the central African fracture system which, in turn resulted in renewed extension in the Sudan basins during the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary. This paper illustrates the close linkage in both time and space between the history of the African rift basins and the opening of the Atlantic. Both exhibit distinct phases of evolution with the rift basins developing in direct response to the differential opening between the Central and South Atlantic in order to dissipate stresses generated by this opening. The Mesozoic tectonic model proposed is therefore one of an intimate interaction between oceanic and continental tectonics.

  11. A common mantle plume source beneath the entire East African Rift System revealed by coupled helium-neon systematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halldórsson, Sæmundur A.; Hilton, David R.; Scarsi, Paolo; Abebe, Tsegaye; Hopp, Jens

    2014-04-01

    We report combined He-Ne-Ar isotope data of mantle-derived xenoliths and/or lavas from all segments of the East Africa Rift System (EARS). Plume-like helium isotope (3He/4He) ratios (i.e., greater than the depleted MORB mantle (DMM) range of 8 ± 1RA) are restricted to the Ethiopia Rift and Rungwe, the southernmost volcanic province of the Western Rift. In contrast, neon isotope trends reveal the presence of an ubiquitous solar (plume-like) Ne component throughout the EARS, with (21Ne/22Ne)EX values (where (21Ne/22Ne)EX is the air-corrected 21Ne/22Ne ratio extrapolated to Ne-B) as low as 0.034, close to that of solar Ne-B (0.031). Coupling (21Ne/22Ne)EX with 4He/3He ratios indicates that all samples can be explained by admixture between a single mantle plume source, common to the entire rift, and either a DMM or subcontinental lithospheric mantle source. Additionally, we show that the entire sample suite is characterized by low 3He/22NeS ratios (mostly < 0.2)—a feature characteristic of oceanic hot spots such as Iceland. We propose that the origin of these unique noble gas signatures is the deeply rooted African Superplume which influences magmatism throughout eastern Africa. We argue that the Ethiopia and Kenya domes represent two different heads of this common mantle plume source.

  12. Structure of backarc inner rifts as a weakest zone of arc-backarc system: a case study of the Sea of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Hiroshi; Ishiyama, Tasuya; Kato, Naoko; Abe, Susumu; Saito, Hideo; Shiraishi, Kazuya; Abe, Shiori; Iwasaki, Takaya; Inaba, Mitsuru; No, Tetsuo; Sato, Takeshi; Kodaira, Shuichi; Takeda, Tetsuya; Matsubara, Makoto; Kodaira, Chihiro

    2015-04-01

    compression, the boundary of rock units reactivated as reverse faults, commonly forming a large-scale wedge thrust and produced subsidence of rift basin under compressional stress regime. Large amount of convergence of overriding plate is accommodated along the inner rift, suggesting that it is a weakest zone in whole arc-backarc system. The convergence between young (15 Ma) Shikoku basin and SW Japan arc produced intense shortening along the inner failed rift along the Sea of Japan coast. After the onset of subduction along the Nankai trough, the fold-and-thrust belt was covered by Pliocene marine sediment. Before the 2011 off-Tohoku earthquake (M9), several damaging earthquakes occurred along the backarc fold-and-thrust belt. These represents that a weak backarc inner rift is very sensitive for the stress produce by the subduction interface.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  14. The Crust and Mantle Structure of the Mid-Continent Rift System from Ambient Noise and Earthquake Surface Wave Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleqabi, G. I.; Wiens, D. A.; Wysession, M. E.; van der Lee, S.; Revenaugh, J.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Darbyshire, F. A.; Stein, S. A.; Jurdy, D. M.; Wolin, E.; Bollmann, T. A.

    2014-12-01

    An investigation of the crust and mantle structure beneath the northern part of the Mid-Continent Rift Zone (MCRZ) is carried out using through seismic tomography from both teleseismic earthquake data and ambient seismic noise, using data from the EarthScope USArray Transportable Array (TA) and from the Flexible Array (FA) project SPREE (Superior Rifting EarthScope Experiment). The SPREE project deployed 83 temporary broadband seismic stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario during 2011-2013. The goal is to study the ancient Superior Province rifting via the related crustal and upper mantle modification to the petrologic and thermal structures. Continental rifting 1.1 Ga ago produced an enigmatic horseshoe-shaped rift system that is only exposed in the Lake Superior Region, but shows strong gravity and magnetic anomalies. Cross-correlation between all station pairs of the SPREE and concordant TA stations are used to obtain ambient noise Rayleigh-wave Green's functions, which are in turn used to obtain group and phase velocity dispersion curves in the 8 - 50 s period range. In addition, the two-plane-wave method with finite frequency kernels is used to determine teleseismic earthquake-generated Rayleigh wave phase velocities in the 20 - 182 s period range. Combining the phase velocity measurements from both techniques provides an opportunity to invert for 1-D shear wave velocity structure in the 8 - 182 s period range. Phase velocities generally agree well where the period bands overlap. A three-dimensional S-wave velocity model of the crust and upper mantle is obtained from the 1-D shear wave velocity profiles at each location, also incorporating receiver function estimates of crustal thickness. For the shear inversion the overlapping phase velocities are averaged, with noise correlation results preferentially weighted at short periods and teleseismic results at longer periods. The model shows slow shear velocities at shallow depths along the rift zone due to

  15. Spatial variation of primordial 3-He in crustal fluids along the East-African Rift system (the Ethiopian and the Kenya Rift section)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griesshaber, E.; Weise, S.; Darling, G.

    1994-01-01

    (3)He/(4)He compositions are presented for groundwater samples from the Ethiopian segment of the East-Afrikan Rift and from its northern extension, the adjacent Afar region (Djibuti). Helium isotope data are compared to those obtained previously from the Gregory Rift, south of Ethiopia. The distribution pattern of mantle-derived volatiles along the entire East-African-Rift (-from south Kenya to Djibuti-) is discussed and their sources are identified. Helium isotope ratios (R) for samples from the Ethiopian part of the Rift range from 6.3 to 16.0 times the atmospheric ratio (Ra=1.4 x 10(exp -6) and thus show together with a MOR component a considerable hotspot helium component. These mantle helium concentrations are comparable to those observed in groundwaters and volcanic rocks from the Afar plume region in Djibuti. Here R/Ra values range from 9 to 13 times the atmospheric composition, with mantle-derived helium concentrations being higher than at spreading ocean ridges. R/Ra values from Ethiopia and Djibuti are entirely different from those observed in groundwaters at the southerly extending Gregory Rift in Kenya, where R/Ra values scatter between 0.5 and 6. At the northernmost part of the Gregory Rift, close to Ethiopia mantle helium contents are slightly higher, with R/Ra-values varying between 6.5 and 8.0.

  16. Constraining the Thermal History of the Midcontinent Rift System with Clumped Isotopes and Organic Thermal Maturity Indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallagher, T. M.; Sheldon, N. D.; Mauk, J. L.; Gueneli, N.; Brocks, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Mesoproterozoic (~1.1 Ga) North American Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) has been of widespread interest to researchers studying its economic mineral deposits, continental rifting processes, and the evolution of early terrestrial life and environments. For their age, the MRS rocks are well preserved and have not been deeply buried, yet a thorough understanding of the regional thermal history is necessary to constrain the processes that emplaced the mineral deposits and how post-burial alteration may have affected various paleo-records. To understand the thermal history of the MRS better, this study presents carbonate clumped isotope (Δ47) temperatures from deposits on the north and south sides of the rift. Due to the age of these deposits and known post-depositional processes, uncertainties exist about whether the clumped isotope signature has been reset. To test this, three generations of calcite were analyzed from the Nonesuch Fm. from the White Pine mine in Michigan including: sedimentary limestone beds, early diagenetic carbonate nodules, and hydrothermal calcite veins associated with the emplacement of copper mineralization. Clumped isotope temperatures from the White Pine mine range from 84 to 131°C, with a hydrothermal vein producing the hottest temperature. The clumped isotope temperature range for samples throughout the rift expands to 41-134°C. The hottest temperatures are associated with areas of known copper mineralization, whereas the coolest temperatures are found on the northern arm of the rift in Minnesota, far from known basin-bounding faults. Our hottest temperatures are broadly consistent with preexisting maximum thermal temperature estimates based on clay mineralogy, fluid inclusions, and organic geochemistry data. Clumped isotope results will also be compared to new hydrocarbon maturity data from the Nonesuch Fm., which suggest that bitumen maturities consistently fall within the early oil window across Michigan and Wisconsin.

  17. Hydrocarbon potential of intracratonic rift basins

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. DoD-GEIS Rift Valley Fever Monitoring and Prediction System as a Tool for Defense and US Diplomacy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anyamba, Assaf; Tucker, Compton J.; Linthicum, Kenneth J.; Witt, Clara J.; Gaydos, Joel C.; Russell, Kevin L.

    2011-01-01

    Over the last 10 years the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center's Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS) partnering with NASA'S Goddard Space Flight Center and USDA's USDA-Center for Medical, Agricultural & Veterinary Entomology established and have operated the Rift Valley fever Monitoring and Prediction System to monitor, predict and assess the risk of Rift Valley fever outbreaks and other vector-borne diseases over Africa and the Middle East. This system is built on legacy DoD basic research conducted by Walter Reed Army Institute of Research overseas laboratory (US Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya) and the operational satellite environmental monitoring by NASA GSFC. Over the last 10 years of operation the system has predicted outbreaks of Rift Valley fever in the Horn of Africa, Sudan, South Africa and Mauritania. The ability to predict an outbreak several months before it occurs provides early warning to protect deployed forces, enhance public health in concerned countries and is a valuable tool use.d by the State Department in US Diplomacy. At the international level the system has been used by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to support their monitoring, surveillance and response programs in the livestock sector and human health. This project is a successful testament of leveraging resources of different federal agencies to achieve objectives of force health protection, health and diplomacy.

  20. He-Ne-Ar isotope studies of mafic volcanic rocks and mantle xenoliths from the East African Rift System - contrasting isotope signals in different rift branches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halldorsson, S. A.; Hilton, D. R.; Scarsi, P.; Abebe, T.; Massi, K. M.; Barry, P. H.; Fischer, T. P.; de Moor, J.; Rudnick, R. L.

    2010-12-01

    Helium isotope studies of the East African Rift System (EARS) suggest the involvement of a deep mantle plume(s) beneath the northern (Ethiopian) segment [1-3]. The highest 3He/4He (RA) signatures found to date show a close association with the greatest magma volumes erupted since the Early Cenozoic in the region. While the helium isotope characteristics are well established in the Ethiopia-Afar region, Ne and Ar systematics remain poorly constrained. Using a combined He-Ne-Ar isotope approach, our aim is to determine the regional extent of the influence of the Afar plume and to distinguish between subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) and/or a possible second mantle plume sources located to the south of the Turkana Depression. Xenoliths and mafic lavas from N-Tanzania display a limited range in He isotopes (5-7 RA) with exceptions at Arusha (7.8RA) and Labait (8.7RA), through 7.1-8.7 RA in N-Kenya and S-Ethiopia, to 14.3 RA in the Main Ethiopian Rift and Afar, spanning nearly the entire range of previously reported values. The mean 3He/4He ratio from of lavas and xenoliths from N-Tanzania is remarkably close to the global average of 6.1±0.9 (RA) for continental xenoliths and basalts, thought to represent the SCLM [4]. Thus far, only MORB-like values of 7.3-8.3 RA have been found in volcanics of the Western rift. Initial Ne isotope data reveal the presence of a solar-like Ne component in xenoliths from the Ethiopia-Afar region, with extrapolated 21Ne/22Neex ratios of 0.0365 (assuming Ne-B = 12.5). This trend overlaps that of the Loihi-Kilauea line (L-K). Interestingly, a xenolith from N-Tanzania has a 21Ne/22Neex ratio of 0.0415, falling on a trajectory intermediate between MORB and L-K. The highest 40Ar/36Ar ratio obtained on phenocrysts/xenoliths to date is 1510. The generally low 3He/4He ratios of N-Tanzania likely result from different mixing proportions of asthenospheric sources with lithospheric material, the latter having developed lower 3He/4He ratios

  1. Groundwater dynamics in the complex aquifer system of Gidabo River Basin, southern Main Ethiopian Rift: Evidences from hydrochemistry and isotope hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degu, Abraham; Birk, Steffen; Dietzel, Martin; Winkler, Gerfried; Moggessie, Aberra

    2014-05-01

    Located in the tectonically active Main Ethiopian Rift system, the Gidabo River Basin in Ethiopia has a complex hydrogeological setting. The strong physiographic variation from highland to rift floor, variability in volcanic structures and disruption of lithologies by cross-cutting faults contribute for their complex nature of hydrogeology in the area. Until now, the groundwater dynamics and the impact of the tectonic setting on groundwater flow in this region are not well understood, though the local population heavily depends on groundwater as the major water supply. A combined approach based on hydrochemical and isotopic data was applied to investigate the regional flow dynamics of the groundwater and the impact of tectonic setting. Groundwater evolves from slightly mineralized Ca-Mg-HCO3 on the highland to highly mineralized Na-HCO3 dominating type in the deep rift floor aquifers. δ18O and δD composition of groundwater show a general progressive enrichment from the highland to the rift floor, except in thermal and deep rift floor aquifers. Relatively the thermal and deep rift floor aquifers are depleted and show similar signature to the groundwaters of highland, indicating groundwater inflow from the highland. Correspondingly, rising HCO3 and increasingly enriched signatures of δ 13C points to hydrochemical evolution of DIC and diffuse influx of mantle CO2 into the groundwater system. Thermal springs gushing out along some of the fault zones, specifically in the vicinity of Dilla town, display clear influence of mantle CO2 and are an indication of the role of the faults acting as a conduit for deep circulating thermal water to the surface. By considering the known geological structures of the rift, hydrochemical and isotopic data we propose a conceptual groundwater flow model by characterizing flow paths to the main rift axis. The connection between groundwater flow and the impact of faults make this model applicable to other active rift systems with similar

  2. Interaction between transform faults and rift systems: a combined field and experimental approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tibaldi, Alessandro; Bonali, Fabio; Pasquaré Mariotto, Federico

    2016-04-01

    We present a detailed field structural survey of the area of interaction between the active NW-striking transform Husavik-Flatey Fault (HFF) and the N-S Theystareykir Fissure Swarm (TFS), in North Iceland, integrated by analogue scaled models. Field data contribute to a better understanding of how transform faults work, at a much higher detail than classical marine geophysical studies. Analogue experiments are conducted to analyse the fracture patterns resulting from different possible cases where transform faulting accompanies or postpones the rift motions; different tectonic block configurations are also considered. West of the intersection between the transform fault (HFF) and the rift zone (TFS), the former splays with a gradual bending giving rise to a leading extensional imbricate fan. The westernmost structure of the rift, the N-S Gudfinnugja Fault (GF), is divided into two segments: the southern segment makes a junction with the HFF and is part of the imbricate fan; north of the junction instead, the northern GF appears right-laterally offset by about 20 m. Southeast of the junction, along the possible prolongation of the HFF across the TFS, the strike of the rift faults rotates in an anticlockwise direction, attaining a NNW-SSE orientation. Moreover, the TFS faults north of the HFF prolongation are fewer and have smaller offsets than those located to the south. Through the comparison between the structural data collected in the field at the HFF-TFS connection zone and a set of scaled experiments, we confirm a prolongation of the HFF through the rift, although here the transform fault has a much lower slip-rate than west of the junction. Our data suggest that transform fault terminations may be more complex than previously known, and propagate across a rift through a modification of the rift pattern.

  3. Anatomy of a rift system: Triassic-Jurassic basins of eastern North America

    SciTech Connect

    Schlische, R.W. ); Olsen, P.E. )

    1991-03-01

    Basins containing the early Mesozoic Newark Supergroup formed during the incipient rifting of Pangaea. The basins are characterized by the following: (1) The border fault systems (BFS) represent reactivated older faults. (2) A regionally persistent northwest-southeast to west-northeast-east-southeast extension direction reactivated northeast- to north-striking structures as predominantly normal dip-slip faults. (3) The half-grabens are lozenge-shaped basins in which subsidence-fault slip was greatest at or near the center of the BFS and decreased to zero toward either end. (4) Transverse folds in the hanging walls immediately adjacent to the BFS formed as a result of higher-frequency variations in subsidence. (5) Subsidence also decreased in a direction perpendicular to the BFS. (6) Intrabasinal faults are overwhelmingly synthetic and predominantly post-depositional. (7) Younger strata progressively onlap prerift rocks of the hanging wall block; this indicates that the basins grew both in width and length as they filled. (8) In all basins initial sedimentation was fluvial, reflecting an oversupply of sediment with respect to basin capacity. (9) Sediments were derived largely from the hanging wall block, which sloped toward the basin, and from streams that entered the basin axially; a direct footwall source was minor, owing to footwall uplift. (10) In strike-slip-dominated basins, subsidence was considerably less than in dip-slip basins, and mosaics of strike- and dip-slip faults are common.

  4. Structural style of the Turkana Rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Dunkelman, T.J.; Karson, J.A.; Rosendahl, B.R.

    1988-03-01

    Multifold seismic reflection and geologic mapping in part of the eastern branch of the East African Rift system of northern Kenya reveal a major rift structure containing at least 3 km of Neogene sediment fill beneath Lake Turkana. This includes a series of half-graben basins, with centrally located quaternary volcanic centers, which are linked end-to-end by structural accommodation zones. Whereas the geometry of rifting is similar to that of the nonvolcanic western branch of the East African Rift system, the Turkana half-grabens are much smaller and may reflect extension of a thinner lithosphere or development of more closely spaced fracture patterns during rift evolution, or both.

  5. Characterization of basement highs in hyper-extended rift systems: examples from the Err nappe, SE Switzerland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epin, Marie-Eva; Manatschal, Gianreto; Haupert, Isabelle; Decarlis, Alessandro

    2015-04-01

    Despite of the fact that many studies investigated magma-poor rifted margins, there are still open questions that are related to the nature of basement highs and the timing and processes related to their formation. While these questions are difficult to answer at present-day margins due to the lack of drill hole data, field analogues provide important insights and enable to find some answers to these questions. This is particularly true for the Err nappe in southeastern Switzerland, which is one of the world's few exposed and preserved rift-related hyper-extended domains. This nappe preserves a rift related extensional detachment system that is exposed over more than 200km2, characterized by distinctive black gouges and green cataclasites and preserving the relation to its hanging wall and footwall rocks and the pre-, syn-, and post-tectonic sediments. The aim of our study was to investigate the 3D architecture of the detachment system based on detailed mapping of this structure north and south of the Julier valley between Bivio and San Moritz in Central Grisons, SE Switzerland. Our results show the lateral variation of the morphology of the major detachment fault and its relation to extensional allochthons and the pre-, syn- and post-tectonic sediments. The main observation is that the architecture of the detachment system changes over very short distance across the Julier valley. While in the north the detachment is overlain by an allochthonous block (e.g. the Bardella block), to the south this block disappears and the detachment fault is exhumed at the seafloor. The mapping of the syn-tectonic sediments show that they are thick in the north and get thinner to the south where they are locally absent and the post-rift sediments directly overlie the detachment system. Furthermore the syn-tectonic sediments are locally characterized by basement clasts. These relationships suggest a rapid change from a domain where the detachment is overlain by allochthons and thick

  6. Fluvial systems response to rift margin tectonics: Makhtesh Ramon area, southern Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben-David, Ram; Eyal, Yehuda; Zilberman, Ezra; Bowman, Dan

    2002-06-01

    The geomorphic evolution of Makhtesh Ramon, a feather-shaped erosional valley, and the Nahal Neqarot drainage system to the south occurred largely in response to tectonic activity along the Dead Sea Rift and its western shoulder. Remnants of Miocene clastic sediments (Hazeva Formation) deposited on an erosional peneplain that formed over this area during the Oligocene epoch provide a datum plane for reconstructing subsequent fluvial evolution. These clastic remnants are presently located on the shoulders of Makhtesh Ramon at various elevations. The peneplain truncating the Makhtesh Ramon block has been tilted 0.7% northeastward since the Pliocene epoch (post-Hazeva Formation), whereas that of the Neqarot syncline, south of the Ramon, has been tilted 1.2%. The elliptical exposure of friable Lower Cretaceous sandstone, exposed in the core of the truncated Ramon structure, governed the development of a new ENE directed (riftward) drainage system through capture of streams that previously drained toward the Mediterranean Sea to the northwest. Incised fluvial gaps in the southern rim of Makhtesh Ramon and alluvial fan relicts within Makhtesh Ramon attest to original drainage into the Makhtesh from the south. Remnants of the Plio-Pleistocene Arava Conglomerate on the eastern end of the Neqarot syncline contain clasts from rocks exposed within Makhtesh Ramon, also indicating that streams flowed into the Makhtesh from the southern Neqarot block through the western gaps, then turning eastward and exiting the Makhtesh via the next (Sha'ar-Ramon) gap to the east. Further down-faulting of the Neqarot block during Mid-Late Pleistocene time led to westward retreat of the Neqarot valley and capture of the last stream flowing northward into the Ramon, leaving the modern Makhtesh Ramon isolated from the southern drainage system.

  7. A hydrogeologic model of stratiform copper mineralization in the Midcontinent Rift System, Northern Michigan, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swenson, J.B.; Person, M.; Raffensperger, J.P.; Cannon, W.F.; Woodruff, L.G.; Berndt, M.E.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a suite of two-dimensional mathematical models of basin-scale groundwater flow and heat transfer for the middle Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System. The models were used to assess the hydrodynamic driving mechanisms responsible for main-stage stratiform copper mineralization of the basal Nonesuch Formation during the post-volcanic/pre-compressional phase of basin evolution. Results suggest that compaction of the basal aquifer (Copper Harbor Formation), in response to mechanical loading during deposition of the overlying Freda Sandstone, generated a pulse of marginward-directed, compaction-driven discharge of cupriferous brines from within the basal aquifer. The timing of this pulse is consistent with the radiometric dates for the timing of mineralization. Thinning of the basal aquifer near White Pine, Michigan, enhanced stratiform copper mineralization. Focused upward leakage of copper-laden brines into the lowermost facies of the pyrite-rich Nonesuch Formation resulted in copper sulfide mineralization in response to a change in oxidation state. Economic-grade mineralization within the White Pine ore district is a consequence of intense focusing of compaction-driven discharge, and corresponding amplification of leakage into the basal Nonesuch Formation, where the basal aquifer thins dramatically atop the Porcupine Mountains volcanic structure. Equilibrium geochemical modeling and mass-balance calculations support this conclusion. We also assessed whether topography and density-driven flow systems could have caused ore genesis at White Pine. Topography-driven flow associated with the Ottawan orogeny was discounted because it post-dates main-stage ore genesis and because recent seismic interpretations of basin inversion indicates that basin geometry would not be conductive to ore genesis. Density-driven flow systems did not produce focused discharge in the vicinity of the White Pine ore district.

  8. The Proto-Indian Ocean and a probable paleozoic/mesozoic triradial rift system in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannon, R. T.; Simiyu Siambi, W. M. N.; Karanja, F. M.

    1981-02-01

    established until the displacement of Madagascar away from Africa, probably in the Cretaceous. Accepting the above northern position of Madagascar, the writers also postulate that in East Africa the fault-bounded Karroo depositional basins (troughs) were located within a major triradial rift system extending from Lake Malawi at least as far as eastern Kenya (some 1600 km). This rift system, if valid, was established within Gondwanaland over a period ˜100 m.y. in the Paleozoic/Mesozoic (pre-breakup) in marked contrast to the East African Rift System (classical rift valleys) which is mainly a Cainozoic phenomenon (post-breakup). It is, therefore, considered that there is a fundamental difference in origin between the two rift systems.

  9. Analogy between natural gas found in lakes of rift valley system of east Africa and its allied gas in Japan

    SciTech Connect

    Fukuta, O.

    1984-09-01

    The Afar triangle in northeastern Ethiopia is where the Red Sea rift, the Carlsberg Ridge of the Indian Ocean, and the Rift Valley system of east Africa meet. In 1979, J. Welhan and H. Craig reported that hydrothermal vents at 21/sup 0/N, on the East Pacific Rise, are discharging turbid waters. Mixtures of the plumes with ambient seawater contain significant amounts of dissolved H/sub 2/ and CH/sub 4/ as well as mantel-derived /sup 3/He-rich helium. The /sup 3/He//sup 4/He ratios of rock samples obtained earlier by J. Lupton and H. Craig from the Mid-Oceanic Ridge, including the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the east Pacific Rise, are extremely high at an almost constant value of (1.3 +/- 0.2) x 10/sup -5/, which they defined as the MOR-type helium. However, the deep brines of the Red Sea contain about 1,000 times more methane than normal seawater does, according to Gold and Soter in 1980. Much evidence leads us to believe that large amounts of /sup 3/He-rich helium-bearing natural gas have been gushing out in many places of the Rift Valley of east Africa for a long time. In 1980, Gold and Soter stated that Lake Kivu, which occupies part of the East African rift valley, contains 50 million tons of dissolved methane for which there is no adequate microbial source. The Japanese Islands began to separate from the Asian continent during the early Miocene. The early Miocene was characterized by intensive volcanic activity that produced large amounts of pyroclastics and other volcanic rocks, generally called green tuff in Japan. It has been suggested that oil and gas in green tuff is derived from the upper mantle.

  10. Sedimentation and reservoir distribution related to a tilted block system in the Sardinia Oligocene-Miocene rift (Italy)

    SciTech Connect

    Tremolieres, P.; Cherchi, A.; Eschard, R.; De Graciansky, P.C.; Montadert, L.

    1988-08-01

    In the western Mediterranean basin lies a rift system about 250 km long and 50 km wide and its infilling outcrop (central Sardinia). Seismic reflection surveys show its offshore extension. Block tilting started during the late Oligocene and lasted during Aquitanian-early Burdigalian time. Two main fault trends, with synthetic and antithetic throws, define the more-or-less collapsed blocks. This morphology guided the transit and trapping of sediments. The sedimentation started in a continental environment then, since the Chattian, in marine conditions. In the central part, the series can reach a thickness of 2,000 m. The basement composition and the volcanics products related to the main fault motion controlled the nature of the synrift deposits. According to their location in the rift context, the tilted blocks trap either continental deposits or marine siliciclastic or carbonate deposits. In the deeper part of the graben, sands were redeposited by gravity flows into the basinal marls. The younger prerift deposits are from Eocene to early Oligocene age and locally comprise thick coal layers. Postrift deposits, mainly marls, sealed the blocks and synrift sedimentary bodies. In middle and late Miocene time some faults were reactivated during compressional events. Then, a quaternary extensional phase created the Campidano graben, filled with about 1,000 m of sediments superimposed on the Oligocene-Miocene rift.

  11. Ambient Noise Tomography of the East African Rift System in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, A.; Chamussa, J.; Silveira, G. M.; Custodio, S.; Lebedev, S.; Chang, S.; Ferreira, A. M.; Fonseca, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    A wide range of studies has shown that the cross-correlation of ambient noise can provide an estimate of the Greens functions between pairs of stations. Project MOZART (funded by FCT, Lisbon, PI J. Fonseca) deployed 30 broadband (120s) seismic stations from the SEIS-UK Pool in Central Mozambique and NE South Africa, with the purpose of studying the East African Rift System (EARS) in Mozambique. We applied the Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) method to broadband seismic data recorded from March 2011 until July 2012. Cross-correlations were computed between all pairs of stations, and from these we obtained Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves for all interstation paths, in the period range from 3 to 50 seconds. We tested various approaches for pre-processing the ambient noise data regarding time-domain and spectral normalisation, as well as the use of phase cross-correlations. Moreover, we examined the robustness of our dispersion maps by splitting our dataset into various sub-sets of Green's functions with similar paths and by quantifying the differences between the dispersion maps obtained from the various sub-sets of data. We find that while the geographical distribution of the group velocity anomalies is well constrained, the amplitudes of the anomalies are slightly less robust. We performed a three-dimensional inversion to obtain the S-wave velocity of the crust and upper mantle. In addition, our preliminary results show a good correlation between the Rayleigh wave group velocity and the geology of Mozambique. In order to extend the investigation to longer periods and, thus, to be able to look into the lithosphere-asthenosphere depth range in the upper mantle, we apply a recent implementation of the surface-wave two-station method (teleseismic interferometry) and augment our dataset with Rayleigh wave phase velocities curves in broad period ranges.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishibashi, Jun-ichiro

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Miocene Onset of Extension in the Turkana Depression, Kenya: Implications for the Geodynamic Evolution of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boone, S.; Gleadow, A. J. W.; Kohn, B. P.; Seiler, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Paleogene-Recent East African Rift System (EARS) is the foremost modern example of continental rifting, providing much of our understanding of the early stages of continental breakup. The EARS traverses two regions of crustal uplift, the Ethiopian and East African Domes, separated by the Turkana Depression. This wide region of subdued topography coincides with the NW-SE trend of the Jurassic-Paleogene Anza Rift. Opinions on the fundamental geodynamic driver for EARS rifting are divided, however, principally between models involving migrating plume(s) and a single elongated 'superplume'. While competing models have similar topographic outcomes, they predict different morphotectonic evolutions for the Turkana Depression. Models inferring southward plume-migration imply that the plume must have passed below the Turkana Depression during the Paleogene, in order to have migrated to the East African Dome by the Miocene. The possible temporal denudational response to such plume activity is testable using low temperature thermochronology. We present apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He (AHe), and zircon (U-Th)/He (ZHe) data from the Lapurr Range, an uplifted Precambrian basement block in northern Turkana. Low radiation damage ZHe results displaying an age range of ~70-210 Ma, and combined with stratigraphic evidence, suggest ~4-6 km of Jurassic-Early Cretaceous denudation, probably associated with early Anza Rift tectonism. AFT ages of ~9-15 Ma imply subsequent burial beneath no more than ~4 km of overburden, thus preserving the Jurassic-Cretaceous ZHe ages. Together with AFT results, AHe data (~3-19 Ma) support ~2-4 km of Miocene-Pliocene uplift of the Lapurr Range in the footwall of the E-dipping Lapurr normal fault. Miocene AFT and AHe ages are interpreted to reflect the initiation of the EARS in the Turkana Depression. If extension is associated with plume activity, then upwelling in the Turkana region is unlikely to have started prior to the Miocene, much

  14. An elastic wedge model for the development of coeval normal and thrust faulting in the Mauna Loa-Kilauea rift system in Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, An; Kelty, T. K.

    2000-11-01

    A long-standing enigma of the Mauna Loa-Kilauea rift system in Hawaii is the coeval development of normal and thrust faults that are vertically partitioned. To address this question, we developed a simple elastic wedge model that explores plausible boundary conditions in terms of tractions for generating such a fault pattern. Analytical solutions that best simulate the observed faulting style and geodetically determined strain at the surface require that (1) the pore fluid pressure ratio within the wedge (λ) and along the basal decollement (λb,) must be exceedingly high (i.e., λ = λb= 0.90-0.95) and (2) a tensile stress of the order of 10-30 MPa must have existed in the very top part of the rift zone at the back side of the wedge-shaped rift flank. The high pore fluid pressure within the rift flank may be induced by pumping of fluids during emplacement of magma, whereas the high pore fluid pressure along the basal decollement may be caused by compaction of water-saturated sediments between the volcanic pile above and the oceanic floor below. Although the predicted tensile stress in the rift zone could be related to the presence of a relatively steep topographic slope, our results show that this is not a prerequisite. Therefore we attribute occurrence of tensile stress to either upward bending of the Hawaiian volcanic pile due to emplacement of magma, or inflation of a shallow magma chamber several kilometers beneath the surface. In any case, the results of our model indicate that magma emplacement in the shallow part of the rift zone may be a passive process, while the deep rift zone experiences forceful emplacement (i.e., active rifting via magma push).

  15. Cenozoic rift formation in the northern Caribbean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mann, P.; Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

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

  16. Pre-breakup geology of the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean: Its relation to Triassic and Jurassic rift systems of the region

    SciTech Connect

    Bartok, P. )

    1993-02-01

    A review of the pre-breakup geology of west-central Pangea, comprised of northern South America, Gulf of Mexico and West Africa, combined with a study of the Mesozoic rift trends of the region confirms a relation between the rift systems and the underlying older grain of deformation. The pre-breakup analysis focuses attention on the Precambrian, Early Paleozoic and Late Paleozoic tectonic events affecting the region and assumes a Pindell fit. Two Late Precambrian orogenic belts are observed in the west central Pangea. Along the northern South American margin and Yucatan a paleo northeast trending Pan-African aged fold belt is documented. A second system is observed along West Africa extending from the High Atlas to the Mauritanides and Rockelides. During the Late Paleozoic, renewed orogenic activity, associated with the Gondwana/Laurentia suture, affected large segments of west central Pangea. The general trend of the system is northeast-southwest and essentially parallels the Gyayana Shield, West African, and eastern North American cratons. Mesozoic rifting closely followed either the Precambrian trends or the Late Paleozoic orogenic belt. The Triassic component focuses along the western portions of the Gulf of Mexico continuing into eastern Mexico and western South America. The Jurassic rift trend followed along the separation between Yucatan and northern South America. At Lake Maracaibo the Jurassic rift system eventually overlaps the Triassic rifts. The Jurassic rift resulted in the [open quotes]Hispanic Corridor[close quotes] that permitted Tethyan and Pacific marine faunas to mix at a time when the Gulf of Mexico underwent continental sedimentation.

  17. Volcano deformation in central Main Ethiopian Rift system (Aluto Volcano) inferred from continuous GPS and dynamic gravity observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birhanu, Yelebe; Biggs, Juliet; Gottsmann, Joachim; Lewi, Elias; Lloyd, Ryan; Bekele, Berhanu

    2016-04-01

    Silicic volcanic centres in the rift systems frequently experience unrest indicating long-term activity in the underlying magmatic system, but it is difficult to distinguish the contributions of hydrothermal fluids, magma or gasses. Aluto volcano which is located in the central MER system is situated between the Lakes Ziway and Langano in the north and south respectively. Continuous GPS installed from April 2013 to October 2015 shows subsidence initially, with the largest subsidence observed in the eastern part of the caldera (2 cm/yr). InSAR observations from TerraSAR-X show a radially-symmetric pattern of long-term subsidence. Dynamic gravity surveys carried out in October 2014 and 2015 showed that there is a net mass loss in the western and central part of the caldera and mass gain in the eastern and southern part of the caldera, with a sharp gradient between the two. This complex spatial pattern of gravity change is significantly different to the simple pattern of deformation indicating multiple sources of pressure and mass change exist within the caldera. We explain the ratio of gravity to height change (dg/dh) throughout the volcano by considering cooling and crystallisation of magma body, draining and precipitation of hydrothermal fluids and changes in the water table and lake levels. Keywords: volcano deformation, dynamic gravity, continental rift

  18. Crustal rheology and depth distribution of earthquakes: Insights from the central and southern East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albaric, Julie; Déverchère, Jacques; Petit, Carole; Perrot, Julie; Le Gall, Bernard

    2009-04-01

    The seismicity depth distribution in the central and southern East African Rift System (EARS) is investigated using available catalogs from local, regional and global networks. We select well-determined events and make a re-assessment of these catalogs, including a relocation of 40 events and, where necessary, a declustering. About 560 events are finally used for determining foci depth distribution within 6 areas of the EARS. Assuming that short-term deformation expressed by seismicity reflects the long-term mechanical properties of the lithosphere, we build yield strength envelopes from seismicity depth distribution. Using brittle and ductile laws, we predict the strength percentage spaced every 5 km (or sometimes 2 km) in the crust, for a given composition and a specific geotherm, and constrain it with the relative abundance of seismicity. Results of this modeling indicate significant local and regional variations of the thermo-mechanical properties of the lithosphere which are broadly consistent with previous studies based on independent modelings. In order to explain relatively deep earthquakes, a highly resistant, mafic lower crust is generally required. We also find evidence for changes in the strength magnitude and in the depth of the brittle-ductile transitions which are clearly correlated to tectonic provinces, characterized by contrasted thermal gradients and basement types. A clear N-S increase and deepening of the peak strength level is evidenced along the eastern branch of the EARS, following a consistent southward migration of rifting since ~ 8 Ma. We also detect the presence of a decoupling layer in the Kenya rift, which suggests persisting influences of the deep crustal structures (Archaean and Proterozoic) on the behavior of the extending crust. More generally, our results suggest that seismicity peaks and cut-off depths may provide good proxies for bracketing the brittle-ductile transitions within the continental crust.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  20. Tectonics of the West Antarctic rift system: new light on the history and dynamics of distributed intracontinental extension

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siddoway, C.S.

    2007-01-01

    The West Antarctic rift system (WARS) is the product of multiple stages of intracontinental deformation from Jurassic to Present. The Cretaceous rifting phase accomplished >100 percent extension across the Ross Sea and central West Antarctica, and is widely perceived as a product of pure shear extension orthogonal to the Transantarctic Mountains that led to breakup and opening of the Southern Ocean between West Antarctica and New Zealand. New structural, petrological, and geochronological data from Marie Byrd Land reveal aspects of the kinematics, thermal history, and chronology of the Cretaceous intracontinental extension phase that cannot be readily explained by a single progressive event. Elevated temperatures in "Lachlan-type" crust caused extensive crustal melting and mid-crustal flow within a dextral transcurrent strain environment, leading to rapid extension and locally to exhumation and rapid cooling of a migmatite dome and detachment footwall structures. Peak metamorphism and onset of crustal flow that brought about WARS extension between 105 Ma and 90 Ma is kinematically, temporally, and spatially linked to the active convergent margin system of East Gondwana. West Antarctica-New Zealand breakup is distinguished as a separate event at 83-70 Ma, from the standpoint of kinematics and thermal evolution

  1. Stress Pattern of the Shanxi Rift System, North China, Inferred from the Inversion of New Focal Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, B.; Atakan, K.; Sorensen, M. B.; Havskov, J.

    2014-12-01

    Earthquake focal mechanisms of the Shanxi rift system, North China, are investigated for the time period 1965 - Apr. 2014. A total of 143 focal mechanisms of ML ≥ 3.0 earthquakes were compiled. Among them, 105 solutions are newly determined by combining the P-wave first motions and full waveform inversion, and 38 solutions are from available published data. Stress tensor inversion was then performed based on the new database. The results show that most solutions exhibit normal or strike-slip faulting, and the regional stress field is characterized by a stable, dominating NNW-SSE extension and an ENE-WSW compression. This correlates well with results from GPS data, geological field observations and leveling measurements across the faults. Heterogeneity exists in the regional stress field, as indicated by individual stress tensor inversions conducted for five subzones. While the minimum stress axis (σ3) appears to be consistent and stable, the orientations, especially the plunges, of the maximum and intermediate stresses (σ1 and σ2) vary significantly among the different subzones. Based on our results and combining multidisciplinary observations from geological surveys, GPS and cross-fault monitoring, a kinematic model is proposed, to illustrate the present-day stress field and its correlation with the regional tectonics, as well as the current crustal deformation of the Shanxi rift system. Results obtained in this study, may help to understand the geodynamics, neotectonic activity, active seismicity and potential seismic hazard in this region of North China.

  2. Parga Chasma: Coronae and Rifting on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  4. Evidence of rapid Cenozoic uplift of the shoulder escarpment of the Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system and a speculation on possible climate forcing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Cooper, A.

    1991-01-01

    The Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system, characterized by Cenozoic bimodal alkalic volcanic rocks, extends over a largely ice-covered area, from the Ross Sea nearly to the Bellingshausen Sea. Various lines of evidence lead to the following interpretation: the transantarctic Mountains part of the rift shoulder (and probably the entire shoulder) has been rising since about 60 Ma, at episodic rates of ~1 km/m.y., most recently since mid-Pliocene Time, rather than continuously at the mean rate of 100 m/m.y. Uplift rates vary along the scarp, which is cut by transverse faults. It is speculated that this uplift may have climatically forced the advance of the Antarctic ice sheet since the most recent warm period. A possible synergistic relation is suggested between episodic tectonism, mountain uplift, and volcanism in the Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system and waxing and waning of the Antarctic ice sheet beginning about earliest Oligocene time. -from Authors

  5. Magmatism in rifting and basin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thybo, H.

    2008-12-01

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

  6. Rift-transform kinetics in south Ireland: Deformation from Global Positioning System measurements, 1986 to 1992

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigmundsson, Freysteinn; Einarsson, Pall; Bilham, Roger; Sturkell, Erik

    1995-04-01

    Crustal deformation in the plate boundary regions in south Iceland is estimated from repeated Global Positioning System (GPS) geodetic measurements in the period 1986-1992. We compare coordinate solutions for the 1986 and 1989 surveys with the results from the most recent survey in 1992. Horizontal position uncertainty is about 2 cm for the 1986 and 1989 coordinates are about 4 mm for the 1992 coordinates. Little internal deformation is observed in the area west of the western volcanic zone (within the North American Plate) and at the southern tip of the eastern volcanic zone (within the Eurasian plate). The observed relative velocity of these two areas is 2.1 +/- 0.4 cm/yr in direction N117 +/- 11 deg E (1 sigma uncertainties), compatible with the 1.94 cm/yr widening in direction N104 deg E across south Iceland predicted from the NUVEL-1 global plate motion model. Left-lateral shear strain is developing across the intervening transform zone, the E-W trending south Iceland seismic zone (SISZ). Strain is concentrated within a 20- to 30-km-wide zone that correlates with seismic activity in the SISZ. About 85 +/- 15% of the relative plate motion is accommodated by this zone in such a way that the area south of the SISZ is moving toward the east with the Eurasian plate and the area north of the SISZ is moving toward the west with the North American plate. Accordingly, north of the SISZ the western rift zone can accommodate a maximum of 15 +/- 15% of the relative plate motion. Within thw SISZ the shear strain results in an anticlockwise rotation of lineaments oriented north-south, at a rate of 0.5-1 micro-rad/yr. The shear strain accumulation can be accommodated by 'bookshelf faulting' on mapped recent north-south faults in the SISZ. If the deformation is accommodated by an array of N-S faults spaced 1-5 km apart, an average slip rate of about 0.5-5 mm/yr is required on each fault. The rate of geometric moment release due to earthquakes averaged over centuries, m(sub o

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

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

  9. Kinematics and Dynamics of the Kivu Rift System from Seismic Anisotropy, Seismicity, and Structural Analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The westward-tilted Kivu rift in East Africa is bounded by the ~100 km-long, seismically active West Kivu border fault, and dammed at its northern end by flows from the Virunga Volcanic Province. Earlier work delineated faults along the basin margins, but little was known of active faults beneath Lake Kivu, and the lithospheric structure was unexplored. The aims of this study are to determine the kinematics of normal faults and their relation to pre-existing basement structures; to examine the locations of earthquakes with respect to faults in order to delineate zones of active faulting; to evaluate models for the modification of lithosphere by extension and mantle plume processes using seismic shear wave splitting measurements; and to evaluate the role of volcanic loading within the Virunga volcanic province on the evolution of the Kivu basin. We determine rift fault and volcanic fissure locations and orientations using merged high-resolution CHIRP bathymetric and Space Radar Topography Mission data. The majority of faults in the northern sector strike NNE, whereas NE faults are equally important in the southern basin, marking the Kivu-Rusizi accommodation zone. Seismic data was acquired from an 8-station array deployed between March 2012 and April 2013. Although the majority of earthquakes beneath the rift (excluding the active volcanoes) occur at depths of 8-20 km, unusually shallow earthquakes (2-4 km) are located along submerged faults within the East Kivu basin and suggest high pore pressures within the upper crust. Using simple elastic plate flexure model calculations we estimate the maximum deflection of the plate to be ~7 km, using an effective elastic thickness of ~7.5 km. We propose that the rapid subsidence of the ~400 m deep northern Kivu basin occurred in response to volcanic construction. We evaluate models for the modification of lithosphere using shear wave splitting measurements. Splitting results with backazimuths ranging from 88˚ - 98˚ and 240

  10. Buried troughs, grabens and rifts in Sudan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salama, R. B.

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

  11. Inter-Rifting and Inter-Seismic Strain Accumulation in a Propagating Ridge System: A Geodetic Study from South Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travis, M. E.; La Femina, P. C.; Geirsson, H.

    2012-12-01

    The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a slow spreading (~19 mm/yr) mid-ocean ridge boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates, is exposed subaerially in Iceland as the result of ridge-hotspot interaction. Plate spreading in Iceland is accommodated along neovolcanic zones comprised of central volcanoes and their fissure swarms. In south Iceland plate motion is partitioned between the Western Volcanic Zone (WVZ) and Eastern Volcanic Zone (EVZ). The EVZ is propagating to the southwest, while the WVZ is dying out from the northeast. Plate motion across both systems has been accommodated by repeated rifting events and fissure eruptions. In this study we investigate whether the WVZ is active and accumulating strain, and how strain is partitioned between the WVZ and EVZ. We also test how strain is accumulating along fissure swarms within the EVZ (i.e. is strain accumulation localized to one fissure swarm, or are multiple systems active?). We use GPS data and elastic block models run using the program DEFNODE to investigate these issues. GPS data are processed using the GIPSY-OASIS II software, and have been truncated to the 2000.5-2011 time period to avoid co-seismic displacement from the two June 2000 South Iceland Seismic Zone earthquakes. We also truncate the time series for sites within 20 km of Eyjafjallajökull to the beginning of 2010 to eliminate deformation associated with the March 2010 eruption of that volcano. We correct for co-seismic displacement from the two May 2008 SISZ earthquakes, inflation at Hekla volcano and the horizontal component of glacial isostatic rebound (GIA). Our best-fit model for inter-rifting and inter-seismic elastic strain accumulation suggests 80-90% of spreading is accommodated in the EVZ with the other 10-20% accommodated by the WVZ. The best-fit location of the EVZ is between Veidivotn and Lakigigar in an area of no Holocene volcanic activity. We suggest the WVZ is only active at Hengill and its associated fissure swarm. Geologic and

  12. Using remote sensing, ecological niche modeling, and Geographic Information Systems for Rift Valley fever risk assessment in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedrow, Christine Atkins

    The primary goal in this study was to explore remote sensing, ecological niche modeling, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as aids in predicting candidate Rift Valley fever (RVF) competent vector abundance and distribution in Virginia, and as means of estimating where risk of establishment in mosquitoes and risk of transmission to human populations would be greatest in Virginia. A second goal in this study was to determine whether the remotely-sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) can be used as a proxy variable of local conditions for the development of mosquitoes to predict mosquito species distribution and abundance in Virginia. As part of this study, a mosquito surveillance database was compiled to archive the historical patterns of mosquito species abundance in Virginia. In addition, linkages between mosquito density and local environmental and climatic patterns were spatially and temporally examined. The present study affirms the potential role of remote sensing imagery for species distribution prediction, and it demonstrates that ecological niche modeling is a valuable predictive tool to analyze the distributions of populations. The MaxEnt ecological niche modeling program was used to model predicted ranges for potential RVF competent vectors in Virginia. The MaxEnt model was shown to be robust, and the candidate RVF competent vector predicted distribution map is presented. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was found to be the most useful environmental-climatic variable to predict mosquito species distribution and abundance in Virginia. However, these results indicate that a more robust prediction is obtained by including other environmental-climatic factors correlated to mosquito densities (e.g., temperature, precipitation, elevation) with NDVI. The present study demonstrates that remote sensing and GIS can be used with ecological niche and risk modeling methods to estimate risk of virus establishment in mosquitoes and

  13. Upper mantle seismic anisotropy beneath the West Antarctic Rift System and surrounding region from shear wave splitting analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accardo, Natalie J.; Wiens, Douglas A.; Hernandez, Stephen; Aster, Richard C.; Nyblade, Andrew; Huerta, Audrey; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Wilson, Terry; Heeszel, David S.; Dalziel, Ian W. D.

    2014-07-01

    We constrain azimuthal anisotropy in the West Antarctic upper mantle using shear wave splitting parameters obtained from teleseismic SKS, SKKS and PKS phases recorded at 37 broad-band seismometres deployed by the POLENET/ANET project. We use an eigenvalue technique to linearize the rotated and shifted shear wave horizontal particle motions and determine the fast direction and delay time for each arrival. High-quality measurements are stacked to determine the best fitting splitting parameters for each station. Overall, fast anisotropic directions are oriented at large angles to the direction of Antarctic absolute plate motion in both hotspot and no-net-rotation frameworks, showing that the anisotropy does not result from shear due to plate motion over the mantle. Further, the West Antarctic directions are substantially different from those of East Antarctica, indicating that anisotropy across the continent reflects multiple mantle regimes. We suggest that the observed anisotropy along the central Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) and adjacent West Antarctic Rift System (WARS), one of the largest zones of extended continental crust on Earth, results from asthenospheric mantle strain associated with the final pulse of western WARS extension in the late Miocene. Strong and consistent anisotropy throughout the WARS indicate fast axes subparallel to the inferred extension direction, a result unlike reports from the East African rift system and rifts within the Basin and Range, which show much greater variation. We contend that ductile shearing rather than magmatic intrusion may have been the controlling mechanism for accumulation and retention of such coherent, widespread anisotropic fabric. Splitting beneath the Marie Byrd Land Dome (MBL) is weaker than that observed elsewhere within the WARS, but shows a consistent fast direction, possibly representative of anisotropy that has been `frozen-in' to remnant thicker lithosphere. Fast directions observed inland from the

  14. Neotectonic faults and stress field in the East African Rift System around the Tanzanian Craton - A contribution to the seismotectonic map of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, Damien; Macheyeki, Athanas Simon; Fernandes, Rui-Manuel; Ayele, Atalay; Meghraoui, Mustapha

    2015-04-01

    As a contribution to the UNESCO-IUGS IGCP 601 project "Seismotectonics and seismic hazards in Africa" and in preparation of the Seismotectonic Map of Africa, we compiled the neotectonic faults related to the East African Rift System around the Tanzanian craton. The initial aim was to identify and map the potentially active faults. Faults are usually defined as active when they show seismogenic displacement during the last 10,000 to 100,000 years, generally on the basis of paleoseismic investigation. In East Africa, however, very few faults have been studied by paleoseismic techniques and even fewer have known historical seismic activation. To address this issue, we mapped faults that show morphological indications of displacement. We used the SRTM DTM (90 and 30 m when available to us), with artificial shading as basis for identify neotectonic faults, in combination with existing data from geological maps, publications and reports, complemented by our own field observations. Thermal springs often occur along tectonically active faults. We use them to distinguish present-day faulting from other mapped faults as they are in most cases structurally controlled. In parallel, we used also the available focal mechanisms and geological fault-slip data to constrain the stress second-order stress field (at the scale of rift segments) and locally also the third-order stress field (at the local scale). All these elements are combined and compared with existing kinematic models for the East African Rift based on earthquake slip vectors, GPS measurements and geologic indicators. The comparison evidences some local discrepancies between the stress field and the direction of opening, probably due to the interactions between different rift segments, as in the Rukwa rift, Mbeya southern junction between the eastern and western rift branches, and in the Manyara-Natron area.

  15. The Isostatic State of Ethiopia and Adjacent Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woldetinsae, G.; Götze, H.-J.

    2003-04-01

    Over 35000 onshore and offshore gravity stations have been compiled in order to test isostatic models and perform geologic correlations over a large section of the Afro-Arabian shield. Ethiopia is an important part of this system because it contains the major section of the ca. 5000km Afro-Arabian rift and it includes the transition between the Arabo-Nubian-Shield (ANS) and Mozambique Belt (MB). Isostatic residual anomalies have been calculated using both Airy and Vening-Meinsez models. These anomalies outline the major Precambrian belts, the Cenozoic rifts and associated major structures. Positive residual anomalies associated with the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) and Kenyan rift systems could be the expression of an axial intrusive body and swarms of local faults and fractures. The residual anomalies indicate relative stability in the MER and increased tectonic activity over the areas of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Afar. Near-zero isostatic residuals flank the MER and Kenya rifts and are found within the Danakil Alps and some plateau regions. A series of NW-SE and E-W trending features are evident in the different isostatic residual maps. These parallel features include, from north to south, the Najid fault system, Red Sea axial zone, Melka Werer cross structure, the Anza rift and the Aswa shear zone. Additional NW-SE structures are apparent in the southern rift system, although these features are somewhat diffuse. Curvature enhanced maps are also useful for mapping fracture zones, major gravity lineaments and, in some cases, orientation of faults. Important areas from a metallogenesis point of view have been identified for further examination. The results of the qualitative interpretation form the basis of continuing three-dimensional gravity modelling and qualitative analysis that also integrates data from eastern Sudan.

  16. Coulomb stress evolution in the Shanxi rift system, North China, since 1303 associated with coseismic, post-seismic and interseismic deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Bin; Sørensen, Mathilde Bøttger; Atakan, Kuvvet

    2015-12-01

    The Shanxi rift system is one of the most active intraplate tectonic zones in the North China Block, resulting in devastating seismicity. Since 1303, the rift has experienced fifteen Ms ≥ 6.5 earthquakes. Aiming at a better understanding of Coulomb stress evolution and its relationship with the seismicity in the rift system, we investigated the Coulomb stress changes due to coseismic slip and post-seismic relaxation processes following strong earthquakes as well as the interseismic tectonic loading since the 1303 Hongdong Ms = 8.0 earthquake. Our calculation applies a specified regional medium model, takes the gravity effect into account and uses the fault geometry of the next event as the receiver fault in a given calculation. Our results show that nine out of 12 Ms ≥ 6.5 earthquakes since the 1303 Hongdong earthquake and more than 82 per cent of small-medium instrumental events after the 1989 Datong-Yanggao Ms = 6.1 earthquake fall into the total stress increased areas. Our results also reveal the different roles of the coseismic, post-seismic and interseismic Coulomb stress changes in the earthquake triggering process in the Shanxi rift system. In a short period after a strong event, the stress field changes are dominated by coseismic Coulomb stress due to sudden slip of the ruptured fault, while in the long term, the stress field is mainly dominated by the accumulation of interseismic tectonic loading. Post-seismic stress changes play an important role by further modifying the distribution of stress and therefore cannot be ignored. Based on the current stress status in the Shanxi rift system, the Linfen basin, southern and northern Taiyuan basin, Xinding basin and the north part of the rift system are identified as the most likely locations of large events in the future. The results of this study can provide important clues for the further understanding of seismic hazard in the Shanxi rift system and thus help guiding earthquake risk mitigation efforts in

  17. Mercury isotopic composition of hydrothermal systems in the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field and Guaymas Basin sea-floor rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherman, L.S.; Blum, J.D.; Nordstrom, D.K.; McCleskey, R.B.; Barkay, T.; Vetriani, C.

    2009-01-01

    To characterize mercury (Hg) isotopes and isotopic fractionation in hydrothermal systems we analyzed fluid and precipitate samples from hot springs in the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field and vent chimney samples from the Guaymas Basin sea-floor rift. These samples provide an initial indication of the variability in Hg isotopic composition among marine and continental hydrothermal systems that are controlled predominantly by mantle-derived magmas. Fluid samples from Ojo Caliente hot spring in Yellowstone range in δ202Hg from - 1.02‰ to 0.58‰ (± 0.11‰, 2SD) and solid precipitate samples from Guaymas Basin range in δ202Hg from - 0.37‰ to - 0.01‰ (± 0.14‰, 2SD). Fluid samples from Ojo Caliente display mass-dependent fractionation (MDF) of Hg from the vent (δ202Hg = 0.10‰ ± 0.11‰, 2SD) to the end of the outflow channel (&delta202Hg = 0.58‰ ± 0.11‰, 2SD) in conjunction with a decrease in Hg concentration from 46.6pg/g to 20.0pg/g. Although a small amount of Hg is lost from the fluids due to co-precipitation with siliceous sinter, we infer that the majority of the observed MDF and Hg loss from waters in Ojo Caliente is due to volatilization of Hg0(aq) to Hg0(g) and the preferential loss of Hg with a lower δ202Hg value to the atmosphere. A small amount of mass-independent fractionation (MIF) was observed in all samples from Ojo Caliente (Δ199Hg = 0.13‰ ±1 0.06‰, 2SD) but no significant MIF was measured in the sea-floor rift samples from Guaymas Basin. This study demonstrates that several different hydrothermal processes fractionate Hg isotopes and that Hg isotopes may be used to better understand these processes.

  18. Quantitative challenges to our understanding of the tectonostratigraphic evolution of rift basin systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Pervasive orbitally-paced lake level cycles combined with magnetic polarity stratigraphy in central Pangean early Mesozoic rift basins provide a thus far unique and very large-scale quantitative basis for observing patterns of basin fill and comparisons with other basins. The 32 Myr accumulation rate history of the Newark basin is segmented into intervals lasting millions of years with virtually no change in the long-term accumulation rate (at the 400-kyr-scale), and the transitions between segments are abrupt and apparently basin-wide. This is startling, because the basin geometry was, and is, a half graben - triangular in cross section and dish-shaped in along-strike section. The long periods of time with virtually no change is challenging given a simple model of basin growth (1), suggesting some kind of compensation in sediment input for the increasing surface of the area of the basin through time. Perhaps even more challenging are observations based on magnetic polarity stratigraphy and the cyclicity, that basins distributed over a huge area of central Pangea (~700,000 km2) show parallel and correlative quantitative changes in accumulation rate with those of the Newark basin. The synchronous changes in the accumulation rate in these basins suggests a very large-scale linkage, the only plausible mechanism for which would seem to be at the plate-tectonic scale, perhaps involving extension rates. Together, we can speculate that some kind of balance between extension rates, basin accommodation space and perhaps regional drainage basin size might have been in operation The most dramatic accumulation rate change in the basins' histories occurred close to, and perhaps causally related to, the Triassic-Jurassic boundary and end-Triassic extinction. The Newark basin, for example exhibits a 4-to-5-fold increase in accumulation rate during the emplacement of the brief (<1 Myr) and aerially massive Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) beginning at 201.5 Ma, the only

  19. The East Africa Oligocene intertrappean beds: Regional distribution, depositional environments and Afro/Arabian mammal dispersals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbate, Ernesto; Bruni, Piero; Ferretti, Marco Peter; Delmer, Cyrille; Laurenzi, Marinella Ada; Hagos, Miruts; Bedri, Omar; Rook, Lorenzo; Sagri, Mario; Libsekal, Yosief

    2014-11-01

    The extensive outpouring of the Oligocene Trap basalts over eastern Africa and western Arabia was interrupted by a period of quiescence marked by the deposition of terrestrial sediments. These so-called intertrappean beds are often lignitiferous and yield recurrent floras and faunas, sometimes represented by endemic mammals. We intended to highlight the peculiar features of these sedimentary intercalations using a large-scale approach including eastern Africa and the western Arabian peninsula. Starting from a new mapping in the Eritrean highland, the intertrappean beds resulted a continuous level that was a few tens of meters thick and traceable for some tens of kilometers. They consist of fluvial red, green and gray mudstones and siltstones with subordinate channelized pebbly sandstones, and lignite seams. Two new 40Ar-39Ar datings constraint the age of the intertrappean beds between 29.0 Ma and 23.6 Ma. The outcrops near Mendefera have yielded the remains of two proboscidean families, the Deinotheriidae and the Gomphoteriidae. The morphological grade of the two Mendefera proboscideans would suggest a more derived stage than that of representatives of the same families from other Oligocene African sites (e.g., Chilga, Ethiopia). An Oligocene age could be inferred for them. The occurrence of the genus Prodeinotherium at Mai Gobro possibly represents the first occurrence of this taxon, while the Gomphotheirum sp. might represent the oldest occurrence of this taxon in Africa before its dispersal towards Asia and Europe. Proboscideans have also been found in the lowland intertrappean beds of Dogali near Massawa. These sediments were contiguous with the Eritrean highland intertrappean beds during the Oligocene, but are now tectonically displaced from them by two thousand meters of vertical topographical distance. Dogali is also known for the occurrence of possible Deinotheriidae remains and the primitive elephantoid Eritreum. Entering the Ethiopian highland, an inspection of the Agere Selam (Mekele) intertrappean beds revealed the occurrence of lacustrine limestones and diatomites, which were contrastingly quite subordinate with respect to the fine clastic sediments found in the nearby Amba Alaji area. Further south, the intertrappean section in the Jema valley (100 km north of Addis Ababa and close to the Blue Nile gorge) is 120 m thick with predominant clastic sediments and a few diatomites at the top. Literature information from 35 additional sites, including northern Kenya, Yemen, Sudan and Saudi Arabia sections, confirms the fluvial and lacustrine depositional environment of the intertrappean beds, underlines the interest in their mammal fauna (Chilga, Losodok), and reports exploitable coal seams for some of them. As for the vegetal landscape in which the intertrappean beds were deposited, pollen and plant analysis results indicative of a tropical wet forest, similar to that of present-day western Africa. Another common feature of the intertrappean beds is their relatively limited thickness, averaging a few tens of meters, but reaching a few hundred meters in graben-related basins, such as Delbi Moye in southern Ethiopia. In most cases only thin, lens-shaped successions were deposited above the hummocky topography of their volcanic substratum, commonly unaffected by significant faulting. An average duration of the intertrappean beds is from one to three million years. This time interval is commonly matched by a few tens (or more rarely, hundreds) of meters of sediments left over after erosive episodes or depositional starvation. As to the lateral continuity of the intertrappean beds, the present-day outcrops show large differences: from some tens of kilometers in the Mendefera area, to a few tens of kilometres in the Jema valley, and to a few hundreds meters in the Agere Selam (Mekele) area. Even if it is difficult to quantify the original size of the sedimentation areas, it nevertheless proves that the intertrappean basins exceed thousands of square kilometers in only a single case (Mendefera), but were quite restricte

  20. The East Africa Oligocene intertrappean beds: Regional distribution, depositional environments and Afro/Arabian mammal dispersals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbate, Ernesto; Bruni, Piero; Ferretti, Marco Peter; Delmer, Cyrille; Laurenzi, Marinella Ada; Hagos, Miruts; Bedri, Omar; Rook, Lorenzo; Sagri, Mario; Libsekal, Yosief

    2014-11-01

    The extensive outpouring of the Oligocene Trap basalts over eastern Africa and western Arabia was interrupted by a period of quiescence marked by the deposition of terrestrial sediments. These so-called intertrappean beds are often lignitiferous and yield recurrent floras and faunas, sometimes represented by endemic mammals. We intended to highlight the peculiar features of these sedimentary intercalations using a large-scale approach including eastern Africa and the western Arabian peninsula. Starting from a new mapping in the Eritrean highland, the intertrappean beds resulted a continuous level that was a few tens of meters thick and traceable for some tens of kilometers. They consist of fluvial red, green and gray mudstones and siltstones with subordinate channelized pebbly sandstones, and lignite seams. Two new 40Ar-39Ar datings constraint the age of the intertrappean beds between 29.0 Ma and 23.6 Ma. The outcrops near Mendefera have yielded the remains of two proboscidean families, the Deinotheriidae and the Gomphoteriidae. The morphological grade of the two Mendefera proboscideans would suggest a more derived stage than that of representatives of the same families from other Oligocene African sites (e.g., Chilga, Ethiopia). An Oligocene age could be inferred for them. The occurrence of the genus Prodeinotherium at Mai Gobro possibly represents the first occurrence of this taxon, while the Gomphotheirum sp. might represent the oldest occurrence of this taxon in Africa before its dispersal towards Asia and Europe. Proboscideans have also been found in the lowland intertrappean beds of Dogali near Massawa. These sediments were contiguous with the Eritrean highland intertrappean beds during the Oligocene, but are now tectonically displaced from them by two thousand meters of vertical topographical distance. Dogali is also known for the occurrence of possible Deinotheriidae remains and the primitive elephantoid Eritreum. Entering the Ethiopian highland, an inspection of the Agere Selam (Mekele) intertrappean beds revealed the occurrence of lacustrine limestones and diatomites, which were contrastingly quite subordinate with respect to the fine clastic sediments found in the nearby Amba Alaji area. Further south, the intertrappean section in the Jema valley (100 km north of Addis Ababa and close to the Blue Nile gorge) is 120 m thick with predominant clastic sediments and a few diatomites at the top. Literature information from 35 additional sites, including northern Kenya, Yemen, Sudan and Saudi Arabia sections, confirms the fluvial and lacustrine depositional environment of the intertrappean beds, underlines the interest in their mammal fauna (Chilga, Losodok), and reports exploitable coal seams for some of them. As for the vegetal landscape in which the intertrappean beds were deposited, pollen and plant analysis results indicative of a tropical wet forest, similar to that of present-day western Africa. Another common feature of the intertrappean beds is their relatively limited thickness, averaging a few tens of meters, but reaching a few hundred meters in graben-related basins, such as Delbi Moye in southern Ethiopia. In most cases only thin, lens-shaped successions were deposited above the hummocky topography of their volcanic substratum, commonly unaffected by significant faulting. An average duration of the intertrappean beds is from one to three million years. This time interval is commonly matched by a few tens (or more rarely, hundreds) of meters of sediments left over after erosive episodes or depositional starvation. As to the lateral continuity of the intertrappean beds, the present-day outcrops show large differences: from some tens of kilometers in the Mendefera area, to a few tens of kilometres in the Jema valley, and to a few hundreds meters in the Agere Selam (Mekele) area. Even if it is difficult to quantify the original size of the sedimentation areas, it nevertheless proves that the intertrappean basins exceed thousands of square kilometers in only a single case (Mendefera), but were quite restricted in most cases. Their most likely endorheic and local character, together with a regional ill-defined fluvial network, was the effect of a water-course rerouting caused by the progressive rising of the eastern African and Arabian plateaux. Chronological constraints for the intertrappean beds can be inferred from the age of the hosting Trap succession and by the stratigraphical position that they occupy. Intervolcanic sedimentary episodes are typically found in the basaltic and subordinately rhyolitic successions that followed the 31-29 Ma old basaltic widespread paroxysm. With due caveats deriving from the discontinuous availability of datings specifically dedicated to this issue, we regard the age of the intertrappean beds as mostly encompassed in the interval from 29 to 27 Ma at the transition between the Early and Late Oligocene in the Ethiopia/Yemen Trap core. In marginal areas, such as SW Arabia, Eritrea and Kenya, the volcanic activity above the intertrappean beds resumed later, and its quiescence allowed a more prolonged period of sedimentation. The intertrappean beds fall in the second cooling event of the Oligocene climatic deterioration. During the contemporaneous apparent drop in the global sea-level and closure of the Tethyan Ocean between Arabia and southwestern Asia, connections were established between the African and the Eurasian continents. At that time, southwestern Asia was experiencing severe aridity with faunal exchanges toward the luxuriously vegetated eastern Africa.

  1. Phreatomagmatic volcanic hazards where rift-systems meet the sea, a study from Ambae Island, Vanuatu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Németh, Károly; Cronin, Shane J.

    2009-03-01

    Ambae Island is a mafic stratovolcano located in the northern Vanuatu volcanic arc and has a NE-SW rift-controlled elongated shape. Several hundred scoria cones and fissure-fed lava fields occur along its long axis. After many decades of quiescence, Ambae Island erupted on the 28th of November 2005, disrupting the lives of its 10,000 inhabitants. Its activity remained focused at the central (crater-lake filled) vent and this is where hazard-assessments were focused. These assessments initially neglected that maars, tephra cones and rings occur at each tip of the island where the eruptive activity occurred < 500 and < 300 yr B.P. The products of this explosive phreatomagmatic activity are located where the rift axis meets the sea. At the NE edge of the island five tephra rings occur, each comparable in size to those on the summit of Ambae. Along the NE coastline, a near-continuous cliff section exposes an up to 25 m thick succession of near-vent phreatomagmatic tephra units derived from closely spaced vents. This can be subdivided into two major lithofacies associations. The first association represents when the locus of explosions was below sea level and comprises matrix-supported, massive to weakly stratified beds of coarse ash and lapilli. These are dominant in the lowermost part of the sequence and commonly contain coral fragments, indicating that the loci of explosion were located within a reef or coral sediment near the syn-eruptive shoreline. The second type indicate more stable vent conditions and rapidly repeating explosions of high intensity, producing fine-grained tephra with undulatory bedding and cross-lamination as well as megaripple bedforms. These surge and fall beds are more common in the uppermost part of the succession and form a few-m-thick pile. An older tephra succession of similar character occurs below, and buried trees in growth position, as well as those flattened within base surge beds. This implies that the centre of this eruption was

  2. Pre-existing discontinuities and oblique rifting in the Kenya Rift: Comparisons with analogue models.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolet, J.; Gloaguen, R.; Gloaguen, R.; Dooley, T.; McClay, K.

    2001-12-01

    Oblique rift structures such as the SSE-trending Aswa Transverse Zone in the Kenya rift are poorly understood and are rarely taken into account in geometric and kinematic models for the origin of this rift zone. However, remote sensing demonstrates that transverse structures are quite numerous and have a significant influence on the geometry and segmentation of the rift and the development of faults within or at the boundaries of the oblique zones. The importance of these transverse zones varies depending on their orientation and position with respect to the main rift. The origin of these oblique zones can be directly related to pre-existing fabrics and shear zones in the Precambrian basement and thus act as mechanically distinct structural domains during later extensional events. In order to assess the importance and role of these oblique structures we used optical (SPOT, LANDSAT) and microwave (RADARSAT, ERS) data combined with field observations and measurements. Collected structural data were then compared with scaled physical models of orthogonal and oblique rifting in order to refine the rift model. The data and comparison with physical models suggest that these transverse zones are best described as oblique rift zones where the rift border faults are parallel to the basement grain whereas intra-rift fault systems form orthogonal to the extension direction. This model also implies that the present day extension direction in Kenya is oriented E-W.

  3. Paleoseismologic studies of the Pajarito fault system, western margin of the Rio Grande rift near Los Alamos, NM

    SciTech Connect

    Kelson, K.I. ); Hemphill-Haley, M.A.; Wong, I.G. ); Gardner, J.N.; Reneau, S.L. )

    1993-04-01

    As in much of the Basin and Range province, low levels of historical seismicity in the Rio Grande rift (RGR) are inconsistent with abundant geologic evidence for large-magnitude, late Pleistocene and Holocene earthquakes. Recent trenching and surficial mapping along the 40-km-long, north-trending Pajarito fault system (PFS) near Los Alamos provide evidence for multiple surface-rupture events during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Near Los Alamos, the Pajarito fault (PAF) exhibits an east-facing scarp up to 120 m high that has had at least four surface-rupture events in the past few hundred thousand years. Four trenches across the base of the highest, easternmost fault scarp show that the most-recent rupture occurred prior to about 9 ka, and possible prior to deposition of the 100- to 150-ka El Cajete Pumice. The long-term (post-1.1 Ma) slip rate on the PAF is about 0.1 mm/yr. The down-to-the-west Rendija Canyon (RCF) and Guaje Mountain (GMF) faults both have had at least two surface ruptures since the middle Pleistocene, including most-recent events at about 7.4 ka along the RCF and about 4 to 6 ka along the GMF. Slickensides and other indirect evidence suggest right-oblique normal slip on the RCF and GMF. Long-term (post-1.1 Ma) slip rates on these two faults are approximately an order of magnitude less than that on the PAF. Based on the observed spatial and temporal variations in activity, the subparallel PAF, RCF, and GMF apparently act as independent seismic sources, although they are located only about 1 to 3 km apart. Nevertheless, the average recurrence interval for faults within the PFS is probably comparable to intervals of 10[sup 4] yr estimated along the eastern rift margin near Taos.

  4. The 1.1-Ga Midcontinent Rift System, central North America: sedimentology of two deep boreholes, Lake Superior region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojakangas, Richard W.; Dickas, Albert B.

    2002-03-01

    The Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) of central North America is a 1.1-Ga, 2500-km long structural feature that has been interpreted as a triple-junction rift developed over a mantle plume. As much as 20 km of subaerial lava flows, mainly flood basalts, are overlain by as much as 10 km of sedimentary rocks that are mostly continental fluvial red beds. This rock sequence, known as the Keweenawan Supergroup, has been penetrated by a few deep boreholes in the search for petroleum. In this paper, two deep boreholes in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are described in detail for the first time. Both the Amoco Production #1-29R test, herein referred to as the St. Amour well, and the nearby Hickey Creek well drilled by Cleveland Cliffs Mining Services, were 100% cored. The former is 7238 ft (2410 m) deep and the latter is 5345 ft (1780 m) deep. The entirety of the stratigraphic succession of the Hickey Creek core correlates very well with the upper portion of the St. Amour core, as determined by core description and point-counting of 43 thin sections selected out of 100 studied thin sections. Two Lower Paleozoic units and two Keweenawan red bed units—the Jacobsville Sandstone and the underlying Freda Sandstone—are described. The Jacobsville is largely a feldspatholithic sandstone and the Freda is largely a lithofeldspathic sandstone. Below the Freda, the remaining footage of the St. Amour core consists of a thick quartzose sandstone unit that overlies a heterogenous unit of intercalated red bed units of conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, and shale; black shale; individual basalt flows; and a basal ignimbritic rhyolite. This lower portion of the St. Amour core presents an enigma, as it correlates very poorly with other key boreholes located to the west and southwest. While a black shale sequence is similar to the petroleum-bearing Nonesuch Formation farther west, there is no conglomerate unit to correlate with the Copper Harbor Conglomerate. Other key boreholes are

  5. Mechanical response of the south flank of kilauea volcano, hawaii, to intrusive events along the rift systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dvorak, J.J.; Okamura, A.T.; English, T.T.; Koyanagi, R.Y.; Nakata, J.S.; Sako, M.K.; Tanigawa, W.T.; Yamashita, K.M.

    1986-01-01

    Increased earthquake activity and compression of the south flank of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, have been recognized by previous investigators to accompany rift intrusions. We further detail the temporal and spatial changes in earthquake rates and ground strain along the south flank induced by six major rift intrusions which occurred between December 1971 and January 1981. The seismic response of the south flank to individual rift intrusions is immediate; the increased rate of earthquake activity lasts from 1 to 4 weeks. Horizontal strain measurements indicate that compression of the south flank usually accompanies rift intrusions and eruptions. Emplacement of an intrusion at a depth greater than about 4 km, such as the June 1982 southwest rift intrusion, however, results in a slight extension of the subaerial portion of the south flank. Horizontal strain measurements along the south flank are used to locate the January 1983 east-rift intrusion, which resulted in eruptive activity. The intrusion is modeled as a vertical rectangular sheet with constant displacement perpendicular to the plane of the sheet. This model suggests that the intrusive body that compressed the south flank in January 1983 extended from the surface to about 2.4 km depth, and was aligned along a strike of N66??E. The intrusion is approximately 11 km in length, extended beyond the January 1983 eruptive fissures, which are 8 km in length and is contained within the 14-km-long region of shallow rift earthquakes. ?? 1986.

  6. Mapping of the major structures of the African rift system using ERTS-1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The structural margin of western Afar with the Ethiopian plateau is marked by a rather wide zone of crustal deformation. ERTS-1 imagery has now permitted a more precise mapping of the structures of this marginal zone, and in particular of the discontinuous marginal graben. The tectonic style of the graben is different in the north from the south, and in the latter region the graben is discordant with the regional tectonic trend. The structural margin of the southern Afar with the Somalian plateau is formed, in the western sector, by a remarkable series of fault-zone splays. Afar-plateau boundary fault-zones successively curve northeast and then NNE to become Afar floor fault-zones, with a distance of about 25 km separating successive turnoffs. The transition from Ethiopian rift to Gulf of Aden tread faulting along this margin is fascinatingly complex. A simplistic crustal thinning model is not adequate to explain all observed structural features of the Afar margins.

  7. Evidence of rapid Cenozoic uplift of the shoulder escarpment of the Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system and a speculation on possible climate forcing

    SciTech Connect

    Behrendt, J.C. ); Cooper, A. )

    1991-04-01

    The Cenzoic West Antarctic rift system, characterized by Cenozoic bimodal alkalic volcanic rocks, extends over a largely ice-covered area, from the Ross Sea nearly to the Bellingshausen Sea. It is bounded on one side by a spectacular 4-to 5-km-high rift-shoulder scarp (maximum bedrock relief 5 to 7 km) from northern Victoria Land-Queen Maud Mountains to the Ellsworth-Whitmore-Horlick Mountains. Jurassic tholeiites crop out with the late Cenozoic volcanic rocks along the section of the Transantarctic Mountains from northern Victoria Land to the Horlick Mountains. The Cenozoic rift shoulder diverges here from the Jurassic tholeiite trend, and the tholeiites are exposed discontinuously along the lower elevation (1-2 km) section of the Transantarctic Mountains to the Weddell Sea. Various lines of evidence, no one of which is independently conclusive, lead the authors (as others have also suggested) to interpret the following. The Transantarctic Mountains part of the rift shoulder (and probably the entire shoulder) has been rising since about 60 Ma, at episodic rates of {approximately}1 km/m.y., most recently since mid-Pliocene time, rather than continuously at the mean rate of 100m/m.y. Uplift rates vary along the scarp, which is cut by transverse faults. The authors speculate that this uplift may have climatically forced the advance of the Antarctic ice sheet since the most recent warm period. They suggest a possible synergistic relation between episodic tectonism, mountain uplift, and volcanism in the Cenozoic West Antarctic rift system and waxing and waning of the Antarctic ice sheet beginning about earliest Oligocene time.

  8. Earthquake Rupture Forecast of M>= 6 for the Corinth Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, O.; Boiselet, A.; Lyon-Caen, H.; Albini, P.; Bernard, P.; Briole, P.; Ford, M.; Lambotte, S.; Matrullo, E.; Rovida, A.; Satriano, C.

    2014-12-01

    Fourteen years of multidisciplinary observations and data collection in the Western Corinth Rift (WCR) near-fault observatory have been recently synthesized (Boiselet, Ph.D. 2014) for the purpose of providing earthquake rupture forecasts (ERF) of M>=6 in WCR. The main contribution of this work consisted in paving the road towards the development of a "community-based" fault model reflecting the level of knowledge gathered thus far by the WCR working group. The most relevant available data used for this exercise are: - onshore/offshore fault traces, based on geological and high-resolution seismics, revealing a complex network of E-W striking, ~10 km long fault segments; microseismicity recorded by a dense network ( > 60000 events; 1.5=5 19th century events and a few paleoseismological investigations, allowing to consider time-dependent ERF. B-value estimates are found to be catalogue-dependent (WCR, homogenized NOA+Thessaloniki, SHARE), which may call for a potential break in scaling relationship. Furthermore, observed discrepancies between seismicity rates assumed for the modeled faults and those expected from GPS deformation rates call for the presence of aseismic deformation. Uncertainty in the ERF resulting from the lack of precise knowledge concerning both, fault geometries and seismic slip rates, is quantified through a logic tree exploration. Median and precentile predictions are then compared to ERF assuming a uniform seismicity rate in the WCR region. The issues raised by this work will be discussed in the light of seismic hazard assessment.

  9. Evidence of rift valley fever seroprevalence in the Sahrawi semi-nomadic pastoralist system, Western Sahara

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The increasing global importance of Rift Valley fever (RVF) is clearly demonstrated by its geographical expansion. The presence of a wide range of host and vector species, and the epidemiological characteristics of RVF, have led to concerns that epidemics will continue to occur in previously unaffected regions of Africa. The proximity of the Sahrawi territories of Western Sahara to endemic countries, such as Mauritania, Senegal, and Mali with periodic isolation of virus and serological evidence of RVF, and the intensive livestock trade in the region results in a serious risk of RVF spread in the Sahrawi territories, and potentially from there to the Maghreb and beyond. A sero-epidemiological survey was conducted in the Saharawi territories between March and April 2008 to investigate the possible presence of the RVF virus (RVFV) and associated risk factors. A two-stage cluster sampling design was used, incorporating 23 sampling sites. Results A total of 982 serum samples was collected from 461 sheep, 463 goats and 58 camels. Eleven samples (0.97%) tested positive for IgG against the RVFV. There were clusters of high seroprevalence located mostly in the Tifariti (7.69%) and Mehaires (7.14%) regions, with the Tifariti event having been found in one single flock (4/26 positive animals). Goats and older animals were at a significantly increased risk being seropositive (p = 0.007 and p = 0.007, respectively). Conclusion The results suggest potential RVF activity in the study area, where intense livestock movement and trade with neighbouring countries might be considered as a primary determinant in the spread of the disease. The importance of a continuous field investigation is reinforced, in light of the risk of RVF expansion to historically unaffected regions of Africa. PMID:24758592

  10. The palaeo-lake Suguta and its importance for understanding lake level fluctuations in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Junginger, A.; Olago, D. O.; Trauth, M. H.

    2010-12-01

    We studied the most recent dry-wet-dry cycle in the presently arid Suguta Valley in the Northern Kenya Rift where a 300-m-deep lake has formed during the so-called African Humid Period (AHP, 14.8-5.5 ka BP). Hydromodeling suggests that a relatively moderate 25% increase in precipitation was responsible for this dramatic lake level rise, which demonstrates the character of the Suguta Valley as an amplifier lake system. To detect the response of this lake system to climate fluctuations and their possible driving mechanisms with a focus on abrupt vs. gradual changes, we reconstructed a palaeo-lake level record for the time between 14 and 5 ka BP from up to 40 m thick lake-sediment sequences at three locations in the ~2,500 km2 palaeo-lake Suguta area. The sediments have been investigated for sediment characteristics such as grain size distributions, detrital and authigenic mineral phases, geochemical properties and microfossil assemblages. The stratigraphy for the sequences is based on 38 AMS 14C ages of biogenic carbonate and charcoal samples. Parallel dating of charcoal and snail-shell samples show age differences between 1,570-2,240 years suggesting a remarkably high, but well-defined reservoir age for palaeo-Lake Suguta most likely due to aged groundwater or 14C depleted CO2 degassing from active volcanoes. The observed reservoir effect highlights the potential problems while correlating East African lake level records with chronologies based on 14C datings of aquatic materials. The new chronology of water level fluctuations in the amplifier-lake Suguta indicates a general dry-wet-dry cycle synchronous with other lake chronologies during the AHP and multiple short-term fluctuations with abrupt lake level drops between 100 to 300 m within 100 to 200 years at 12.8-11.6 (during Younger Dryas time), 11.1-10.9; 10.4-10.2; 9.5-9.1; 9.0-8.8; 8.5-8.1 (during the 8.2 ka event) cal ka BP that seem to be linked with changes in the coupling between atmosphere and ocean

  11. Mesozoic fault reactivation along the St. Lawrence Rift System as constrained by (U-Th/He) thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouvier, L.; Pinti, D. L.; Tremblay, A.; Minarik, W. G.; Roden-Tice, M. K.; Pik, R.

    2011-12-01

    The Saint Lawrence Rift System (SLRS) is a half-graben, extending for 1000 km along St. Lawrence River valley. Late Proterozoic-Early Paleozoic faults of the graben form the contact with the metamorphic Grenvillian basement to the northwest and extend under the Paleozoic sedimentary sequences of the St. Lawrence Lowlands to the southeast. The SLRS is the second most seismically active area in Canada, but the causes of this activity remain unclear. Reactivation of the SLRS is believed to have occurred along Late Proterozoic to Early Paleozoic normal faults related to the opening of the Iapetus Ocean. The absence of strata younger than the Ordovician makes difficult to determine when the faults reactivated after the Ordovician. Field relations between the normal faults bordering the SLRS and those produced by the Charlevoix impact crater suggest a reactivation of the rift younger than the Devonian, the estimated age of the impact. Apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology is an adequate tool to recognize thermal events related to fault movements. A thermochronology study was then started along three transects across the SLRS, from Québec up to Charlevoix. Apatites were extracted and separated from five granitic to charnockitic gneisses and an amphibolite of Grenvillian age. The samples were exposed on hanging wall and footwall of the Montmorency and Saint-Laurent faults at three different locations along the SLRS. For precision and accuracy, each of the six samples was analyzed for radiogenic 4He and U-Th contents at least twice. Apatite grains were isolated by heavy liquids and magnetic separation. For each sample, ten apatite grains were selected under optical microscope and inserted into Pt capsules. Particular care was taken to isolate apatite free of mineral and fluid inclusions. Indeed, SEM investigations showed that some inclusions are U-rich monazite, which is a supplementary source of 4He to be avoided. The 4He content was determined by using a static noble gas

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rychert, Catherine A.; Harmon, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo

    2009-09-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift is a key sector of the East African Rift System that connects the Afar depression, at Red Sea-Gulf of Aden junction, with the Turkana depression and Kenya Rift to the South. It is a magmatic rift that records all the different stages of rift evolution from rift initiation to break-up and incipient oceanic spreading: it is thus an ideal place to analyse the evolution of continental extension, the rupture of lithospheric plates and the dynamics by which distributed continental deformation is progressively focused at oceanic spreading centres. The first tectono-magmatic event related to the Tertiary rifting was the eruption of voluminous flood basalts that apparently occurred in a rather short time interval at around 30 Ma; strong plateau uplift, which resulted in the development of the Ethiopian and Somalian plateaus now surrounding the rift valley, has been suggested to have initiated contemporaneously or shortly after the extensive flood-basalt volcanism, although its exact timing remains controversial. Voluminous volcanism and uplift started prior to the main rifting phases, suggesting a mantle plume influence on the Tertiary deformation in East Africa. Different plume hypothesis have been suggested, with recent models indicating the existence of deep superplume originating at the core-mantle boundary beneath southern Africa, rising in a north-northeastward direction toward eastern Africa, and feeding multiple plume stems in the upper mantle. However, the existence of this whole-mantle feature and its possible connection with Tertiary rifting are highly debated. The main rifting phases started diachronously along the MER in the Mio-Pliocene; rift propagation was not a smooth process but rather a process with punctuated episodes of extension and relative quiescence. Rift location was most probably controlled by the reactivation of a lithospheric-scale pre-Cambrian weakness; the orientation of this weakness (roughly NE-SW) and the Late

  14. Minimal Role of Basal Shear Tractions in Driving Nubia-Somalia Divergence Across the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D. S.; Calais, E.; Iaffaldano, G.; Flesch, L. M.

    2012-12-01

    The Nubian and Somalian plates actively diverge along the topographically high, ~5000 km long East African Rift System (EARS). As no major subduction zones bound Africa, one can assume that the forces driving the Nubia-Somalia plate system result primarily from mantle buoyancies and lateral variation in lithospheric gravitational potential energy. Images from seismic tomography and convection models suggest active mantle flow beneath Africa. However, the contribution from large-scale convection to the force balance driving plate divergence across the EARS remains in question. In this work we investigate the impact of mantle shear tractions on the dynamics of Nubia-Somalia divergence across the EARS. We compare surface motions inferred from GPS observations with strain rates and velocities predicted from dynamic models where basal shear stresses are (1) derived from forward mantle circulation models and (2) inferred from stress field boundary conditions that balance buoyancy forces in the African lithosphere. Upper mantle anisotropy derived from seismic observations beneath Africa provide independent constraints for the latter. Preliminary results suggest that basal shear tractions play a minor role in the dynamics of Nubia-Somalia divergence along the EARS. This result implies mantle-lithosphere decoupling, possibly promoted by a low viscosity asthenosphere. We corroborate the robustness of our results with estimates of upper mantle viscosity based on local upper mantle temperature estimates and rheological parameters obtained from laboratory experiments.

  15. Lower Pliensbachian caldera volcanism in high-obliquity rift systems in the western North Patagonian Massif, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benedini, Leonardo; Gregori, Daniel; Strazzere, Leonardo; Falco, Juan I.; Dristas, Jorge A.

    2014-12-01

    In the Cerro Carro Quebrado and Cerro Catri Cura area, located at the border between the Neuquén Basin and the North Patagonian Massif, the Garamilla Formation is composed of four volcanic stages: 1) andesitic lava-flows related to the beginning of the volcanic system; 2) basal massive lithic breccias that represent the caldera collapse; 3) voluminous, coarse-crystal rich massive lava-like ignimbrites related to multiple, steady eruptions that represent the principal infill of the system; and, finally 4) domes, dykes, lava flows, and lava domes of rhyolitic composition indicative of a post-collapse stage. The analysis of the regional and local structures, as well as, the architectures of the volcanic facies, indicates the existence of a highly oblique rift, with its principal extensional strain in an NNE-SSW direction (˜N10°). The analyzed rocks are mainly high-potassium dacites and rhyolites with trace and RE elements contents of an intraplate signature. The age of these rocks (189 ± 0.76 Ma) agree well with other volcanic sequences of the western North Patagonian Massif, as well as, the Neuquén Basin, indicating that Pliensbachian magmatism was widespread in both regions. The age is also coincident with phase 1 of volcanism of the eastern North Patagonia Massif (188-178 Ma) represented by ignimbrites, domes, and pyroclastic rocks of the Marifil Complex, related to intraplate magmatism.

  16. Implications of new gravity data for Baikal Rift zone structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruppel, C.; Kogan, M. G.; Mcnutt, M. K.

    1993-01-01

    Newly available, 2D Bouguer gravity anomaly data from the Baikal Rift zone, Siberia, indicate that this discrete, intracontinental rift system is regionally compensated by an elastic plate about 50 km thick. However, spectral and spatial domain analyses and isostatic anomaly calculations show that simple elastic plate theory does not offer an adequate explanation for compensation in the rift zone, probably because of significant lateral variations in plate strength and the presence of subsurface loads. Our results and other geophysical observations support the interpretation that the Baikal Rift zone is colder than either the East African or Rio Grande rift.

  17. Teleseismic P-wave Delay Time Tomography of the southern Superior Province and Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bollmann, T. A.; van der Lee, S.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Wolin, E.; Aleqabi, G. I.; Revenaugh, J.; Wiens, D. A.; Darbyshire, F. A.

    2014-12-01

    The Superior Province Rifting Earthscope Experiment (SPREE) and the northern midwest footprint of USArray's Transportable Array recorded continuous ground motion for a period of 2.5 years. From around 400 M>5.5 teleseismic earthquakes recorded at 337 stations, we measured body wave delay times for 255 of these earthquakes. The P wave delays are accumulated over more than 45 thousand wave paths with turning points in the lower mantle. We combine these delay times with a similar number delay times used in previous tomographic studies of the study region. The latter delay times stem from fewer stations, including Polaris and CNSN stations, and nearly a thousand earthquakes. We combine these two sets of delay times to image the three-dimensional distribution of seismic velocity variations beneath the southern Superior Province and surrounding provinces. This combined data coverage is illustrated in the accompanying figure for a total number of 447 stations . The coverage and the combined delays form the best configuration yet to image the three-dimensional distribution of seismic P and S-wave velocity variations beneath the southern Superior and surrounding provinces. Closely spaced stations (~12 km) along and across the MRS provide higher resolving power for lithospheric structure beneath the rift system. Conforming to expectations that the entire region is underlain by thick, cool lithosphere, a mean delay of -.55 +/- .54 s. This is very similar to the mean delays -.6s +/- .37s measured for this region before 2012. Event corrections range from -.2 +/-.54 s and correlate with tectonics for 80% of the earthquakes. An inversion of these nearly one hundred thousand P and around thirty thousand S-wave delay times for high-resolution P and S-wave velocity structure, respectively, does not show structures that are obviously related to the crustal signature of the MRS. None of structures imaged, align with or have a similar shape to the high Mid-continent Gravity Anomaly

  18. The case for nearly continuous extension of the West Antarctic Rift System, 105-25 Ma (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, D. S.; Luyendyk, B. P.

    2010-12-01

    It is a common perception that extension in the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) was a two-phase process, with a Cretaceous phase ending when the Campbell Plateau rifted from West Antarctica (~80 Ma), and a mid-Cenozoic phase synchronous with sea floor spreading in the Adare trough (~45-25 Ma). Several lines of evidence indicate that significant extension probably occurred in the intervening 80-45 Ma interval. The strongest evidence comes from subsidence rates on the Central High and Coulman High structures in the central-western Ross Sea, where DSDP Site 270 and other areas with shallow basement have subsided 1 km or more since Oligocene time. With sediment load, these subsidence rates are reasonable for thermal subsidence resulting from extension with a stretching factor of about 2.0-2.5 at about 50-70 Ma, but are hard to reconcile with an extension age around 90 Ma. The seismic velocity structure of the WARS inferred from global surface-wave dispersion is similar to that of oceanic lithosphere of age 40-60 Ma [Ritzwoller et al., 2001 JGR]. Geometric relations of sea floor between Adare Trough and Iselen Bank, northwest Ross Sea, suggest sea floor spreading of about 130 km during early Cenozoic, before the Adare Trough spreading episode started. Numerous cooling ages in the Transantarctic Mountains in the range of 55-45 Ma [Fitzgerald, 1992 Tectonics; Miller et al., 2010 Tectonics] support the interpretation of significant extension prior to 45 Ma. Present crustal thickness of about 22 km near DSDP Site 270 [Trey et al., 1999 Tectonophysics] suggests a pre-extension crustal thickness exceeding 50 km. A simple overall interpretation follows that the WARS has a tectonic history similar to the Basin and Range of western North America: a thick-crust orogenic highland extended for many tens of million years. The main difference between the WARS and the Basin and Range is the post-tectonic cooling and subsidence in the WARS.

  19. Upper Mantle Structure Beneath the Whitmore Mountains, West Antarctic Rift System, and Marie Byrd Land from Body-Wave Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyblade, A.; Lloyd, A. J.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Wiens, D. A.; Aster, R. C.; Huerta, A. D.; Wilson, T. J.; Shore, P.; Zhao, D.

    2011-12-01

    As part of the International Polar Year in Antarctica, 37 seismic stations have been installed across West Antarctica as part of the Polar Earth Observing Network (POLENET). 23 stations form a sparse backbone network of which 21 are co-located on rock sites with a network of continuously recording GPS stations. The remaining 14 stations, in conjunction with 2 backbone stations, form a seismic transect extending from the Ellsworth Mountains across the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) and into Marie Byrd Land. Here we present preliminary P and S wave velocity models of the upper mantle from regional body wave tomography using P and S travel times from teleseismic events recorded by the seismic transect during the first year (2009-2010) of deployment. Preliminary P wave velocity models consisting of ~3,000 ray paths from 266 events indicate that the upper mantle beneath the Whitmore Mountains is seismically faster than the upper mantle beneath Marie Byrd Land and the WARS. Furthermore, we observe two substantial upper mantle low velocity zones located beneath Marie Byrd Land and near the southern boundary of the WARS.

  20. Gravity field and isostatic state of Ethiopia and adjacent areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woldetinsae, G.; Götze, H.-J.

    2005-01-01

    Over 35,000 onshore and offshore gravity stations have been compiled in order to test isostatic models against geologic structures over a part of the Afro-Arabian shield. The area of Ethiopia covers an important part of this system because it contains the major section of the ≈5000 km Afro-Arabian rift and includes the transition between the Arabo-Nubian-Shield (ANS) and the Mozambique Belt (MB). Isostatic residual anomalies have been calculated using both Airy and Vening-Meinesz (flexural rigidity D = 10 22 Nm) models. The isostatic residual anomalies outline the major Precambrian belts, the Cenozoic rifts and associated major structures. Positive residual anomalies associated with the main Ethiopian Rift (MER) and Kenyan rift systems could be the expressions of an axial intrusive body and swarms of local faults and fractures. The residual anomalies indicate relative stability in the MER and increased tectonic activity in the areas of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Afar. Near-zero isostatic residuals flank the MER and Kenya rifts and are found within the Danakil Alps and some plateau regions. The small mean isostatic residual anomaly (about 8 mGal) and the isostatic analysis show a slight positive bias indicating under compensation. The undercompensation may imply that there are upper crustal features that are not compensated regionally (probably supported by the rigidity of the lithosphere) and isostatic disequilibrium in the region. Therefore, the high topography of Ethiopia and East African plateau is partly compensated by thicker crust (broad negative isostatic regional anomaly) and partly by dynamic forces. The results of the qualitative interpretation form the basis of continuing three-dimensional gravity modelling and quantitative analysis that also integrates data from eastern Sudan.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bosworth, W.

    1987-05-01

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

  2. 40Ar/ 39Ar dating constraints on the high-angle normal faulting along the southern segment of the Tan-Lu fault system: An implication for the onset of eastern China rift-systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yu; Zhou, Su

    2009-01-01

    High-angle normal faulting in eastern China was an important tectonic process responsible for the rifting of the eastern Asian continental margin. Along the southern segment of the Tan-Lu fault system, part of the eastern China rift-system, 55-70° east-dipping normal faults are the oldest structures within this rift-system. Chlorite, pseudotachylite, and fault breccia are found in fault zones, which are characterized by microstructures and syn-deformation chlorite minerals aligned parallel to a down-dip stretching lineation. 40Ar/ 39Ar dating of syn-deformation chlorite and K-feldspar from the fault gouge zone yields cooling ages of ˜75-70 Ma, interpreted as the timing of slip along the normal faults. This age is older than that of opening of the Japanese sea and back-arc extension in the west Pacific, but similar to the onset of the Indo-Asian (soft?) collision.

  3. Parameters influencing the location and characteristics of volcanic eruptions in a youthful extensional setting: Insights from the Virunga Volcanic Province, in the Western Branch of the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, Benoît; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, Matthieu; Kervyn, François

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is often mentioned as the modern archetype for rifting and continental break-up (Calais et al., 2006, GSL Special Publication 259), showing the complex interaction between rift faults, magmatism and pre-existing structures of the basement. Volcanism in the EARS is characterized by very active volcanoes, several of them being among the most active on Earth (Wright et al., 2015, GRL 42). Such intense volcanic activity provides useful information to study the relationship between rifting, magmatism and volcanism. This is the case of the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) located in the central part of the Western Branch of the EARS, which hosts two of the most active African volcanoes, namely Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira. Despite the intense eruptive activity in the VVP, the spatial distribution of volcanism and its relationship with the extensional setting remain little known. Here we present a study of the interaction between tectonics, magmatism and volcanism at the scale of the Kivu rift section, where the VVP is located, and at the scale of a volcano, by studying the dense historical eruptive activity of Nyamulagira. Both the complex Precambrian basement and magmatism appear to contribute to the development of the Kivu rift. The presence of transfer zones north and south of the Lake Kivu rift basin favoured the development of volcanic provinces at these locations. Rift faults, including reactivated Precambrian structures influenced the location of volcanism within the volcanic provinces and the rift basin. At a more local scale, the historical eruptive activity of Nyamulagira highlights that, once a composite volcano developed, the gravitational stress field induced by edifice loading becomes the main parameter that influence the location, duration and lava volume of eruptions.

  4. Crustal structure and kinematics of the TAMMAR propagating rift system on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from seismic refraction and satellite altimetry gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahle, Richard L.; Tilmann, Frederik; Grevemeyer, Ingo

    2016-08-01

    The TAMMAR segment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge forms a classic propagating system centred about two degrees south of the Kane Fracture Zone. The segment is propagating to the south at a rate of 14 mm yr-1, 15 per cent faster than the half-spreading rate. Here, we use seismic refraction data across the propagating rift, sheared zone and failed rift to investigate the crustal structure of the system. Inversion of the seismic data agrees remarkably well with crustal thicknesses determined from gravity modelling. We show that the crust is thickened beneath the highly magmatic propagating rift, reaching a maximum thickness of almost 8 km along the seismic line and an inferred (from gravity) thickness of about 9 km at its centre. In contrast, the crust in the sheared zone is mostly 4.5-6.5 km thick, averaging over 1 km thinner than normal oceanic crust, and reaching a minimum thickness of only 3.5 km in its NW corner. Along the seismic line, it reaches a minimum thickness of under 5 km. The PmP reflection beneath the sheared zone and failed rift is very weak or absent, suggesting serpentinisation beneath the Moho, and thus effective transport of water through the sheared zone crust. We ascribe this increased porosity in the sheared zone to extensive fracturing and faulting during deformation. We show that a bookshelf-faulting kinematic model predicts significantly more crustal thinning than is observed, suggesting that an additional mechanism of deformation is required. We therefore propose that deformation is partitioned between bookshelf faulting and simple shear, with no more than 60 per cent taken up by bookshelf faulting.

  5. Crustal structure and kinematics of the TAMMAR propagating rift system on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from seismic refraction and satellite altimetry gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahle, Richard L.; Tilmann, Frederik; Grevemeyer, Ingo

    2016-06-01

    The TAMMAR segment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge forms a classic propagating system centred about two degrees south of the Kane Fracture Zone. The segment is propagating to the south at a rate of 14 mm/yr, 15 % faster than the half-spreading rate. Here we use seismic refraction data across the propagating rift, sheared zone and failed rift to investigate the crustal structure of the system. Inversion of the seismic data agrees remarkably well with crustal thicknesses determined from gravity modelling. We show that the crust is thickened beneath the highly magmatic propagating rift, reaching a maximum thickness of almost 8 km along the seismic line and an inferred (from gravity) thickness of about 9 km at its centre. In contrast, the crust in the sheared zone is mostly 4.5-6.5 km thick, averaging over 1 km thinner than normal oceanic crust, and reaching a minimum thickness of only 3.5 km in its NW corner. Along the seismic line it reaches a minimum thickness of under 5 km. The PmP reflection beneath the sheared zone and failed rift is very weak or absent, suggesting serpentinisation beneath the Moho, and thus effective transport of water through the sheared zone crust. We ascribe this increased porosity in the sheared zone to extensive fracturing and faulting during deformation. We show that a bookshelf-faulting kinematic model predicts significantly more crustal thinning than is observed, suggesting that an additional mechanism of deformation is required. We therefore propose that deformation is partitioned between bookshelf faulting and simple shear, with no more than 60 % taken up by bookshelf faulting.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Jerome; Wilson, Terry; Henrys, Stuart

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinabo, Baraka Damas

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

  8. Cenozoic rift tectonics of the Japan Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Kimura, K.

    1988-08-01

    The Japan Sea is one of the back-arc basins in trench-arc systems bordering the western Pacific. Recent paleomagnetic works suggest the Japan Sea opened during early to middle Miocene. Radiometric and microfossil ages of the Cenozoic onland sequences in the Japanese Islands elucidate the rift tectonics of the Japan Sea. The rifting history is summarized as follows: nonmarine volcanic formations of prerift stage before 50 Ma, rift-onset unconformity at 40 Ma, nonmarine volcanic formations of synrift stage 20-33 Ma, breakup unconformity 19 Ma showing the opening of the Japan Sea, marine volcanic and sedimentary formations of synrift stage 14.5-18 Ma, beginning of regional subsidence 14.5 Ma corresponding to the end of the Japan Sea opening, marine sedimentary formations of postdrift stage after 14.5 Ma. Rifting is not limited to the synrift stage but is continued to the syndrift stage. Rifting led to a horst-and-graben structure. Thus, the Cenozoic onland sequences in the Japanese Islands are suited for a study of rift tectonics because the sequences were subaerially exposed by the late Miocene-Holocene island-arc tectonics. Rift tectonics cannot be studied as easily in most Atlantic-type passive margins.

  9. Seismological investigation of the Okavango Rift, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Youqiang

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

  10. Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-transmitted virus or arbovirus that is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. In the last decade, Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks have resulted in loss of human and animal life, as well as had significant economic impact. The disease in livestock is primarily a...

  11. Segmented lateral dyke growth in a rifting event at Bárðarbunga volcanic system, Iceland.

    PubMed

    Sigmundsson, Freysteinn; Hooper, Andrew; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrún; Vogfjörd, Kristín S; Ófeigsson, Benedikt G; Heimisson, Elías Rafn; Dumont, Stéphanie; Parks, Michelle; Spaans, Karsten; Gudmundsson, Gunnar B; Drouin, Vincent; Árnadóttir, Thóra; Jónsdóttir, Kristín; Gudmundsson, Magnús T; Högnadóttir, Thórdís; Fridriksdóttir, Hildur María; Hensch, Martin; Einarsson, Páll; Magnússon, Eyjólfur; Samsonov, Sergey; Brandsdóttir, Bryndís; White, Robert S; Ágústsdóttir, Thorbjörg; Greenfield, Tim; Green, Robert G; Hjartardóttir, Ásta Rut; Pedersen, Rikke; Bennett, Richard A; Geirsson, Halldór; La Femina, Peter C; Björnsson, Helgi; Pálsson, Finnur; Sturkell, Erik; Bean, Christopher J; Möllhoff, Martin; Braiden, Aoife K; Eibl, Eva P S

    2015-01-01

    Crust at many divergent plate boundaries forms primarily by the injection of vertical sheet-like dykes, some tens of kilometres long. Previous models of rifting events indicate either lateral dyke growth away from a feeding source, with propagation rates decreasing as the dyke lengthens, or magma flowing vertically into dykes from an underlying source, with the role of topography on the evolution of lateral dykes not clear. Here we show how a recent segmented dyke intrusion in the Bárðarbunga volcanic system grew laterally for more than 45 kilometres at a variable rate, with topography influencing the direction of propagation. Barriers at the ends of each segment were overcome by the build-up of pressure in the dyke end; then a new segment formed and dyke lengthening temporarily peaked. The dyke evolution, which occurred primarily over 14 days, was revealed by propagating seismicity, ground deformation mapped by Global Positioning System (GPS), interferometric analysis of satellite radar images (InSAR), and graben formation. The strike of the dyke segments varies from an initially radial direction away from the Bárðarbunga caldera, towards alignment with that expected from regional stress at the distal end. A model minimizing the combined strain and gravitational potential energy explains the propagation path. Dyke opening and seismicity focused at the most distal segment at any given time, and were simultaneous with magma source deflation and slow collapse at the Bárðarbunga caldera, accompanied by a series of magnitude M > 5 earthquakes. Dyke growth was slowed down by an effusive fissure eruption near the end of the dyke. Lateral dyke growth with segment barrier breaking by pressure build-up in the dyke distal end explains how focused upwelling of magma under central volcanoes is effectively redistributed over long distances to create new upper crust at divergent plate boundaries. PMID:25517098

  12. How Mountains Become Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. The Role of Rift Obliquity During Pangea Fragmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, S.; Butterworth, N. P.; Williams, S.; Müller, D.

    2014-12-01

    Does supercontinent break-up follow specific laws? What parameters control the success and the failure of rift systems? Recent analytical and geodynamic modeling suggests that oblique rifting is energetically preferred over orthogonal rifting. This implies that during rift competition, highly oblique branches proceed to break-up while less oblique ones become inactive. These models predict that the relative motion of Earth's continents during supercontinent break-up is affected by the orientation and shape of individual rift systems. Here, we test this hypothesis based on latest plate tectonic reconstructions. Using PyGPlates, a recently developed Python library that allows script-based access to the plate reconstruction software GPlates, we quantify rift obliquity, extension velocity and their temporal evolution for continent-scale rift systems of the past 200 Myr. Indeed we find that many rift systems contributing to Pangea fragmentation involved strong rift obliquity. East and West Gondwana for instance split along the East African coast with a mean obliquity of 55° (measured as the angle between local rift trend normal and extension direction). While formation of the central and southern South Atlantic segment involved a low obliquity of 10°, the Equatorial Atlantic opened under a high angle of 60°. Rifting between Australia and Antarctica involved two stages with 25° prior to 100 Ma followed by 50° obliquity and distinct increase of extension velocity. Analyzing the entire passive margin system that formed during Pangea breakup, we find a mean obliquity of 40°, with a standard deviation of 20°. Hence 50% of these margins formed with an angle of 40° or more. Considering that many conceptual models of rifting and passive margin formation assume 2D deformation, our study quantifies the degree to which such 2D models are globally applicable, and highlights the importance of 3D models where oblique rifting is the dominant mode of deformation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  15. TerraSAR-X high-resolution radar remote sensing: an operational warning system for Rift Valley fever risk.

    PubMed

    Vignolles, Cécile; Tourre, Yves M; Mora, Oscar; Imanache, Laurent; Lafaye, Murielle

    2010-11-01

    In the vicinity of the Barkedji village (in the Ferlo region of Senegal), the abundance and aggressiveness of the vector mosquitoes for Rift Valley fever (RVF) are strongly linked to rainfall events and associated ponds dynamics. Initially, these results were obtained from spectral analysis of high-resolution (~10 m) Spot-5 images, but, as a part of the French AdaptFVR project, identification of the free water dynamics within ponds was made with the new high-resolution (down to 3-meter pixels), Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite (TerraSAR-X) produced by Infoterra GmbH, Friedrichshafen/Potsdam, Germany. During summer 2008, within a 30 x 50 km radar image, it was found that identified free water fell well within the footprints of ponds localized by optical data (i.e. Spot-5 images), which increased the confidence in this new and complementary remote sensing technique. Moreover, by using near real-time rainfall data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), NASA/JAXA joint mission, the filling-up and flushing-out rates of the ponds can be accurately determined. The latter allows for a precise, spatio-temporal mapping of the zones potentially occupied by mosquitoes capable of revealing the variability of pond surfaces. The risk for RVF infection of gathered bovines and small ruminants (~1 park/km(2)) can thus be assessed. This new operational approach (which is independent of weather conditions) is an important development in the mapping of risk components (i.e. hazards plus vulnerability) related to RVF transmission during the summer monsoon, thus contributing to a RVF early warning system. PMID:21080318

  16. Late Jurassic – early Cretaceous inversion of rift structures, and linkage of petroleum system elements across post-rift unconformity, U.S. Chukchi Shelf, arctic Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Houseknecht, David W.; Connors, Christopher D.

    2015-01-01

    Oil-prone source rocks, reservoir-quality sandstone, migration pathways, and structural closure are linked intimately across the Jurassic unconformity, which reflects inversion. Thus, all these key petroleum systems elements were in place when Triassic source rocks entered the oil generation window during Cretaceous–Cenozoic stratigraphic burial.

  17. Multiple mantle upwellings beneath the Northern East-African Rift System from relative P- and S-wave traveltime tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Civiero, Chiara; Hammond, James; Goes, Saskia; Fishwick, Stewart; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Ayele, Atalay; Doubre, Cecile; Goitom, Berhe; Keir, Derek; Kendall, Mike; Leroy, Sylvie; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Rumpker, Georg; Stuart, Graham

    2015-04-01

    Mantle plumes have been invoked as the likely cause of East African Rift volcanism and extension. However, the nature of mantle upwelling is debated, with proposed configurations ranging from a single broad plume, the African Superplume, connected to the LLSVP beneath Southern Africa, to one or more distinct lower-mantle sources along the rift. We present a new relative travel-time tomography model that images detailed P- and S- wave velocities from P,S and SKS phases below the northern East-African, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rift. Data comes from stations that cover the area from Tanzania to Saudi Arabia. The aperture of the integrated dataset allows us to image for the first time structures of ~100 km length scale down to depths of 900 km beneath this region. Our images provide evidence of at least two low-velocity structures with a diameter of ~200 km that continue through the transition zone and into the lower mantle: the first extends to at least 900 km beneath Afar, and a second reaching at least 750 km depth just west of the Main Ethiopian Rift, a region with off-rift volcanism. Taking into account seismic sensitivity to temperature and thermally controlled phase boundary topography, we interpret these features as multiple focused upwellings from below the transition zone with excess temperatures of 100±50 K. The scale of the upwellings is smaller than any of the previously proposed lower mantle plume sources. This suggests the ponding or flow of deep-plume material below the transition zone may be spawning smaller upper-mantle upwellings.

  18. East African Rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Places where the earth's crust has formed deep fissures and the plates have begun to move apart develop rift structures in which elongate blocks have subsided relative to the blocks on either side. The East African Rift is a world-famous example of such rifting. It is characterized by 1) topographic deep valleys in the rift zone, 2) sheer escarpments along the faulted walls of the rift zone, 3) a chain of lakes within the rift, most of the lakes highly saline due to evaporation in the hot temperatures characteristic of climates near the equator, 4) voluminous amounts of volcanic rocks that have flowed from faults along the sides of the rift, and 5) volcanic cones where magma flow was most intense. This example in Kenya displays most of these features near Lake Begoria.

    The image was acquired December 18, 2002, covers an area of 40.5 x 32 km, and is located at 0.1 degrees north latitude, 36.1 degrees east longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  19. Differentiating climatic- and tectonic-controlled lake margin in rift system: example of the Plio-Quaternary Nachukui Formation, Turkana depression, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexis, Nutz; Mathieu, Schuster; Abdoulaye, Balde; Jean-Loup, Rubino

    2016-04-01

    The Turkana Depression is part of the eastern branch of the East African Rift System. This area consists of several Oligo-Pliocene north-south oriented half-grabens that connect the Ethiopian and Kenyan rift valleys. Exposed on the west side of the Lake Turkana, the Nachukui Formation represents a Plio-Quaternary syn-rift succession mainly outcropping near the border fault of the North Lake basin. This Formation consists of a > 700 m thick fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine sediments deposited in this area between 4.2 and 0.5 Ma. In this contribution, we present preliminary results from the investigation of the complete succession based on field geology. Facies description and sequence analyses are provided focusing on lake margin evolution through time and deciphering their controlling factors. Two main types of facies association can be distinguished in the Nachukui Fm and reveal two main types of lake margins that alternatively developed in the Turkana basin. Type-1 is characterized by thick conglomeratic proximal alluvial fan fining laterally from the border fault to the central portion of the lake to gravelly distal alluvial fan. Conglomerate and gravel beds display recurrent wave reworking (ripples, clasts sorting, open-work), as well as intercalated shells placer and stromatolites beds. Laterally, facies rapidly grade to offshore siliciclastic muds. These facies are interpreted as aggrading and prograding coarse fan deltas that entered directly in the lake. Their subaqueous parts were then affected by waves and allowed the development of shell placers and stromatolite reefs. This facies association is generally included in thick packages representing long-term prograding trends of several hundred thousand years duration (> 500 ka). Type-2 is characterized by poorly developed alluvial fan near the border fault, rapidly grading laterally to a fluvial plain and then to well-developed wave-dominated coast (beaches, washover fans, coastal wedges), finally connected to

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  1. Volcanism at rifts

    SciTech Connect

    White, R.S.; McKenzie, D.P.

    1989-07-01

    The earth's outer shell rifts continuously, stretching and splitting both on the ocean's floor and on continents. Every 30 million years or so the rifting becomes cataclysmic, releasing continent-size floods of magma. This paper explains that the same mechanism is at work in both cases, the difference being in the slightly hotter temperature of the parent mantle for spectacular volcanic outbursts. Two kinds of evidence are described: quantitative descriptions of rock melting and a wide range of observations made on the rifted edges of continents and in the oceans that have opened between them.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Munjae; Jung, Haemyeong; Kil, Youngwoo

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Structure and stratigraphy of the Rukwa rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilembe, Elias A.; Rosendahl, Bruce R.

    1992-08-01

    Combining recently acquired multifold seismic data with well and gravity information and field mapping, a comprehensive picture of the structure and stratigraphy of the Rukwa rift has emerged. The Rukwa rift lies between the Tanganyika and Nyasa (Malawi) rifts in the western branch of the East African rift system in southwest Tanzania. The Rukwa rift is a NW-trending half-graben basin that is 350 km long and 40 km wide. Unlike the neighboring Tanganyika and Nyasa rifts, there is no evidence of half-graben polarity reversals in the Rukwa rift. The NW-trending boundary fault system lies on the northeastern side of the basin and comprises a series of listric faults. Most internal faults also show listric forms and trend N-S, oblique to the boundary fault. The basal sedimentary section is the Permo-Triassic (Karroo) Sequence. This is overlain by the Red Bed Sandstone Sequence, in which both Mesozoic and Tertiary fauna have been found. The Cenozoic Lake Bed Sequence is the highest unit and covers nearly all of the present basin. Sediment thicknesses commonly reach 7 km and attain a maximum of 12 km at the southeastern end of the basin. The Lake Bed Sequence is the thickest unit in the main depocentre, but the Karroo Sequence is often the thickest unit on the shoaling side of the half-graben. The Rukwa rift is here interpreted to have evolved as a strike- to oblique-slip pull-apart basin, based on numerous indications of NW-trending strike-slip faulting.

  4. Mesozoic and early Tertiary rift tectonics in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1992-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gawthorpe, Robert; Ford, Mary

    2015-04-01

    Existing models for the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins are strongly linked the growth and linkage of normal fault segments and localization of fault activity. Early stages of faulting (rift initiation phase) are characterized by distributed, short, low displacement fault segments, subdued fault-related topography and small depocentres within which sedimentation keeps pace with subsidence. Following linkage and displacement localization (rift climax phase), deformation if focused onto major, crustal-scale fault zones with kilometre-scale displacement. These major faults generate pronounced tilted fault-block topography, with subsidence rates that outpace sedimentation causing a pronounced change to deep-water deposition. Such models have been successful in helping to understand the gross structural and sedimentary evolution of rift basins, but recent work has suggested that pre-existing structures, normal fault interaction with pre-rift salt and antecedent drainage systems significantly alter this initiation-to-climax perspective of rift basin development. The E-W-striking, Pliocene-Pleistocene Corinth rift, central Greece, is an excellent natural laboratory for studying the tectono-sedimentary evolution of rift basins due to its young age, excellent onshore exposure of syn-rift structure and stratigraphy and extensive offshore seismic data. The rift cuts across the NW-SE-striking Hellenide mountain belt and has migrated northward and westward during its evolution. The Hellenide mountain belt significantly influences topography and drainage in the west of the rift. High topography and large antecedent drainage systems, focused along palaeovalleys, provided high sediment flux to NE-flowing alluvial systems that overfilled early-rift depocentres. Further east, away from the main antecedent drainage networks, contemporaneous deposits comprise deep-lacustrine turbidite channel and lobe complexes and basinal marls. Thus the stratigraphic expression within

  6. Open System evolution of peralkaline trachyte and phonolite from the Suswa volcano, Kenya rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, John Charles; Espejel-García, Vanessa V.; Anthony, Elizabeth Y.; Omenda, Peter

    2012-11-01

    Suswa is the southernmost volcanic center in the Central Kenya Peralkaline Province (CKPP) and represents the only salic center to have erupted significant volumes of peralkaline silica-undersaturated lavas and tuffs (trachyte, nepheline trachyte and phonolite). The eruptive products of Suswa can be clearly divided into two series, which correspond closely to the volcano's eruptive history. The earlier series (C1) includes lavas and tuffs that built the initial shield volcano (pre-caldera, unit S1) and erupted during the first caldera collapse (syn-caldera, units S2-S5); these rocks are dominated by peralkaline, silica-saturated to mildly under-saturated trachyte. The later series (C2) includes lavas and tuffs that erupted within the caldera structure following the initial collapse (post-caldera, units S6-S7) and during the creation of a second smaller, nested caldera and central "island block" (ring trench group, RTG, unit S8); these rocks are dominated by peralkaline phonolite. In this study, we combine mineralogical evidence with the results of major-element, trace-element, and thermodynamic modelling to propose a complex model for the origin of the Suswa volcano. From these results we conclude that C1 is the result of protracted fractional crystallization of a fairly "dry" alkali basalt (< 1 wt.% H2O) under relatively high pressure (400 MPa) and low oxygen fugacity (FMQ to FMQ-1). Although C1 appears to be primarily the result of closed system processes, a variety of open system processes are responsible for C2. We propose that crystallization of C1 trachyte resulted in the formation of a syenitic residue, which was assimilated (Ma/Mc = 0.1) during a later stage of recharge and differentiation of alkali basalt to produce post-caldera ne-trachyte. Post-caldera (S6-7) phonolites were in turn the result of fractional crystallization of this ne-trachyte. RTG phonolites, however, are the result of feldspar resorption prompted perhaps by magma recharge as evidenced

  7. Rift Valley Fever (RVF)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Outbreak resources, VHF information for specific groups, virus ecology, references... RVF Distribution Map Rift Valley Fever Transmission ... Outbreaks Outbreak Summaries RVF Distribution Map Resources Virus Ecology File Formats Help: How do I view different ...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  9. Volatiles and subduction-recycled lithologies in the petrogenesis of Cenozoic alkaline magmatism in the West Antarctic Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aviado, K.; Rilling-Hall, S.; Mukasa, S. B.; Bryce, J. G.; Fahnestock, M. F.

    2015-12-01

    In the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS), the failure of both passive and active models of decompression melting to explain unusually voluminous Cenozoic volcanism has prompted debate about the roles of thermal plume-related melting and ancient subduction-related flux melting. The latter is supported by ~500 Ma of subduction along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana[1], a process capable of generating easily fusible, volatile-rich lithologies and producing the broad seismic low-velocity anomaly imaged beneath the Southern Ocean[2]. We present new geochemical information from submarine lavas in the Ross Sea and subaerial lavas from Franklin Island, Beaufort Island, and Mt. Melbourne in Northern Victoria Land (NVL) supportive of an evolving fluxed mantle source. Lavas exhibit ocean island basalt (OIB)-like trace element signatures and isotopic affinities for the C/FOZO mantle endmember consistent with subduction processing of recycled ocean lithosphere. Lava major-oxide compositions suggest multiple recycled source components, including pyroxenite (associated with older lavas), amphibole-rich metasomes, and volatilized peridotite (associated with the youngest lavas). In-situ analyses of olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MIs) from a subset of host lavas confirm high H2O and CO2 ranging up to 2.94 wt % and 4657 ppm, respectively. MIs exhibit OIB-like trace element compositions and Ba/Rb and Rb/Sr consistent with melting in the presence of hydrated, amphibole-bearing lithosphere[3,4]. We interpret these observations as evidence that ongoing tectonomagmatic activity in the WARS is facilitated by melting of subduction-modified mantle generated by 550 - 100 Ma Gondwana subduction. Following radiogenic ingrowth in high-µ (U/Pb) domains, Cenozoic extension triggered decompression melting of easily fusible, hydrated metasomes and volatilized mantle. This multistage magma model attempts to reconcile geochemical observations with increasing geophysical evidence that the seismic

  10. Young rift kinematics in the Tadjoura rift, western Gulf of Aden, Republic of Djibouti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daoud, Mohamed A.; Le Gall, Bernard; Maury, René C.; Rolet, JoëL.; Huchon, Philippe; Guillou, Hervé

    2011-02-01

    The Tadjoura rift forms the westernmost edge of the westerly propagating Sheba ridge, between Arabia and Somalia, as it enters into the Afar depression. From structural and remote sensing data sets, the Tadjoura rift is interpreted as an asymmetrical south facing half-graben, about 40 km wide, dominated by a large boundary fault zone to the north. It is partially filled up by the 1-3 Myr old Gulf Basalts which onlapped the older Somali Basalts along its shallower southern flexural margin. The major and trace element analysis of 78 young onshore lavas allows us to distinguish and map four distinct basaltic types, namely the Gulf, Somali, Goumarre, and Hayyabley Basalts. These results, together with radiometric age data, lead us to propose a revised volcano-stratigraphic sketch of the two exposed Tadjoura rift margins and to discriminate and date several distinct fault networks of this oblique rift. Morphological and statistical analyses of onshore extensional fault populations show marked changes in structural styles along-strike, in a direction parallel to the rift axis. These major fault disturbances are assigned to the arrest of axial fault tip propagation against preexisting discontinuities in the NS-oriented Arta transverse zone. According to our model, the sinistral jump of rifting into the Asal-Ghoubbet rift segment results from structural inheritance, in contrast with the en échelon or transform mechanism of propagation that prevailed along the entire length of the Gulf of Aden extensional system.

  11. Mapping Extensional Structures in the Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana with remote sensing and aeromagnetic data: Implication for the continuation of the East African Rift System in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fetkovich, E. J.; Atekwana, E. A.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Atekwana, E. A.; Katumwehe, A. B.

    2015-12-01

    We used Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and aeromagnetic data to map extensional structures in the Makgadikgadi Pans in northeastern Botswana. These pans are a major morphological feature in Southern Africa characterized by the presence of low lying and flat topography with the highest elevation of 945 m. This topography was a result of multiple filling and desiccation of paleo-lakes that accompanied alternation of wetter and dryer climate during the Late Quaternary period. The objective of our study was to map the extent and distribution of normal faults using their morphological expression and magnetic signature, and examine their relationship with paleo-shorelines of the pans. We: (1) Created a hill shade relief map from the SRTM DEM; (2) Extracted regional NW-SE trending topographic profiles across the pans; (3) Constructed displacement profiles for major normal faults; and (4) Created tilt derivative images from the aeromagnetic data. We found that: (1) The northeastern part of the pan is dissected by three morphologically-defined NE-trending normal faults. The along strike continuity of these faults is in the range of 75 and 170 km and they are spaced at ~30 km apart from each other. (2) The topographic profiles suggest that the exposed minimum vertical displacement (EMVD), defined by poorly developed escarpments, is in the range of 0 m and 49 m. (3) The displacement profiles of the faults is characterized by maximum EMVD in the middle of the faults and that it decays towards the fault tips. These faults are also apparent in the aeromagnetic maps where they seem to displace E-W trending Karoo-age dikes. (4) At least the outer paleo-shoreline of the pans is modified by the NE-trending faults. This suggests that the faults are younger than the paleo-shorelines, which is suggested to have been developed between 500 and 100 ka. Traditionally, the southwestern extension of the East African Rift System has been assigned to the

  12. Submarine and subaerial lavas in the West Antarctic Rift System: Temporal record of shifting magma source components from the lithosphere and asthenosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aviado, Kimberly B.; Rilling-Hall, Sarah; Bryce, Julia G.; Mukasa, Samuel B.

    2015-12-01

    The petrogenesis of Cenozoic alkaline magmas in the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) remains controversial, with competing models highlighting the roles of decompression melting due to passive rifting, active plume upwelling in the asthenosphere, and flux melting of a lithospheric mantle metasomatized by subduction. In this study, seamounts sampled in the Terror Rift region of the Ross Sea provide the first geochemical information from submarine lavas in the Ross Embayment in order to evaluate melting models. Together with subaerial samples from Franklin Island, Beaufort Island, and Mt. Melbourne in Northern Victoria Land (NVL), these Ross Sea lavas exhibit ocean island basalt (OIB)-like trace element signatures and isotopic affinities for the C or FOZO mantle endmember. Major-oxide compositions are consistent with the presence of multiple recycled lithologies in the mantle source region(s), including pyroxenite and volatile-rich lithologies such as amphibole-bearing, metasomatized peridotite. We interpret these observations as evidence that ongoing tectonomagmatic activity in the WARS is facilitated by melting of subduction-modified mantle generated during 550-100 Ma subduction along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana. Following ingrowth of radiogenic daughter isotopes in high-µ (U/Pb) domains, Cenozoic extension triggered decompression melting of easily fusible, hydrated metasomes. This multistage magma generation model attempts to reconcile geochemical observations with increasing geophysical evidence that the broad seismic low-velocity anomaly imaged beneath West Antarctica and most of the Southern Ocean may be in part a compositional structure inherited from previous active margin tectonics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, L.; Keller, G. R.

    2010-12-01

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

  14. Geothermal resources of rifts: A comparison of the rio grande rift and the salton trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanberg, Chandler A.

    1983-05-01

    The Rio Grande Rift and the Salton Trough are the best developed rift systems in the United States and both share many features common to rifts in general, including geothermal resources. These two rifts have different tectonic and magmatic histories, however, and these differences are reflected in the nature of their geothermal resources. The Salton Trough is a well developed and successful rift. It is the landward extension of the Gulf of California spreading center, which has separated Baja, California, from the remainder of Mexico. Quaternary silicic magmatization has occurred and several of the geothermal resources are associated with recent rhyolitic intrusions. Such resources tend to be high temperature (> 200°C). Greenschist facies metamorphism has been observed in several of the geothermal wells. Localized upper crustal melting is a distinct possibility and there is increasing speculation that very high temperature (> 300°C) geothermal fluids may underlie a large portion of the central trough at depths in excess of 4 km. Low temperature geothermal resources associated with shallow hydrothermal convection are less common and tend to be located on the flanks of the trough or in the Coachella Valley to the north of the zone of active rifting. In contrast, the Rio Grande Rift is less well developed. Recent volcanism consists primarily of mantle-derived basalts, which have not had sufficient residence time within the crust to generate significant crustal melting. The geothermal resources within the Rio Grande Rift do not correlate well with these young basalts. Rather, the quantity of geothermal resources are low temperature (< 100°C) and result from forced hydrothermal convection which discharges at constrictions within or at the end of the major sedimentary basins. High temperature resources are less common and the only discovered example is the Valles Caldera of northern New Mexico ( T = 250-300°C). The deep interiors of the sedimentary basins of the Rio

  15. Petrogenesis of the Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide-bearing Tamarack Intrusive Complex, Midcontinent Rift System, Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taranovic, Valentina; Ripley, Edward M.; Li, Chusi; Rossell, Dean

    2015-01-01

    The Tamarack Intrusive Complex (TIC, 1105.6 ± 1.2 Ma) in NE Minnesota, was emplaced during the early stages of the development of the Midcontinent Rift System (MRS, "Early Stage": 1110-1106 Ma). Country rocks of the TIC are those of the Paleoproterozoic Thomson Formation, part of the Animikie Group including sulfide-bearing metasedimentary black shale. The magmatic system is composed of at least two principal mafic-ultramafic intrusive sequences: the sulfide-barren Bowl Intrusion in the south and the "dike" area intrusions in the north which host Ni-Cu-Platinum Group Elements (PGE) mineralization with up to 2.33% Ni, 1.24% Cu, 0.34 g/t Pt, 0.23 g/t Pd and 0.18 g/t Au. Two distinct intrusive units in the "dike" area are the CGO (coarse-grained olivine-bearing) Intrusion, a sub-vertical dike-like body, and the overlying sub-horizontal FGO (fine-grained olivine-bearing) Intrusion. Both intrusions comprise peridotite, feldspathic peridotite, feldspathic pyroxenite, melatroctolite and melagabbro. Massive sulfides are volumetrically minor and mainly occur as lenses emplaced into the country rocks associated with both intrusions. Semi-massive (net-textured) sulfides are distributed at the core of the CGO Intrusion, surrounded by a halo of the disseminated sulfides. Disseminated sulfides also occur in lenses along the base of the FGO Intrusion. Olivine compositions in the CGO Intrusion are between Fo89 and Fo82 and in the FGO Intrusion from Fo84 to Fo82. TIC intrusions have more primitive olivine compositions than that of olivine in the sheet-like intrusions in the Duluth Complex (below Fo70), as well as olivine from the smaller, conduit-related, Eagle and East Eagle Intrusions in Northern Michigan (Fo86 to Fo75). The FeO/MgO ratios of the CGO and FGO Intrusion parental magmas, inferred from olivine compositions, are similar to those of picritic basalts erupted during the early stages of the MRS formation. Trace element ratios differ slightly from other intrusions in the

  16. New data on seismic wave attenuation in the lithosphere and upper mantle of the northeastern flank of the Baikal rift system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrynina, A. A.; Sankov, V. A.; Chechelnitsky, V. V.

    2016-05-01

    The investigation data on seismic wave attenuation in the lithosphere and upper mantle of the northeastern flank of the Baikal rift system obtained with a seismic coda envelope and sliding window are considered. Eleven local districts were described by one-dimensional attenuation models characterized by alternation of high and low attenuation layers, which are consistent with the results obtained previously by Yu.F. Kopnichev for the southwestern flank of the Baikal rift system [9]. The subcrust of the lithosphere contains a thin layer with high attenuation of seismic waves likely related to higher heterogeneity (fragmentation) and occurrence of fluids. The lithosphere basement depth varies from 100-120 km in the west within the Baikal folded area to 120-140 km in the east within the Siberian Platform. It is concluded that there are two asthenosphere layers. Based on specific features of the lithosphere and upper mantle structure, it can be assumed that they were subject to gradual modification involving fluidization processes and partial melting in the Late Cenozoic extension under the influence of distant tectogenesis sources.

  17. 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.

  18. Inheritance and refertilization of Upper Mantle rocks in Alpine type orogens and rift systems: what and why

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muntener, O.

    2015-12-01

    Mantle peridotites and their serpentinized counterparts from ocean-continent transition zones (OCT's) and (ultra-) slow spreading ridges question a series of 'common beliefs' that have been applied to understand Alpine-type collisional orogens in the framework of the ophiolite concept. I will show that inherited mantle signatures play a key role for the interpretation of ophiolites, and similar processes are relevant for present-day passive margins. Field data and petrology demonstrates that ancient, thermally undisturbed, pyroxenite-veined subcontinental mantle formed parts of the ocean floor next to thinned continental crust. These heterogeneities might comprise an ancient subduction component. Mantle upwelling and decompression melting during rifting forms partial melts that enter a thick conductive lithospheric mantle and inevitably leads to freezing of the melt and refertilization of the lithospheric mantle. Mafic bodies (gabbros, basalts) are small and discontinous. The abundance of plagioclase peridotites in the Alpine ophiolites and elswhere along rifted margins are interpreted as recorders of refertilization processes related to thinning and exhumation of mantle lithosphere. Similar features are found (ultra-) slow spreading ridges. Another important result is the discovery of extremely refractory Nd-isotopic compositions with highly radiogenic 147Sm/144Nd, which indicates that partial melting processes and Jurassic magmatism in the Western Tethys are locally decoupled. Although the isotopic variability along ridges is generally explained by mantle heterogeneities such as pyroxenites, an alternative is that these depleted domains represent snapshots of melting processes that are related to Permian and/or even older crust forming processes, and during the most recent decompression they were unffected by (further) melting. Similarly, refractory rocks from rifted margins and (ultra-) slow spreading ridges have been interpreted to represent ancient melting

  19. Antecedent rivers and early rifting: a case study from the Plio-Pleistocene Corinth rift, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemelsdaël, Romain; Ford, Mary; Malartre, Fabrice

    2016-04-01

    Models of early rifting present syn-rift sedimentation as the direct response to the development of normal fault systems where footwall-derived drainage supplies alluvial to lacustrine sediments into hangingwall depocentres. These models often include antecedent rivers, diverted into active depocentres and with little impact on facies distributions. However, antecedent rivers can supply a high volume of sediment from the onset of rifting. What are the interactions between major antecedent rivers and a growing normal fault system? What are the implications for alluvial stratigraphy and facies distributions in early rifts? These questions are investigated by studying a Plio-Pleistocene fluvial succession on the southern margin of the Corinth rift (Greece). In the northern Peloponnese, early syn-rift deposits are preserved in a series of uplifted E-W normal fault blocks (10-15 km long, 3-7 km wide). Detailed sedimentary logging and high resolution mapping of the syn-rift succession (400 to 1300 m thick) define the architecture of the early rift alluvial system. Magnetostratigraphy and biostratigraphic markers are used to date and correlate the fluvial succession within and between fault blocks. The age of the succession is between 4.0 and 1.8 Ma. We present a new tectonostratigraphic model for early rift basins based on our reconstructions. The early rift depositional system was established across a series of narrow normal fault blocks. Palaeocurrent data show that the alluvial basin was supplied by one major sediment entry point. A low sinuosity braided river system flowed over 15 to 30 km to the NE. Facies evolved downstream from coarse conglomerates to fined-grained fluvial deposits. Other minor sediment entry points supply linked and isolated depocentres. The main river system terminated eastward where it built stacked small deltas into a shallow lake (5 to 15 m deep) that occupied the central Corinth rift. The main fluvial axis remained constant and controlled

  20. Rift initiation with volatiles and magma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William; Morley, Chris K.

    1994-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Geochemistry of hypabyssal rocks of the Midcontinent Rift system in Minnesota, and implications for a Keweenawan magmatic ``family tree``

    SciTech Connect

    Jerde, E.A.

    1998-11-01

    The hypabyssal rocks associated with the Keweenawan (1.1 Ga) Midcontinent Rift along the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior are a distinct suite within the rock associations of this region. These rocks are found predominantly as ophitic diabase dikes and sills of various sizes, ranging from a few meters to several hundred meters across. Chilled margins were sampled and analyzed by neutron activation analysis and microprobe fused-bead techniques for bulk chemistry. Mineral compositions were obtained by electron microprobe. Variations in composition were found that are consistent with fractionation. Major-element modeling of fractionation indicates that the majority of the hypabyssal rocks formed at moderate pressures ({approximately}6 kbar), although a number show evidence of fractionation at near-surface levels, and some deeper ({approximately}10 kbar). Resorption features seen in plagioclase phenocrysts are evidence for magmatic evolution at varying levels in the crust. It is possible to relate the varied hypabyssal rocks to a single primary parent through polybaric fractionation. This parent is a high-Al primitive olivine tholeiite--a magma composition common among the volcanic rocks associated with the Midcontinent Rift. Trace-element modeling with this same parent composition yields results consistent with the formation of some hypabyssal rocks as products of a periodically tapped and replenished, constantly fractionating magma chamber, which can decouple the behavior of major and trace elements.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favre, P.; Stampfli, G. M.

    1992-12-01

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

  5. InSAR and GPS measurements along the Kivu segment of the East African Rift System during the 2011-2012 Nyamulagira volcanic eruption.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nobile, Adriano; Geirsson, Halldor; Smets, Benoît; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, François

    2016-04-01

    Along the East African Rift System (EARS), magma intrusions represent a major component in continental rifting. When these intrusions reach the surface, they cause volcanic eruptions. This is the case of the last flank eruption of Nyamulagira, which occurred from November 6 2011 to April 2012. Nyamulagira is an active shield volcano with a central caldera, located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, along the Kivu segment of the East African Rift System. From 1948 to 2012, Nyamulagira mostly showed a particular eruptive cycle with 1) classical short-lived (i.e., 20-30 days) flank eruptions, sometimes accompanied with intracrateral activity, which occurred every 1-4 years on average, and 2) less frequent long-lived (i.e., several months) eruptions usually emitting larger volumes of lava that take place at larger distance (>8 km) from the central caldera. The 2011-2012 Nyamulagira eruption is of that second type. Here we used InSAR data from different satellite (Envisat, Cosmo SkyMed, TerraSAR-X and RADARSAT) to measure pre-, co and post-eruptive ground displacement associated with the Nyamulagira 2011-2012 eruption. Results suggest that a magma intrusion preceded by two days the eruption. This intrusion corresponded to the migration of magma from a shallow reservoir (~3km) below the caldera to the two eruptive fissures located ~11 km ENE of the central edifice. Available seismic data are in agreement with InSAR results showing increased seismic activity since November 4 2011, with long- and short-period earthquakes swarms. Using analytical models we invert the measured ground displacements during the first co-eruptive month to evaluate the deformation source parameters and the mechanism of magma emplacement for this eruption. GPS data from permanent stations in the KivuGNet network are used to constrain the temporal evolution of the eruption and evaluate far-field deformation, while the InSAR data is more sensitive to the near-field deformation

  6. Rift Valley Fever Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a disease of animals and humans that occurs in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. A Phlebovirus in the family Bunyaviridae causes the disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Epidemics occur during years of unusually heavy rainfall that assessment models are being develo...

  7. Kinematics and Dynamics of the Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jay, C.; Flesch, L. M.; Bendick, R. O.

    2015-12-01

    Although the East African Rift System (EARS) is often cited as a type example for "narrow" rifting (where strain is localized along the rift axis), the true extent of rift-related deformation remains largely unknown due to sparse geophysical observations outside of the main rift valley. Our study, which takes this large scale approach, investigates the distribution of deformation in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) and surrounding regions, including the Ethiopian Highlands to the west of the rift valley, Somali Platform to the east, and Afar Triple Junction. We first construct kinematic, self-consistent strain rate and velocity fields on a 1° by 1° grid using continuous spline interpolations of strain rate observations (earthquake and fault data, plate rotations, and GPS velocities). Next, we calculate the deviatoric stress field associated with gravitational potential energy (GPE) by integrating density as a function of depth using published crustal density structures (CRUST1.0) and newly obtained receiver functions. We then directly solve for the deviatoric stress field associated with the lateral density variations by assuming a minimum energy stress field (e.g. Flesch et al. [2001]). Finally, we look for symmetries and asymmetries in both the strain rate and GPE deviatoric stress fields to assess the source of observed, off-rift deformation. We compare our results to published global and regional models that include the East African Rift and Iceland. Results suggest that the MER is not an end-member, "narrow" type rift, and that heterogeneities in lithospheric strength likely play an important role in governing the kinematics of rifting in Ethiopia.

  8. Continental rifting - Progress and outlook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, B. H.; Morgan, P.

    1981-01-01

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

  9. Stratigraphic Modelling of Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. How sensitive are sediment routing systems to tectonics and climate? A comparison of sediment fluxes and depositional volumes in the Corinth rift, Greece, over the past 130 ky

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watkins, Stephen E.; Whittaker, Alexander C.; Bell, Rebecca E.; McNeill, Lisa C.; Gawthorpe, Robert L.

    2016-04-01

    Sediment supply is a fundamental control on the stratigraphic record. However, a key question is the extent to which tectonics and climate affect sediment fluxes in time and space. To address this question estimates of sediment fluxes must be compared with measured sediment volumes within a closed basin. The Corinth rift in Greece is one of the most actively extending rift basins on Earth, with modern day extension rates of up to 15 mm/yr. The Gulf of Corinth is a closed system and has periodically become a lake during marine lowstands over at least the last 400,000 ky. We have estimated suspended sediment fluxes through time for rivers draining into the Gulf of Corinth using an empirically-derived BQART method. WorldClim climate data, palaeoclimate models and palaeoclimate proxies were used to estimate discharges and temperatures over the last 130 ky. We used high-resolution 2D seismic surveys to interpret the 12 ky highstand, 70 ky lowstand and 130 ky highstand horizons to derive actual basin sedimentary volumes to compare with our sediment input flux estimates. Our results estimate integrated Holocene sediment fluxes into the Gulf of Corinth to be 19 km3 and we constrain how they vary spatially around the Gulf. This number compares exceptionally well with Holocene basin deposit volumes measured from seismic data (30 km3). We estimate sediment fluxes during the last glacial maximum to be significantly lower than the Holocene, likely driven by lower mean annual temperatures. Our results demonstrate that sediment routing systems and sediment export to the Gulf of Corinth is sensitive to glacial-interglacial climate changes from the late Pleistocene to recent.

  12. Fault Orientations at Obliquely Rifted Margins: Where? When? Why?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, Sascha

    2015-04-01

    setup is very simple (horizontally layered, no inherited faults, constant extension velocity and direction), its evolution exhibits a variety of fault orientations that are solely caused by the three-dimensionality of oblique rift systems. Allowing new insights on fault patterns of the proximal and distal margins, the model shows that individual fault populations are activated in a characteristic multi-phase evolution driven by lateral density variations of the evolving rift system. Moreover, the model depicts strain partitioning between rift-parallel and rift-perpendicular far-field velocity components that are accommodated by strike-slip faults in the rift centre and normal faults at the rift sides, respectively. Oblique extensional systems worldwide differ in many aspects and clearly one suit of models cannot explain all rifted margin structures at the same time. However, the distinct pattern of fault populations discussed in this study and their sequence of activity compares very well to previous studies of the Gulf of Aden and holds implications for many other rifted margins worldwide. Note that in nature, the resulting stress and fault pattern will also be affected by inherited heterogeneities, surface processes, as well as melting and dyke dynamics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Previous studies have discussed how tectonic processes could produce relative tension to initiate and propagate rift zones and estimated the magnitude of the rift-driving forces. Both analytic and semi-analytic models as well as numerical simulations assume that the tectonic force required to initiate rifting is available. However, Buck (2004, 2006) estimated the minimum tectonic force to allow passive rifting and concluded that the available forces are probably not large enough for rifting of thick and strong lithosphere in the absence of basaltic magmatism (the "Tectonic Force" Paradox). The integral of the yielding stress needed for rifting over the thickness of the normal or thicker continental lithosphere are well above the available tectonic forces and tectonic rifting cannot happen (Buck, 2006). This conclusion is based on the assumption that the tectonic stress has to overcome simultaneously the yielding stress over the whole lithosphere thickness and ignore gradual weakening of the brittle rocks under long-term loading. In this study we demonstrate that the rifting process under moderate tectonic stretching is feasible due to gradual weakening and "long-term memory" of the heavily fractured brittle rocks, which makes it significantly weaker than the surrounding intact rock. This process provides a possible solution for the tectonic force paradox. We address these questions utilizing 3-D lithosphere-scale numerical simulations of the plate motion and faulting process base on the damage mechanics. The 3-D modeled volume consists of three main lithospheric layers: an upper layer of weak sediments, middle layer of crystalline crust and lower layer of the lithosphere mantle. Results of the modeling demonstrate gradual formation of the rift zone in the continental lithosphere with the flat layered structure. Successive formation of the rift system and associated seismicity pattern strongly depend not only on the applied tectonic force, but also on the healing

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, R.; Hertogen, J.

    2008-12-01

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

  15. A geographical information system-based multicriteria evaluation to map areas at risk for Rift Valley fever vector-borne transmission in Italy.

    PubMed

    Tran, A; Ippoliti, C; Balenghien, T; Conte, A; Gely, M; Calistri, P; Goffredo, M; Baldet, T; Chevalier, V

    2013-11-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a severe mosquito-borne disease that is caused by a Phlebovirus (Bunyaviridae) and affects domestic ruminants and humans. Recently, its distribution widened, threatening Europe. The probability of the introduction and large-scale spread of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) in Europe is low, but localized RVF outbreaks may occur in areas where populations of ruminants and potential vectors are present. In this study, we assumed the introduction of the virus into Italy and focused on the risk of vector-borne transmission of RVFV to three main European potential hosts (cattle, sheep and goats). Five main potential mosquito vectors belonging to the Culex and Aedes genera that are present in Italy were identified in a literature review. We first modelled the geographical distribution of these five species based on expert knowledge and using land cover as a proxy of mosquito presence. The mosquito distribution maps were compared with field mosquito collections from Italy to validate the model. Next, the risk of RVFV transmission was modelled using a multicriteria evaluation (MCE) approach, integrating expert knowledge and the results of a literature review on host sensitivity and vector competence, feeding behaviour and abundance. A sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the robustness of the results with respect to expert choices. The resulting maps include (i) five maps of the vector distribution, (ii) a map of suitable areas for vector-borne transmission of RVFV and (iii) a map of the risk of RVFV vector-borne transmission to sensitive hosts given a viral introduction. Good agreement was found between the modelled presence probability and the observed presence or absence of each vector species. The resulting RVF risk map highlighted strong spatial heterogeneity and could be used to target surveillance. In conclusion, the geographical information system (GIS)-based MCE served as a valuable framework and a flexible tool for mapping the

  16. A geographical information system-based multicriteria evaluation to map areas at risk for Rift Valley fever vector-borne transmission in Italy.

    PubMed

    Tran, A; Ippoliti, C; Balenghien, T; Conte, A; Gely, M; Calistri, P; Goffredo, M; Baldet, T; Chevalier, V

    2013-11-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a severe mosquito-borne disease that is caused by a Phlebovirus (Bunyaviridae) and affects domestic ruminants and humans. Recently, its distribution widened, threatening Europe. The probability of the introduction and large-scale spread of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) in Europe is low, but localized RVF outbreaks may occur in areas where populations of ruminants and potential vectors are present. In this study, we assumed the introduction of the virus into Italy and focused on the risk of vector-borne transmission of RVFV to three main European potential hosts (cattle, sheep and goats). Five main potential mosquito vectors belonging to the Culex and Aedes genera that are present in Italy were identified in a literature review. We first modelled the geographical distribution of these five species based on expert knowledge and using land cover as a proxy of mosquito presence. The mosquito distribution maps were compared with field mosquito collections from Italy to validate the model. Next, the risk of RVFV transmission was modelled using a multicriteria evaluation (MCE) approach, integrating expert knowledge and the results of a literature review on host sensitivity and vector competence, feeding behaviour and abundance. A sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the robustness of the results with respect to expert choices. The resulting maps include (i) five maps of the vector distribution, (ii) a map of suitable areas for vector-borne transmission of RVFV and (iii) a map of the risk of RVFV vector-borne transmission to sensitive hosts given a viral introduction. Good agreement was found between the modelled presence probability and the observed presence or absence of each vector species. The resulting RVF risk map highlighted strong spatial heterogeneity and could be used to target surveillance. In conclusion, the geographical information system (GIS)-based MCE served as a valuable framework and a flexible tool for mapping the

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  18. At the tip of a propagating rift - The offshore East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, Dieter; Jokat, Wilfried; Ladage, Stefan; Stollhofen, Harald; Klimke, Jennifer; Lutz, Ruediger; Mahanjane, Stefane; Ehrhardt, Axel; Schreckenberger, Bernd

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies have addressed various aspects of the East African Rift system (EARS) but surprisingly few the offshore continuation of the south-eastern branch of the rift into the Mozambique Channel. Here, we present new evidence for neotectonic deformation derived from modern seismic reflection data and supported by additional geophysical data. The Kerimbas Graben offshore northern Mozambique is the most prominent manifestation of sub-recent extensional deformation. The seismic reflection data reveals that recent normal faulting often utilizes preexisting, deeply buried half-graben structures which likely are related to the formation of the Somali Basin. The ~30 km wide and ~150 km long symmetric graben is in a stage where the linkage of scattered normal faults already did happen, resulting in increased displacement and accommodation of most of the extension across the basin. However, deep earthquakes below the rift indicate a strong and still preserved lithospheric mantle. Extension is becoming diffuse where an onshore suture, subdividing the northern from the southern metamorphic basement onshore Mozambique, is closest to the offshore rift. It appears likely that this suture is the origin for the variation in rifting style, indicating that mantle fabric resulting from a Cambrian collision has been preserved as mechanical anisotropy of the lithospheric mantle. Further south the rift focuses in an about 30 km wide half-graben. An important finding is that the entire offshore branch of the EARS lacks significant volcanism. Along the offshore EARS there are only negligible indications for recent volcanism in the reflection seismic data such as sills and dikes. Apparently the "Comoros mantle plume" (French and Romanowicz, 2015) has a very minor influence on the progressive extensional deformation along the northern Mozambique continental margin, leading eventually to breakup sometimes in the future. Combining structural with earthquake data reveals that the magma

  19. Venus - Volcanism and rift formation in Beta Regio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, D. B.; Head, J. W.; Harmon, J. K.; Hine, A. A.

    1984-10-01

    A new high-resolution radar image of Beta Regio, a Venus highland area, confirms the presence of a major tectonic rift system and associated volcanic activity. The lack of identifiable impact craters, together with the apparent superposition of the Theia Mons volcanic structure on the rift system, suggest that at least some of the volcanic activity occurred in relatively recent geologic time. The presence of topographically similar highland areas elsewhere on Venus (Aphrodite Terra, Dali Chasma, and Diana Chasma) suggests that rifting and volcanism are significant processes on Venus.

  20. Martian canyons and African rifts: Structural comparisons and implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H. V.

    1978-01-01

    The resistant parts of the canyon walls of the Martian rift complex Valled Marineris were used to infer an earlier, less eroded reconstruction of the major roughs. The individual canyons were then compared with individual rifts of East Africa. When measured in units of planetary radius, Martian canyons show a distribution of lengths nearly identical to those in Africa, both for individual rifts and for compound rift systems. A common mechanism which scales with planetary radius is suggested. Martian canyons are significantly wider than African rifts. The overall pattern of the rift systems of Africa and Mars are quite different in that the African systems are composed of numerous small faults with highly variable trend. On Mars the trends are less variable; individual scarps are straighter for longer than on earth. This is probably due to the difference in tectonic histories of the two planets: the complex history of the earth and the resulting complicated basement structures influence the development of new rifts. The basement and lithosphere of Mars are inferred to be simple, reflecting a relatively inactive tectonic history prior to the formation of the canyonlands.

  1. Martian canyons and African rifts - Structural comparisons and implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H.

    1979-01-01

    The resistant parts of the canyon walls of the Martian rift complex Valles Marineris have been used to infer an earlier, less eroded reconstruction of the major troughs. The individual canyons are compared with individual rifts of East Africa. When measured in units of planetary radius, Martian canyons show a distribution of lengths nearly identical to those in Africa, both for individual rifts and for compound rift systems. A common mechanism which scales with planetary radius is suggested. Martian canyons are significantly wider than African rifts. This is consistent with the longstanding idea that rift width is related to crustal thickness: most evidence favors a crust on Mars at least 50% thicker than that of Africa. The overall patterns of the rift systems of Africa and Mars are quite different in that the African systems are composed of numerous small faults with highly variable trend. On Mars the trends are less variable; individual scraps are straighter for longer than on earth. The basement and lithosphere of Mars are inferred to be simple, reflecting a relatively inactive tectonic history prior to the formation of the canyonlands.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1994-12-01

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

  3. The Midcontinent Rift and Grenville connection

    SciTech Connect

    Cambray, F.W.; Fujita, K. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1994-04-01

    The Mid-Proterozoic, Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) is delineated by an inverted U shaped gravity and magnetic anomaly. It terminates in southeast Michigan but a less continuous series of anomalies and sediments, the Eastcontinent Rift occur on a north-south line through Ohio and Kentucky. The geometry allows for a north-south opening, the Lake Superior section being orthogonal to opening, the western arm transtensional and the north-south trending eastern arm a transform boundary offset by pull-apart basins. The opening and closing of the rift overlaps in time with the Grenville Orogeny. Grenville age rocks can also be found in the Llano uplift of Texas. The authors propose a model to explain the temporal and geographic association of the opening and closing of the MRS with the Grenville Orogeny that involves irregular suturing between two continental masses. Initiation of Grenville suturing, associated with south dipping subduction, in the northeast and in the Llano area of Texas would leave portion of unclosed ocean in between. Tensional stresses in the continental crust adjacent to the oceanic remnant could lead to its fragmentation and the formation of the MRS. The remaining oceanic lithosphere would eventually subduct, limiting the opening of the MRS. Continued convergence of the plates would induce compressional stresses thus accounting for the deformation of the MRS. An analogy is made with more recent opening of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden Rift System in association with irregular collision along the Zagros-Bitlis Sutures.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  6. Recent rift-related volcanism in Afar, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  7. Examination of the Reelfoot Rift Petroleum System, south-central United States, and the elements that remain for potential exploration and development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coleman, James; Pratt, Thomas L.

    2016-01-01

    No production has been established in the Reel-foot rift. However, at least nine of 22 exploratory wells have reported petroleum shows, mainly gas shows with some asphalt or solid hydrocarbon residue. Regional seismic profiling shows the presence of two large inversion structures (Blytheville arch and Pascola arch). The Blytheville arch is marked by a core of structurally thickened Elvins Shale, whereas the Pascola arch reflects the structural uplift of a portion of the entire rift basin. Structural uplift and faulting within the Reelfoot rift since the late Paleozoic appear to have disrupted older conventional hydrocarbon traps and likely spilled any potential conventional petroleum accumulations. The remaining potential resources within the Reelfoot rift are likely shale gas accumulations within the Elvins Shale; however, reservoir continuity and porosity as well as pervasive faulting appear to be significant future challenges for explorers and drillers.

  8. Hydrothermal flow systems in the Midcontinent Rift: oxygen and hydrogen isotopic studies of the North Shore Volcanic Group and related hypabyssal sills, Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Young-Rok; Ripley, Edward M.

    1999-06-01

    Rift-related lavas of the North Shore Volcanic Group (NSVG) are intruded by plutonic rocks of the Duluth Complex along the unconformity between the NSVG and the underlying Proterozoic metasedimentary rocks (Animikie Group) and Archean volcano-sedimentary and plutonic rocks. Heat associated with the emplacement of the mafic intrusions generated fluid flow in the overlying plateau lavas. δ 18O values for whole rocks from the NSVG and hypabyssal sills range from 5.5 to 17.7‰ and 5.3 to 11.5‰, respectively, and most values are higher than those considered "normal" for basaltic rocks (5.4 to 6.0‰). In general, there is a positive correlation between whole rock δ 18O and water content, which suggests that elevated δ 18O values are related primarily to secondary mineral growth and isotopic exchange during hydrothermal alteration and metamorphism. δ 18O H 2O values computed from amygdule-filling minerals such as smectite, chlorite, and epidote found in low- to high-temperature metamorphic zones range from ˜-1 to 6‰ with an average value of ˜3‰. Smectite in the lower-grade zones gives computed δD H 2O values between -26 and -83‰, whereas epidote in the higher-grade zones gives δD H 2O values of -15 to 6‰. Fluid isotopic compositions computed from epidote and smectite values are suggestive of the involvement of at least two fluids during the early stages of amygdule filling. Fluid δD and δ 18O values determined from epidote at the higher metamorphic grades indicate that seawater dominated the deeper portions of the system where greenschist facies assemblages and elevated δ 18O values were produced in flow interiors, as well as margins. Smectite isotopic compositions suggest that meteoric water was predominant in the shallower portions of the system. The increase in δ 18O values of massive flow interiors with depth is interpreted as a result of rock interaction with a fluid of constant oxygen isotopic composition with increasing temperature. The

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  10. Evolution, distribution, and characteristics of rifting in southern Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippon, Melody; Corti, Giacomo; Sani, Federico; Bonini, Marco; Balestrieri, Maria-Laura; Molin, Paola; Willingshofer, Ernst; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2014-04-01

    Southern Ethiopia is a key region to understand the evolution of the East African rift system, since it is the area of interaction between the main Ethiopian rift (MER) and the Kenyan rift. However, geological data constraining rift evolution in this remote area are still relatively sparse. In this study the timing, distribution, and style of rifting in southern Ethiopia are constrained by new structural, geochronological, and geomorphological data. The border faults in the area are roughly parallel to preexisting basement fabrics and are progressively more oblique with respect to the regional Nubia-Somalia motion proceeding southward. Kinematic indicators along these faults are mainly dip slip, pointing to a progressive rotation of the computed direction of extension toward the south. Radiocarbon data indicate post 30 ka faulting at both western and eastern margins of the MER with limited axial deformation. Similarly, geomorphological data suggest recent fault activity along the western margins of the basins composing the Gofa Province and in the Chew Bahir basin. This supports that interaction between the MER and the Kenyan rift in southern Ethiopia occurs in a 200 km wide zone of ongoing deformation. Fault-related exhumation at ~10-12 Ma in the Gofa Province, as constrained by new apatite fission track data, occurred later than the ~20 Ma basement exhumation of the Chew Bahir basin, thus pointing to a northward propagation of the Kenyan rift-related extension in the area.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  12. Surface analogue outcrops of deep fractured basement reservoirs in extensional geological settings. Examples within active rift system (Uganda) and proximal passive margin (Morocco).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Bastien; Géraud, Yves; Diraison, Marc

    2014-05-01

    structures). Two field cases, located in Morocco and Uganda, allow us to investigate basement complexes at different stages of an extension process and give us analog geological data of similar fractured basement reservoirs. Border faults and associated fracture networks of an active rifting system propagated in Proterozoic basement rocks are analyzed in the Albertine rift system in Uganda. Brittle structures developed along a proximal passive margin of the Atlantic domain are analyzed in Proterozoic basements rocks in Western Anti-Atlas in Morocco.

  13. Exploiting the outcome of FUTUREVOLC: The 2014-2015 rifting event, effusive eruption and gradual caldera collapse at Bardarbunga volcanic system, Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigmundsson, Freysteinn; Vogfjord, Kristin S.; Gudmundson, Magnus T.; Ofeigsson, Benedikt G.; Dumont, Stéphanie; Parks, Michelle; Jonsdottir, Kristin; Hooper, Andrew; Hreinsdottir, Sigrun; Rafn Heimisson, Elias; White, Robert; Agustsdottir, Thorbjorg; Bean, Chris; Loughlin, Susan C.; Petur Heidarsson, Einar; Barsotti, Sara; Roberts, Matthew; Ripepe, Maurizio; Ilyinskaya, Evgenia; Consortium, Futurevolc

    2016-04-01

    Activity in the Bardarbunga volcanic system in Iceland 2014-2015 included major lava eruption (~1.5 km3) and gradual caldera collapse (~66 m), connected by a 50-km-long laterally injected dyke that formed mostly over 2-4 weeks after onset of activity on 16 August 2014. This rifting event is the main magmatic activity studied by the FUTUREVOLC project, a 3.5 year, 26-partner project funded by FP7 Environment Programme of the European Commission, addressing topic "Long-term monitoring experiment in geologically active regions of Europe prone to natural hazards: the Supersite concept. The project end is 31 March 2016 and it had aims to (i) establish an innovative volcano monitoring system and strategy, (ii) develop new methods for near real-time integration of multi-parametric datasets, (iii) apply a seamless transdisciplinary approach to further scientific understanding of magmatic processes, and (iv) to improve delivery, quality and timeliness of transdisciplinary information from monitoring scientists to civil protection. A review will be presented on how FUTUREVOLC has contributed to the response and study of the Bardarbunga activity and other events in Iceland during the project period.

  14. Age constraints for the present fault configuration in the Imperial Valley, California: Evidence for northwestward propagation of the Gulf of California rift system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larsen, Shawn; Reilinger, Robert

    1990-01-01

    Releveling and other geophysical data for the Imperial Valley of southern California suggest the northern section of the Imperial-Brawley fault system, which includes the Mesquite Basin and Brawley Seismic Zone, is much younger than the 4 to 5 million year age of the valley itself. A minimum age of 3000 years is calculated for the northern segment of the Imperial fault from correlations between surface topography and geodetically observed seismic/interseismic vertical movements. Calculations of a maximum age of 80,000 years is based upon displacements in the crystalline basement along the Imperial fault, inferred from seismic refraction surveys. This young age supports recent interpretations of heat flow measurements, which also suggest that the current patterns of seismicity and faults in the Imperial Valley are not long lived. The current fault geometry and basement morphology suggest northwestward growth of the Imperial fault and migration of the Brawley Seismic Zone. It is suggested that this migration is a manifestation of the propagation of the Gulf of California rift system into the North American continent.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paton, Douglas; Mortimer, Estelle; Hodgson, Neil

    2015-04-01

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

  16. The Eagle and East Eagle sulfide ore-bearing mafic-ultramafic intrusions in the Midcontinent Rift System, upper Michigan: Geochronology and petrologic evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Xin; Li, Chusi; Ripley, Edward M.; Rossell, Dean; Kamo, Sandra

    2010-03-01

    The Eagle and East Eagle intrusions are small, subvertical dike-like mafic-ultramafic bodies that cut Proterozoic sedimentary strata in the Baraga Basin in northern Michigan. The Eagle intrusion hosts a newly discovered magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposit. The nearby East Eagle intrusion also contains sulfide mineralization, but the extent of this mineralization has yet to be determined by further drilling. Both intrusions contain olivine-bearing rocks such as feldspathic peridotite, melatroctolite, and olivine melagabbro. Sulfide accumulations range from disseminated at both Eagle and East Eagle to semimassive and massive at Eagle. U-Pb baddeleyite dating gives a crystallization age of 1107.2 ± 5.7 Ma for the Eagle intrusion, coeval with eruption of picritic basalts at the base of the volcanic succession in the Midcontinent Rift System (MRS). The Fo contents of olivine cores in the Eagle and East Eagle intrusions vary between 75 and 85 mol %, higher than those of olivine in larger layered intrusions in the MRS such as the Duluth Complex. The FeO/MgO ratios and Al2O3 contents of the parental magmas for the Eagle and East Eagle intrusions inferred from olivine and spinel compositions are similar to those of picritic basalts in the base of the MRS volcanic succession. These petrochemical data suggest that the Eagle and East Eagle intrusions are the intrusive equivalents of high-MgO basalts that erupted in the early stages of continental magmatism associated with the development of the rift. Variations in mineral compositions and incompatible trace element ratios suggest that at least three major pulses of magmas were involved in the formation of low-sulfide rocks in the Eagle intrusion. Lower Fo contents of olivine associated with semimassive sulfides as compared to that of olivine in low-sulfide rocks suggest that the magma associated with the semimassive sulfide was more fractionated than the parental magmas of the low-sulfide rocks in the Eagle intrusion. Accumulation of

  17. Stable isotope-based Plio-Pleistocene ecosystem reconstruction of some of the earliest hominid fossil sites in the East African Rift System (Chiwondo Beds, N Malawi)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüdecke, Tina; Thiemeyer, Heinrich; Schrenk, Friedemann; Mulch, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    The isotope geochemistry of pedogenic carbonate and fossil herbivore enamel is a powerful tool to reconstruct paleoenvironmental conditions in particular when climate change plays a key role in the evolution of ecosystems. Here, we present the first Plio-Pleistocene long-term carbon (δ13C), oxygen (δ18O) and clumped isotope (Δ47) records from pedogenic carbonate and herbivore teeth in the Malawi Rift. These data represent an important southern hemisphere record in the East African Rift System (EARS), a key region for reconstructing vegetation patterns in today's Zambezian Savanna and correlation with data on the evolution and migration of early hominids across the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. As our study site is situated between the well-known hominid-bearing sites of eastern and southern Africa in the Somali-Masai Endemic Zone and Highveld Grassland it fills an important geographical gap for early hominid research. 5.0 to 0.6 Ma fluviatile and lacustrine deposits of the Chiwondo Beds (NE shore of Lake Malawi) comprise abundant pedogenic carbonate and remains of a diverse fauna dominated by large terrestrial mammals. These sediments are also home to two hominid fossil remains, a mandible of Homo rudolfensis and a maxillary fragment of Paranthropus boisei, both dated around 2.4 Ma. The Chiwondo Beds therefore document early co-existence of these two species. We evaluate δ13C data from fossil enamel of different suid, bovid, and equid species and contrast these with δ13C and δ18O values of pedogenic carbonate. We complement the latter with clumped isotope soil temperature data. Results of almost 800 pedogenic carbonate samples from over 20 sections consistently average δ13C = -8.5 ‰ over the past 5 Ma with no significant short-term δ13C excursions or long-term trends. The data from molar tooth enamel of nine individual suids of the genera Metridiochoerus, Notochoerus and Nyanzachoerus support these findings with average δ13C = -10.0 ‰. The absence

  18. Deformation and seismicity associated with continental rift zones propagating toward continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyakhovsky, V.; Segev, A.; Schattner, U.; Weinberger, R.

    2012-01-01

    We study the propagation of a continental rift and its interaction with a continental margin utilizing a 3-D lithospheric model with a seismogenic crust governed by a damage rheology. A long-standing problem in rift-mechanics, known as thetectonic force paradox, is that the magnitude of the tectonic forces required for rifting are not large enough in the absence of basaltic magmatism. Our modeling results demonstrate that under moderate rift-driving tectonic forces the rift propagation is feasible even in the absence of magmatism. This is due to gradual weakening and "long-term memory" of fractured rocks that lead to a significantly lower yielding stress than that of the surrounding intact rocks. We show that the style, rate and the associated seismicity pattern of the rift zone formation in the continental lithosphere depend not only on the applied tectonic forces, but also on the rate of healing. Accounting for the memory effect provides a feasible solution for thetectonic force paradox. Our modeling results also demonstrate how the lithosphere structure affects the geometry of the propagating rift system toward a continental margin. Thinning of the crystalline crust leads to a decrease in the propagation rate and possibly to rift termination across the margin. In such a case, a new fault system is created perpendicular to the direction of the rift propagation. These results reveal that the local lithosphere structure is one of the key factors controlling the geometry of the evolving rift system and seismicity pattern.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Low lower crustal velocity across Ethiopia: Is the Main Ethiopian Rift a narrow rift in a hot craton?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keranen, K.M.; Klemperer, S.L.; Julia, J.; Lawrence, J. F.; Nyblade, A.A.

    2009-01-01

    [1] The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) is a classic narrow rift that developed in hot, weak lithosphere, not in the initially cold, thick, and strong lithosphere that would be predicted by common models of rift mode formation. Our new 1-D seismic velocity profiles from Rayleigh wave/receiver function joint inversion across the MER and the Ethiopian Plateau indicate that hot lower crust and upper mantle are present throughout the broad region affected by Oligocene flood basalt volcanism, including both the present rift and the adjacent Ethiopian Plateau hundreds of kilometers from the rift valley. The region of hot lithosphere closely corresponds to the region of flood basalt volcanism, and we interpret that the volcanism and thermal perturbation were jointly caused by impingement of the Afar plume head. Across the affected region, Vs is 3.6-3.8 km/s in the lowermost crust and ???4.3 km/s in the uppermost mantle, both ??0.3 km/s lower than in the eastern and western branches of the East African Rift System to the south. We interpret the low Vs in the lower crust and upper mantle as indicative of hot lithosphere with partial melt. Our results lead to a hybrid rift mode, in which the brittle upper crust has developed as a narrow rift along the Neoproterozoic suture between East and West Gondwana, while at depth lithospheric deformation is distributed over the broad region (??400 km wide) thermally perturbed by the broad thermal upwelling associated with the Afar plume head. Development of both the East African Rift System to the south (in cold, strong lithosphere) and the MER to the north (in hot, weak lithosphere) as narrow rifts, despite their vastly different initial thermal states and depth-integrated lithospheric strength, indicates that common models of rift mode formation that focus only on temperature, thickness, and vertical strength profiles do not apply to these classic continental rifts. Instead, inherited structure and associated lithospheric weaknesses are

  1. Kīlauea's Upper East Rift Zone: A Rift Zone in Name Only

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson, D. A.; Fiske, R. S.

    2014-12-01

    Kīlauea's upper east rift zone (UERZ) extends ~3 km southeastward from the summit caldera to the Koáe fault system, where it starts to bend into the main part of the ENE-trending rift zone. The UERZ lacks a distinct positive gravity anomaly (though coverage is poor) and any evidence of deformation associated with magma intrusion. All ground ruptures—and the Puhimau thermal area—trend ENE, crossing the UERZ at a high angle. Lua Manu, Puhimau, and Kóokóolau craters are the only surface evidence of the UERZ. Yet the UERZ is seismically active, and all magma entering the rest of the rift zone must pass through it. Rather than a rift zone in the traditional sense, with abundant dikes and ground ruptures along its trend, the UERZ cuts across the ENE structural grain and serves only as a connector to the rest of the rift zone, not a locus of dike formation along its length. The UERZ probably developed as a consequence of gradual SSE migration of the active part of the main east rift zone at the trailing edge of the south flank. During migration, a connection to the summit reservoir complex must be maintained; otherwise, the middle and lower east rift zone would starve and magma from Kīlauea's summit reservoir complex would have to go elsewhere. Over time, the UERZ lengthened and rotated clockwise to maintain the connection. Near the caldera, the UERZ may be widening westward as the summit reservoir complex migrates southward from the center of the caldera to its present position. A layered stress regime results in the upper 2-3 km mimicking the pervasive ENE structural grain of most of Kīlauea, whereas the underlying magmatic part of the UERZ responds to stresses related to SE magma transport. Magma intruding upward from the connector forms a dike that follows the ENE structural grain, as during the 1974 eruption. The active east rift zone has been migrating since ~100 ka, estimated by applying a 700-y extension rate across the Koa'e fault system to the ~6.5 km

  2. TDRS satellite over African Rift Valley, Kenya, Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    This post deploy view of a TDRS satellite shows a segment of the African Rift Valley near Lake Baringo, Kenya, Africa (3.0S, 36.0E). The African Rift Valley system is a geologic fault having its origins in southern Turkey, through the near east forming the bed of the Jordan River, Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea and down through east Africa. The line of lakes and valleys of east Africa are the result of the faulting activity.

  3. Geochemistry of 24 Ma Basalts from Northeast Egypt: Implications for Small-Scale Convection Beneath the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endress, C. A.; Furman, T.; Ali Abu El-Rus, M.

    2009-12-01

    Basalts ~24 Ma in the Cairo-Suez and Fayyum districts of NE Egypt represent the youngest and northernmost lavas potentially associated with the initiation of rifting of the Red Sea. The age of these basalts corresponds to a time period of significant regional magmatism that occurred subsequent to emplacement of 30 Ma flood basalts attributed to the Afar Plume in Ethiopia and Yemen. Beginning ~28 Ma, widespread magmatism occurred across supra-equatorial Africa in Hoggar (Algeria), Tibesti (Chad), Darfur (Sudan), Turkana (Kenya) and Samalat, Bahariya, Quesir and the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) (e.g. Allegre et al., 1981; Meneisy, 1990; Baldridge et al., 1991; Wilson and Guiraud, 1992; Furman et al., 2006; Lucassen et al., 2008). Available geochemical and isotopic data indicate that Hoggar and Darfur basalts are similar to Turkana lavas, although no direct link between the N African lavas and the Kenya Plume has been made. New geochemical data on the NE Egyptian basalts provide insight into the thermochemical, isotopic, and mineralogical characteristics of the mantle beneath the region in which they were emplaced. The basalts are subalkaline with OIB-like incompatible trace element abundances and homogeneous major element, trace element and isotopic geochemistry. They display relatively flat ITE patterns, with notable positive Pb and negative P anomalies. Isotopic (143Nd/144Nd = 0.51274-0.51285, 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7049-0.7050) and trace element signatures (Ce/Pb = 16-22, Ba/Nb = 9-14, and La/Nb = 0.9-1.0) are consistent with melting of a sub-lithospheric source that has been slightly contaminated by continental crust during ascent and emplacement. The Pb isotopic ratios (206Pb/204Pb = 18.53-18.62, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.59-15.64, and 208Pb/204Pb = 38.80-39.00) in the Egyptian basalts are close to the range of those found in the 30 Ma Ethiopian flood basalts, which are distinct from the more highly radiogenic, high-μ type signature seen in basalts from Turkana, Darfur, and Hoggar

  4. Crustal structure of central Lake Baikal: Insights into intracontinental rifting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.S.; Taylor, M.H.

    2002-01-01

    The Cenozoic rift system of Baikal, located in the interior of the largest continental mass on Earth, is thought to represent a potential analog of the early stage of breakup of supercontinents. We present a detailed P wave velocity structure of the crust and sediments beneath the Central Basin, the deepest basin in the Baikal rift system. The structure is characterized by a Moho depth of 39-42.5 km; an 8-km-thick, laterally continuous high-velocity (7.05-7.4 km/s) lower crust, normal upper mantle velocity (8 km/s), a sedimentary section reaching maximum depths of 9 km, and a gradual increase of sediment velocity with depth. We interpret the high-velocity lower crust to be part of the Siberian Platform that was not thinned or altered significantly during rifting. In comparison to published results from the Siberian Platform, Moho under the basin is elevated by <3 km. On the basis of these results we propose that the basin was formed by upper crustal extension, possibly reactivating structures in an ancient fold-and-thrust belt. The extent and location of upper mantle extension are not revealed by our data, and it may be offset from the rift. We believe that the Baikal rift structure is similar in many respects to the Mesozoic Atlantic rift system, the precursor to the formation of the North Atlantic Ocean. We also propose that the Central Baikal rift evolved by episodic fault propagation and basin enlargement, rather than by two-stage rift evolution as is commonly assumed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. A model for Iapetan rifting of Laurentia based on Neoproterozoic dikes and related rocks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burton, William C.; Southworth, Scott

    2010-01-01

    Geologic evidence of the Neoproterozoic rifting of Laurentia during breakup of Rodinia is recorded in basement massifs of the cratonic margin by dike swarms, volcanic and plutonic rocks, and rift-related clastic sedimentary sequences. The spatial and temporal distribution of these geologic features varies both within and between the massifs but preserves evidence concerning the timing and nature of rifting. The most salient features include: (1) a rift-related magmatic event recorded in the French Broad massif and the southern and central Shenandoah massif that is distinctly older than that recorded in the northern Shenandoah massif and northward; (2) felsic volcanic centers at the north ends of both French Broad and Shenandoah massifs accompanied by dike swarms; (3) differences in volume between massifs of cover-sequence volcanic rocks and rift-related clastic rocks; and (4) WNW orientation of the Grenville dike swarm in contrast to the predominately NE orientation of other Neoproterozoic dikes. Previously proposed rifting mechanisms to explain these features include rift-transform and plume–triple-junction systems. The rift-transform system best explains features 1, 2, and 3, listed here, and we propose that it represents the dominant rifting mechanism for most of the Laurentian margin. To explain feature 4, as well as magmatic ages and geochemical trends in the Northern Appalachians, we propose that a plume–triple-junction system evolved into the rift-transform system. A ca. 600 Ma mantle plume centered east of the Sutton Mountains generated the radial dike swarm of the Adirondack massif and the Grenville dike swarm, and a collocated triple junction generated the northern part of the rift-transform system. An eastern branch of this system produced the Long Range dike swarm in Newfoundland, and a subsequent western branch produced the ca. 554 Ma Tibbit Hill volcanics and the ca. 550 Ma rift-related magmatism of Newfoundland.

  7. Os, Nd, O and S isotope constraints on country rock contamination in the conduit-related Eagle Cu-Ni-(PGE) deposit, Midcontinent Rift System, Upper Michigan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Xin; Ripley, Edward M.; Shirey, Steven B.; Li, Chusi

    2012-07-01

    The Eagle Cu-Ni-(PGE) deposit is hosted by mafic to ultramafic intrusive rocks associated with the Marquette-Baraga dike swarm in northern Michigan. Sulfide mineralization formed in a conduit system during early stages in the development of the ∼1.1 Ga Midcontinent Rift System. The conduit environment represents a prime location for melt-rock interaction. In order to better assess the extent of country rock contamination in the Eagle system, a combined trace element, Nd, Os, O and S isotope study of country rocks, sulfide-bearing igneous rocks and massive sulfide was undertaken. Both the Eagle and the weakly mineralized East Eagle intrusion show trace element patterns that are similar to those of picritic basalts that formed during early stages of rift development. The trace element, Os, Nd, and O isotopic values of the igneous rocks are consistent with <5% of bulk contamination by Paleoproterozoic and Archean country rocks. Both the Re-Os and Sm-Nd system provide isochrons that are in agreement with the 1107 Ma U-Pb baddeleyite age of the intrusive rocks. Calculated γOs(1100) and εNd(1100) values for the magmas are +34 and -2. δ18O values of pyroxene in feldspathic pyroxenite range from 6.5‰ to 6.6‰ and provide the only indication that bulk contamination may locally have exceeded 20%. Sulfur isotopic values of disseminated and massive sulfide in the Eagle intrusion range from 0.3‰ to 4.6‰. The δ34S values are much lower than those that characterize most of the country rocks, but could still be indicative of a contribution of S from country rocks of up to ∼50%. Δ33S values of the disseminated and massive sulfides range from -0.10‰ to 0.09‰ indicating a source in Paleoproterozoic country rocks. Semi-massive sulfide in the Eagle deposit has δ34S values between 2.2‰ and 5.3‰, and Δ33S values show a broad range between -0.86‰ and 0.86‰ indicating a major contribution from an Archean source. Isotopic data from the Eagle deposit strongly

  8. Fault evolution in the Potiguar rift termination, Equatorial margin of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Castro, D. L.; Bezerra, F. H. R.

    2014-10-01

    The transform shearing between South American and African plates in the Cretaceous generated a series of sedimentary basins on both plate margins. In this study, we use gravity, aeromagnetic, and resistivity surveys to identify fault architecture and to analyse the evolution of the eastern Equatorial margin of Brazil. Our study area is the southern onshore termination of the Potiguar rift, which is an aborted NE-trending rift arm developed during the breakup of Pangea. The Potiguar rift is a Neocomian structure located in the intersection of the Equatorial and western South Atlantic and is composed of a series of NE-trending horsts and grabens. This study reveals new grabens in the Potiguar rift and indicates that stretching in the southern rift termination created a WNW-trending, 10 km wide and ~40 km long right-lateral strike-slip fault zone. This zone encompasses at least eight depocenters, which are bounded by a left-stepping, en-echelon system of NW- to EW-striking normal faults. These depocenters form grabens up to 1200 m deep with a rhomb-shaped geometry, which are filled with rift sedimentary units and capped by post-rift sedimentary sequences. The evolution of the rift termination is consistent with the right-lateral shearing of the Equatorial margin in the Cretaceous and occurs not only at the rift termination, but also as isolated structures away from the main rift.

  9. Contribution of the FUTUREVOLC project to the study of segmented lateral dyke growth in the 2014 rifting event at Bárðarbunga volcanic system, Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigmundsson, Freysteinn; Hooper, Andrew; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrún; Vogfjörd, Kristín S.; Ófeigsson, Benedikt; Rafn Heimisson, Elías; Dumont, Stéphanie; Parks, Michelle; Spaans, Karsten; Guðmundsson, Gunnar B.; Drouin, Vincent; Árnadóttir, Thóra; Jónsdóttir, Kristín; Gudmundsson, Magnús T.; Samsonov, Sergey; Brandsdóttir, Bryndís; White, Robert S.; Ágústsdóttir, Thorbjörg; Björnsson, Helgi; Bean, Christopher J.

    2015-04-01

    The FUTUREVOLC project (a 26-partner project funded by FP7 Environment Programme of the European Commission, addressing topic "Long-term monitoring experiment in geologically active regions of Europe prone to natural hazards: the Supersite concept) set aims to (i) establish an innovative volcano monitoring system and strategy, (ii) develop new methods for near real-time integration of multi-parametric datasets, (iii) apply a seamless transdisciplinary approach to further scientific understanding of magmatic processes, and (iv) to improve delivery, quality and timeliness of transdisciplinary information from monitoring scientists to civil protection. The project duration is 1 October 2012 - 31 March 2016. Unrest and volcanic activity since August 2014 at one of the focus areas of the project in Iceland, at the Bárðarbunga volcanic system, near the middle of the project duration, has offered unique opportunities for this project. On 16 August 2014 an intense seismic swarm started in Bárðarbunga, the beginning of a major volcano-tectonic rifting event forming over 45 km long dyke extending from the caldera to Holuhraun lava field outside the northern margin of Vatnajökull. A large basaltic, effusive fissure eruption began in Holuhraun on 31 August which had by January formed a lava field with a volume in excess of one cubic kilometre. We document how the FUTUREVOLC project has contributed to the study and response to the subsurface dyke formation, through increased seismic and geodetic coverage and joint interpreation of the data. The dyke intrusion in the Bárðarbunga volcanic system, grew laterally for over 45 km at a variable rate, with an influence of topography on the direction of propagation. Barriers at the ends of each segment were overcome by the build-up of pressure in the dyke end; then a new segment formed and dyke lengthening temporarily peaked. The dyke evolution, which occurred over 14 days, was revealed by propagating seismicity, ground

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. P Wave Velocity Structure Beneath the Baikal Rift Axis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  12. Sedimentary deposits in response to rift geometry in Malawi, Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, M.G. )

    1991-03-01

    Sedimentary deposits of the Malawi continental rift basin are a direct result of topography and tectonics unique to rift structure. Recent models describe rifts as asymmetric half-graben connected in series by transfer of accommodation zones. Half-graben consist of roughly parallel, tilted fault blocks stepping up from the bounding fault zone where maximum subsidence occurs. The rift becomes a local baselevel and depocenter as regional drainage is shed away by the rift shoulders. Most of the sediments are derived locally due to internal drainage of connected basins, individual basins, and individual fault blocks. The patterns of sedimentation and facies associations depend on structural position at both fault block and half-graben scales. Drainage is directed and dammed by tilted fault blocks. Forward-tilted fault blocks form basinward-thickening sediment wedges filled with facies of axial fluvial systems, alluvial fault-scarp fans, and ponded swamp and lake deposits. These deposits are asymmetrically shifted toward the controlling fault and onlap the upthrown side of the block, ordinarily the site of erosion or nondeposition. Rivers entering the lake on back tilted fault blocks form large deltas resulting in basinward fining and thinning sediment wedges. Lacustrine, nearshore, shoreline, and lake shore plain deposits over multiple fault blocks record lake levels, water chemistry, and tectonic episodes. Tectonic movement periodically changes the basin depth, configuration, and baselevel. This movement results in widespread unconformities deposition and reworking of sediments within the rift.

  13. An automated GIS/remotely sensed early warning system to detect elevated populations of vectors of Rift Valley fever, a mosquito-borne emerging virus threat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mosquito transmitted infectious diseases, like eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), Rift Valley fever (RVF), and West Nile virus (WNV), pose an international threat to animal and human health. An introduction of RVF into the U.S. would severely impact wild ungulate populations and the beef and dairy ...

  14. Arabidopsis thaliana plants expressing Rift Valley fever virus antigens: Mice exhibit systemic immune responses as the result of oral administration of the transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Kalbina, Irina; Lagerqvist, Nina; Moiane, Bélisario; Ahlm, Clas; Andersson, Sören; Strid, Åke; Falk, Kerstin I

    2016-11-01

    The zoonotic Rift Valley fever virus affects livestock and humans in Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula. The economic impact of this pathogen due to livestock losses, as well as its relevance to public health, underscores the importance of developing effective and easily distributed vaccines. Vaccines that can be delivered orally are of particular interest. Here, we report the expression in transformed plants (Arabidopsis thaliana) of Rift Valley fever virus antigens. The antigens used in this study were the N protein and a deletion mutant of the Gn glycoprotein. Transformed lines were analysed for specific mRNA and protein content by RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Furthermore, the plant-expressed antigens were evaluated for their immunogenicity in mice fed the transgenic plants. After oral intake of fresh transgenic plant material, a proportion of the mice elicited specific IgG antibody responses, as compared to the control animals that were fed wild-type plants and of which none sero-converted. Thus, we show that transgenic plants can be readily used to express and produce Rift Valley Fever virus proteins, and that the plants are immunogenic when given orally to mice. These are promising findings and provide a basis for further studies on edible plant vaccines against the Rift Valley fever virus.

  15. Common host-derived chemicals increase catches of disease-transmitting mosquitoes and can improve early warning systems for rift valley fever virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF), a mosquito-borne zoonosis, is a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. The emergence and re-emergence of the disease in the last 20 years especially in East Africa, poses a looming health threat which is likely to spread to beyond Africa. This threat is exacerbat...

  16. Chalcophile element (Ni, Cu, PGE, and Au) variations in the Tamarack magmatic sulfide deposit in the Midcontinent Rift System: implications for dynamic ore-forming processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taranovic, Valentina; Ripley, Edward M.; Li, Chusi; Rossell, Dean

    2016-03-01

    The Tamarack magmatic sulfide deposit is hosted by the Tamarack Intrusive Complex (1105.6 ± 1.2 Ma) in the Midcontinent Rift System. The most important sulfide mineralization in the Complex occurs in the northern part, which consists of two separate intrusive units: an early funnel-shaped layered peridotite body containing relatively fine-grained olivine (referred to as the FGO Intrusion) at the top, and a late gabbro-troctolite-peridotite dike-like body containing relatively coarse-grained olivine (referred to as the CGO Intrusion) at the bottom. Disseminated, net-textured, and massive sulfides occur in the base of the FGO Intrusion as well as in the upper part of the CGO Intrusion. The widest part of the CGO Intrusion also hosts a large semi-massive (net-textured) sulfide ore body locally surrounded by disseminated sulfide mineralization. Small massive sulfide veins occur in the footwall of the FGO Intrusion and in the wall rocks of the CGO dike. The sulfide mineralization is predominantly composed of pyrrhotite, pentlandite, and chalcopyrite, plus minor magnetite. Pyrrhotite containing the highest Ni and Co contents occurs in the FGO disseminated sulfides and in the CGO semi-massive sulfide ores, respectively. The most important platinum-group minerals associated with the base metal sulfides are sperrylite (PtAs2), sudburyite (PdSb), and michenerite (PdBiTe). Nickel shows a strong positive correlation with S in all types of sulfide mineralization, and Cu shows a strong positive correlation with S in the disseminated sulfide mineralization. At a given S content, the concentrations of Pt, Pd, and Au in the CGO disseminated sulfides are significantly higher than those in the FGO disseminated sulfides. The semi-massive sulfide ores are characterized by significantly higher IPGE (Ir, Os, Ru, and Rh) concentrations than most of the massive sulfide ores. With few exceptions, all of the various textural types of sulfide mineralization collectively show a good positive

  17. Chalcophile element (Ni, Cu, PGE, and Au) variations in the Tamarack magmatic sulfide deposit in the Midcontinent Rift System: implications for dynamic ore-forming processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taranovic, Valentina; Ripley, Edward M.; Li, Chusi; Rossell, Dean

    2016-10-01

    The Tamarack magmatic sulfide deposit is hosted by the Tamarack Intrusive Complex (1105.6 ± 1.2 Ma) in the Midcontinent Rift System. The most important sulfide mineralization in the Complex occurs in the northern part, which consists of two separate intrusive units: an early funnel-shaped layered peridotite body containing relatively fine-grained olivine (referred to as the FGO Intrusion) at the top, and a late gabbro-troctolite-peridotite dike-like body containing relatively coarse-grained olivine (referred to as the CGO Intrusion) at the bottom. Disseminated, net-textured, and massive sulfides occur in the base of the FGO Intrusion as well as in the upper part of the CGO Intrusion. The widest part of the CGO Intrusion also hosts a large semi-massive (net-textured) sulfide ore body locally surrounded by disseminated sulfide mineralization. Small massive sulfide veins occur in the footwall of the FGO Intrusion and in the wall rocks of the CGO dike. The sulfide mineralization is predominantly composed of pyrrhotite, pentlandite, and chalcopyrite, plus minor magnetite. Pyrrhotite containing the highest Ni and Co contents occurs in the FGO disseminated sulfides and in the CGO semi-massive sulfide ores, respectively. The most important platinum-group minerals associated with the base metal sulfides are sperrylite (PtAs2), sudburyite (PdSb), and michenerite (PdBiTe). Nickel shows a strong positive correlation with S in all types of sulfide mineralization, and Cu shows a strong positive correlation with S in the disseminated sulfide mineralization. At a given S content, the concentrations of Pt, Pd, and Au in the CGO disseminated sulfides are significantly higher than those in the FGO disseminated sulfides. The semi-massive sulfide ores are characterized by significantly higher IPGE (Ir, Os, Ru, and Rh) concentrations than most of the massive sulfide ores. With few exceptions, all of the various textural types of sulfide mineralization collectively show a good positive

  18. Mid-lithospheric Discontinuity Beneath the Malawi Rift, Deduced from Gravity Studies and its Relation to the Rifting Process.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Njinju, E. A.; Atekwana, E. A.; Mickus, K. L.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Atekwana, E. A.; Laó-Dávila, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The World Gravity Map satellite gravity data were used to investigate the lithospheric structure beneath the Cenozoic-age Malawi Rift which forms the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. An analysis of the data using two-dimensional (2D) power spectrum methods indicates the two distinctive discontinuities at depths of 31‒44 km and 64‒124 km as defined by the two steepest slopes of the power spectrum curves. The shallower discontinuity corresponds to the crust-mantle boundary (Moho) and compares well with Moho depth determined from passive seismic studies. To understand the source of the deeper discontinuity, we applied the 2D power spectrum analysis to other rift segments of the Western Branch as well as regions with stable continental lithospheres where the lithospheric structure is well constrained through passive seismic studies. We found that the deeper discontinuity corresponds to a mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD), which is known to exist globally at depths between 60‒150 km and as determined by passive seismic studies. Our results show that beneath the Malawi Rift, there is no pattern of N-S elongated crustal thinning following the surface expression of the Malawi Rift. With the exception of a north-central region of crustal thinning (< 35 km), most of the southern part of the rift is underlain by thick crust (~40‒44 km). Different from the Moho, the MLD is shallower beneath the axis of the Malawi Rift forming a N-S trending zone with depths of 64‒80 km, showing a broad and gentle topography. We interpret the MLD as representing a sharp density contrast resulting from metasomatized lithosphere due to lateral migration along mobile belts of hot mantle melt or fluids from a distant plume and not from an ascending asthenosphere. These fluids weaken the lithosphere enhancing rift nucleation. The availability of satellite gravity worldwide makes gravity a promising technique for determining the MLD globally.

  19. Cathodoluminescence guided zircon Hf isotope depth profiling: Mobilization of the Lu-Hf system during (U)HP rock exhumation in the Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zirakparvar, N. A.

    2015-04-01

    Cathodoluminescence image guided Hf isotope depth profiling by laser ablation of zircons from two quartzofeldspathic host gneisses constrains the Lu-Hf system's behavior during rapid exhumation of (U)HP rocks in the Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea. Investigation of the depth profiling technique in individual and composite zircon standards demonstrates that it is possible to resolve ~ 8 μm thick domains in which εHf(present) differs by as little as 4 units. In a metasedimentary gneiss, 2.89 ± 0.29 Ma zircon overgrowths on Cretaceous aged inherited cores have radiogenic εHf(present) indicating growth in a medium that was originally in equilibrium with garnet undergoing recrystallization (the 'garnet effect' of Zheng et al., 2005). In a separate gneiss sample that originated as an exhumation related anatectic melt, 3.66 ± 0.13 Ma zircons lacking inheritance contain sub-domains that differ from each other by > 15 εHf(present). Some of these sub-domains are radiogenic and can be explained by the 'garnet effect', whereas others also contain highly elevated Lu and Yb in addition to their radiogenic Hf compositions, thus necessitating a medium derived from the complete breakdown of garnet. Zircons in this sample also contain non-radiogenic sub-domains that grew in the presence of Hf mobilized from the surrounding rocks of the subducted and metamorphosed remnants of the Australian continental margin. The results confirm that rapid exhumation of (U)HP rocks can result in the following: 1) transmission of radiogenic Hf (and sometimes Lu and the other HREE) from garnet bearing mafic lithologies into the quartzofeldspathic gneisses, and 2) mobilization and transport of unradiogenic Hf present within the quartzofeldspathic remnants of subducted continental crust.

  20. 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.

  1. Multiple mantle upwellings in the transition zone beneath the northern East-African Rift system from relative P-wave travel-time tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Civiero, Chiara; Hammond, James O. S.; Goes, Saskia; Fishwick, Stewart; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Ayele, Atalay; Doubre, Cecile; Goitom, Berhe; Keir, Derek; Kendall, J.-Michael; Leroy, Sylvie; Ogubazghi, Ghebrebrhan; Rümpker, Georg; Stuart, Graham W.

    2015-09-01

    Mantle plumes and consequent plate extension have been invoked as the likely cause of East African Rift volcanism. However, the nature of mantle upwelling is debated, with proposed configurations ranging from a single broad plume connected to the large low-shear-velocity province beneath Southern Africa, the so-called African Superplume, to multiple lower-mantle sources along the rift. We present a new P-wave travel-time tomography model below the northern East-African, Red Sea, and Gulf of Aden rifts and surrounding areas. Data are from stations that span an area from Madagascar to Saudi Arabia. The aperture of the integrated data set allows us to image structures of ˜100 km length-scale down to depths of 700-800 km beneath the study region. Our images provide evidence of two clusters of low-velocity structures consisting of features with diameter of 100-200 km that extend through the transition zone, the first beneath Afar and a second just west of the Main Ethiopian Rift, a region with off-rift volcanism. Considering seismic sensitivity to temperature, we interpret these features as upwellings with excess temperatures of 100 ± 50 K. The scale of the upwellings is smaller than expected for lower mantle plume sources. This, together with the change in pattern of the low-velocity anomalies across the base of the transition zone, suggests that ponding or flow of deep-plume material below the transition zone may be spawning these upper mantle upwellings. This article was corrected on 28 SEP 2015. See the end of the full text for details.

  2. The KRISP 90 seismic experiment-a technical review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Achauer, U.; Keller, Gordon R.; Khan, M.A.; Mooney, W.D.; Gaciri, S.J.; Obel, J.D.

    1994-01-01

    On the basis of a preliminary experiment in 1985 (KRISP 85), a seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection survey and a teleseismic tomography experiment were jointly undertaken to study the lithospheric structure of the Kenya rift down to depths of greater than 200 km. This report serves as an introduction to a series of subsequent papers and will focus on the technical description of the seismic surveys of the main KRISP 90 effort. The seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection survey was carried out in a 4-week period in January and February 1990. It consisted of three profiles: one extending along the rift valley from Lake Turkana to Lake Magadi, one crossing the rift at Lake Baringo, and one located on the eastern flank of the rift proper. A total of 206 mobile vertical-component seismographs, with an average station interval of about 2 km, recorded the energy of underwater and borehole explosions to distances of up to about 550 km. During the teleseismic survey an array of 65 seismographs was deployed to record teleseismic, regional and local events for a period of about 7 months from October 1989 to April 1990. The elliptical array spanned the central portion of the rift, with Nakuru at its center, and covered an area about 300 ?? 200 km, with an average station spacing of 10-30 km. Major scientific goals of the project were to reveal the detailed crustal and upper-mantle structure under the Kenya rift, to study the relationship between deep crustal and mantle structure and the development of sedimentary basins and volcanic features within the rift, to understand the role of the Kenya rift within the Afro-Arabian rift system, and to answer fundamental questions such as the mode and mechanism of continental rifting. ?? 1994.

  3. Complex seismicity patterns in the Rwenzori region: insights to rifting processes at the Albertine Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindenfeld, M.; Rümpker, G.; Wölbern, I.; Batte, A. G.; Schumann, A.

    2012-04-01

    Numerous seismological studies in East Africa have focused on the northern and eastern branches of the East African Rift System (EARS). However, the seismic activity along the western branch is much more pronounced. Here, the Rwenzori Mountains are located within the Albertine rift valley, at the border between Uganda and D.R. Congo. During a seismic monitoring campaign between February 2006 and September 2007 we have recorded more than 800 earthquakes per month in the Rwenzori area. The earthquake distribution is highly heterogeneous. The majority of located events lie within faults zones to the East and West of the Rwenzoris with the highest seismic activity observed in the northeastern area, were the mountains are in contact with the rift shoulders. The hypocentral depth distribution peaks at 16 km depth and extends down to the Moho which was found at 20 - 32 km depths by teleseismic receiver functions. Local magnitudes range from -0.5 to 5.1 with a b-value of 1.1. Fault plane solutions of 304 events were derived from P-polarities and SV/P amplitude ratios. More than 70% of the source mechanisms exhibit normal faulting. T-axis trends are highly uniform and oriented WNW-ESE, which is perpendicular to the rift axis and in good agreement with kinematic rift models. The area of highest seismic activity NE of the Rwenzoris is characterized by the occurrence of several earthquake clusters in 5 -20 km depth. They have stable positions throughout time and form elongated pipes with 1-2 km diameter and vertical extensions of 3-5 km. From petrological considerations we presume that these earthquake swarms are triggered by fluids and gasses which originate from a magmatic source below the crust. The existence of a magmatic source within the lithosphere is supported by the detection of a shear-wave velocity reduction in 55-80 km depth from receiver-function analysis and the location of mantle earthquakes at about 60 km. We interpret these observations as indication for an

  4. [Rift Valley fever].

    PubMed

    Pépin, M

    2011-06-01

    Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a zoonotic arbovirosis. Among animals, it mainly affects ruminants, causing abortions in gravid females and mortality among young animals. In humans, RVF virus infection is usually asymptomatic or characterized by a moderate fever. However, in 1 to 3% of cases, more severe forms of the disease (hepatitis, encephalitis, retinitis, hemorrhagic fever) can lead to the death of infected individuals or to major sequels. The RVF virus (Bunyaviridae, genus Phlebovirus) was identified for the first time in the 1930s in Kenya. It then spread over almost all African countries, sometimes causing major epizootics/epidemics. In 2000, the virus was carried out of Africa, in the Middle East Arabian Peninsula. In 2007-2008, Eastern-African countries, including Madagascar, reported significant episodes of RVF virus, this was also the case for the Comoros archipelago and the French island of Mayotte. This ability to spread associated with many vectors, including in Europe, and high viral loads in infected animals led the health authorities worldwide to warn about the potential emergence of RVF virus in areas with a temperate climate. The awareness has increased in recent years with climate changes, which may possibly modify the vector distribution and competence, and prompted many RVF virus-free countries to better prepare for a potential implantation of RVF.

  5. Diverse Eruptions at Approximately 2,200 Years B.P. on the Great Rift, Idaho: Inferences for Magma Dynamics Along Volcanic Rift Zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, S. S.; Nawotniak, S. E. Kobs; Borg, C.; Mallonee, H. C.; Purcell, S.; Neish, C.; Garry, W. B.; Haberle, C. W.; Lim, D. S. S.; Heldmann, J. L.

    2016-01-01

    Compositionally and morphologically diverse lava flows erupted on the Great Rift of Idaho approximately 2.2 ka (kilo-annum, 1000 years ago) during a volcanic "flare-up" of activity following an approximately 2 ky (kiloyear, 1000 years) hiatus in eruptions. Volcanism at Craters of the Moon (COTM), Wapi and Kings Bowl lava fields around this time included primitive and evolved compositions, separated over 75 kilometers along the approximately 85 kilometers-long rift, with striking variability in lava flow emplacement mechanisms and surface morphologies. Although the temporal associations may be coincidental, the system provides a planetary analog to better understand magma dynamics along rift systems, including that associated with lunar floor-fractured craters. This study aims to help bridge the knowledge gap between ancient rift volcanism evident on the Moon and other terrestrial planets, and active rift volcanism, e.g., at Hawai'i and Iceland.

  6. Factors controlling depth of continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Field Studies of Geothermal Reservoirs Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    James C Witcher

    2002-07-30

    The Rio Grande rift provides an excellent field laboratory to study the nature of geothermal systems in an extensional environment. Much of the geologic complexity that is found in the Basin and Range is absent because the rift is located on cratonic crust with a thin and well-characterized Phanerozoic stratigraphy and tectonic history. On the other hand, the Neogene thermo-tectonic history of the rift has many parallels with the Basin and Range to the west. The geology of the southern Rio Grande rift is among the best characterized of any rift system in the world. Also, most geologic maps for the region are rather unique in that detailed analyses of Quaternary stratigraphic and surficial unit are added in concert with the details of bedrock geology. Pleistocene to Holocene entrenchment of the Rio Grande and tributaries unroofs the alteration signatures and permeability attributes of paleo outflow plumes and upflow zones, associated with present-day, but hidden or ''blind,'' hydrothermal systems at Rincon and San Diego Mountain.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Seismological Investigations of Crustal and Mantle Structures Beneath the Incipient Okavango Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, S. S.; Yu, Y.; Liu, K. H.; Reed, C. A.; Moidaki, M.; Mickus, K. L.; Atekwana, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    Rifting plays a significant role in the evolution of sedimentary basins. However, our current understandings on rifting mechanisms are mostly based on studies of mature rifts. Here we report results from the first teleseismic investigations of the incipient Okavango rift zone (ORZ), which is located at the southwestern terminal of the East African Rift System in northern Botswana. Data used in the study were recorded by the 17 broadband seismic stations deployed along a NW-SE profile traversing the ORZ with a recording duration of 2 years starting in the summer of 2012. Receiver function and shear wave splitting techniques have been employed to explore upper mantle thermal anomalies and anisotropy. The resulting dominantly absolute plate motion-parallel fast polarization orientations and normal mantle transition zone thickness ruled out the possible existence of one or more mantle plumes in the upper mantle or mantle transition zone beneath the ORZ. The Moho beneath the Okavango rift zone is uplifted by 4-5 km and is symmetric with regard to the rift axis, favoring a pure shear model of early-stage continental extension. The observations favor a passive model for rift initiation in which rifts develop inside ancient orogenic zones as the result of relative movements between Archean cratonic blocks.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

  11. The MOZART Project - MOZAmbique Rift Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  12. Rifting on Venus: Implications for lithospheric structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  13. Mesozoic Rifting in the German North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutz, R.; Jähne, F.; Arfai, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Central Graben is the southernmost expressions of the Mesozoic North Sea rift system that includes the Viking Graben, Moray Firth-Witch Ground grabens and the Horda-Egersund half graben. In the southern North Sea the Central Graben extends across the Dutch and the German exclusive economic zones. The structure of the Central Graben in German territorial waters was mapped in great detail in 2D and 3D seismic data and the stratigraphy has been constraint by borehole data. We provide a detailed review of the rifting activity in the German North Sea sector both in time and space and the link between rifting and salt movement. Major rifting activity started in the Central Graben during the Late Triassic and peaked during the Late Jurassic when extensive rift grabens formed, further influenced by halokinetic movements. First subsidence in the Central Graben area appears in the Early Triassic. This is documented by thickness variations in the sedimentary strata from the Triassic to the Jurassic. Remarkably thick sediments were deposited during the Late Triassic along the eastern border fault of the Central Graben and in the Late Jurassic sediments accumulated along graben-wide extensional faults and in rim-synclines of salt-structures. A basin inversion commenced in the Late Cretaceous resulting in an erosion of wide portions of Lower Cretaceous rocks or even complete removal in some parts. The area to the east of the Central Graben faced a completely different evolution. In this area major rifting activity initiated already in the Early to Middle Triassic. This is evident from huge packages of Middle Buntsandstein to Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic) sediments in the Horn Graben. Jurassic doming, forming the Mid-North Sea High, resulted in almost complete erosion of Lower and Middle Jurassic sediments in the central German North Sea. Sedimentation continued during the Early and Late Cretaceous. The Glückstadt Graben, which is a structure located farther east has a

  14. Thermal maturation and organic richness of potential petroleum source rocks in Proterozoic Rice Formation, North American Mid-Continent rift system, northeastern Kansas

    SciTech Connect

    Newell, K.D. ); Burruss, R.C.; Palacas, J.G. )

    1993-11-01

    A recent well in northeastern Kansas penetrated 296 ft (90.2 m) of dark gray siltstone in the Precambrian Mid-Continent rift (Proterozoic Rice Formation). Correlations indicate this unit may be as thick as 600 ft (183 m) and is possibly time-equivalent to the Nonesuch Shale (Middle Proterozoic) in the Lake Superior region. The upper half of this unit qualifies as a lean source rock (averaging 0.66 wt.% TOC), and organic matter in it is in the transition stage between oil and wet gas generation. The presence of the gray siltstone in this well and similar lithologies in other wells is encouraging because it indicates the source rock deposition may be common along the Mid-Continent rift, and that parts of the rift may remain thermally within the oil and gas window. Microscopic examination of calcite veins penetrating the dark gray siltstone reveals numerous oil-filled and subordinate aqueous fluid inclusions. Homogenization temperatures indicate these rocks have been subjected to temperature of at least 110-115[degrees]C (230-239[degrees]F). Burial during the Phanerozoic is inadequate to account for the homogenization temperatures and thermal maturity of the Precambrian rocks. With the present geothermal gradient, at least 8250 ft (2.5 km) of burial is necessary, but lesser burial may be likely with probably higher geothermal gradients during rifting. Fluorescence colors and gas chromatograms indicate compositions of oils in the fluid inclusions vary. However, oils in the fluid inclusions are markedly dissimilar to the nearest oils produced from Paleozoic rocks.

  15. Hypogene and supergene alteration of the zeolite-bearing pyroclastic deposits at Tell Rimah, Jordan, and rift-related processes along the Dead-Sea-Transform Fault System during the Quaternary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dill, H. G.; Techmer, A.; Botz, R.; Dohrmann, R.; Kaufhold, S.

    2012-09-01

    The boundary between the Arabian and African plates, is marked in the Middle East by one of the most prominent deep-seated lineamentary structures, called the Dead-Sea-Transform Fault System (DSTFS). Structural and mineralogical processes related to the DSTFS were correlated with equivalent processes leading to the alteration of pyroclastic deposits of alkali-olivine basaltic to nepheline basaltic composition which formed during a time span of less than 0.5 Ma. The large deposit of Tell Rimah, Jordan, is operated for the exploitation of zeolites, tuffs, and as pozzolana raw material. Four discrete stages of mineralizations have been distinguished from each other within these volcanic-hosted mineral deposits. (1) Hypogene syneruptive alteration of pyroclastic rocks produced siliceous gels ("allophane"), smectite, analcime, and phillipsite in vesicles when the groundwater level was low in the rift basin of the DSTFS. The lake-level lowstand caused the fluid system in the pyroclastic cone to become self-sufficient and it has been considered as a closed hydrothermal system. (2) Periods of tectonic and magmatic quiescence grinded the detrital sedimentation in the rift basin to a halt, while triggering a supergene alteration in the eruptive cones on the adjacent Arabian Plate. (3) Epigenetic alteration affected the pyroclastic rocks in the distal part of the DSTFS as a result of a rising water level. The water gradually filled the pore space of the permeable pyroclastic deposits almost to completeness and caused meniscus and blocky cements of calcite, phillipsite and chabazite to develop. In the rift basin, contemporaneously with the alteration of the pyroclastic rocks, freshwater limestones formed on calcareous bedrocks. Ba and Mn minerals in these freshwater limestones were supplied by subaquatic brines. Subsequently, a drastic lowering of the lake water level in the DSTFS converted the system of subaquatic freshwater limestones into subaerial tufa and travertine. As

  16. A new model for the formation of linear rift zones on oceanic island volcanoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kluegel, A.; Walter, T. R.

    2003-04-01

    Oceanic island volcanoes commonly contain rift zones along which eruptive centers and parallel dike complexes are concentrated. Formation and orientation of rifts often remain enigmatic, however. Tectonic lineaments and regional zones of weakness facilitating magma ascent may be one reason of rift evolution, e.g. Sao Jorge (Azores) or Iceland. Alternatively, gravity tectonics of a volcano may cause formation of dike swarms oriented parallel to the line of contact between overlapping volcanic edifices (e.g. Kilauea / Mauna Loa, Hawaiian Islands). We have evidence that spreading of overlapping edifices can produce two types and orientations of dike complexes. A direction perpendicular to classic "Kilauea type" rifts is typified in the pronounced rift zones of La Palma (Canary Islands) and Madeira/Desertas islands. We suggest that these rift systems formed by edifice coalescence with a main spreading zone perpendicular to the initial line of contact between two volcanoes. Intrusions and eruptions focused along the resulting rift connecting the once separated volcanic cones, which successively grew together. Based on experimental studies we show that this mechanism works if the edifices overlap at lower (submarine) slopes and are situated both on weak substratum. By mounting analogue sand piles onto a viscous PDMS substratum, the setups represented the presumed pre-rift situations at La Palma and Madeira with small initial cones adjacent to the larger shields. Gravitative spreading of these cones produced fractures that mimic the orientation of both islands' present rift zones. The results are in agreement with the observation of an apparently old submarine cone at the southern end of the La Palma rift zone. Likewise, on Madeira, the terminal parts of the Desertas rift arm and of a recently discovered submarine rift zone off the island are both marked by a concentration of eruptive centers. Our results may also provide a clue why the rift zone of Loihi seamount (Hawaii

  17. Comparative sequence stratigraphy of low-latitude versus high-latitude lacustrine rift basins: Seismic data examples from the East African and Baikal rifts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholz, C.A.; Moore, T.C.; Hutchinson, D.R.; Golmshtok, A. Ja; Klitgord, Kim D.; Kurotchkin, A.G.

    1998-01-01

    Lakes Baikal, Malawi and Tanganyika are the world's three largest rift valley lakes and are the classic modem examples of lacustrine rift basins. All the rift lakes are segmented into half-graben basins, and seismic reflection datasets reveal how this segmentation controls the filling of the rift basins through time. In the early stages of rifting, basins are fed primarily by flexural margin and axial margin drainage systems. At the climax of syn-rift sedimentation, however, when the basins are deeply subsided, almost all the margins are walled off by rift shoulder uplifts, and sediment flux into the basins is concentrated at accommodation zone and axial margin river deltas. Flexural margin unconformities are commonplace in the tropical lakes but less so in high-latitude Lake Baikal. Lake levels are extremely dynamic in the tropical lakes and in low-latitude systems in general because of the predominance of evaporation in the hydrologic cycle in those systems. Evaporation is minimized in relation to inflow in the high-latitude Lake Baikal and in most high-latitude systems, and consequently, major sequence boundaries tend to be tectonically controlled in that type of system. The acoustic stratigraphies of the tropical lakes are dominated by high-frequency and high-amplitude lake level shifts, whereas in high-latitude Lake Baikal, stratigraphic cycles are dominated by tectonism and sediment-supply variations.

  18. Kilauea east rift zone magmatism: An episode 54 perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thornber, C.R.; Heliker, C.; Sherrod, D.R.; Kauahikaua, J.P.; Miklius, Asta; Okubo, P.G.; Trusdell, F.A.; Budahn, J.R.; Ridley, W.I.; Meeker, G.P.

    2003-01-01

    On January 29 30, 1997, prolonged steady-state effusion of lava from Pu'u'O'o was briefly disrupted by shallow extension beneath Napau Crater, 1 4 km uprift of the active Kilauea vent. A 23-h-long eruption (episode 54) ensued from fissures that were overlapping or en echelon with eruptive fissures formed during episode 1 in 1983 and those of earlier rift zone eruptions in 1963 and 1968. Combined geophysical and petrologic data for the 1994 1999 eruptive interval, including episode 54, reveal a variety of shallow magmatic conditions that persist in association with prolonged rift zone eruption. Near-vent lava samples document a significant range in composition, temperature and crystallinity of pre-eruptive magma. As supported by phenocryst liquid relations and Kilauea mineral thermometers established herein, the rift zone extension that led to episode 54 resulted in mixture of near-cotectic magma with discrete magma bodies cooled to ???1100??C. Mixing models indicate that magmas isolated beneath Napau Crater since 1963 and 1968 constituted 32 65% of the hybrid mixtures erupted during episode 54. Geophysical measurements support passive displacement of open-system magma along the active east rift conduit into closed-system rift-reservoirs along a shallow zone of extension. Geophysical and petrologic data for early episode 55 document the gradual flushing of episode 54 related magma during magmatic recharge of the edifice.

  19. 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.

  20. Seismicity within a propagating ice shelf rift: the relationship between icequake locations and ice shelf structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heeszel, David S.; Fricker, Helen A.; Bassis, Jeremy N.; O'Neel, Shad; Walter, Fabian

    2014-01-01

    Iceberg calving is a dominant mass loss mechanism for Antarctic ice shelves, second only to basal melting. An important known process involved in calving is the initiation and propagation of through-penetrating fractures called rifts; however, the mechanisms controlling rift propagation remain poorly understood. To investigate the mechanics of ice-shelf rifting, we analyzed seismicity associated with a propagating rift tip on the Amery Ice Shelf, using data collected during the Austral summers of 2004-2007. We investigated seismicity associated with fracture propagation using a suite of passive seismological techniques including icequake locations, back projection, and moment tensor inversion. We confirm previous results that show that seismicity is characterized by periods of relative quiescence punctuated by swarms of intense seismicity of one to three hours. However, even during periods of quiescence, we find significant seismic deformation around the rift tip. Moment tensors, calculated for a subset of the largest icequakes (MW > -2.0) located near the rift tip, show steeply dipping fault planes, horizontal or shallowly plunging stress orientations, and often have a significant volumetric component. They also reveal that much of the observed seismicity is limited to the upper 50 m of the ice shelf. This suggests a complex system of deformation that involves the propagating rift, the region behind the rift tip, and a system of rift-transverse crevasses. Small-scale variations in the mechanical structure of the ice shelf, especially rift-transverse crevasses and accreted marine ice, play an important role in modulating the rate and location of seismicity associated with propagating ice shelf rifts.

  1. Neogene Development of the Terror Rift, western Ross Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauli, C.; Sorlien, C. C.; Busetti, M.; De Santis, L.; Wardell, N.; Henrys, S. A.; Geletti, R.; Wilson, T. J.; Luyendyk, B. P.

    2015-12-01

    Terror Rift is a >300 km-long, 50-70 km-wide, 14 km-deep sedimentary basin at the edge of the West Antarctic Rift System, adjacent to the Transantarctic Mountains. It is cut into the broader Victoria Land Basin (VLB). The VLB experienced 100 km of mid-Cenozoic extension associated with larger sea floor spreading farther north. The post-spreading (Neogene) development of Terror Rift is not well understood, in part because of past use of different stratigraphic age models. We use the new Rossmap seismic stratigraphy correlated to Cape Roberts and Andrill cores in the west and to DSDP cores in the distant East. This stratigraphy, and new fault interpretations, was developed using different resolutions of seismic reflection data included those available from the Seismic Data Library System. Depth conversion used a new 3D velocity model. A 29 Ma horizon is as deep as 8 km in the south, and a 19 Ma horizon is >5 km deep there and 4 km-deep 100 km farther north. There is a shallower northern part of Terror Rift misaligned with the southern basin across a 50 km right double bend. It is bounded by steep N-S faults down-dropping towards the basin axis. Between Cape Roberts and Ross Island, the Oligocene section is also progressively-tilted. This Oligocene section is not imaged within northern Terror Rift, but the simplest hypothesis is that some of the Terror Rift-bounding faults were active at least during Oligocene through Quaternary time. Many faults are normal separation, but some are locally vertical or even reverse-separation in the upper couple of km. However, much of the vertical relief of the strata is due to progressive tilting (horizontal axis rotation) and not by shallow faulting. Along the trend of the basin, the relief alternates between tilting and faulting, with a tilting margin facing a faulted margin across the Rift, forming asymmetric basins. Connecting faults across the basin form an accommodation zone similar to other oblique rifts. The Neogene basin is

  2. Length variation of Gravity-Driven systems in the Amazon River Mouth Basin: a history of carbonate-siliciclastic sedimentation and post-rift subsidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, Alberto; Gorini, Christian; Letouzey, Jean; Suc, Jean-Pierre; Reis, Tadeu; Silva, Cleverson; Le Bouteiller, Pauline; Granjeon, Didier; Haq, Bilal; Delprat-Jannaud, Florence

    2016-04-01

    This study address the post-rift sedimentary record of the Amazon River Mouth Basin with a focus on gravity tectonics. We investigate shale detachment layers and the timing of different gravity deformation phases. Our study was based on more than 20,000 km of 2D multi-channel seismic data, 4,453 km2 of 3D multi-channel seismic data and 40 exploratory well data. A reliable age model was constructed based on biostratigraphic data. Five industry wells on the shelf/upper slope region and seven scientific wells drilled by DSDP and ODP in the distal Ceará Rise region were used for platform and deep environments correlations. This allowed us to calibrate the seismic lines and compare the sedimentation rates in different domains of the basin (e.g. shelf, slope, deep basin). In the Basin's shelf a widespread carbonate sequence dated as Late Paleocene grew up over a Latest Albian to Early Paleocene prograding clastic sequence. From the Eocene to the Late Miocene a mixed siliciclastic-carbonate aggrading megasequence developed. The first gravitational deformation event took place during the Eocene. The proximal limit (normal faults) of this this gravity-deformation system occurs along the hinge line. The major and deeper detachment layer was identified within the previously deposed Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene stratigraphic sequence (Cenomanian-Turonian deep shale source rock?). Further downslope, during the same period a stack of thrust sheets was created. In the central part of the Basin, a second gravitational deformation phase took place from Late Oligocene to early Late Miocene. During this period the basal detachment layer (Late Cretaceous?) was reactivated and the frontal thrust sheet created ridges and piggy-back basins. From the Late Miocene to present time, a major increase in the siliciclastic sedimentation rates was evidenced in the axis of the modern Amazon Delta. A huge aggrading-prograding mega-sequence forced the expansion of a third gravitational system

  3. Speculations on the origin of the North American Midcontinent rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.; Hinze, W. J.

    1992-01-01

    The Midcontinent rift is an example of lithospheric extension and flood basalt volcanism induced when a new mantle plume arrived near the base of the lithosphere. Very large volumes of basaltic magma were generated and partly erupted before substantial lithospheric extension began. Volcanism continued, along with extension and deep rift subsidence, for the ensuing 15 m.y. Much of the basaltic magma, including some of the earliest flows, was formed by partial melting of isotopically primitive asthenosphere contained in the plume head. The intense but relatively short duration of rifting and magmatism is a result of the dissipation of thermal and mechanical energy in the plume head. As the plume head spread beneath the lithosphere, it stretched the overlying lithosphere radially away from the Lake Superior region, the triple junction of the rift system, and partially melted to form the great volume of basalt and related intrusive rocks of the region. The plume arrived beneath a continent that was under compression as a result of the ongoing Grenville orogeny that affected a large region east of the rift. That compression prevented full continental separation and eventually returned the region to compressional tectonics as the energy of the plume head waned. ?? 1992.

  4. East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains.

    PubMed

    Ferraccioli, Fausto; Finn, Carol A; Jordan, Tom A; Bell, Robin E; Anderson, Lester M; Damaske, Detlef

    2011-11-16

    The Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains are the least understood tectonic feature on Earth, because they are completely hidden beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Their high elevation and youthful Alpine topography, combined with their location on the East Antarctic craton, creates a paradox that has puzzled researchers since the mountains were discovered in 1958. The preservation of Alpine topography in the Gamburtsevs may reflect extremely low long-term erosion rates beneath the ice sheet, but the mountains' origin remains problematic. Here we present the first comprehensive view of the crustal architecture and uplift mechanisms for the Gamburtsevs, derived from radar, gravity and magnetic data. The geophysical data define a 2,500-km-long rift system in East Antarctica surrounding the Gamburtsevs, and a thick crustal root beneath the range. We propose that the root formed during the Proterozoic assembly of interior East Antarctica (possibly about 1 Gyr ago), was preserved as in some old orogens and was rejuvenated during much later Permian (roughly 250 Myr ago) and Cretaceous (roughly 100 Myr ago) rifting. Much like East Africa, the interior of East Antarctica is a mosaic of Precambrian provinces affected by rifting processes. Our models show that the combination of rift-flank uplift, root buoyancy and the isostatic response to fluvial and glacial erosion explains the high elevation and relief of the Gamburtsevs. The evolution of the Gamburtsevs demonstrates that rifting and preserved orogenic roots can produce broad regions of high topography in continental interiors without significantly modifying the underlying Precambrian lithosphere.

  5. East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains.

    PubMed

    Ferraccioli, Fausto; Finn, Carol A; Jordan, Tom A; Bell, Robin E; Anderson, Lester M; Damaske, Detlef

    2011-11-17

    The Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains are the least understood tectonic feature on Earth, because they are completely hidden beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Their high elevation and youthful Alpine topography, combined with their location on the East Antarctic craton, creates a paradox that has puzzled researchers since the mountains were discovered in 1958. The preservation of Alpine topography in the Gamburtsevs may reflect extremely low long-term erosion rates beneath the ice sheet, but the mountains' origin remains problematic. Here we present the first comprehensive view of the crustal architecture and uplift mechanisms for the Gamburtsevs, derived from radar, gravity and magnetic data. The geophysical data define a 2,500-km-long rift system in East Antarctica surrounding the Gamburtsevs, and a thick crustal root beneath the range. We propose that the root formed during the Proterozoic assembly of interior East Antarctica (possibly about 1 Gyr ago), was preserved as in some old orogens and was rejuvenated during much later Permian (roughly 250 Myr ago) and Cretaceous (roughly 100 Myr ago) rifting. Much like East Africa, the interior of East Antarctica is a mosaic of Precambrian provinces affected by rifting processes. Our models show that the combination of rift-flank uplift, root buoyancy and the isostatic response to fluvial and glacial erosion explains the high elevation and relief of the Gamburtsevs. The evolution of the Gamburtsevs demonstrates that rifting and preserved orogenic roots can produce broad regions of high topography in continental interiors without significantly modifying the underlying Precambrian lithosphere. PMID:22094700

  6. Contrasting modes of rifting: The Benue Trough and Cameroon Volcanic Line, West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okereke, C. S.

    1988-08-01

    The Benue trough of west Africa is commonly believed to be a rift feature that originated in the Cretaceous at about the time that Africa and South America began to separate. Bouguer gravity and available geological data in the trough indicate that its formation was probably the result of regional horizontal stresses in the lithosphere, causing crustal extension and surface subsidence. By contrast, the data for the adjoining Cameroon volcanic line suggests that the associated tensional stresses relate to mantle upwarp causing thinning of the lithosphere and regional crustal uplift similar to that associated with the Kenya rift. Thus the association of passive and active rifts seen in the Afro-Arabia rift system is also a feature of the Cretaceous rift system in west Africa.

  7. Expected fluid residence times, thermal breakthrough, and tracer test design for characterizing a hydrothermal system in the Upper Rhine Rift Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghergut, I.; Meixner, J.; Rettenmaier, D.; Maier, F.; Nottebohm, M.; Ptak, T.; Sauter, M.

    2012-04-01

    Relying on the structural-hydrogeological model proposed by J. Meixner (2009) for a particular hydrothermal system in South-West Germany (on the East side of the Upper Rhine Rift, this reservoir being used to demonstrate electricity production by means of a well doublet), we set up a distributed-parameter model (using Feflow) enabling to numerically simulate fluid ages, temperature evolutions and tracer test signals for a number of contrasting assumptions w. r. to (a) the nature of boundary conditions and hydrogeological characteristics of remotely situated, large-scale natural faults, (b) the degree of permeability contrast between different system compartments, (c) the hydrogeological characteristics of a naturally-occurring fault, located between injection and production wells. It appears that a spike dimensioning allowing for tracer signals to become detectable during the first three years after tracer injection in all of the contrasting a/b/c scenarios is not feasible in practice. In some of the a/b/c cases considered, the system will act like a very large reservoir, with fluid residence times in the order of decades, and extreme dilution of injected tracers. Even using preparative-scale cleaning of samples, brine separation, sample enrichment by solid phase extraction, evaporative concentrating etc. followed by state-of-the-art chromatography techniques to separate between tracer and natural background, it will not be possible to lower tracer detection limits below a certain threshold, which is mainly dictated by the amount of certain naturally-occurring aromatics in the reservoir fluids. On practical reasons, the spike dimensioning will be limited to some hundred kilogram of one or two organic tracers. This implies that part of the above-mentioned, contrasting a/b/c scenarios will remain indistinguishable during the first three years after tracer injection. However, for this reservoir structure, there is not a bijective correspondence between early

  8. Constraints on rift thermal processes from heat flow and uplift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.

    1983-01-01

    The implications of heat flow data available from five major Cenozoic continental rift systems for the processes of continental rifting are discussed, and simple thermal models of lithospheric thinning which predict uplift are used to further constrain the thermal processes in the lithosphere during rifting. Compilations of the heat flow data are summarized and the salient results of these compilations are briefly discussed. The uplift predictions of the slow and rapid thinning models, in which thinning is assumed to occur at a respectively slower and faster rate than heat can be conducted into the lithosphere, are presented. Comparison of uplift rates with model results indicates that the lithosphere is in a state between the two models. While uplift is predicted to continue after thinning has ceased due to thermal relaxation of the lithosphere, the rapid thinning model is always predicted to apply to surface heat flow, and an anomaly in this flow is not predicted to develop until after thinning has stopped.

  9. Factors controlling depth of continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-04-01

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

  11. 3-D Evolutionary model of the oblique rift basins-the study of Central African Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, I. W.; Yang, K. M.; Wu, J. C.; Hsiuan, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    Because of their tectonostratigraphically high potentials to yield oil and gas, oblique rift basins are a noteworthy type of global petroleum basins. The main purpose of this study is to investigate characteristics of the structural style and basin evolution of the Central Africa rift subsystem (CAS). Establishing the evolutionary model of CAS by the analyses of tectonostratigraphy, geometry, kinematics of structural features and Particle Flow Code 3-Dimensions (PFC 3D). The results can be references for petroleum basin exploration. The study areas are in the CAS, including the Doba, Doseo and Salamat Basins. Basins are separated by a large-scale strike-slip fault zone (Borogop fault zone) across the CAS. The results showed that the Borogop fault zone pass through the CAS until the Late Cretaceous compression and then became a big-scaled strike-slip fault. The structural geometry of oblique rift is changed with the α angle between the rift trend and trend of tensile stress. PFC-3D indicated that 1) The α of the Doba, Doseo and Salamat Basins are 60°, 60° and 75°, respectively; 2) When the α got close to 45°, the density of the echelon faults alone the basin center decreased gradually; 3) The Doba Basin is wide and shallow which should be affected by meso-scaled stresses. The Doseo and Salamat Basins are narrow and deeper which should be affected by mega-scaled stresses. According to the abovementioned results, we suggest that 1) The Borogop fault zone had less influence on basin architecture of CAS, therefore the basins of CAS are not the pull-apart basins but the extensional basins, and 2) Doba and Doseo-Salamat Basins should probably belong to different type of petroleum systems, which have different scales of stress.

  12. Along-axis transition between narrow and wide rifts: Insights from 3D numerical experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Based on performed high-resolution rheologically consistent three-dimensional thermo-mechanical numerical models, we show that there is a significant difference in the influence of the rheological profile on rifting style in the case of dominant active (plume-activated) rifting compared to dominant passive (far-field tectonic stresses) rifting. Narrow rifting, conventionally attributed to cold strong lithosphere in passive rifting mode, may develop in weak hot ultra-stretched lithosphere during active rifting, after plume impingement on a tectonically pre-stressed lithosphere. In that case, initially ultra-wide small-amplitude rift patterns focus, in a few Myr, in large-scale faults that form a narrow rift. Also, wide rifting may develop during ultra-slow spreading of strong lithosphere, and "switch" to the narrow rifting upon plume impingement. For further understanding the mechanisms behind the interactions between the mantle plume and far-field stresses in case of realistic horizontally heterogeneous lithosphere, we have tested our models on the case of the central East African Rift system (EARS). The EARS south of the Ethiopian Rift Valley bifurcates in two branches (eastern, magma-rich and western, magma-poor) surrounding the strong Tanzanian craton. Broad zones of low seismic velocity observed throughout the upper mantle beneath the central part of the EARS are consistent with the spreading of a deep mantle plume. The extensional features and topographic expression of the Eastern rift varies significantly north-southward: in northern Kenya the area of deformation is very wide (some 150-250 km in E-W direction), to the south the rift narrows to 60-70 km, yet further to the south this localized deformation widens again. Here we investigate this transition between localized and wide rifting using thermo-mechanical numerical modeling that couples, in a dynamic sense, the rise of the upper mantle material with the deformation of the African lithosphere below the

  13. Phanerozoic Rifting Phases And Mineral Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassaan, Mahmoud

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-07-01

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

  16. Rift-related active fault-system and a direction of maximum horizontal stress in the Cairo-Suez district, northeastern Egypt: A new approach from EMR-Technique and Cerescope data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagag, Wael; Obermeyer, Hennes

    2016-09-01

    An active fault system has been detected along the Cairo-Suez district in northeastern Egypt, applying the EMR-Technique using Cerescope. The E-W (old Mediterranean) and NW-SE (Red Sea-Gulf of Suez) fault-trends are estimated to have ongoing activity. Horizontal EMR-measurements indicate a NW to NNW orientation as a maximum horizontal stress direction (σ1), whereas an E-W orientation to has a secondary tendency. A simplified stress map for the Cairo-Suez district is constructed from the horizontal stress data measured at about 20 locations within the district. The mapped stresses will contribute to the stress data of the Cairo-Suez region on the world stress map (WSM). The present study results indicate rejuvenation of the inherited Mesozoic E-W oriented and Oligocene-Miocene rift-related NW-SE oriented faults. The transfer of rift-related deformation from Red Sea-Gulf of Suez region, which is currently undergoing an extensional stress regime in NE to NNE direction, would explain a seismotectonic activity of the Cairo-Suez district. These results are consistent with a present day NNW oriented compressional stresses attributed to a convergence between the African and Eurasian plates.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  20. Fault evolution in the Potiguar rift termination, equatorial margin of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Castro, D. L.; Bezerra, F. H. R.

    2015-02-01

    The transform shearing between South American and African plates in the Cretaceous generated a series of sedimentary basins on both plate margins. In this study, we use gravity, aeromagnetic, and resistivity surveys to identify architecture of fault systems and to analyze the evolution of the eastern equatorial margin of Brazil. Our study area is the southern onshore termination of the Potiguar rift, which is an aborted NE-trending rift arm developed during the breakup of Pangea. The basin is located along the NNE margin of South America that faces the main transform zone that separates the North and the South Atlantic. The Potiguar rift is a Neocomian structure located at the intersection of the equatorial and western South Atlantic and is composed of a series of NE-trending horsts and grabens. This study reveals new grabens in the Potiguar rift and indicates that stretching in the southern rift termination created a WNW-trending, 10 km wide, and ~ 40 km long right-lateral strike-slip fault zone. This zone encompasses at least eight depocenters, which are bounded by a left-stepping, en echelon system of NW-SE- to NS-striking normal faults. These depocenters form grabens up to 1200 m deep with a rhomb-shaped geometry, which are filled with rift sedimentary units and capped by postrift sedimentary sequences. The evolution of the rift termination is consistent with the right-lateral shearing of the equatorial margin in the Cretaceous and occurs not only at the rift termination but also as isolated structures away from the main rift. This study indicates that the strike-slip shearing between two plates propagated to the interior of one of these plates, where faults with similar orientation, kinematics, geometry, and timing of the major transform are observed. These faults also influence rift geometry.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guseva, E. N.

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Rift strength controls rapid plate accelerations: A global analysis of Pangea fragmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, S.; Williams, S.; Butterworth, N. P.; Müller, D.

    2015-12-01

    Motions of Earth's plates are thought to be driven by slab pull, basal drag, and ridge push. Here we propose that plate motions during supercontinental fragmentation are decisively controlled by the non-linear decay of a resistive force: rift strength. We use state-of-the-art global tectonic reconstructions and the new geotectonic analysis tool pyGPlates to analyze the transition from rifting to sea-floor spreading of well-studied post-Pangea rift systems (Central Atlantic, South Atlantic, Iberia/Newfoundland, Australia/Antarctica, North Atlantic, South China Sea, Gulf of California). In all cases, continental extension starts with a slow phase (< 10 mm/yr, full extension velocity) followed by a rapid acceleration over periods of a few My that introduces a fast rift phase (> 10 mm/yr). The transition from slow to fast extension takes place long before crustal break-up. In fact, we find that approximately half of the present day rifted margin area was created during the slow, and the other half during the fast phase. We reproduce the transition from slow to fast rifting using numerical forward models with force boundary conditions, such that rift velocities are not imposed but instead evolve naturally in response to changing strength of the rift. These models show that the two-phase velocity behavior during rifting and the rapid speed-up are intrinsic features of continental rupture that can be robustly inferred for different crust and mantle rheologies.It has been proposed that abrupt plate accelerations can be caused by plume-lithosphere interaction, subduction initiation, and slab detachment. However, none of these mechanisms explains our result that plate speed-up systematically precedes continental break-up. We therefore propose dynamic rift weakening as a new mechanism for rapid plate motion changes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Transform and rift structure of Paleogene crust near Resolution Ridge, Tasman Sea, southwest New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barker, Daniel H. N.; Wood, Ray; Sutherland, Rupert

    2008-07-01

    Multibeam bathymetry, seismic reflection, magnetic anomaly, and gravity anomaly data show that most of the Resolution Ridge System is Tasman Sea oceanic crust, deformed by Eocene rift faulting associated with the initiation of the modern Australia-Pacific plate boundary. Resolution Ridge, the most eastern ridge of the system, is inferred to be continental crust that was plucked from the southwest corner of the Campbell Plateau during Eocene rift propagation. Rift propagation proceeded through sequential northward steps between weak points in the lithosphere: young fossil spreading centers, fracture zones, and the western margin of the continental Campbell Plateau. Fracture zones guided the large-scale geometry of the rift, but there is not always a close surface correspondence between transform and rift faults. This may be because transform faults were subvertical, whereas rift faults evolved to be moderately dipping. The very good correspondence of fracture zones, rift faults, and magnetic anomalies from the Resolution Ridge System with their conjugates southwest of the Campbell Plateau allows precise prerift reconstruction of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary at a time (circa 48 Ma) of significant global plate reorganization and profound change in Pacific plate motion. This precise plate reconstruction better constrains plate motion chains that connect the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hemispheres, thus contributing to debate of global scientific issues such as what caused the bend in the Emperor-Hawaii seamount chain.

  6. Low-temperature thermochronologic constraints on cooling and exhumation trends along conjugate margins, within core complexes and eclogite-bearing gneiss domes of the Woodlark rift system of eastern Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzgerald, P. G.; Baldwin, S.; Bermudez, M. A.; Miller, S. R.; Webb, L. E.; Little, T.

    2012-12-01

    In eastern Papua New Guinea, active sea-floor spreading within the Woodlark Basin has been propagating westward since at least 6 Ma into heterogeneous crust of the Woodlark Rift. The seafloor spreading system divides the northern conjugate margin (Woodlark Rise) from the southern margin (Pocklington Rise). West of the seafloor spreading rift-tip are high-standing extensional gneiss domes and core complexes of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands (DEI). Domes comprise amphibolite and eclogite-facies gneisses, and Pleistocene granitoid intrusions. Flanked by mylonitic shear zone carapaces and normal faults, the domes are juxtaposed against an upper plate that includes ultramafic rocks and gabbro, correlated with the Papuan ultramafic belt. Petrologic and structural evidence from the DEI has been interpreted as evidence for diapiric ascent of the largely felsic domes, with thermo-mechanical modeling proposing (U)HP exhumation in terms of diapiric flow aided by propagating extension, with feedback between the two. Core complexes lacking evidence for diapiric-aided exhumation include the Prevost Range (eastern Normanby Island), Dayman Dome (Papuan Peninsula), and Misima Island (southern conjugate margin). Thermochronology is being applied to understand the thermal and exhumation history, and hence help constrain mechanisms of (U)HP exhumation. AFT and AHe ages from samples near sea-level along conjugate margins and DEI range from ca. 12 Ma to <1 Ma, generally decreasing from east to west, although with some localized variation. Confined track length distributions (CTLD), obtained using 252Cf implantation, generally indicate rapid cooling (means ≥~14 μm), except on Goodenough Island, the western-most and highest-standing dome. On Goodenough Island, samples from the core zone have AFT ages from ~3 - <1 Ma with age decreasing with decreasing elevation. Core zone samples have mean track lengths (7-13 μm) and are positively skewed, whereas samples from shear zones are younger (<1

  7. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

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

  9. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

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

  10. Comparing Carbonate-Depositing Hydrothermal Systems Along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at Lost City Hydrothermal Field and Along the Rio Grande rift in the Southwestern US: Geochemistry, Geomicrobiology and Mineralogy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cron, B. R.; Crossey, L.; Hall, J.; Takacs-Vesbach, C.; Dahm, K.; Northup, D.; Karlstrom, K.

    2008-12-01

    Both continental and marine rift settings are characterized by hydrothermal vents (smokers) that include important components of mantle-derived "endogenic" fluids. These fluids ascend along extensional faults and provide unique biologic settings. We hypothesize that deep crustal processes support near-surface metabolic strategies by delivering chemically reduced constituents to partially oxidized surface environments. Lost City hydrothermal field, a marine vent system located 15 km west of the Mid-Atlantic ridge, exhibits a range of temperatures (40 to 75°C), pH (9-9.8), and mineral compositions (carbonate rather than sulfide-dominated) that were originally thought to be non-existent in marine vent systems. Travertine depositing CO2 springs within the Rio Grande rift, NM exhibit striking similarities in many respects to vents in Lost City. Previous research has already determined the importance of methanogenic and sulfur metabolizing microorganisms in carbonate structures at Lost City. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA genes from a terrestrial CO2 spring was performed. In addition, cells from bacteria and fungi were also cultured with oligotrophic media. Both archaeal phylotypes from the terrestrial spring grouped within Marine Group I of the Crenarchaeota, a clade dominated by sequences from hydrothermal marine vents, including some from Lost City. We will report comparative analyses of sequences from Lost City and both cultured and environmental clone libraries from the terrestrial spring using UniFrac. Geochemical modeling of data (water and gas chemistry from both locations) is used to rank the energy available for dozens of metabolic reactions. SEM and microprobe data are presented to compare mineral compositions. Our results will be discussed in respect to the tectonic setting, microbial community distributions, and the geochemical composition and textural properties of the carbonates that are precipitated in each of these systems.

  11. A preliminary description of the Gan-Hang failed rift, southeastern china

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodell, P. C.; Gilder, S.; Fang, X.

    1991-10-01

    The Gan-Hang failed rift, as defined by present-day topography, extends at least 450 km in length and 50 km in width. It is a northeast-southwest trending series of features spanning from Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang province into Jiangxi province through Fuzhou City. Southwest of Fuzhou, the rift splits into two portions: one continuing along the southwestern trend, and the other diverging westward. The total extent of the rift cannot be defined at this time. The rift is superimposed upon a major suture zone of Caledonian or early Mesozoic age. The suture represents the fusing of the South China (Huanan) and Yangtze cratons. Perhaps in Late Triassic, but for sure by Late-Middle Jurassic time, the rifting was initiated and followed this older suture, in part. This time corresponds roughly to the middle stage of the Yanshanian orogeny and to the subduction of the postulated Pacific- Kula ridge southeast of the continental margin. The total thickness of the sediments and volcanics filling the rift valley reaches more than 10,000 m. Peak intensity of extension was between Late-Middle Jurassic and Middle to Late Cretaceous. Sedimentation within the rift was not continuous and is marked with periodic unconformities. Sediments within the rift include red beds, sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, conglomerates, breccias, tuffs, and ignimbrites. Vertebrate fossils and dinosaur eggs are also found. Contemporaneous volcanics within and flanking the rift include basalts, rhyolites, granites, gabbros, dacites, and andesites. Silicic volcanics are mostly attributed to caldera systems. Early basalts are tholeiitic and later change to alkaline-olivine basalt. Bimodal volcanism is recognized. Peak intensity of volcanism ranges between 135 and 75 Ma. In Early Cenozoic time, the area was a topographic low. Paleocene- Eocene sediments and evaporites are the last rocks to be deposited in the rift. Today the rift is delineated by major, high-angle faults (the Pingxiang-Guangfeng deep fault

  12. Long-term coupling and feedbacks between surface processes and tectonics during rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theunissen, Thomas; Huismans, Ritske S.

    2016-04-01

    Whereas significant efforts have been made to understand the relationship between mountain building and surfaces processes, limited research has been done on the relationship between surface processes and extensional tectonics. Here we present high-resolution 2-D coupled tectonic-surface processes modeling of extensional basin formation. The main aim is to find out how erosion and deposition affect the deformation in extensional systems. We test the combined effects of crustal rheology and varying surface process efficiency (erodibility, sea level) on structural style of rift and passive margin formation. The results show that both erosion of rift flank areas and basin deposition enhance localization of crustal deformation. Frictional-plastic extensional shear zones accumulate more deformation during a longer period of time, and loading of offshore basins can generate crustal ductile flow. In extreme cases sediment deposition delays lithospheric rupture. These mechanisms are enhanced when fluvial erosion, transport and deposition are efficient. We show that removal of mass from rift flanks and sedimentary loading in the basin area provide a first order feedback with tectonic deformation and control on rifted margin tectonic-morphology. However, surface processes do not change the first order mode of rifting, which is largely controlled by crustal rheology. Rift escarpment morphology is function of paleo-topography and sea level. Variation of strain localization in natural rift systems correlates with the observed behavior and suggests similar feedbacks as demonstrated by the forward numerical models.

  13. Initiation and development of the Kivu rift segment in Central Africa by reactivating un-favorably oriented structural weaknesses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, Damien; Smets, Benoît

    2015-04-01

    The Kivu rift region forms the central segment of the western branch of the East African rift system, between the northern termination of the Tanganyika rift and the southern extension of the Edward-George rift. Its structure and geological evolution has been revised in the light of a compilation of existing data on earthquake epicenters, focal depth, focal mechanisms, thermal springs and neotectonic faults. It has long been shown that the link between the Kivu rift basin and the Northern termination of the Tanganyika rift basin forms an accommodation zone in which the Rusizi tectonic depression occupies a central place (Ebinger, 1989). In addition, our compilation suggests that the NNE-trending Kivu rift basin and the N-S northern half of the Tanganyika rift basin initiated as separated, partly overlapping and differently oriented basins. The orientation and development of the Kivu rift basin was controlled by an inferred Mid-Proterozoic crustal shear zone and a Pan-African reverse fault front. It was not optimally oriented with the general (first-order) stress field characterized by roughly E-W extension. In a later stage, the more optimally N-S oriented North Tanganyika basin progressed towards the North and connected to Kivu rift in its middle in a region now occupied by the town of Bukavu. This accommodation zone is marked by Quaternary volcanism, warm thermal springs, frequent and relatively shallow seismicity. The southwestern part of the Kivu rift became progressively abandoned but it is still seismically active and hosts a number of warm thermal springs. This particular architecture influences the present-day stress field. This work is a contribution to the Belgian GeoRisCA project. Ebinger, C.J. 1989. Geometric and kinematic development of border faults and accommodation zones, Kivu-Rusizi Rift, Africa. Tectonics, 8, 117-133

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwaan, Frank; Schreurs, Guido

    2016-04-01

    INTRODUCTION During the early stages of rifting, rift segments may form along non-continuous and/or offset pre-existing weaknesses. It is important to understand how these initial rift segments interact and connect to form a continuous rift system. A previous study of ours (Zwaan et al., in prep) investigated the influence of dextral oblique extension and rift offset on rift interaction. Here we elaborate upon our previous work by using analogue models to assess the added effects of 1) sinistral oblique extension as observed along the East African Rift and 2) the geometry of linked and non-linked inherited structures. METHODS Our set-up involves a base of foam and plexiglass that forces distributed extension in the overlying model materials: a sand layer for the brittle upper crust and a viscous sand/silicone mixture for ductile lower crust. A mobile base plate allows lateral motion for oblique extension. We create inherited structures, along which rift segments develop, with right-stepping offset lines of silicone (seeds) on top of the basal viscous layer. These seeds can be connected by an additional weak seed that represents a secondary inherited structural grain (model series 1) or disconnected and laterally discontinuous (over/underlap, model series 2). Selected models are run in an X-ray computer topographer (CT) to reveal the 3D evolution of internal structures with time that can be quantified with particle image velocitmetry (PIV) techniques. RESULTS Models in both series show that rift segments initially form along the main seeds and then generally propagate approximately perpendicular to the extension direction: with orthogonal extension they propagate in a parallel fashion, dextral oblique extension causes them to grow towards each other and connect, while with sinistral oblique extension they grow away from each other. However, sinistral oblique extension can also promote rift linkage through an oblique- or strike-slip zone oriented almost parallel to

  15. Masirah Graben, Oman: A hidden Cretaceous rift basin

    SciTech Connect

    Beauchamp, W.H.; Ries, A.C.; Coward, M.P.

    1995-06-01

    Reflection seismic data, well data, geochemical data, and surface geology suggest that a Cretaceous rift basin exists beneath the thrusted allochthonous sedimentary sequence of the Masirah graben, Oman. The Masirah graben is located east of the Huqf uplift, parallel to the southern coast of Oman. The eastern side of the northeast-trending Huqf anticlinorium is bounded by an extensional fault system that is downthrown to the southeast, forming the western edge of the Masirah graben. This graben is limited to the east by a large wedge of sea floor sediments and oceanic crust, that is stacked as imbricate thrusts. These sediments/ophiolites were obducted onto the southern margin of the Arabian plate during the collision of the Indian/Afghan plates at the end of the Cretaceous. Most of the Masirah graben is covered by an allochthonous sedimentary sequence, which is complexly folded and deformed above a detachment. This complexly deformed sequence contrasts sharply with what is believed to be a rift sequence below the ophiolites. The sedimentary sequence in the Masirah graben was stable until further rifting of the Arabian Sea/Gulf of Aden in the late Tertiary, resulting in reactivation of earlier rift-associated faults. Wells drilled in the Masirah graben in the south penetrated reservoir quality rocks in the Lower Cretaceous Natih and Shuaiba carbonates. Analyses of oil extracted from Infracambrian sedimentary rocks penetrated by these wells suggest an origin from a Mesozoic source rock.

  16. Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2013 East African Rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, Gavin P.; Jones, Eric S.; Stadler, Timothy J.; Barnhart, William D.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Hayes, Gavin P.; Jones, Eric S.; Stadler, Timothy J.; Barnhart, William D.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Rifting in East Africa is not all coeval; volcanism and faulting have been an ongoing phenomenon on the continent since the Eocene (~45 Ma). The rifting began in northern East Africa, and led to the separation of the Nubia (Africa) and Arabia plates in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and in the Lake Turkana area at the Kenya-Ethiopia border. A Paleogene mantle superplume beneath East Africa caused extension within the Nubia plate, as well as a first order topographic high known as the African superswell which now includes most of the eastern and southern sectors of the Nubia plate. Widespread volcanism erupted onto much of the rising plateau in Ethiopia during the Eocene-Oligocene (45–29 Ma), with chains of volcanoes forming along the rift separating Africa and Arabia. Since the initiation of rifting in northeastern Africa, the system has propagated over 3,000 km to the south and southwest, and it experiences seismicity as a direct result of the extension and active magmatism.

  17. The tectonic evolution of the southeastern Terceira Rift/São Miguel region (Azores)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiß, B. J.; Hübscher, C.; Lüdmann, T.

    2015-07-01

    The eastern Azores Archipelago with São Miguel being the dominant subaerial structure is located at the intersection of an oceanic rift (Terceira Rift) with a major transform fault (Gloria Fault) representing the westernmost part of the Nubian-Eurasian plate boundary. The evolution of islands, bathymetric highs and basin margins involves strong volcanism, but the controlling geodynamic and tectonic processes are currently under debate. In order to study this evolution, multibeam bathymetry and marine seismic reflection data were collected to image faults and stratigraphy. The basins of the southeastern Terceira Rift are rift valleys whose southwestern and northeastern margins are defined by few major normal faults and several minor normal faults, respectively. Since São Miguel in between the rift valleys shows an unusual W-E orientation, it is supposed to be located on a leaky transform. South of the island and separated by a N120° trending graben system, the Monacco Bank represents a N160° oriented flat topped volcanic ridge dominated by tilted fault blocks. Up to six seismic units are interpreted for each basin. Although volcanic ridges hamper a direct linking of depositional strata between the rift and adjacent basins, the individual seismic stratigraphic units have distinct characteristics. Using these units to provide a consistent relative chrono-stratigraphic scheme for the entire study area, we suggest that the evolution of the southeastern Terceira Rift occurred in two stages. Considering age constrains from previous studies, we conclude that N140° structures developed orthogonal to the SW-NE direction of plate-tectonic extension before ~ 10 Ma. The N160° trending volcanic ridges and faults developed later as the plate tectonic spreading direction changed to WSW-ENE. Hence, the evolution of the southeastern Terceira Rift domain is predominantly controlled by plate kinematics and lithospheric stress forming a kind of a re-organized rift system.

  18. Initiation of the western branch of the East African Rift coeval with the eastern branch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, E. M.; Stevens, N. J.; O'Connor, P. M.; Dirks, P. H. G. M.; Gottfried, M. D.; Clyde, W. C.; Armstrong, R. A.; Kemp, A. I. S.; Hemming, S.

    2012-04-01

    The East African Rift System transects the anomalously high-elevation Ethiopian and East African plateaux that together form part of the 6,000-km-long African superswell structure. Rifting putatively developed as a result of mantle plume activity that initiated under eastern Africa. The mantle activity has caused topographic uplift that has been connected to African Cenozoic climate change and faunal evolution. The rift is traditionally interpreted to be composed of two distinct segments: an older, volcanically active eastern branch and a younger, less volcanic western branch. Here, we show that initiation of rifting in the western branch began more than 14 million years earlier than previously thought, contemporaneously with the eastern branch. We use a combination of detrital zircon geochronology, tephro- and magnetostratigraphy, along with analyses of past river flow recorded in sedimentary rocks from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, to constrain the timing of rifting, magmatism and drainage development in this part of the western branch. We find that rift-related volcanism and lake development had begun by about 25million years ago. These events were preceded by pediment development and a fluvial drainage reversal that we suggest records the onset of topographic uplift caused by the African superswell. We conclude that uplift of eastern Africa was more widespread and synchronous than previously recognized.

  19. Rio Grande rift: problems and perspectives

    SciTech Connect

    Baldridge, W.S.; Olsen, K.H.; Callender, J.F.

    1984-01-01

    Topics and ideas addressed include: (1) the regional extent of the Rio Grande rift; (2) the structure of the crust and upper mantle; (3) whether the evidence for an axile dike in the lower crust is compelling; (4) the nature of faulting and extension in the crust; and (5) the structural and magmatic development of the rift. 88 references, 5 figures.

  20. Evidence of Ancient Rifts Beneath Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irie, K.; Velasco, A. A.

    2011-12-01

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

  1. Detection and Response for Rift Valley fever

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that impacts domestic livestock and humans in Africa and the Middle East, and poses a threat to military operations in these areas. We describe a Rift Valley fever Risk Monitoring website, and its ability to predict risk of disease temporally and spatially. We al...

  2. Two-stage rifting in the Kenya rift: implications for half-graben models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugisha, F.; Ebinger, C. J.; Strecker, M.; Pope, D.

    1997-09-01

    The Kerio sub-basin in the northern Kenya rift is a transitional area between the southern Kenya rift, where crustal thickness is 30 km, and the northern Kenya rift, where crustal thickness is 20 km. The lack of data on the shallow crustal structure, geometry of rift-bounding faults, and rift evolution makes it difficult to determine if the crustal thickness variations are due to pre-rift structure, or along-axis variations in crustal stretching. We reprocessed reflection seismic data acquired for the National Oil Corporation of Kenya, and integrated results with field and gravity observations to (1) delineate the sub-surface geometry of the Kerio sub-basin, (2) correlate seismic stratigraphic sequences with dated strata exposed along the basin margins, and (3) use new and existing results to propose a two-stage rifting model for the central Kenya rift. Although a classic half-graben form previously had been inferred from the attitude of uppermost strata, new seismic data show a more complex form in the deeper basin: a narrow full-graben bounded by steep faults. We suggest that the complex basin form and the northwards increase in crustal thinning are caused by the superposition of two or more rifting events. The first rifting stage may have occurred during Palaeogene time contemporaneous with sedimentation and rifting in northwestern Kenya and southern Sudan. The distribution of seismic sequences suggests that a phase of regional thermal subsidence occurred prior to renewed faulting and subsidence at about 12 Ma after the eruption of flood phonolites throughout the central Kenya rift. A new border fault developed during the second rifting stage, effectively widening the basin. Gravity and seismic data indicate sedimentary and volcanic strata filling the basin are 6 km thick, with up to 4 km deposited during the first rifting stage.

  3. Cenozoic extension in the Kenya Rift from low-temperature thermochronology: Links to diachronous spatiotemporal evolution of rifting in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres Acosta, Verónica; Bande, Alejandro; Sobel, Edward R.; Parra, Mauricio; Schildgen, Taylor F.; Stuart, Finlay; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-12-01

    The cooling history of rift shoulders and the subsidence history of rift basins are cornerstones for reconstructing the morphotectonic evolution of extensional geodynamic provinces, assessing their role in paleoenvironmental changes and evaluating the resource potential of their basin fills. Our apatite fission track and zircon (U-Th)/He data from the Samburu Hills and the Elgeyo Escarpment in the northern and central sectors of the Kenya Rift indicate a broadly consistent thermal evolution of both regions. Results of thermal modeling support a three-phased thermal history since the early Paleocene. The first phase (~65-50 Ma) was characterized by rapid cooling of the rift shoulders and may be coeval with faulting and sedimentation in the Anza Rift basin, now located in the subsurface of the Turkana depression and areas to the east in northern Kenya. In the second phase, very slow cooling or slight reheating occurred between ~45 and 15 Ma as a result of either stable surface conditions, very slow exhumation, or subsidence. The third phase comprised renewed rapid cooling starting at ~15 Ma. This final cooling represents the most recent stage of rifting, which followed widespread flood-phonolite emplacement and has shaped the present-day landscape through rift shoulder uplift, faulting, basin filling, protracted volcanism, and erosion. When compared with thermochronologic and geologic data from other sectors of the East African Rift System, extension appears to be diachronous, spatially disparate, and partly overlapping, likely driven by interactions between mantle-driven processes and crustal heterogeneities, rather than the previously suggested north-south migrating influence of a mantle plume.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Tectonic and climatic control on evolution of rift lakes in the Central Kenya Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergner, A. G. N.; Strecker, M. R.; Trauth, M. H.; Deino, A.; Gasse, F.; Blisniuk, P.; Dühnforth, M.

    2009-12-01

    The long-term histories of the neighboring Nakuru-Elmenteita and Naivasha lake basins in the Central Kenya Rift illustrate the relative importance of tectonic versus climatic effects on rift-lake evolution and the formation of disparate sedimentary environments. Although modern climate conditions in the Central Kenya Rift are very similar for these basins, hydrology and hydrochemistry of present-day lakes Nakuru, Elmenteita and Naivasha contrast dramatically due to tectonically controlled differences in basin geometries, catchment size, and fluvial processes. In this study, we use eighteen 14C and 40Ar/ 39Ar dated fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary sections to unravel the spatiotemporal evolution of the lake basins in response to tectonic and climatic influences. We reconstruct paleoclimatic and ecological trends recorded in these basins based on fossil diatom assemblages and geologic field mapping. Our study shows a tendency towards increasing alkalinity and shrinkage of water bodies in both lake basins during the last million years. Ongoing volcano-tectonic segmentation of the lake basins, as well as reorganization of upstream drainage networks have led to contrasting hydrologic regimes with adjacent alkaline and freshwater conditions. During extreme wet periods in the past, such as during the early Holocene climate optimum, lake levels were high and all basins evolved toward freshwater systems. During drier periods some of these lakes revert back to alkaline conditions, while others maintain freshwater characteristics. Our results have important implications for the use and interpretation of lake sediment as climate archives in tectonically active regions and emphasize the need to deconvolve lacustrine records with respect to tectonics versus climatic forcing mechanisms.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, Susanne; Tetreault, Joya; Torsvik, Trond

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Tectonic controls on rift basin morphology: Evolution of the northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Deino, A. L.; Tesha, A. L.; Becker, T.; Ring, U.

    1993-01-01

    Radiometric (K-Ar and Ar-40/Ar-39) age determinations of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, combined with structural, gravity, and seismic reflection data, are used to constrain the age of sedimentary strata contained within the seismically and volcanically active northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift and to characterize changes in basin and flank morphologies with time. Faulting and volcanism within the Tukuyu-Karonga basin began at approximately 8.6 Ma, when sediments were deposited in abroad, initially asymmetric lake basin bounded on its northeastern side by a border fault system with minor topographic relief. Extensions, primarily by a slip along the border fault, and subsequent regional isostatic compensation led to the development of a 5-km-deep basin bounded by broad uplifted flanks. Along the low-relief basin margin opposite border fault, younger stratigraphic sequences commonly onlap older wedge-shaped sequences, although their internal geometry is often progradational. Intrabasinal faulting, flankuplift, and basaltic and felsic volcanism from centers at the northern end of the basin became more important at about 2.5 Ma when cross-rift transfer faults developed to link the Tukuyu-Karonga basin to the Rukwa basin. Local uplift and volcanic construction at the northern end of the basin led to a southeastward shift in the basin's depocenter. Sequence boundaries are commonly erosional along this low-relief (hanging wall) margin and conformable in the deep lake basin. The geometry of stratigraphic sequences and the distribution of the erosion indicate that horizontal and vertical crustal movements both across and along the length of the rift basin led to changes in levels of the lake, irrespective of paleoclimatic fluctuations.

  8. East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferraccioli, F.; Finn, Carol A.; Jordan, Tom A.; Bell, Robin E.; Anderson, Lester M.; Damaske, Detlef

    2011-01-01

    The Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains are the least understood tectonic feature on Earth, because they are completely hidden beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Their high elevation and youthful Alpine topography, combined with their location on the East Antarctic craton, creates a paradox that has puzzled researchers since the mountains were discovered in 1958. The preservation of Alpine topography in the Gamburtsevs may reflect extremely low long-term erosion rates beneath the ice sheet, but the mountains’ origin remains problematic. Here we present the first comprehensive view of the crustal architecture and uplift mechanisms for the Gamburtsevs, derived from radar, gravity and magnetic data. The geophysical data define a 2,500-km-long rift system in East Antarctica surrounding the Gamburtsevs, and a thick crustal root beneath the range. We propose that the root formed during the Proterozoic assembly of interior East Antarctica (possibly about 1 Gyr ago), was preserved as in some old orogens and was rejuvenated during much later Permian (roughly 250 Myr ago) and Cretaceous (roughly 100 Myr ago) rifting. Much like East Africa, the interior of East Antarctica is a mosaic of Precambrian provinces affected by rifting processes. Our models show that the combination of rift-flank uplift, root buoyancy and the isostatic response to fluvial and glacial erosion explains the high elevation and relief of the Gamburtsevs. The evolution of the Gamburtsevs demonstrates that rifting and preserved orogenic roots can produce broad regions of high topography in continental interiors without significantly modifying the underlying Precambrian lithosphere.

  9. Consequences of Rift Propagation for Spreading in Thick Oceanic Crust in Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karson, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Iceland has long been considered a natural laboratory for processes related to seafloor spreading, including propagating rifts, migrating transforms and rotating microplates. The thick, hot, weak crust and subaerial processes of Iceland result in variations on the themes developed along more typical parts of the global MOR system. Compared to most other parts of the MOR, Icelandic rift zones and transform faults are wider and more complex. Rift zones are defined by overlapping arrays of volcanic/tectonic spreading segments as much as 50 km wide. The most active rift zones propagate N and S away from the Iceland hot spot causing migration of transform faults. A trail of crust deformed by bookshelf faulting forms in their wakes. Dead or dying transform strands are truncated along pseudofaults that define propagation rates close to the full spreading rate of ~20 mm/yr. Pseudofaults are blurred by spreading across wide rift zones and laterally extensive subaerial lava flows. Propagation, with decreasing spreading toward the propagator tips causes rotation of crustal blocks on both sides of the active rift zones. The blocks deform internally by the widespread reactivation of spreading-related faults and zones of weakness along dike margins. The sense of slip on these rift-parallel strike-slip faults is inconsistent with transform-fault deformation. These various deformation features as well as subaxial subsidence that accommodate the thickening of the volcanic upper crustal units are probably confined to the brittle, seismogenic, upper 10 km of the crust. At least beneath the active rift zones, the upper crust is probably decoupled from hot, mechanically weak middle and lower gabbroic crust resulting in a broad plate boundary zone between the diverging lithosphere plates. Similar processes may occur at other types of propagating spreading centers and magmatic rifts.

  10. Thermo-tectonic evolution of the Upper Rhine Graben rift shoulders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Link, K.; Rahn, M.; Keller, J.

    2003-04-01

    The Upper Rhine Graben (URG) is the central segment of the European Cenozoic rift system, extending from the Mediterranean to the North Sea (Ziegler, 1992). The URG extends over a distance of 300 km from Basel (Switzerland) to Frankfurt (Germany) with an average width of 30--40 km. An initial rifting phase is recognised by Middle Eocene (Lutetian) lake deposits. The main rifting phase started at the end of the Eocene (Priabonian) and was followed by prominent uplift in the southern URG area in the Miocene (Schumacher, 2002). Apatite fission track (FT) dating is used to constrain the thermo-tectonic evolution of the rift shoulders. By FT data modelling varying cooling histories are derived for different tectonic blocks of the rift shoulders. In some areas tectonic uplift started in the Upper Cretaceous, a long time before the initial rifting of the URG. In the modelled data no increase in cooling, which might represent rift shoulder uplift and denudation related to the main rifting phase, can be observed. In contrast, in the southern part, the cooling rate increased in Miocene times due to greater uplift and denudation, although the climate changed to cooler and dryer conditions. Contemporaneous with this phase is enormous sediment erosion in the southern graben segment. As a consequence, the driving forces leading to the observed thermo-tectonic evolution of the rift shoulders cannot be explained by URG formation and/or climate changes alone, but must be seen in the context of a European intraplate stress regime. References: Schumacher, M.E. (2002): Tectonics, 21: 1--17. Ziegler, P.A. (1992): Tectonophysics, 208: 91--111.

  11. Timing the Initiation of Extension Along the Shanxi Rift, China, With Implications for the Cenozoic Tectonics of Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, A.; Yin, A.; Burnard, P.; Blythe, A.

    2002-12-01

    The Shanxi rift accommodates east-west extension along the eastern margin of the Ordos block in the North China craton. Previous workers have assumed a Paleogene initiation age for the southern part of the Shanxi rift, because Paleogene sediments occur in the graben basin. However, these sediments also occur along the rift shoulder in the footwalls of major rift-bounding faults, implying Paleogene sediments may be pre-rift. The central and northern parts of the Shanxi rift contain only Neogene sediments, suggesting a Neogene initiation age. Three hypotheses for the timing of rift initiation are proposed: (1) the Shanxi rift initiated in the Paleogene, (2) the rift initiated in the Neogene, and (3) the southern part of the Shanxi rift initiated first in the Paleogene, and subsequent rifting propagated to the north in the Neogene. These hypotheses are being tested by (i) (U-Th) He dating of apatite and (ii) fission track dating of apatite and zircon from east-west transects across graben-bounding normal faults along the Shanxi rift. East-west extension is active across east Asia, occurring in the Himalaya, Tibet, along the northwest and east margins of the Ordos Block, the Hangay extensional system, and in the Lake Baikal region. These systems may be induced by a common dynamic cause because they share the same extension direction. Genetic relations among these systems can be tested by determining (1) kinematic relationships and (2) timing of rifting. To the south the Shanxi rift terminates at the left-slip Qinling fault, which may connect with the left-slip Kunlun fault to the west via a large contractional step-over structure. Both faults are important structures accommodating the Indo-Asian collision in the past 10 m.y. The Kunlun fault marks the northern boundary of active north-trending rifts in Tibet. If the Kunlun fault does kinematically connect with the Qinling fault, these relationships suggest a dynamic link between active east-west extension in Tibet and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  13. Left-lateral transtension along the Ethiopian Rift and constrains on the mantle-reference plate motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muluneh, Ameha A.; Cuffaro, Marco; Doglioni, Carlo

    2014-09-01

    We present the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift, in the northern part of East African Rift System, derived from compilation of geodetic velocities, focal mechanism inversions, structural data analysis and geological profiles. In the central Ethiopian Rift, the GPS velocity field shows a systematic magnitude increase in ENE direction, and the incremental extensional strain axes recorded by earthquake focal mechanisms and fault slip inversion show ≈ N100°E orientation. This deviation between direction of GPS velocity vectors and orientation of incremental extensional strain is developed due to left lateral transtensional deformation along the NE-SW trending segment of the rift. This interpretation is consistent with the en-échelon pattern of tensional and transtensional faults, plus the distribution of the volcanic centers, and the asymmetry of the rift itself. We analyzed the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift also relative to the mantle comparing the results in the deep and shallow hotspot reference frames. While the oblique orientation of the rift was controlled by the pre-existing lithospheric fabric, the two reference frames predict different kinematics of Africa and Somalia plates along the rift itself, both in magnitude and direction, and with respect to the mantle. However, the observed kinematics and tectonics along the rift are more consistent with a faster WSW-ward motion of Africa than Somalia observed in the shallow hotspot framework. The faster WSW motion of Africa with respect to Somalia plate is inferred to be due to the lower viscosity in the top asthenosphere (LVZ-low-velocity zone) beneath Africa. These findings have significant implication for the evolution of continental rifting in transtensional settings and provide evidence for the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift in the context of the Africa-Somalia plate interaction in the mantle reference frame.

  14. SPREE: A Successful Seismic Array by a Failed Rift System; Analysis of Seismic Noise in the Seismically Quiet Mid-continent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolin, E.; van der Lee, S.; Bollmann, T. A.; Revenaugh, J.; Aleqabi, G. I.; Darbyshire, F. A.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Wiens, D.; Shore, P.

    2014-12-01

    The Superior Province Rifting Earthscope Experiment (SPREE) completed its field recording phase last fall with over 96% data return. While 60% of the stations returned data 100% of the time, only 9 performed below 90% and one station had questionable timing. One station was vandalized, another stolen. One station continued recording after its solar panels were pierced by a bullet, while another two stations survived a wildfire and a blow-down, respectively. The blow-down was an extreme wind event that felled hundreds of thousands of trees around the station. SPREE stations recorded many hundreds of earthquakes. Two regional earthquakes and over 400 teleseismic earthquakes had magnitudes over 5.5 and three, smaller local earthquakes had magnitudes over 2.5. We have calculated power spectral estimates between 0.1-1000 s period for the ~2.5-year lifespan of all 82 SPREE stations. Vertical channels performed quite well across the entire frequency range, falling well below the high noise model of Peterson (1993) and usually within 10-15 dB of nearby Transportable Array stations. SPREE stations' horizontal components suffer from long-period (> 30 s) noise. This noise is quietest at night and becomes up to 30 dB noisier during the day in the summer months. We explore possible causes of this variation, including thermal and atmospheric pressure effects. One possibility is that stations are insulated by snow during the winter, reducing temperature variations within the vault. Spring snowmelt creates instability at many of the SPREE stations, evidenced by frequent recenterings and enhanced long-period noise. For all channels, power in the microseismic band (4-16 s) is strongest in the winter, corresponding to storm season in the Northern Hemisphere, and approximately 20 dB weaker during the summer. The power spectrum and temporal variation of microseismic energy is consistent across the entire SPREE array.

  15. Height of faceted spurs, a proxy for determining long-term throw rates on normal faults: Evidence from the North Baikal Rift System, Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, Carole; Meyer, Bertrand; Gunnell, Yanni; Jolivet, Marc; San'kov, Vladimir; Strak, Vincent; Gonga-Saholiariliva, Nahossio

    2010-05-01

    We present new results on the long-term throw rates of active normal faults in the North Baikal Rift (NBR), eastern Siberia, based on a statistical analysis of triangular faceted scarps. Faceted spurs or triangular facets are morphologic features frequently observed along normal fault scarps, and result from the progressive denudation and incision of the footwall during fault activity. Fault-bounded ridges in the NBR display such typical morphologies with several contiguous facets separated by fault-perpendicular catchments. Over a range of 20 fault segments analyzed, triangular facet heights vary from ~200 to >900 m. As fault scarps have been developing under similar long-term climatic conditions, we infer that the scatter in mean facet height arises from long-term differences in fault throw rate. We compare the morphology of NBR facets with results obtained in a previously published numerical model of facet growth, which predicts that the mean height of triangular facets is proportional to the fault throw rate. Using facet height as an input, model results provide estimates of the long-term fault throw rates in the NBR. These vary between 0.2 and 1.2 mm/yr. The throw rates are then compared with the cumulated throw, which has been constrained by geophysical and stratigraphic data in the basins. This provides an estimate of the age of fault and basin initiation. We show that the modern stage of basin development started circa 3 Myr ago, except for the North Baikal basin (~ 8 Ma). Our results also suggest that a proportion of the observed throw is inherited from an earlier tectonic stage.

  16. Multi-velocity, multi-directional extension in the South Atlantic rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heine, Christian; Brune, Sascha; Zoethout, Jasper; Dietmar Müller, R.

    2013-04-01

    Integrated plate kinematic and forward extensional modelling provides new and powerful insights into the evolution of conjugate passive margin systems. The South Atlantic conjugate margins are an ideal laboratory as intracontinental rifting in Africa and South America preceeding the opening of the South Atlantic rift allows to quantitatively reconstruct the kinematics of the pre-seafloor spreading extensional phase. We utilise a self-consistent, high resolution plate kinematic model which includes deforming plates to analyse the spatio-temporal evolution of rifting in the South Atlantic and Equatorial rift system and relate our findings to margin geometry and volcanism. We find that the South Atlantic Rift initiates with a slow extension velocity that persists over ~20 My followed by rapid plate acceleration whereby the extension rate increases ten-fold during few million years to final sea-floor spreading velocities. Simultaneously, the plate motion vector of the South American plate experiences strong counter-clockwise rotation. We further combine our plate kinematic models with forward numerical models of lithosphere extension to investigate the effects of a multi-velocity, multi-directional extensional history on the dynamics of lithosphere deformation. Our results illustrate the spatio-temporal variability of breakup, extension and margin geometry along the South Atlantic and Equatorial rift systems.

  17. Flexural modeling of the midcontinent rift

    SciTech Connect

    Nyquist, J.E.; Wang, H.F.

    1988-08-10

    A basement profile obtained from seismic reflection data has been used to constrain a two-dimensional flexural model of basin formation for the Midcontinent Rift at a latitude of 45/sup 0/25'N. Model parameters included the thickness of the elastic plate, the basin width, and the maximum basin thickness. Modeling suggests that flexure produced a deep narrow basin along the rift axis and that the crust was thinned at the time of basin formation to an elastic thickness of 9.6 km for a plate ruptured by rifting, or 5.7 km for an unbroken plate, with corresponding maximum basin thicknesses of 14 km and 16 km respectively. The plate thickness depends most strongly on the basin width and is well constrained by the seismic data, although erosion may have narrowed the basin. The maximum basin thickness is poorly constrained because of the lack of seismic data for depths greater than about 10 km and because the strata at the center of the rift have been disturbed by a postrift compressional event which produced the St. Croix horst. Despite uncertainty about the basin thickness, the load required to flex the crust to produce the Midcontinent Rift basin is too large to be attributed to the weight of the central flood basalts unless the basin subsided into a fluid less dense than the solidified basalts. On the basis of seismic refraction data and by analogy with other rifts, we hypothesize that a magnetic ''rift pillow'' intruded in the lower crust. The basaltic pillow subsequently solidified to produce a large, high-velocity region in the lower crust, centered under the rift axis, as determined from deep seismic refraction. This crystallization and cooling may be responsible for the ''sag'' phase of rift evolution, as evidenced by laterally widespread occurrence of postvolcanic sediments. copyright American Geophysical Union 1988

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, M.; Bell, C. M.

    1992-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-01

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

  1. Three-Dimensional (3D) Structure of the Malawi Rift from Remote Sensing and Geophysics Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salmi, Haifa S. Al; Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.

    2014-05-01

    The Malawi rift is a Cenozoic aged rift representing the southernmost segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). This rift extends over 900 km from the Rungwe volcanic province (Tanzania) in the north to the Urema graben (Mozambique) to the south, with an average width of 50km. It traverses a complex array of Proterozoic orogenic belts of different ages and Permo-Triassic (Karoo) and cretaceous graben systems. The rift's depth is between 3 to 5km partitioned between the topographic escarpment and the sediments fill. The basin's subsidence reflects accumulation of sediments and rift flank uplift. Regardless of its importance in understanding rift tectonics, especially in Africa, the three-dimensional (3D) geometry of the rift is not fully understood. This research presents results from detailed analysis of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) extracted from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data to map surface morphological expressions of the entire basin. These results are compared with available seismic data to provide along-strike and at depth variation of the geometry of the border fault systems, nature of rift segmentation and alternation of the polarity of half-grabens, and the partitioning of displacement between exposed and sub-surface border faults. Our results show the following: (1) Surface expression of border faults show that, unlike the typical half-graben en-echelon rift model, where half-graben segments with opposite polarity are linked together through accommodation zones indicative of soft linkage, the Malawi rift shows along-strike segmentation by changing geometry from half-graben to full graben geometry. A half-graben with specific polarity passes through a full-graben geometry before giving place to a half-graben with the opposite polarity. The length of half-gaben and graben segments becomes shorter as the rift progresses from north to south, and this is accompanied by a decrease in displacement within border

  2. Quantification and restoration of extensional deformation along the Western Iberia and Newfoundland rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutra, Emilie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy; Unternehr, Patrick

    2013-08-01

    Many recent papers describe the structure of the Iberia and Newfoundland rifted margins; however, none of them propose kinematic restorations of the complete rift system to quantify the amount of extension necessary to exhume mantle and initiate seafloor spreading. In our study, we use two pairs of cross sections considered as conjugate lines: one across the Galicia Bank-Flemish Cap and the other across the Southern Iberia Abyssal Plain-Flemish Pass. Both transects have been imaged by reflection- and refraction-seismic methods and have been drilled during Ocean Drilling Program Legs 103, 149, 173, and 210. Drilling penetrated parts of the rift stratigraphy and the underlying basement. The cross sections can therefore be considered as the best-documented conjugate transects across present-day hyperextended, magma-poor rifted margins. The aim of this paper is threefold: (1) provide a detailed description of the crustal architecture of the two conjugate sections, (2) define the extensional structures and their ages, and (3) quantify the amount of strain and strain rate accommodated along these lines. This paper proposes a quantitative description of extension along the Iberia-Newfoundland rift system and discusses the limitations and problems in quantifying extensional deformation along hyperextended rifted margins.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drachev, S. S.

    2003-04-01

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

  4. Intracontinental rifting and inversion: Missour basin and Atlas Mountains, Morocco

    SciTech Connect

    Beauchamp, W.; Barazangi, M.; Demnati, A.; Alji, M.E.

    1996-09-01

    The intracontinental High and Middle Atlas mountain belts in Morocco intersect to form the southern and western margins of the Missour basin, an intermontane basin formed as a result of the uplift and inversion of the Mesozoic Atlas paleorifts. These rifts were areas where the crust was greatly attenuated and more subject to deformation in response to nearby plate boundary tectonics. Data from observations based on seismic reflection profiles and wells over the Missour basin for hydrocarbon exploration and field mapping were used to understand the basin evolution, structural styles, and inversion timing of the nearby Atlas Mountains. Hercynian and Mesozoic normal faults were reactivated into high-angle reverse and thrust faults in the Mesozoic during the Jurassic, Early Cretaceous (early Alpine phase), and the Paleogene (late Alpine phase). The reactivation of synrift normal faults of the paleo-Atlas rifts inverted previous half grabens into anticlinal structures, with the axis of the half graben centered below the axis of the inverted anticline. The resulting inverted fold geometries are controlled by the geometries of the extensional planar or listric faults. The Atlas paleorift system is one of the largest rift systems in Africa. Little hydrocarbon exploration has occurred within the Atlas Mountains and the margins of the paleo-Atlas rift system. Inversion of synrift structures can lead to both the destruction and preservation of synrift traps and the creation of new hydrocarbon traps. The study of the effects of inversion in the Missour basin may lead to the discovery of footwall subthrust hydrocarbon traps in the Mesozoic sedimentary sequence of the Atlas Mountains.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-04-01

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

  6. Petroleum geology of Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1993-08-01

    This overview of the petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic (CAR) is based on exploration work by Exxon and partners in the years 1969-1991. The work included 50,000 km of modern reflection seismic, 53 exploration wells, 1,000,000 km[sup 2] of aeromagnetic coverage, and about 10,500 km of gravity profiles. The results outline ten Cretaceous and Tertiary rift basins, which constitute a major part of the West and Central African rift system (WCARS). The rift basins derive from a multiphased geologic history dating from the Pan-African (approximately 750-550 Ma) to the Holocene. WCARS in the study area is divided into the West African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (CAS). WAS basins in Niger and Chad are chiefly extensional, and are filled by up to 13,000 m of Lower Cretaceous to Holocene continental and marine clastics. The basins contain five oil (19-43[degrees]API) and two oil and gas accumulations in Upper Cretaceous and Eocene sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced and sealed by Upper Cretaceous and Eocene marine and lacustrine shales. The most common structural styles and hydrocarbon traps usually are associated with normal fault blocks. CAS rift basins in Chad and CAR are extensional and transtensional, and are filled by up to 7500 m of chiefly Lower Cretaceous continental clastics. The basins contain eight oil (15-39[degrees]API) and one oil and gas discovery in Lower and Upper Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced by Lower Cretaceous shales and sealed by interbedded lacustrine and flood-plain shales. Structural styles range from simple fault blocks through complex flower structures. The main hydrocarbon traps are in contractional anticlines. Geological conditions favor the discovery of potentially commercial volumes of oil in WCARS basins, of Niger, Chad and CAR. 108 refs., 24 figs., 4 tabs.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  8. Transfer zones and fault reactivation in inverted rift basins: Insights from physical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konstantinovskaya, Elena A.; Harris, Lyal B.; Poulin, Jimmy; Ivanov, Gennady M.

    2007-08-01

    Lateral transfer zones of deformation and fault reactivation were investigated in multilayered silicone-sand models during extension and subsequent co-axial shortening. Model materials were selected to meet similarity criteria and to be distinguished on CT scans; this approach permitted non-destructive visualisation of the progressive evolution of structures. Transfer zones were initiated by an orthogonal offset in the geometry of a basal mobile aluminium sheet and/or by variations of layer thickness or material rheology in basal layers. Transfer zones affected rift propagation and fault kinematics in models. Propagation and overlapping rift culminations occurred in transfer zones during extension. During shortening, deviation in the orientation of frontal thrusts and fold axes occurred within transfer zones in brittle and ductile layers, respectively. CT scans showed that steep (58-67°) rift-margin normal faults were reactivated as reverse faults. The reactivated faults rotated to shallower dips (19-38°) with continuing shortening after 100% inversion. Rotation of rift phase faults appears to be due to deep level folding and uplift during the inversion phase. New thrust faults with shallow dips (20-34°) formed outside the inverted graben at late stages of shortening. Frontal ramps propagated laterally past the transfer structure during shortening. During inversion, the layers filling the rift structures underwent lateral compression at the depth, the graben fill was pushed up and outwards creating local extension near the surface. Sand marker layers in inverted graben have showed fold-like structures or rotation and tilting in the rifts and on the rift margins. The results of our experiments conform well to natural examples of inverted graben. Inverted rift basins are structurally complex and often difficult to interpret in seismic data. The models may help to unravel the structure and evolution of these systems, leading to improved hydrocarbon exploration

  9. Lithospheric processes that enhance melting at rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  10. The magmatic budget of Atlantic type rifted margins: is it related to inheritance?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manatschal, Gianreto; Tugend, Julia; Picazo, Suzanne; Müntener, Othmar

    2016-04-01

    In the past, Atlantic type rifted margins were either classified as volcanic or non-volcanic. An increasing number of high quality reflection and refraction seismic surveys and drill hole data show a divergent style of margin architecture and an evolution in which the quantity and distribution of syn-rift magmatism is variable, independently of the amount of extension. Overgeneralized classifications and models assuming simple relations between magmatic and extensional systems are thus inappropriate to describe the formation of rifted margins. More recent studies show that the magmatic evolution of rifted margins is complex and cannot be characterized based on the volume of observed magma alone. On the one hand, so-called "non-volcanic" margins are not necessarily amagmatic, as shown by the results of ODP drilling along the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins. On the other hand, magma-rich margins, such as the Norwegian, NW Australian or the Namibia rifted margins show evidence for hyper-extension prior to breakup. These observations suggest that the magmatic budget does not only depend on extension rates but also on the composition and temperature of the decompressing mantle. Moreover, the fact that the magmatic budget may change very abruptly along strike and across the margin is difficult to reconcile with the occurrence of plumes or other deep-seated large-scale mantle phenomena only. These overall observations result in questions on how magmatic and tectonic processes are interacting during rifting and lithospheric breakup and on how far inheritance may control the magmatic budget during rifting. In our presentation we will review results from the South and North Atlantic and the Alpine Tethys domain and will discuss the structural and magmatic evolution of so-called magma-rich and magma-poor rifted margins. In particular, we will try to define when, where and how much magma forms during rifting and lithospheric breakup. The key questions that we aim to address

  11. Origin of three-armed rifts in volcanic islands: the case of El Hierro (Canary Islands)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galindo Jiménez, Inés; Becerril Carretero, Laura; Martí Molist, Joan; Gudmundsson, Agust

    2015-04-01

    Rifts zones in volcanic oceanic islands are common structures that have been explained through several theories/models. However, despite all these models it is as yet unclear whether it is the intense intrusive activity or the sector collapses that actually control the structural evolution and geometry of oceanic-island rift zones. Here we provide a new hypothesis to explain the origin and characteristics of the feeding system of oceanic-island rift zones based on the analysis of more than 1700 surface, subsurface (water galleries), and submarine structural data from El Hierro (Canary Islands). El Hierro's geological structure is primarily controlled by a three-armed rift-zone, the arms striking NE, WSW and S. Between the rift axes there are three valleys formed during huge landslides: El Golfo, El Julan, and Las Playas. Our results show: (1) a predominant NE-SW strike of structural elements, which coincides with the main regional trend of the Canary Archipelago as a whole; (2) a clear radial strike distribution of structural elements for the whole volcanic edifice (including submarine flanks) with respect to the centre of the island; (3) that the rift zones are mainly subaerial structures and do not propagate through the submarine edifice; (4) that it is only in the NE rift that structures have a general strike similar to that of the rift as a whole, and; (5) that in the W and S rifts there is not clear main direction, showing the structural elements in the W rift a fan distribution coinciding with the general radial pattern in the island as a whole. Based on these data, we suggest that the radial-striking structures reflect comparatively uniform stress fields that operated during the constructive episodes, mainly conditioned by the combination of overburden pressure, gravitational spreading, and magma-induced stresses. By contrast, in the shallower parts of the edifice, that is, the NE-SW, N-S and WNW-ESE-striking structures, reflect local stress fields related

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    cut by multiple tensile vein sets along the western margin of the Albuquerque basin in the Lucero uplift. At this location, U-series ages on travertine deposits are used to calculate strain rates at this location. These strain rates (15-105 nstr/yr) are higher than both the modern strain rates as well as the average long-term strain rates (3-14 nstr/yr) obtained from restored cross-sections across different basins in the rift. To explain these observations, we propose a model involving high fluid pressures, which promote the formation of tensile veins that are oriented with respect to the modern day stress field in the rift. These regions of anomalously-high strain need not be widespread, and are only active on timescales of the hydraulic system, but they are nevertheless an underappreciated mechanism of progressive extension in the rift. Berglund, H.T., Sheehan, A.F., Murray, M.H., Roy, M., Lowry, A.R., Nerem, R.S., and Blume, F., 2012, Distributed deformation across the Rio Grande Rift, Great Plains, and Colorado Plateau: Geology, v. 40, p. 23-26.

  13. Analysis of the Junction of the East African Rift and the Cretaceous-Paleogene Rifts in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariita, N. O.; Tadesse, K.; Keller, G. R.

    2003-12-01

    The East African rift (EAR) is a Tertiary-Miocene system that extends from the Middle East, through East Africa, to Mozambique in southern Africa. Much of the present information is from the Ethiopian and Kenyan parts of the rift. Several characteristics of the EAR such as rift-related volcanism, faulting and topographic relief being exposed make it attractive for studying continental rift processes. Structural complexities reflected in the geometries of grabens and half-grabens, the existence of transverse fault zones and accommodation zones, and the influence of pre-existing geologic structures have been documented. In particular, the EAR traverses the Anza graben and related structures near the Kenya/Ethiopian border. The Anza graben is one in a series of Cretaceous-Paleogene failed rifts that trend across Central Africa from Nigeria through Chad to Sudan and Kenya with an overall northwest-southeast trend. In spite of a number of recent studies, we do not understand the interaction of these two rift systems. In both Ethiopia and Kenya, the rift segments share some broad similarities in timing and are related in a geographic sense. For example, volcanism appears to have generally preceded or in some cases have been contemporaneous with major rift faulting. Although, these segments are distinct entities, each with its own tectonic and magmatic evolution, and they do connect in the region crossed by the Anza graben and related structures. In our present study, we are using a combination of recently collected seismic, gravity and remote sensing data to increase our understanding of these two segments of the EAR. We hope that by analysing the satellite data, the variety and differences in the volume of magmatic products extruded along in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya will be identified. The geometry of structures (in particular, those causing the gravity axial high) will be modelled to study the impact of the older Anza graben structural trends with the

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, E.I.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Question of Ages of Cenozoic Volcanic Centers Inferred Beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) in the West Antarctic Rift System (WR) from Coincident Aeromagnetic and Radar Ice Sounding Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrendt, J. C.; Finn, C. A.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2007-12-01

    The recently acquired radar ice sounding surveys (Holt, et al., 2006) extending the 1990s Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey to the Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea coasts allows us to revise a thought experiment reported by Behrendt et al., 1991 from very limited bed elevation data. Were the ice of the WAIS flowing through the WR to be compressed to the density of crustal rock, almost all of the area beneath the WAIS would be at or above sea level, much >1 km elevation. There are only about 10-20% of the very deep areas (such as the Bentley subglacial trench and the Byrd Subglacial Basin) filled with 3-4-km thick ice that would be well below sea level. The age of the 5-7-km high rift shoulder bounding the asymmetric WR from northern Victoria Land through the Horlick Mountains (where it diverges from the Transantarctic Mountains) to the Ellsworth Mountains has been reported as old as Cretaceous. Volcanic exposures associated with the West Antarctic rift system in the present WAIS area extend at least to 34 Ma and the West Antarctic ice sheet has flowed through the rift possibly as far back in time as 25 Ma. Active volcanism has been reported for the WR at only a few widely scattered locations, so speculations about present volcanic activity beneath the WAIS are quite uncertain, and it is probably quite rare. The Central West Antarctic aeromagnetic and radar ice sounding survey carried out in the 1990s revealed about 1000 "volcanic centers" characterized by 100-1000 nT shallow source magnetic anomalies, at least 400 of which have associated bed topography. About 80% of these show relief <200 m and have been interpreted as smoothed off as they were erupted (injected) into the moving WAIS. Several kilometer-thick highly magnetic sources are required to fit these anomalies requiring high remanent magnetizations in the present field direction. We interpreted these sources as subvolcanic intrusions which must be younger than about 100 Ma because the

  17. Surface deformation in volcanic rift zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pollard, D.D.; Delaney, P.T.; Duffield, W.A.; Endo, E.T.; Okamura, A.T.

    1983-01-01

    The principal conduits for magma transport within rift zones of basaltic volcanoes are steeply dipping dikes, some of which feed fissure eruptions. Elastic displacements accompanying a single dike emplacement elevate the flanks of the rift relative to a central depression. Concomitant normal faulting may transform the depression into a graben thus accentuating the topographic features of the rift. If eruption occurs the characteristic ridge-trough-ridge displacement profile changes to a single ridge, centered at the fissure, and the erupted lava alters the local topography. A well-developed rift zone owes its structure and topography to the integrated effects of many magmatic rifting events. To investigate this process we compute the elastic displacements and stresses in a homogeneous, two-dimensional half-space driven by a pressurized crack that may breach the surface. A derivative graphical method permits one to estimate the three geometric parameters of the dike (height, inclination, and depth-to-center) and the mechanical parameter (driving pressure/rock stiffness) from a smoothly varying displacement profile. Direct comparison of measured and theoretical profiles may be used to estimate these parameters even if inelastic deformation, notably normal faulting, creates discontinuities in the profile. Geological structures (open cracks, normal faults, buckles, and thrust faults) form because of stresses induced by dike emplacement and fissure eruption. Theoretical stress states associated with dilation of a pressurized crack are used to interpret the distribution and orientation of these structures and their role in rift formation. ?? 1983.

  18. Impact of rheological layering on rift asymmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaquet, Yoann; Schmalholz, Stefan M.; Duretz, Thibault

    2015-04-01

    Although numerous models of rift formation have been proposed, what triggers asymmetry of rifted margins remains unclear. Parametrized material softening is often employed to induce asymmetric fault patterns in numerical models. Here, we use thermo-mechanical finite element models that allow softening via thermal weakening. We investigate the importance of lithosphere rheology and mechanical layering on rift morphology. The numerical code is based on the MILAMIN solver and uses the Triangle mesh generator. Our model configuration consists of a visco-elasto-platic layered lithosphere comprising either (1) only one brittle-ductile transition (in the mantle) or (2) three brittle-ductile transitions (one in the upper crust, one in the lower crust and one in the mantle). We perform then two sets of simulations characterized by low and high extensional strain rates (5*10-15 s-1, 2*10-14 s-1). The results show that the extension of a lithosphere comprising only one brittle-ductile transition produces a symmetric 'neck' type rift. The upper and lower crusts are thinned until the lithospheric mantle is exhumed to the seafloor. A lithosphere containing three brittle-ductile transitions favors strain localization. Shear zones at different horizontal locations and generated in the brittle levels of the lithosphere get connected by the weak ductile layers. The results suggest that rheological layering of the lithosphere can be a reason for the generation of asymmetric rifting and subsequent rift morphology.

  19. The 1974 Ethiopian rift geodimeter survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P.

    1977-01-01

    The field techniques and methods of data reduction for five successive geodimeter surveys in the Ethiopian rift valley are enlarged upon, with the considered conclusion that there is progressive accumulation of upper crustal strain, consonant with on-going rift extension. The extension is restricted to the Quaternary volcanotectonic axis of the rift, namely the Wonji fault belt, and is occurring at rates of 3 to 6 mm/yr in the northern sector of the rift valley. Although this concurs with the predictions of platetectonic analysis of the Afar triple junction, it is considered premature to endorse such a concurrence on the basis of only 5 years of observations. This is underlined by the detection of local tectonic contractions and expansions associated with geothermal and gravity anomalies in the central sector of the rift valley. There is a hint of a component of dextral slip along some of the rift-floor fault zones, both from geological evidence and from the strain patterns detected in the present geodetic surveys.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Tectonics and sedimentology of post-rift anomalous vertical movements: the rifted margin of Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertotti, Giovanni; Charton, Remi; Luber, Tim; Arantegui, Angel; Redfern, Jonathan

    2016-04-01

    Roughly 15 years ago it was discovered that substantial parts of the Morocco passive continental margin experienced km-scale, post-rift exhumation. It was predicted that the sands resulting from the associated erosion would be present in the offshore and potentially form hydrocarbon reservoirs. At the same time, anomalous post-rift vertical movements have been documented in various localities of the world and rifted continental margins are at present exciting objects of research. Following intense research efforts the knowledge of the kinematics of vertical movements and their implications for sedimentary systems is increasing. The low-T geochronology initially limited to the classical Meseta-Massif Ancien de Marrakech transect has been expanded reaching the Reguibate Massif to the S and covering, possibly more importantly, one transect in E-W direction along the Anti Atlas. Exhumation occurred along two dominant trends. In N-S direction a several hundred-kilometers long exhuming domain developed roughly parallel to the Atlantic margin. Changes in magnitude and timing of exhumation are observed along this elevated domain associated with E-W trending undulations. The timing of main stage of upward movement of E-W trending highs seems to be Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous in the Meseta and High Atlas and somewhat older, Early to Middle Jurassic, in the Anti-Atlas and Reguibate. The discovery of E-W trending highs and lows has major implication for sediment distribution and dispersal. At the large scale, it means that the drainage basins were smaller than initially predicted. This seems to be compatible with the paucity of sands encountered by recent exploration wells drilled offshore Morocco. At the scale of several kilometers, W-E trending anticlines and synclines developed in a generally subsiding coastal environment. These folds often had an expression at the sea floor documented by ravinement surfaces and (Jurassic) reef build-ups on top of the anticlines

  2. The aeromagnetic method as a tool to identify Cenozoic magmatism in the West Antarctic Rift System beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: a review; Thiel subglacial volcano as possible source of the ash layer in the WAISCOR

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    2013-01-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) flows through the volcanically active West Antarctic Rift System (WARS). The aeromagnetic method has been the most useful geophysical tool for identification of subglacial volcanic rocks, since 1959–64 surveys, particularly combined with 1978 radar ice-sounding. The unique 1991–97 Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey covering 354,000 km2 over the WAIS, (5-km line-spaced, orthogonal lines of aeromagnetic, radar ice-sounding, and aerogravity measurements), still provides invaluable information on subglacial volcanic rocks, particularly combined with the older aeromagnetic profiles. These data indicate numerous 100–>1000 nT, 5–50-km width, shallow-source, magnetic anomalies over an area greater than 1.2 × 106 km2, mostly from subglacial volcanic sources. I interpreted the CWA anomalies as defining about 1000 “volcanic centers” requiring high remanent normal magnetizations in the present field direction. About 400 anomaly sources correlate with bed topography. At least 80% of these sources have less than 200 m relief at the WAIS bed. They appear modified by moving ice, requiring a younger age than the WAIS (about 25 Ma). Exposed volcanoes in the WARS are The present rapid changes resulting from global warming, could be accelerated by subglacial volcanism.

  3. Rift processes and crustal structure of the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica, from 3D potential field modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalberg, Thomas; Gohl, Karsten; Eagles, Graeme; Spiegel, Cornelia

    2015-12-01

    The Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica is of particular interest as it provides critical geological boundary conditions in better understanding the dynamic behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is undergoing rapid ice loss in the Amundsen Sea sector. One of the highly debated hypothesis is whether this region has been affected by the West Antarctic Rift System, which is one of the largest in the world and the dominating tectonic feature in West Antarctica. Previous geophysical studies suggested an eastward continuation of this rift system into the Amundsen Sea Embayment. This geophysical study of the Amundsen Sea Embayment presents a compilation of data collected during two RV Polarstern expeditions in the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica in 2006 and 2010. Bathymetry and satellite-derived gravity data of the Amundsen Sea Embayment complete the dataset. Our 3-D gravity and magnetic models of the lithospheric architecture and development of this Pacific margin improve previous interpretations from 2-D models of the region. The crust-mantle boundary beneath the continental rise and shelf is between 14 and 29 km deep. The imaged basement structure can be related to rift basins within the Amundsen Sea Embayment, some of which can be interpreted as products of the Cretaceous rift and break-up phase and some as products of later propagation of the West Antarctic Rift System into the region. An estimate of the flexural rigidity of the lithosphere reveals a thin elastic thickness in the eastern embayment which increases towards the west. The results are comparable to estimates in other rift systems such as the Basin and Range province or the East African Rift. Based on these results, we infer an arm of the West Antarctic Rift System is superposed on a distributed Cretaceous rift province in the Amundsen Sea Embayment. Finally, the embayment was affected by magmatism from discrete sources along the Pacific margin of West Antarctica in the Cenozoic.

  4. Erosion of Terrestrial Rift Flank Topography: A Quantitative Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissel, Jeffrey K.

    1999-01-01

    Many rifted or passive continental margins feature a seaward-facing erosional escarpment which abruptly demarcates deeply weathered, low relief, interior uplands from a deeply incised, high relief coastal zone. It is generally accepted that these escarpments originate at the time of continental rifting and propagate inland through the elevated rift flank topography at rates on the order of 1 km/Myr over the course of a margin's history. Considering the length of passive margins worldwide and an average rift flank plateau height of several hundred meters, it is clear that sediment eroded from passive margins is an important component of the mass flux from continents to oceans through geologic time. The overall goal of the research reported here is to develop a quantitative understanding of the kinematics of escarpment propagation across passive margins and the underlying geological processes responsible for this behavior. Plateau-bounding escarpments in general exhibit two basic forms depending on the direction of surface water drainage on the plateau interior relative to the escarpment. Where surface water flows away from the escarpment, the escarpment takes the form of subdued embayments and promontories, such that its overall trend remains fairly straight as it evolves with time. Where upland streams flow across the escarpment, it takes the form of dramatic, narrow gorges whose heads appear to propagate up the plateau drainage systems as large-scale knickpoints. From work on the Colorado Plateau, Schmidt (1987) noted that the Colorado River is located much closer to the Grand Canyon's south rim, a drainage divide escarpment, than to the north rim, which is a gorge-like escarpment. The main implication is that the gorge-like form might be associated with higher long-term average erosion rates compared to the drainage divide escarpment type.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Formation of curved seafloor fabric by changes in rift propagation velocity and spreading rate - Application to the 95.5 deg W Galapagos propagator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

    Possible rigid plate models and shear models for the formation of curved seafloor lineaments by rift propagation are investigated and are applied to the Galapagos propagation rift system at 95 deg W. It is shown that the geometry noted at the Galapagos can result from either rift propagation acceleration or a spreading rate decrease during the last few hundred thousand years. It is postulated that the reverse curvature could result from either deceleration of rift propagation or an increase in spreading rate. The data interpreted as requiring a shear zone are found to be equally consistent with two distinct models based on rigid plate tectonics.

  8. Deformation in a hyperslow oceanic rift: Insights from the tectonics of the São Miguel Island (Terceira Rift, Azores)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

    The evolution of hyperslow oceanic rifts, like the Terceira Rift (TR) in the Azores, is still poorly understood. Here we examine the distribution of strain and magmatism in the portion of the TR making up the Nubia-Eurasia plate boundary. We use São Miguel Island because it stretches most of the TR width, which allows to investigate the TR's architecture and shedding light on TR's age and mode of deformation. From topography and structural analysis, and new measurements of 380 faults and dikes, we show that (1) São Miguel has two main structural directions, N150 and N110, mostly concentrated in the eastern part of the island as an onshore continuation of the faults observed offshore in the NE (N110 faults) and SW (N140) TR walls; (2) a new N50-N80 fault system is identified in São Miguel; (3) fault and dike geometries indicate that eastern São Miguel comprises the TR's northern boundary, and the lack of major faults in central and western São Miguel indicates that rifting is mostly concentrated at master faults bounding the TR. Based on TR's geometry, structural observations and plate kinematics, we estimate that the TR initiated between 1.4 and 2.7 Ma ago and that there is no appreciable seafloor spreading associated with rifting. Based on plate kinematics, on the new structural data, and on São Miguel's structural and volcanic trends, we propose that the eastern two thirds of São Miguel lie along a main TR-related transform fault striking N70-N80, which connects two widely separated N130-N150 TR-trending segments.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-02-01

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

  10. Lower Crustal Seismicity, Volatiles, and Evolving Strain Fields During the Initial Stages of Cratonic Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, C.; Muirhead, J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Tiberi, C.; Roecker, S. W.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Kianji, G.; Mulibo, G. D.

    2014-12-01

    The volcanically active East African rift system in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania transects thick cratonic lithosphere, and comprises several basins characterized by deep crustal seismicity. The US-French-Tanzania-Kenya CRAFTI project aims to understand the role of magma and volatile movement during the initiation and evolution of rifting in cratonic lithosphere. Our 38-station broadband network spans all or parts of fault-bounded rift segments, enabling comparison of lithospheric structure, fault kinematics, and seismogenic layer thickness with age and proximity to the deeply rooted Archaen craton. Seismicity levels are high in all basins, but we find profound differences in seismogenic layer thickness along the length of the rift. Seismicity in the Manyara basin occurs almost exclusively within the lower crust, and in spatial clusters that have been active since 1990. In contrast, seismicity in the ~ 5 My older Magadi basin is localized in the upper crust, and the long border fault bounding the west side of the basin is seismically inactive. Between these two basins lies the Natron rift segment, which shows seismicity between ~ 20 and ~2 km depth, and high concentrations at Oldoinyo Lengai and Gelai volcanoes. Older volcanoes on the uplifted western flank (e.g., Ngorongoro) experience swarms of activity, suggesting that active magmatism and degassing are widespread. Focal mechanisms of the frequent earthquakes recorded across the array are spatially variable, and indicate a stress field strongly influenced by (1) Holocene volcanoes, (2) mechanical interactions between adjacent rift basins, and (3) a far-field ESE-WNW extensional stress regime. We explore the spatial correlation between zones of intense degassing along fault systems and seismicity, and examine the influence of high gas pressures on lower and upper crustal seismicity in this youthful cratonic rift zone.

  11. Rifting Thick Lithosphere - Canning Basin, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czarnota, Karol; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Investigating the Influence of Pre-Existing Basement Structures on the Propagation of the Malawi Rift using SRTM, RADARSAT, and Aeromagnetic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, K.; Atekwana, E. A.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Laó-Dávila, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Malawi rift is a Neogene, amagmatic rift located where the Western Branch of the East Africa Rift System (EARS) terminates. In more mature rifts, magmatism is frequently recognized as a driving factor in rift propagation; however, the amagmatic nature of the Malawi rift permits investigation into the relationship between pre-existing structures and current rift propagation, without the influence of magmatism. To map surface structures, we used Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and RADARSAT imagery over southern Malawi. To process the SRTM data, we applied edge enhancing filters and derivatives, and extracted topographic profiles to examine scarp height and minimum vertical exposed displacement. We mapped morphologically-defined structures by filtering the RADARSAT imagery using an enhanced lee filter to reduce noise and a Laplacian filter for edge enhancement. To examine Precambrian basement structures, we filtered aeromagnetic data using vertical and horizontal derivatives, tilt derivative, and analytic signal to create magnetic anomaly maps. Surface mapping indicated three primary trends in the southern Malawi rift: NW-SE (dominant), NE-SW, both of which are most likely the remnants of Mesozoic Karoo rifting, and a NNE-SSW trend seen in Neogene rifting. The Precambrian basement structural mapping also reveals three primary trends: WNW-ESE, NE-SW, and NW-SE. Ductile deformation causes the dominant basement fabric to change, switching polarity as the rift propagated southward from NE-SW orientation to NW-SE and WNW-ESE orientations, and back to a NE-SW orientation. In general, the surficial structures follow this trend. In some areas, however, the more recent rifting cut across pre-existing basement structures, possibly due to rheological heterogeneities or selective strain partitioning. Nonetheless, pre-existing basement structures played a critical role in strain localization and fault propagation in Malawi. However

  13. Modern and ancient mineralization in the Salton Trough Rift

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldesenbet, S. F.; Wohnlich, S.

    2012-12-01

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

  15. The use of subsurface thermal data, isotopic tracers and earthquake hypocenter locations to unravel deep regional flow systems within the crystalline basement beneath the Rio Grande rift, New Mexico. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Person, M. A.; Woolsey, E.; Pepin, J.; Crossey, L. J.; Karlstrom, K. E.; Phillips, F. M.; Kelley, S.; Timmons, S.

    2013-12-01

    The Rio Grande rift in New Mexico hosts a number of low-temperature geothermal systems as well as the 19 km deep Socorro Magma Body. The presence of a mantle helium anomaly measured at San Acacia spring (3He/4He = 0.295 RA) and in an adjacent shallow well (50m < ; 0.8 RA) overlying the Socorro Magma Body at the southern terminus of the Albuquerque Basin suggests that deeply sourced fluids mix with the sedimentary basin groundwater flow system. Temperatures recorded at the base of the San Acacia well is elevated (29 oC). Published estimates of uplift rates and heat flow suggest that the magma body was emplaced about 1-3 ka and reflects a long-lived (several Ma) magmatic system. Further south near the southern terminus of the Engle Basin, much warmer temperatures (42 oC) occur at shallow depths within the spa district in the town of Truth or Consequences at shallow depths also suggesting deep-fluid circulation. 14C constrained apparent groundwater residence times in the spa district range between 6-10 ka. We have developed two 6-19 km deep crustal-scale, cross-sectional models that simulate subsurface fluid flow, heat and isotope (3He/4He) transport as well as groundwater residence times along the Rio Grande rift. The North-South oriented model of the Albuquerque Basin incorporates a high-permeability conduit 100 m wide having hydrologic properties differing from surrounding crystalline basement units. We use these models to constrain the crustal permeability structure and fluid circulation patterns beneath the Albuquerque and Engle Basins. Model results are compared to measurements of groundwater temperatures, residence times (14C), and 3He/4He data. We also use the distribution of earthquake hypocenters to constrain likely fault-crystalline basement hydraulic interactions in the seismogenic crust above the Socorro Magma Body. For the case of the southern Albuquerque Basin, conduit permeability associated with the Indian Hill conduit/fault zone must range between

  16. Crustal extension in the Baikal rift zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zorin, Yu; Cordell, L.

    1991-01-01

    Analysis of the gravity field along four profiles crossing the Baikal rift zone permits an estimate of the amount of anomalous mass produced by 1. (1) graben-fill sediments, 2. (2) Moho uplift and intrusion of mantle sills and dikes, 3. (3) an asthenospheric bulge. Crustal extension is evaluated based on the idea of mass and volume balance of material introduced into and removed from the initial volume of the crust. Extension in the Baikal rift increases southwestward from 0.9 km in the Chara depression to 19.3 km in the South Baikal depression. These values generally agree with the position of the Euler pole determined from seismic data (fault plane solutions). Average rotation velocity for the lithospheric plates separated by the rift zone is estimated to be 5.93 ?? 10-4 rad/m.y. over about 30 m.y. ?? 1991.

  17. Submarine thermal springs on the Galapagos Rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corliss, J.B.; Dymond, J.; Gordon, L.I.; Edmond, J.M.; Von Herzen, R. P.; Ballard, Richard D.; Green, K.; Williams, D.; Bainbridge, A.; Crane, K.; Van Andel, T. H.

    1979-01-01

    The submarine hydrothermal activity on and near the Galápagos Rift has been explored with the aid of the deep submersible Alvin. Analyses of water samples from hydrothermal vents reveal that hydrothermal activity provides significant or dominant sources and sinks for several components of seawater; studies of conductive and convective heat transfer suggest that two-thirds of the heat lost from new oceanic lithosphere at the Galápagos Rift in the first million years may be vented from thermal springs, predominantly along the axial ridge within the rift valley. The vent areas are populated by animal communities. They appear to utilize chemosynthesis by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria to derive their entire energy supply from reactions between the seawater and the rocks at high temperatures, rather than photosynthesis

  18. Submarine thermal sprirngs on the galapagos rift.

    PubMed

    Corliss, J B; Dymond, J; Gordon, L I; Edmond, J M; von Herzen, R P; Ballard, R D; Green, K; Williams, D; Bainbridge, A; Crane, K; van Andel, T H

    1979-03-16

    The submarine hydrothermal activity on and near the Galápagos Rift has been explored with the aid of the deep submersible Alvin. Analyses of water samples from hydrothermal vents reveal that hydrothermal activity provides significant or dominant sources and sinks for several components of seawater; studies of conductive and convective heat transfer suggest that two-thirds of the heat lost from new oceanic lithosphere at the Galápagos Rift in the first million years may be vented from thermal springs, predominantly along the axial ridge within the rift valley. The vent areas are populated by animal communities. They appear to utilize chemosynthesis by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria to derive their entire energy supply from reactions between the seawater and the rocks at high temperatures, rather than photosynthesis. PMID:17776033

  19. Rayleigh Wave Tomography of Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) using Earthquake and Ambient Noise Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleqabi, G. I.; Wiens, D.; Wysession, M. E.; Shen, W.; van der Lee, S.; Revenaugh, J.; Frederiksen, A. W.; Darbyshire, F. A.; Stein, S. A.; Jurdy, D. M.; Wolin, E.; Bollmann, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    The structure of the North American Mid-Continent Rift Zone (MCRZ) is examined using Rayleigh waves from teleseismic earthquakes and ambient seismic noise recorded by the Superior Province Rifting EarthScope Experiment (SPREE). Eighty-four broadband seismometers were deployed during 2011-2013 in Minnesota and Wisconsin, USA, and Ontario, CA, along three lines; two across the rift axis and the third along the rift axis. These stations, together with the EarthScope Transportable Array, provided excellent coverage of the MCRZ. The 1.1 Ga Mesoproterozoic failed rift consists of two arms, buried under post-rifting sedimentary formations that meet at Lake Superior. We compare two array-based tomography methods using teleseismic fundamental mode Rayleigh waves phase and amplitude measurements: the two-plane wave method (TPWM, Forsyth, 1998) and the automated surface wave phase velocity measuring system (ASWMS, Jin and Gaherty, 2015). Both array methods and the ambient noise method give relatively similar results showing low velocity zones extending along the MCRZ arms. The teleseismic Rayleigh wave results from 18 - 180 s period are combined with short period phase velocity results (period 8-30 s) obtained from ambient noise by cross correlation. Phase velocities from the methods are very similar at periods of 18-30 where results overlap; in this period range we use the average of the noise and teleseismic results. Finally the combined phase velocity curve is inverted using a Monte-Carlo inversion method at each geographic point in the model. The results show low velocities at shallow depths (5-10 km) that are the result of very deep sedimentary fill within the MCRZ. Deeper-seated low velocity regions may correspond to mafic underplating of the rift zone.

  20. Permo-Triassic anatexis, continental rifting and the disassembly of western Pangaea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochrane, Ryan; Spikings, Richard; Gerdes, Axel; Ulianov, Alexey; Mora, Andres; Villagómez, Diego; Putlitz, Benita; Chiaradia, Massimo

    2014-03-01

    Crustal anatectites are frequently observed along ocean-continent active margins, although their origins are disputed with interpretations varying between rift-related and collisional. We report geochemical, isotopic and geochronological data that define an ~ 1500 km long belt of S-type meta-granites along the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, which formed during 275-223 Ma. These are accompanied by amphibolitized tholeiitic basaltic dykes that yield concordant zircon U-Pb dates ranging between 240 and 223 Ma. A model is presented which places these rocks within a compressive Permian arc setting that existed during the amalgamation of westernmost Pangaea. Anatexis and mafic intrusion during 240-223 Ma are interpreted to have occurred during continental rifting, which culminated in the formation of oceanic crust and initiated the break-up of western Pangaea. Compression during 275-240 Ma generated small volumes of crustal melting. Rifting during 240-225 Ma was characterized by basaltic underplating, the intrusion of tholeiitic basalts and a peak in crustal melting. Tholeiitic intrusions during 225-216 Ma isotopically resemble depleted mantle and yield no evidence for contamination by continental crust, and we assign this period to the onset of continental drift. Dissected ophiolitic sequences in northern Colombia yield zircon U-Pb dates of 216 Ma. The Permo-Triassic margin of Ecuador and Colombia exhibits close temporal, faunal and geochemical similarities with various crustal blocks that form the basement to parts of Mexico, and thus these may represent the relict conjugate margin to NW Gondwana. The magmatic record of the early disassembly of Pangaea spans ~ 20 Ma (240-216 Ma), and the duration of rifting and rift-drift transition is similar to that documented in Cretaceous-Tertiary rift settings such as the West Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins, and the Taupo-Lau-Havre System, where rifting and continental disassembly also occurred over periods lasting ~ 20 Ma.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-26

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-26

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

  3. Evaluation of the ongoing rifting and subduction processes in the geochemistry of magmas from the western part of the Mexican Volcanic Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, Surendra P.; Pandarinath, Kailasa; Rivera-Gómez, M. Abdelaly

    2016-03-01

    A compilation of new and published geochemical data for 1512 samples of volcanic rocks from the western part of the Mexican Volcanic Belt was first subdivided according to the age group (136 samples of Miocene and 1376 samples of Pliocene-Holocene). Rocks of the younger group were then subdivided as Rift (1014 samples from the triple-rift system) and No Rift (362 samples outside of the triple-rift system) or Near Trench (937 samples) and Far Trench (439 samples) magmas. These subdivisions were considered separately as basic, intermediate, and acid magmatic rocks. The application of the conventional and multidimensional techniques confirmed the great tectonic and geochemical complexity of this region. The presence of oceanic-type basalts suggested to result from a mantle plume was not confirmed from the tectonomagmatic multidimensional diagrams. The Miocene rocks, which are present at the surface far from the Middle-America Trench, showed a likely continental rift setting in most diagrams for basic rocks and a continental arc setting for intermediate rocks. These differences can be explained in terms of the petrogenetic origin of the magmas. Unlike the current thinking, the triple-rift system seems to have influenced the chemistry of Pliocene-Holocene basic rocks, which indicated a continental rift setting. The Pliocene-Holocene intermediate and acid rocks, however, did not show such an influence. The Pliocene-Holocene basic rocks indicated a continental rift setting, irrespective of the Near Trench and Far Trench subdivision because numerous Near Trench rocks also lie in the triple-rift and graben systems. However, the intermediate rocks having a crustal component in their genesis indicated a continental arc (Near Trench) or a transitional arc to within-plate setting (Far Trench). The acid rocks having a crustal component also suggested a continental arc (Near Trench) or a transitional setting (Far Trench). The application of the tectonomagmatic multidimensional

  4. Which Fault Orientations Occur during Oblique Rifting? Combining Analog and Numerical 3d Models with Observations from the Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autin, J.; Brune, S.

    2013-12-01

    Oblique rift systems like the Gulf of Aden are intrinsically three-dimensional. In order to understand the evolution of these systems, one has to decode the fundamental mechanical similarities of oblique rifts. One way to accomplish this, is to strip away the complexity that is generated by inherited fault structures. In doing so, we assume a laterally homogeneous segment of Earth's lithosphere and ask how many different fault populations are generated during oblique extension inbetween initial deformation and final break-up. We combine results of an analog and a numerical model that feature a 3D segment of a layered lithosphere. In both cases, rift evolution is recorded quantitatively in terms of crustal fault geometries. For the numerical model, we adopt a novel post-processing method that allows to infer small-scale crustal fault orientation from the surface stress tensor. Both models involve an angle of 40 degrees between the rift normal and the extensional direction which allows comparison to the Gulf of Aden rift system. The resulting spatio-temporal fault pattern of our models shows three normal fault orientations: rift-parallel, extension-orthogonal, and intermediate, i.e. with a direction inbetween the two previous orientations. The rift evolution involves three distinct phases: (i) During the initial rift phase, wide-spread faulting with intermediate orientation occurs. (ii) Advanced lithospheric necking enables rift-parallel normal faulting at the rift flanks, while strike-slip faulting in the central part of the rift system indicates strain partitioning. (iii) During continental break-up, displacement-orthogonal as well as intermediate faults occur. We compare our results to the structural evolution of the Eastern Gulf of Aden. External parts of the rift exhibit intermediate and displacement-orthogonal faults while rift-parallel faults are present at the rift borders. The ocean-continent transition mainly features intermediate and displacement

  5. Thermomechanical models of the Rio Grande rift

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-01-01

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

  6. Mantle structure beneath eastern Africa: Evidence for a through going-mantle anomaly and its implications for the origin of Cenozoic tectonism in eastern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulibo, G.; Tugume, F.; Julia, J.

    2012-12-01

    In this study, teleseismic earthquakes recorded on over 60 temporary AfricaArray seismic stations deployed in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia between 2007 and 2011 are used to invert P and S travel time residuals, together with travel time residuals from previous deployments, for a 3D image of mantle wave speeds and for examining relief on transition zone discontinuities using receiver function stacks. Tomographic images reveal a low wave speed anomaly (LWA) that dips to the SW beneath northern Zambia, extending to a depth of at least 900 km. The anomaly appears to be continuous across the transition zone, extending into the lower mantle. Receiver function stacks reveal an average transition zone thickness (TZT) across a wide region extending from central Zambia to the NE through Tanzania and into Kenya, which is ~30-40 km thinner than the global average. These results are not easily explained by models for the origin of the Cenozoic tectonism in eastern Africa that invoke a plume head or small scale convection either by edge flow or passive stretching of the lithosphere. However, the depth extent of the LWA coincident with a thin transition zone is consistent with a model invoking a through-going mantle anomaly beneath eastern Africa that links anomalous upper mantle to the African Superplume anomaly in the lower mantle beneath southern Africa. This finding indicates that geodynamic processes deep in the lower mantle are influencing surface dynamics across the Afro-Arabian rift system.

  7. The aeromagnetic method as a tool to identify Cenozoic magmatism in the West Antarctic Rift System beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet — A review; Thiel subglacial volcano as possible source of the ash layer in the WAISCORE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrendt, John C.

    2013-02-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) flows through the volcanically active West Antarctic Rift System (WARS). The aeromagnetic method has been the most useful geophysical tool for identification of subglacial volcanic rocks, since 1959-64 surveys, particularly combined with 1978 radar ice-sounding. The unique 1991-97 Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey covering 354,000 km2 over the WAIS, (5-km line-spaced, orthogonal lines of aeromagnetic, radar ice-sounding, and aerogravity measurements), still provides invaluable information on subglacial volcanic rocks, particularly combined with the older aeromagnetic profiles. These data indicate numerous 100->1000 nT, 5-50-km width, shallow-source, magnetic anomalies over an area greater than 1.2 × 106 km2, mostly from subglacial volcanic sources. I interpreted the CWA anomalies as defining about 1000 "volcanic centers" requiring high remanent normal magnetizations in the present field direction. About 400 anomaly sources correlate with bed topography. At least 80% of these sources have less than 200 m relief at the WAIS bed. They appear modified by moving ice, requiring a younger age than the WAIS (about 25 Ma). Exposed volcanoes in the WARS are < 34 Ma, but at least four are active. If a few buried volcanic centers are active, subglacial volcanism may well affect the WAIS regime. Aerogeophysical data (Blankenship et al., 1993, Mt. Casertz; Corr and Vaughan, 2008, near Hudson Mts.) indicated active subglacial volcanism. Magnetic data indicate a caldera and a surrounding "low" in the WAISCORE vicinity possibly the result of a shallow Curie isotherm. High heat flow reported from temperature logging in the WAISCORE (Conway et al., 2011; Clow, personal commun.) and a volcanic ash layer (Dunbar, 2012) are consistent with this interpretation. A subaerially erupted subglacial volcano, (Mt Thiel), about 100 km distant, may be the ash source. The present rapid changes resulting from global warming, could be

  8. The inverted Triassic rift of the Marrakech High Atlas: A reappraisal of basin geometries and faulting histories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domènech, Mireia; Teixell, Antonio; Babault, Julien; Arboleya, Maria-Luisa

    2015-11-01

    The High Atlas of Morocco is an aborted rift developed during the Triassic-Jurassic and moderately inverted during the Cenozoic. The Marrakech High Atlas, with large exposures of basement and Triassic early syn-rift deposits, is ideal to investigate the geometries of the deepest parts of a rift, constituting a good analogue for pre-salt domains. It allows unraveling geometries and kinematics of the extensional and compressional structures and the influence that they exert over one another. A detailed structural study of the main Triassic basins and basin-margin faults of the Marrakech High Atlas shows that only a few rift faults were reactivated during the Cenozoic compressional stage in contrast to previous interpretations, and emphasizes that fault reactivation cannot be taken for granted in inverted rift systems. Preserved extensional features demonstrate a dominant dip-slip opening kinematics with strike-slip playing a minor role, at variance to models proposing a major strike-slip component along the main basin-bounding faults, including faults belonging to the Tizi n'Test fault zone. A new Middle Triassic paleogeographic reconstruction shows that the Marrakech High Atlas was a narrow and segmented orthogonal rift (sub-perpendicular to the main regional extension direction which was ~ NW-SE), in contrast to the central and eastern segments of the Atlas rift which developed obliquely. This difference in orientation is attributed to the indented Ouzellarh Precambrian salient, part of the West African Craton, which deflected the general rift trend in the area evidencing the major role of inherited lithospheric anisotropies in rift direction and evolution. As for the Cenozoic inversion, total orogenic shortening is moderate (~ 16%) and appears accommodated by basement-involved large-scale folding, and by newly formed shortcut and by-pass thrusting, with rare left-lateral strike-slip indicators. Triassic faults commonly acted as buttresses.

  9. 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 f