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Sample records for eastern continental margin

  1. Holocene subsurface temperature variability in the eastern Antarctic continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jung-Hyun; Crosta, Xavier; Willmott, Veronica; Renssen, Hans; Bonnin, Jérôme; Helmke, Peer; Schouten, Stefan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2012-03-01

    We reconstructed subsurface (˜45-200 m water depth) temperature variability in the eastern Antarctic continental margin during the late Holocene, using an archaeal lipid-based temperature proxy (TEX86L). Our results reveal that subsurface temperature changes were probably positively coupled to the variability of warmer, nutrient-rich Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW, deep water of the Antarctic circumpolar current) intrusion onto the continental shelf. The TEX86L record, in combination with previously published climatic records, indicates that this coupling was probably related to the thermohaline circulation, seasonal variability in sea ice extent, sea temperature, and wind associated with high frequency climate dynamics at low-latitudes such as internal El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). This in turn suggests a linkage between centennial ENSO-like variability at low-latitudes and intrusion variability of MCDW into the eastern Antarctic continental shelf, which might have further impact on ice sheet evolution.

  2. Carbonate comparison of west Florida continental margin with margins of eastern United States

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, L.J.

    1986-05-01

    Temperate carbonate margins may have as many similarities to clastic margins as to other carbonate systems. An example is the west Florida continental margin north of Florida Bay, a vast area of more than 150,000 km/sup 2/. The facies of this area differ from those of other Holocene carbonates, such as the Bahama Banks, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Caribbean and Pacific bioherms. The west Florida margin is analogous to the predominantly clastic southeastern US in both physiology and sedimentary processes. The shelf facies is a veneer of carbonate sand, primarily molluscan shell fragments, with low sedimentation rates. It is similar to the southeastern US sand veneer with the clastic component removed. Like the US system, the west Florida shelf has a ridge and swale topography replete with sedimentary structures, such as sand waves, with a series of drainage systems incised into its surface at lower stands of sea level. On the outer edge, it is commonly bounded by outcrops with considerable positive relief. The upper slope of the west Florida margin is a calcilutite, a Holocene chalk deposit accumulating at rates of tens of centimeters/1000 years, comparable to the clastic lutite depositional rates of the eastern US continental slope, and two orders of magnitude higher than deep-sea oozes of similar composition. These relatively high rates are probably caused by fines pumped from and across the coarser shelf-sand sheets in both systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-08-01

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

  4. The development of the continental margin of eastern North America-conjugate continental margin to West Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dillon, William P.; Schlee, J.S.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    1988-01-01

    The continental margin of eastern North America was initiated when West Africa and North America were rifted apart in Triassic-Early Jurassic time. Cooling of the crust and its thinning by rifting and extension caused subsidence. Variation in amounts of subsidence led to formation of five basins. These are listed from south to north. (1) The Blake Plateau Basin, the southernmost, is the widest basin and the one in which the rift-stage basement took longest to form. Carbonate platform deposition was active and persisted until the end of Early Cretaceous. In Late Cretaceous, deposition slowed while subsidence persisted, so a deep water platform was formed. Since the Paleocene the region has undergone erosion. (2) The Carolina Trough is narrow and has relatively thin basement, on the basis of gravity modeling. The two basins with thin basement, the Carolina Trough and Scotian Basin, also show many salt diapirs indicating considerable deposition of salt during their early evolution. In the Carolina Trough, subsidence of a large block of strata above the flowing salt has resulted in a major, active normal fault on the landward side of the basin. (3) The Baltimore Canyon Trough has an extremely thick sedimentary section; synrift and postrift sediments exceed 18 km in thickness. A Jurassic reef is well developed on the basin's seaward side, but post-Jurassic deposition was mainly non-carbonate. In general the conversion from carbonate to terrigenous deposition, characteristics of North American Basins, occurred progressively earlier toward the north. (4) The Georges Bank Basin has a complicated deep structure of sub-basins filled with thick synrift deposits. This may have resulted from some shearing that occurred at this offset of the continental margin. Postrift sediments apparently are thin compared to other basins-only about 8 km. (5) The Scotian Basin, off Canada, contains Jurassic carbonate rocks, sandstone, shale and coal covered by deltaic deposits and Upper

  5. Middle Jurassic to early Cretaceous igneous rocks along eastern North American continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Jansa, L.F.; Pe-Piper, G.

    1988-03-01

    Late Middle Jurassic and Early Cretaceous mafic dikes, sills, flows, and local volcaniclastic sediments are intercalated within continental shelf sediments from the Baltimore Canyon Trough northward to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The igneous rocks on the eastern North American margin are mainly alkali basalts of intraplate affinity. The late Middle Jurassic igneous activity was of short duration, at about 140 Ma, and was restricted to Georges Bank where it led to construction of several volcanic cones. The main period of igneous activity was concentrated at about 120 Ma in the Aptian/Berremian. The activity consists of dike swarms in Baltimore Canyon, occasional dikes on the Scotian Shelf, and the growth of stratovolcanoes on the Scotian Shelf and Grand Banks. Younger dikes (approx. 95 Ma) also are present on the Grand Banks. With regard to oil exploration on the continental margin, care must be taken to properly identify igneous and volcaniclastic rocks on mechanical logs, drill cuttings, and cores. Reflection seismic profiles can be used to map the areal extent of sills, flows, and low-angle dikes, which commonly show distinctive seismic responses. However, steeply dipping dikes generally produce little, if any, seismic response. Isotopic-age determinations of igneous rocks, combined with biostratigraphic-age determinations of adjacent strata, are invaluable for stratigraphic correlation, establishing chronology of seismic sequences, and analysis of basin sedimentation and tectonic history. 9 figures, 2 tables.

  6. Distribution and sources of organic matter in surface sediments of the eastern continental margin of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishna, M. S.; Naidu, S. A.; Subbaiah, Ch. V.; Sarma, V. V. S. S.; Reddy, N. P. C.

    2013-12-01

    sources and distribution of organic matter (OM) in surface sediments of the eastern continental margin of India, including the region influenced by river discharge, were investigated using content, molar C:N ratios and stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen. Despite relatively high water column integrated chlorophyll-a concentrations were found in the continental shelf than the slope; however, the lower sediment organic carbon (SOC) was found in the former than the latter region suggesting that in situ production did not play significant role on preservation of SOC in the coastal Bay of Bengal. The broad range of δ13C of SOC (-23.2 to -16.7‰) suggests that OM is a broad mixture of terrestrial and marine OM. Relative contributions from terrestrial C3 and C4 plants and marine sources are quantified as 34%, 23%, and 43%, respectively, indicating that dominant source of allochthonous OM (~57%) in the coastal Bay of Bengal. Relatively higher contribution of OM from C4 plants was found in the sediments at off river Krishna indicating that this region received detritus of agricultural crops such as jowar, bajra, and sugar cane, which are dominant in its drainage basin, during SW monsoon. This study revealed that relatively high OM preserved in the slope than shelf region along the coastal Bay of Bengal and the composition of OM is primarily controlled by the type of agricultural crops and vegetation in the drainage basin of the river.

  7. The Brazilian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, L. R.; Coutinho, P. N.

    1981-04-01

    The Brazilian continental margin, with its interesting morphology, structure and sediments, has become better known only during the last two decades. Six physiographical provinces can be recognized at the continental margin and the adjacent coast: (1) Cabo Orange-Parnaiba delta; (2) Parnaiba delta-Cabo Sa˜o Roque; (3) Cabo Sa˜o Roque-Belmonte; (4) Belmonte-Cabo Frio; (5) Cabo Frio-Cabo Santa Marta; and (6) Cabo Santa Marta-Chui. The shelf is rather wide near the Amazon Mouth, becoming narrower eastwards, continuing very narrow along the northeastern and eastern coast, and becoming wider again in the south towards the Plate River. Prominent morphological features along the margin are the Amazon cone, the marginal plateaus off northeastern Brazil, the Sa˜o Francisco cone and canyon, the Abrolhos Bank, and the deep-sea plateaus of Pernambuco and Sa˜o Paulo. On the shelf proper a number of relief elements exist, such as sand waves east of the Amazon, submarine terraces at various places, and irregularities of structural origin. The shelf break is rather smooth in the far north and south, more abrupt in the remainder. Surface sediments of the Brazilian shelf show five distinct facies types: littoral quartz sands, mud, transition sand-mud, coralline algae, and biodetrital. The terrigenous elastic fractions dominate off the Amazon and in southern Brazil; between these areas they occupy a very narrow strip near the coast. The carbonate facies, predominantly composed of calcareous algae, is abundant between the Parnaiba delta and Cabo Frio; to the south this facies is more biodetrital and restricted to the outer shelf. Economically important on the Brazilian continental margin besides oil, are sands and gravels, carbonate deposits, evaporites and some subsurface coal. Other possible mineral resources could be phosphate, heavy minerals and clays for ceramics.

  8. Continental Margins: Linking Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly-Gerreyn, Boris; Rabalais, Nancy; Middelburg, Jack; Roy, Sylvie; Liu, Kon-Kee; Thomas, Helmuth; Zhang, Jing

    2008-02-01

    Impacts of Global, Local and Human Forcings on Biogeochemical Cycles and Ecosystems, IMBER/LOICZ Continental Margins Open Science Conference; Shanghai, China, 17-21 September 2007; More than 100 scientists from 25 countries came together to address global, regional, local, and human pressures interactively affecting continental margin biogeochemical cycles, marine food webs, and society. Continental margins cover only 12% of the global ocean area yet account for more than 30% of global oceanic primary production. In addition, continental margins are the most intensely used regions of the world's ocean for natural commodities, including productive fisheries and mineral and petroleum resources. The land adjacent to continental margins hosts about 50% of the world's population, which will bear many direct impacts of global change on coastal margins. Understanding both natural and human-influenced alterations of biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems on continental margins and the processes (including feedbacks) that threaten sustainability of these systems is therefore of global interest.

  9. Distributions of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon and radiocarbon in the eastern North Pacific continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, James E.; Druffel, Ellen R. M.; Wolgast, David M.; Griffin, Sheila; Masiello, Caroline A.

    Temporal variations in the natural radiocarbon ( 14C) signatures of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon (DOC and DIC, respectively) in seawater have been studied previously (Druffel, E.R.M., Bauer, J.E., Williams, P.M., Griffin, S., Wolgast, D.M., 1996. Seasonal variability of radiocarbon in particulate organic carbon in the northeast Pacific. J. Geophys. Res. 101, 20 543-20 552; Bauer, J.E., Druffel, E.R.M., Williams, P.M., Wolgast, D.M., Griffin, S., 1998. Temporal variability in dissolved organic carbon and radiocarbon in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. 103, 2867-2882) at a long-term time-series station (Sta. M: 32°N, 123W) in the eastern North Pacific located at the eastern edge of the North Pacific abyssal plain. In June 1995 a transect was made from Sta. M inshore to approximately 500 m depth in order to evaluate the distributions of 14C in DOC and DIC from the abyssal plain to the upper continental slope. Concentrations and Δ 14C values of DOC in mixed layer waters (25 and 85 m) decreased toward the upper slope. In deeper waters, concentrations and Δ 14C values were in general similar at all three sites. Differences in DOC concentrations and Δ 14C-DOC between Sta. M and the rise and upper slope sites were explained in part by the mixing of DOC and Δ 14C along constant density ( σt) surfaces. However, specific deviations from conservative behavior due to mixing were observed for Δ 14C-DOC at mesopelagic (˜700 m) and near-bottom (˜3600- 3900 m) depths of the continental rise. Comparable findings are reported for DIC, where σt-normalized concentrations and Δ 14C values in Sta. M, rise and upper slope waters were similar, with the exception of slight increases in concentrations and Δ 14C values in near-bottom waters of the rise. These observations indicate that both DOC and DIC in continental rise and slope surface waters of the eastern North Pacific Ocean margin are comprised of a component of actively upwelled material derived

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faugères, J. C.; Pujol, Cl.

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

  11. Deep continental margin reflectors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  12. The Cryogenian intra-continental rifting of Rodinia: Evidence from the Laurentian margin in eastern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClellan, Elizabeth; Gazel, Esteban

    2014-10-01

    The geologic history of the eastern North American (Laurentian) margin encompasses two complete Wilson cycles that brought about the assembly and subsequent disaggregation of two supercontinents, Rodinia and Pangea. In the southern and central Appalachian region, basement rocks were affected by two episodes of crustal extension separated by > 100 m.y.; a Cryogenian phase spanning the interval 765-700 Ma and an Ediacaran event at ~ 565 Ma. During the Cryogenian phase, the Mesoproterozoic continental crust was intruded by numerous A-type felsic plutons and extensional mafic dikes. At ~ 760-750 Ma a bimodal volcanic sequence erupted onto the uplifted and eroded basement. This sequence, known as the Mount Rogers Formation (MRF), comprises a bimodal basalt-rhyolite lower section and an upper section of dominantly peralkaline rhyolitic sheets. Here, we provide new geochemical evidence from the well-preserved volcanic rocks of the Cryogenian lower MRF, with the goal of elucidating the process that induced the initial stage of the break-up of Rodinia and how this affected the evolution of the eastern Laurentian margin. The geochemical compositions of the Cryogenian lavas are remarkably similar to modern continental intra-plate settings (e.g., East African Rift, Yellowstone-Snake River Plain). Geochemical, geophysical and tectonic evidence suggests that the common denominator controlling the melting processes in these settings is deep mantle plume activity. Thus, evidence from the MRF suggests that the initial phase of extension of the Laurentian margin at ~ 760-750 Ma was possibly triggered by mantle plume activity. It is possible that lithospheric weakness caused by a mantle plume that impacted Rodinia triggered the regional extension and produced the intra-continental rifting that preceded the breakup of the Laurentian margin.

  13. Subsidence and eustasy at the continental margin of eastern North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watts, A. B.; Steckler, M. S.

    1979-01-01

    Biostratigraphic data from the COST B-2 well off New York and four deep commercial wells off Nova Scotia have been used to remove the effect of sediment loading at the Atlantic-type continental margin off the East Coast of North America. The resulting subsidence contains terms due to both 'tectonic' and 'eustatic' effects. By assuming the tectonic subsidence is thermal in origin these effects can be separated. The 'eustatic' effects have been isolated by least squares fitting an exponential curve to the subsidence data. The resulting sea-level curve shows a maximum rise in sea level during the Late Cretaceous era which probably does not exceed 150 m. The tectonic subsidence has been interpreted in terms of a simple thermal model for the cooling lithosphere. Based on this model the thermal thickness of the lithosphere and the total amount of crustal thinning are estimated. These estimates which are consistent with surface ship gravity and GEOS-3 altimeter measurements are used to define the structural elements which control the tectonic evolution of the margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Low temperature thermochronology and topographic evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin in the region in eastern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfister, Sabrina; Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.

    2014-05-01

    To understand the evolution of the passive continental margin in Argentina low temperature thermochronology is an appropriate method, which will lead to new conclusions in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills Salado basin is located whereas the Claromecó basin is situated south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the southamerican passive continental margin the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography is fairly flat with altitudes of. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-proterozoic in age and build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons it is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sediments (Cingolani, 2010), like siliciclastics, dolostones, shales and limestones (Demoulin et al., 2005). The aim of the study is to quantify the long-term landscape evolution of the passive continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal history, exhumation and tectonic activities. For that purpose, samples were taken from the Sierra Septentrionales and analyzed with the apatite fission-track method. Further 2-D thermokinematic modeling was conducted with the computer code HeFTy (Ketcham, 2005; Ketcham 2007; Ketcham et al., 2009). The results indicate apatite fission track ages between 101.6 (9.4) to 228.9 (22.3) Ma, what means all measured ages are younger as their formation age. That shows all samples have been reset. Six samples accomplished enough confined tracks and were used to test geological t-T models against the AFT data set. These models give a more detailed insight on the cooling history and tectonic activities in the research area. References: Cingolani C. A. (2010): The Tandilia System of Argentina as a southern extension of the Río de la

  19. The eastern Gulf of Aden: A case study for the setting up of the deep-sea gravity sedimentation on a young continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baurion, Celine; Zaragosi, Sebastien; Leroy, Sylvie; Gorini, Christian; Lucazeau, Francis; Migeon, Sebastien; Garlan, Thierry

    2013-04-01

    The study of sedimentary processes across a young and segmented passive margin under the influence of the Asian monsoon-climate, provide a potential record of tectonic, climatic and high-resolution eustatic events. The northern margin of the eastern Gulf of Aden is one of the world rare examples to study the setting up of gravity sedimentation in a deep basin and the related control parameters. Using multibeam data, Chirp profiles, and sediment cores, we show that this gravity sedimentation highlights the importance of flooding of wadis on the sediment transfer from onshore to the deep basin. The drainage network is not mature on this starved margin, which is affected by post-rift uplift. The main channelized turbidite systems are localized in the western part of the margin, while mass-transport deposits and sheet turbidite deposits are concentrated along the eastern part of the margin affected by a late post-rift uplift. The deep-basin sedimentation is composed of many coarse-grained carbonate turbidites that are related to the lithology of the onshore sedimentary cover. The central part of the uplifted margin does not exhibit coarse-grained turbidites since about 70 ka BP, while the eastern part displays turbidites until recently. This monsoon-influenced margin is characterized by strong along-strike variability in tectonics and fluvial input distribution that might directly influence and segment the gravity sedimentation: (i) the western channelized turbidite system formation depend mainly of the wide catchment area onshore in combination with the geometry of the deep basin; (ii) the starved part of the margin, characterized by mass-transport deposits is mainly controlled by the post-rift uplift; (iii) along the eastern part of the uplifted margin, the unchannelized turbidite deposits seem to be primarily controlled by the presence of a well-developed continental shelf combined to the late uplift impact on the sedimentary supply.

  20. The northern Egyptian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badawy, Ahmed; Mohamed, Gad; Omar, Khaled; Farid, Walid

    2015-01-01

    Africa displays a variety of continental margin structures, tectonics and sedimentary records. The northern Egyptian continental margin represents the NE portion of the North African passive continental margin. Economically, this region is of great importance as a very rich and productive hydrocarbon zone in Egypt. Moreover, it is characterized by remarkable tectonic setting accompanied by active tectonic processes from the old Tethys to recent Mediterranean. In this article, seismicity of the northern Egyptian continental margin has been re-evaluated for more than 100-years and the source parameters of three recent earthquakes (October 2012, January 2013 and July 2013) have been estimated. Moment tensor inversions of 19th October 2012 and 17th January 2013 earthquakes reveal normal faulting mechanism with strike-slip component having seismic moment of 3.5E16 N m and 4.3E15 N m respectively. The operation of the Egyptian National Seismic Network (ENSN) since the end of 1997 has significantly enhanced the old picture of earthquake activity across northern Egyptian continental margin whereas; the record-ability (annual rate) has changed from 2-events/year to 54-event/year before and after ENSN respectively. The spatial distribution of earthquakes foci indicated that the activity tends to cluster at three zones: Mediterranean Ridge (MR), Nile Cone (NC) and Eratosthenes Seamount (ERS). However, two seismic gaps are reported along Levant Basin (LEV) and Herodotus Basin (HER).

  1. Mesozoic magmatism in an upper- to middle-crustal section through the Cordilleran continental margin arc, eastern Transverse Ranges, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Needy, S.K.; Anderson, J.L.; Wooden, J.L.; Fleck, R.J.; Barth, A.P.; Paterson, S.R.; Memeti, V.; Pignotta, G.S.

    2009-01-01

    The eastern Transverse Ranges provide essentially continuous exposure for >100 km across the strike of the Mesozoic Cordilleran orogen. Thermobarometric calculations based on hornblende and plagioclase compositions in Mesozoic plutonic rocks show that the fi rst-order distribution of rock units resulted from differential Laramide exhumation. Mesozoic supracrustal rocks are preserved in the relatively little exhumed eastern part of the eastern Transverse Ranges and south-central Mojave Desert, and progressively greater rock uplift and exhumation toward the west exposed rocks originating at mid-crustal depths. The eastern Transverse Ranges thus constitute a tilted, nearly continuously exposed crustal section of the Mesozoic magmatic arc and framework rocks from subvolcanic levels to paleodepths as great as ??22 km. The base of this tilted arc section is a moderately east-dipping sheeted magmatic complex >10 km in width by 70 km in length, constructed structurally beneath, yet synchronous with Late Jurassic and Cretaceous upper-crustal plutons. Geochronology and regional structural relations thus suggest that arc magmas generated in the lower crust of this continental arc interacted in a complex mid-crustal zone of crystallization and mixing; products of this zone were parental magmas that formed relatively homogeneous upper crustal felsic plutons and fed lavas and voluminous ignimbrites. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  2. East Africa continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Bosellini, A.

    1986-01-01

    New well data from Somalia, together with the history of sea-floor spreading in the Indian Ocean derived from magnetic anomalies, show that the East African margins from latitude 15/sup 0/S into the Gulf of Aden comprise four distinct segments that formed successively by the southward drift of Madagascar from Somalia during the Middle to Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, by the northeastward drift of India along the Owen Transform during the Late Cretaceous and Paleocene, and by the opening of the Gulf of Aden during the Neogene.

  3. Gas hydrates of outer continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Kvenvolden, K.A. )

    1990-05-01

    Gas hydrates are crystalline substances in which a rigid framework of water molecules traps molecules of gas, mainly methane. Gas-hydrate deposits are common in continental margin sediment in all major oceans at water depths greater than about 300 m. Thirty-three localities with evidence for gas-hydrate occurrence have been described worldwide. The presence of these gas hydrates has been inferred mainly from anomalous lacoustic reflectors seen on marine seismic records. Naturally occurring marine gas hydrates have been sampled and analyzed at about tensites in several regions including continental slope and rise sediment of the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Except for some Gulf of Mexico gas hydrate occurrences, the analyzed gas hydrates are composed almost exclusively of microbial methane. Evidence for the microbial origin of methane in gas hydrates includes (1) the inverse relation between methane occurence and sulfate concentration in the sediment, (2) the subparallel depth trends in carbon isotopic compositions of methane and bicarbonate in the interstitial water, and (3) the general range of {sup 13}C depletion ({delta}{sub PDB}{sup 13}C = {minus}90 to {minus}60 {per thousand}) in the methane. Analyses of gas hydrates from the Peruvian outer continental margin in particular illustrate this evidence for microbially generated methane. The total amount of methane in gas hydrates of continental margins is not known, but estimates of about 10{sup 16} m{sup 3} seem reasonable. Although this amount of methane is large, it is not yet clear whether methane hydrates of outer continental margins will ever be a significant energy resource; however, these gas hydrates will probably constitute a drilling hazard when outer continental margins are explored in the future.

  4. Pelagic-benthic coupling and diagenesis of nucleic acids in a deep-sea continental margin and an open-slope system of the Eastern Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Dell'anno, Antonio; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Stavrakakis, Spyros; Lykousis, Vasilis; Danovaro, Roberto

    2005-10-01

    Downward fluxes of nucleic acids adsorbed onto settling particles play a key role in the supply of organic phosphorus and genetic material to the ocean interior. However, information on pelagic-benthic coupling, diagenesis, and processes controlling nucleic acid preservation in deep-sea sediments is practically nonexistent. In this study, we compared nucleic acid fluxes, sedimentary DNA and RNA concentrations, and the enzymatically hydrolyzable fraction of DNA in a bathyal continental margin (North Aegean Sea) and an open-sea system (South Aegean Sea) of the Eastern Mediterranean. The two systems displayed contrasting patterns of nucleic acid fluxes, which increased significantly with depth in the North Aegean Sea and decreased with depth in the South Aegean Sea. These results suggest that in continental margin and open-ocean systems different processes control the nucleic acid supply to the sea floor. Differences in nucleic acid fluxes were reflected by nucleic acid concentrations in the sediments, which reached extremely high values in the North Aegean Sea. In this system, a large fraction of DNA may be buried, as suggested by the large fraction of DNA resistant to nuclease degradation and by estimates of burial efficiency (ca. eight times higher in the North than in the South Aegean Sea). Overall, the results reported here suggest that the preservation of DNA in deeper sediment layers may be favored in benthic systems characterized by high sedimentation rates.

  5. Geotechnical Properties of Submarine Sediments from Submarine Landslides on the Eastern Australian Continental Margin and Implications for Slide Initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, S. L.; Hubble, T.; Airey, D.

    2014-12-01

    Geomechanical test data are presented for 12 gravity cores, up to 5 m long, taken at sites from the upper slope (<1200 m) of the east Australian continental margin in or adjacent to five submarine landslide features. Sediments uniformly consist of olive grey to grey sandy silts (MH-ML), with clay content ranging from 2-12% (using the Unified Soil Classification System - USCS). Total unit weight varies between 14.1 to 17.4 kNm-3, bulk density 715-2065 kgm-3, water content 43-90+%, and specific gravity 2.5-2.74. Sediments present low plasticity, liquid limits 43-63%, and plasticity indices of 8.7-34%. Measured strength values, friction angle (Ф') and apparent cohesion (c'), vary between 30-40°, and 0-10 kPa respectively. One slide-adjacent core, and four within-landslide cores present boundary surfaces located at depths of 0.8 to 2.2 meters below the present-day seafloor that are identified by a sharp, colour-change boundary; small increases in sediment stiffness; slight increases in sediment bulk density of 0.1 gcm-3; and distinct gaps in AMS 14C age of at least 25 ka. Compression testing indicates that the sediment above and below the boundary surface is slightly overconsolidated. Triaxial tests indicate a significant increase in the brittleness of the shear response of the sediment with increasing vertical stress, which would cause a progressive increase of pore pressure if the sediment was subjected to cyclic (earthquake) loading. The boundary surfaces are interpreted to represent detachment surfaces or slide plane surfaces. Slope stability models based on classical soil mechanics and measured sediment shear-strengths indicate that the upper slope sediments should be stable. However, multibeam bathymetry data reveal that many upper slope landslides occur across the margin and that submarine landsliding is a common process. We infer from these results that: a) the margin experiences seismic events that act to destabilise the slope sediments, and/or b) an

  6. Reconstructing Rodinia by Fitting Neoproterozoic Continental Margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, John H.

    2009-01-01

    extensional in origin, supports recognition of the Neoproterozoic fragmentation pattern of Rodinia and outlines the major continental masses that, prior to the breakup, formed the supercontinent. Using this pattern, Rodinia can be assembled by fitting the pieces together. Evidence for Neoproterozoic margins is fragmentary. The most apparent margins are marked by miogeoclinal deposits (passive-margin deposits). The margins can also be outlined by the distribution of continental-margin magmatic-arc rocks, by juvenile ocean-floor rocks, or by the presence of continent-ward extending aulacogens. Most of the continental margins described here are Neoproterozoic, and some had an older history suggesting that they were major, long-lived lithospheric flaws. In particular, the western margin of North America appears to have existed for at least 1,470 Ma and to have been reactivated many times in the Neoproterozoic and Phanerozoic. The inheritance of trends from the Mesoproterozoic by the Neoproterozoic is particularly evident along the eastern United States, where a similarity of Mesoproterozoic (Grenville) and Neoproterozoic trends, as well as Paleozoic or Mesozoic trends, is evident. The model of Rodinia presented here is based on both geologic and paleomagnetic information. Geologic evidence is based on the distribution and shape of Neoproterozoic continents and on assembling these continents so as to match the shape, history, and scale of adjoining margins. The proposed model places the Laurasian continents?Baltica, Greenland, and Laurentia?west of the South American continents (Amazonia, Rio de La Plata, and Sa? Francisco). This assembly is indicated by conjugate pairs of Grenville-age rocks on the east side of Laurentia and on the west side of South America. In the model, predominantly late Neoproterozoic magmatic-arc rocks follow the trend of the Grenville rocks. The boundary between South America and Africa is interpreted as the site of a Wilson cycle

  7. DUPAL anomaly in the Sea of Japan: Pb, Nd, and Sr isotopic variations at the eastern Eurasian continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tatsumoto, M.; Nakamura, Y.

    1991-01-01

    Volcanic rocks from the eastern Eurasian plate margin (southwestern Japan, the Sea of Japan, and northeastern China) show enriched (EMI) component signatures. Volcanic rocks from the Ulreung and Dog Islands in the Sea of Japan show typical DUPAL anomaly characteristics with extremely high ??208/204 Pb (up to 143) and enriched Nd and Sr isotopic compositions (??{lunate}Nd = -3 to -5, 87Sr 86Sr = ~0.705). The ??208/204 Pb values are similar to those associated with the DUPAL anomaly (up to 140) in the southern hemisphere. Because the EMI characteristics of basalts from the Sea of Japan are more extreme than those of southwestern Japan and inland China basalts, we propose that old mantle lithosphere was metasomatized early (prior to the Proterozoic) with subduction-related fluids (not present subduction system) so that it has been slightly enriched in incompatible elements and has had a high Th/U for a long time. The results of this study support the idea that the old subcontinental mantle lithosphere is the source for EMI of oceanic basalts, and that EMI does not need to be stored at the core/ mantle boundary layer for a long time. Dredged samples from seamounts and knolls from the Yamato Basin Ridge in the Sea of Japan show similar isotopic characteristics to basalts from the Mariana arc, supporting the idea that the Yamato Basin Ridge is a spreading center causing separation of the northeast Japan Arc from Eurasia. ?? 1991.

  8. Geology and metallogeny of the Ar Rayn terrane, eastern Arabian shield: Evolution of a Neoproterozoic continental-margin arc during assembly of Gondwana within the East African orogen

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doebrich, J.L.; Al-Jehani, A. M.; Siddiqui, A.A.; Hayes, T.S.; Wooden, J.L.; Johnson, P.R.

    2007-01-01

    characteristics of the Ar Rayn terrane are analogous to the Andean continental margin of Chile, with opposite subduction polarity. The Ar Rayn terrane represents a continental margin arc that lay above a west-dipping subduction zone along a continental block represented by the Afif composite terrane. The concentration of epithermal, porphyry Cu and IOCG mineral systems, of central arc affiliation, along the AAF suggests that the AAF is not an ophiolitic suture zone, but originated as a major intra-arc fault that localized magmatism and mineralization. West-directed oblique subduction and ultimate collision with a land mass from the east (East Gondwana?) resulted in major transcurrent displacement along the AAF, bringing the eastern part of the arc terrane to its present exposed position, juxtaposed across the AAF against a back-arc basin assemblage represented by the Abt schist of the Ad Dawadimi terrane. Our findings indicate that arc formation and accretionary processes in the Arabian shield were still ongoing into the latest Neoproterozoic (Ediacaran), to about 620-600 Ma, and lead us to conclude that evolution of the Ar Rayn terrane (arc formation, accretion, syn- to postorogenic plutonism) defines a final stage of assembly of the Gondwana supercontinent along the northeastern margin of the East African orogen. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Apatite fission track dating and long-term landscape evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin in the region of the Sierras Septentrionales in eastern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfister, S.; Glasmacher, P. A.; Kollenz, S.

    2013-12-01

    To understand the evolution of the passive continental margin in Argentina apatite fission track dating is an appropriate method, which will lead to new conclusions in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills Salado basin is orientated whereas the Claromeó basin is located south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the southamerican passive continental margin the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography ranges between 50 and 250m within the study area and is therefore fairly flat. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-proterozoic in age build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons and is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sediments (Cingolani, 2010). The aim of the study is to evaluate the long-term landscape evolution of the passive continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal history and exhumation. For that purpose samples were taken from the Sierra Septentrionales basement analyzed for the apatite-FT method. The results so far indicate apatite fission track ages between 146.2 (10.1) Ma and 200.4 (12.7) Ma, which shows all samples have been reseted. Still ongoing length measurements will lead to 2D thermo kinematic Hefty (Ketcham, 2005; Ketcham et al., 2009; Ketcham, 2007) models. This will leads to further more insights on the cooling history and tectonic activities in the research area. References: Cingolani C. A. (2010): The Tandilia System of Argentina as a southern extension of the Río de la Plata craton: an overview. Int. J. Earth Sci. (Geol. Rundsch.) (2011) 100:221-242, doi 10.1007/s00531-010-0611-5. Ketcham, R. A. (2005): Forward and inverse modeling of low-temperature thermochronometry data, in Low

  10. Crustal structure of the eastern Algerian continental margin and adjacent deep basin: implications for late Cenozoic geodynamic evolution of the western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouyahiaoui, B.; Sage, F.; Abtout, A.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Yelles-Chaouche, K.; Schnürle, P.; Marok, A.; Déverchère, J.; Arab, M.; Galve, A.; Collot, J. Y.

    2015-06-01

    We determine the deep structure of the eastern Algerian basin and its southern margin in the Annaba region (easternmost Algeria), to better constrain the plate kinematic reconstruction in this region. This study is based on new geophysical data collected during the SPIRAL cruise in 2009, which included a wide-angle, 240-km-long, onshore-offshore seismic profile, multichannel seismic reflection lines and gravity and magnetic data, complemented by the available geophysical data for the study area. The analysis and modelling of the wide-angle seismic data including refracted and reflected arrival travel times, and integrated with the multichannel seismic reflection lines, reveal the detailed structure of an ocean-to-continent transition. In the deep basin, there is an ˜5.5-km-thick oceanic crust that is composed of two layers. The upper layer of the crust is defined by a high velocity gradient and P-wave velocities between 4.8 and 6.0 km s-1, from the top to the bottom. The lower crust is defined by a lower velocity gradient and P-wave velocity between 6.0 and 7.1 km s-1. The Poisson ratio in the lower crust deduced from S-wave modelling is 0.28, which indicates that the lower crust is composed mainly of gabbros. Below the continental edge, a typical continental crust with P-wave velocities between 5.2 and 7.0 km s-1, from the top to the bottom, shows a gradual seaward thinning of ˜15 km over an ˜35-km distance. This thinning is regularly distributed between the upper and lower crusts, and it characterizes a rifted margin, which has resulted from backarc extension at the rear of the Kabylian block, here represented by the Edough Massif at the shoreline. Above the continental basement, an ˜2-km-thick, pre-Messinian sediment layer with a complex internal structure is interpreted as allochthonous nappes of flysch backthrusted on the margin during the collision of Kabylia with the African margin. The crustal structure, moreover, provides evidence for Miocene

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Zircon from Mesoproterozoic sediments sheds light on the subduction-collision history at the eastern active continental margin of the Archaean Kalahari-Grunehogna Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschall, H.; Hawkesworth, C. J.; Leat, P. T.; Dhuime, B.; Storey, C.

    2013-12-01

    The Grunehogna Craton (East Antarctica) was a part of the Archean Kalahari Craton of southern Africa prior to Gondwana breakup. Granite from the basement of the craton has been dated by U-Pb zircon dating to 3,067 Ma with inherited grains showing ages of up to 3,433 Ma [1]. At the eastern margin of the craton, the Ahlmannryggen nunataks comprise an ~2000 m thick pile of clastic and volcanic sediments of the Ritscherflya Supergroup. These were sourced from eroding a proximal active continental arc as demonstrated through the age distribution and internal zoning of detrital zircon [2]. Detrital zircon grains from the Ritscherflya Supergroup show an age distribution with a dominant age peak at ~1,130 Ma, i.e., close to the sedimentation age. Older age peaks include those at 1370 Ma, 1725 Ma, 1880 Ma, 2050 Ma, and 2700 Ma. Palaeo- and Mesoarchaean zircon grains (2800-3445 Ma) were also discovered, corresponding to the age of the Kalahari-Grunehogna Craton basement. Most significantly we found a number of inherited Archaean cores in ~1130 Ma zircons. They demonstrate that the volcanic arc was indeed located on Archaean continental crust, rather than in Mesoproterozoic, intra-oceanic island arcs. The age spectrum of the zircons bears strong evidence for (i) derivation of the entire Ritscherflya sediment sequence from an active continental convergent margin; (ii) a cratonic provenance of part of the sediments from population peaks coinciding with major tectono-thermal events in the Kalahari Craton; (iii) at least some of the active volcanism being located on cratonic basement rather than a juvenile island arc. Detrital zircons in the ~1130 Ma age group show several distinct populations in their Hf isotopic compositions. The dominant group shows negative ɛHf values of -11.5 corresponding to a model age (TDM) of ~2700 Ma (average crustal 176Lu/177Hf = 0.015). A smaller group shows ɛHf values of +2 to +6, which may represent mantle-derived subduction-zone volcanism at

  13. Long-term landscape evolution of the South Atlantic "passive" continental margin in Eastern Argentina using apatite fission-track thermochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfister, Sabrina; Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.

    2015-04-01

    To understand the evolution of the "passive" continental margin in Argentina low temperature thermochronology is an appropriate method, which might lead to new insights in this area. The Tandilia System, also called Sierras Septentrionales, is located south of the Río de la Plato Craton in eastern Argentina in the state of Buenos Aires. North of the hills the Salado basin is located whereas the Claromecó basin is situated south of the mountain range. In contrary to most basins along the South American "passive" continental margin, the Tandilia-System and the neighbouring basins trend perpendicular to the coast line. The topography is fairly flat with altitudes up to 350 m. The igneous-metamorphic basement is pre-Proterozoic in age and build up of mainly granitic-tonalitic gneisses, migmatites, amphibolites, some ultramafic rocks and granitoid plutons. It is overlain by a series of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic sedimentary rocks (Cingolani 2011), like siliciclastic rocks, dolostones, shales and limestones (Demoulin 2005). The aim of the study is to quantify the long-term landscape evolution of the "passive" continental margin in eastern Argentina in terms of thermal, exhumation and tectonic evolution. For that purpose, samples were taken from the basement of the Sierra Septentrionales and analyzed with the apatite fission-track method. Further 2-D thermokinematic modeling was conducted with the computer code HeFTy (Ketcham 2005; Ketcham 2007; Ketcham et al. 2009). Because there are different hypotheses in literature regarding the geological evolution of this area two different models were generated, one after Demoulin et al. (2005) and another after Zalba et al.(2007). All samples were taken from the Neoproterozoic igneous-metamorphic basement. Apatite fission-track ages range from 101.6 (9.4) to 228.9 (22.3) Ma, and, therefore, are younger than their formation age, indicating all samples have been thermally reset. Six samples accomplished enough confined

  14. Late Cenozoic Underthrusting of the Continental Margin off Northernmost California.

    PubMed

    Silver, E A

    1969-12-01

    The presence of magnetic anomaly 3, age 5 million years, beneath the continental slope off northernmost California, is evidence for underthrusting of the continental margin during the late Cenozoic. Folded and faulted strata near the base of the slope attest to deformation of the eastern edge of the turbidite sedimzents in the Gorda Basin; the deformation observed is exactly that expected from underthrusting. The relative motions of three crustal plates also suggest underthrusting, possibly with a major component of right-lateral slip.

  15. Late tertiary structure and stratigraphy of north Sinai continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Mart, Y.

    1981-06-01

    New seismic data provide information on the structural development and late Tertiary stratigraphy of the continental slope and rise off northern Sinai. The upper continental slope is characterized by a marginal plateau composed of a series of platforms or steps. The lower continental slope is smooth, except for a low ridge paralleling the western part. Numerous diapiric structures along the continental margin north of the Sinai Peninsula emerge from an evaporitic layer of late Tertiary age. The diapirs usually are aligned along west-northwest-trending faults. A salt ridge 90 km long produces a submarine ridge in the lower continental rise. Two main fault trends have been mapped. In the western part of the continental margin they trend west-northwest and, in the eastern part, northeast. These trends parallel the continental slopes of northern Sinai and southern Israel, respectively. The structural grain of the Sinai margin appears to be controlled by two main tectonic elements: (1) rejuvenated basement faults of the continent-ocean transition zone; and (2) salt diapirism due to loading of Messinian evaporites with Nile-derived upper Tertiary clastics.

  16. The Continental Margins Program in Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cocker, M.D.; Shapiro, E.A.

    1999-01-01

    From 1984 to 1993, the Georgia Geologic Survey (GGS) participated in the Minerals Management Service-funded Continental Margins Program. Geological and geophysical data acquisition focused on offshore stratigraphic framework studies, phosphate-bearing Miocene-age strata, distribution of heavy minerals, near-surface alternative sources of groundwater, and development of a PC-based Coastal Geographic Information System (GIS). Seven GGS publications document results of those investigations. In addition to those publications, direct benefits of the GGS's participation include an impetus to the GGS's investigations of economic minerals on the Georgia coast, establishment of a GIS that includes computer hardware and software, and seeds for additional investigations through the information and training acquired as a result of the Continental Margins Program. These addtional investigations are quite varied in scope, and many were made possible because of GIS expertise gained as a result of the Continental Margins Program. Future investigations will also reap the benefits of the Continental Margins Program.From 1984 to 1993, the Georgia Geologic Survey (GGS) participated in the Minerals Management Service-funded Continental Margins Program. Geological and geophysical data acquisition focused on offshore stratigraphic framework studies, phosphate-bearing Miocene-age strata, distribution of heavy minerals, near-surface alternative sources of groundwater, and development of a PC-based Coastal Geographic Information System (GIS). Seven GGS publications document results of those investigations. In addition to those publications, direct benefits of the GGS's participation include an impetus to the GGS's investigations of economic minerals on the Georgia coast, establishment of a GIS that includes computer hardware and software, and seeds for additional investigations through the information and training acquired as a result of the Continental Margins Program. These additional

  17. The basins on the Argentine continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Urien, C.M.

    1996-08-01

    After the stabilization of the central Gondwana Craton, orogenic belts were accreted, as a result of convergence events and an extensive passive margin developed in southwestern Gondwana. Thermal subsidence in Parana, Karoo-Ventania basins and the Late Paleozoic-Early Mesozoic rifts, were modified by the Gondwana breakup and the South Atlantic opening. Early Paleozoic marine transgressions deposited the Table Mountain Group in Ventania. In southwestern Patagonia foreland clastics were deposited. Magmatic arcs and marine units indicate a tectonic trough was formed, alternating with continental sequences, over Late Paleozoic metamorphics and intrusives, resulting from plastered terrains along the Gondwana margin. In Patagonia, Permo-Carboniferous continental and glacio marine clastics infill the basins, while in Ventania, paralic sequences, grade from neritic to continental to the northeast, extending beneath the continental margin. The Triassic-Jurassic rift basins progressed onto regional widespread acid lavas and were infilled by lagoonal organic-rich sequences. Early drift phase built basins transverse to the margin, with fluvio-lacustrine sequences: Salado, Colorado, Valdes-Rawson, San Julian and North Malvinas intracratonic basins, which underwent transtensional faulting. Post-Oxfordian to Neocomian brackish sequences, onlapped the conjugate basins during the margin`s drift, with petroleum systems, as in Austral and Malvinas. In the Valanginian, basic extrusions commenced to form on the continental border, heralding the oceanic phase. Due to thermal subsidence, offlaping sediments prograded onto the remaining half-grabens. Several petroleum systems, proven and hypothetical, are identified in this region.

  18. On isostasy at Atlantic-type continental margins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karner, G. D.; Watts, A. B.

    1982-01-01

    The concept of isostasy describes the manner in which topographic features on the earth's surface are compensated at depth. The present investigation is concerned with the isostatic mechanism at Atlantic-type continental margins. Particular attention is given to the question whether the flexure model of isostasy, which has successfully been used at other geological features in oceans, is applicable at margins. Cross-spectral techniques are used to analyze the relationship between free air gravity and topography at Atlantic-type continental margins. The relatively old eastern North America is found to be associated with the highest value of the effective elastic thickness in the range 10-20 km, while the relatively young Coral Sea/Lord Howe rise is associated with the lowest value of less than 5 km. The differences in estimates of effective elastic thickness between margins can be explained by a simple model in which the flexural strength of the basement increases with age.

  19. Continental margin tectonics - Forearc processes

    SciTech Connect

    Lundberg, N.; Reed, D.L. )

    1991-01-01

    Recent studies of convergent plate margins and the structural development of forearc terranes are summarized in a critical review of U.S. research from the period 1987-1990. Topics addressed include the geometry of accretionary prisms (Coulomb wedge taper and vertical motion in response to tectonic processes), offscraping vs underplating or subduction, the response to oblique convergence, fluids in forearc settings, the thermal framework and the effects of fluid advection, and serpentinite seamounts. Also included is a comprehensive bibliography for the period.

  20. Dynamics of the continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-11-01

    On 18--20 June 1990, over 70 oceanographers conducting research in the ocean margins of North America attended a workshop in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The purpose of the workshop was to provide the Department of Energy with recommendations for future research on the exchange of energy-related materials between the coastal and interior ocean and the relationship between the ocean margins and global change. The workshop was designed to optimize the interaction of scientists from specific research disciplines (biology, chemistry, physics and geology) as they developed hypotheses, research questions and topics and implementation plans. The participants were given few restraints on the research they proposed other than realistic time and monetary limits. The interdisciplinary structure of the meeting promoted lively discussion and creative research plans. The meeting was divided into four working groups based on lateral, vertical, air/sea and sediment/water processes. Working papers were prepared and distributed before the meeting. During the meeting the groups revised the papers and added recommendations that appear in this report, which was reviewed by an Executive Committee.

  1. A review of the geology and petroleum possibilities of the continental margins of India

    SciTech Connect

    Sahay, B.

    1984-05-01

    Continental margins which flank western and eastern limits of India are broadly divided into West and East Coast. The width of the Western Continental Shelf varies from 300 km near Bombay to approximately 80 kms near Porbandar, narrowing further towards south to 60 kms near Cochin. The Eastern Continental Shelf which extends from Cape Comorin to Calcutta, has the width varying from 2.5 km, about 150 kms south of Madras to 210 kms upto Ganges river delta, near Calcutta.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Polar continental margins: Studies off East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mienert, J.; Thiede, J.; Kenyon, N. H.; Hollender, F.-J.

    The passive continental margin off east Greenland has been shaped by tectonic and sedimentary processes, and typical physiographic patterns have evolved over the past few million years under the influence of the late Cenozoic Northern Hemisphere glaciations. The Greenland ice shield has been particularly affected.GLORIA (Geological Long Range Inclined Asdic), the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences' (IOS) long-range, side-scan sonar, was used on a 1992 RV Livonia cruise to map large-scale changes in sedimentary patterns along the east Greenland continental margin. The overall objective of this research program was to determine the variety of large-scale seafloor processes to improve our understanding of the interaction between ice sheets, current regimes, and sedimentary processes. In cooperation with IOS and the RV Livonia, a high-quality set of seafloor data has been produced. GLORIA'S first survey of east Greenland's continental margin covered several 1000- × 50-km-wide swaths (Figure 1) and yielded an impressive sidescan sonar image of the complete Greenland Basin and margin (about 250,000 km2). A mosaic of the data was made at a scale of 1:375,000. The base map was prepared with a polar stereographic projection having a standard parallel of 71°.

  6. On the Evolution of Glaciated Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sverre Laberg, Jan; Rydningen, Tom Arne; Safronova, Polina A.; Forwick, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    Glaciated continental margins, continental margins where a grounded ice sheet repeatedly has been at or near the shelf break, are found at both northern and southern high-latitudes. Their evolution are in several aspects different from their low-latitude counterparts where eustatic sea-level variations possess a fundamental control on their evolution and where fluvial systems provide the main sediment input. From studies of the Norwegian - Barents Sea - Svalbard and NE Greenland continental margins we propose the following factors as the main control on the evolution of glaciated continental margins: 1) Pre-glacial relief controlling the accommodation space, 2) Ice sheet glaciology including the location of fast-flowing ice streams where source area morphology exerts a fundamental control, 3) Composition of the glacigenic sediments where the clay content in previous studies have been found to be important, and 4) Sea-level controlled both by eustacy and isostacy. From three case studies, 1) the western Barents Sea, 2) part of the North Norwegian (Troms), and 3) the Mid-Norwegian margin, the influence on these factors for the sea-floor morphology, sedimentary processes of the continental slope - deep sea and continental margin architecture are discussed. The pre-glacial relief of the mid-Norwegian and Troms margins relates to the onset of rifting and plate break-up from the early Cenozoic while for the SW Barents Sea, plate shear was followed by rifting. A wide zone of extended continental crust occurs offshore mid-Norway while this zone is much narrower offshore Troms leading to a more pronounced pre-glacial relief. Regarding sediment delivery and ice sheet glaciology the western Barents Sea exemplifies very high sediment input corresponding to an estimated average erosion of the source area of ~0.4 mm/yr (SW Barents Sea), much of which is related to subglacial erosion of Mesozoic - Cenozoic sedimentary rocks from large paleo-ice streams. The mid-Norwegian margin

  7. Evolution of Northeast Atlantic magmatic continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    England, Richard; Cornwell, David; Ramsden, Alice

    2014-05-01

    One of the major problems interpreting the evolution of magmatic continental margins such as those which dominate the Irish, UK and Norwegian margins of the NE Atlantic is that the structure which should record the pre-magmatic evolution of the rift and which potentially influences the character of the rifting process is partially or completely obscured by thick basalt lava flows and sills. A limited number of deep reflection seismic profiles acquired with tuned seismic sources have penetrated the basalts and provide an image of the pre-magmatic structure, otherwise the principle data are lower resolution wide-angle/refraction profiles and potential field models which have greater uncertainties associated with them. In order to sidestep the imaging contraints we have examined the Ethiopian ñ Afar rift system to try to understand the rifting process. This magmatic rift system provides, along its length, a series of ësnapshotsí into the possible tectonic evolution of a magmatic continental margin which are associated with different amounts of extension. The Main Ethiopian rift contains an embryonic magmatic passive margin dominated by faulting at the margins of the rift and en-echlon magmatic zones at the centre. Further north toward Afar the rift becomes infilled with extensive lava flows fed from fissure systems in the widening rift zone. Deep seismic profiles crossing the NE Atlantic margins reveal ocean dipping reflector sequences (ODRS) of basaltic lavas overlying extended crust and lower crustal sill complexes of intruded igneous rock, often referred to as underplate, which extend back beneath the continental margin. The ODRS show a variety of morphologies and settings but frequently occur in fault bounded rift structures along the margins. We suggest, by analogy to the observations that can be made in the Ethiopia Afar rift that these fault bounded basins largely form at the embryonic rift stage and are then partially or completely filled with lavas fed

  8. Focused fluid flow in passive continental margins.

    PubMed

    Berndt, Christian

    2005-12-15

    Passive continental margins such as the Atlantic seaboard of Europe are important for society as they contain large energy resources, and they sustain ecosystems that are the basis for the commercial fish stock. The margin sediments are very dynamic environments. Fluids are expelled from compacting sediments, bottom water temperature changes cause gas hydrate systems to change their locations and occasionally large magmatic intrusions boil the pore water within the sedimentary basins, which is then expelled to the surface. The fluids that seep through the seabed at the tops of focused fluid flow systems have a crucial role for seabed ecology, and study of such fluid flow systems can also help in predicting the distribution of hydrocarbons in the subsurface and deciphering the climate record. Therefore, the study of focused fluid flow will become one of the most important fields in marine geology in the future.

  9. Systematic mapping of the Spanish continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acosta, Juan; Muñoz, Araceli; Uchupi, Elazar

    2012-07-01

    For economic, environmental, recreational, military, and political reasons it is critical for coastal states to have up-to-date information on their marine margins. Spain began to acquire such data 17 years ago. From 1995 to the present, the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO), a research organization of the state, has carried out a systematic geological and geophysical study of the Spanish margins. Among these projects are (1) the hydrographic and oceanographic study of the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that was implemented by the Navy Hydrographic Institute (IHM); (2) the Espace Project, a study of the Spanish continental shelf; and (3) the Capesme Project, which created fisheries maps of the Mediterranean Sea. The latter two projects were carried out in collaboration with the Secretariat General of the Sea (SGM).

  10. Investigating Continental Margins: An Activity to Help Students Better Understand the Continental Margins of North America

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poli, Maria-Serena; Capodivacca, Marco

    2011-01-01

    Continental margins are an important part of the ocean floor. They separate the land above sea level from the deep ocean basins below and occupy about 11% of Earth's surface. They are also economically important, as they harbor both mineral resources and some of the most valuable fisheries in the world. In this article students investigate North…

  11. North Sinai-Levant rift-transform continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  12. Understanding Continental Margin Biodiversity: A New Imperative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, Lisa A.; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, the deep continental margins (200-4,000 m) were perceived as monotonous mud slopes of limited ecological or environmental concern. Progress in seafloor mapping and direct observation now reveals unexpected heterogeneity, with a mosaic of habitats and ecosystems linked to geomorphological, geochemical, and hydrographic features that influence biotic diversity. Interactions among water masses, terrestrial inputs, sediment diagenesis, and tectonic activity create a multitude of ecological settings supporting distinct communities that populate canyons and seamounts, high-stress oxygen minimum zones, and methane seeps, as well as vast reefs of cold corals and sponges. This high regional biodiversity is fundamental to the production of valuable fisheries, energy, and mineral resources, and performs critical ecological services (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, nursery and habitat support). It is under significant threat from climate change and human resource extraction activities. Serious actions are required to preserve the functions and services provided by the deep-sea settings we are just now getting to know.

  13. Understanding continental margin biodiversity: a new imperative.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, the deep continental margins (200-4,000 m) were perceived as monotonous mud slopes of limited ecological or environmental concern. Progress in seafloor mapping and direct observation now reveals unexpected heterogeneity, with a mosaic of habitats and ecosystems linked to geomorphological, geochemical, and hydrographic features that influence biotic diversity. Interactions among water masses, terrestrial inputs, sediment diagenesis, and tectonic activity create a multitude of ecological settings supporting distinct communities that populate canyons and seamounts, high-stress oxygen minimum zones, and methane seeps, as well as vast reefs of cold corals and sponges. This high regional biodiversity is fundamental to the production of valuable fisheries, energy, and mineral resources, and performs critical ecological services (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, nursery and habitat support). It is under significant threat from climate change and human resource extraction activities. Serious actions are required to preserve the functions and services provided by the deep-sea settings we are just now getting to know.

  14. Remobilization of barium in continental margin sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McManus, James; Berelson, William M.; Klinkhammer, Gary P.; Kilgore, Tammy E.; Hammond, Douglas E.

    1994-11-01

    The rate of Ba release from California continental margin sediments has been measured, using an in situ benthic flux chamber, and the range of values (25-50 nmol cm -2 y -1) is larger than any previously published benthic flux estimate for this element. The magnitude of the Ba flux suggests that a significant fraction of the Ba raining from the euphotic zone is recycled at the seafloor. Ba:Si regeneration ratios from these margin sediments increase with depth, demonstrating that Ba is decoupled from Si during the earliest stages of diagenesis. On the other hand, Ba regeneration rates and CaCO 3 dissolution rates covary; the coupling between these two constituents is supported by the observation that the Ba: CaCO 3 dissolution flux ratio (1.7 ± 0.4 × 10 -3) is independent of bottomwater depth—even in sediments underlying the oxygen minimum zone along the continental margin. Furthermore, this flux ratio is consistent with both the water column Ba:alkalinity ratio for the world's ocean, as well as the Ba:CaCO 3 ratio in sediment-trap solid phases from the Equatorial Pacific (1.1-2.2 × 10 -3). However, the constancy of the Ba:alkalinity ratio over geologic time remains in question, because the mechanism that controls this relationship remains a mystery. Our flux measurements suggest that diagenesis does not significantly influence the Ba:Ca ratio in the upper 0.5 mm of Pacific sediments, thereby supporting the idea of using the Ba concentration in surface-dwelling benthic forams as a proxy for deep-water chemical conditions ( LEA and BOYLE, 1989, 1990). On the other hand, we predict that if a foraminifer lives 0.5 mm or more below this interface, then diagenetic effects could influence the Ba:Ca ratio that foram species would record. The carrier phase of the particulate Ba reactive during early diagenesis does not appear to be organic matter, oxyhydroxides, or calcium carbonate, but rather a mineral phase related to marine barite or perhaps celestite.

  15. Structure of the North American Atlantic Continental Margin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klitgord, K. K.; Schlee, J. S.

    1986-01-01

    Offers explanations on the origin of the North American Atlantic continental margin. Provides an analysis and illustrations of structural and strategraphic elements of cross sections of the Atlantic continental margin. Also explains the operations and applications of seismic-relection profiles in studying ocean areas. (ML)

  16. Understanding continental margin biodiversity: a new imperative.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, the deep continental margins (200-4,000 m) were perceived as monotonous mud slopes of limited ecological or environmental concern. Progress in seafloor mapping and direct observation now reveals unexpected heterogeneity, with a mosaic of habitats and ecosystems linked to geomorphological, geochemical, and hydrographic features that influence biotic diversity. Interactions among water masses, terrestrial inputs, sediment diagenesis, and tectonic activity create a multitude of ecological settings supporting distinct communities that populate canyons and seamounts, high-stress oxygen minimum zones, and methane seeps, as well as vast reefs of cold corals and sponges. This high regional biodiversity is fundamental to the production of valuable fisheries, energy, and mineral resources, and performs critical ecological services (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, nursery and habitat support). It is under significant threat from climate change and human resource extraction activities. Serious actions are required to preserve the functions and services provided by the deep-sea settings we are just now getting to know. PMID:22457970

  17. Transform continental margins - part 1: Concepts and models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, Christophe

    2015-10-01

    This paper reviews the geodynamic concepts and models related to transform continental margins, and their implications on the structure of these margins. Simple kinematic models of transform faulting associated with continental rifting and oceanic accretion allow to define three successive stages of evolution, including intra-continental transform faulting, active transform margin, and passive transform margin. Each part of the transform margin experiences these three stages, but the evolution is diachronous along the margin. Both the duration of each stage and the cumulated strike-slip deformation increase from one extremity of the margin (inner corner) to the other (outer corner). Initiation of transform faulting is related to the obliquity between the trend of the lithospheric deformed zone and the relative displacement of the lithospheric plates involved in divergence. In this oblique setting, alternating transform and divergent plate boundaries correspond to spatial partitioning of the deformation. Both obliquity and the timing of partitioning influence the shape of transform margins. Oblique margin can be defined when oblique rifting is followed by oblique oceanic accretion. In this case, no transform margin should exist in the prolongation of the oceanic fracture zones. Vertical displacements along transform margins were mainly studied to explain the formation of marginal ridges. Numerous models were proposed, one of the most used is being based on thermal exchanges between the oceanic and the continental lithospheres across the transform fault. But this model is compatible neither with numerical computation including flexural behavior of the lithosphere nor with timing of vertical displacements and the lack of heating related to the passing of the oceanic accretion axis as recorded by the Côte d'Ivoire-Ghana marginal ridge. Enhanced models are still needed. They should better take into account the erosion on the continental slope, and the level of coupling

  18. Organic geochemistry of outer continental margins and deep ocean sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Whelan, J.K.

    1990-01-01

    This report discusses the activities and progress made in the study of continental margins and deep ocean sediments. Topics discussed are the calibration of thermal maturation markers, hydrous pyrolysis studies and sample collection. (KS)

  19. Contemporary phosphorites on the continental margin of peru.

    PubMed

    Veeh, H H; Burnett, W C; Soutar, A

    1973-08-31

    Phosphorite nodules occurring along the biologically productive continental margin of Peru have been dated by uranium-series methods. The radiometric ages range from late Pleistocene to Recent, indicating that phosphorities are currently forming in this area.

  20. Evidence of a dense water vein along the Libyan continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasparini, G. P.; Bonanno, A.; Zgozi, S.; Basilone, G.; Borghini, M.; Buscaino, G.; Cuttitta, A.; Essarbout, N.; Mazzola, S.; Patti, B.; Ramadan, A. B.; Schroeder, K.; Bahri, T.; Massa, F.

    2008-02-01

    For the first time it was possible to investigate a still poorly known region of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Libyan continental margin. An oceanographic cruise, performed during summer 2006, revealed an important and novel feature: a dense vein flowing along the continental slope. The paper describes the vein evolution with some insights on its dynamic and furnishes an estimate of its transport, which results to be comparable with the Adriatic Deep Water production rate. The cascading into a steep canyon which incises the continental shelf suggests that the vein may play an important role in ventilating the deep layers of the Ionian Sea.

  1. Continental margin of Western europe: slope progradation and erosion.

    PubMed

    Curray, J R; Moore, D G; Belderson, R H; Stride, A H

    1966-10-14

    Reflection profiling of the continental margin off western Europe shows seaward-dipping continental-slope deposits that have been dissected by submarine canyons west of the English Channel. These records refute previous interpretation of structural benches of older, nearly horizontal strata outcropping on the slope face.

  2. Continental margin of Western europe: slope progradation and erosion.

    PubMed

    Curray, J R; Moore, D G; Belderson, R H; Stride, A H

    1966-10-14

    Reflection profiling of the continental margin off western Europe shows seaward-dipping continental-slope deposits that have been dissected by submarine canyons west of the English Channel. These records refute previous interpretation of structural benches of older, nearly horizontal strata outcropping on the slope face. PMID:17810307

  3. Continental margin sedimentation: from sediment transport to sequence stratigraphy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nittrouer, Charles A.; Austin, James A.; Field, Michael E.; Kravitz, Joseph H.; Syvitski, James P.M.; Wiberg, Patricia L.; Nittrouer, Charles A.; Austin, James A.; Field, Michael E.; Kravitz, Joseph H.; Syvitski, James P. M.; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2007-01-01

    This volume on continental margin sedimentation brings together an expert editorial and contributor team to create a state-of-the-art resource. Taking a global perspective, the book spans a range of timescales and content, ranging from how oceans transport particles, to how thick rock sequences are formed on continental margins. - Summarizes and integrates our understanding of sedimentary processes and strata associated with fluvial dispersal systems on continental shelves and slopes - Explores timescales ranging from particle transport at one extreme, to deep burial at the other - Insights are presented for margins in general, and with focus on a tectonically active margin (northern California) and a passive margin (New Jersey), enabling detailed examination of the intricate relationships between a wide suite of sedimentary processes and their preserved stratigraphy - Includes observational studies which document the processes and strata found on particular margins, in addition to numerical models and laboratory experimentation, which provide a quantitative basis for extrapolation in time and space of insights about continental-margin sedimentation - Provides a research resource for scientists studying modern and ancient margins, and an educational text for advanced students in sedimentology and stratigraphy

  4. Comparative biogeochemistry-ecosystem-human interactions on dynamic continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Levin, Lisa A.; Liu, Kon-Kee; Emeis, Kay-Christian; Breitburg, Denise L.; Cloern, James; Deutsch, Curtis; Giani, Michele; Goffart, Anne; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Lachkar, Zouhair; Limburg, Karin; Liu, Su-Mei; Montes, Enrique; Naqvi, Wajih; Ragueneau, Olivier; Rabouille, Christophe; Sarkar, Santosh Kumar; Swaney, Dennis P.; Wassman, Paul; Wishner, Karen F.

    2014-01-01

    The ocean’s continental margins face strong and rapid change, forced by a combination of direct human activity, anthropogenic CO2-induced climate change, and natural variability. Stimulated by discussions in Goa, India at the IMBER IMBIZO III, we (1) provide an overview of the drivers of biogeochemical variation and change on margins, (2) compare temporal trends in hydrographic and biogeochemical data across different margins (3) review ecosystem responses to these changes, (4) highlight the importance of margin time series for detecting and attributing change and (5) examine societal responses to changing margin biogeochemistry and ecosystems. We synthesize information over a wide range of margin settings in order to identify the commonalities and distinctions among continental margin ecosystems. Key drivers of biogeochemical variation include long-term climate cycles, CO2-induced warming, acidification, and deoxygenation, as well as sea level rise, eutrophication, hydrologic and water cycle alteration, changing land use, fishing, and species invasion. Ecosystem responses are complex and impact major margin services including primary production, fisheries production, nutrient cycling, shoreline protection, chemical buffering, and biodiversity. Despite regional differences, the societal consequences of these changes are unarguably large and mandate coherent actions to reduce, mitigate and adapt to multiple stressors on continental margins.

  5. Comparative biogeochemistry-ecosystem-human interactions on dynamic continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, Lisa A.; Liu, Kon-Kee; Emeis, Kay-Christian; Breitburg, Denise L.; Cloern, James; Deutsch, Curtis; Giani, Michele; Goffart, Anne; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Lachkar, Zouhair; Limburg, Karin; Liu, Su-Mei; Montes, Enrique; Naqvi, Wajih; Ragueneau, Olivier; Rabouille, Christophe; Sarkar, Santosh Kumar; Swaney, Dennis P.; Wassman, Paul; Wishner, Karen F.

    2015-01-01

    The oceans' continental margins face strong and rapid change, forced by a combination of direct human activity, anthropogenic CO2-induced climate change, and natural variability. Stimulated by discussions in Goa, India at the IMBER IMBIZO III, we (1) provide an overview of the drivers of biogeochemical variation and change on margins, (2) compare temporal trends in hydrographic and biogeochemical data across different margins, (3) review ecosystem responses to these changes, (4) highlight the importance of margin time series for detecting and attributing change and (5) examine societal responses to changing margin biogeochemistry and ecosystems. We synthesize information over a wide range of margin settings in order to identify the commonalities and distinctions among continental margin ecosystems. Key drivers of biogeochemical variation include long-term climate cycles, CO2-induced warming, acidification, and deoxygenation, as well as sea level rise, eutrophication, hydrologic and water cycle alteration, changing land use, fishing, and species invasion. Ecosystem responses are complex and impact major margin services. These include primary production, fisheries production, nutrient cycling, shoreline protection, chemical buffering, and biodiversity. Despite regional differences, the societal consequences of these changes are unarguably large and mandate coherent actions to reduce, mitigate and adapt to multiple stressors on continental margins.

  6. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-13

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

  7. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-13

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

  8. Continental transform margins : state of art and future milestones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, Christophe

    2010-05-01

    Transform faults were defined 45 years ago as ‘a new class of fault' (Wilson, 1965), and transform margins were consequently individualized as a new class of continental margins. While transform margins represent 20 to 25 % of the total length of continent-ocean transitions, they were poorly studied, especially when compared with the amount of data, interpretations, models and conceptual progress accumulated on divergent or convergent continental margins. The best studied examples of transform margins are located in the northern part of Norway, south of South Africa, in the gulf of California and on both sides of the Equatorial Atlantic. Here is located the Côte d'Ivoire - Ghana margin, where the more complete data set was acquired, based on numerous geological and geophysical cruises, including ODP Leg 159. The first models that encompassed the structure and evolution of transform margins were mainly driven by plate kinematic reconstructions, and evidenced the diachronic end of tectonic activity and the non-cylindrical character of these margins, with a decreasing strike-slip deformation from the convex to the concave divergent-transform intersections. Further thermo-mechanical models were more specifically designed to explain the vertical displacements along transform margins, and especially the occurrence of high-standing marginal ridges. These thermo-mechanical models involved either heat transfer from oceanic to continental lithospheres across the transform faults or tectonically- or gravity-driven mass transfer in the upper crust. These models were far from fully fit observations, and were frequently dedicated to specific example, and not easily generalizable. Future work on transform continental margins may be expected to fill some scientific gaps, and the definition of working directions can benefit from the studies dedicated to other types of margins. At regional scale the structural and sedimentological variability of transform continental margins has

  9. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Structure of the North American Atlantic Continental Margin.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlee, J.S.; Klitgord, K.K.

    1986-01-01

    Off E N America, where the structure of the continental margin is essentially constructional, seismic profiles have approximated geologic cross sections up to 10-15km below the sea floor and revealed major structural and stratigraphic features that have regional hydrocarbon potential. These features include a) a block-faulted basement hinge zone; b) a deep, broad, rifted basement filled with clastic sediment and salt; and c) a buried paleoshelf-edge complex that has many forms. The mapping of seismostratigraphic units over the continental shelf, slope, and rise has shown that the margin's developmental state included infilling of a rifted margin, buildup of a carbonate platform, and construction of an onlapping continental-rise wedge that was accompanied by erosion of the slope. -from Authors

  11. Closing the North American Carbon Budget: Continental Margin Fluxes Matter!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Najjar, R.; Benway, H. M.; Siedlecki, S. A.; Boyer, E. W.; Cai, W. J.; Coble, P. G.; Cross, J. N.; Friedrichs, M. A.; Goni, M. A.; Griffith, P. C.; Herrmann, M.; Lohrenz, S. E.; Mathis, J. T.; McKinley, G. A.; Pilskaln, C. H.; Smith, R. A.; Alin, S. R.

    2015-12-01

    Despite their relatively small surface area, continental margins are regions of intense carbon and nutrient processing, export and exchange, and thus have a significant impact on global biogeochemical cycles. In response to recommendations for regional synthesis and carbon budget estimation for North America put forth in the North American Continental Margins workshop report (Hales et al., 2008), the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Program and North American Carbon Program (NACP) began coordinating a series of collaborative, interdisciplinary Coastal CARbon Synthesis (CCARS) research activities in five coastal regions of North America (Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Arctic, Laurentian Great Lakes) to improve quantitative assessments of the North American carbon budget. CCARS workshops and collaborative research activities have resulted in the development of regional coastal carbon budgets based on recent literature- and model-based estimates of major carbon fluxes with estimated uncertainties. Numerous peer-reviewed papers and presentations by involved researchers have highlighted these findings and provided more in-depth analyses of processes underlying key carbon fluxes in continental margin systems. As a culminating outcome of these synthesis efforts, a comprehensive science plan highlights key knowledge gaps identified during this synthesis and provides explicit guidance on future research and observing priorities in continental margin systems to help inform future agency investments in continental margins research. This presentation will provide an overview of regional and flux-based (terrestrial inputs, biological transformations, sedimentary processes, atmospheric exchanges, lateral carbon transport) synthesis findings and key recommendations in the science plan, as well as a set of overarching priorities and recommendations on observations and modeling approaches for continental margin systems.

  12. The dynamics of continental extension and divergent margin formation

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, D.S. )

    1990-05-01

    Continental breakup is a highly variable process. Differences occur in the relative timing and extent of volcanism, uplift, and graben formation as well as in the mode and amount of continental extension before breakup. The authors propose a model that reconciles this variability with the previously recognized tendency for breakup to occur along preexisting weak trends. Continental lithosphere is viewed as a composite material composed of two strong layers, one in the upper mantle and one in the middle crust. Finite element simulation indicates that extensional failure at weaknesses in the mantle causes concentrated extension in the mantle and diffuse extension in the crust. This leads to early melt segregation and volcanism, margin uplift during the late stages of the extension process, and relatively narrow symmetrical extended margins. In contrast, failure at weaknesses in the crustal strong zone causes focused extension in the crust and diffuse extension in the mantle. This produces initial graben formation, cooling in the lower crust and upper mantle, and broad asymmetrical extended margins. Volcanism only occurs late in the process. Failure at laterally offset weaknesses within both strong layers, perhaps the most common case, leads to a deformation pattern dominated by simple shear. Thus, differences in the prerift configuration of the continental lithosphere can control the overall style of continental breakup. They find that certain features of the evolution of the US Atlantic margin, particularly the formation of the hinge zone and the distribution and timing of extension may be better explained using these models.

  13. Post-orogenic evolution of the Sierras Septentrionales and the Sierras Australes and links to the evolution of the eastern Argentina South Atlantic passive continental margin constrained by low temperature thermochronometry and 2D thermokinematic modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Rossello, Eduardo A.

    2013-04-01

    The eastern Argentina South Atlantic passive continental margin is distinguished by a very flat topography. Out of the so called Pampean flat two mountain ranges are arising. These mountain ranges, the Sierras Australes and the Sierras Septentrionales, are located in the State of Buenos Aires south of the capital Buenos Aires. North of the Sierras Septentrionales the Salado basin is located. The Sierras Septentrionales and the Sierras Australes are also divided by a smaller intracratonic basin. Further in the South the Colorado basin is located. The Sierras Australes is a variscian fold belt originated by strong phases of metamorphosis, but till now it is unclear by how many tectonic phases the area was influenced (Tomezzoli & Vilas, 1999). It consists of Proterozoic to Paleozoic rocks. The Sierras Septentrionales consists mainly of Precambrian crystalline rocks. The Precambrian sequences are overlain by younger Sediments (Cingolani, 2010). The aim is to understand the long-term landscape evolution of the area by quantifiying erosion- and exhumation-rates and by dating ancient rock-uplift-events. Another goal is to find out how the opening of the south atlantic took effect on this region. To fulfill this goal, thermochronological techniques, such as fission-track dating and (U-Th-Sm)/He dating has been applied to samples from the region. Because there was no low-temperature thermochronology done in this area, both techniques were applied on apatites and zircons. Furthermore, numerical modeling of the cooling history has provided the data base for the quantification of the exhumation rates. The first data-set shows clusters of different ages which can be linked to tectonic activities during late Paleozoic times. Also the thermokinematic modeling is leading to new insights of the evolution of both mountain ranges. References: Renata Nela Tomezzoli and Juan Francisco Vilas (1999): Palaeomagnetic constraints on the age of deformation of the Sierras Australes thrust and

  14. Geomorphic characterization of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, Daniel S.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Andrews, Brian D.; Chaytor, Jason D.

    2013-01-01

    The increasing volume of multibeam bathymetry data collected along continental margins is providing new opportunities to study the feedbacks between sedimentary and oceanographic processes and seafloor morphology. Attempts to develop simple guidelines that describe the relationships between form and process often overlook the importance of inherited physiography in slope depositional systems. Here, we use multibeam bathymetry data and seismic reflection profiles spanning the U.S. Atlantic outer continental shelf, slope and rise from Cape Hatteras to New England to quantify the broad-scale, across-margin morphological variation. Morphometric analyses suggest the margin can be divided into four basic categories that roughly align with Quaternary sedimentary provinces. Within each category, Quaternary sedimentary processes exerted heavy modification of submarine canyons, landslide complexes and the broad-scale morphology of the continental rise, but they appear to have preserved much of the pre-Quaternary, across-margin shape of the continental slope. Without detailed constraints on the substrate structure, first-order morphological categorization the U.S. Atlantic margin does not provide a reliable framework for predicting relationships between form and process.

  15. Upper mantle viscosity and dynamic subsidence of curved continental margins.

    PubMed

    Sacek, Victor; Ussami, Naomi

    2013-01-01

    Continental rifting does not always follow a straight line. Nevertheless, little attention has been given to the influence of rifting curvature in the evolution of extended margins. Here, using a three-dimensional model to simulate mantle dynamics, we demonstrate that the curvature of rifting along a margin also controls post-rift basin subsidence. Our results indicate that a concave-oceanward margin subsides faster than a convex margin does during the post-rift phase. This dynamic subsidence of curved margins is a result of lateral thermal conduction and mantle convection. Furthermore, the differential subsidence is strongly dependent on the viscosity structure. As a natural example, we analyse the post-rift stratigraphic evolution of the Santos Basin, southeastern Brazil. The differential dynamic subsidence of this margin is only possible if the viscosity of the upper mantle is >2-3 × 10(19) Pa s.

  16. Tectonic significance of Synrift sediment packages across the Congo continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    McGinnis, J.P.; Karner, G.D.; Driscoll, N.W. ); Brumbaugh, W.D. ); Cameron, N. )

    1993-09-01

    The tectonic and stratigraphic development of the Congo continental margin reflects the timing, magnitude, and distribution of lithospheric extension responsible for its formation. Details of the lithospheric extension process are recorded in the stratigraphic successions preserved along and across the margin. By using the stratal relationships (e.g., onlap, downlap, and truncation) and lithofacies determined from seismic reflection and exploratory well data as input into our basin-modeling strategy, we have developed an integrated approach to determine the relationship between the timing, magnitude, and distribution of lithospheric extension across the margin. Two hinge zones, an eastern and Atlantic hinge formed along the Congo margin in response to discrete extensional events occurring from the Berriasian to the Aptian. The eastern hinge zone demarcates the eastern limit of the broadly distributed Berriasian extension. This extension resulted in the formation of deep anoxic, lacustrine systems. In contrast, the Atlantic hinge, located [approximately]90 km west of the eastern hinge, marks the eastern limit of a second phase of extension, which began in the Hauterivian. Consequent footwall uplift and rotation exposed the earlier synrift and prerift stratigraphy to at least wave base causing varying amounts of erosional truncation across the Atlantic hinge zone along much of the Gabon, Congo, and Angola margins. The absence of the Melania Formation across the Congo margin implies that uplift of the Atlantic hinge was relatively minor compared to that across the Angola and Gabon margins. In addition, material eroded from the adjacent and topographically higher hinge zones may in part account for the thick wedge of sediment deposited seaward of the Congo Atlantic hinge. A third phase of extension reactivated both the eastern and Atlantic hinge zones and was responsible for creating the accommodation space for Marnes Noires source rock deposition.

  17. Canada basin: age and history of its continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Sweeney, J.F.

    1985-02-01

    Presently available age controls suggest that the Canada basin formed during the Cretaceous Period between about 131 and 79 Ma. The opening process began with continental breakup that may have involved all parts of the North American polar margin at about the same time. The opening was completed by the formation of oceanic crust during the extended Cretaceous interval of normal geomagnetic polarity. Features characteristics of continental breakup, insofar as they are known, show systematic regional differences. From Brock to Axel Heiberg Island, continental breakup was associated with an extended (100 + Ma) stratigraphic hiatus and, northeastward from Ellef Ringnes Island, with extensive tholeiitic igneous activity. From Banks Island to northeastern Alaska, the breakup interval was abbreviated (20-30 Ma), and sparse igneous activity occurred. These differences can be produced by changes in the rate and/or amount of crustal stretching during margin formation and would imply relatively faster or more stretching northeast of Brock island. A continental margin of fixed age, exhibiting the indicated pattern of crustal stretching, could be produced along the trailing edge of a rotating block (Arctic Alaska terrane AA) with its pivot near the Mackenzie delta. When the rotation is restored, however, geological discrepancies are evident between Devonian and older rocks across the conjugate margins, suggesting an earlier history of drifting for the AA. Early Paleozoic correlations appear improved if the AA is placed, polar margin to polar margin, against northern Ellesmere Island and Greenland, where in the middle Paleozoic, it was sheared sinistrally along the Canadian margin to its pre-rotated position opposite Banks Island.

  18. The Continental Margins of the Western North Atlantic.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlee, John S.; And Others

    1979-01-01

    Presents an interpretation of geological and geophysical data, which provides a summary of the structural and sedimentary history of the United States Atlantic Margin. The importance of an understanding of the development of the outer continental shelf to future hydrocarbon exploration is detailed. (BT)

  19. Neogene sedimentation on the outer continental margin, southern Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vallier, T.L.; Underwood, M.B.; Gardner, J.V.; Barron, J.A.

    1980-01-01

    Neogene sedimentary rocks and sediments from sites on the outer continental margin in the southern Bering Sea and on the Alaska Peninsula are dominated by volcanic components that probably were eroded from an emergent Aleutian Ridge. A mainland continental source is subordinate. Most sediment in the marine environment was transported to the depositional sites by longshore currents, debris flows, and turbidity currents during times when sea level was near the outermost continental shelf. Fluctuations of sea level are ascribed both to worldwide glacio-eustatic effects and to regional vertical tectonics. Large drainage systems, such as the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, had little direct influence on sedimentation along the continental slope and Unmak Plateau in the southern Bering Sea. Sediments from those drainage systems probably were transported to the floor of the Aleutian Basin, to the numerous shelf basins that underlie the outer continental shelf, and to the Arctic Ocean after passing through the Bering Strait. Environments of deposition at the sites along the outer continental margin have not changed significantly since the middle Miocene. The site on the Alaska Peninsula, however, is now emergent following shallow-marine and transitional sedimentation during the Neogene. ?? 1980.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmers, James

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Ecological theory and continental margins: where shallow meets deep.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Dayton, Paul K

    2009-11-01

    Continental margins, where land becomes ocean and plunges to the deep sea, provide valuable food and energy resources, and perform essential functions such as carbon burial and nutrient cycling. They exhibit remarkably high species and habitat diversity, but this is threatened by our increasing reliance on the resources that margins provide, and by warming, expanding hypoxia and acidification associated with climate change. Continental margin ecosystems, with environments, constituents and processes that differ from those in shallow water, demand a new focus, in which ecological theory and experimental methods are brought to bear on management and conservation practices. Concepts of disturbance, diversity-function relationships, top-down versus bottom-up control, facilitation and meta-dynamics offer a framework for studying fundamental processes and understanding future change.

  2. ODP Leg 107 results from continental margin east of Sardinia (Mediterranean Sea): a transect across a very young passive margin

    SciTech Connect

    Kastens, K.A.; Mascle, J.; Auroux, C.; Bonatti, E.; Broglia, C.; Channell, J.; Curzi, P.; Emeis, K.; Glacon, G.; Hasegawa, S.; Hieke, W.

    1987-05-01

    A 200-km wide zone east of Sardinia, characterized by thin continental crust with tilted, listric(.)-fault-bounded blocks, has been interpreted as a passive continental margin formed during back-arc opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Leg 107 of the Ocean Drilling Project drilled a transect of four sites across this margin plus three sites in the basaltic basin. Site 654, closest to Sardinia, recovered a transgressive sequence attributed to basin subsidence: coarse-grained, iron-oxide rich, subaerial conglomerates underlie oyster-bearing sands followed upsection by open-water Tortonian marine marls. The synrift sequence, as inferred from seismic reflection profiles, correlates with sediments of Tortonian to Messinian age. Farther east the synrift sediments are younger: site 652, near the continental/oceanic transition, recovered an inferred synrift sequence of Messinian to early Pliocene age. The pan-Mediterranean Messinian desiccation event is represented at the western two sites (654 and 653) by a basinal facies including laminated gypsum, whereas at the eastern two sites the Messinian facies are terrestrial (lacustrine at 652 and subaerial at 656). They therefore infer that subsidence was more advanced at the western sites than at the eastern sites as of 5 Ma. Leg 107 results suggest that subsidence and stretching were diachronous across the passive margin, beginning and ending several million years earlier in the west than in the east. This asynchroneity may result from the inherent asymmetry of back-arc basin opening, or it may be a common characteristic of passive margins which has been revealed by the unusually precise time resolution of this data set.

  3. Molecular diversity of sulfate-reducing bacteria from two different continental margin habitats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xueduan; Bagwell, Christopher E; Wu, Liyou; Devol, Allan H; Zhou, Jizhong

    2003-10-01

    This study examined the natural diversity and distributions of sulfate-reducing bacteria along a natural carbon gradient extending down the shelf-slope transition zone of the eastern Pacific continental margin. Dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase gene sequences (dsrAB) were PCR amplified and cloned from five different sampling sites, each at a discrete depth, from two different margin systems, one off the Pacific coast of Mexico and another off the coast of Washington State. A total of 1,762 clones were recovered and evaluated by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. The majority of the gene sequences recovered showed site and depth restricted distributions; however, a limited number of gene sequences were widely distributed within and between the margin systems. Cluster analysis identified 175 unique RFLP patterns, and nucleotide sequences were determined for corresponding clones. Several different continental margin DsrA sequences clustered with those from formally characterized taxa belonging to the delta subdivision of the class Proteobacteria (Desulfobulbus propionicus, Desulfosarcina variabilis) and the Bacillus-Clostridium (Desulfotomaculum putei) divisions, although the majority of the recovered sequences were phylogenetically divergent relative to all of the other DsrA sequences available for comparison. This study revealed extensive new genetic diversity among sulfate-reducing bacteria in continental margin sedimentary habitats, which appears to be tightly coupled to slope depth, specifically carbon bioavailability.

  4. Cenozoic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.B. )

    1990-05-01

    Cenozoic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin has involved a series of ridge (Aluk Ridge)-trench collisions between the Pacific and Antarctic plates. Subduction occurred episodically between segments of the Pacific plate that are bounded by major fracture zones. The age of ridge-trench collisions decreases from south to north along the margin. The very northern part of the margin, between the Hero and Shackleton fracture zones, has the last surviving Aluk-Antarctic spreading ridge segments and the only remaining trench topography. The sedimentary cover on the northern margin is relatively thin generally less than 1.5 km, thus providing a unique setting in which to examine margin evolution using high resolution seismic methods. Over 5,000 km of high resolution (water gun) seismic profiles were acquired from the Antarctic Peninsula margin during four cruises to the region. The margin is divided into discrete fracture-zone-bounded segments; each segment displays different styles of development. Highly tectonized active margin sequences have been buried beneath a seaward-thickening sediment wedge that represents the passive stage of margin development Ice caps, which have existed in the Antarctic Peninsula region since at least the late Oligocene, have advanced onto the continental shelf on numerous occasions, eroding hundreds of meters into the shelf and depositing a thick sequence of deposits characterized by till tongues and glacial troughs. Glacial erosion has been the main factor responsible for overdeepening of the shelf; isostasy is of secondary importance. As the shelf was lowered by glacial erosion, it was able to accommodate thicker and more unstable marine ice sheets. The shelf also became a vast reservoir for cold, saline shelf water, one of the key ingredients of Antarctic bottom water.

  5. Sequence stratigraphy and continental margin development of the northwestern shelf of the South China Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, P.P.H. ); Zhi Yuong Chen; Qi Min Zhang )

    1993-05-01

    Based on the sequence stratigraphic analyses of the Tertiary in the northwestern continental margin of the South China Sea, this paper summarizes the regional tectonics and their influences on the basin developments and discusses the systems tract distributions through the continental margin growth. The study area is underlain by two Tertiary basins separated by a major basin boundary fault across which two distinctly different basin structural styles developed. The Qiongdongnan basin shows characteristic rift structures and is closely related to the opening of the South China Sea. The Yinggehai basin is filled with thick Neogene monoclines overlying basement without apparent rift structures. The Yinggehai's genesis has been linked to the tectonism along the Red River suture zone. The margin development is characterized by depositional environments of sediment influx constantly exceeding accommodation space. Under these environments, the highstand deltas frequently developed near shelf edges, where vertically stacked shallow water sands of both highstand deltas and lowstand wedges/deltas could produce favorable exploration targets. High rates of sedimentation in the study area allow the identification of fourth-order cyclicity in the Quaternary. Regional sequence stratigraphic correlations suggest that many sequence boundaries appear to be synchronous, but not all boundaries exist in all basins along the eastern and southern continental margins of mainland China. The margin evolved through the repeated development of lowstand fans, lowstand wedges, transgressive systems tracts, and highstand deltas. Prior to the Pliocene, the shelf was sourced both from Vietnam and Hainan Island and, as a result, two shelf margins developed. The southwestern margin stopped growing in the late Miocene, and the northern margin continued to prograde with possible additional sediment inputs through the Red River system in the Quaternary. 29 refs., 22 figs.

  6. A contourite depositional system along the Uruguayan continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández Molina, F. J.; Soto, M.; Piola, A. R.; Tomasini, J.; Preu, B.; Thompson, P.; Badalini, G.; Creaser, A.; Violante, R.; Morales, E.; Paterlini, M.; de Santa Ana, H.

    2015-12-01

    For the first time, a multidisciplinary approach for evaluating the influence of bottom currents in the Uruguayan continental margin is presented. Bathymetric data and multichannel 2D and 3D seismic reflection profiles were used to construct a morphosedimentary map to interpret and decode sedimentary and oceanographic processes along the Uruguayan continental margin. Based on these results a significant contourite depositional system on the margin is described, which contains a spectacular array of large erosive, depositional (drifts) and mixed (terrace) features, which have been generated primarily by water masses of Antarctic and subantarctic origin. From the Eocene-Oligocene boundary up to present time, the long-term influence of water masses from higher southern latitudes, in combination with down-slope sedimentary processes have strongly controlled the overall margin morphology. Most of the features described here, were formed during the middle/late Miocene epoch due to paleoceanographic shifts that include the arrival of Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) along the margin, which in combination with deeper Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) are fundamental in the margin evolution. In combination with Quaternary climatic and eustatic changes in sea level, fluctuations of the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence influenced subsequently glacial and interglacial stages that appear in sedimentary features defined here. These paleoceanographic changes controlled the sedimentary stacking pattern and the locations of high amplitude reflections (HAR) along the contourite terraces, which could be associated to sandier deposits. Fundamental understanding of the above described margin morphologies and the development of associated bedforms in deep marine environments are essential to fully leverage their conceptual implications for hydrocarbon exploration efforts. Futhermore, a more detailed understanding of the margin and its ancient to modern day current dynamics will improve

  7. The Antarctic continental margin: Geology and geophysics of offshore Wilkes land

    SciTech Connect

    Eittreim, S.L.; Hampton, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 14 chapters. Some of the chapter titles are: An Interpretation of the Multichannel Seismic Reflection Profiles across the Continental Margin of the Dumont D'Urville Sea, off Wilkes Land, East Antarctica; Hydrocarbon Geochemistry of Sediments Offshore from Antarctica: Wilkes Land Continental margin; and the Conjugate Continental margins of Antarctica and Australia.

  8. New Insight Into the Crustal Structure of the Continental Margin offshore NW Sabah/Borneo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barckhausen, U.; Franke, D.; Behain, D.; Meyer, H.

    2002-12-01

    The continental margin offshore NW Sabah/Borneo (Malaysia) has been investigated with reflection and refraction seismics, magnetics, and gravity during the recent cruise BGR01-POPSCOMS. A total of 4000 km of geophysical profiles has been acquired, thereof 2900 km with reflection seismics. The focus of investigations was on the deep water areas. The margin looks like a typical accretionary margin and was presumably formed during the subduction of a proto South China Sea. Presently, no horizontal movements between the two plates are being observed. Like in major parts of the South China Sea, the area seaward of the Sabah Trough consists of extended continental lithosphere which is characterised by a pattern of rotated fault blocks and half grabens and a carbonate platform of Early Oligocene to Early Miocene age. We found evidence that the continental crust also underlies the Sabah Trough and the adjacent continental slope, a fact that raises many questions about the tectonic history and development of this margin. The tectonic pattern of the Dangerous Grounds' extended continental crust can be traced a long way landward of the Sabah Trough beneath the sedimentary succession of the upper plate. The magnetic anomalies which are dominated by the magnetic signatures of relatively young volcanic features also continue under the continental slope. The sedimentary rocks of the upper plate, in contrast, seem to generate hardly any magnetic anomalies. Based on the new data we propose the following scenario for the development of the NW Sabah continental margin: Seafloor spreading in the present South China Sea started at about 30 Ma in the Late Oligocene. The spreading process separated the Dangerous Grounds area from the SE Asian continent and ceased in late Early Miocene when the oceanic crust of the proto South China Sea was fully subducted in eastward direction along the Borneo-Palawan Trough. During Lower and/or Middle Miocene, Borneo rotated counterclockwise and was

  9. Tectonic evolution of Brazilian equatorial continental margin basins

    SciTech Connect

    Azevedo, R.P. )

    1993-02-01

    The structural style and stratigraphic relationships of sedimentary basins along the Brazilian Equatorial Atlantic Continental Margin were used to construct an empirical tectonic model for the development of ancient transform margins. The model is constrained by detailed structural and subsidence analyses of several basins along the margin. The structural framework of the basins was defined at shallow and deep levels by the integration of many geophysical and geological data sets. The Barreirinhas and Para-Maranhao Basins were divided in three tectonic domains: the Tutoia, Caete, and Tromai subbasins. The Caete area is characterized by northwest-southeast striking and northeast-dipping normal faults. A pure shear mechanism of basin formation is suggested for its development. The structure of the Tutoia and Tromai subbasins are more complex and indicative of a major strike-slip component with dextral sense of displacement, during early stages of basin evolution. These two later subbasins were developed on a lithosphere characterized by an abrupt transition (<50 km wide) from an unstretched continent to an oceanic lithosphere. The subsidence history of these basins do not comply with the classical models developed for passive margins or continental rifting. The thermo-mechanical model proposed for the Brazilian equatorial margin includes heterogeneous stretching combined with shearing at the plate margin. The tectonic history comprises: (1) Triassic-Jurassic limited extension associated with the Central Atlantic evolution; (2) Neocomian intraplate deformation consisting of strike-slip reactivation of preexisting shear zones; (3) Aptian-Cenomanian two-phase period of dextral shearing; and (4) Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic sea-floor spreading.

  10. Tectonic structure and evolution of the Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. A transform continental margin rich in hydrocarbons, Gulf of California

    SciTech Connect

    Lonsdale, P.

    1985-07-01

    Conventional and near-bottom geophysical surveys mapped shallow deformational structures and sediment accumulation patterns along part of the actively shearing continental margin of Sonora, including the intersection with a Guaymas Basin spreading center. The principal strike-slip faults occupy a zone 1-2 km (0.6-1.2 mi) wide along the lower slope, with a ridge of tightly folded sediments raised by uplift of sheared basement at the abrupt boundary between continental and oceanic crust. This transform ridge and a continental rise on its seaward slope grows as the fault zone ages away from the spreading-center intersection shoaling at a net rate of 500 m/m.y. (1,600 ft/ m.y.) despite erosion of its crest. A clathrate horizon in the upper 80 m (260 ft) of sediment is inferred from bottomsimulating reflectors in the rise and lower slope, hydrocarbon seeps occur at 1,600 m (1 mi) below sea level along the crest of the transform ridge, and patchy gas accumulation and seepage are recognized on a young marginal plateau.

  13. Origins and fates of DOM along the New England continental margin. Techical progress report, Year 1

    SciTech Connect

    Fry, B.; Hopkinson, C.; Altabet, M.

    1993-06-01

    We have focused on methods development and completed an initial survey of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) concentration and isotopic composition during the 1994 spring bloom on Georges Bank. The methods development phase assures that high quality measurements will be made in years 2 and 3, and emphasizes developing two independent methods for DON determination. The survey work on Georges Bank will be extended in years 2 and 3 to determine seasonal and spatial changes in DOM concentrations and isotopic compositions along the eastern US continental margin, from Georges Bank to Cape Hatteras.

  14. Origins and fates of DOM along the New England continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Fry, B.; Hopkinson, C. . Ecosystems Center); Altabet, M. )

    1993-01-01

    We have focused on methods development and completed an initial survey of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) concentration and isotopic composition during the 1994 spring bloom on Georges Bank. The methods development phase assures that high quality measurements will be made in years 2 and 3, and emphasizes developing two independent methods for DON determination. The survey work on Georges Bank will be extended in years 2 and 3 to determine seasonal and spatial changes in DOM concentrations and isotopic compositions along the eastern US continental margin, from Georges Bank to Cape Hatteras.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick; Leroy, Sylvie

    2013-04-01

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

  16. Tectonostratigraphic evolution of Cenozoic marginal basin and continental margin successions in the Bone Mountains, Southwest Sulawesi, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Leeuwen, Theo M.; Susanto, Eko S.; Maryanto, Sigit; Hadiwisastra, Sapri; Sudijono; Muhardjo; Prihardjo

    2010-06-01

    The Bone Mountains, located in Southwest Sulawesi along the SE margin of Sundaland, are composed of Oligocene to possibly lower Miocene marginal basin successions (Bone Group) that are juxtaposed against continental margin assemblages of Eocene-Miocene age (Salokalupang Group). Three distinct units make up the latter: (i) Middle-Upper Eocene volcaniclastic sediments with volcanic and limestone intercalations in the upper part (Matajang Formation), reflecting a period of arc volcanism and carbonate development along the Sundaland margin; (ii) a well-bedded series of Oligocene calc-arenites (Karopa Formation), deposited in a passive margin environment following cessation of volcanic activity, and (iii) a series of Lower-Middle Miocene sedimentary rocks, in part turbiditic, which interfinger in the upper part with volcaniclastic and volcanic rocks of potassic affinity (Baco Formation), formed in an extensional regime without subduction. The Bone Group consists of MORB-like volcanics, showing weak to moderate subduction signatures (Kalamiseng Formation), and a series of interbedded hemipelagic mudstones and volcanics (Deko Formation). The Deko volcanics are in part subduction-related and in part formed from melting of a basaltic precursor in the overriding crust. We postulate that the Bone Group rocks formed in a transtensional marginal basin bordered by a transform passive margin to the west (Sundaland) and by a newly initiated westerly-dipping subduction zone on its eastern side. Around 14-13 Ma an extensional tectonic event began in SW Sulawesi, characterized by widespread block-faulting and the onset of potassic volcanism. It reached its peak about 1 Ma year later with the juxtaposition of the Bone Group against the Salokalupang Group along a major strike-slip fault (Walanae Fault Zone). The latter group was sliced up in variously-sized fragments, tilted and locally folded. Potassic volcanism continued up to the end of the Pliocene, and locally into the Quaternary.

  17. The Aravalli sequence of Rajasthan, India: A Precambrian continental margin?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdougall, J. D.; Willis, R.; Lugmair, G. W.; Roy, A. B.; Gopalan, K.

    1985-01-01

    The extent to which plate tectonics in its present form operated during the Precambrian is unknown, but is a subject of considerable current interest. A remarkable succession of Precambrian rocks in Rajasthan, Northwestern India, which may help to shed more light on this question are discussed. Data indicates that the Aravalli sequence has a number of characteristics generally ascribed to active continental margins. Although much more work is required to bear this out, the evidence suggests that the processes operating in such an environment in the early Proterozoic or late Archean were not vastly different from today.

  18. Paleogene continental margin truncation in southwestern Mexico: Geochronological evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaaf, Peter; MoráN-Zenteno, Dante; HernáNdez-Bernal, Maria Del Sol; SolíS-Pichardo, Gabriela; Tolson, Gustavo; KöHler, Hermann

    1995-12-01

    The reasons for, and mechanisms of, continental margin truncation in SW Mexico where Mesozoic-Cenozoic plutons are situated directly on the Pacific coast, are not yet well understood. Large-scale dextral and/or sinistral displacements of the continental margin terranes, now forming parts of Baja California or the Chortis block, have been proposed. The well-defined along-coast NW-SE decreasing granitoid intrusion age trend (˜1.2 cm/yr in the 100 Ma-40 Ma time interval) between Puerto Vallarta and Zihuatanejo is interpreted by us to be a geometric artifact of oblique continental margin truncation rather than the consequence of a sinistral offset of the Chortis block from those latitudes toward the SE. Changes in the dip and velocity of the NNW-SSE trending Cretaceous-Tertiary subduction zone resulted in a landward migration of the magmatic arc. Taking into account certain stratigraphic affinities of Chortis and the Oaxaca and Mixteca terranes, together with the known displacement rates along the North America-Caribbean Plate boundary, the northwesternmost paleoposition of the Chortis block with respect to SW Mexico was near Zihuatanejo. In contrast, between Zihuatanejo and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the cessation of the Tertiary magmatism decreased more rapidly (˜7.7 cm/yr), although the trend is not so obvious. Starting in the late Eocene, Chortis moved about 1100 km to the SE along a transform boundary associated with the opening of the Cayman Trough. Based on our geochronological data and structural relationships between mylonite zones and plutons in the Acapulco-Tehuantepec area, we propose an approximately 650 km SE movement of Chortis from about 40-25 Ma, with a velocity of 6.5-4.3 cm/yr. Since this is considerably slower than the decreasing age trend obtained by us using the geochronological data, we consider batholith formation in this segment to predate and postdate the offshore passage of the North America-Farallon-Caribbean triple junction. Geological

  19. An Assessment of Global Organic Carbon Flux Along Continental Margins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thunell, Robert

    2004-01-01

    This project was designed to use real-time and historical SeaWiFS and AVHRR data, and real-time MODIS data in order to estimate the global vertical carbon flux along continental margins. This required construction of an empirical model relating surface ocean color and physical variables like temperature and wind to vertical settling flux at sites co-located with sediment trap observations (Santa Barbara Basin, Cariaco Basin, Gulf of California, Hawaii, and Bermuda, etc), and application of the model to imagery in order to obtain spatially-weighted estimates.

  20. Chronobiology of deep-water decapod crustaceans on continental margins.

    PubMed

    Aguzzi, Jacopo; Company, Joan B

    2010-01-01

    Species have evolved biological rhythms in behaviour and physiology with a 24-h periodicity in order to increase their fitness, anticipating the onset of unfavourable habitat conditions. In marine organisms inhabiting deep-water continental margins (i.e. the submerged outer edges of continents), day-night activity rhythms are often referred to in three ways: vertical water column migrations (i.e. pelagic), horizontal displacements within benthic boundary layer of the continental margin, along bathymetric gradients (i.e. nektobenthic), and endobenthic movements (i.e. rhythmic emergence from the substrate). Many studies have been conducted on crustacean decapods that migrate vertically in the water column, but much less information is available for other endobenthic and nektobenthic species. Also, the types of displacement and major life habits of most marine species are still largely unknown, especially in deep-water continental margins, where steep clines in habitat factors (i.e. light intensity and its spectral quality, sediment characteristics, and hydrography) take place. This is the result of technical difficulties in performing temporally scheduled sampling and laboratory testing on living specimens. According to this scenario, there are several major issues that still need extensive research in deep-water crustacean decapods. First, the regulation of their behaviour and physiology by a biological clock is almost unknown compared to data for coastal species that are easily accessible to direct observation and sampling. Second, biological rhythms may change at different life stages (i.e. size-related variations) or at different moments of the reproductive cycle (e.g. at egg-bearing) based on different intra- and interspecific interactions. Third, there is still a major lack of knowledge on the links that exist among the observed bathymetric distributions of species and selected autoecological traits that are controlled by their biological clock, such as the

  1. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, L. C.; Hall, S. A.; Ball, P.; Bird, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    The Early Jurassic separation of Antarctica from Africa plays an important role in our understanding of the dispersal of Gondwana. Previously proposed reconstruction models often contain overlaps and gaps in the restored margins that reflect difficulties in accurately delineating the continent-ocean boundary (COB) and determining the amount and distribution of extended continental crust. This study focuses on the evolution of the African margin adjacent to the Mozambique Basin and the conjugate margin of Antarctica near the Riiser Larsen Sea. New satellite-derived gravity data have been used to trace the orientations and landward limits of fracture zones in the study area. A 3-D gravity inversion has produced a crustal thickness model that reliably quantifies the extent and amount of stretched crust. Information on crustal thickness along with the identification of fracture zones reveal the COBs that are located significantly closer to the coasts of Africa and Antarctica than previously recognized. Correlation of both fracture zone azimuths and the identified COBs over the conjugate margins suggest Antarctica began drifting away from Africa at approximately 171 Ma in a roughly SSE direction. Of several scenarios examined, the Beira High is most likely oceanic and may be a conjugate feature of the southern Astrid Ridge. An areal-balancing method that involves restoring the crust to a uniform pre-rift thickness has been used to perform the non-rigid reconstruction for both non-volcanic and volcanic margin with magmatic underplating. Based on the results, Africa underwent extension of 65-105 km while Antarctic crust was stretched by 90-190 km. Both margins reveal a trend of increasing extension from east to west. Various models tested to determine the direction of extension during rifting suggest that Antarctica underwent a counter-clockwise rotation with respect to Africa between 186-171 Ma prior to the onset of seafloor spreading.

  2. Linking margin morphology to sedimentary processes along the US East Coast passive continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brothers, D. S.; ten Brink, U. S.; Andrews, B.; Twichell, D.

    2010-12-01

    The morphology of the US East Coast continental slope and rise has a surprising amount of along-margin variation. Multibeam bathymetry datasets that cover the slope and rise from Cape Hatteras to Georges Bank provide a unique opportunity to analyze both first-order and higher-order morphologies, including submarine canyons, landslides, slumps and sedimentary bedforms. Using the morphological characterization coupled with seismic and core data, we hope to better understand how ancient and modern sedimentary processes control the shape of the margin. As a first step, the margin bathymetry was subdivided into 20 shelf-perpendicular regions from which several statistical parameters were analyzed. Within each region, the slope gradient was computed separately for down-slope and across-slope aspect directions. Distribution curves in each region for down- and across-slope gradients and seafloor roughness as functions of depth were grouped according to their statistical similarities. Four basic groups emerge and each approximately corresponds to known regions of Quaternary glacial, fluvial, current-controlled and gravity-driven sedimentary transport. In the second part of the study, published lithologic and chronostratigraphic frameworks of this margin were used to examine the relationship between seafloor morphology and the underlying geology. Along the upper continental rise, thick Quaternary deposits appear to have a strong influence on the short- and long-wavelength variation in rise topography, revealing a complex interplay between down-slope and along-slope sediment transport. Despite the close correlation between continental slope morphology and Quaternary environmental conditions, initial results suggest that the underlying, older, stratigraphy also plays a primary role. Along the continental slope, Quaternary processes appear to control the relief of slope-confined canyons and other short-wavelength (<5 km) topography, but the first order morphology of the slope

  3. Manganese and copper fluxes from continental margin sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Heggie, D.; Klinkhammer, G.; Cullen, D.

    1987-05-01

    Total dissolvable Cu and Mn have been measured in sea water collected from the continental shelf of the eastern Bering Sea. Copper concentrations of <3 nmole kg/sup -1/ were measured over the shelf break but concentrations increased to >4 nmole kg/sup -1/ inshore of a hydrographic front over the 100 m isobath. Manganese concentrations also were low over the shelf break, <10 nmole kg/sup -1/, and increased systematically to concentrations >10 nmole kg/sup -1/ inshore of the hydrographic front. Depth distributions of Mn at all continental shelf stations showed gradients into the sediments, with concentrations typically >20 nmole kg/sup -1/ in a bottom layer extending about 30 m off the bottom. Benthic Cu and Mn fluxes are indicated by cross-shelf pore water profiles that show interfacial concentrations more than an order of magnitude greater than in bottom water. These data and the results of a model of metal transport across the shelf suggest that Cu and Mn fluxes, estimated at 2 and 18 nmole cm/sup -2/y/sup -1/, respectively, from continental shelf sediments may be one source of these metals to the deep sea.

  4. Buried Mesozoic rift basins of Moroccan Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Mohamed, N.; Jabour, H.; El Mostaine, M.

    1995-08-01

    The Atlantic continental margin is the largest frontier area for oil and gas exploration in Morocco. Most of the activity has been concentrated where Upper Jurassic carbonate rocks have been the drilling objectives, with only one significant but non commercial oil discovery. Recent exploration activities have focused on early Mesozoic Rift basins buried beneath the post-rift sediments of the Middle Atlantic coastal plain. Many of these basins are of interest because they contain fine-grained lacustrine rocks that have sufficient organic richness to be classified as efficient oil prone source rock. Location of inferred rift basins beneath the Atlantic coastal plain were determined by analysis of drilled-hole data in combination with gravity anomaly and aeromagnetic maps. These rift basins are characterized by several half graben filled by synrift sediments of Triassic age probably deposited in lacustrine environment. Coeval rift basins are known to be present in the U.S. Atlantic continental margin. Basin modeling suggested that many of the less deeply bored rift basins beneath the coastal plain are still within the oil window and present the most attractive exploration targets in the area.

  5. Cenozoic prograding sequences of the Antarctic continental margin - What balance between structural and eustatic control

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, A.K. ); Barrett, P. ); Hinz, K. ); Stagg, H. ); Traube, V. )

    1990-05-01

    Multichannel seismic reflection profiles across the Antarctic continental margin commonly reveal prograding sedimentary sequences that are bounded by unconformities. These sequences are as much as 5 km thick and, where sampled, are composed entirely of late Eocene( )-early Oligocene and younger glacial rocks. On nonpolar margins, prograding sequences generally are attributed to relative changes in sea level, sediment supply, and tectonism. Around Antarctica, ice sheets have also been important in controlling the geometry and location of prograding sequences. The Antarctic sequences may provide a proximal record of major Cenozoic ice volume changes and related sea level changes not obtainable from low-latitude continental shelves. Presently, the Antarctic record is poorly known because of limited core data. Two categories of prograding (P) and aggrading (A) sigmoidal sequences are observed around Antarctica: (1) P sequences that build principally outward (common) and (2) AP sequences that build largely upward and outward (less common). P sequences may result principally from grounded ice sheets, and AP sequences from open-marine basinal processes. Major rift embayments of Antarctica (e.g., eastern Ross Sea eastern Weddell Sea Lambert graben Wilkes basin) are also pathways for major ice movement. In general, most areas with P sequences lie within or adjacent to Mesozoic or older rift embayment, whereas the primary area with AP sequences (eastern Ross Sea) lies within a likely Cenozoic rift embayment. The Pacific side of the Antarctic Peninsula where Cenozoic ice sheets and Cenozoic tectonism have been active, is also marked by a P sequence. Scientific drilling on the Antarctic continental shelf has recovered openwater glacial deposits (Ross Sea) as well as glacial diamicts that were deposited beneath and in front of grounded glacier ice (Ross Sea and Prydz Bay).

  6. Antarctic glacial history from numerical models and continental margin sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barker, P.F.; Barrett, P.J.; Cooper, A. K.; Huybrechts, P.

    1999-01-01

    The climate record of glacially transported sediments in prograded wedges around the Antarctic outer continental shelf, and their derivatives in continental rise drifts, may be combined to produce an Antarctic ice sheet history, using numerical models of ice sheet response to temperature and sea-level change. Examination of published models suggests several preliminary conclusions about ice sheet history. The ice sheet's present high sensitivity to sea-level change at short (orbital) periods was developed gradually as its size increased, replacing a declining sensitivity to temperature. Models suggest that the ice sheet grew abruptly to 40% (or possibly more) of its present size at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, mainly as a result of its own temperature sensitivity. A large but more gradual middle Miocene change was externally driven, probably by development of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and Polar Front, provided that a few million years' delay can be explained. The Oligocene ice sheet varied considerably in size and areal extent, but the late Miocene ice sheet was more stable, though significantly warmer than today's. This difference probably relates to the confining effect of the Antarctic continental margin. Present-day numerical models of ice sheet development are sufficient to guide current sampling plans, but sea-ice formation, polar wander, basal topography and ice streaming can be identified as factors meriting additional modelling effort in the future.

  7. Stratigraphic evolution of Mesozoic continental margin and oceanic sequences northwest Australia and north Himalayas

    SciTech Connect

    Gradstein, F.M. ); Von Rad, U. )

    1990-05-01

    The authors are investigating continental margin to ocean sequences of the incipient Indian Ocean as it replaced central Tethys. Objectives of this study are the dynamic relation between sedimentation, tectonics, and paleogeography. Principal basins formation along the northern edge of eastern Gondwana started in the Late Permian to the Triassic. By the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic, platform carbonates with thin, organic-rich lagoonal shales were laid down in a subtropical climate. This unit, which harbors some of the oldest known nannofossils, shows repeated shallowing-upward sequences. Subsequent southward drift of the Gondwana margin during the Middle Jurassic increased siliciclastic input in Nepal, when widespread sediment starvation or erosion during local uplift took place off parts of northwest Australia. A middle Callovian-early Oxfordian hiatus in Nepal is submarine and appears global in extent. The overlying 250-m-thick organic-rich black shales, correlative to the Oxford/Kimmeridge clays of circum-Atlantic petroleum basins, may be traced along the northern Himalayan Range, and probably represent an extensive continental slope deposit formed under an oxygen minimum layer in southern Tethys. The deposit's diverse foraminiferal microfauna was previously only known from boreal Laurasia. The Callovian breakup unconformity, off northwest Australia, precedes onset of sea-floor spreading at least 15-25 Ma. Sea-floor spreading, leading to the present Indian Ocean started in the Argo Abyssal Plain around 140 Ma, at the end of the Jurassic, was about 15 m.y. later than previously postulated. Australia and Greater India separated as early as the Late Valanginian, about 130 Ma. Mafic volcaniclastics in Nepalese deltaic sediments probably testify to concurrent continental margin volcanic activity, which may be a precursor to the slightly younger Rajmahal traps in eastern India.

  8. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Luan C.; Hall, Stuart A.; Bird, Dale E.; Ball, Philip J.

    2016-06-01

    The Early Jurassic separation of Antarctica from Africa plays an important role in our understanding of the dispersal of Gondwana and Pangea. Previous reconstruction models contain overlaps and gaps in the restored margins that reflect difficulties in accurately delineating the continent-ocean-boundary (COB) and determining the amount and distribution of extended continental crust. This study focuses on the evolution of the African margin adjacent to the Mozambique Basin and the conjugate Antarctic margin near the Riiser-Larsen Sea. Satellite-derived gravity data have been used to trace the orientations and landward limits of fracture zones. A 3-D gravity inversion has produced a crustal thickness model that reliably quantifies the extent and amount of stretched crust. Crustal thicknesses together with fracture zone terminations reveal COBs that are significantly closer to the African and Antarctic coasts than previously recognized. Correlation of fracture zone azimuths and identified COBs suggests Antarctica began drifting away from Africa at approximately 171 Ma in a roughly SSE direction. An areal-balancing method has been used to restore the crust to a uniform prerift thickness so as to perform a nonrigid reconstruction for both nonvolcanic and volcanic margins. Both margins reveal a trend of increasing extension from east to west. Our results suggest Africa underwent extension of 60-120 km, while Antarctic crust was stretched by 105-180 km. Various models tested to determine the direction of extension during rifting suggest that Antarctica moved away from Africa in a WNW-ESE direction during the period between 184 and 171 Ma prior to the onset of seafloor spreading.

  9. Tectonic elements of the continental margin of East Antarctica, 38-164ºE

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Brien, P.E.; Stagg, H.M.J.

    2007-01-01

    The East Antarctic continental margin from 38–164ºE is divided into western and eastern provinces that developed during the separation of India from Australia–Antarctica (Early Cretaceous) and Australia from Antarctica (Late Cretaceous). In the overlap between these provinces the geology is complex and bears the imprint of both extension/spreading episodes, with an overprinting of volcanism. The main rift-bounding faults appear to approximately coincide with the outer edge of the continental shelf. Inboard of these faults, the sedimentary cover thins above shallowing basement towards the coast where crystalline basement generally crops out. The continental slope and the landward flanks of the ocean basins, are blanketed by up to 9–10 km of mainly post-rift sediments in margin-parallel basins, except in the Bruce Rise area. Beneath this blanket, extensive rift basins are identified off Enderby and Wilkes Land/Terre Adélie; however, their extent and detailed structures are difficult to determine.

  10. Continental margin evolution of the northern Arabian platform in Syria

    SciTech Connect

    Best, J.A.; Barazangi, M. ); Al-Saad, D.; Sawaf, T.; Gebran, A. )

    1993-02-01

    Synthesis of available geological and geophysical data in the Syrian Arab Republic permits a descriptive account of the pre-Cenozoic geologic history of the northern Arabian platform. The northern Arabian platform appears to be a composite plate similar up to that interpreted in the rocks of the Arabian shield. The structural and stratigraphic relationships of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary sections in Syria record the transformation of an eastward-facing Gondwana passive margin in the early Paleozoic into a westward-facing Levantine margin in the Mesozoic, at which time the northern platform was closely associated with the creation of the eastern Mediterranean basin. Timing of the margin transformation is inferred from the orientation and thickness variations of Lower Triassic rocks, but the transformation may have initiated as early as the Permian. The diversity and timing of geological features in Syria suggest that the northern Arabian platform did not behave as a rigid plate throughout its geological history. The present-day Palmyride mountain belt, located within the northern Arabian platform in Syria and initiated in the early Mesozoic as a northeast-trending rift nearly perpendicular to the Levantine margin, subsequently was inverted in the Cenozoic by transpression. The location of the rift may be associated with the reactivation of a zone of crustal weakness, i.e., a Proterozoic suture zone previously proposed from modeling of Bouguer gravity data. Thus, the northern and southern parts of the Arabian platform are similar in their respective geologic histories during the Proterozoic and Paleozoic; however, the northern Arabian platform was greatly affected by Mesozoic rifting and the creation of the eastern Mediterranean basin during the Mesozoic. 13 figs.

  11. A Geo-traverse at a Passive Continental Margin: the Tagus Abyssal Plain, West Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afilhado, A.; Matias, L.; Mendes-Victor, L.

    2006-12-01

    The crustal and lithospheric mantle structure was investigated along a 370km profile at the south segment of the west Iberian margin, from 12.9W to 8.7W, at approximately 38N. The profile crosses from inland unthinned continental to oceanic crust, IAM5. Both MCS data and wide-angle, WA, data were considered. WA data set includes 6 OBSs and 2 inland seismic stations. Free air and total field magnetic anomalies profiles were extracted from available grided data. WA data cinematic and dynamic modeling provided a 2D velocity model that proved to be consistent with the free air anomaly profile. 2.5D generalized inversion on pseudo- susceptibility was performed. A Bouguer anomaly grid was calculated and a similar procedure was performed for the undulation of the geoid grid. First and second derivatives grids of this surface and its upward continued surfaces were calculated to locate lineated lows and highs. MCS and WA data sets indicate four main crustal domains. East of 9.4W the complete crustal section of slightly thinned continental crust is present. From 9.4W to 9.7W crustal thinning is abrupt and the lower continental crust pinches out. From 9.7W to 10.5W the transitional crust has a complex structure that varies both horizontally and vertically. Within the eastern most transitional domain the exhumed mid continental crust thins to zero; small scale heterogeneities exist at its lower interface; the under-laying lower crust nature is unknown, correlating both to exhumed continental mantle and to continental gabbros. From 10.2W to 10.5W the transitional crust is very heterogeneous, having higher than usual density at its upper levels; the absence of Moho reflections suggests that exhumed and intruded mantle might be present at the lower transitional crust. West of 10.5W thin oceanic crust is found, probably generated in a slow spreading environment; around 12W the data suggests a very thin or even absent layer 3. Deep reflectors imaged within the oceanic domain and

  12. The character of the glaciated Mid-Norwegian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oline Hjelstuen, Berit; Haflidason, Haflidi; Petter Sejrup, Hans

    2010-05-01

    During Pleistocene the development of the NW European continental margin was strongly controlled by the variability in ocean circulation, glaciations and sea-level changes. Repeated occurrence of shelf edge glaciations, from Ireland to Svalbard, started at Marine Isotope Stage 12 (c. 0.5 Ma). During these periods, fast moving ice streams also crossed the Mid-Norwegian continental shelf on a number of locations, and a thick prograding wedge accumulated on the continental slope. During shelf edge glaciations and in early deglaciation phases high sedimentation rates (>2000 cm/ka) existed, and glacigenic debris flows and melt water plumes were deposited. Within these depositional environments we identify three slide events. These slides have affected an area between 2900 and 12000 km2 and involved 580-2400 km3 of sediments, noting that the slide debrites left by the failure events reach a maximum thickness of c. 150 m. The failures have occurred within an area dominated by gradients less than 1 degree, and observation of long run-out distances indicate that hydroplaning was important during slide development. Gas hydrate bearing sediments are identified on the mid-Norwegian continental margin, but appears to be absent in the slide scars. Thus, dissociation of gas hydrates may have promoted conditions for the failures to occur. Within the region of gas hydrate bearing Pleistocene sediments the Nyegga Pockmark Field is observed. This field contains more than 200 pockmarks and is located at a water depth of 600-800 m. The pockmarks identified are up to 15 m deep, between 30 m and 600 m across and reach a maximum area of c. 315 000 m2. The pockmarks are sediment-empty features and are restricted to a <16.2 cal ka BP old sandy mud unit. It seems that the Nyegga Pockmark Field does not show any strong relationship neither to seabed features, sub-seabed structures nor the glacial sedimentary setting. Thus, this implies a more complex development history for the Nyegga

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-27

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

  15. Some depositional patterns at continental margin of southeastern Mediterranean Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Mart, Y.; Gai, Y.B.

    1982-04-01

    The upper Miocene to Holocene sedimentary strata in the continental margin of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea depict two depositional regimes. The upper Miocene sequence is predominantly evaporitic and forms the southeastern portion of the upper Miocene evaporites present throughout the Mediterranean region. The Pliocene-Quaternary sequence is predominantly detrital and its major source of sediments has been the Nile River. Interpretation of data derived from several multichannel seismic profiles suggested facial variations in the upper Miocene and the Pliocene-Pleistocene formations. Two depositional facies of the upper Miocene evaporites, indicating basinal and shelf depositional environments, were found. Statistical analyses show correlations of the thickness of the evaporites with their interval seismic velocity, their depth, and the present bathymetry, indicating the autochthonous characteristics of the sequence. The basinal and the shelf depositional facies are separated by a transition zone that trends NNE-SSW and is associated with faulting. It is suggested that this zone, commonly known as The Pelusium Line, was the shelf-edge zone during the late Miocene. Facial analysis of the data pertaining to the Pliocene-Pleistocene sequence depicts its allochthonous characteristics. Statistical negative correlation was calculated between the distance from the continental shelf and the thickness of this sequence, indicating its detrital origin. Variations in thicknesses of both formations compared with the bathymetric depths suggest a post-Miocene subsidence of the southeast Mediterranean basin. 6 figures, 4 tables.

  16. North Atlantic Margins: Case studies of Magmatic Continental Breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    Continental breakup between Europe and Greenland was accompanied by the rapid eruption of the > 1 million cubic kilometres of extruded basalts forming North Atlantic Igneous Province. With episodes of extension in the region dating back to the Devonian, rifting finally proceeded to full breakup and oceanic spreading in the Paleocene. Flood basalt units flowed up to 150 km over pre-existing sedimentary basins, discrete volcanic centres formed and intrusion into the thinned continental crust occurred. Marine seismic investigations utilising industry-leading seismic reflection imaging technologies and large deployments of ocean bottom seismometers across the Faroes and Hatton Bank margins have been used to better resolve margin structure and composition, improving our understanding of breakup processes. Seismic reflection imaging reveals sub-aerial and submarine seaward-dipping reflector sequences tracking the interplay of uplift (transient and permanent), crustal loading through extrusion and ongoing extension. Lower crustal reflectors, cross-cutting the continental fabric and interpreted as intrusions, are observed within the narrow continent-ocean transition. P-wave tomography of wide-angle reflections and refractions, recorded to offsets of up to ~200 km, reveals unusually thick oceanic crust with lower crustal velocities in excess of those expected for MORB compositions. High P-wave velocities are attributed to magnesium-rich compositions which, combined with the large oceanic crustal thickness, would be consistent with an elevated mantle temperature (~150°C higher than 'normal') at the time of breakup. Vp/Vs ratios derived from tomography of converted shear wave phases also support high magnesium melt composition. P-wave velocities and Vp/Vs ratios across the continent-ocean transition show a mixing trend between magnesium-rich gabbroic compositions (100% for oceanic crust) and compositions consistent with the Lewisian gneiss basement or Early Proterozoic

  17. Shelf basin exchange along the Siberian continental margin: Modification of Atlantic Water and Lower Halocline Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauch, Dorothea; Cherniavskaia, Ekaterina; Timokhov, Leonid

    2016-09-01

    Salinity and stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) evidence shows a modification of Atlantic Water in the Arctic Ocean by a mixture of sea-ice meltwater and meteoric waters along the Barents Sea continental margin. On average no further influence of meteoric waters is detectable within the core of the Atlantic Water east of the Kara Sea as indicated by constant δ18O, while salinity further decreases along the Siberian continental slope. Lower Halocline Waters (LHW) may be divided into different types by Principal Component Analysis. All LHW types show the addition of river water and an influence of sea-ice formation to a varying extent. The geographical distribution of LHW types suggest that the high salinity type of LHW forms in the Barents and Kara seas, while other LHW types are formed either in the northwestern Laptev Sea or from southeastern Kara Sea waters that enter the northwestern Laptev Sea through Vilkitsky Strait. No further modification of LHW is seen in the eastern Laptev Sea but the distribution of LHW-types suggest a bifurcation of LHW at this location, possibly with one branch continuing along the continental margin and a second branch along the Lomonosov Ridge. We see no pronounced distinction between onshore and offshore LHW types, as the LHW components that are found within the halocline over the basin also show a narrow bottom-bound distribution at the continental slope that is consistent with a shelf boundary current as well as a jet of water entering the western Laptev Sea from the Kara Sea through Vilkitsky Strait.

  18. Cenozoic tectonic jumping and implications for hydrocarbon accumulation in basins in the East Asia Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suo, Yanhui; Li, Sanzhong; Yu, Shan; Somerville, Ian D.; Liu, Xin; Zhao, Shujuan; Dai, Liming

    2014-07-01

    Tectonic migration is a common geological process of basin formation and evolution. However, little is known about tectonic migration in the western Pacific margins. This paper focuses on the representative Cenozoic basins of East China and its surrounding seas in the western Pacific domain to discuss the phenomenon of tectonic jumping in Cenozoic basins, based on structural data from the Bohai Bay Basin, the South Yellow Sea Basin, the East China Sea Shelf Basin, and the South China Sea Continental Shelf Basin. The western Pacific active continental margin is the eastern margin of a global convergent system involving the Eurasian Plate, the Pacific Plate, and the Indian Plate. Under the combined effects of the India-Eurasia collision and retrogressive or roll-back subduction of the Pacific Plate, the western Pacific active continental margin had a wide basin-arc-trench system which migrated or ‘jumped’ eastward and further oceanward. This migration and jumping is characterized by progressive eastward younging of faulting, sedimentation, and subsidence within the basins. Owing to the tectonic migration, the geological conditions associated with hydrocarbon and gashydrate accumulation in the Cenozoic basins of East China and its adjacent seas also become progressively younger from west to east, showing eastward younging in the generation time of reservoirs, seals, traps, accumulations and preservation of hydrocarbon and gashydrate. Such a spatio-temporal distribution of Cenozoic hydrocarbon and gashydrate is significant for the oil, gas and gashydrate exploration in the East Asian Continental Margin. Finally, this study discusses the mechanism of Cenozoic intrabasinal and interbasinal tectonic migration in terms of interplate, intraplate and underplating processes. The migration or jumping regimes of three separate or interrelated events: (1) tectonism-magmatism, (2) basin formation, and (3) hydrocarbon-gashydrate accumulation are the combined effects of the

  19. Integrated geophysical study of Newfoundland continental margin (east coast Canada)

    SciTech Connect

    Enachescu, M.E.

    1987-05-01

    A synergetic approach is used to delineate the tectono-structural framework and establish a model of the geologic evolution of the Newfoundland continental margin. Over 100,000 mi of regional and detailed reflection seismic, various potential field maps and profiles, and selected well information constitute the data base of this study. More than two decades of exploratory effort was recently rewarded by significant oil discoveries contained in the Upper Jurassic-Early Cretaceous sands of the Jeanne d'Arc basin. Although a part of the East Coast North America chain (Florida to Baffin Bay) of passive margin basins, the Jeanne d'Arc basin had a unique intracratonic setting during its development. This prolific hydrocarbon-bearing basin is only one of the structural provinces identified on the Newfoundland Shelf. Other adjacent basins, sediment-covered ridges, platforms, and basement horsts were identified through integration of all available geophysical and geological data. All of the structural provinces defined in this paper are part of an aborted rift system which initially developed in the Late Triassic and was first activated at the end of the Jurassic and then again in Aptian time. Thermal subsidence prevailed during the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary. The extensional history of the Newfoundland passive margin was additionally complicated by intensive salt tectonics. A large 2-D and 3-D seismic base of more than 100,000 mi shows numerous and complex hydrocarbon traps are present, but up to now only the extensional sedimentary cycle has been found to be productive.

  20. Seafloor morphology of the Montenegro/N. Albania Continental Margin (Adriatic Sea-Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Bianco, Fabrizio; Gasperini, Luca; Giglio, Federico; Bortoluzzi, Giovanni; Kljajic, Zoran; Ravaioli, Mariangela

    2014-12-01

    High-resolution multibeam morpho-bathymetric maps and a dense grid of seismic reflection profiles show relict and palimpsest geomorphologic features along the Montenegro/Northern Albanian Continental Margin. This sector of the Eastern Adriatic shelf, at the external front of the Dinarides Chain, is characterized by highly variable seafloor patterns and depositional styles, and shows a peculiar alternation of large-scale troughs and ridges, probably caused by tectonic compressive deformations. These tectonically controlled morphologies are overprinted by the result of sedimentary processes, such as progradation at river outflows, erosion, and reworking of sediments by longshore currents, as well as gravity-driven process caused by sediment loading and seismic shaking. Physiographic domains along this shelf-slope margin include (i) an inner and an outer shelf, separated by two major topographic highs, the Kotor and the Bar ridges; (ii) a drowned lobate delta formed during the last phase of sea level fall, likely fed by the Buna/Bojana drainage basin; and (iii) a continental slope affected by gravity-driven faulting and mass-wasting processes. Seafloor reflectivity maps, ground-truthed by grain-size analysis of bottom sediments, reveal that fine-grained deposits accumulate in the inner shelf, while other sectors appear starved. The effects of the last sea-level rise is testified by the presence of seabed forms diagnostic of erosion or depositional processes, such us large dunes, sediment ridges and sediment waves, which were studied to infer the effect of bottom currents under the present-day oceanographic regime and in the recent past. This paper presents a first description of geomorphologic features observed along the Montenegro/Northern Albanian Continental Margin, in the context of Late Quaternary sea-level changes.

  1. Deep-sea Lebensspuren of the Australian continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Przeslawski, Rachel; Dundas, Kate; Radke, Lynda; Anderson, Tara J.

    Much of the deep sea comprises soft-sediment habitats dominated by comparatively low abundances of species-rich macrofauna and meiofauna. Although often not observed, these animals bioturbate the sediment during feeding and burrowing, leaving signs of their activities called Lebensspuren ('life traces'). In this study, we use still images to quantify Lebensspuren from the eastern (1921 images, 13 stations, 1300-2200 m depth) and western (1008 images, 11 stations, 1500-4400 m depth) Australian margins using a univariate measure of trace richness and a multivariate measure of Lebensspuren assemblages. A total of 46 Lebensspuren types were identified, including those matching named trace fossils and modern Lebensspuren found elsewhere in the world. Most traces could be associated with waste, crawling, dwellings, organism tests, feeding, or resting, but the origin of 15% of trace types remains unknown. Assemblages were significantly different between the two regions and depth profiles, with five Lebensspuren types accounting for over 95% of the differentiation (ovoid pinnate trace, crater row, spider trace, matchstick trace, mesh trace). Lebensspuren richness showed no strong relationships with depth, total organic carbon, or mud, although there was a positive correlation to chlorin index (i.e., organic freshness) in the eastern margin, with richness increasing with organic freshness. Lebensspuren richness was not related to epifauna either, indicating that epifauna may not be the primary source of Lebensspuren. Despite the abundance and distinctiveness of several traces both in the current and previous studies (e.g., ovoid pinnate, mesh, spider), their origin and distribution remains a mystery. We discuss this and several other considerations in the identification and quantification of Lebensspuren. This study represents the first comprehensive catalogue of deep-sea Lebensspuren in Australian waters and highlights the potential of Lebensspuren as valuable and often

  2. The limits of seaward spreading and slope instability at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna, imaged by high-resolution 2D seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Felix; Krastel, Sebastian; Geersen, Jacob; Behrmann, Jan Hinrich; Ridente, Domenico; Chiocci, Francesco Latino; Bialas, Jörg; Papenberg, Cord; Cukur, Deniz; Urlaub, Morelia; Micallef, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. Instability of its eastern flank is well documented onshore, and continuously monitored by geodetic and InSAR measurements. Little is known, however, about the offshore extension of the eastern volcano flank, defining a serious shortcoming in stability models. In order to better constrain the active tectonics of the continental margin offshore the eastern flank of the volcano, we acquired a new high-resolution 2D reflection seismic dataset. The data provide new insights into the heterogeneous geology and tectonics at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna. The submarine realm is characterized by different blocks, which are controlled by local- and regional tectonics. A compressional regime is found at the toe of the continental margin, which is bound to a complex basin system. Both, the clear link between on- and offshore tectonic structures as well as the compressional regime at the easternmost flank edge, indicate a continental margin gravitational collapse as well as spreading to be present at Mt Etna. Moreover, we find evidence for the offshore southern boundary of the moving flank, which is identified as a right lateral oblique fault north of Catania Canyon. Our findings suggest a coupled volcano edifice/continental margin instability at Mt Etna, demonstrating first order linkage between on- and offshore tectonic processes.

  3. Macrofaunal Biodiversity Response to Natural Gradients of Multiple Stressors on Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sperling, E. A.; Frieder, C.; Levin, L. A.

    2015-12-01

    Sharp increases in atmospheric CO2 are resulting in ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation. Rates of change are unprecedented, raising questions about whether (and how) communities will adapt and if responses will reflect synergistic interactions among multiple stressors. Changes to benthic biodiversity on continental margins have important implications for carbon cycle processes and other ecosystem services. One strategy to interpret adaptation potential and predict future faunal change is to examine ecological shifts along natural gradients in the modern ocean. Here, we assess the explanatory power of major climate stressors for macrofaunal diversity and evenness along continental margins using variance partitioning techniques. Sharp drops in diversity are seen as O2 levels decline through the 0.5 - 0.15 ml/l (~22 - 6 μM; ~21 - 5 matm) range, and as temperature increases through the 7-10°C range. pCO2 shows a strong effect in the Arabian Sea but very little effect in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. In contrast, very little variation in evenness is explained by these three global change variables. The identification of sharp thresholds in ecological response are used here to predict seafloor areas most at risk to future marine global change, although the existence of clear regional differences cautions against applying global thresholds.

  4. Biodiversity response to natural gradients of multiple stressors on continental margins.

    PubMed

    Sperling, Erik A; Frieder, Christina A; Levin, Lisa A

    2016-04-27

    Sharp increases in atmospheric CO2 are resulting in ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation that threaten marine organisms on continental margins and their ecological functions and resulting ecosystem services. The relative influence of these stressors on biodiversity remains unclear, as well as the threshold levels for change and when secondary stressors become important. One strategy to interpret adaptation potential and predict future faunal change is to examine ecological shifts along natural gradients in the modern ocean. Here, we assess the explanatory power of temperature, oxygen and the carbonate system for macrofaunal diversity and evenness along continental upwelling margins using variance partitioning techniques. Oxygen levels have the strongest explanatory capacity for variation in species diversity. Sharp drops in diversity are seen as O2 levels decline through the 0.5-0.15 ml l(-1) (approx. 22-6 µM; approx. 21-5 matm) range, and as temperature increases through the 7-10°C range. pCO2 is the best explanatory variable in the Arabian Sea, but explains little of the variance in diversity in the eastern Pacific Ocean. By contrast, very little variation in evenness is explained by these three global change variables. The identification of sharp thresholds in ecological response are used here to predict areas of the seafloor where diversity is most at risk to future marine global change, noting that the existence of clear regional differences cautions against applying global thresholds. PMID:27122565

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  7. Rapid long-wavelength uplift of the Angolan continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahle, R. L.; Walker, R. T.; Telfer, M.; Buta-Neto, A.; Dee, M.; Shaw-Kahle, B.; Schwenninger, J. L.; Sloan, A.; Tunguno, C.

    2015-12-01

    Studies of offshore sedimentation have identified hiatuses interpreted as periods of uplift along the coast of Angola, SW Africa. However, these studies do not have sufficient temporal or spatial resolution to determine the rate and extent of these uplift events. The presence of a complicated uplift history on a 'stable' passive continental margin is surprising, and many different mechanisms have been proposed to explain it.We quantify the late Quaternary rate and wavelength of uplift relative to sea-level from suites of coastal terraces along the coastline of Angola. Automated extraction and correlation of terrace remnants from digital topography uncovers a symmetrical uplift, with diameter ~1000 km, and centred near Benguela at latitude 13°S. We perform OSL and radiocarbon dating on sediments overlying a coastal terrace at 30 m at Benguela and show that it formed ~40-45 ka. At this time the sea surface was ~50 m lower than today, implying an uplift rate of ~2.3 mm/yr. This is an order of magnitude higher than previously obtained uplift rates (which are averaged over a longer period).The ~1000 km wavelength and observed rapid uplift rates strongly suggest that the uplift is the surface expression of dynamic mantle processes. This rapid uplift rate cannot have persisted continuously over million year timescales, and we therefore suggest that the topography may be modulated by relatively short-lived pulses of uplift, possibly driven by the pulsing of an underlying plume.

  8. Recent carbonate slope development on southwest Florida continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, G.R.; Holmes, C.W.

    1987-05-01

    The southwest Florida continental slope bordering the Florida Strait contains a thick sequence of seaward-prograding sediments. Sediments consist principally of a mixture of shallow water and pelagic carbonate sands and muds deposited rapidly on the upper slope. Sedimentary patterns are interpreted to be a function of high-frequency sea level fluctuations. Most vigorous off-shelf transport and highest sedimentation rates (exceeding 2.5 m/1000 years) occur during early transgressions and late regressions when water depths on the shelf are shallow. During sea level highstands, off-shelf transport is less vigorous and sedimentation rates decrease. During sea level lowstands, no off-shelf transport takes place and erosion of the previously deposited sequence occurs as a result of an increase in erosional capacity of the Florida Current. The presence of at least nine such sequences, all with similar characteristics, indicates that these processes have been occurring since at least the late Pleistocene in response to high-frequency glacial fluctuations. The location of the southwest Florida slope between the rimmed Bahama platform and the nonrimmed remainder of the west Florida margin, as well as similarities with ancient carbonate slope deposits formed during periods when shelf-edge reef-forming organisms were lacking, suggest that depositional patterns on the southwest Florida slope may be indicative of a transition between rimmed and nonrimmed carbonate platform environments. The southwest Florida slope may provide a valuable modern analog for identifying similar transitional environments in the geologic record.

  9. Climatic controls on arid continental basin margin systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gough, Amy; Clarke, Stuart; Richards, Philip; Milodowski, Antoni

    2016-04-01

    Alluvial fans are both dominant and long-lived within continental basin margin systems. As a result, they commonly interact with a variety of depositional systems that exist at different times in the distal extent of the basin as the basin evolves. The deposits of the distal basin often cycle between those with the potential to act as good aquifers and those with the potential to act as good aquitards. The interactions between the distal deposits and the basin margin fans can have a significant impact upon basin-scale fluid flow. The fans themselves are commonly considered as relatively homogeneous, but their sedimentology is controlled by a variety of factors, including: 1) differing depositional mechanisms; 2) localised autocyclic controls; 3) geometrical and temporal interactions with deposits of the basin centre; and, 4) long-term allocyclic climatic variations. This work examines the basin margin systems of the Cutler Group sediments of the Paradox Basin, western U.S.A and presents generalised facies models for the Cutler Group alluvial fans as well as for the zone of interaction between these fans and the contemporaneous environments in the basin centre, at a variety of scales. Small-scale controls on deposition include climate, tectonics, base level and sediment supply. It has been ascertained that long-term climatic alterations were the main control on these depositional systems. Models have been constructed to highlight how both long-term and short-term alterations in the climatic regime can affect the sedimentation in the basin. These models can be applied to better understand similar, but poorly exposed, alluvial fan deposits. The alluvial fans of the Brockram Facies, northern England form part of a once-proposed site for low-level nuclear waste decommissioning. As such, it is important to understand the sedimentology, three-dimensional geometry, and the proposed connectivity of the deposits from the perspective of basin-scale fluid flow. The developed

  10. Structure and evolution of the eastern Gulf of Aden conjugate margins from seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    d'Acremont, Elia; Leroy, Sylvie; Beslier, Marie-Odile; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Fournier, Marc; Robin, Cécile; Maia, Marcia; Gente, Pascal

    2005-03-01

    The Gulf of Aden is a young and narrow oceanic basin formed in Oligo-Miocene time between the rifted margins of the Arabian and Somalian plates. Its mean orientation, N75°E, strikes obliquely (50°) to the N25°E opening direction. The western conjugate margins are masked by Oligo-Miocene lavas from the Afar Plume. This paper concerns the eastern margins, where the 19-35 Ma breakup structures are well exposed onshore and within the sediment-starved marine shelf. Those passive margins, about 200 km distant, are non-volcanic. Offshore, during the Encens-Sheba cruise we gathered swath bathymetry, single-channel seismic reflection, gravity and magnetism data, in order to compare the structure of the two conjugate margins and to reconstruct the evolution of the thinned continental crust from rifting to the onset of oceanic spreading. Between the Alula-Fartak and Socotra major fracture zones, two accommodation zones trending N25°E separate the margins into three N110°E-trending segments. The margins are asymmetric: offshore, the northern margin is narrower and steeper than the southern one. Including the onshore domain, the southern rifted margin is about twice the breadth of the northern one. We relate this asymmetry to inherited Jurassic/Cretaceous rifts. The rifting obliquity also influenced the syn-rift structural pattern responsible for the normal faults trending from N70°E to N110°E. The N110°E fault pattern could be explained by the decrease of the influence of rift obliquity towards the central rift, and/or by structural inheritance. The transition between the thinned continental crust and the oceanic crust is characterized by a 40 km wide zone. Our data suggest that its basement is made up of thinned continental crust along the southern margin and of thinned continental crust or exhumed mantle, more or less intruded by magmatic rocks, along the northern margin.

  11. The Wilkes subglacial basin eastern margin electrical conductivity anomaly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzello, Daniele; Armadillo, Egidio; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Caneva, Giorgio

    2014-05-01

    We have analyzed the deep conductivity structure at the transition between the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) and the eastern margin of the WSB in NVL, by means of the GDS (Geomagnetic Deep Sounding) technique, in order to constrain the geodynamical interpretation of this antarctic sector. The TAM form the uplifted flank of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic West Antarctic Rift System. Structure of the TAM rift flank has been partially investigated with different geophysical approaches.The Wilkes Subglacial Basin is a broad depression over 400 km wide at the George V Coast and 1200 km long. Geology, lithospheric structure and tectonics of the Basin are only partially known because the Basin is buried beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and is located in a remote region which makes geophysical exploration logistically challenging. Different authors have proposed contrasting hypothesis regarding the origin of the WSB: it could represent a region of rifted continental crust, or it may have a flexural origin or might represent an "extended terrane". Recently aerogeophysical investigations have demonstrated a strong structural control on the margin. Magnetovariational studies carried out at high geomagnetic latitudes are often hampered by source effects, mainly due to the closeness to the Polar Electrojet currents systems (PEJ). Its presence, in fact, makes the uniform magnetic field assumption, on which the magnetovariational methods are based on, often invalid, which outcome is a bias in the GDS transfer functions and to compromise the reliability of the inverted models. Data from the aforementioned campaigns have been then processed under the ISEE project (Ice Sheet Electromagnetic Experiment), aimed at evaluate and mitigate the bias effect of the PEJ on geomagnetic an magnetotelluric transfer functions at high geomagnetic latitudes, by means of suitable processing algorithms, developed upon a statistical analysis study on PEJ effects (Rizzello et al. 2013). Recent results

  12. Northern and eastern margins of the Siberian continent in Triassic

    SciTech Connect

    Egorov, A.Yu. )

    1993-09-01

    Siliciclastic sedimentation has been predominant on the northern and eastern margins of the Siberian continent since the Triassic period. Seven transgression-regression cycles can be recognized in the Triassic succession: Griesbachien-Dienerian, Smithian-Low Spathian, Upper Spathian, Anissian (with subcycles), Ladian, Carnian, and Norlan (with subcycles). All zonal units were distinguished within transgressive portions of the cycles. Regressive portions of the cycles formed practically instantaneously. Very high sedimentation rate (300-3000 mm/1000 yr), specific structures of sedimentary rocks, and distribution of unconformities led to the conclusion that active avalanche sedimentation at the basin margins was of major significance. six facies regions are recognized in the sedimentation area: Taimyr, Kotuy-Anabar, Leno-Anabar, Bur-Olenek, Verkhoyansk, and Novosibirsk (New Siberian Islands). The main source areas were located at the Patoma Mountains for the eastern margin and at the Anabar anticline and Olenek uplift for the northern margin. Most sediments were transported to the eastern margin by a large river with a huge delta which was similar in size to the modern Lena's delta. Sediments were further distributed by contour streams. Local synsedimentary structures controlled the paleogeography of the entire area. The paleogeographical evolution of the eastern margin is the history of this delta development. The rifting activities with the trappean magmatism were the main events at the northern margin, especially in the Talmyr area. The pelagic sedimentation has been predominant in the New Siberian Islands area and most of the Laptev Sea aquatoria. The organic-rich sediments have been distinguished in Low Olenekian (Smithian), Low Anissian, Low Ladinian, and Low Carnian substages. Most of them could be hydrocarbon source rocks. Triassic oil and gas seeps have been discovered at the northern portion of the Vilyui syncline, near the Lena's delta and the Nordvic Bay.

  13. Distribution, abundance and trail characteristics of acorn worms at Australian continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, T. J.; Przeslawski, R.; Tran, M.

    2011-04-01

    Acorn worms (Enteropneusta), which were previously thought to be a missing link in understanding the evolution of chordates, are an unusual and potentially important component of many deep-sea benthic environments, particularly for nutrient cycling. Very little is known about their distribution, abundance, or behaviour in deep-sea environments around the world, and almost nothing is known about their distribution within Australian waters. In this study, we take advantage of two large-scale deep-sea mapping surveys along the eastern (northern Lord Howe Rise) and western continental margins of Australia to quantify the distribution, abundance and trail-forming behaviour of this highly unusual taxon. This is the first study to quantify the abundance and trail behaviour of acorn worms within Australian waters and provides the first evidence of strong depth-related distributions. Acorn worm densities and trail activity were concentrated between transect-averaged depths of 1600 and 3000 m in both eastern and western continental margins. The shallow limit of their depth distribution was 1600 m. The deeper limit was less well-defined, as individuals were found in small numbers below 3000 down to 4225 m. This distributional pattern may reflect a preference for these depths, possibly due to higher availability of nutrients, rather than a physiological constraint to greater depths. Sediment characteristics alone were poor predictors of acorn worm densities and trail activity. High densities of acorn worms and trails were associated with sandy-mud sediments, but similar sediment characteristics in either shallower or deeper areas did not support similar densities of acorn worms or trails. Trail shapes varied between eastern and western margins, with proportionally more meandering trails recorded in the east, while spiral and meandering trails were both common in the west. Trail shape varied by depth, with spiral-shaped trails dominant in areas of high acorn worm densities

  14. Long-term topographic feedbacks along glaciated continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egholm, David L.; Jansen, John; Knudsen, Mads F.; Pedersen, Vivi K.; Brædstrup, Christian F.; Ugelvig, Sofie V.; Andersen, Jane L.; Skov, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    Deep troughs carved by glaciers during Quaternary cold intervals dominate high-latitude mountain ranges in Greenland, Norway, Canada, New Zealand, Chile and Antarctica (Sugden & John, 1976). In addition, areas of relatively low relief are typically found at high elevations between the troughs. These high areas are often draped by block-fields, indicating that slow weathering processes dominated their evolution, at least throughout the most recent series of interglacial periods (Ballantyne, 2010). Ice sheets must have repeatedly covered the high areas during glacial maxima, but the ice did not erode the underlying bedrock; most likely because the ice was predominantly frozen to its bed (Kleman & Stroeven, 1997). The geomorphic contrast between the troughs and the high-elevation, low-relief areas shows that factors controlling glacial erosion can fluctuate dramatically across short distances, and that landscapes in cold regions concurrently support some of the fastest and slowest surface-erosion processes on Earth (Sugden & John, 1976). However, the strong contrast in efficiency of subglacial erosion has likely evolved in response to landscape evolution. The gradual emergence of glacial troughs over time establishes a feedback between ice flux and subglacial erosion, leading to focused ice drainage and accelerating erosion in the troughs and stalling erosion in the high-elevation areas between the troughs (Kessler et al. 2008). This distinct pattern of selective erosion along cold-region continental margins during the Late Quaternary may therefore reflect the product of topographical feedbacks that focus glacial erosion over time. We used computational landscape evolution models to study these topographic feedbacks, with the objective to evaluate landscape evolution in the high areas prior to the development of deep glacial troughs. Our experiments suggest that early overriding ice-sheets most likely eroded the highs and smoothed the regional topography before

  15. Petroleum possibilities in continental margin off central Chile

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, E.

    1986-07-01

    The continental margin off central Chile, from Valparaiso to Valdivia, encompassing an area of 100,000 km/sup 2/, has been the target of exploratory activity by Empresa Nacional del Petroleo since 1970. Exploratory drilling began in 1972. By August 1984, total exploratory efforts had resulted in drilling 14 offshore wells and acquiring 12,130 km of seismic reflection lines. A biogenic gas accumulation was discovered in the F well. Because these attempts to find oil were unsuccessful and because drilling costs have escalated, exploratory activities have been curtailed. Forearc basins off central Chile are characterized by low geothermal gradient and a sedimentary filling of Cretaceous and Tertiary strata. Tertiary sequences are characterized by low organic carbon content, immature humic-type organic matter, and a biogenic gas potential. Cretaceous sequences are characterized by higher organic carbon content, good reservoir rocks, and fair to good source rocks. The organic matter is sapropelic, with vitrinite and liptinites, and is favorable for oil and gas generation. Seismic and well data suggest that Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rock sequences filling the basins (more than 4000 m thick at the shelf edge) extend 40-70 km beyond the present shelf edge. Mesozoic rocks deposited on the slope may generate petroleum and gas that could migrate upslope and accumulate in traps associated with the faulted basement highs and graben-type depressions existing at the shelf edge. This geologic setting favors the development of large petroleum accumulations along the shelf edge and graben on the sedimentary basins off central Chile.

  16. Cenozoic vertical motions of the western continental margin of Peninsular India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, Fred; Hoggard, Mark; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

    Despite the cessation of rifting at ˜65 Ma and its remoteness from active convergence, the topography of Peninsular India is dominated by a dramatic, high-elevation escarpment along its western margin: the Western Ghats (˜1 - 1.5 km amsl). Inland of the escarpment, South Indian topography exhibits a long-wavelength (>1000 km), low-angle (˜0.1°) eastward tilt down to the Krishna-Godavari and Cauvery deltas on the eastern continental margin. Offshore, oceanic residual depth measurements show an identical long-wavelength asymmetry from highs of +1 km in the Arabian Sea to lows of -1.2 km in the Bay of Bengal. Strong evidence from margin stratigraphy, dated palaeosurfaces, thermochronology, cosmogenic nuclides and marine terraces combine to suggest that, following a period of relative quiescence from 50 Ma - 25 Ma, the present-day topography evolved in response to Neogene uplift and erosion along the western Indian margin. By jointly inverting 530 longitudinal river profiles for uplift rate and calibrating our inversions against these geological constraints, we successfully place this Cenozoic landscape evolution into a more complete spatio-temporal framework. The results demonstrate slow growth of the eastward tilt from 50 Ma - 25 Ma (≤0.02 mm a‑1), preceding a phase of increasingly rapid development - initiating in the south - from 25 Ma onwards (≤0.2 mm a‑1). The onset of rapid uplift pre-dates the initial intensification of the Indian monsoon by >15 Ma, suggesting that rock uplift and not climate change is primarily responsible for the modern-day relief of the peninsula. Previous studies have aimed to explain this topographic evolution by invoking flexural isostatic mechanisms involving denudation, sediment loading and/or underplating. However, seismological constraints show that South Indian topography deviates significantly from crustal isostatic expectations, while the 9.8‑2.2+3.8 km effective elastic thickness of the region generates ˜125 km

  17. Scientists study deep geological structure between New Hebrides Arc and Eastern Australian Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafoy, Y.; Van de Beuque, S.; Bernardel, G.; Missegue, F.; Nercessian, A.; Auzende, J. M.; Symonds, P. A.; Exon, N. F.

    French and Australian scientists hope that deep seismic profiling performed earlier this year in the southwest Pacific will improve understanding of the geological framework, crustal characteristics, and evolution of basins and ridges between the eastern Australian margin and the New Hebrides Trench system. The data already have indicated that the basements of several basins are thinned and oceanic, that the basements of several ridges are continental, and that, contrary to previous thinking, the Loyalty Basin was formed in late Cretaceous time.Submerged continental fragments separated by deep ocean basins dominate the region in the west, and the Australian Plate is subducting beneath the New Hebrides Arc in the east. Subduction started in Late Miocene time [MacFarlane et al., 1988] at a rate of 12 cm/ year with a convergence direction of WSW-ENE [Dubois et al., 1977].

  18. Geohistory analysis of the Santa Maria basin, California, and its relationship to tectonic evolution of the continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    McCrory, P.A.; Arends, R.G. ); Ingle, J.C. Jr. ); Isaacs, C.M.; Stanley, R.G. ); Thornton, M.L.C. )

    1991-02-01

    The Santa Maria basin of central California is a geologically complex area located along the tectonically active California continental margin. The record of Cenozoic tectonism preserved in Santa Maria strata provides an opportunity to compare the evolution of the region with plate tectonic models for Cenozoic interactions along the margin. Geohistory analysis of Neogene Santa Maria basin strata provides important constraints for hypotheses of the tectonic evolution of the central California margin during its transition from a convergent to a transform plate boundary. Preliminary analyses suggest that the tectonic evolution of the Santa Maria area was dominated by coupling between adjacent oceanic plates and the continental margin. This coupling is reflected in the timing of major hiatuses within the basin sedimentary sequence and margin subsidence and uplift which occurred during periods of tectonic plate adjustment. Stratigraphic evidence indicates that the Santa Maria basin originated on the continental shelf in early Miocene time. A component of margin subsidence is postulated to have been caused by cessation of spreading on adjacent offshore microplates approximately 19-18 ma. A sharp reduction in rate of tectonic subsidence in middle Miocene time, observed in the Santa Maria basin both onshore and offshore, was coeval with rotation of crustal blocks as major shearing shifts shoreward. Tectonic uplift of two eastern sites, offshore Point Arguello and near Point Sal, in the late Miocene may have been related to a change to transpressional motion between the Pacific and North American plates, as well as to rotation of the western Transverse Ranges in a restraining geometry.

  19. Eastern Venezuela Basin's Post-Jurassic evolution as a passive transform margin basin

    SciTech Connect

    George, R.P. Jr. ); Sams, R.H. )

    1993-02-01

    Passive transform margins are segments of rifted continental margins bounded by transform faults that are active during rifting and that become inactive during drifting. Examples include the northern coast of Brazil and its matching margin along the Liberia-Nigeria coast. We propose that the northern margin of the Eastern Venezuela Basin was dominantly a passive transform margin during the Cretaceous and early Paleogene, rather than a purely passive margin. Published microplate reconstructions of the southern Caribbean show Jurassic separation of the Bahamas platform from northern South America along a northwest-trending transform fault postulated to lie just northeast of Trinidad and the Guianas. We conjecture that the [open quotes]Deflexion de Barcelona[close quotes] (a northwest-trending zone of strike slip faults along the southwestern edge of the Serrania del Interior) is controlled by a basement geofracture that is the onshore expression of Jurassic transform fault southwest of and subparallel to the southwestern Bahamas transform. Implications of this conjecture for the Eastern Venezuela Basin include: (1) absence of McKenzie-type regional crustal stretching, Mesozoic thermal anomaly, and Mesozoic thermal-tectonic subsidence; (2) abrupt rather than gradual seaward changes in crustal thickness; (3)abrupt lateral changes in thickness and facies of Mesozoic sediments, as in the Piaui-Ceara basins of northern Brazil; (4) tendency for structural styles developed during Neogene compression to include more strike-slip faults and en enchelon fold sets (because of reactivation of Mesozoic transforms) than would be expected by structural inversion of a purely passive margin.

  20. Continental Margins of the Arctic Ocean: Implications for Law of the Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosher, David

    2016-04-01

    A coastal State must define the outer edge of its continental margin in order to be entitled to extend the outer limits of its continental shelf beyond 200 M, according to article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The article prescribes the methods with which to make this definition and includes such metrics as water depth, seafloor gradient and thickness of sediment. Note the distinction between the "outer edge of the continental margin", which is the extent of the margin after application of the formula of article 76, and the "outer limit of the continental shelf", which is the limit after constraint criteria of article 76 are applied. For a relatively small ocean basin, the Arctic Ocean reveals a plethora of continental margin types reflecting both its complex tectonic origins and its diverse sedimentation history. These factors play important roles in determining the extended continental shelves of Arctic coastal States. This study highlights the critical factors that might determine the outer edge of continental margins in the Arctic Ocean as prescribed by article 76. Norway is the only Arctic coastal State that has had recommendations rendered by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). Russia and Denmark (Greenland) have made submissions to the CLCS to support their extended continental shelves in the Arctic and are awaiting recommendations. Canada has yet to make its submission and the US has not yet ratified the Convention. The various criteria that each coastal State has utilized or potentially can utilize to determine the outer edge of the continental margin are considered. Important criteria in the Arctic include, 1) morphological continuity of undersea features, such as the various ridges and spurs, with the landmass, 2) the tectonic origins and geologic affinities with the adjacent land masses of the margins and various ridges, 3) sedimentary processes, particularly along continental slopes, and 4) thickness and

  1. The Mississippian Antler foreland and continental margin in southern Nevada: The Eleana Formation reinterpreted

    SciTech Connect

    Cashman, P.H.; Trexler, J.H. Jr. )

    1991-02-01

    Rocks mapped as the Mississippian Eleana Formation at the type locality on the Nevada Test Site appear to comprise two completely different, but coeval, sedimentary units. In the Eleana Range (Western Eleana Formation), the strata are siliciclastic and carbonate turbidites of Mississippian age. From immediately east of the Eleana Range to Syncline Ridge (Eastern Eleana Formation), the strata are Devonian-Mississippian mudstone and quartzite conformably overlying Devonian limestone and underlying Pennsylvanian limestone. Although the contact between the two sedimentary packages is not exposed, small-scale structures document an east-dipping fault contact and reverse motion. Sandstone petrography and stratigraphic considerations support the age data in identifying two separate Mississippian units. Sandstones from the Western Eleana are chert litharenites with significant amount of feldspar and both volcanic and sedimentary lithic grains. These rocks are interpreted to be a submarine fan deposit; southwest-directed paleocurrent indicators suggest that they were deposited in an elongate trough, filled axially from the northeast. The source of the sediments was the antler allochthon and foreland basin. The authors tentatively correlate this section with the Dale Canyon-Chainman-Diamond Peak section near Eureka, Nevada. Sandstones from the Eastern Eleana are quartz arenites with rare chert and detrital heavy minerals. These strata are tentatively interpreted to be a shallow shelf deposit, with sediments derived from the continent to the east. They tentatively correlate this section with the Guilmette-Pilot-Scotty Wash-Chainman section of eastern Nevada. These sedimentary systems are initially separated an unknown distance across the late Paleozoic continental margin.

  2. Tectonic-sedimentary evolution of the eastern Brazilian marginal basins: Implications in their petroleum systems

    SciTech Connect

    Francisco, N.F.; Azambuja, N.C.; Mello, M.R. )

    1993-02-01

    A geological survey of eastern Brazilian marginal basins using sedimentological, tectonic and geochemical data has been carried out. The almost 4000 km long set of basins can be classified as component of a typical divergent, mature Atlantic-continental margin. Based on their tectonic-sedimentary sequence, they can be linked to a single evolutionary history, which can be divided in three main stages: pre-rift, rift, and drift. The integration of all data allowed the characterization of two major petroleum systems that represent about 90% of the known Brazilian hydrocarbons reserves: (1) the rift (Early Cretaceous) and the drift (Late Cretaceous-Paleogene). With respect to the oil-in-place volume and production, the most significant one is the drift system associated with the siliciclastic deep water turbidites reservoirs deposited in bathyal environments. Such reservoirs are clearly controlled by a favorable relationship of stratigraphic and tectonic settings.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-09-13

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-09-13

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

  5. Seismic-reflection signature of cretaceous continental breakup on the wilkes land margin, antarctica.

    PubMed

    Eittreim, S L; Hampton, M A; Childs, J R

    1985-09-13

    The passive (rifted) continental margin of Wilkes Land, Antarctica, is characterized on seismic reflection records by (i) in the south, a block-faulted sequence of highly stratified continental beds overlain by two distinct unconformities; (ii) a transitional, greatly thinned continental crust overlain by material interpreted to be flood basalt; and (iii) in the north, oceanic crust with a boundary ridge at its edge. The Mohorovicić discontinuity can be followed across the continent-ocean boundary and shows a progressive thinning of continental crust to a minimum of 2.5 kilometers at its northern edge.

  6. Bathymetric and regional changes in benthic macrofaunal assemblages on the deep Eastern Brazilian margin, SW Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernardino, Angelo Fraga; Berenguer, Vanessa; Ribeiro-Ferreira, Venina P.

    2016-05-01

    Deep-sea continental slopes have valuable mineral and biological resources in close proximity to diverse, undersampled and fragile marine benthic ecosystems. The eastern Brazilian Continental Margin (19.01°S to 21.06°S, 37.88°W to 40.22°W) is an important economic region for both fishing and oil industries, but is poorly understood with respect to the structure of the soft-sediment benthic fauna, their regional distribution and their bathymetric patterns. To identify spatial and temporal patterns of benthic macrofaunal assemblages on the slope (400 to 3000 m), the Espirito Santo Basin Assessment Project (AMBES, coordinated by Cenpes-Petrobras) sampled 42 stations across the Brazilian Eastern Slope during both Summer 2012 and Winter 2013. We found a significant decrease in macrofaunal abundance at the 400 m isobath along the slope near the northern region of the Espirito Santo Basin, suggesting benthic responses to upwelling events towards the south in Campos Basin and southern Espirito Santo Basin. The taxonomic diversity and assemblage composition also changed significantly across depth zones with mid-slope peaks of diversity at 1000-1300 m. In general, macrofaunal assemblages were strongly related to slope depth, suggesting a strong influence of productivity gradients and water mass distribution on this oligotrophic margin. Sediment grain size was marginally important to macrofaunal composition on the upper slope. In general, macrofaunal assemblages on the slope of Espirito Santo Basin are similar to other areas of the SE Brazilian margin, but regional changes in response to productivity and depth need to be considered for management strategies in the face of increasing economic activities off-shore.

  7. Deformation of the Continental Lithosphere at the Margins of the North American Craton: Constraints from Seismic Anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, M. D.; Benoit, M. H.; Ford, H. A.; Wirth, E. A.; Aragon, J. C.; Abrahams, L.; McNamara, J.; Jackson, K.

    2015-12-01

    Earth's continents exhibit striking properties, including relatively thick and low-density crust and a strong, thick, long-lived mantle lithosphere. Major questions related to the formation, stability, evolution, and dynamics of cratonic lithosphere remain unanswered. One promising avenue for understanding the stability of cratonic lithosphere through geologic time is to understand how their margins are deformed via tectonic processes such as orogenesis and rifting. Here we present results of several recent and ongoing studies which aim to constrain past lithospheric deformation along the eastern margin of the North American craton. Each of these studies focuses on constraining seismic anisotropy, or the directional dependence of seismic wavespeeds, in the lithospheric upper mantle. Because there is a causative link between upper mantle deformation and the resulting seismic anisotropy, studies of anisotropic structure in the upper mantle beneath continental interiors can shed light on the deformation processes associated with past tectonic events. The recent explosion in the availability of seismic data in the eastern United States, largely due to the EarthScope initiative, has enabled detailed studies of lithospheric deformation using anisotropic receiver function (RF) analysis and SKS splitting analysis. A comparison of lithospheric structure inferred from RFs for stations located to the east of the Grenville deformation front with those located within the cratonic interior argues for extensive deformation of the lithosphere during the formation and/or breakup of Rodinia. The pattern of fast SKS splitting directions measured at USArray Transportable Array (TA) stations shows clear evidence for a specific lithospheric anisotropy signature at stations beneath the Appalachian Mountains, indicating strong, coherent lithospheric deformation associated with Appalachian orogenesis. The Mid-Atlantic Geophysical Integrative Collaboration (MAGIC) experiment, a linear array

  8. Neoproterozoic-Early Paleozoic rifting of the craton margin in eastern Kentucky: Evidence from subsidence analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Goodman, P.T. . Dept. of Geological Sciences); Walker, D. )

    1992-01-01

    Analysis of subsidence along the craton margin in eastern Kentucky indicates a Neoproterozoic to Early through Middle Cambrian rifting event developing on a subsiding passive margin of the Laurentian craton to the Iapetus Ocean. Subsidence associated with rifting is confined to the Rome Trough; an internally broken half-graben within the Laurentian craton; the trough trends sub-parallel to the Appalachian orogenic belt. In cross section the through as an abrupt faulted margin on the carton side and a tapering, gentle extension toward the orogenic belt. The stratigraphic sequence within the Rome Trough and toward the orogen consists of Neoproterozoic or early Cambrian basal sands overlying Grenville basement, and succeeded by silts, shales and discontinuous carbonates of the Rome Fm. that are overlain by shales and carbonates of the Conesauga Fm. Stratigraphic relationships suggest that an out-of-sequence, inboard rift developed along the Laurentian margin adjacent to a drift-phase continental shelf represented by strata of the Blue Ridge and Valley and Ridge. Analysis of the subsidence history of this region reveals trends which support the notion that the subsidence history of this area cannot be accounted for by typical passive-margin development. The subsidence history of the area within the Rome Trough presents a pattern of high thermal subsidence and produces beta values greater than in areas nearer the craton margin. These data indicate that an inboard locus of anomalous crustal extension occurred in the area of the Rome Trough while the remainder of the cratonal margin underwent drift-phase subsidence, and that the timing and magnitude of this event is related to the development of the Iapetan margin.

  9. Transition from a passive continental margin to an active margin documented by time-facies profiles and geohistory diagrams

    SciTech Connect

    Kenter, J.A.M.; Reymer, J.J.G.; van der Straaten, H.C.

    1988-08-01

    The Upper Cretaceous to Neogene sediments in the northern part of the external zone of the Betic Cordilleras (southeast Spain) reflect the evolution of a passive continental margin into an active margin. Time-facies profiles and geohistory diagrams were constructed to identify and date tectonic events and sea level changes in the sedimentary record. During Late Cretaceous to middle Eocene time, parallel-trending shallow marine facies belts at the edge of a slowly subsiding basin evidence a passive continental margin setting. The period from middle Eocene to early Miocene is rather poorly documented. After initial shallowing the whole area emerged and continental conditions prevailed from the late Eocene to early Miocene. The subareal exposure may have been caused by the compound effect of the worldwide Oligocene sea level drop and overall tectonic uplift. Miocene sediments reflect the compressional tectonic regime of an active margin. The parallel facies belts were disrupted and the area was segmented into several tectonic blocks, each displaying an individual sedimentary record due to differential vertical movement. During middle to late Miocene time a major compressional phase generated northeast-trending folds and activated strike-slip and thrust faults. This tectonic phase led to a highly differentiated topography, resulting in the development of local depocenters - each with a unique tectonic and depositional record.

  10. Geologic development and characteristics of continental margins, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, J.M.; Prior, D.B.; Roberts, H.H.

    1986-09-01

    The continental slope of the Gulf basin covers more than 500,000 km/sup 2/ and consists of smooth and gently sloping surfaces, prominent escarpments, knolls, intraslope basins, and submarine canyons and channels. It is an area of extremely diverse topographic and sedimentologic conditions. The slope extends from the shelf break, roughly at the 200-m isobath, to the upper limit of the continental rise at a depth of 2800 m. The most complex province in the basin, and the one of most interest to the petroleum industry, is the Texas-Louisiana slope, occupying 120,000 km/sup 2/ and in which bottom slopes range from less than 1/sup 0/ to greater than 20/sup 0/ around the knolls and basins. The near-surface geology and topography of the slope is a function of the interplay between episodes of rapid shelf-edge and slope progradation and contemporaneous modification of the depositional sequence by diapirism. Development of discrete depocenters throughout the Neogene results in rapid shelf-edge progradation, often exceeding 15-20 km/m.y. This rapid progradation of the shelf edge leads to development of thick wedges of sediment accumulation on the continental slope. Slope oversteepening, high pore pressures in rapidly deposited soft sediments, and changes in eustatic sea level cause subaqueous slope instabilities such as landslides and debris flows. Large-scale features such as shelf-edge separation scars and landslide-related canyons often result from such processes.

  11. Revisiting submarine mass movements along the U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin: implications for tsunami hazards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaytor, J.D.; Twichell, D.C.; ten Brink, U.S.; Buczkowski, B.J.; Andrews, B.D.

    2007-01-01

    Interest in the generation of tsunamis by submarine mass movements has warranted a reassessment of their distribution and the nature of submarine landslides offshore of the eastern U.S. The recent acquisition and analysis of multibeam bathymetric data over most of this continental slope and rise provides clearer view into the extent and style of mass movements on this margin. Debris flows appear to be the dominant type of mass movement, although some translational slides have also been identified. Areas affected by mass movements range in size from less than 9 km2 to greater than 15,200 km2 and reach measured thicknesses of up to 70 m. Failures are seen to originate on either the open-slope or in submarine canyons. Slope-sourced failures are larger than canyonsourced failures, suggesting they have a higher potential for tsunami generation although the volume of material displaced during individual failure events still needs to be refined. The slope-sourced failures are most common offshore of the northern, glaciated part of the coast, but others are found downslope of shelf-edge deltas and near salt diapirs, suggesting that several geological conditions control their distribution.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Gang; Huismans, Ritske

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Manganese flux from continental margin sediments in a transect through the oxygen minimum.

    PubMed

    Johnson, K S; Berelson, W M; Coale, K H; Coley, T L; Elrod, V A; Fairey, W R; Iams, H D; Kilgore, T E; Nowicki, J L

    1992-08-28

    The flux of manganese from continental margin sediments to the ocean was measured with a free-vehicle, benthic flux chamber in a transect across the continental shelf and upper slope of the California margin. The highest fluxes were observed on the shallow continental shelf. Manganese flux decreased linearly with bottom water oxygen concentration, and the lowest fluxes occurred in the oxygen minimum zone (at a depth of 600 to 1000 meters). Although the flux of manganese from continental shelf sediments can account for the elevated concentrations observed in shallow, coastal waters, the flux from sediments that intersect the oxygen minimum cannot produce the subsurface concentration maximum of dissolved manganese that is observed in the Pacific Ocean.

  14. Structure and petroleum potential of the Yakutat segment of the northern Gulf of Alaska continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Bruns, T.R.

    1983-01-01

    This report discusses the structure, geologic history, and petroleum potential of the Yakutat segment, the part of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Icy Bay, northern Gulf of Alaska. As part of a program of geological and geophysical investigations of the continental margin in the northern Gulf of Alaska, the US Geological Survey collected multichannel seismic reflection data along about 2000 km of tracklines in the study area during 1975, 1977, and 1978. In addition, dredge samples from the continental slope were acquired during the 1977, 1978, and 1979 field seasons. The first part of this paper presents an interpretation of the seismic reflection and refraction data, including structure contour maps, isopach maps, and interpreted seismic sections; the second part is a discussion of the implications for petroleum potential. The primary area of interest is the continental shelf and slope, but some data from strata at the base of the slope are also included.

  15. Manganese flux from continental margin sediments in a transect through the oxygen minimum

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, K.S. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Inst., Pacific Grove, CA ); Berelson, W.M.; Iams, H.D.; Kilgore, T.E. ); Coale, K.H.; Coley, T.L.; Elrod, V.A.; Fairey, W.R.; Nowicki, J.L. )

    1992-08-28

    The flux of manganese from continental margin sediments to the ocean was measured with a free-vehicle, benthic flux chamber in a transect across the continental shelf and upper slope of the California margin. The highest fluxes were observed on the shallow continental shelf. Manganese flux decreased linearly with bottom water oxygen concentration, and the lowest flux occurred in the oxygen minimum zone (at a depth of 600 to 1,000 meters). Although the flux of manganese from continental shelf sediments can account for the elevated concentrations observed in shallow, coastal waters, the flux from sediments that intersect the oxygen minimum cannot produce the subsurface concentration maximum of dissolved manganese that is observed in the Pacific Ocean.

  16. Preface - 'Biogeochemistry-ecosystem interaction on changing continental margins in the Anthropocene'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, K.-K.; Emeis, Kay-Christian; Levin, Lisa A.; Naqvi, Wajih; Roman, Michael

    2015-01-01

    This special issue is a product of Workshop 1 of IMBIZO III held in Goa, India in January 2013 (Bundy et al., 2013). This IMBIZO (a Zulu word for gathering) has been organized by IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research) biannually since 2008. It employs a format of three concurrent but interacting workshops designed to synthesize information on topical research areas in marine science. Workshop 1 addressed the issue, "Biogeochemistry-ecosystem interaction in changing continental margins," which belongs to the purview of the Continental Margins Working Group (CMWG), co-sponsored by IMBER and LOICZ (Land-Ocean Interaction in the Coastal Zone). As a way to explore the emerging issues that concern the CMWG, the workshop had attracted 25 talks and 18 posters that explored the following topics: Human impacts on continental margins

  17. Geodynamic settings of microcontinents, non-volcanic islands and submerged continental marginal plateau formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, Evgeny; Grokholsky, Andrey; Makushkina, Anna

    2016-04-01

    Complex process of continental lithosphere breakup is often accompanied by full or semi isolation of small continental blocks from the parent continent such as microcontinents or submerged marginal plateaus. We present different types of continental blocks formed in various geodynamic settings. The process depends on thermo-mechanical properties of rifting. 1) The continental blocks fully isolated from the parent continent. This kind of blocks exist in submerged form (Elan Bank, the Jan-Mayen Ridge, Zenith Plateau, Gulden Draak Knoll, Batavia Knoll) and in non-submerged form in case of large block size. Most of listed submerged blocks are formed in proximity of hot-spot or plume. 2) The continental blocks semi-isolated from the parent continent. Exmouth Plateau, Vøring, Agulhas, Naturaliste are submerged continental plateaus of the indicated category; Sri Lanka, Tasmania, Socotra are islands adjacent to continent here. Nowadays illustration of this setting is the Sinai block located between the two continental rifts. 3) The submerged linear continental blocks formed by the continental rifting along margin (the Lomonosov Ridge). Suggested evolution of this paragraph is the rift propagation along existing transtensional (or another type) transform fault. Future example of this type might be the California Peninsula block, detached from the North American plate by the rifting within San-Andreas fault. 4) The submerged continental blocks formed by extensional processes as the result of asthenosphere flow and shear deformations. Examples are submerged blocks in the central and southern Scotia Sea (Terror Bank, Protector Basin, Discovery Bank, Bruce Bank etc.). 5) The continental blocks formed in the transform fault systems originated in setting of contradict rifts propagation in presence of structure barriers, rifts are shifted by several hundreds kilometers from each other. Examples of this geodynamic setting are Equatorial Atlantic at the initial development stage

  18. Tectonic framework of the Northern California continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clarke, S.H.

    1992-01-01

    The northern coast of California is one of the most seismically active regions in the continental United States. This activity is largely due to tectonic forces resulting from differing relative motions between three extensive lithospheric plates that meet in this region. These crustal plates are bounded by long fault systems-the Cascadia subduction zone, the San Andreas fault system, and the Mendocino fault- that accommodate these differences in plate motion and that are capable of periodically producing damaging earthquakes. Historic earthquake locations are concentrated in the victinity of the tectonically unstable intersection of these tthree plates and their bounding fault systems. 

  19. Illustrations of the importance of mass wasting in the evolution of continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Pratson, L.; Ryan, W. ); Twichell, D. )

    1990-05-01

    Side-looking sonar imagery and swath bathymetry from a variety of contemporary continental slopes all display erosional scars and debris aprons, illustrating the importance of mass wasting in the evolution of continental margins. The continental slopes examined include slopes fed directly from the fronts of ice sheets, slopes adjacent to continental shelves that were the sites of glacial outwash, slopes supplied exclusively by fluvial drainage, slopes at carbonate platforms, and slopes on accretionary prisms. Examples are drawn from the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mediterranean Sea in both passive and active continental margin settings. The sonar imagery and bathymetry used in this study indicate that continental slopes in different tectonic and climatic environments show similar forms of mass wasting. However, in some cases the dominant mode of erosion and/or the overall degree of mass wasting appears to be distinct to particular sedimentary environments. Timing of both recent and older exhumed erosional surfaces identified in the imagery and in seismic reflection profiles is obtained by ground truth observations using submersibles, towed camera sleds, drilling, and coring. These observations suggest that eustatic fluctuations common to all the margins examined do not explain the range in magnitude and areal density of the observed mass wasting. More localized factors such as lithology, diagenesis, pore fluid conditions, sediment supply rates, and seismic ground motion appear to have a major influence in the evolution of erosional scars and their corresponding unconformities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Crustal-Scale Images of the Continent-Ocean Transition Across the Eastern Canadian Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louden, K.; Gerlings, J.

    2009-05-01

    The acquisition and analysis of ~10, 400-500-km-long, deep MCS reflection and wide-angle reflection/refraction (WAR/R) profiles across the eastern Canadian continental margins from Nova Scotia to Baffin Is. have been accomplished over the past 20 years during a number of joint Canadian and international programs. The combination of both reflectivity and velocity images from separate MCS and WAR/R profiles have detailed the large-scale patterns of crustal extension, mantle serpentinization and exhumation, and ocean crustal formation both within and between rifted segments from full thickness continental crust to oceanic crust produced by sea-floor spreading. A number of striking features are documented by these crustal-scale sections. In particular, a wide transition region with very thin seismic crust is delineated by a well-defined upper mantle zone with reduced velocities interpreted as partially serpentinized peridotite. The geological nature of the transitional crust is quite complex and may consist of various regions dominated by highly stretched continental crust, highly serpentinized continental mantle or thin ultra-slow spread ocean crust. It is difficult to define the nature of this region from its velocity structure alone, however, since it is only poorly resolved by standard travel-time methods. One robust characteristic that is generally observed is an abrupt change to typical ocean crust at the seaward edge of the transition zone. This boundary shows characteristic and coincident variations in both velocity structure and basement morphology. New results from the eastern margin of Flemish Cap demonstrate such a pattern particularly well. This observation suggests that once melt begins to form it causes an abrupt shift from a diffuse pattern of lithospheric extension to a focused zone of melt formation. Based on our profiles, we suggest that such transitions have occurred at a number of discrete pulses, which progress in age from south to north and may

  2. Dynamic sedimentation of Paleoproterozoic continental margin iron formation, Labrador Trough, Canada: Paleoenvironments and sequence stratigraphy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pufahl, P. K.; Anderson, S. L.; Hiatt, E. E.

    2014-07-01

    The Paleoproterozoic Sokoman Formation (ca. 1.88 Ga) of the Labrador Trough, eastern Canada, is a ca. 100-m-thick succession of interbedded iron formation and fine-grained, terrigenous clastic sedimentary rocks. Detailed examination of drill cores and outcrops indicates a dynamic paleoshelf where an oxygen-stratified water column, coastal upwelling of hydrothermally derived Fe and Si, as well as tide- and storm-generated currents controlled lithofacies character. Vertical and lateral facies stacking patterns record deposition through two relative sea-level cycles that produced seven distinct lithofacies comprising two unconformity-bounded sequences. Sequence 1 reflects deposition of hematitic peritidal iron formation as deep as the upper shoreface. Sequence 2 is truncated by later erosion and encompasses the change to deeper-water accumulation of magnetite and Fe silicate-rich iron formation. The character and lateral distribution of redox-sensitive facies indicate that iron formation accumulation was controlled as much by shelf hydraulics as oxygen levels. The development of a suboxic surface ocean is interpreted to reflect photosynthetic oxygen production from a combination of peritidal stromatolites and cyanobacterial phytoplankton that flourished in nutrient-rich, upwelled waters offshore. Deposition of other continental margin iron formations also occurred on Paleoproterozoic shelves that were favorably positioned for coastal upwelling. Variability between iron formations reflects intrinsic factors such as shelf profile, fluvial contribution, eolian input, evaporation rates, and coastal current systems, which influenced upwelling dynamics and the delivery of Fe, Si, and nutrients. Aridity onshore was a primary depositional control since it governed the transport and type of diluting terrigenous clastics as well as evaporative precipitation along the coastline. As in the Phanerozoic, unconformities, and transgressive and maximum flooding surfaces frame iron

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, L.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2011-12-01

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

  4. Cenozoic ice sheet history from East Antarctic Wilkes Land continental margin sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Escutia, C.; De Santis, L.; Donda, F.; Dunbar, R.B.; Cooper, A. K.; Brancolini, Giuliano; Eittreim, S.L.

    2005-01-01

    The long-term history of glaciation along the East Antarctic Wilkes Land margin, from the time of the first arrival of the ice sheet to the margin, through the significant periods of Cenozoic climate change is inferred using an integrated geophysical and geological approach. We postulate that the first arrival of the ice sheet to the Wilkes Land margin resulted in the development of a large unconformity (WL-U3) between 33.42 and 30 Ma during the early Oligocene cooling climate trend. Above WL-U3, substantial margin progradation takes place with early glacial strata (e.g., outwash deposits) deposited as low-angle prograding foresets by temperate glaciers. The change in geometry of the prograding wedge across unconformity WL-U8 is interpreted to represent the transition, at the end of the middle Miocene "climatic optimum" (14-10 Ma), from a subpolar regime with dynamic ice sheets (i.e., ice sheets come and go) to a regime with persistent but oscillatory ice sheets. The steep foresets above WL-U8 likely consist of ice proximal sediments (i.e., water-lain till and debris flows) deposited when grounded ice-sheets extended into the shelf. On the continental rise, shelf progradation above WL-U3 results in an up-section increase in the energy of the depositional environment (i.e., seismic facies indicative of more proximal turbidite and of bottom contour current deposition from the deposition of the lower WL-S5 sequence to WL-S7). Maximum rates of sediment delivery to the rise occur during the development of sequences WL-S6 and WL-S7, which we infer to be of middle Miocene age. During deposition of the two uppermost sequences, WL-S8 and WL-S9, there is a marked decrease in the sediment supply to the lower continental rise and a shift in the depocenters to more proximal areas of the margin. We believe WL-S8 records sedimentation during the final transition from a dynamic to a persistent but oscillatory ice sheet in this margin (14-10 Ma). Sequence WL-S9 forms under a polar

  5. Internal tidal mixing as a control on continental margin ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharples, Jonathan; Moore, C. Mark; Hickman, Anna E.; Holligan, Patrick M.; Tweddle, Jacqueline F.; Palmer, Matthew R.; Simpson, John H.

    2009-12-01

    We show that a breaking internal tide at a shelf edge is a fundamental control on the structural and functional properties of ecosystems. Contrasts in vertical mixing of nitrate between the shelf and the open ocean correspond with horizontal and vertical changes in phytoplankton communities, with largest cells found in surface waters at the shelf edge. Intense fishing activity is commonly seen at continental shelf edges, targeting spawning fish stocks. We suggest that the internal tide, a globally ubiquitous physical process at steep shelf edge bathymetry, supports shelf edge fisheries by providing large-celled phytoplankton for first-feeding fish larvae. The repeatability of the internal tide removes fish from the need to time spawning with a spring bloom. Also, with large phytoplankton cells dominating particulate organic carbon export, the internal tides could be an important influence on spatial and temporal variability in patterns of global carbon sequestration in deep water and sediments.

  6. Convergent tectonics and coastal upwelling: a history of the Peru continental margin ( Pacific).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Von Huene, R.; Suess, E.; Emeis, K.C.

    1987-01-01

    Late in 1986, scientists on the ODP drillship JOIDES Resolution confirmed that the upper slope of the Peruvian margin consists of continental crust whereas the lower slope comprises an accretionary complex. An intricate history of horizontal and vertical movements can be detected, and the locations of ancient centers of upwelling appear to have varied, partly due to tectonic movements of the margin. In this review of Leg 112, the 3 scientific leaders on this cruise discuss their results. -from Journal Editor

  7. Fluid seepage at the continental margin offshore Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahling, Heiko; Masson, Douglas G.; Ranero, CéSar R.; Hühnerbach, Veit; Weinrebe, Wilhelm; Klaucke, Ingo; Bürk, Dietmar; Brückmann, Warner; Suess, Erwin

    2008-05-01

    A systematic search for methane-rich fluid seeps at the seafloor was conducted at the Pacific continental margin offshore southern Nicaragua and northern central Costa Rica, a convergent margin characterized by subduction erosion. More than 100 fluid seeps were discovered using a combination of multibeam bathymetry, side-scan sonar imagery, TV-sled observations, and sampling. This corresponds, on average, to a seep site every 4 km along the continental slope. In the northwestern part of the study area, subduction of oceanic crust formed at the East Pacific Rise is characterized by pervasive bending-induced faulting of the oceanic plate and a relatively uniform morphology of the overriding continental margin. Seepage at this part of the margin typically occurs at approximately cone-shaped mounds 50 - 100 m high and up to 1 km wide at the base. Over 60 such mounds were identified on the 240 km long margin segment. Some normal faults also host localized seepage. In contrast, in the southeast, the 220 km long margin segment overriding the oceanic crust formed at the Cocos-Nazca Spreading Centre has a comparatively more irregular morphology caused mainly by the subduction of ridges and seamounts sitting on the oceanic plate. Over 40 seeps were located on this part of the margin. This margin segment with irregular morphology exhibits diverse seep structures. Seeps are related to landslide scars, seamount-subduction related fractures, mounds, and faults. Several backscatter anomalies in side-scan images are without apparent relief and are probably related to carbonate precipitation. Detected fluid seeps are not evenly distributed across the margin but occur in a roughly margin parallel band centered 28 ± 7 km landward of the trench. This distribution suggests that seeps are possibly fed to fluids rising from the plate boundary along deep-penetrating faults through the upper plate.

  8. Organic geochemistry of continental margin and deep ocean sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Whelan, J.K.; Hunt, J.M.; Eglinton, T.; Dickinson, P.; Johnson, C.; Buxton, L.; Tarafa, M.E.

    1990-08-01

    The objective of this research continues to be the understanding of the complex processes of fossil fuel formation and migration. DOE funded research to date has focused on case histories'' of down-hole well profiles of light hydrocarbons, pyrograms, pyrolysis-GC and -GCMS parameters, and biomarker data from wells in the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coasts the Alaskan North Slope. In the case of the Alaskan North Slope, geological data and one-dimensional maturation modeling have been integrated in order to better constrain possible source rocks, timing, and migration routes for oil and gas generation and expulsion processes.This period, biomarker analyses and organic petrographic analyses were completed for the Ikpikpuk well. In the case of the Gulf Coast, we have obtained a one-dimensional maturation model of the Cost B-1 well in E. Cameron field of the Louisiana Gulf Coast. The completed E. Cameron data set adds to the enigma of the Gulf Coast oils found on the continental shelf of Louisiana. If significant quantities of the oil are coming from relatively organic lean Tertiary rocks, then non-conventional'' expulsion and migration mechanisms, such as gas dissolved in oil must be invoked to explain the Gulf Coast oils reservoired on the Louisiana continental shelf. We are designing and starting to assemble a hydrous pyrolysis apparatus to follow, the laboratory, rates of generation and expulsion of sediment gases. Initiation of some new research to examine {delta}{sup 13}C of individual compounds from pyrolysis is also described. We are beginning to examine both the laboratory and field data from the Gulf Coast in the context of a Global Basin Research Network (GBRN). The purpose is to better understand subsurface fluid flow processes over geologic time in sedimentary basins and their relation to resource accumulation (i.e., petroleum and metal ores). 58 refs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skogseid, Jakob

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibuet, J.; Tucholke, B. E.

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Joint geophysical and petrological models for the lithosphere structure of the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yegorova, Tamara; Bakhmutov, Vladimir; Janik, Tomasz; Grad, Marek

    2011-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is a composite magmatic arc terrane formed at the Pacific margin of Gondwana. Through the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic subduction has stopped progressively from southwest to northeast as a result of a series of ridge trench collisions. Subduction may be active today in the northern part of the AP adjacent to the South Shetland Islands. The subduction system is confined by the Shackleton and Hero fracture zones. The magmatic arc of the AP continental margin is marked by high-amplitude gravity and magnetic anomaly belts reaching highest amplitudes in the region of the South Shetland Islands and trench. The sources for these anomalies are highly magnetic and dense batholiths of mafic bulk composition, which were intruded in the Cretaceous, due to partial melting of upper-mantle and lower-crustal rocks. 2-D gravity and magnetic models provide new insights into crustal and upper-mantle structure of the active and passive margin segments of the northern AP. Our models incorporate seismic refraction constraints and physical property data. This enables us to better constrain both Moho geometry and petrological interpretations in the crust and upper mantle. Model along the DSS-12 profile crosses the AP margin near the Anvers Island and shows typical features of a passive continental margin. The second model along the DSS-17 profile extends from the Drake Passage through the South Shetland Trench/Islands system and Bransfield Strait to the AP and indicates an active continental margin linked to slow subduction and on-going continental rifting in the backarc region. Continental rifting beneath the Bransfield Strait is associated with an upward of hot upper mantle rocks and with extensive magmatic underplating.

  12. Block glides offshore Newport Beach, Southern California continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, H.G.; Clarke, S.H. Jr.; Kennedy, M.P.

    1988-01-01

    The continental slope offshore Newport Beach, California, is characterized by a relatively gentle (approximately 1/sup 0/) grade and is dissected by numerous channels and canyons, of which the most conspicuous is Newport Canyon. An unusual series of block-glide landslides have developed on this lope adjacent to many of these channels. Locally, secondary channels that develop along pull-apart fractures between the slide blocks may service as conduits for downslope sediment movement. A detailed seismic-reflection survey of the area shows that the slope is underlain by soft water-saturated unstable sediment of Quaternary age. The block-glides lie wholly within this sediment; displaced blocks appear to have moved only a short distance downslope and are preserved as intact masses that exhibit downward increasing internal deformation. This deformation reaches a maximum near the front of the displaced mass and in basal beds nearest the slip surface. The morphology of the blocks and their intervening channellike erosional scarps is similar to that of glacial blocks and their associated bergschrunds. The formation of new scarps and the widening of channels formed as pull-aparts by the ongoing process of block movement may contribute to headward erosion and widening of Newport Canyon and its tributaries. Slope failure might be greatly enhanced by strong ground motion associated with nearby earthquakes. The authors suspect that renewed movement occurs on these blocks during major seismic events on the nearby Newport-Inglewood fault (e.g., 1933 M/sub L/ 6.3 event).

  13. Salt diapirs bordering the continental margin of northern kenya and southern somalia.

    PubMed

    Rabinowitz, P D; Coffin, M F; Falvey, D

    1982-02-01

    The presence of newly discovered diapirs of presumed salt origin is documented for the continental margin of northeastern Kenya and southeastern Somalia. These structures are probably a manifestation of a significant thickness of Lower Jurassic evaporites deposited during the rift and early-drift stages of the separation of Madagascar from the African continent.

  14. Salt diapirs bordering the continental margin of northern kenya and southern somalia.

    PubMed

    Rabinowitz, P D; Coffin, M F; Falvey, D

    1982-02-01

    The presence of newly discovered diapirs of presumed salt origin is documented for the continental margin of northeastern Kenya and southeastern Somalia. These structures are probably a manifestation of a significant thickness of Lower Jurassic evaporites deposited during the rift and early-drift stages of the separation of Madagascar from the African continent. PMID:17842401

  15. The Bay of Bengal and the Statement of Understanding Concerning the Establishment of the Outer Edge of the Continental Margin: Regional Implications for Delimiting the Juridical Continental Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mridha, M.; Varma, H.; Macnab, R.

    2005-12-01

    The Bay of Bengal is the site of massive depositions of sediment from the Ganga-Brahmaputra river systems, which discharge an estimated 2300 million tons of material into the Indian Ocean every year. The accumulated material comprises an enormous fan that extends some 4000 km from the Mouths of the Ganges, a delta system which encompasses the entire coast of Bangladesh and a segment of the coast of India. The major tectonic elements of the Bay of Bengal and surrounding areas are: the passive eastern continental margin of India; the 85E Ridge; the Ninetyeast Ridge; the intervening basin buried beneath deep sediment; and the Sunda Arc system with the associated back-arc Andaman Basin. Except for the Nikitin Seamounts which rise above the seabed just south of the Equator, the 85E Ridge is totally covered by thick sediment. The Ninetyeast Ridge, on the other hand, protrudes above the seabed as far north as 10N, where it plunges beneath the thickening sediment and separates the deposits into the Bengal Fan and the smaller Nicobar Fan. The 85E and Ninetyeast Ridges present the most significant relief in the crystalline basement underlying the Bay of Bengal, and should therefore figure substantially in any analysis of sediment thickness pursuant to the delimitation of the outer continental shelf. In this region, the sediment thickness provision of Article 76 has been modified by a Statement of Understanding in Annex II of the Final Act of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea. To avoid a perceived inequity that might arise from the application of the standard one percent sediment thickness formula of Article 76, the Statement introduced a new formula: a qualified State in this region, even if it has a narrow physiographic continental shelf, may establish the outer edge of its continental margin by a line where the thickness of sedimentary rock is not less than one km. This presentation will describe the development of a joint formula line for the States that

  16. New Insight Into The Crustal Structure of The Continental Margin Off NW Sabah/borneo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barckhausen, U.; Franke, D.; Behain, D.; Meyer, H.

    The continental margin offshore NW Sabah/Borneo (Malaysia) has been investigated with reflection and refraction seismics, magnetics, and gravity during the recent cruise BGR01-POPSCOMS. A total of 4000 km of geophysical profiles has been acquired, thereof 2900 km with reflection seismics. Like in major parts of the South China Sea, the area seaward of the Sabah Trough consists of extended continental lithosphere. We found evidence that the continental crust also underlies the continental slope land- ward of the Trough, a fact that raises many questions about the tectonic history and development of this margin. The characteristic pattern of rotated fault blocks and half grabens and the carbon- ates which are observed all over the Dangerous Grounds can be traced a long way landward of the Sabah Trough beneath the sedimentary succession of the upper plate. The magnetic anomalies which are dominated by the magnetic signatures of relatively young volcanic features also continue under the continental slope. The sedimentary rocks of the upper plate, in contrast, seem to generate hardly any magnetic anoma- lies. We suspect that the volcanic activity coincided with the collision of Borneo and the Dangerous Grounds in middle or late Miocene time. The emplacement of an al- lochtonous terrane on top of the extended continental lithosphere could be explained by overthrusting as a result of the collision or it could be related to gravity sliding following a broad uplift of NW Borneo at the same time.

  17. The continental margin is a key source of iron to the HNLC North Pacific Ocean

    SciTech Connect

    Lam, P.J.; Bishop, J.K.B

    2008-01-15

    Here we show that labile particulate iron and manganese concentrations in the upper 500m of the Western Subarctic Pacific, an iron-limited High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) region, have prominent subsurface maxima between 100-200 m, reaching 3 nM and 600 pM, respectively. The subsurface concentration maxima in particulate Fe are characterized by a more reduced oxidation state, suggesting a source from primary volcagenic minerals such as from the Kuril/Kamchatka margin. The systematics of these profiles suggest a consistently strong lateral advection of labile Mn and Fe from redox-mobilized labile sources at the continental shelf supplemented by a more variable source of Fe from the upper continental slope. This subsurface supply of iron from the continental margin is shallow enough to be accessible to the surface through winter upwelling and vertical mixing, and is likely a key source of bioavailable Fe to the HNLC North Pacific.

  18. Paleoproterozoic Cordilleran-style accretion along the south eastern margin of the eastern Dharwar craton: Evidence from the Vinjamuru arc terrane of the Krishna orogen, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Chiranjeeb; Vadlamani, Ravikant; Kaptan, Om Prakash

    2016-10-01

    Accretion along continental or island arcs at cratonic margins was responsible for most Paleoproterozoic crustal growth. For the development of the Krishna orogen, India, at the southeastern margin of the Eastern Dharwar craton (EDC), two contrasting models, one by long-lived accretion between ~ 1.85 Ga and 1.33 Ga terminating in continental collision with the Napier Complex and the other involving continental collision with the Napier Complex at ~ 1.6 Ga have been proposed. Here we report the geology and geochemistry of the granitoid rocks grouping them into the Vinjamuru arc terrane. These comprise biotite ± hornblende high-silica granite which are mostly calc-alkaline, weakly metaluminous to peraluminous with normalized trace and rare earth element plots resembling those derived from arc sources as seen by negative Nb, Ti, Zr anomalies, enriched LREE and moderate Eu anomalies. On (La/Yb)CN vs YbCN and Sr/Y vs Y discrimination diagrams these rocks plot in the field of liquids from mantle-derived melts resembling Cordilleran type granitoids. Petrography, major oxide and trace element concentrations suggest formation in an arc tectonic setting during convergent tectonics at the active continental margin of the EDC with evidence for crustal assimilation. To generate the observed high-silica granite, using selected trace and REE, we modeled 10% aggregate continuous melting of a lower crustal hydrous, high K2O-bearing gabbro yielding a granodiorite magma that underwent fractional crystallization at mid-to lower crust followed by mixing with country rock tonalite and minor assimilation with metasedimentary crustal rocks resulting in the observed heterogeneity in trace elements from the granite. We interpret Paleoproterozoic paleopostions of component Indian cratons leading to their Mesoproterozoic assembly and in that context relate the crustal growth along the southeastern margin of the EDC. In contrast to the existing two models, we propose an alternative

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  20. Wintertime pytoplankton bloom in the Subarctic Pacific supportedby continental margin iron

    SciTech Connect

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Bishop, James K.B.; Henning, Cara C.; Marcus,Matthew A.; Waychunas, Glenn A.; Fung, Inez

    2004-06-08

    Heightened biological activity was observed in February 1996in the high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) subarctic North PacificOcean, a region that is thought to beiron-limited. Here we provideevidence supporting the hypothesis that Ocean Station Papa (OSP) in thesubarctic Pacific received a lateral supply of particulate iron from thecontinental margin off the Aleutian Islands in the winter, coincidentwith the observed biological bloom. Synchrotron X-ray analysis was usedto describe the physical form, chemistry, and depth distributions of ironin size fractionated particulate matter samples. The analysis revealsthat discrete micron-sized iron-rich hotspots are ubiquitous in the upper200m at OSP, more than 900km from the closest coast. The specifics of thechemistry and depth profiles of the Fe hot spots trace them to thecontinental margins. We thus hypothesize that iron hotspots are a markerfor the delivery of iron from the continental margin. We confirm thedelivery of continental margin iron to the open ocean using an oceangeneral circulation model with an iron-like tracer source at thecontinental margin. We suggest that iron from the continental marginstimulated a wintertime phytoplankton bloom, partially relieving the HNLCcondition.

  1. Lithospheric thickness jumps at the S-Atlantic continental margins from satellite gravity data and modelled isostatic anomalies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahraki, Meysam; Schmeling, Harro; Haas, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Isostatic equilibrium is a good approximation for passive continental margins. In these regions, geoid anomalies are proportional to the local dipole moment of density-depth distributions, which can be used to constrain the thickness of lithospheric jumps and corresponding tectonic stress. We analysed satellite derived geoid data and, after filtering, extracted typical averaged profiles across the Western and Eastern passive margins of the South Atlantic. They show geoid jumps of 8.1 m and 7.0 m for the Argentinian and African sides, respectively. Together with topography data and reasonable assumptions about densities these jumps are interpreted as isostatic geoid anomalies and yield best-fitting crustal and lithospheric thicknesses. They reveal a small asymmetry between the African and S-American crusts and lithospheres by a few kilometers. On both sides, the continental lithosphere is about 15 - 30km thicker than the oceanic lithosphere. To keep such geoid jumps stable over O(100Ma) fully dynamic models show that lithospheric viscosities must be of the order of 1e23 Pa s.

  2. Erosion and tectonics at the margins of continental plateaus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masek, Jeffrey G.; Isacks, Bryan L.; Gubbels, Timothy L.; Fielding, Eric J.

    1994-01-01

    We hypothesize that the steep frontal slope and high peaks of the Beni region and Himalayan front largely reflect the high orographic precipitation and high erosion rates occurring in these regions and that the more gentle topography of the semiarid Pilcomayo region reflects a tectonic landform only slightly modified by erosion. We propose that orographic precipitation impinging on a plateau margin will generally tend to drop moisture low on the slope, eroding back the plateau while enhancing or maintaining the steep long-wavelength slope. A numerical model coupling orographic precipitation, erosion, and tectonic uplift demonstrates the plausibility of this hypothesis. The erosional efflux in both the Beni and Nepal Himalaya have been considerable, and simple mass balance calculations for the Himalaya suggest that during the Neogene, the erosional mass efflux has generally outpaced the tectonic mass influx. This contrasts with the apparent prior domination of tectonic influx and may reflect a decrease in the rate of tectonic addition during the same period, and/or increased late Cenozoic erosion rates.

  3. Conditions of formation for carbonaceous silicites of the continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Bazhenova, O.K.

    1986-06-01

    Carbonaceous silicites occur in virtually all systems in Phanerozoic folded regions. They are of practical interest as concentrators of silver, molybdenum, vanadium, and nickel and as source and occasionally reservoir beds for petroleum. Some small oil pools occur in them in basins in Japan (Niigata and Akita), California, and East Sakhalin. Recently, interest has increased because a major pool was discovered in silicites of the Monterey formation: Point Arguello Hueso in the offshore part of the Santa Maria basin. Here the authors consider carbonaceous silicates in the western part of the Pacific active margin, which include Silurian and Devonian phthanites in the Mongolia-Okhotsk belt, and Triassic and Jurassic phthanites in the Sikhote-Alin area, although these rocks are of fairly local occurrence in the section. The authors have examined silicites in Kamchatka, Sakhalin, and Chukotka: diatomites, tuff-diatomites, and opokas, together with their recrystallized analogs. They occur in the Paleogene, but they are most abundant in the Miocene and Pliocene, as well as in the Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Eocene, particularly in the Miocene of California and Japan. 16 references.

  4. Trophic state of sediments from two deep continental margins off Iberia: a biomimetic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Anno, A.; Pusceddu, A.; Corinaldesi, C.; Canals, M.; Heussner, S.; Thomsen, L.; Danovaro, R.

    2012-12-01

    The trophic state of benthic deep-sea ecosystems can greatly influence key ecological processes (e.g. biomass production and nutrient cycling). Thus, assessing the trophic state of the sediment at different spatial and temporal scales is crucial for a better understanding of deep-sea ecosystem functioning. Here, using a biomimetic approach based on enzymatic digestion of protein and carbohydrate pools, we assess the bioavailability of organic detritus and its nutritional value in the uppermost layer of deep-sea sediments from open slopes and canyons of the Catalan (NW Mediterranean) and Portuguese (NE Atlantic) continental margins, offshore east and west Iberia, respectively. Patterns of sediment trophic state were analyzed in relation to increasing water depth, including repeated samplings over a 3 yr period in the Catalan margin. Bioavailable organic matter and its nutritional value were significantly higher in the Portuguese margin than in the Catalan margin, thus reflecting differences in primary productivity of surface waters reported for the two regions. Similarly, sediments of the Catalan margin were characterized by significantly higher food quantity and quality in spring, when higher primary production processes occur in surface waters, than in summer and autumn. In both continental margins, bioavailable organic C concentrations did not vary or increase with increasing water depth. Differences in the benthic trophic state of canyons against open slopes were more evident in the Portuguese than in the Catalan margin. Overall our findings indicate that deep-sea sediments are characterized by relatively high amounts of bioavailable organic matter. We suggest that the interactions between biological-related processes in surface waters and particle transport and deposition dynamics can play a crucial role in shaping the quantity and distribution of bioavailable organic detritus and its nutritional value along deep continental margins.

  5. Trophic state of benthic deep-sea ecosystems from two different continental margins off Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Anno, A.; Pusceddu, A.; Corinaldesi, C.; Canals, M.; Heussner, S.; Thomsen, L.; Danovaro, R.

    2013-05-01

    The bioavailability of organic matter in benthic deep-sea ecosystems, commonly used to define their trophic state, can greatly influence key ecological processes such as biomass production and nutrient cycling. Here, we assess the trophic state of deep-sea sediments from open slopes and canyons of the Catalan (NW Mediterranean) and Portuguese (NE Atlantic) continental margins, offshore east and west Iberia, respectively, by using a biomimetic approach based on enzymatic digestion of protein and carbohydrate pools. Patterns of sediment trophic state were analyzed in relation to increasing water depth, including repeated samplings over a 3 yr period in the Catalan margin. Two out of the three sampling periods occurred a few months after dense shelf water cascading events. The benthic deep-sea ecosystems investigated in this study were characterized by high amounts of bioavailable organic matter when compared to other deep-sea sediments. Bioavailable organic matter and its nutritional value were significantly higher in the Portuguese margin than in the Catalan margin, thus reflecting differences in primary productivity of surface waters reported for the two regions. Similarly, sediments of the Catalan margin were characterized by significantly higher food quantity and quality in spring, when the phytoplankton bloom occurs in surface waters, than in summer and autumn. Differences in the benthic trophic state of canyons against open slopes were more evident in the Portuguese than in the Catalan margin. In both continental margins, bioavailable organic C concentrations did not vary or increase with increasing water depth. Overall, our findings suggest that the intensity of primary production processes along with the lateral transfer of organic particles, even amplified by episodic events, can have a role in controlling the quantity and distribution of bioavailable organic detritus and its nutritional value along these continental margin ecosystems.

  6. Cenozoic prograding sequences of the Antarctic continental margin: a record of glacio-eustatic and tectonic events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooper, A. K.; Barrett, P.J.; Hinz, K.; Traube, V.; Letichenkov, G.; Stagg, H.M.J.

    1991-01-01

    Sedimentary sections up to 6-14 km thick lie beneath many areas of the Antarctic continental margin. The upper parts of the sections contain up to 6 km of Cenozoic glacial and possibly non-glacial sequences that have prograded the continental shelf up to 85 km. We describe the Cenozoic sequences using two general categories based on their acoustic geometries. Type IA sequences, which account for most prograding of the Antarctic continental shelf, have complex sigmoidal geometries and some acoustic characteristics atypical of low-latitude margins, such as troughs and mounds lying parallel and normal to the shelf edge and high velocities (2.0-2.6 km/s) for flat layers within 150 m of the seafloor. Type IIA sequences, which principally aggrade the paleoshelf, lie beneath type IA sequences and have mostly simple geometries and gently dipping reflections. The prograding sequences are commonly located near the seaward edges of major Mesozoic and older margin structures. Relatively rapid Cenozoic subsidence has occured due to the probable rifting in the Ross Sea, thermal subsidence in the Antarctic Peninsula, and isostatic crustal flexure in Wilkes Land. In Prydz Bay and the Weddell Sea, prograding sequences cover Mesozoic basins that have undergone little apparent Cenozoic tectonism. Grounded ice sheets are viewed by us, and others, as the principal mechanism for depositing the Antarctic prograding sequences. During the initial advance of grounded ice the continental shelf is flexurally overdeepened, the inner shelf is heavily eroded, and gently dipping glacial strata are deposited on the shelf (i.e type IIA sequences). The overdeepened shelf profile is preserved (a) during glacial times, by grounded ice sheets episodically crossing the shelf, eroding sediments from onshore and inner shelf areas, and depositing sediments at the front of the ice sheet as outer shelf topset-banks and continental slope foreset-aprons (i.e. type IA sequences), and (b) during interglacial

  7. Evolution of continental slope gullies on the northern california margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spinelli, G.A.; Field, M.E.

    2001-01-01

    A series of subparallel, downslope-trending gullies on the northern California continental slope is revealed on high-resolution seismic reflection profiles imaging the uppermost 50 m of sediment. The gullies are typically 100 m wide and have 1 to 3 m of relief. They extend for 10 to 15 km down the slope and merge into larger channels that feed the Trinity Canyon. In the lower half of the 50 m stratigraphic section, the gullies increase in both relief and number up section, to maxima at a surface 5 to 10 m below the last glacial maximum lowstand surface. Gully relief increased as interfluves aggraded more rapidly than thalwegs. Erosion is not evident in the gully bottoms, therefore gully growth was probably due to reduced sediment deposition within the gullies relative to that on interfluves. As the gullies increased in relief, their heads extended upslope toward the shelfbreak. At all times, a minimum of 10 km of non-gullied upper slope and shelf stretched between the heads of the gullies and the paleo-shoreline; the gullies did not connect with a subaerial drainage network at any time. Gully growth occurred when the gully heads were in relatively shallow water (??? 200 m paleo-water depth) and were closest to potential sediment sources. We suggest that prior to the last glacial maximum, the Mad River, then within 10 km of the gully heads, supplied sediment to the upper slope, which fed downslope-eroding sediment flows. These flows removed sediment from nearly parallel gullies at a rate slightly slower than sediment accumulation from the Eel River, 40 km to the south. The process or processes responsible for gully growth and maintenance prior to the last glacial maximum effectively ceased following the lowstand, when sea level rose and gully heads lay in deeper water (??? 300 m water depth), farther from potential sediment sources. During sea-level highstand, the Mad River is separated from the gully heads by a shelf 30 km wide and no longer feeds sediment flows

  8. The Case for a Thermal Origin of Magmatism on the North Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, R.

    2008-12-01

    The cause of the magmatism on 'volcanic' continental margins is still disputed, specifically as to whether it is due to increased mantle temperatures. New normal incidence and wide-angle seismic profiles across the Faroe and Hatton Bank volcanic margins in the NE Atlantic enable us to constrain the seismic velocities and volumes of both the extruded and intruded melt. Near the Faroe Islands, for every 1 km along strike, 360-- 400 cubic kilometers of basalt was extruded, while 540--600 cubic kilometers was intruded into the continent- ocean transition (COT). Lower-crustal intrusions are focused mainly into a narrow zone about 50 km wide on the COT, whereas extruded basalts flow more than 100 km from the rift. Deep-penetration seismic profiles show that melt is intruded into the lower crust as sills which cross-cut the continental fabric, rather than as 'underplate' of 100 per cent melt as has previously often been assumed. This means that measured lower-crustal velocities represent a mixture of continental crust and new igneous rock. Tomographic inversion of wide-angle traveltimes from 85 ocean bottom seismometers constrain average lower-crustal seismic velocities as 6.9-7.3 km/s under the COT, intermediate between the velocities of the continental crust and fully igneous oceanic crust on either side. By comparison with theoretical curves of igneous thickness versus seismic velocity (H- Vp), our observations are consistent with the dominant control on the melt production being elevated mantle temperatures, with no requirement for either significant active small-scale mantle convection under the rift or of the presence of fertile mantle at the time of continental breakup as suggested for the North Atlantic by other authors. The mantle temperature anomaly was c. 130-150°C above normal at the time of continental breakup, decreasing steadily by about 75°C over the first 10 Ma of seafloor spreading. Comparison with the conjugate Greenland margins reveal a similar

  9. Anthropogenic impacts on continental margins: New frontiers and engagement arena for global sustainability research and action

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, K. K.; Glavovic, B.; Limburg, K.; Emeis, K. C.; Thomas, H.; Kremer, H.; Avril, B.; Zhang, J.; Mulholland, M. R.; Glaser, M.; Swaney, D. P.

    2014-12-01

    There is an urgent need to design and implement transformative governance strategies that safeguard Earth's life-support systems essential for long-term human well-being. From a series of meetings of the Continental Margins Working Group co-sponsored by IMBER and LOICZ of IGBP, we conclude that the greatest urgency exists at the ocean-land interface - the continental margins or the Margin - which extends from coastlands over continental shelves and slopes bordering the deep ocean. The Margin is enduring quadruple squeeze from (i) Population growth and rising demands for resources; (ii) Ecosystem degradation and loss; (iii) Rising CO2, climate change and alteration of marine biogeochemistry and ecosystems; and (iv) Rapid and irreversible changes in social-ecological systems. Some areas of the Margin that are subject to the greatest pressures (e.g. the Arctic) are also those for which knowledge of fundamental processes remains most limited. Aside from improving our basic understanding of the nature and variability of the Margin, priority issues include: (i) investment reform to prevent lethal but profitable activities; (ii) risk reduction; and (iii) jurisdiction, equity and fiscal responsibility. However, governance deficits or mismatches are particularly pronounced at the ocean-edge of the Margin and the prevailing Law of the Sea is incapable of resolving these challenges. The "gold rush" of accelerating demands for space and resources, and variability in how this domain is regulated, move the Margin to the forefront of global sustainability research and action. We outline a research strategy in 3 engagement arenas: (a) knowledge and understanding of dynamic Margin processes; (b) development, innovation and risk at the Margin; and (c) governance for sustainability on the Margin. The goals are (1) to better understand Margin social-ecological systems, including their physical and biogeochemical components; (2) to develop practical guidance for sustainable development

  10. Accretion, subduction, and underplating along the southern Alaska continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Plafker, G.; Ambos, E.L.; Fuis, G.S.; Mooney, W.D.; Nokleberg, W.J.; Campbell, D.L.

    1985-01-01

    In 1984-1985 the Trans Alaska Crustal Transect (TACT) program completed geologic, seismic refraction, gravity, and magnetic studies along a 350-km-long corridor that extends northward from the Gulf of Alaska coast near Cordova to the Denali fault at the Richardson Highway. From south to north, this segment of the transect traverses: 1) part of the Prince William terrance (PWT), composed of an accreted Paleocene and Eocene deep-sea fan complex, oceanic volcanic rocks, and pelagic sediments; 2) the Chugach terrane (CGT) composed of a) accreted Late Cretaceous flysch and oceanic basaltic rocks, b) accreted and subducted (.) Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous sheared melange, and c) subducted Early (.) Jurassic or older blueschist/greenschist; and 3) Wrangellia-Peninsular terranes (WRT/PET) consisting primarily of late Paleozoic intraoceanic andesitic arc rocks with associated mafic and ultramafic plutonic rocks, an overlying distinctive Triassic sedimentary and volcanic sequence, and superposed intrusive and extrusive magmatic rocks of the Jurassic Talkeetna arc. At the southern margin of both the CGT and WRT/PET, shallow high-velocity zones characterized by positive gravity and magnetic anomalies reflect uplift of mafic and ultramafic basement along these thrusts. The Contact and Border Ranges fault systems appear to merge into a subhorizontal low-velocity zone of uncertain origin that underlies the CGT and southern WRT/PET at 5-9 km depth. A few kilometers beneath the shallow low-velocity zone in a 30-km-thick stack of eight northward-dipping layers of alternating high and low velocity, interpreted as subducted and underplated mantle and oceanic crust rocks. Distribution of earthquake hypocenters suggests that active subduction involves at least the lowest two and possibly the lower four layers.

  11. Thermal history and evolution of the South Atlantic passive continental margin in northern Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menges, Daniel; Karl, Markus; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton

    2013-04-01

    From Permo-Carboniferous to Mid Jurassic northern Namibia was affected by deep erosion of the Damara Orogen, Permo-Triassic collisional processes along the southern margin of Gondwana and eastern margin of Africa (Coward and Daly 1984, Daly et al. 1991), and the deposition of the Nama Group sediments and the Karoo megasequence. The lithostratigraphic units consist of Proterozoic and Cambrian metamorphosed rocks with ages of 534 (7) Ma to 481 (25) Ma (Miller 1983, Haack 1983), as well as Mesozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks. The Early Jurassic Karoo flood basalt lavas erupted rapidly at 183 (1) Ma (Duncan et al. 1997). The Early Cretaceous Paraná-Etendeka flood basalts (132 (1) Ma) and mafic dike swarms mark the rift stage of the opening of the South Atlantic (Renne et al. 1992, Milner et al. 1995, Stewart et al. 1996, Turner et al. 1996). The "passive" continental margin in northern Namibia is a perfect location to quantify exhumation and uplift rates, model the long-term landscape evolution and provide information on the influence of mantle processes on a longer time scale. The poster will provide first information on the long-term landscape evolution and thermochronological data. References Coward, M. P. and Daly, M. C., 1984. Crustal lineaments and shear zones in Africa: Their relationships to plate movements, Precambrian Research 24: 27-45. Duncan, R., Hooper, P., Rehacek, J., March, J. and Duncan, A. (1997). The timing and duration of the Karoo igneous event, southern Gondwana, Journal of Geophysical Research 102: 18127-18138. Haack, U., 1983. Reconstruction of the cooling history of the Damara Orogen by correlation of radiometric ages with geography and altitude, in H. Martin and F. W. Eder (eds), Intracontinental fold belts, Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 837-884. Miller, R. M., 1983. Evolution of the Damara Orogen, Vol. 11, Geological Society, South Africa Spec. Pub.. Milner, S. C., le Roex, A. P. and O'Connor, J. M., 1995. Age of Mesozoic igneous rocks in

  12. Palaeoceanographic significance of sedimentary features at the Argentine continental margin revealed by multichannel seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruetzner, Jens; Uenzelmann-Neben, Gabriele; Franke, Dieter

    2010-05-01

    The thermohaline circulation in the Argentine Basin today is characterized by the interaction of northward flowing Antarctic water masses (Antarctic Intermediate Water, AAIW; Circumpolar Deep Water, CDW; Antarctic Bottom Water, AABW) and southward flowing North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). The transfer of heat and energy via both AABW and NADW constitutes an important component in maintaining the global conveyor belt. We aim at a better understanding of both paths and intensity of this current system in the past by investigating an extensive (> 11000 km) set of high quality seismic reflection profiles from the Argentine continental margin. The profiles show a significant contourite system containing both erosive and depositional features that formed through the evolution of water masses and their modifications (path, physical and chemical properties) due to plate tectonic events such as the opening of the Drake Passage or the extensive emplacement of volcanic flows at the Rio Grande Rise. Overall the depositional features indicate that along slope (contour current) transport dominates over down slope (turbiditic) processes at the southern Argentine margin south of 45° S. Further to the North down slope transport was more extensive as indicated by the presence of submarine canyons crossing the slope down to a depth of ~3500 m. Here we present preliminary results from the southern part of the continental margin (42°-50° S) where we focus on a set of ~50 km wide terraces on the slope and rise separated by contouritic channels. The terraces developed over time in alternating constructional (depositional) and erosive phases. An initial age frame was developed by mapping regional reflectors and seismic units known from previous studies. The sedimentary layer between regional reflectors AR 4 and AR 5 spanning roughly the time interval from the Eocene/Oligocene boundary to the early middle Miocene is thin (0.1 - 0.4 s TWT) below the Valentine Feilberg Terrace but

  13. Structure of continental margin off Mid-Atlantic states (Baltimore Canyon Trough)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlee, John Stevens; Behrendt, John Charles; Mattick, Robert E.; Taylor, P.T.

    1975-01-01

    Increasing interest in the Atlantic continental margin as a future petroleum province has resulted in several recent papers (Emmerich, 1974; Burk and Drake, 1974) that attempt to summarize the structure and stratigraphic framework of this area. Most papers tend to portray the margin as a wedge of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediment that thins at the edge of the shelf over a "basement ridge" and then thickens again under the continental rise. Off the northeastern United States, the sediment wedge under the shelf attains a thickness of 8-11 km in the Georges Bank basin (Schultz and Glover, 1974; Mattick and others, 1974; Sheridan, 1974b; Behrendt and others, 1974) and 12 km in thickness in the Baltimore Canyon trough off the middle Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey (fig. 1). Seaward of the continental shelf and its sediment prism, Emery and Uchupi (1972, figs. 133-135) infer slump deposits (eroded in some areas) covering a buried ridge thought to extend from the Laurentian Channel to Cape Hatteras, where it splits in two. The lower slope and continental rise are inferred by Drake and later investigators to be a thick prism of deep sea sediment (turbidites, hemipelagic clays, slump deposits) overlying oceanic basement in a welt that parallels the continental edge and reaches a maximum thickness of 6 km (Emery and Uchupi, 1972, fig. 188).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.

    1985-01-01

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

  15. Paleoceanographic model of neogene phosphorite deposition, u.s. Atlantic continental margin.

    PubMed

    Riggs, S R

    1984-01-13

    The Neogene stratigraphic section of the southeastern U.S. continental shelf-coastal plain system is characterized by (i) a series of major regional phosphogenic episodes; (ii) a strong spatial relationship between the structural or topographic framework and phosphate deposition; and (iii) distinct cyclical and regional patterns of deposition of the terrigenous, carbonate, and phosphate lithofacies. The complex depositional patterns are explained by a paleoceanographic model based upon the interaction of glacial eustatic sea-level fluctuations, associated changes in climate, and the dynamics of the Gulf Stream in response to the bathymetric configurations of the continental margin during the past 20 million years.

  16. Arctic and Antarctic submarine gullies—A comparison of high latitude continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gales, J. A.; Forwick, M.; Laberg, J. S.; Vorren, T. O.; Larter, R. D.; Graham, A. G. C.; Baeten, N. J.; Amundsen, H. B.

    2013-11-01

    Submarine gullies are common features of high latitude continental slopes and, over the last decade, have been shown to play a key role in continental margin evolution, submarine erosion, downslope sediment transport, slope deposits, and the architecture of petroleum reservoirs. However, the processes that form these gullies, the timescales over which they develop, and the environmental controls influencing their morphology remain poorly constrained. We present the first systematic and comparative analysis between Arctic and Antarctic gullies with the aim of identifying differences in slope character, from which we infer differences in processes operating in these environments. Quantitative analysis of multibeam echosounder data along 2441 km of the continental shelf and upper slope and morphometric signatures of over 1450 gullies show that six geomorphically distinct gully types exist on high latitude continental margins. We identify distinct differences between Arctic and Antarctic gully morphologies. In the Arctic data sets, deep relief (> 30 m gully incision depth at 50 m below the shelf edge) and shelf-incising gullies are lacking. These differences have implications for the timescales over which the gullies were formed and for the magnitude of the flows that formed them. We consider two hypotheses for these differences: (1) some Antarctic gullies developed through several glacial cycles; and (2) larger Antarctic gullies were formed since the Last Glacial Maximum as a result of erosive flows (i.e., sediment-laden subglacial meltwater) being more abundant on parts of the Antarctic margin over longer timescales. A second difference is that unique gully signatures are observed on Arctic and on Antarctic margins. Environmental controls, such as the oceanographic regime and geotechnical differences, may lead to particular styles of gully erosion observed on Arctic and Antarctic margins.

  17. Supercritical Submarine Channel Morphodynamics from Integrated Investigation of the Western North American Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covault, J. A.; Fildani, A.; Hubbard, S. M.; Hughes Clarke, J. E.; Kostic, S.; Paull, C. K.; Sylvester, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Submarine channels are conduits through which turbidity currents and related mass movements transport sediment into the deep sea, thereby playing important roles in the development of continental margins and biogeochemical cycles. To gain a better understanding of submarine channel morphodynamic evolution we explore a variety of channel systems from the western North American continental margin with varying sinuosity and levee geometry, terraces, channel cut-offs, and sediment waves in incipient channels, along thalwegs of well-developed channels, and on levees. Repeat bathymetric surveys of submarine channels in fjords of British Columbia and the Monterey canyon underscore the transience of fine-scale detail in channelized geomorphology, and multi-phase bed reworking, local deposition, and bypass of turbidity currents. Numerical modeling is combined with interpretations of channel geomorphology and strata in the Monterey and San Mateo canyon-channel systems to demonstrate that some of the sediment waves are likely to be cyclic steps. Submarine cyclic steps are long-wave, upstream-migrating bedforms in which each bedform in the series is bounded by a hydraulic jump in an overriding turbidity current, which is Froude-supercritical over the lee side of the bedform and Froude-subcritical over the stoss side. Submarine turbidity currents are susceptible to supercritical flow because of the reduced gravitational acceleration of dilute suspensions. Higher submarine slopes common to the North American continental margin also promote supercritical flow, which might not be as common across lower slopes of large passive margins such as the Amazon, Indus, and Bengal submarine fans. We posit that cyclic steps are a common morphodynamic expression in many continental margins. Continued integration of high-resolution data, such as repeat geophysical surveys, acoustic doppler current profiler measurements, and turbidite outcrops, which provide insights into the longer

  18. Ophiolites and Continental Margins of the Mesozoic Western U.S. Cordillera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dilek, Y.

    2001-12-01

    The Mesozoic tectonic history of the western U.S. Cordillera records evidence for multiple episodes of accretionary and collisional orogenic events and orogen-parallel strike-slip faulting. Paleozoic-Jurassic volcanic arc complexes and subduction zone assemblages extending from Mexico to Canada represent an East-Pacific magmatic arc system and an accretionary-type orogen evolved along the North American continental margin. Discontinuous exposures of Paleozoic upper mantle rocks and ophiolitic units structurally beneath this magmatic arc system are remnants of the Panthalassan oceanic lithosphere, which was consumed beneath the North American continent. Pieces of this subducted Panthalassan oceanic lithosphere that underwent high-P metamorphism are locally exposed in the Sierra Nevada foothills (e.g. Feather River Peridotite) indicating that they were subsequently (during the Jurassic) educted in an oblique convergent zone along the continental margin. This west-facing continental margin arc evolved in a broad graben system during much of the Jurassic as a result of extension in the upper plate, keeping pace with slab rollback of the east-dipping subduction zone. Lower to Middle Jurassic volcanoplutonic complexes underlain by an Upper Paleozoic-Lower Mesozoic polygenetic ophiolitic basement currently extend from Baja California-western Mexico through the Sierra-Klamath terranes to Stikinia-Intermontane Superterranes in Canada and represent an archipelago of an east-facing ensimatic arc terrane that developed west and outboard of the North American continental margin arc. The Smartville, Great Valley, and Coast Range ophiolites (S-GV-CR) in northern California are part of this ensimatic terrane and represent the island arc, arc basement, and back-arc tectonic settings, respectively. The oceanic Josephine-Rogue-Chetco-Rattlesnake-Hayfork tectonostratigraphic units in the Klamath Mountains constitute a west-facing island arc system in this ensimatic terrane as a

  19. Tectonics of the West Iberia continental margin from seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henning, Alison Teagan

    Continental rifting is a fundamental component of the plate tectonic cycle. The West Iberia passive margin is a classic example of a nonvolcanic rifted margin. The West Iberia margin contains an enigmatic north-south ridge of serpentinized peridotite located within the ocean-continent transition. Interpretation of multichannel seismic data and tectonic subsidence analyses suggests that the ridge is located within a broad zone of exhumed mantle that has been serpentinized. This implies that seafloor spreading does not immediately follow continental breakup. Where the peridotite ridge is well-developed, it parallels a deeply-penetrating, west-dipping normal fault. Hydrodynamic circulation drove seawater down this fault close to the beginning of seafloor spreading and caused a concentration of serpentinization at its base. This water-driven process of formation accounts for the variability of the ridge along strike. Prestack depth migration of a 340 km long seismic reflection profile across the margin served as the basis for stratigraphic interpretation. The proximal margin displays horsts and grabens, with 1--2 km thick synrift deposits from Early Cretaceous (Valanginian) rifting. The deep water margin displays rotated blocks with distinct internal seismic patterns. These blocks formed during the final Cretaceous rifting event that led to continental breakup, and contain earlier Valanginian synrift deposits as part of the rotated blocks, thus providing evidence of two separate rifting stages along this profile. A large mantle-penetrating fault located seaward of the last rotated block of continental crust provides evidence for a third and final Cretaceous rifting event that may have been coeval with early seafloor spreading. Two independent estimates of crustal thickness along this line indicate stretching factors of 50% on the proximal margin (corresponding to a continental crustal thickness of ˜16 km), increasing to 100% in the deep water. Plate tectonics is one

  20. Paleogeography and evolution of the Ordovician/Silurian (Whiterockian-Llandoverian) continental margin in central Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Britt, L.W. )

    1991-02-01

    In central Nevada, stratigraphic successions of Whiterockian-Llandoverian lithofacies, transitional with autochthonous platform/shelf carbonates to the east, occur in isolated windows in outer slope to basinal lithotopes of the Roberts Mountains allochthon. Petrologic, chronostratigraphic and lithostratigraphic, and paleontologic comparison of those successions with platform/shelf facies to the east is integral for reconstruction of Ordovician-Silurian platform margin paleogeography and pre-Antler genesis of the western North American continental margin. Numerous facies changes and/or stratigraphic omissions in central Nevada can be related to sea level fluctuation and aggradation/progradation of the carbonate platform to the east, and not to a postulated, offshore geanticline (i.e., the Toiyabe Ridge). Stratigraphic omission of the Eureka Quartzite above Pogonip equivalents in transitional successions of the Toquima Range and the presence of correlative quartzite in outer slope/basinal parautochthonous facies of the Toiyabe Range suggest development of a possible bypass-margin during the Middle Ordovician. Deposition of Late Ordovician platform margin dolostones (Ely Springs Dolostone) and upper ramp limestones (Hanson Creek Formation and Martin Ridge strata) followed Late Ordovician transgression that drowned the margin and reestablished the carbonate factory. Glacioeustatic drawdown of Late Ordovician-earliest Silurian seas due to the Gondwanan glacial fluctuation can be recognized in strata along the platform margin and upper ramp. Rapid, Early Silurian transgression produced dark-gray carbonates and may have induced marginal flexure and regional, massive slope failure in central Nevada, generating stratigraphic hiatuses west of the platform margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. How widely is the Andean type of continental margin represented in the Archean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kevin

    1988-01-01

    Application of the principle of uniformitarianism to the Archean was discussed in a search for evidence of Archean-type continental margins in Archean rocks. The author cautioned that Archean rocks represent only 2 percent of the current exposure of the continents, half of which is in the North American Superior Province. Care must be taken in interpreting the global tectonic significance of relatively small exposures of Archean rocks, such as South India. Andean margins were characterized by their elongate shape, magmatic associations, and isotopic signatures. Although the compositional evidence alone will always be ambiguous, it was suggested that supporting structural evidence may aid in the identification of Archean Andean margins. Andean margin remains have been recognized in the Superior Province of Canada by these criteria, and the author suggested that the Closepet granite of South India may represent another example.

  3. Variations in heat flow across the Goban Spur and Galicia Bank continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louden, K. E.; Sibuet, J.-C.; Foucher, J.-P.

    1991-09-01

    We present the results of 44 new heat flow stations which were taken in 1984 and 1989 in profiles across the Goban Spur and Galicia Bank continental margins (NW Atlantic Ocean). Simple extensional models indicate that the heat flow across both these Early Cretaceous rifted margins should increase from values of 45-50 mW/m2 over oceanic crust to 65-80 mW/m2 on the continents. The rate of this increase should help to constrain the mechanism (simple versus pure shear) by which the upper, more radiogenic continental crust is thinned. Measurements across Goban Spur increase from values of 40-45 mW/m2 over oceanic crust to 50-55 mW/m2 near the continental shelf. They follow the predicted trend for pure-shear rifting, but only if the value of upper crustal radiogenic heating is low (1-2 μW/m3). Otherwise, they would require the upper crust to thin more rapidly than the total crustal thickness, as with a lower plate, simple-shear margin. Measurements across Galicia Bank show a very different pattern, with similar values over oceanic crust but much lower values (30-35 mW/m2) nearer land. This is difficult to reconcile with any simple, single rifting event but is more compatible with an origin as a pure-shear or lower plate rather than upper plate margin. We also note that oceanic values of heat flow require asthenospheric temperatures 100°C lower than normal for both margins. This indicates that the triple junction in existance between these margin segments during the breakup of Iberia, Europe, and North America was not the site of a major mantle plume.

  4. Morphology of late Quaternary submarine landslides along the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twichell, D.C.; Chaytor, J.D.; ten Brink, U.S.; Buczkowski, B.

    2009-01-01

    The nearly complete coverage of the U.S. Atlantic continental slope and rise by multibeam bathymetry and backscatter imagery provides an opportunity to reevaluate the distribution of submarine landslides along the margin and reassess the controls on their formation. Landslides can be divided into two categories based on their source areas: those sourced in submarine canyons and those sourced on the open continental slope and rise. Landslide distribution is in part controlled by the Quaternary history of the margin. They cover 33% of the continental slope and rise of the glacially influenced New England margin, 16% of the sea floor offshore of the fluvially dominated Middle Atlantic margin, and 13% of the sea floor south of Cape Hatteras. The headwall scarps of open-slope sourced landslides occur mostly on the lower slope and upper rise while they occur mostly on the upper slope in the canyon-sourced ones. The deposits from both landslide categories are generally thin (mostly 20-40??m thick) and comprised primarily of Quaternary material, but the volumes of the open-slope sourced landslide deposits can be larger (1-392??km3) than the canyon-sourced ones (1-10??km3). The largest failures are located seaward of shelf-edge deltas along the southern New England margin and near salt domes that breach the sea floor south of Cape Hatteras. The spatial distribution of landslides indicates that earthquakes associated with rebound of the glaciated part of the margin or earthquakes associated with salt domes were probably the primary triggering mechanism although other processes may have pre-conditioned sediments for failure. The largest failures and those that have the potential to generate the largest tsunamis are the open-slope sourced landslides.

  5. Deep crustal structure and continent-ocean boundary along the Galicia continental margin (NW Iberia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druet, María; Muñoz-Martín, Alfonso; Carbó, Andrés; Acosta, Juan; Granja Bruña, José Luis; Llanes, Pilar; Vázquez, Juan-Tomás; Ercilla, Gemma

    2016-04-01

    The Galicia continental margin is a magma-poor rifted margin with an extremely complex structure. Its formation involves several rifting episodes during the Mesozoic in the vicinity of a ridge triple junction, which produces a change in the orientation of the main structures. In addition, there is an overimposed Cenozoic partial tectonic inversion along its northern border. Although this continental margin has been widely studied since the 70's, most studies have focused on its western part in the transition to the Iberia Abyssal Plain, and there is a significant lack of information on the north and northwestern flanks of this margin. This fact, along with its great structural complexity, has resulted in the absence of a previous comprehensive regional geodynamic model integrating all the processes observed. In the present study we integrate a large volume of new geophysical data (gravity, swath bathymetry and 2D multichannel reflection seismic). Data come from the systematic mapping of the Spanish EEZ project which provides a dense grid of gravity data and full seafloor coverage with swath bathymetry, and from the ERGAP project which provides serially-arranged 2D seismic reflection profiles across the NW Iberia margin. The combined interpretation and modelling of this new information has arisen significant constraints on the origin, the deep crustal structure and the physiographic complexity of the margin, as well as on the characterization of the along- and across-strike variation of the ocean-continent transition along NW Iberia margin. The analysis of this information leads us to propose a conceptual model for the initiation of the tectonic inversion of a magma-poor rifted margin. Finally, a framework for the geodynamic evolution of the Galicia margin has been constructed, involving three main stages: A) an early stage from the end of rifting and oceanic drift in the Bay of Biscay (Santonian); B) an intermediate stage with the beginning of tectonic inversion in

  6. The Crustal Structure of the Northern South China Sea continental margin revealed by Multi-Channel Seismic Reflection and Ocean Bottom Seismometer Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hao; Chao Huang, I.; Shine Liu, Char; Chang, Emmy T. Y.

    2015-04-01

    The South China Sea (SCS) is an ideal place to examine the nature of continental rifting, break-up, and the onset of seafloor spreading. Being mostly inactive today, the SCS basin is measured to get spreading in the early Oligocene and to generate a series of syn-rift structures on the margins, therefore, to know the crustal structures of continental margin can help us to understand the evolution of the SCS. In this study, we use multi-channel seismic (MCS) reflection data to reveal the upper crustal structures and ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) data to probe the lower crustal structures. Accompanying the MCS experiments with active sources, 39 OBS stations were deployed along 2 NW-SE trending profiles in the northern SCS. The eastern profile is located southeast of Dongsha atoll, while the western profile extends from the Zhu II depression to the NW sub-basin of SCS. For construction crustal velocity models, we extract shallow velocity structure from the MCS profile data, then we conduct travel-time tomographic inversion on OBS data to derive 2D velocity models. Finally, forward modeling using RAYINVR is subsequently applied to refine the velocity models. Both MCS profiles show that the basement has been offset by normal faults and thick sediments are deposited in the grabens. Many volcanic bodies are observed in the eastern profile, but few appear in the western profile. The OBS velocity model of the eastern profile reveals that the crustal thickness decreases gradually toward the oceanic basin. However the continental crust thins abruptly from continental slope toward the NW sub-basin. A high velocity layer (>7km/s) in the lower crust can be identified in the eastern profile, but not in the western profile. This high velocity layer has been interpreted to be underplating material, however, another possibility is that it might be serpentinized upper mantle, which frequently found in necking zones and COTs zones.

  7. Northwest margin of California continental borderland: marine geology and tectonic evolution.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crouch, J.K.

    1981-01-01

    The NW margin of the California continental border land consists of 2 NW-trending pre-Neogene lithologic belts blanketed by Miocene and younger strata. These represent facies corresponding to the subduction complex and forearc-basin deposits of a late Mesozoic and Paleogene continental-margin arc-trench system. The outer belt, which forms the acoustic basement is characterized by: 1) moderately high compressional velocities; 2) discordant and discontinuous seismic reflectors; and 3) nonfossiliferous and diverse rock types. Landward, the inner Great Valley sequence belt is characterized by: 1) intermediate compressional velocities; 2) concordant and relatively continuous reflectors, and 3) a thick turbidite sequence. Well-developed wrench-fault structures in overlying Miocene strata record a transition from Paleogene subduction to Neogene transform faulting. The timing of volcanism and uplift, and of the younger wrenching event, closely matches the plate-tectonic model of Atwater and Molnar.-from Author

  8. Neogene rotations and quasicontinuous deformation of the Pacific Northwest continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    England, P. ); Wells, R.E. )

    1991-10-01

    Paleomagnetically determined rotations about vertical axes of 15 to 12 Ma flows of the Miocene Columbia River Basalt Group of Oregon and Washington decrease smoothly with distance from the plate margin, consistent with a simple physical model for continental deformation that assumes the lithosphere behaves as a thin layer of fluid. The average rate of northward translation of the continental margin since 15 Ma calculated from the rotations, using this model, is about 15 mm/year, which suggests that much of the tangential motion between the Juan de Fuca and North American plates since middle Miocene time has been taken up by deformation of North America. The fluid-like character of the large-scale deformation implies that the brittle upper crust follows the motions of the deeper parts of the lithosphere.

  9. Surface current patterns suggested by suspended sediment distribution over the outer continental margin, Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karl, Herman A.; Carlson, P.R.

    1987-01-01

    Samples of total suspended matter (TSM) were collected at the surface over the northern outer continental margin of the Bering Sea during the summers of 1980 and 1981. Volume concentrations of surface TSM averaged 0.6 and 1.1 mg l-1 for 1980 and 1981, respectively. Organic matter, largely plankton, made up about 65% of the near-surface TSM for both years. Distributions of TSM suggested that shelf circulation patterns were characterized either by meso- and large- scale eddies or by cross-shelf components of flow superimposed on a general northwesterly net drift. These patterns may be caused by large submarine canyons which dominate the physiography of this part of the Bering Sea continental margin. ?? 1987.

  10. Cenozoic tectonic subsidence in the Southern Continental Margin, South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Penggao; Ding, Weiwei; Fang, Yinxia; Zhao, Zhongxian; Feng, Zhibing

    2016-10-01

    We analyzed two recently acquired multichannel seismic profiles across the Dangerous Grounds and the Reed Bank area in the South China Sea. Reconstruction of the tectonic subsidence shows that the southern continental margin can be divided into three stages with variable subsidence rate. A delay of tectonic subsidence existed in both areas after a break-up, which was likely related to the major mantle convection during seafloor spreading, that was triggered by the secondary mantle convection below the continental margin, in addition to the variation in lithospheric thickness. Meanwhile, the stage with delayed subsidence rate differed along strikes. In the Reed Bank area, this stage is between 32-23.8 Ma, while in the Dangerous Grounds, it was much later (between 19-15.5 Ma). We believe the propagated rifting in the South China Sea dominated the changes of this delayed subsidence rate stage.

  11. The U.S. Atlantic continental margin: the best-known gas hydrate locality: Chapter 13

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dillon, William P.; Max, Michael D.; Max, M.D.

    2003-01-01

    One of the few attempts to date to map gas hydrate over a large area has been made on the Atlantic continental margin of the United States (Dillon et al., 1993, 1994, 1995). This work has resulted in the production of an extensive data base of seismic reflection lines including both single and multichannel lines, and complete GLORIA sidescan sonar coverage. This work was part of the assessment of the U.S. EEZ and was carried out by the U.S. Geological Survey. Earlier efforts were made by Tucholke et al. (1977) and Shipley, et al. (1979). Research along the U.S. SE continental margin of the U.S. is continuing.

  12. SEISMIC AND GEOCHEMICAL EVIDENCE FOR SHALLOW GAS IN SEDIMENT ON NAVARIN CONTINENTAL MARGIN, BERING SEA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carlson, Paul R.; Golan-Bac, Margaret; Karl, Herman A.; Kvenvolden, Keith A.

    1985-01-01

    Marine sesmic studies coupled with geochemical investigations demonstrate tha hydrocarbon gases are ubiquitous in the near-surface sediment of the Navarin continental margin in the northern Bering Sea. Three types of acoustic anomalies appear to be related to the presence of gas in the sediment. These anomalies are most prevalent in the northern half of the Navarin basin. Acoustic anomalies attributed to gas hydrates and to diagenetic boundaries are present on seismic records of the lower slope between Navarinsky and Zhemchug Canyons. Hydrocarbon gases, methane through butanes, are common in the surface sediment of the Navarin continental margin. The source of methane is mainly biogenic, but the hydrocarbon gas compositions in 17 of 141 cores suggest the presence of thermogenic gas. No direct correlation could be found between acoustic anomalies and gas concentrations in the sediment. Refs.

  13. Influence of submarine morphology on bottom water flow across the western Ross Sea continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davey, F.J.; Jacobs, S.S.

    2007-01-01

    Multibeam sonar bathymetry documents a lack of significant channels crossing outer continental shelf and slope of the western Ross Sea. This indicates that movement of bottom water across the shelf break into the deep ocean in this area is mainly by laminar or sheet flow. Subtle, ~20 m deep and up to 1000 m wide channels extend down the continental slope, into tributary drainage patterns on the upper rise, and then major erosional submarine canyons. These down-slope channels may have been formed by episodic pulses of rapid down slope water flow, some recorded on bottom current meters, or by sub-ice melt water erosion from an icesheet grounded at the margin. Narrow, mostly linear furrows on the continental shelf thought to be caused by iceberg scouring are randomly oriented, have widths generally less than 400 m and depths less than 30m, and extend to water depths in excess of 600 m.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, X.; Chan, L. S.

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Permo-Triassic intermediate felsic magmatism of the Truong Son belt, eastern margin of Indochina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoa, Tran Trong; Anh, Tran Tuan; Phuong, Ngo Thi; Dung, Pham Thi; Anh, Tran Viet; Izokh, Andrey E.; Borisenko, Alexander S.; Lan, C. Y.; Chung, S. L.; Lo, C. H.

    2008-02-01

    Permo-Triassic intermediate-felsic magmatism is developed along the Truong Son fold belt, located in the eastern margin of the Indochina Block. It comprises a succession of the active continental margin associations: calc-alkaline volcano-plutonic associations (272-248 Ma), peraluminous granites (259-245 Ma), and subalkaline felsic volcano-plutonic associations (younger than 245 Ma). Detailed study of geochemical characteristics such as trace elements (LILE, REE, HFSE) and isotopes (Sr, Nd, Pb) indicates that they are homogeneous and that they are products of the Palaeotethys subduction process in relation to Indochina (IC)/North Vietnam-South China (NV-SC) amalgamation (S.L. Chung et al., Abstr., GEOSEA 98, Malaysia, 1998, pp. 17-19). The Indosinian characteristics are represented by mantle-crust interaction in magma generation, controlled by their emplacement localities in relation to the Kontum Uplift. The spatial and temporal evolution of Permo-Triassic magmatism allows reconstructing the geodynamic history of the Indosinian orogeny. It confirms that this event ended in Early to Middle Triassic (246-240 Ma, after C. Lepvrier et al., Tectonophysics 393 (2004) 87-118).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Climate modulated erosion and sediment flux control offshore crustal structure at South China Sea continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clift, P. D.; Brune, S.; Quinteros, J.

    2015-12-01

    Rifted continental lithosphere subsides as a consequence of combined crustal thinning and mantle lithosphere cooling yet basins on some continental margins experience anomalous subsidence events that postdate active extension. Deep basins on the northern margin of the South China Sea, notably the Baiyun Sag, show basement subsidence accelerating after ~21 Ma, postdating extension by several million years. Similar subsidence events are seen after 5 Ma in the Song Hong Basin and after 11 Ma in the Qiongdongnan Basin. We combine geophysical observations and numerical forward modeling to show that loading of the offshore basins by increased sediment flux caused by faster onshore erosion following Early Miocene monsoon intensification is a viable trigger for ductile flow after the cessation of active extension. Loading works in conjunction with onshore uplift to drive flow of the lower crust away from the rift axis. As well as sediment supply rates distribution patterns and drainage capture can be significant in controlling crustal flow and thinning. This illustrates that offshore basin dynamics at continental margins with weak crust can be controlled by onshore surface processes in a newly recognized form of climate-tectonic coupling.

  18. Stages in evolution of Paleozoic carbonate platform and basin margin types - western United States passive Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, H.E.; Taylor, M.E.

    1987-05-01

    Late Precambrian rifting along the western edge of North America established a passive continental margin that became the site of 5000 m of platform and basin carbonate sediments over a 150-m.y. interval (Cambrian-Devonian). This megaplatform evolved through several stages: (1) Cambrian-Silurian, distally steepened nonrimmed ramp with base-of-slope fan (Hales Limestone) to homoclinal ramp (Hanson Creek Formation); to (2) Silurian-Devonian, rimmed platform (Lone Mountain Dolomite) having low-angle depositional slopes and slope aprons (Roberts Mountains Formation) and basinal debris sheets (Tor Limestone); to (3) Devonian, rimmed platforms having high-angle bypass slopes, slides, and base-of-slope aprons (McColley Canyon Formation and Devils Gate Limestone). The position of the rifted continental margin controlled the overall trend of the platform-slope break. Postrift subsidence with superimposed eustatic sea level changes allowed the platform to accumulate 5000 m of sediment. The stratigraphic progression from nonrimmed ramps in the Cambrian to rimmed platforms with high-angle bypass slopes in the Devonian was a function of both the gradual steepening of the slope, as the platform margin built up and prograded seaward, and the evolution of reef and bank-building organisms through time. Evolution of adjacent basinal carbonates was strongly influenced by slope declivity and relative sea level changes. As slope declivity increased through time, sedimentary processes on the slope changed from small-scale sediment gravity flows that accreted on the slope (ex: Roberts Mountains Formation slope apron) to large-scale sediment gravity flows that deposited debris in base-of-slope settings (ex: Devils Gate Limestone base-of-slope apron).

  19. Buoyancy and localizing properties of continental mantle lithosphere: Insights from thermomechanical models of the eastern Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watremez, L.; Burov, E.; d'Acremont, E.; Leroy, S.; Huet, B.; Pourhiet, L.; Bellahsen, N.

    2013-08-01

    Physical properties of the mantle lithosphere have a strong influence on the rifting processes and rifted structures. In particular, in context of rifting, two of these properties have been overlooked: (1) Mohr-Coulomb plasticity (localizing pressure dependent) may not be valid at mantle depths as opposed to nonlocalizing pressure-independent plasticity (hereafter, perfect plasticity), and (2) lithosphere buoyancy can vary, depending on the petrological composition of the mantle. Focussing on the Arabian plate, we show that the lithosphere may be negatively buoyant. We use thermomechanical modeling to investigate the importance of mantle rheology and composition on the formation of a passive margin, ocean-continent transition (OCT) and oceanic basin. We compare the results of this parametric study to observations in the eastern Gulf of Aden (heat flow, refraction seismics and topography) and show that (1) mantle lithosphere rheology controls the margin geometry and timing of the rifting; (2) lithosphere buoyancy has a large impact on the seafloor depth and the timing of partial melting; and (3) a perfectly plastic mantle lithosphere 20 kg m-3 denser than the asthenosphere best fits with observed elevation in the Gulf of Aden. Finally, thermomechanical models suggest that partial melting can occur in the mantle during the Arabian crustal breakup. We postulate that the produced melt could then infiltrate through the remnant continental mantle lithosphere, reach the surface and generate oceanic crust. This is in agreement with the observed narrow OCT composed of exhumed continental mantle intruded by volcanic rocks in the eastern Gulf of Aden.

  20. The dynamics of continental breakup-related magmatism on the Norwegian volcanic margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breivik, A. J.; Faleide, J. I.; Mjelde, R.

    2007-12-01

    The Vøring margin off mid-Norway was initiated during the earliest Eocene (~54 Ma), and large volumes of magmatic rocks were emplaced during and after continental breakup. In 2003, an ocean bottom seismometer survey was acquired on the Norwegian margin to constrain continental breakup and early seafloor spreading processes. The profile P-wave model described here crosses the northern part of the Vøring Plateau. Maximum igneous crustal thickness was found to be 18 km, decreasing to ~6.5 km over ~6 M.y. after continental breakup. Both the volume and the duration of excess magmatism after breakup is about twice of what is observed off the Møre Margin south of the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone, which offsets the margin segments by ~170 km. A similar reduction in magmatism occurs to the north over an along-margin distance of ~100 km to the Lofoten margin, but without a margin offset. There is a strong correlation between magma productivity and early plate spreading rate, which are highest just after breakup, falling with time. This is seen both at the Møre and the Vøring margin segments, suggesting a common cause. A model for the breakup- related magmatism should be able to (1) explain this correlation, (2) the magma production peak at breakup, and (3) the magmatic segmentation. Proposed end-member hypotheses are elevated upper-mantle temperatures caused by a hot mantle plume, or edge-driven small-scale convection fluxing mantle rocks through the melt zone. Both the average P-wave velocity and the major-element data at the Vøring margin indicate a low degree of melting consistent with convection. However, small scale convection does not easily explain the issues listed above. An elaboration of the mantle plume model by N. Sleep, in which buoyant plume material fills the rift-topography at the base of the lithosphere, can explain these: When the continents break apart, the buoyant plume-material flows up into the rift zone, causing excess magmatism by both elevated

  1. The dynamics of continental breakup-related magmatism on the Norwegian volcanic margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breivik, A. J.; Faleide, J. I.; Mjelde, R.

    2004-12-01

    The Vøring margin off mid-Norway was initiated during the earliest Eocene (~54 Ma), and large volumes of magmatic rocks were emplaced during and after continental breakup. In 2003, an ocean bottom seismometer survey was acquired on the Norwegian margin to constrain continental breakup and early seafloor spreading processes. The profile P-wave model described here crosses the northern part of the Vøring Plateau. Maximum igneous crustal thickness was found to be 18 km, decreasing to ~6.5 km over ~6 M.y. after continental breakup. Both the volume and the duration of excess magmatism after breakup is about twice of what is observed off the Møre Margin south of the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone, which offsets the margin segments by ~170 km. A similar reduction in magmatism occurs to the north over an along-margin distance of ~100 km to the Lofoten margin, but without a margin offset. There is a strong correlation between magma productivity and early plate spreading rate, which are highest just after breakup, falling with time. This is seen both at the Møre and the Vøring margin segments, suggesting a common cause. A model for the breakup- related magmatism should be able to (1) explain this correlation, (2) the magma production peak at breakup, and (3) the magmatic segmentation. Proposed end-member hypotheses are elevated upper-mantle temperatures caused by a hot mantle plume, or edge-driven small-scale convection fluxing mantle rocks through the melt zone. Both the average P-wave velocity and the major-element data at the Vøring margin indicate a low degree of melting consistent with convection. However, small scale convection does not easily explain the issues listed above. An elaboration of the mantle plume model by N. Sleep, in which buoyant plume material fills the rift-topography at the base of the lithosphere, can explain these: When the continents break apart, the buoyant plume-material flows up into the rift zone, causing excess magmatism by both elevated

  2. Great earthquakes along the Western United States continental margin: implications for hazards, stratigraphy and turbidite lithology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, C. H.; Gutiérrez Pastor, J.; Goldfinger, C.; Escutia, C.

    2012-11-01

    We summarize the importance of great earthquakes (Mw ≳ 8) for hazards, stratigraphy of basin floors, and turbidite lithology along the active tectonic continental margins of the Cascadia subduction zone and the northern San Andreas Transform Fault by utilizing studies of swath bathymetry visual core descriptions, grain size analysis, X-ray radiographs and physical properties. Recurrence times of Holocene turbidites as proxies for earthquakes on the Cascadia and northern California margins are analyzed using two methods: (1) radiometric dating (14C method), and (2) relative dating, using hemipelagic sediment thickness and sedimentation rates (H method). The H method provides (1) the best estimate of minimum recurrence times, which are the most important for seismic hazards risk analysis, and (2) the most complete dataset of recurrence times, which shows a normal distribution pattern for paleoseismic turbidite frequencies. We observe that, on these tectonically active continental margins, during the sea-level highstand of Holocene time, triggering of turbidity currents is controlled dominantly by earthquakes, and paleoseismic turbidites have an average recurrence time of ~550 yr in northern Cascadia Basin and ~200 yr along northern California margin. The minimum recurrence times for great earthquakes are approximately 300 yr for the Cascadia subduction zone and 130 yr for the northern San Andreas Fault, which indicates both fault systems are in (Cascadia) or very close (San Andreas) to the early window for another great earthquake. On active tectonic margins with great earthquakes, the volumes of mass transport deposits (MTDs) are limited on basin floors along the margins. The maximum run-out distances of MTD sheets across abyssal-basin floors along active margins are an order of magnitude less (~100 km) than on passive margins (~1000 km). The great earthquakes along the Cascadia and northern California margins cause seismic strengthening of the sediment, which

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Ice Sheet History from Antarctic Continental Margin Sediments: The ANTOSTRAT Approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barker, P.F.; Barrett, P.J.; Camerlenghi, A.; Cooper, A. K.; Davey, F.J.; Domack, E.W.; Escutia, C.; Kristoffersen, Y.; O'Brien, P.E.

    1998-01-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet is today an important part of the global climate engine, and probably has been so for most of its long existence. However, the details of its history are poorly known, despite the measurement and use, over two decades, of low-latitude proxies of ice sheet volume. An additional way of determining ice sheet history is now available, based on understanding terrigenous sediment transport and deposition under a glacial regime. It requires direct sampling of the prograded wedge of glacial sediments deposited at the Antarctic continental margin (and of derived sediments on the continental rise) at a small number of key sites, and combines the resulting data using numerical models of ice sheet development. The new phase of sampling is embodied mainly in a suite of proposals to the Ocean Drilling Program, generated by separate regional proponent groups co-ordinated through ANTOSTRAT (the Antarctic Offshore Acoustic Stratigraphy initiative). The first set of margin sites has now been drilled as ODP Leg 178 to the Antarctic Peninsula margin, and a first, short season of inshore drilling at Cape Roberts, Ross Sea, has been completed. Leg 178 and Cape Roberts drilling results are described briefly here, together with an outline of key elements of the overall strategy for determining glacial history, and of the potential contributions of drilling other Antarctic margins investigated by ANTOSTRAT. ODP Leg 178 also recovered continuous ultra-high-resolution Holocene biogenic sections at two sites within a protected, glacially-overdeepened basin (Palmer Deep) on the inner continental shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula. These and similar sites from around the Antarctic margin are a valuable resource when linked with ice cores and equivalent sections at lower latitude sites for studies of decadal and millenial-scale climate variation.

  6. Crustal architecture of the eastern margin of Japan Sea: back-arc basin opening and contraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    No, T.; Sato, T.; Takahashi, N.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.; Ishiyama, T.; Sato, H.

    2012-12-01

    Although large earthquakes such as the 1964 Niigata earthquake (M 7.5), 1983 Nihonkai-Chubu earthquake (M 7.8), and 1993 Hokkaido Nansei-Oki earthquake (M 7.8) have caused large amounts of damage to the eastern margin of the Japan Sea, a substantial number of seismic studies have been conducted for the seismogenic zone on the Pacific Ocean side of Japan. In addition, the detail of the source fault model for the eastern margin of the Japan Sea is not well defined for all cases. This highlights the need for further studies to investigate seismic imaging. Therefore, we have collaborated with other Japanese research institutions for a project titled "Priority Investigations of Strain Concentration Areas" (which is funded by Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology, Japan). This project has conducted seismic surveys from 2009 to 2012 using the deep-sea research vessel, Kairei, from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. There is a strain concentration area in the eastern part of the survey area (Okamura et al., 1995). The western part of the survey area includes the Yamato Basin and Japan Basin. It is very important to study the crustal structure in the seismotectonic studies of the eastern margin of the Japan Sea. We conducted a marine seismic survey by using a multichannel seismic (MCS) system and ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) along the eastern margin of the Japan Sea. Seismic data were acquired along 42 lines with a total length of approximately 9,000 km. The following results were obtained from seismic imaging. On the basis of the results of the MCS imaging, active reverse faults and folds were observed in the margin of the Toyama Trough; however, the sedimentary layers in the trough were flat. In the sedimentary layers and crusts of the Sado Ridge, Mogami Trough, and source area of the 1964 Niigata earthquake located north of the Sado Island, greater deformation was observed. The deformation weakened toward the Yamato

  7. Submarine canyon and slope processes of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGregor, B.A.

    1983-01-01

    Two regions on the U.S. Atlantic continental margin were surveyed using single-channel, seismic-reflection profiling techniques: the Mid-Atlantic Continental Slope and Rise seaward of New Jersey in the vicinity of Baltimore Canyon and the Continental Slope and upper Rise just north of Cape Hatteras. Submarine canyons are the dominant morphologic feature in both areas. The Continental Slope in the Baltimore Canyon area has a general sea-floor gradient of 3?-4? and a width of approximately 40 km, whereas the study area north of Cape Hatteras has a general sea-floor gradient of approximately 9? and a width of 20 km. The dominant slope process differs in each area. In the Baltimore Canyon area, subbottom reflectors suggest that sediment deposition with progradation of the slope is related to canyon processes. In the study area north of Cape Hatteras, the canyons appear erosional and mass wasting is the dominant erosional process. Dominant slope processes appear to be correlated with the width and sea-floor gradient of the Continental Slope. Although the absolute age of the canyons is difficult to determine without rotary-drill cores for stratigraphic control, Baltimore Canyon is suggested to be older than the shelf-indenting canyon just north of Cape Hatteras. An anomalously large ridge flanking Baltimore Canyon on the upper rise appears to be related to canyon depositional and erosional processes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-06

    When continents break apart, continental crust and lithosphere are thinned until break-up is achieved and an oceanic basin is formed. The most remarkable and least understood structures associated with this process are up to 200 km wide areas of hyper-extended continental crust, which are partitioned between conjugate margins with pronounced asymmetry. Here we show, using high-resolution thermo-mechanical modelling, that hyper-extended crust and margin asymmetry are produced by steady state rift migration. We demonstrate that rift migration is accomplished by sequential, oceanward-younging, upper crustal faults, and is balanced through lower crustal flow. Constraining our model with a new South Atlantic plate reconstruction, we demonstrate that larger extension velocities may account for southward increasing width and asymmetry of these conjugate magma-poor margins. Our model challenges conventional ideas of rifted margin evolution, as it implies that during rift migration large amounts of material are transferred from one side of the rift zone to the other.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    When continents break apart, continental crust and lithosphere are thinned until break-up is achieved and an oceanic basin is formed. The most remarkable and least understood structures associated with this process are up to 200 km wide areas of hyper-extended continental crust, which are partitioned between conjugate margins with pronounced asymmetry. Here we show, using high-resolution thermo-mechanical modelling, that hyper-extended crust and margin asymmetry are produced by steady state rift migration. We demonstrate that rift migration is accomplished by sequential, oceanward-younging, upper crustal faults, and is balanced through lower crustal flow. Constraining our model with a new South Atlantic plate reconstruction, we demonstrate that larger extension velocities may account for southward increasing width and asymmetry of these conjugate magma-poor margins. Our model challenges conventional ideas of rifted margin evolution, as it implies that during rift migration large amounts of material are transferred from one side of the rift zone to the other. PMID:24905463

  10. Determining OCT structure and COB Location of the Omani Gulf of Aden Continental Margin from Gravity Inversion, Residual Depth Anomaly and Subsidence Analysis.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick; Leroy, Sylvie; Manatshal, Gianreto

    2013-04-01

    Knowledge and understanding of the ocean-continent transition (OCT) structure and continent-ocean boundary (COB) location, the distribution of thinned continental crust and lithosphere, its distal extent and the start of unequivocal oceanic crust are of critical importance in evaluating rifted continental margin formation and evolution. In order to determine the OCT structure and COB location for the eastern Gulf of Aden, along the Oman margin, we use a combination of gravity inversion, subsidence analysis and residual depth anomaly (RDA) analysis. Gravity inversion has been used to determine Moho depth, crustal basement thickness and continental lithosphere thinning; subsidence analysis has been used to determine the distribution of continental lithosphere thinning; and RDAs have been used to investigate the OCT bathymetric anomalies with respect to expected oceanic bathymetries at rifted margins. The gravity inversion method, which is carried out in the 3D spectral domain, incorporates a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly and includes a correction for volcanic addition due to decompression melting. Reference Moho depths used in the gravity inversion have been calibrated against seismic refraction Moho depths. RDAs have been calculated by comparing observed and age predicted oceanic bathymetries, using the thermal plate model predictions from Crosby and McKenzie (2009). RDAs have been computed along profiles and have been corrected for sediment loading using flexural back-stripping and decompaction. In addition, gravity inversion crustal basement thicknesses together with Airy isostasy have been used to predict a synthetic RDA. The RDA results show a change in RDA signature and may be used to estimate the distal extent of thinned continental crust and where oceanic crust begins. Continental lithosphere thinning has been determined using flexural back-stripping and subsidence analysis assuming the classical rift model of McKenzie (1978) with a correction for

  11. Formation of Australian continental margin highlands driven by plate-mantle interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, R. Dietmar; Flament, Nicolas; Matthews, Kara J.; Williams, Simon E.; Gurnis, Michael

    2016-05-01

    Passive margin highlands occur on most continents on Earth and play a critical role in the cycle of weathering, erosion, and atmospheric circulation. Yet, in contrast to the well-developed understanding of collisional mountain belts, such as the Alps and Himalayas, the origin of less elevated (1-2 km) passive margin highlands is still unknown. The eastern Australian highlands are a prime example of these plateaus, but compared to others they have a well-documented episodic uplift history spanning 120 million years. We use a series of mantle convection models to show that the time-dependent interaction of plate motion with mantle downwellings and upwellings accounts for the broad pattern of margin uplift phases. Initial dynamic uplift of 400-600 m from 120-80 Ma was driven by the eastward motion of eastern Australia's margin away from the sinking eastern Gondwana slab, followed by tectonic quiescence to about 60 Ma in the south (Snowy Mountains). Renewed uplift of ∼700 m in the Snowy Mountains is propelled by the gradual motion of the margin over the edge of the large Pacific mantle upwelling. In contrast the northernmost portion of the highlands records continuous uplift from 120 Ma to present-day totalling about 800 m. The northern highlands experienced a continuous history of dynamic uplift, first due to the end of subduction to the east of Australia, then due to moving over a large passive mantle upwelling. In contrast, the southern highlands started interacting with the edge of the large Pacific mantle upwelling ∼ 40- 50 million years later, resulting in a two-phase uplift history. Our results are in agreement with published uplift models derived from river profiles and the Cretaceous sediment influx into the Ceduna sub-basin offshore southeast Australia, reflecting the fundamental link between dynamic uplift, fluvial erosion and depositional pulses in basins distal to passive margin highlands.

  12. Scheme of 3 interfaces with local isostatic compensation on the Argentine continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedraza De Marchi, A. C.; Ghidella, M. E.; Tocho, C.

    2013-05-01

    The segment of Argentine continental margin located between 39°S and the Malvinas platform (~49°S) is of passive type and volcanic characteristics revealed by seaward-dipping seismic reflectors sequences (SDRs). The free air gravity edge-effect associated with passive continental margins is one of the most distinctive characteristics of gravity in marine regions. This effect is in large part due to the transition between continental and oceanic crusts, because of their different thicknesses. In this presentation we investigate the Airy type isostatic compensation scheme by using three interfaces in a forward calculation with different approximations of Parker's expression to obtain the isostatic anomaly. After that we perform the inversion of the anomaly thus obtained in order to find the Moho's deflection necessary to compensate it (or minimize it) by using the same scheme of interfaces and the iterative Parker-Oldenburg method (Oldenburg, D., 1974) with more terms in the inversion. The crust-mantle interface (Moho) thus calculated represents a more realistic surface than the one calculated using one term in the inversion and the surface estimated with topographic data and sediment thickness. Even considering that the experiment constitutes a schematic assumption just to test the numerical methods involved, we find that in the comparison with the only available digitized refraction profile, the inverted Moho interface reproduces fairly well the Moho that the seismic profile yields, for the case of the iterative method. This suggests that the inverse calculation with the iterative method is sensible to the presence of the SDRS, at least for this sole profile. Keywords: isostatic anomaly, Moho, passive continental margins Oldenburg, D., 1974. The inversion and interpretation of gravity anomalíes, Geophysics, vol. 39, no. 4, p. 526-536.

  13. Quantitative woody cover reconstructions from eastern continental Asia of the last 22 kyr reveal strong regional peculiarities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Fang; Cao, Xianyong; Dallmeyer, Anne; Ni, Jian; Zhao, Yan; Wang, Yongbo; Herzschuh, Ulrike

    2016-04-01

    We present a calibration-set based on modern pollen and satellite-based Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) observations of woody cover (including needleleaved, broadleaved and total tree cover) in eastern continental Asia, which shows good performance under cross-validation with the modern analogue technique (all the coefficients of determination between observed and predicted values are greater than 0.65). The calibration-set is used to reconstruct woody cover from a taxonomically harmonized and temporally standardized fossil pollen dataset (including 274 cores) with 500-year resolution over the last 22 kyr. The spatial range of forest has not noticeably changed in eastern continental Asia during the last 22 kyr, although woody cover has, especially at the margin of the eastern Tibetan Plateau and in the forest-steppe transition area of north-central China. Vegetation was sparse during the LGM in the present forested regions, but woody cover increased markedly at the beginning of the Bølling/Allerød period (B/A; ca. 14.5 ka BP) and again at the beginning of the Holocene (ca. 11.5 ka BP), and is related to the enhanced strength of the East Asian Summer Monsoon. Forest flourished in the mid-Holocene (ca. 8 ka BP) possibly due to favourable climatic conditions. In contrast, cover was stable in southern China (high cover) and arid central Asia (very low cover) throughout the investigated period. Forest cover increased in the north-eastern part of China during the Holocene. Comparisons of these regional pollen-based results with simulated forest cover from runs of a global climate model (for 9, 6 and 0 ka BP (ECHAM5/JSBACH ∼1.125° spatial resolution)) reveal many similarities in temporal change. The Holocene woody cover history of eastern continental Asia is different from that of other regions, likely controlled by different climatic variables, i.e. moisture in eastern continental Asia; temperature in northern Eurasia and North America.

  14. Evolution of the Red Sea Continental Margin from Integrated Analyses of Gravity, Magnetic, and Receiver Function Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, C. A.; Mohamed, A. A.; Gao, S. S.; Mickus, K. L.; Liu, K. H.; Yu, Y.; Elsheikh, A. A.

    2014-12-01

    The development of evolutionary models and constraints for the extensional mechanisms which govern continental rifting is of fundamental significance toward understanding the breakup of continents and the role of volcanism in achieving successful rifting. To analyze the transitional nature of the Red Sea rift (RSR) passive margins and to quantify the mechanism through which extension has been accommodated, we examined a total of 3531 high-quality radial receiver functions from multiple temporary deployments in Saudi Arabia and the Levant as well as data recently acquired by the Egyptian National Seismic Network. Egypt is characterized by a relatively constant crustal thickness of approximately 37 km, while the southern Arabian Shield is roughly 35 km on average. The crust beneath the Eastern Desert of Egypt is significantly thinned with an average thickness of about 26 km. Observations of Vp/Vs across the Arabian-Nubian Shield indicate highly similar intermediate to mafic compositions, supporting well-accepted theories for juvenile arc accretion of relatively uniform makeup. Thinned crust as far as 130 km inland on the Egyptian margin indicates a highly asymmetric crustal structure across the Red Sea, supporting a model invoking simple shear extensional mechanisms. Joint modeling using satellite gravity and magnetic data with RF Moho depth constraints reveals the presence of high-density high-magnetic susceptibility mafic complexes which we interpret as volcanic margins in the northern RSR at ~25.5°N and the southern RSR at ~19.5°N. We believe the development of the northern RSR margin is accompanied by isolated volcanism associated with slow spreading rates since the Oligocene.

  15. Quantifying Continental Margin Deformation North and South of the Opening of the Gulf of California—Evidence for Subduction Erosion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterman, E. M.; Grove, M.; Kimbrough, D. L.

    2010-12-01

    A striking contrast exists in the geology of the continental margin north and south of the opening of the Gulf of California. For 1200km north of the Gulf opening, a reasonably well-preserved forearc region is associated with strongly magnetic 130-100 Ma plutonic rocks, volcanics and ophiolitic basement. This package of rocks is also coupled with a weakly magnetic eastern belt of 100-90 Ma tonalite and trondhjemite. In contrast, the southern continental margin bound by the Acapulco Trench lacks both a forearc basin and the 130-100 Ma plutonic belt. Instead, Late Cretaceous and Early to Middle Cenozoic granitoids crop out both along the coast and in the offshore region east of the Acapulco Trench, extending 1300 km south to 16°N. The geologic contrast between the northern and southern segments has been attributed to Cenozoic subduction erosion of the latter. The transition region between these two regimes occurs ~50 km northwest of the Gulf opening at 23°N along the Pacific coast of Baja California. North of Todos Santos, Late Cretaceous and younger strata depositionally overlie the western margin of the 130-100 Ma plutonic belt. The plutonic rocks are well-expressed in aeromagnetic images, even where buried. South of Todos Santos, 100-90 m.y. granitoids crop out along the coast and underlie the offshore Todos Santos basin; the strongly magnetic basement and undeformed forearc rocks are absent. Near Todos Santos, 94 Ma orthogneiss intercalated with upper amphibolite facies (garnet ± andalusite) Late Triassic(?) wallrocks are structurally juxtaposed above epidote amphibolite calc-schist of the mid-Cretaceous accretionary complex, suggesting significant forearc deformation. Previous 40Ar/39Ar data gathered south of Todos Santos reveal 5-10 m.y. of discordance between hornblende and biotite in the 100-90 m.y. granitoids. The age discordance could be related to either transient heating from 83-68 Ma granitoids located to the east or subduction erosion deformation

  16. Dating and Recognition of Major Glaciations Events - Evidence from Unglaciated Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierantoni Gamboa, Luiz Antonio; Scarparo, Armando; Severiano de Vasconcelos, Claudemir; Trindade Rodrigues de Freitas, João.

    2010-05-01

    Dating the multiple glacial episodes on Antarctic interior basins and margins can be very difficult as erosional events can be profound, and useful fossils for dating are missing in most of the depositional sequences. However, some episodes can be recognized in certain basins located along the paths of the currents generated or intensified by major climatic changes, as observed in southern Brazilian continental margin. At least two major pulses indicative of intense transport of sediments can be recognized in southern Brazilian continental margin sequences during the Oligo-Miocene. Interlayed in finer sediments, a widespread occurrence of sand waves and submarine dunes of Late-Miocene age has been mapped. This coarse grained stratigraphic interval was identified using 3D seismic surveys and dated using the muddy intervals above and below, sampled in several exploratory wells. The flow along the slope was towards the north. Another interval affected by intense bottom currents was identified in Oligocene-age rocks. An erosive event occurred along the entire Brazilian margin, just after the deposition of anomalous Braarudosphaera-chalks (Braarudosphaera-rich layers that record recurrent specific coccolithophorid blooms) at 28.5 Ma. Palaeoceanographic evidence suggests that both events were triggered by glacial events in Antarctica. An intensification of bottom currents marked by a major regional unconformity eroded at about 28.5 Ma and intense reworking at the Late Miocene can be correlated with major glacial events recorded in the Antarctic continental sequences. Detailed studies using available seismic and drilled material could recognize events of smaller magnitude.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. Changes in plate motion and vertical movements along passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Japsen, P.; Cobbold, P. R.; Chalmers, J. A.; Green, P. F.; Bonow, J. M.

    2012-04-01

    The origin of the forces that produce elevated, passive continental margins (EPCMs) has been a hot topic in geoscience for many years. Studies of individual margins have led to models, which explain high elevations by invoking specific conditions for each margin in question. We have studied the uplift history of several margins and have found some striking coincidences between episodes of uplift and changes in plate motion. In the Campanian, Eocene and Miocene, pronounced events of uplift and erosion affected not only SE Brazil (Cobbold et al., 2001), but also NE Brazil and SW Africa (Japsen et al., 2012a). The uplift phases in Brazil also coincided with three main phases of Andean orogeny (Cobbold et al., 2001, 2007). These phases, Peruvian (90-75 Ma), Incaic (50-40 Ma), and Quechuan (25-0 Ma), were also periods of relatively rapid convergence at the Andean margin of South America (Pardo-Casas and Molnar, 1987). Because Campanian uplift in Brazil coincides, not only with rapid convergence at the Andean margin of South America, but also with a decline in Atlantic spreading rate, we suggest that all these uplift events have a common cause, which is lateral resistance to plate motion (Japsen et al., 2012a). Because the uplift phases in South America and Africa are common to the margins of two diverging plates, we also suggest that the driving forces can transmit across the spreading axis, probably at great depth, e.g. in the asthenosphere (Japsen et al., 2012a). Similarly, a phase of uplift and erosion at the Eocene-Oligocene transition (c. 35 Ma), which affected margins around the North Atlantic, correlates with a major plate reorganization there (Japsen et al., 2012b). Passive continental margins clearly formed as a result of extension. Despite this, the World Stress Map shows that, where data exist, all EPCMs are today under compression. We maintain that folds, reverse faults, reactivated normal faults and strike-slip faults that are typical of EPCMs are a result

  19. Ocean Drilling Program Leg 178 (Antarctic Peninsula): Sedimentology of glacially influenced continental margin topsets and foresets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eyles, N.; Daniels, J.; Osterman, L.E.; Januszczak, N.

    2001-01-01

    Ocean Drilling Program Leg 178 (February-April 1998) drilled two sites (Sites 1097 and 1103) on the outer Antarctic Peninsula Pacific continental shelf. Recovered strata are no older than late Miocene or early Pliocene (<4.6 Ma). Recovery at shallow depths in loosely consolidated and iceberg-turbated bouldery sediment was poor but improved with increasing depth and consolidation to allow description of lithofacies and biofacies and interpretation of depositional environment. Site 1097 lies on the outer shelf within Marguerite Trough which is a major outlet for ice expanding seaward from the Antarctic Peninsula and reached a maximum depth drilled of 436.6 m below the sea floor (mbsf). Seismic stratigraphic data show flat-lying upper strata resting on strata that dip gently seaward. Uppermost strata, to a depth of 150 mbsf, were poorly recovered, but data suggest they consist of diamictites containing reworked and abraded marine microfauna. This interval is interpreted as having been deposited largely as till produced by subglacial cannibalization of marine sediments (deformation till) recording ice sheet expansion across the shelf. Underlying gently dipping strata show massive, stratified and graded diamictite facies with common bioturbation and slump stuctures that are interbedded with laminated and massive mudstones with dropstones. The succession contains a well-preserved in situ marine microfauna typical of open marine and proglacial marine environments. The lower gently dipping succession at Site 1097 is interpreted as a complex of sediment gravity flows formed of poorly sorted glacial debris. Site 1103 was drilled in that part of the continental margin that shows uppermost flat-lying continental shelf topsets overlying steeper dipping slope foresets seaward of a structural mid-shelf high. Drilling reached a depth of 363 mbsf with good recovery in steeply dipping continental slope foreset strata. Foreset strata are dominated by massive and chaotically

  20. Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti in the continental United States: a vector at the cool margin of its geographic range.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Moore, Chester G

    2013-05-01

    After more than a half century without recognized local dengue outbreaks in the continental United States, there were recent outbreaks of autochthonous dengue in the southern parts of Texas (2004-2005) and Florida (2009-2011). This dengue reemergence has provoked interest in the extent of the future threat posed by the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.), the primary vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses in urban settings, to human health in the continental United States. Ae. aegypti is an intriguing example of a vector species that not only occurs in the southernmost portions of the eastern United States today but also is incriminated as the likely primary vector in historical outbreaks of yellow fever as far north as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, from the 1690s to the 1820s. For vector species with geographic ranges limited, in part, by low temperature and cool range margins occurring in the southern part of the continental United States, as is currently the case for Ae. aegypti, it is tempting to speculate that climate warming may result in a northward range expansion (similar to that seen for Ixodes tick vectors of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes in Scandinavia and southern Canada in recent decades). Although there is no doubt that climate conditions directly impact many aspects of the life history of Ae. aegypti, this mosquito also is closely linked to the human environment and directly influenced by the availability of water-holding containers for oviposition and larval development. Competition with other container-inhabiting mosquito species, particularly Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse), also may impact the presence and local abundance of Ae. aegypti. Field-based studies that focus solely on the impact of weather or climate factors on the presence and abundance of Ae. aegypti, including assessments of the potential impact of climate warming on the mosquito's future range and abundance, do not consider the potential confounding

  1. Evidence of multiple stretching and episodic subsidence of a passive continental margin: Indian examples

    SciTech Connect

    Agrawal, A. )

    1990-05-01

    The western continental margin of India, south of the Narmada lineament underwent two major phases of stretching and rapid tectonic subsidence, as seen in more than 30 deep offshore wells. The initial phase of unloaded basement subsidence took place in the Paleocene, and was probably related to K/T rifting of India along this margin. At this time, the continental crust underwent some stretching leading to the formation of several north-south-trending depressions, namely the Vijayadurg, Surat-Panna, the Kori-Comorin, and on-land Cambay graben, which provided a site for the rapid accumulation of hydrocarbon source rocks in the depressions. The second phase of rapid basement subsidence along this margin occurred in the Early Miocene Further stretching of the already blockfaulted crust caused the complete development of the westernmost Kori-Comorin depression but the effect was less significant on the main shelf. The possibility of a heating event associated with the stretching, inducing maturation of hydrocarbons in the area, is under investigation. Similar early Miocene tectonic subsidence also is seen along the peripheries of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. This phase of tectonic movements was probably related to the locking of the Owen fracture zone, the 20-Ma plate reorganization in the Indian Ocean and the renewed uplift of the Himalayas.

  2. Basement Tectonics 8: Characterization and comparison of ancient and mesozoic continental margins. Proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    Bartholomew, M.J.; Hyndman, D.W.; Mogk, D.W.; Mason, R.

    1988-12-31

    The International Conference on Basement Tectonics was held in Butte, Montana, August 8--12,1988. Historically, basement tectonics conferences have focused on such topics as reactivation of faults, the influence of basement faults on metallogeny and hydrocarbon accumulation, and the use of geophysical and remote sensing techniques to interpret subsurface and surface geology. The 8th Conference diverged from past conferences in that a unifying theme was selected. Because ancient major terrane or cratonic boundaries are often postulated to be fault zones which are subsequently reactivated, the conference was organized to examine all aspects of ancient continental margins and terrane boundaries and to compare younger (Mesozoic) ones, about which more is known, with older (Paleozoic and Precambrian) ones. Moreover, because the 8th Conference was held in the northwestern United States, a greater emphasis was placed on the Mesozoic margin of western North America and the North American shield. The seven oral sessions and four poster sessions all dealt with aspects of the conference theme: characterization and comparison of ancient continental margins. The papers will be indexed individually.

  3. Basement Tectonics 8: Characterization and comparison of ancient and mesozoic continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Bartholomew, M.J. . Inst. of Earth Sciences and Resources); Hyndman, D.W. . Dept. of Geology); Mogk, D.W. . Dept. of Earth Sciences); Mason, R. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1988-01-01

    The International Conference on Basement Tectonics was held in Butte, Montana, August 8--12,1988. Historically, basement tectonics conferences have focused on such topics as reactivation of faults, the influence of basement faults on metallogeny and hydrocarbon accumulation, and the use of geophysical and remote sensing techniques to interpret subsurface and surface geology. The 8th Conference diverged from past conferences in that a unifying theme was selected. Because ancient major terrane or cratonic boundaries are often postulated to be fault zones which are subsequently reactivated, the conference was organized to examine all aspects of ancient continental margins and terrane boundaries and to compare younger (Mesozoic) ones, about which more is known, with older (Paleozoic and Precambrian) ones. Moreover, because the 8th Conference was held in the northwestern United States, a greater emphasis was placed on the Mesozoic margin of western North America and the North American shield. The seven oral sessions and four poster sessions all dealt with aspects of the conference theme: characterization and comparison of ancient continental margins. The papers will be indexed individually.

  4. Sources, sinks and long-term cycling of iodine in the hyperarid Atacama continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvarez, Fernanda; Reich, Martin; Pérez-Fodich, Alida; Snyder, Glen; Muramatsu, Yasuyuki; Vargas, Gabriel; Fehn, Udo

    2015-07-01

    The Atacama region in northern Chile hosts the driest desert on Earth and is the world's premier iodine production province. The origin of iodine enrichment in Atacama is controversial and fundamentally different processes have been invoked over the years that involve marine, eolian and more recently deep sedimentary fluid and groundwater sources. As a result of the very limited geochemical iodine data in Atacama and the western South American margin, the origin of iodine enrichment in this region still remains elusive. In this study, we present a comprehensive survey of iodine concentrations and isotopic ratios (129I/I) of different reservoirs in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, including nitrate soils, supergene copper deposits, marine sedimentary rocks, geothermal fluids, groundwater and meteoric water. Nitrate soils along the eastern slope of the Coastal Cordillera are found to have mean iodine concentrations of at least three orders of magnitude higher than the mean crustal abundances of ∼0.12 ppm, with a mean concentration of ∼700 ppm. Soils above giant copper deposits in the Central Depression are also highly enriched in iodine (100's of ppm range), and Cu-iodide and iodate minerals occur in the supergene enrichment zones of some of these deposits. Further east in the Precordillera, Jurassic sedimentary shales and limestones show above-background iodine concentrations, the latter averaging ∼50 ppm in the southern portion of the study area. The highest iodine concentrations in fluids were measured in groundwater below nitrate soils in the Coastal Range (∼3.5-10 ppm) and in geothermal waters (1-3 ppm) along the volcanic arc. Although highly variable, the iodine isotopic ratios (129I/I) of Jurassic marine sedimentary rocks (∼300-600 × 10-15), nitrate soils (∼150-1500 × 10-15) and waters (∼215 × 10-15) are consistently low (<1500 × 10-15), indicating that recent anthropogenic additions are almost negligible in most surficial and deeper

  5. Continental Margins and the Law of the Sea - an `Arranged Marriage' with Huge Research Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parson, L.

    2005-12-01

    The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) requires coastal states intending to secure sovereignty over continental shelf territory extending beyond 200 nautical miles to submit geological/geophysical data, along with their analysis and synthesis of the relevant continental margin in support of their claim. These submissions are scrutinised and assessed by a UN Commission of experts who decide if the claim is justified, and thereby ultimately allowing the exploitation of non-living resources into this extended maritime space. The amount of data required to support the case will vary from margin to margin, depending on the local geological evolution, but typically will involve the running of new, dedicated marine surveys, mostly bathymetric and seismic. Key geological/geophysical issues revolve around proof of `naturalness' of the prolongation of land mass (cue - wide-angle seismics, deep drilling and sampling programmes) and shelf and slope morphology and sediment section thickness (cue - swath bathymetry and multichannel seismics programmes). These surveys, probably primarily funded by government agencies anxious not to lose out on the `land grab', will generate datasets which will inevitably boost not only the research effort leading to increased understanding of margin evolution in academic terms, but also contribute to wider applied aspects of the work such as those leading to refinement of deepwater hydrocarbon resource potential. It is conservatively estimated that in the region of fifty coastal states world-wide have a significant potential for claiming continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, and that the total area available as extended shelf could easily exceed 7 million square kilometres. However, while for the vast majority of these states a UNCLOS deadline of 2009 exists for submitting a claim - to date only four have done so (Russia, Brazil, Australia and Ireland). It is therefore predictable, if not inevitable, that within the

  6. The three scales of submarine groundwater flow and discharge across passive continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bratton, J.F.

    2010-01-01

    Increased study of submarine groundwater systems in recent years has provided a wealth of new data and techniques, but some ambiguity has been introduced by insufficient distinguishing of the relevant spatial scales of the phenomena studied. Submarine groundwater flow and discharge on passive continental margins can be most productively studied and discussed by distinct consideration of the following three spatial scales: (1) the nearshore scale, spanning approximately 0-10 m offshore and including the unconfined surficial aquifer; (2) the embayment scale, spanning approximately 10 m to as much as 10 km offshore and including the first confined submarine aquifer and its terminus; and (3) the shelf scale, spanning the width and thickness of the aquifers of the entire continental shelf, from the base of the first confined aquifer downward to the basement, and including influences of geothermal convection and glacioeustatic change in sea level. ?? 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

  7. Tertiary evolution and petroleum potential of Oregon-Washington continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Snavely, P.D. Jr.

    1986-07-01

    The Oregon-Washington continental margin was the site of a deep marginal basin in which more than 7000 m of Tertiary sedimentary and volcanic rocks accumulated. Oceanic basalts of Paleocene to early Eocene age form the basin floor and are interpreted to represent eruptions in an elongate trough formed by rifting of the continental margin. Middle Eocene turbidite sandstone overlapped both the oceanic crust and the pre-Tertiary rocks of the Klamath Mountains, thus indicating that suturing of the Coast Range-Olympic terrane to North America was about 50 Ma. Oblique convergence between the Farallon and North American plates occurred during most of the middle Eocene to middle Miocene. Sedimentation, punctuated by episodes of volcanism, was essentially continuous in a forearc basin whose axis lay along the present inner continental shelf. The oblique interaction between the plates was interrupted by two periods of more head-on convergence during the middle late Eocene and late middle Miocene. Thick accretionary melange wedges of Eocene and of late Oligocene to late middle Miocene ages were formed during these strongly compressive episodes. Geochemical analyses indicate that the accretionary melange wedges, which crop out along the west side of the Olympic Peninsula and beneath the adjacent shelf, have the highest potential for oil and gas generation. They are the source rocks for numerous gas seeps and oil and gas shows in exploratory wells, and for the 12,000 bbl of 38.9 /sup 0/ API paraffin-based oil produced from a well drilled on the southwest Washington coast. Potential exploration targets exist where the Eocene and Oligocene-Miocene melanges are underplated to a position beneath the lower Eocene oceanic basalt. Hydrocarbons generated in the melanges could migrate upward into structures in strata that overlie the basalt in the upper plate.

  8. Molybdenum isotope signatures from the Yangtze block continental margin and its indication to organic burial rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, L.; Zhou, H. B.; Huang, J. H.

    2007-12-01

    The paper presents the molybdenum isotope data, along with the trace element content, to investigate the geochemical behavior of authigenic Mo during long-term burial in sediments in continental margin settings of the Yangtze block, as well as their indication to the burial of original organic carbon. The burial rate of original organic carbon were estimated on the basis of the amount of sedimentary sulfur (TS content), whilst the carbon loss by aerobic degradation was estimated according to calculated Mn contents. On these points, the original organic carbon flux was calculated, exhibiting a large range of variation (2.54-15.82 mmol/m2/day). The strong correlation between sedimentary Mo isotope values and organic carbon burial rates previously proposed on the basis of the investigations on modern ocean sediments was also used here to estimate the organic carbon burial rate. The data gained through this model showed that organic carbon burial rates have large variations, ranging from 0.43- 2.87mmol/m2/day. Although the two sets of data gained through different geochemical records in the Yangtze block show a deviation of one order of magnitude, they do display a strong correlation. It is thus tempting to speculate that the Mo isotope signature of sediments may serve as a tracer for the accumulation rate of original organic carbon in the continental margin sediments. Keywords: Molybdenum isotopes; organic carbon burial rate; ancient continental margin setting ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank Professor Xie Shucheng for his constructive review comments. This research is co-supported by the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (grants IRT0441), the SinoPec project (grant no. G0800-06-ZS-319) and the National Nature Science Foundation of China (grants 40673020).

  9. The benthic manganese cycle along the Oregon-California continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McManus, J.; Berelson, W.; Severmann, S.; Roy, M.; Chase, Z.; Muratli, J. M.; Hastings, R. H.; Goni, M. A.; Mix, A. C.

    2010-12-01

    High rates of sedimentary organic carbon degradation within continental margin sediments combined with abundant supply of reactive Mn-oxides from continental weathering result in a sedimentary environment where Mn is readily solubilized through microbial or abiotic Mn-oxide reduction. Here we examine the consequences of the interplay among the delivery of terrigenous material, high organic carbon oxidation rates, and Mn reduction within the sediments along the Oregon-California continental margin. In areas of high terrigenous sediment discharge, the benthic Mn efflux is enhanced over typical continental margin rates—even at sites with comparable organic carbon oxidation rates. Our preliminary flux estimates suggest that the highest benthic Mn effluxes may exceed ~50 µmol m-2 day-1 off the Eel River; prior work and our new results show that open margin (i.e., non-shelf) environments typically have Mn efflux rates < 10 µmol m-2 day-1. A survey of surface sediments from the Umpqua River discharge area supports the notion that shallow (~ < 100 m) shelf sediments may be a net source of Mn to the water column. These sediments, which are bathed intermittently by hypoxic waters, have Mn to Al ratios as low as ~ 2 x 10-3 g g-1; for comparison, Umpqua river sediments have Mn to Al values of ~6 - 7 x 10-3 g g-1 for the 20 - 63 micron size fraction (VanLaningham, 2007). Mn to Al ratios of ~ 8 - 11 x 10-3 g g-1 (implying possible Mn enrichment relative to river sediments) occur between ~125 and 150 m water depth. Ratios decrease again at greater depths to values of ~7 x 10-3 g g-1, close to that of river sediment. Collectively our data support the idea of an efflux of Mn from shelf sediments. Although the benthic incubation chamber data all indicate a Mn efflux from the sediments, the sedimentary Mn distributions indicate the possibility of re-deposition at depths of ~125 - 150 m. Further work will need to evaluate diagenetic processes and provenance effects on the sediment

  10. The present day formation of apatite in Mexican continental margin sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jahnke, Richard A.; Emerson, Steven R.; Roe, Kevin K.; Burnett, William C.

    1983-02-01

    Results of pore water and sediment analyses from the western Mexican continental margin strongly suggest the present day formation of apatite. The interstitial water phosphate and fluoride profiles indicate chemical removal at a depth which corresponds to a large maximum in the phosphorus content of the sediments. Apatite is identified within this maximum via X-ray diffraction but is elsewhere undetectable in the core. Radioisotopic thorium, uranium, and radium data support the conclusion that this deposit is modern. The present day depositional environment is consistent with those reported by other workers for phosphorite formation with the exception that pore water magnesium is not depleted below its seawater value.

  11. Observations of intermediate nepheloid layers on the northern California continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPhee-Shaw, E. E.; Sternberg, R. W.; Mullenbach, B.; Ogston, A. S.

    2004-04-01

    Conductivity-temperature-depth and transmissometer surveys were undertaken to investigate the characteristics and seasonal nature of intermediate nepheloid layers (INLs) over the outer shelf and upper slope of the northern California margin, near Eureka, CA. Observed INLs could generally be grouped into one of two categories: INLs that formed and spread seaward from the continental shelf, and INLs generated at continental slope depths greater than 150 m. Shelf INLs, forming between 70 and 150-m depth on the outer shelf and extending seaward 15-20 km past the shelf break, were prevalent during winter and early spring. Continental slope INLs were found during all seasons of the year. Their suspended particulate matter concentration was lower than that of the shelf INLs, and their horizontal extent was 3-7 km seaward from the slope. Mooring data from 450-m depth show strong bottom-trapped semidiurnal internal tidal energy and asymmetry between upslope and downslope semidiurnal motions, indicative of bore-like behavior. These analyses suggest that critical reflection of internal tides is a common feature of the outer continental slope in this region. The location of slope-depth INLs was often observed to coincide with regions where the topographic slope angle was critical for internal tide reflection. In addition, seasonal variability in the span of critical topography over the slope matches seasonal variability in the density of observed INLs over the continental slope. Slope-depth INLs appear to be associated with energetic tidal motions and interaction between internal tides and bathymetry, whereas shelf-depth INLs are likely formed by resuspension events on the outer shelf and subsequent transport offshore by mesoscale circulation processes.

  12. Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2010 eastern margin of the Australia plate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benz, Harley M.; Herman, Matthew; Tarr, Arthur C.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Dart, Richard L.; Rhea, Susan

    2011-01-01

    The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most seismically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3,000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand. Since 1900, there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

  13. The gravity field of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grow, A.J.; Bowin, C.O.; Hutchinson, D.O.

    1979-01-01

    Approximately 39,000 km of marine gravity data collected during 1975 and 1976 have been integrated with U.S. Navy and other available data over the U.S. Atlantic continental margin between Florida and Maine to obtain a 10 mgal contour free-air gravity anomaly map. A maximum typically ranging from 0 to +70 mgal occurs along the edge of the shelf and Blake Plateau, while a minimum typically ranging from -20 to -80 mgal occurs along the base of the continental slope, except for a -140 mgal minimum at the base of the Blake Escarpment. Although the maximum and minimum free-air gravity values are strongly influenced by continental slope topography and by the abrupt change in crustal thickness across the margin, the peaks and troughs in the anomalies terminate abruptly at discrete transverse zones along the margin. These zones appear to mark major NW-SE fractures in the subsided continental margin and adjacent deep ocean basin, which separate the margin into a series of segmented basins and platforms. Rapid differential subsidence of crustal blocks on either side of these fractures during the early stages after separation of North America and Africa (Jurassic and Early Cretaceous) is inferred to be the cause of most of the gravity transitions along the length of margin. The major transverse zones are southeast of Charleston, east of Cape Hatteras, near Norfolk Canyon, off Delaware Bay, just south of Hudson Canyon and south of Cape Cod. Local Airy isostatic anomaly profiles (two-dimensional, without sediment corrections) were computed along eight multichannel seismic profiles. The isostatic anomaly values over major basins beneath the shelf and rise are generally between -10 and -30 mgal while those over the platform areas are typically 0 to +20 mgal. While a few isostatic anomaly profiles show local 10-20 mgal increases seaward of the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly (ECMA: inferred to mark the ocean-continent boundary), the lack of a consistent correlation indicates that the

  14. Structure and petroleum potential of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Icy Bay, northern Gulf of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bruns, T.R.

    1982-01-01

    Major structural features of the Yakutat segment, the segment of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Icy Bay, northern Gulf of Alaska, are delineated by multichannel seismic reflection data. A large structural high is centered on Fairweather Ground and lies generally at the edge of the shelf from Cross Sound to west of the Alsek Valley. A basement uplift, the Dangerous River zone, along which the seismic acoustic basement shallows by up to two kilometers, extends north from the western edge of Fairweather Ground towards the mouth of the Dangerous River. The Dangerous River zone separates the Yakutat segment into two distinct subbasins. The eastern subbasin has a maximum sediment thickness of about 4 km, and the axis of the basin is near and parallel to the coast. Strata in this basin are largely of late Cenozoic age (Neogene and Quaternary) and approximately correlate with the onshore Yakataga Formation. The western subbasin has a maximum of at least 9 km of sediment, comprised of a thick (greater than 4.5 km) Paleogene section overlain by late Cenozoic strata. The Paleogene section is truncated along the Dangerous River zone by a combination of erosion, faulting, and onlap onto the acoustic basement. Within the western subbasin, the late Cenozoic basin axis is near and parallel to the coast, but the Paleogene basin axis appears to trend in a northwest direction diagonally across the shelf. Sedimentary strata throughout the Yakutat shelf show regional subsidence and only minor deformation except in the vicinity of the Fairweather Ground structural high, near and along the Dangerous River zone, and at the shoreline near Lituya Bay. Seismic data across the continental slope and adjacent deep ocean show truncation at the continental slope of Paleogene strata, the presence of a thick (to 6 km) undeformed or mildly deformed abyssal sedimentary section at the base of the slope that in part onlaps the slope, and a relatively narrow zone along the slope or at

  15. Variability of subseafloor viral abundance at the geographically and geologically distinct continental margins.

    PubMed

    Yanagawa, Katsunori; Morono, Yuki; Yoshida-Takashima, Yukari; Eitoku, Masamitsu; Sunamura, Michinari; Inagaki, Fumio; Imachi, Hiroyuki; Takai, Ken; Nunoura, Takuro

    2014-04-01

    We studied the relationship between viral particle and microbial cell abundances in marine subsurface sediments from three geographically distinct locations in the continental margins (offshore of the Shimokita Peninsula of Japan, the Cascadia Margin off Oregon, and the Gulf of Mexico) and found depth variations in viral abundances among these sites. Viruses in sediments obtained offshore of the Shimokita and in the Cascadia Margin generally decreased with increasing depth, whereas those in sediments from the Gulf of Mexico were relatively constant throughout the investigated depths. In addition, the abundance ratios of viruses to microbial cells notably varied among the sites, ranging between 10(-3) and 10(1) . The subseafloor viral abundance offshore of the Shimokita showed a positive relationship with the microbial cell abundance and the sediment porosity. In contrast, no statistically significant relationship was observed in the Cascadia Margin and the Gulf of Mexico sites, presumably due to the long-term preservation of viruses from enzymatic degradation within the low-porosity sediments. Our observations indicate that viral abundance in the marine subsurface sedimentary environment is regulated not only by in situ production but also by the balance of preservation and decay, which is associated with the regional sedimentation processes in the geological settings.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhnt, W.; Obert, D.

    1988-08-01

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

  17. Preliminary digital geologic map of the Penokean (early Proterozoic) continental margin in northern Michigan and Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.; Ottke, Doug

    1999-01-01

    The data on this CD consist of geographic information system (GIS) coverages and tabular data on the geology of Early Proterozoic and Archean rocks in part of the Early Proterozoic Penokean orogeny. The map emphasizes metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks that were deposited along the southern margin of the Superior craton and were later deformed during continental collision at about 1850 Ma. The area includes the famous iron ranges of the south shore region of the Lake Superior district. Base maps, both as digital raster graphics (DRG) and digital line graphs (DLG) are also provided for the convenience of users. The map has been compiled from many individual studies, mostly by USGS researchers, completed during the past 50 years, including many detailed (1:24,000 scale) geologic maps. Data was compiled at 1:100,000 scale and preserves most of the details of source materials. This product is a preliminary release of the geologic map data bases during ongoing studies of the geology and metallogeny of the Penokean continental margin. Files are provided in three formats: Federal Spatial Data Transfer format (SDTS), Arc export format (.e00) files, and Arc coverages. All files can be accessed directly from the CD-ROM using either ARC/INFO 7.1.2 or later or Arc View 3.0 or later software. ESRI's Arc Explorer, a free GIS data viewer available at the web site: http://www.esri.com/software/arcexplorer/index.html also provides display and querying capability for these files.

  18. First evidence for the presence of iron oxidizing zetaproteobacteria at the Levantine continental margins.

    PubMed

    Rubin-Blum, Maxim; Antler, Gilad; Tsadok, Rami; Shemesh, Eli; Austin, James A; Coleman, Dwight F; Goodman-Tchernov, Beverly N; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Tchernov, Dan

    2014-01-01

    During the 2010-2011 E/V Nautilus exploration of the Levantine basin's sediments at the depth of 300-1300 m, densely patched orange-yellow flocculent mats were observed at various locations along the continental margin of Israel. Cores from the mat and the control locations were collected by remotely operated vehicle system (ROV) operated by the E/V Nautilus team. Microscopic observation and phylogenetic analysis of microbial 16S and 23S rRNA gene sequences indicated the presence of zetaproteobacterial stalk forming Mariprofundus spp.-like prokaryotes in the mats. Bacterial tag-encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing determined that zetaproteobacterial populations were a dominant fraction of microbial community in the biofilm. We show for the first time that zetaproteobacterial may thrive at the continental margins, regardless of crustal iron supply, indicating significant fluxes of ferrous iron to the sediment-water interface. In light of this discovery, we discuss the potential bioavailability of sediment-water interface iron for organisms in the overlying water column. PMID:24614177

  19. Fission track analysis, rift shoulder uplift, and tectonic modeling of the Norwegian Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Andriessen, P.; Van Der Beek, P.; Cloetingh, S.; Rohrman, M. )

    1993-09-01

    Apatite fission track analysis from southern Norway and Sweden, across the Permian Carboniferous Oslo rift, are presented and discussed in relation to different rifting scenarios. Vertical and horizontal apatite fission tack profiles in middle and southern Norway unravel the post-Carboniferous history of the Fennoscandian shield. Fission track apatite ages range from 240 Ma in the south to 160 Ma in the north, and according to spontaneous fission track length measurements, they must be interpreted as mixed ages, indicating minor amounts of Paleozoic-Mesozoic sedimentary cover. Apatite fission track length and age modeling suggest rapid cooling and uplift in the Tertiary for the southernmost part of Norway, suggesting a differential uplift of the basement. the obtained data are important for the reconstruction of burial and thermal histories of Cenozoic sedimentary basins of the Norwegian continental margin in the northern North Sea, where diverse rifting events, intraplate stress regimes, and inversion tectonics are involved. Fission track analysis puts constraints on tectonic modeling of uplift of rift flanks and the Norwegian continental margin and yields information for these assessment of hydrocarbon potentials of the sedimentary basins.

  20. First evidence for the presence of iron oxidizing zetaproteobacteria at the Levantine continental margins.

    PubMed

    Rubin-Blum, Maxim; Antler, Gilad; Tsadok, Rami; Shemesh, Eli; Austin, James A; Coleman, Dwight F; Goodman-Tchernov, Beverly N; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Tchernov, Dan

    2014-01-01

    During the 2010-2011 E/V Nautilus exploration of the Levantine basin's sediments at the depth of 300-1300 m, densely patched orange-yellow flocculent mats were observed at various locations along the continental margin of Israel. Cores from the mat and the control locations were collected by remotely operated vehicle system (ROV) operated by the E/V Nautilus team. Microscopic observation and phylogenetic analysis of microbial 16S and 23S rRNA gene sequences indicated the presence of zetaproteobacterial stalk forming Mariprofundus spp.-like prokaryotes in the mats. Bacterial tag-encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing determined that zetaproteobacterial populations were a dominant fraction of microbial community in the biofilm. We show for the first time that zetaproteobacterial may thrive at the continental margins, regardless of crustal iron supply, indicating significant fluxes of ferrous iron to the sediment-water interface. In light of this discovery, we discuss the potential bioavailability of sediment-water interface iron for organisms in the overlying water column.

  1. Physical resuspension and vertical mixing of sediments on a high energy continental margin (Sydney, Australia).

    PubMed

    Matthai, C; Birch, G F; Jenkinson, A; Heijnis, H

    2001-01-01

    Four sediment cores from the continental margin adjacent to Sydney were analyzed for 210Pb, 137Cs, trace metals (Ag, Cd, Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn), iron, dry bulk density, mud and moisture content. The concentrations of trace metals in the total sediment are low at all sites, although slightly elevated concentrations of Ag, Cu, Pb and Zn are present in the fine fraction of sediment (< 62.5 microns) near a major ocean outfall. Concentrations of trace metals in the fine fraction of sediment are similar in the upper 10-15 cm, indicating strong vertical mixing of the sediments, whereas an upward coarsening grain size in the upper 1-3 cm of sediment supports physical resuspension during storms. Sediment accumulation rates on the middle shelf adjacent to Sydney were estimated from downcore profiles of 210Pb and 137Cs and range between 0.2 and 0.4 cm yr-1. Although the mass fluxes of Cu, Pb and Zn within a distance of 2 km from the outfall (up to 36.1, 30.8 and 86.2 micrograms cm-2 yr-1, respectively) are greater than 20 km north of the outfall (< 23.5 micrograms cm-2 yr-1), the low concentrations of trace metals in sediments near the outfall support an efficient dispersal of anthropogenic contaminants on this continental margin.

  2. Sinking jelly-carbon unveils potential environmental variability along a continental margin.

    PubMed

    Lebrato, Mario; Molinero, Juan-Carlos; Cartes, Joan E; Lloris, Domingo; Mélin, Frédéric; Beni-Casadella, Laia

    2013-01-01

    Particulate matter export fuels benthic ecosystems in continental margins and the deep sea, removing carbon from the upper ocean. Gelatinous zooplankton biomass provides a fast carbon vector that has been poorly studied. Observational data of a large-scale benthic trawling survey from 1994 to 2005 provided a unique opportunity to quantify jelly-carbon along an entire continental margin in the Mediterranean Sea and to assess potential links with biological and physical variables. Biomass depositions were sampled in shelves, slopes and canyons with peaks above 1000 carcasses per trawl, translating to standing stock values between 0.3 and 1.4 mg C m(2) after trawling and integrating between 30,000 and 175,000 m(2) of seabed. The benthopelagic jelly-carbon spatial distribution from the shelf to the canyons may be explained by atmospheric forcing related with NAO events and dense shelf water cascading, which are both known from the open Mediterranean. Over the decadal scale, we show that the jelly-carbon depositions temporal variability paralleled hydroclimate modifications, and that the enhanced jelly-carbon deposits are connected to a temperature-driven system where chlorophyll plays a minor role. Our results highlight the importance of gelatinous groups as indicators of large-scale ecosystem change, where jelly-carbon depositions play an important role in carbon and energy transport to benthic systems.

  3. Seismic stratigraphy of Long Island platform, United States Atlantic Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Jowett, R.A.; Hutchinson, D.R.

    1987-09-01

    Approximately 2000 km of single- and multichannel seismic reflection profiles collected over the Long Island platform on the US Atlantic continental margin show that the basement beneath the platform was rifted prior to the separation of Africa from North America and that it subsided after the separation. Postrift sediment thicknesses range from less than 1 km in the northwest part of the platform to several kilometers in the southeast, near the Atlantis and Nantucket rift basins. Flanking the platform are the Georges Bank basin to the east and Baltimore Canyon Trough to the south, where sedimentary rocks are 10-15 km thick. Nine major unconformities have been delineated in analysis of the seismic profiles. The most conspicuous unconformities are correlated with the end of rifting and the upper surfaces of the Bathonian, Tithonian, Albian, Turonian-Coniacian, Maestrichtian, upper Eocene, mid-Oligocene, and mid-Miocene sections. Ages are determined by tracing reflectors and unconformities to the COST (Continental Offshore Stratigraphic Test), AMCOR (Atlantic Margin Coring Project), and coastal wells. Several of these unconformities coincide with pronounced fluctuations in the Vail curve of relative sea level.

  4. Sinking jelly-carbon unveils potential environmental variability along a continental margin.

    PubMed

    Lebrato, Mario; Molinero, Juan-Carlos; Cartes, Joan E; Lloris, Domingo; Mélin, Frédéric; Beni-Casadella, Laia

    2013-01-01

    Particulate matter export fuels benthic ecosystems in continental margins and the deep sea, removing carbon from the upper ocean. Gelatinous zooplankton biomass provides a fast carbon vector that has been poorly studied. Observational data of a large-scale benthic trawling survey from 1994 to 2005 provided a unique opportunity to quantify jelly-carbon along an entire continental margin in the Mediterranean Sea and to assess potential links with biological and physical variables. Biomass depositions were sampled in shelves, slopes and canyons with peaks above 1000 carcasses per trawl, translating to standing stock values between 0.3 and 1.4 mg C m(2) after trawling and integrating between 30,000 and 175,000 m(2) of seabed. The benthopelagic jelly-carbon spatial distribution from the shelf to the canyons may be explained by atmospheric forcing related with NAO events and dense shelf water cascading, which are both known from the open Mediterranean. Over the decadal scale, we show that the jelly-carbon depositions temporal variability paralleled hydroclimate modifications, and that the enhanced jelly-carbon deposits are connected to a temperature-driven system where chlorophyll plays a minor role. Our results highlight the importance of gelatinous groups as indicators of large-scale ecosystem change, where jelly-carbon depositions play an important role in carbon and energy transport to benthic systems. PMID:24367499

  5. Sinking Jelly-Carbon Unveils Potential Environmental Variability along a Continental Margin

    PubMed Central

    Lebrato, Mario; Molinero, Juan-Carlos; Cartes, Joan E.; Lloris, Domingo; Mélin, Frédéric; Beni-Casadella, Laia

    2013-01-01

    Particulate matter export fuels benthic ecosystems in continental margins and the deep sea, removing carbon from the upper ocean. Gelatinous zooplankton biomass provides a fast carbon vector that has been poorly studied. Observational data of a large-scale benthic trawling survey from 1994 to 2005 provided a unique opportunity to quantify jelly-carbon along an entire continental margin in the Mediterranean Sea and to assess potential links with biological and physical variables. Biomass depositions were sampled in shelves, slopes and canyons with peaks above 1000 carcasses per trawl, translating to standing stock values between 0.3 and 1.4 mg C m2 after trawling and integrating between 30,000 and 175,000 m2 of seabed. The benthopelagic jelly-carbon spatial distribution from the shelf to the canyons may be explained by atmospheric forcing related with NAO events and dense shelf water cascading, which are both known from the open Mediterranean. Over the decadal scale, we show that the jelly-carbon depositions temporal variability paralleled hydroclimate modifications, and that the enhanced jelly-carbon deposits are connected to a temperature-driven system where chlorophyll plays a minor role. Our results highlight the importance of gelatinous groups as indicators of large-scale ecosystem change, where jelly-carbon depositions play an important role in carbon and energy transport to benthic systems. PMID:24367499

  6. Submarine erosion and karstification on the west Florida Continental margin: disparate environments yield similar features

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, L.J.; Brooks, G.; Herbert, J.H.

    1985-01-01

    Thousands of kilometers of high resolution seismic profiles from the carbonate West Florida continental margin reveal two large bands of solution features. One band is found on the inner portion of the shelf and includes a variety of buried and filled karst features, the most spectacular of which are large solution valleys, paleodrainage extensions of the extent Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor estuaries. These features were probably formed subaerially during lower stands of sea level. This band of karst dies out in a line at mid-shelf between 75 m and 100 m water depth, marking a low stand of sea level. A second band of solution features is found on the upper slope at water depths of between 500 and 800 m. It is partially exposed in outcrop. Although many of the features are similar in appearance to those of the karst inner shelf band, their origin in submarine. They could have formed from dissolution by groundwater percolating down from the Florida mainland, from submarine erosion by the Loop Current which sweeps this portion of the slope or by a combination of the above processes. Although karstification is considered a continental process, extensive solution feature scan also form in the marine environment. Subsequently, these can be raised above sea level and be modified by continental processes, making it difficult to distinguish marine or partially marine solution features form those of traditional subaerial origin.

  7. Boninitic magmatism in a continental margin setting, Yukon- Tanana terrane, southeastern Yukon, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piercey, Stephen J.; Murphy, Donald C.; Mortensen, James K.; Paradis, Suzanne

    2001-08-01

    Mid-Paleozoic mafic rocks in the Finlayson Lake region of the Yukon-Tanana terrane, southeastern Yukon, Canada, have the diagnostic geochemical signatures of boninites: high MgO, Cr, Ni, and Co contents, intermediate SiO2 contents, high Mg#'s (MgO/ (MgO+FeO*), Al2O3/TiO2, and Zr(Hf)/middle rare earth element (REE) ratios; low TiO2, REE, and high-field-strength element contents; and U-shaped primitive mantle normalized trace element patterns. However, unlike most modern and ancient boninitic rocks that are typically associated with intraoceanic realms, those from the Finlayson Lake region are part of a mid-Paleozoic continental margin arc-backarc magmatic system. We propose a model in which the boninitic rocks from the Finlayson Lake region formed as a result of spreading ridge propagation into an arc built on composite basement of oceanic and continental crust. In the oceanic segment, upwelling asthenosphere induced melting of a subducted-slab metasomatized refractory mantle source to form boninitic magmatism. In the continental sector, upwelling asthenospheric mantle, and/or the melts derived thereof, induced crustal melting, which explains the large volume of temporally equivalent felsic volcanic and intrusive rocks.

  8. Continental margin volcanism at sites of spreading ridge subduction: Examples from southern Alaska and western California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Ronald B.; Stewart, Brian W.

    2009-01-01

    Episodes of spreading ridge subduction occurred during late Oligocene to early Miocene time along western California and during late Paleocene to early Eocene time along southern Alaska. In each case, ridge subduction and subsequent slab window formation has had a profound influence on continental margin magmatism. Foremost, in each setting there was a hiatus in arc magmatism following ridge subduction, followed by the onset of volcanism in zones of local extension within arc-front, forearc, and accretionary prism settings. These near-trench volcanic rocks are distinctive from adjacent arc rocks and represent unique episodes of continental margin magmatism. The western California volcanic rocks were erupted into several local extensional basins and form discrete volcanic centers within each basin. The southern Alaska volcanic rocks, which form the Caribou Creek volcanic field, were erupted in a broad zone of extension that trended orthogonally to the continental margin. Basalts from the western California volcanic centers and the Caribou Creek volcanic field are tholeiitic and have depleted Nd and Sr isotope compositions with ɛ Nd( t) as high as + 9.3 and + 10.9 and 87Sr/ 86Sr( t) as low as 0.70258 and 0.70278, respectively. These basalts are unique because they are the most geochemically depleted basalts yet documented along the continental margin of the northern Cordillera. The basalts of each group also have high Ti contents (TiO 2 above 1.5%) and low ratios of fluid-mobile and other large ion lithophile elements compared to high field strength elements. For example, Ba/Ta ratios among the basalts range from about 40 to 600, with most samples below 270, while arc basalts typically have Ba/Ta ratios greater than 450. The basalts also have Th/Yb and Ta/Yb ratios in the range of mid-ocean-ridge basalts and do not exhibit the typical enrichment in Th/Yb that characterizes arc basalts. The basaltic andesites through dacites and rhyolites have more enriched isotope

  9. The Hamburg klippe: Record of the destruction of the proto-North American continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Lash, G.G. . Dept. of Geosciences)

    1993-03-01

    The Hamburg klippe, a Taconic allochthon in the central Appalachian orogen of southeastern Pennsylvania, has long been in the focus of debate. Although initially interpreted by some to be either autochthonous or simply a facies of the parautochthonous Martinsburg Formation, essentially all workers now agree that rocks of the Hamburg klippe comprise a far-travelled sequence of deep-marine deposits thrust onto the proto-North American platform in Ordovician time. The klippe is composed of two tectonic slices that contain rocks that formed in very different tectonic environments. The structurally lowest slice, the Greenwich slice, is interpreted to be an ancient subduction complex that formed in Cambrian-Ordovician time. This slice consists chiefly of turbidite sandstone and hemipelagic mudstone of Middle Ordovician age (85%) underlain by relatively thin sequences of red and light-green pelagic mudstone, deep-water limestone and chert of Early to Middle Ordovician age (14%). The vertical stratigraphy of the deposits of the Greenwich slice is interpreted to reflect migration of a site on oceanic lithosphere from an abyssal plain setting toward and ultimately into a trench southeast of the proto-North American continental margin by Middle Ordovician time. The tectonically highest slice, the Richmond slice, is composed predominantly of Middle Ordovician carbonate turbidites and black shale interpreted to have accumulated on the subsiding proto-North American continental margin as it approached the trench to the southeast. Eventually the Richmond slice was thrust to the northwest over the subduction complex which was, by this time, on the continental platform. Similar rock types in other allochthons in the Appalachian orogen may reflect an analogous mode of origin.

  10. Distribution of deep-water corals along the North American continental margins: Relationships with environmental factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryan, Tanya L.; Metaxas, Anna

    2006-12-01

    Despite the increasing attention to assemblages of deep-water corals in the past decade, much of this research has been focused on documenting and enumerating associated fauna. However, an understanding of the distribution of most species of coral and the ecological processes associated with these assemblages is still lacking. In this study, we qualitatively and quantitatively described the habitats of two families of deep-water corals in relation to six oceanographic factors (depth, slope, temperature, current, chlorophyll a concentration and substrate) on the Pacific and Atlantic Continental Margins of North America (PCM and ACM study areas, respectively). This study focused primarily on the distributions of Primnoidae and Paragorgiidae because of the large number of documented occurrences. For each environmental factor, deep-water coral locations were compared to the surrounding environment using χ2 tests. On both continental margins, coral locations were found to be not randomly distributed within the study areas, but were within specific ranges for most environmental factors. In the PCM study area, Paragorgiidae and Primnoidae locations were found in areas with slopes ranging from 0° to 10.0°, temperature from -2.0 to 11.0 °C and currents from 0 to 143 cm s -1. In the ACM study area, Paragorgiidae and Primnoidae locations were found in areas with slopes ranging from 0° to 1.4°, temperature ranging from 0 to 11.0 °C and currents ranging from 0 to 207 cm s -1. Although the patterns in habitat characteristics were similar, differences existed between families with respect to particular environmental factors. In both study areas, most environmental parameters in locations where corals occurred were significantly different from the average values of these parameters as determined with χ2 tests ( p<0.05) except for substrate in Paragorgiidae locations and depth in Primnoidae locations on the PCM. This is the first study to show coral distributional patterns

  11. Solonker ophiolite in Inner Mongolia, China: A late Permian continental margin-type ophiolite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Zhi-wen; Xu, Bei; Shi, Guan-zhong; Zhao, Pan; Faure, M.; Chen, Yan

    2016-09-01

    The Solonker ophiolite is exposed along the border between Mongolia and China within the Solonker zone, the southeastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), and it is composed dominantly of serpentinized peridotite with subordinate gabbro, basaltic lava, radiolarian-bearing siliceous rocks, and minor plagiogranite. Meanwhile, layered mafic-ultramafic cumulates are not ubiquitous. In this study, zircon grains from two gabbros and a plagiogranite yield 206Pb/238U ages of 259 ± 6 Ma, 257 ± 3 Ma and 263 ± 1 Ma. These data were interpreted to represent the formation age of the Solonker ophiolite. The studied gabbros and basalts have a tholeiitic composition, showing a MORB affinity. They are also characterized by enrichment of Pb and depletion of Nb relative to La and Th. Furthermore, the studied gabbros contain inherited zircon grains and display a large range of zircon Hf isotopes (εHf(t) = - 5.27 to + 10.19). These features imply that crustal contamination played an important role in the generation of these mafic rocks. Major elements derived from the radiolarian-bearing siliceous rocks suggest a continental margin setting. This is confirmed by rock association. Terrigenous rocks (sandstones and siltstones) interstratified with siliceous rocks. U-Pb dating of detrital zircon grains in sandstones from both the northern and southern sides of the Solonker ophiolite belt, along with published data, reveals that the Late Carboniferous-Early Permian strata in fault contact with the Solonker ophiolite was deposited above Early Paleozoic orogens. The lines of petrological, geochemical, geochronological, and isotopic evidence led us to propose that the Solonker ophiolite is a Late Permian continental margin-type body formed during the early stages of opening of an ocean basin, following rifting and break-up of the Early Paleozoic orogens. Accordingly, the Permian Solonker zone is characterized by an intra-continental extensional setting.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  14. Surface expression of Eastern Mediterranean slab dynamics: Uplift at the SW margin of the Central Anatolian Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schildgen, T. F.; Cosentino, D.; Caruso, A.; Yildirim, C.; Echtler, H.; Strecker, M. R.

    2011-12-01

    The Central Anatolian plateau in Turkey borders one of the most complex tectonic regions on Earth, where collision of the Arabian plate with Eurasia in Eastern Anatolia transitions to a cryptic pattern of subduction of the African beneath the Eurasian plate, with concurrent westward extrusion of the Anatolian microplate. Topographic growth of the southern margin of the Central Anatolian plateau has proceeded in discrete stages that can be distinguished based on the outcrop pattern and ages of uplifted marine sediments. These marine units, together with older basement rocks and younger continental sedimentary fills, also record an evolving nature of crustal deformation and uplift patterns that can be used to test the viability of different uplift mechanisms that have contributed to generate the world's third-largest orogenic plateau. Late Miocene marine sediments outcrop along the SW plateau margin at 1.5 km elevation, while they blanket the S and SE margins at up to more than 2 km elevation. Our new biostratigraphic data limit the age of 1.5-km-high marine sediments along the SW plateau margin to < 7.17 Ma, while regional lithostratigraphic correlations imply that the age is < 6.7 Ma. After reconstructing the post-Late Miocene surface uplift pattern from elevations of uplifted marine sediments and geomorphic reference surfaces, it is clear that regional surface uplift reaches maximum values along the modern plateau margin, with the SW margin experiencing less cumulative uplift compared to the S and SE margins. Our structural measurements and inversion modeling of faults within the uplifted region agree with previous findings in surrounding regions, with early contraction followed by strike-slip and extensional deformation. Shallow earthquake focal mechanisms show that the extensional phase has continued to the present. Broad similarities in the onset of surface uplift (after 7 Ma) and a change in the kinematic evolution of the plateau margin (after 8 Ma) suggest

  15. Continental Margin of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia: the Mode and Nature of Crustal Growth in the Accretionary Orogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konstantinovskaya, E. A.; Bindeman, I. N.

    2001-12-01

    Tectonic accretion of island arc terranes is the process widely developed in Pacific Rim in the present and in the past. The mode and nature of crustal growth of continental margins during arc accretion are various and essentially determined by deformation of the margin. The Cenozoic Kamchatka orogen formed by the accretion of two island arc terranes: Achaivayam-Valaginskaya arc (A-V, Eocene) (2) and Kronotskaya arc (terminal Miocene) to the continental margin of Asia. During the Early Eocene, the southern segment of the A-V arc collided with the Sredinny metamorphic massif, which was the frontal part of the Asian continental margin (3). New results from SHRIMP dating of zircons (1) from metamorphic rocks of Sredinny massif (Kolpakovskaya series) show that the massif contains an abundance of Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic detrital zircon cores, and ubiquitous 77 Ma rims. The youngest ages are from four 47-53 Ma unzoned zircon cores, with dull cathodoluminescence, and irregular morphology. We regard the 47-53 Ma episode of zircon growth in the Sredinny massif as evidence for superimposed metamorphism induced by continental margin subduction at the beginning of its collision with the A-V arc in the early Eocene. Physical modeling experiments of arc-continent collision suggest that deformation at continental margin is controlled by strength of the subducting crust. Failure, accretion and erosion-activated extrusion/exhumation of the subducted crust occur in the continental margin in the case when the margin is weakened by pre-existing faulting, extension, or heating. At the beginning of the continental margin subduction, crust of the margin fails along the continent-vergent thrust. The subducted crustal slice is, then, completely scraped from the mantle base and accreted to the fore-arc block. Subsequent thrusting and thickening of the subducting crust within the continental margin lead to formation of the accretionary orogen composed of crustal slices in front

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, L.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2012-12-01

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

  17. Lithoprobe east: marine deep seismic reflection results across the Appalachians and the rifted continental margin northeast of Newfoundland

    SciTech Connect

    Keen, C.E.; Stockmal, G.S.; O'Brien, S.J.; Quinlan, G.

    1985-01-01

    Marine deep seismic reflection data have been collected across the Appalachian Orogen and the rifted continental margin northeast of Newfoundland. Results across the Appalachian Orogen show the extent of the ancient Grenvillian passive margin beneath the terranes to the east, the nature of terrane boundaries at depth, and the relationships between surface geological features and the seismically defined crustal geometry. The results across the rifted margin define a decollement zone below the faulted continental basement. These basement fault blocks do not exhibit a listric geometry. The continental crust thins beneath the sedimentary basins occupying the rifted margin, although there does not appear to be a simple relationship between crustal thickness and basin subsidence. The ocean-continent transition is marked by a landward dip of the oceanic crust which disappears below the thinned continental crust near the transition. The ocean-continent boundary is not a vertical boundary between crustal types, rather there appears to be continuity of oceanic-type crust below the continent, perhaps forming a high velocity lower crustal layer across the continental margin.

  18. A newly discovered Pliocene volcanic field on the western Sardinia continental margin (western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conforti, Alessandro; Budillon, Francesca; Tonielli, Renato; De Falco, Giovanni

    2016-02-01

    A previously unknown submerged volcanic field offshore western Sardinia (western Mediterranean Sea), has been identified based on swath bathymetric data collected in 2009, 2010 and 2013, and high-resolution seismic profiles collected in 2011 and 2013. About 40 conical-shaped volcanic edifices (maximum width of about 1600 m and maximum height of about 180 m) and several lava outcrops (up to 1,200 m wide) were recognized at 20 to 150 m water depth over an area of 800 km2. The volcanic edifices are mainly eruptive monogenic vents, mostly isolated with a rather distinct shape, or grouped to form a coalescent volcanic body in which single elements are often still recognizable. High-resolution seismics enabled identifying relationships between the volcanic bodies and continental margin successions. The edifices overlie a major erosional surface related to the margin exposure following the Messinian salinity crisis, and are overlain by or interbedded with an early Pliocene marine unit. This seismo-stratigraphic pattern dates the volcanic activity to the early Pliocene, in agreement with the radiometric age of the Catalano island lavas (4.7 Ma) reported in earlier studies. The morphometry of the volcanic bodies suggests that cone erosion was higher at shallow water depths. Indeed, most of the shallow edifices are strongly eroded and flattened at 125 to 130 m water depth, plausibly explained by recurrent sub-aerial exposure during Pleistocene sea-level lowstands, whereas cones in deeper water are much better preserved. Volcanic vents and lava deposits, hereafter named the Catalano volcanic field (CVF), are emplaced along lineaments corresponding to the main directions of the normal fault system, which lowered the Sinis Basin and the western Sardinia continental margin. The CVF represents a volumetrically relevant phase of the late Miocene - Quaternary anorogenic volcanic cycle of Sardinia, which is related to the first stage of the extensional tectonics affecting the island

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

  20. Structure and Development Processes of the Sediment Ridges on the Continental Rise off the Prydz Bay Margin, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Z.; Yang, C.; Gao, J.; Ji, F.

    2015-12-01

    Several sediment ridges (SRs) are located on the continental slope and rise off the Prydz Bay margin, East Antarctica. These SRs contain the history of the regional glacial movements and bottom current activities. Multichannel seismic reflection data and bathymetric data in this region have been interpreted to know the planar distribution, cross-section structures along strike, and the formation and development processes of the SRs. Based on the above work, two different groups of the SRs have been identified. The first one includes two SRs which were asymmetric levees on both sides of the Wild Canyon in the western part of the study area. The second one includes SRs in the eastern part of the study area whose formation and development are closely related to the local, diachronous hiatuses generated by the turbidity flow. The onset time of the turbidity activities in different canyons are not concurrent. For Wild Canyon in the west, the onset time is P1, which is the base of the glaciomarine deposit on the continental rise, while for Wilkins and Murray Canyon in the east, it is a later time P3 (~26.1 Ma), which represents an expansion of the glaciers in Prydz Bay area. All the canyons and the turbidity currents within them both extend seaward with time and so does the consequent SRs. In the areas north of the seaward edge of the SRs, large deep-sea sediment waves consisting of fine-grain sediments supplied mainly by down-slope turbidity currents were generated under westward-flowing bottom currents.

  1. Geology and petroleum potential of Shumagin continental margin, western Gulf of Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Bruns, T.R.; Von Huene, R.; Culotta, R.D.; Lewis, S.D.; Ladd, J.W.

    1986-07-01

    Interpretations of multichannel seismic reflection data indicate that the Shumagin continental margin seaward of the Border Ranges fault is underlain by two major seismic sequences, separated by an erosional unconformity beneath the shelf and by the time-correlative conformity seaward. Rocks above the unconformity are late Miocene and younger. Rocks below the unconformity can be as young as middle Miocene beneath the outer shelf and slope, seaward of a paleoshelf break. However, beneath the shelf they are primarily Late Cretaceous turbidites of the Shumagin Formation and Paleocene granodiorite. Late Miocene and younger structures of the Shumagin margin include Shumagin, Sanak, and Unimak basins and Unimak Ridge, a midslope structural high. Strata in Sanak and Unimak basins were deposited on a subsiding outer shelf and slope, and trapped behind Unimak Ridge and its now-buried structural continuation. Sanak and Unimak basins are in part bounded by northwest-trending extensional faults that parallel both the early Tertiary Beringian margin and a transverse tectonic boundary that segments the fore-arc. These faults may have developed during collapse and extension along the southeastward continuation of the old Beringian margin, analogous to the processes that created the Bering Shelf basins. The most promising areas of the Shumagin margin for petroleum potential are Sanak, and Unimak basins, which contain strata 8 and 4.5 km thick, respectively, and beneath the outer shelf and slope. Paleogene source rocks like those on the adjacent Alaska Peninsula may be preserved offshore, seaward of the inferred paleoshelf break. Reservoir rocks might have formed from granitic-rich erosional products derived during Oligocene and Miocene erosion of the shelf plutons.

  2. The Alegre Lineament and its role over the tectonic evolution of the Campos Basin and adjacent continental margin, Southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calegari, Salomão Silva; Neves, Mirna Aparecida; Guadagnin, Felipe; França, George Sand; Vincentelli, Maria Gabriela Castillo

    2016-08-01

    The structural framework and tectonic evolution of the sedimentary basins along the eastern margin of the South American continent are closely associated with the tectonic framework and crustal heterogeneities inherited from the Precambrian basement. However, the role of NW-SE and NNW-SSE structures observed at the outcropping basement in Southeastern Brazil and its impact over the development of those basins have not been closely investigated. In the continental region adjacent to the Campos Basin, we described a geological feature with NNW-SSE orientation, named in this paper as the Alegre Fracture Zone (AFZ), which is observed in the onshore basement and can be projected to the offshore basin. The main goal of this work was to study this structural lineament and its influence on the tectonic evolution of the central portion of the Campos Basin and adjacent mainland. The onshore area was investigated through remote sensing data joint with field observations, and the offshore area was studied through the interpretation of 2-D seismic data calibrated by geophysical well logs. We concluded that the AFZ occurs in both onshore and offshore as a brittle deformation zone formed by multiple sets of fractures that originated in the Cambrian and were reactivated mainly as normal faults during the rift phase and in the Cenozoic. In the Campos Basin, the AFZ delimitates the western side of the Corvina-Parati Low, composing a complex fault system with the NE-SW faults and the NW-SE transfer faults.

  3. Tectonic Inversion of the Algerian Continental Margin off Great Kabylia (North Algeria) - Insights from new MCS data (SPIRAL cruise)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beslier, M.; Aidi, C.; Yelles-Chaouche, A.; Ribodetti, A.; Bracene, R.; Schenini, L.; Djellit, H.; Sage, F.; Deverchere, J.; Medaouri, M.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Abtout, A.; Charvis, P.; Bounif, A.

    2013-12-01

    Sub-marine active faulting threatens the coastline of Algeria, as shown by the major Mw 6.9 May 21, 2003 earthquake that occurred in Great Kabylia close to Boumerdes. We present here the structures associated to the Plio-Quaternary (P-Q) tectonic inversion of the central part of the Algerian margin offshore Great Kabylia using new deep multichannel seismic (MCS) lines. The large-scale structure of the margin deduced from wide-angle seismic (WAS) data modeling is presented in a companion abstract. Five MCS lines were acquired in the study area during the Algerian-French SPIRAL cruise (September 2009, R/V Atalante). Four lines were acquired using a 3040 cu. in. air-gun array and a 4.5 km 360 channel digital streamer and a 8350 cu. in. source favoring deep penetration was used for one coincident WAS profile and the fifth MCS line. All profiles are pre-stack time migrated and additional pre-stack depth migration was performed in key areas. The MCS lines crosscut the margin from the upper slope to the deep Algero-Provençal Basin either in a N-S direction sub-perpendicular to the structural trend of the margin, or in a NW-SE direction parallel to the actual convergence between Africa and Eurasia plates. Tectonic inversion is expressed on all profiles at the deep margin. The eastern line displays a flat-ramp compressive system in the deep sedimentary series, which emerges at the foot of the continental slope and marks the seaward limit of a P-Q basin perched at mid-slope. The south-dipping ramps are neo-formed structures, whereas the flats use inherited lithologic discontinuities (base of the Messinian evaporitic series, top of the acoustic basement). Westward in the Boumerdes area, the compressive deformation is expressed deeper in the acoustic basement where a southward dipping reflector is interpreted as a blind thrust on top of which all the sedimentary series (Miocene to P-Q) are bent in an antiform that uplifts the base of the Messinian series. A second antiform

  4. Continental break-up history of conjugate poor magmatic margins from seismic reflection and analogue modelling (oriental Gulf of Aden)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autin, J.; Leroy, S.; D'Acremont, E.; Beslier, M.; Bellahsen, N.; Husson, L.; Ribodetti, A.; Razin, P.; Robin, C.; Al Toubi, K.

    2009-12-01

    The Gulf of Aden is a young oceanic basin (~20 Ma), separating Arabia from Somalia. The gulf orientation (N75°E) and the kinematics (about N30°E divergence) mark an oblique rifting where normal faults striking between N70°E (rift axis parallel) and N110°E (perpendicular to the divergence), are due to an extension direction probably evolving from N20°E to N160°E. The accurate 3D structure of the margins and the influence of structural inheritance or thermal and rheological evolution need to be better constrained. In order to answer this question, we mapped the tectonic features of the first-order segment between Alula-Fartak and Socotra Fracture Zones of the eastern Gulf of Aden continental margin. The Encens cruise (Leroy et al., 2006) takes place in this area where the syn-rift structures are well exposed. Multibeam bathymetry, 360 channels seismic reflection (10 km spaced lines), gravity and magnetism data were gathered. Furthermore one reflection seismic profile was processed with a pre-stack depth migration method. This excellent-quality dataset will permit us to image the structure of the margin and to propose an evolution from rifting to the onset of oceanic spreading. These results complement the field work realized onshore on conjugate margins (Oman and Socotra). Thus the land evolution can be correlated to the distal evolution. The style of deposit seems completely different in the proximal and in distal parts of the margin. Indeed fault controlled syn-rift carbonate systems, well developed onshore, are not really well expressed offshore. After the major syn-rift structuration in grabens and horsts, the deformation localised where the crust is the thinnest. This occurred in the distal margin graben (DIM) at the northern boundary of the Ocean-Continent Transition (OCT) represented by the OCT ridge. At the onset of the OCT formation, a differential uplift induces a landslide on the top of the deepest tilted block and the crustal deformation is

  5. Continental break-up history of conjugate poor magmatic margins from seismic reflection (oriental Gulf of Aden)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autin, J.; Leroy, S.; D'Acremont, E.; Beslier, M.-O.; Ribodetti, A.; Bellahsen, N.; Razin, Ph.; Robin, C.

    2009-04-01

    The Gulf of Aden is an oceanic basin separating Arabia from Somalia. The rifting started 35 Ma ago followed by oceanic spreading from 17.6 Ma. The gulf orientation (N75°E) and the kinematics (about N30°E divergence) mark an oblique rifting where normal faults striking between N70°E (rift axis parallel) and N110°E (perpendicular to the divergence), are due to an extension direction probably evolving from N20°E to N160°E. The accurate 3D structure of the margins and the influence of structural inheritance or thermal and rheological evolution need to be better constrained. In order to answer this question, we mapped the tectonic features of the first-order segment between Alula-Fartak and Socotra Fracture Zones of the eastern Gulf of Aden continental margin. The Encens cruise (Leroy et al., 2006) take place in this area where the syn-rift structures are well exposed. Multibeam bathymetry, 360 channels seismic reflection (10 km spaced profiles), gravity and magnetism data were gathered. Furthermore one reflection seismic profile was processed with a pre-stack depth migration method. This excellent-quality dataset will permit us to image the structure of the margin and to propose an evolution from rifting to the onset of oceanic spreading. These results complement the field work realized onshore on conjugate margins (Oman and Socotra). Thus the land evolution can be correlated to the distal evolution. The style of deposit seems completely different in the proximal and in distal parts of the margin. Indeed fault controlled syn-rift carbonate systems, well developed onshore, are not really well expressed offshore. After the major syn-rift structuration in grabens and horsts, the deformation localised where the crust is the thinnest. This occurred in the distal margin graben (DIM) at the northern boundary of the Ocean-Continent Transition (OCT) represented by the OCT ridge. At the onset of the OCT formation, a differential uplift induces a landslide on the top of the

  6. Ophiolitic basement to the Great Valley forearc basin, California, from seismic and gravity data: Implications for crustal growth at the North American continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Godfrey, N.J.; Beaudoin, B.C.; Klemperer, S.L.; Levander, A.; Luetgert, J.; Meltzer, A.; Mooney, W.; Trehu, A.

    1997-01-01

    The nature of the Great Valley basement, whether oceanic or continental, has long been a source of controversy. A velocity model (derived from a 200-km-long east-west reflection-refraction profile collected south of the Mendocino triple junction, northern California, in 1993), further constrained by density and magnetic models, reveals an ophiolite underlying the Great Valley (Great Valley ophiolite), which in turn is underlain by a westward extension of lower-density continental crust (Sierran affinity material). We used an integrated modeling philosophy, first modeling the seismic-refraction data to obtain a final velocity model, and then modeling the long-wavelength features of the gravity data to obtain a final density model that is constrained in the upper crust by our velocity model. The crustal section of Great Valley ophiolite is 7-8 km thick, and the Great Valley ophiolite relict oceanic Moho is at 11-16 km depth. The Great Valley ophiolite does not extend west beneath the Coast Ranges, but only as far as the western margin of the Great Valley, where the 5-7-km-thick Great Valley ophiolite mantle section dips west into the present-day mantle. There are 16-18 km of lower-density Sierran affinity material beneath the Great Valley ophiolite mantle section, such that a second, deeper, "present-day" continental Moho is at about 34 km depth. At mid-crustal depths, the boundary between the eastern extent of the Great Valley ophiolite and the western extent of Sierran affinity material is a near-vertical velocity and density discontinuity about 80 km east of the western margin of the Great Valley. Our model has important implications for crustal growth at the North American continental margin. We suggest that a thick ophiolite sequence was obducted onto continental material, probably during the Jurassic Nevadan orogeny, so that the Great Valley basement is oceanic crust above oceanic mantle vertically stacked above continental crust and continental mantle.

  7. Pyrophaeophorbide- a as a tracer of suspended particulate organic matter from the NE Pacific continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianchi, Thomas S.; Bauer, James E.; Druffel, Ellen R. M.; Lambert, Corey D.

    Pyrophaeophorbide- a, a degradation product of chlorophyll- a, is predominantly formed by grazing processes in sediments as well as in the water column. Water column profiles of pyrophaeophorbide- a/suspended particulate organic carbon (SPOC) concentrations, at an abyssal site in the northeast (NE) Pacific (Sta M, 34°50'N, 123°00'W; 4100 m water depth), show low concentrations (0.01-0.1 ng/μg SPOC) at surface and mesopelagic depths, and increasing concentrations with closer proximity to the sea floor (0.05-0.6 ng/μg SPOC). However, in June 1992, the deep maximum of pyrophaeophorbide- a/SPOC in the water column of Sta M extended higher into the water column, as much as 1600 m above the bottom (mab) (2500 m water depth); in other seasons they only extended up to 650 mab (3450 m water depth). Previous studies have demonstrated lateral transport of particulate matter from the continental shelf to the deep ocean off the coast of northern California. Recent work suggests that the benthic boundary layer (BBL) extends to 50 mab, based on sediment trap and transmissometry measurements (Smith, K.L., Kaukmann, R.S., Baldwin, R.J., 1994. Coupling of near-bottom pelagic and benthic processes at abyssal depths. Limnology and Oceanography 39, 1101-1118.), and that lateral transport is significant only during summer, which is consistent with our observations. A partial vertical profile of pyrophaeophorbide- a/SPOC from the north central (NC) Pacific provides some evidence that the deep maximum may be absent due to the distance of this site from the continental margin. Thus, the observed deep maximum of pyrophaeophorbide- a/SPOC at Sta M is likely due mainly to lateral transport from the continental slope rather than to local vertical resuspension in the BBL exclusively. Pyrophaeophorbide- a concentrations in SPOC at Sta M were negatively correlated with Δ 14C values of SPOC (SPOC samples from Druffel, E.R.M., Bauer, J.E., Williams, P.M., Griffin, S.A. and Wolgast, D., 1996

  8. 7Be as a tracer of flood sedimentation on the northern California continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sommerfield, C. K.; Nittrouer, C. A.; Alexander, C. R.

    1999-01-01

    Sediment inventories of the cosmogenic radionuclide 7Be (t1/2=53 d) were measured on the Eel River shelf and slope (northern California continental margin) to investigate sedimentation processes associated with coastal river flooding. Seabed coring shortly after major riverflow events in 1995 and 1997 documented a shelf-wide flood deposit, and subsequent radionuclide studies determined 7Be to be a powerful tracer of fine-grained river sediment. In addition, distinctive signatures of 234Th and 210Pb were observed in oceanic flood deposits and provided additional information regarding depositional processes. During the 1995–1997 monitoring period, 7Be was present (2–35 dpm cm-2) in shelf and slope sediments only after periods of high rainfall and river runoff during the winter months. It is suggested that fluvial input was the primary source of 7Be in shelf sediments after the floods. 7Be sediment inventories and sediment-trap fluxes determined after the 1997 flood revealed that fine-grained fluvial sediments were rapidly (within one month) broadcast over the continental margin, to the 500 m isobath. Dispersal was apparently facilitated by energetic storm waves, which resuspended and redistributed some fraction of the suspended load residing on the shelf prior to accretion as flood deposits. These observations illustrate that floods are an important sedimentary process for modern environments of the Eel shelf and slope, and perhaps for other fluviomarine sedimentary systems of the northern California continental margin. Ratios of the 210Pb sediment-accumulation rate (100 yr average) to the 7Be deposition rate (1–2 month average) for shelf sites illustrate the episodic nature of shelf sedimentation, and suggest that a minimum of 3–30 depositional events complete the most recent stratigraphic record. This observation is consistent with the magnetude and frequency of fluvial sediment input, as Eel River floods with return periods of 3–33 yr (3% of the time of

  9. Neotectonic reactivation of shear zones and implications for faulting style and geometry in the continental margin of NE Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezerra, F. H. R.; Rossetti, D. F.; Oliveira, R. G.; Medeiros, W. E.; Neves, B. B. Brito; Balsamo, F.; Nogueira, F. C. C.; Dantas, E. L.; Andrades Filho, C.; Góes, A. M.

    2014-02-01

    The eastern continental margin of South America comprises a series of rift basins developed during the breakup of Pangea in the Jurassic-Cretaceous. We integrated high resolution aeromagnetic, structural and stratigraphic data in order to evaluate the role of reactivation of ductile, Neoproterozoic shear zones in the deposition and deformation of post-rift sedimentary deposits in one of these basins, the Paraíba Basin in northeastern Brazil. This basin corresponds to the last part of the South American continent to be separated from Africa during the Pangea breakup. Sediment deposition in this basin occurred in the Albian-Maastrichtian, Eocene-Miocene, and in the late Quaternary. However, our investigation concentrates on the Miocene-Quaternary, which we consider the neotectonic period because it encompasses the last stress field. This consisted of an E-W-oriented compression and a N-S-oriented extension. The basement of the basin forms a slightly seaward-tilted ramp capped by a late Cretaceous to Quaternary sedimentary cover ~ 100-400 m thick. Aeromagnetic lineaments mark the major steeply-dipping, ductile E-W- to NE-striking shear zones in this basement. The ductile shear zones mainly reactivated as strike-slip, normal and oblique-slip faults, resulting in a series of Miocene-Quaternary depocenters controlled by NE-, E-W-, and a few NW-striking faults. Faulting produced subsidence and uplift that are largely responsible for the present-day morphology of the valleys and tablelands in this margin. We conclude that Precambrian shear zone reactivation controlled geometry and orientation, as well as deformation of sedimentary deposits, until the Neogene-Quaternary.

  10. Eastern margin of the Ross Sea Rift in western Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica: Crustal structure and tectonic development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luyendyk, Bruce P.; Wilson, Douglas S.; Siddoway, Christine S.

    2003-10-01

    The basement rock and structures of the Ross Sea rift are exposed in coastal western Marie Byrd Land (wMBL), West Antarctica. Thinned, extended continental crust forms wMBL and the eastern Ross Sea continental shelf, where faults control the regional basin-and range-type topography at ˜20 km spacing. Onshore in the Ford Ranges and Rockefeller Mountains of wMBL, basement rocks consist of Early Paleozoic metagreywacke and migmatized equivalents, intruded by Devonian-Carboniferous and Cretaceous granitoids. Marine geophysical profiles suggest that these geological formations continue offshore to the west beneath the eastern Ross Sea, and are covered by glacial and glacial marine sediments. Airborne gravity and radar soundings over wMBL indicate a thicker crust and smoother basement inland to the north and east of the northern Ford Ranges. A migmatite complex near this transition, exhumed from mid crustal depths between 100-94 Ma, suggests a profound crustal discontinuity near the inboard limit of extended crust, ˜300 km northeast of the eastern Ross Sea margin. Near this limit, aeromagnetic mapping reveals an extensive region of high amplitude anomalies east of the Ford ranges that can be interpreted as a sub ice volcanic province. Modeling of gravity data suggests that extended crust in the eastern Ross Sea and wMBL is 8-9 km thinner than interior MBL (β = 1.35). Gravity modeling also outlines extensive regions of low-density (2300-2500 kg m-3) buried basement rock that is lighter than rock exposed at the surface. These regions are interpreted as bounded by throughgoing east-west faults with vertical separation. These buried low-density rocks are possibly a low-density facies of Early Paleozoic metagreywacke, or the low-density epizonal facies of Cretaceous granites, or felsic volcanic rocks known from moraines. These geophysical features and structures on land in the wMBL region preserve the record of middle and Late Cretaceous development of the Ross Sea rift

  11. Post-Rift Compressional Deformation on the Passive Margin of a young Mediterranean Backarc Basin (Eastern Sardinian Margin, Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Eastern Sardinian margin, Western Tyrrhenian : New insights from the « METYSS 1 » Cruise. Tectonophysics, 615-616, 69-84. Pereira R., Alves T.M. , & Cartwright J., 2011. Post-rift compression on the SW Iberian margin (eastern North Atlantic): a case for prolonged inversion in the ocean-continent transition zone. J. Geol. Soc., 168, 1249-1263.

  12. Salt tectonics and crustal tectonics along the Eastern Sardinian margin, Western Tyrrhenian: New insights from the " METYSS 1 " cruise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    The Tyrrhenian Sea is usually interpreted to be a Neogene back-arc basin that opened by continental rifting and oceanic spreading caused by the eastward migration of the Apennine subduction system from Tortonian to Pliocene times. Rifting of the Tyrrhenian Sea started first along the Eastern Sardinian margin during the Tortonian-Messinian times. The " METYSS " project aims at better constraining the relations between crustal tectonics, salt tectonics and sedimentation from Messinian times to present-day. The " METYSS 1 " cruise (2009, R/V "Téthys II"-INSU) allowed us to obtain about 1200 km of high-resolution seismic reflection profiles along the SE Corsican margin, and along the upper and middle parts of the Eastern Sardinian margin, Western Tyrrhenian. This new dataset clearly illustrates that this area has been highly dissected during the rifting stage by N-S trending normal faults delineating ridges and basins, as previously described. The Messinian seismic markers (UU and MU) locally display fan-shaped stratal geometries, but the mechanism responsible for such geometries, i.e., salt tectonics or rifting, has yet to be carefully deciphered. We also mapped the spatial distribution of the mobile salt (MU). The highly variable thickness of the confined salt basins may be related to the initial pre-Messinian basin geometry or to the fact that sediment deposition was syn-rift. Southeastward, salt tectonics appears highly vigorous. More surprisingly, our data demonstrate that some of the major faults have been significantly reactivated during the post-rift period, up to late Quaternary time. Such recent fault activity has been recorded by bathymetric scarps and associated footwall debris flows. Moreover, some of this post-rift deformation can be evidenced within the Plio-Quaternary sequence by a regional unconformity. The post-Miocene deformation style varies greatly between different areas of the margin, and can also be strongly influenced by the presence or

  13. A geophysical overview of the southern continental margin of North America in the Late Precambrian/Cambrian

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1993-02-01

    Recent geophysical studies have shed considerable light on the nature and extent of the southern Continental margin of North America which formed during the Late Precambrian/Cambrian. To the east between Arkansas and Alabama, the PASSCAL/Ouachita seismic experiment and older results in Mississippi indicate that this margin is largely preserved beneath allochthonous rocks emplaced during the Ouachita orogeny. Here the margin is fairly abrupt suggesting transtension was important in this origin. The Wiggins and Sabine blocks appear to be continental fragments which may have formed along this margin. In Texas, the margin extends around the Llano uplift in a sinuous fashion. In this area, Mesozoic extension clouds the picture considerably. However, structural complexities along this portion of he margin can be inferred form gravity data. In West Texas, the margin bends westward and then southward. A very deep oil exploration test which was recently drilled in this area provides valuable constraints for geophysical models of this portion of the margin. Recent results in Mexico allows the authors to trace this margin further south into the state of Chihuahua than previously possible.

  14. Chirostylidae of Australia's western continental margin (Crustacea : Decapoda: Anomura), with the description of five new species.

    PubMed

    Mccallum, Anna W; Poore, Gary C B

    2013-01-01

    Five new species from the squat lobster family Chirostylidae are described from the continental margin of western Australia: Uroptychus albus sp. nov., Uroptychus bardi sp. nov., Uroptychus jawi sp. nov., Uroptychus taylorae sp. nov., and Uroptychus worrorra sp. nov. New records of Indo-West Pacific species for Australia are: Gastroptychus brachyterus Baba, 2005, Gastroptychus investigatoris Alcock, 1899, Uroptychodes grandirostris (Yokoya, 1933), Uroptychodes inortenseni (Van Dam, 1939), Uroptychus scandens Benedict, 1902, Uroptychus ciliatus (Van Dam, 1933) and Uroptychus vandamae Baba, 1988. New distributional records are given for species previously recorded from Australia: Uroptychus flindersi Ahyong & Poore, 2004, Uroptychus hesperius Ahyong & Poore, 2004, Uroptychusjoloensis Van Dam, 1939, Uroptychus nigricapillis Alcock, 1901, and Uroptychus spinirostris (Ahyong & Poore, 2004). These new records expand the number of chirostylid species in Australia from 34 to 46. Keys to Australian species of the genera Gastroptychus, Uroptychodes and Uroptychus are provided. PMID:26266295

  15. Carbonate dissolution and sedimentation on the mid-atlantic continental margin.

    PubMed

    Balsam, W L

    1982-09-01

    The calcium carbonate content was determined for core tops from two transects on the upper slope to lower rise on the mid-Atlantic continental margin. Carbonate content in the sediment increases from approximately 5 percent (by weight) on the upper slope to more than 30 percent on the upper rise. A zone of low-carbonate content extends from 3000 to 4400 meters. Below 4400 meters, the percent carbonate increases. An examination of dissolution indices in these core tops indicates that the low-carbonate zone is associated with intense dissolution. Below 4400 meters, dissolution decreases and carbonate is well preserved. The decrease in dissolution occurs where the high-velocity core of the Western Boundary Undercurrent is first encountered.

  16. Chirostylidae of Australia's western continental margin (Crustacea : Decapoda: Anomura), with the description of five new species.

    PubMed

    Mccallum, Anna W; Poore, Gary C B

    2013-01-01

    Five new species from the squat lobster family Chirostylidae are described from the continental margin of western Australia: Uroptychus albus sp. nov., Uroptychus bardi sp. nov., Uroptychus jawi sp. nov., Uroptychus taylorae sp. nov., and Uroptychus worrorra sp. nov. New records of Indo-West Pacific species for Australia are: Gastroptychus brachyterus Baba, 2005, Gastroptychus investigatoris Alcock, 1899, Uroptychodes grandirostris (Yokoya, 1933), Uroptychodes inortenseni (Van Dam, 1939), Uroptychus scandens Benedict, 1902, Uroptychus ciliatus (Van Dam, 1933) and Uroptychus vandamae Baba, 1988. New distributional records are given for species previously recorded from Australia: Uroptychus flindersi Ahyong & Poore, 2004, Uroptychus hesperius Ahyong & Poore, 2004, Uroptychusjoloensis Van Dam, 1939, Uroptychus nigricapillis Alcock, 1901, and Uroptychus spinirostris (Ahyong & Poore, 2004). These new records expand the number of chirostylid species in Australia from 34 to 46. Keys to Australian species of the genera Gastroptychus, Uroptychodes and Uroptychus are provided.

  17. Antiquity of the continental slope along the middle-atlantic margin of the United States.

    PubMed

    Prior, D B; Coleman, J M; Doyle, E H

    1984-03-01

    A detailed high-resolution geophysical study of part of the continental slope along the mid-Atlantic margin of the United States indicates that it is an ancient, relict landscape largely unmodified by modern slope processes. The slope morphology is heavily influenced by bedrock outcrops, including joints and bedding planes, rather than by any single degradational process. A pelagic drape averaging 3 to 5 meters in thickness blankets the slope. Carbon-14 dates from eight drop cores show that the drape was deposited in late Pleistocene and Holocene times. The Holocene part of the drape, comprising the uppermost 1 meter, was deposited at a continuous rate of 10 centimeters per 1000 years. Most features on the slope predate the drape cover.

  18. Slope Instability and Gas Hydrates in the Hudson Canyon Region, U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rona, P. A.; Robb, J. M.; Butman, B.; Scranton, M. I.; Kingman, K. E.; Tucholke, B. E.; Twichell, D.

    2004-12-01

    The continental slope and the upper rise centered on Hudson Canyon offshore New York and New Jersey lie within a major gas-hydrate province. This region exhibits evidence of gravitational mass movements and possible methane expulsion, as inferred from our bathymetric and water-column surveys conducted in 2002 with support from NOAA/OE, and prior data. The bathymetric data cover our study area (200 km by 110 km; 37\\deg40'N to 39\\deg50'N, 70\\deg00'W to 72\\deg30'W) from the inner edge of the continental slope (depth 200 m) seaward to the middle rise (c.3500 m). The world's largest hub of submarine telecommunications cables partially passes through this area. Evidence of gravitational mass movements and of probable gas release is extensive. Examples of the former include: (1) blocks of landward-dipping strata up to 2-km wide and 150-m high that lie at the base of the continental slope (water depth 2100-2200 m) seaward of an over-pressured zone beneath the continental slope (639 mbsf in ODP Hole 1073A; water depth 650 m; Dugan and Flemings, 2000); (2) boulders of Eocene chalk that litter the lower slope and upper rise; (3) a semicircular, tabular glide block, about 20 km in diameter, which thickens to about 150 m at its seaward margin; the block is centered at 39\\deg23.5'N, 71\\deg10.0'W between 2450 and 2600 m depth on the upper rise, about 15 km downslope from a congruent scarp at 2200 m on the lower slope; (4) apparent penecontemporaneous faulting and gliding in strata inclined sub-parallel to the seafloor along the upper rise; 5) apparent clogging of Hudson Canyon with hummocky sediment at a right-angle turn of the axis (depth 3368 m; 38\\deg39.6'N, 71\\deg01.8'W); 6) changes in stratification from the upper to middle rise; uneven layering beneath the upper rise (seafloor mean inclination 0.75\\deg down to 2700 m) is inferred to reflect disturbance by gravitational mass movements; even layering parallel to the seafloor beneath the middle rise (inclination

  19. Tectonic Inversion of the Algerian Continental Margin off Great Kabylia (North Algeria) - Insights from new MCS data (SPIRAL cruise)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aidi, Chafik; Beslier, Marie-Odile; Yelles-Chaouche, Karim; Ribodetti, Alessandra; Bracene, Rabah; Schenini, Laure; Djellit, Hamou; Sage, Françoise; Déverchère, Jacques; Medaouri, Mourad; Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Abtout, Abdeslam; Charvis, Philippe; Bounif, Abdallah

    2014-05-01

    Sub-marine active faulting threatens the coastline of Algeria, as shown by the major Mw 6.9 May 21, 2003 earthquake that occurred in Great Kabylia close to Boumerdes. We present here the structures associated to the Plio-Quaternary (P-Q) tectonic inversion of the central part of the Algerian margin offshore Great Kabylia using new deep multichannel seismic (MCS) lines. Five MCS lines were acquired in the study area during the Algerian-French SPIRAL cruise (September 2009, R/V Atalante). Four lines were acquired using a 3040 cu. in. air-gun array and a 4.5 km 360 channel digital streamer and a 8350 cu. in. source favoring deep penetration was used for one coincident WAS profile and the fifth MCS line. All profiles are pre-stack time migrated and additional pre-stack depth migration was performed in key areas. The MCS lines crosscut the margin from the upper slope to the deep Algero-Provençal Basin either in a N-S direction sub-perpendicular to the structural trend of the margin, or in a NW-SE direction parallel to the actual convergence between Africa and Eurasia plates. Tectonic inversion is expressed on all profiles at the deep margin. The eastern line displays a flat-ramp compressive system in the deep sedimentary series, which emerges at the foot of the continental slope and marks the seaward limit of a P-Q basin perched at mid-slope. The south-dipping ramps are neo-formed structures, whereas the flats use inherited lithologic discontinuities (base of the Messinian evaporitic series, top of the acoustic basement). Westward in the Boumerdes area, the compressive deformation is expressed deeper in the acoustic basement where a southward dipping reflector is interpreted as a blind thrust on top of which all the sedimentary series (Miocene to P-Q) are bent in an antiform that uplifts the base of the Messinian series. A second antiform prolongates this uplift 20 km northward although no clear reverse structure is imaged underneath. These antiforms delimit two

  20. Authigenic carbonate formation at hydrocarbon seeps in continental margin sediments: A comparative study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Naehr, T.H.; Eichhubl, P.; Orphan, V.J.; Hovland, M.; Paull, C.K.; Ussler, W.; Lorenson, T.D.; Greene, H. Gary

    2007-01-01

    Authigenic carbonates from five continental margin locations, the Eel River Basin, Monterey Bay, Santa Barbara Basin, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the North Sea, exhibit a wide range of mineralogical and stable isotopic compositions. These precipitates include aragonite, low- and high-Mg calcite, and dolomite. The carbon isotopic composition of carbonates varies widely, ranging from -60??? to +26???, indicating complex carbon sources that include 13C-depleted microbial and thermogenic methane and residual, 13C-enriched, bicarbonate. A similarly large variability of ??18O values (-5.5??? to +8.9???) demonstrates the geochemical complexity of these sites, with some samples pointing toward an 18O-enriched oxygen source possibly related to advection of 18O-enriched formation water or to the decomposition of gas hydrate. Samples depleted in 18O are consistent with formation deeper in the sediment or mixing of pore fluids with meteoric water during carbonate precipitation. A wide range of isotopic and mineralogical variation in authigenic carbonate composition within individual study areas but common trends across multiple geographic areas suggest that these parameters alone are not indicative for certain tectonic or geochemical settings. Rather, the observed variations probably reflect local controls on the flux of carbon and other reduced ions, such as faults, fluid conduits, the presence or absence of gas hydrate in the sediment, and the temporal evolution of the local carbon reservoir. Areas with seafloor carbonates that indicate formation at greater depth below the sediment-water interface must have undergone uplift and erosion in the past or are still being uplifted. Consequently, the occurrence of carbonate slabs on the seafloor in areas of active hydrocarbon seepage is commonly an indicator of exhumation following carbonate precipitation in the shallow subsurface. Therefore, careful petrographic and geochemical analyses are critical components necessary for the

  1. Authigenic apatite formation and burial in sediments from non-upwelling, continental margin environments

    SciTech Connect

    Ruttenberg, K.C.; Berner, R.A. )

    1993-03-01

    Evidence for precipitation of authigenic carbonate fluorapatite (CFA) in Long Island Sound and Mississippi Delta sediments suggests that formation of CFA is not restricted to environments of active coastal upwelling. The authors present porewater data suggestive of CFA formation in both these areas. Application of a sequential leaching procedure, designed specifically to separate authigenic carbonate fluorapatite from other phosphorus-containing phases, including detrital apatite of igneous or metamorphic origin, provides strong supporting evidence for authigenic apatite formation in these sediments. The size of the authigenic apatite reservoir increases with depth, indicating continued formation of CFA during early diagenesis. This depth increase is mirrored by a decrease in solid-phase organic P at both sites, suggesting that CFA is forming at the expense of organic P. Mass balance considerations, application of diagenetic models to intersitital water nutrient data, and the saturation state of the interstitial water are consistent with this interpretation. Diagenetic redistribution of phosphorus among the different solid-phase reservoirs is observed at both sites, and results in near perfect retention of P by these sediments over the depth intervals sampled. Formation of CFA in continental margins which do not conform to the classically defined regions of phosphorite formation renders CFA a quantitatively more important sink than has previously been recognized. Including this reservoir as a newly identified sink for reactive P in the ocean, the residence time of P in the modern ocean must be revised downward. The implication for ancient oceans of CFA formation in continental margin sediments other than phosphorites is that phosphorite formation may be less a representation of episodicity in removal of reactive P from the oceans than of localized concentration of CFA in phosphatic sediments by secondary physical processes. 90 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  2. Earth-System Scales of Biodiversity Variability in Shallow Continental Margin Seafloor Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moffitt, S. E.; White, S. M.; Hill, T. M.; Kennett, J.

    2015-12-01

    High-resolution paleoceanographic sedimentary sequences allow for the description of ecosystem sensitivity to earth-system scales of climate and oceanographic change. Such archives from Santa Barbara Basin, California record the ecological consequences to seafloor ecosystems of climate-forced shifts in the California Current Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ). Here we use core MV0508-20JPC dated to 735,000±5,000 years ago (Marine Isotope Stage 18) as a "floating window" of millennial-scale ecological variability. For this investigation, previously published archives of planktonic δ18O (Globigerina bulloides) record stadial and interstadial oscillations in surface ocean temperature. Core MV0508-20JPC is an intermittently laminated archive, strongly influenced by the California Current OMZ, with continuously preserved benthic foraminifera and discontinuously preserved micro-invertebrates, including ophiuroids, echinoderms, ostracods, gastropods, bivalves and scaphopods. Multivariate statistical approaches, such as ordinations and cluster analyses, describe climate-driven changes in both foraminiferal and micro-invertebrate assemblages. Statistical ordinations illustrate that the shallow continental margin seafloor underwent predictable phase-shifts in oxygenation and biodiversity across stadial and interstadial events. A narrow suite of severely hypoxic taxa characterized foraminiferal communities from laminated intervals, including Bolivina tumida, Globobulimina spp., and Nonionella stella. Foraminiferal communities from bioturbated intervals are diverse and >60% similar to each other, and they are associated with echinoderm, ostracod and mollusc fossils. As with climate shifts in the latest Quaternary, there is a sensitive benthic ecosystem response in mid-Pleistocene continental margins to climatically related changes in OMZ strength.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Geophysical investigations of the southern continental margin of Australia and the conjugate sector of East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, M.

    1980-08-01

    The magnetic quiet zones on the rifted continental margins of the Southeast Indian Ocean are associated with a characteristic pattern of geophysical anomalies. Each quiet zone is bounded on its seaward side by the oldest identified marine magnetic lineation, for the most part anomaly 22. Trend and extent of anomaly 22 were used to determine a new pole of rotation, located at 1.5 degrees N. lat., 37.0 degrees E. long., for the fit of Australia against Antarctica. This reconstruction is considerably less tight than previously proposed ones, due to the inclusion of an intracratonic rift zone, and avoids any overlap of continental material; it also satisfies the existing geological constraints governing the positioning of Australia against Antarctica. The geometry of the Australian-Antarctic rift in conjuction with the evidence for a continential depositional environment of the rift-valley sedimentary sequence necessitates the existence of a structural barrier near the western extremity of the rift. Such a barrier is postulated to have extended from the Naturaliste Block of southwestern Australia to the Bruce Spur off Knox Coast, Antarctica.

  6. Late Cretaceous - Cenozoic development of outer continental margin, southwestern Nova Scotia

    SciTech Connect

    Swift, S.A.

    1987-06-01

    The growth pattern for the outer continental margin of Nova Scotia during the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic was studied using seismic stratigraphy and well data. Sediment accumulation was broadly controlled by temporal changes in relative sea level, but significant spatial and temporal changes in accumulation patterns were caused by changes in sediment supply rate, morphology, erosion by abyssal currents, and salt tectonics. A Jurassic-Early Cretaceous carbonate platform remained exposed until the Late Cretaceous and controlled the location and steepness of the paleoslope until the late Miocene. Local erosion of the outer shelf and slope in the late Paleocene-early Eocene produced chalky fans on the upper rise. The relationship between erosion of the shelf in the late Eocene and early Oligocene, and abyssal current erosion of the upper rise in the Oligocene, is unclear. Seaward extensions of Tertiary shelf-edge canyons are poorly defined except for the Eocene fans. In the Miocene, abyssal currents eroded a bench on the upper continental rise. Subsequently, sediments lapped onto and buried the paleoslope. The lower rise above horizon A/sup u/ (Oligocene) is composed of fans and olistostromes shed from halokinetic uplift of the upper rise. Current eroded unconformities are common in the rise sequence, but the only current deposit is a Pliocene interval (< 300 m) restricted to the lowermost rise. Pleistocene turbidity currents eroded the present canyon morphology. 15 figures, 2 tables.

  7. Petroleum geology of the mid-Atlantic continental margin, offshore Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bayer, K.C.; Milici, R.C.

    1989-01-01

    The Baltimore Canyon Trough, a major sedimentary basin on the Atlantic continental shelf, contains up to 18 km of Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata. The basin has been studied extensively by multichannel common depth point (CDP) seismic reflection profiles and has been tested by drilling for hydrocarbon resources in several places. The Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata contained in the basin were deposited in littoral to bathyal depositional settings and contain immature to marginally mature oil-prone and gas-prone kerogen. The more deeply buried strata of Early Mesozoic age are more likely to be thermally mature than are the younger strata with respect to hydrocarbon generation, but contain terrestrially derived coaly organic matter that would be prone to yield gas, rather than oil. An analysis of available CDP seismic reflection data has indicated that there are several potential hydrocarbon plays in the area offshore of Virginia. These include: (1) Lower Mesozoic synrift basins that appear similar to those exposed in the Appalachian Piedmont, (2) a stratigraphic updip pinchout of strata of Early Mesozoic age in the offshore region near the coast, (3) a deeply buried paleoshelf edge, where seismic reflectors dip sharply seaward; and (4) a Cretaceous/Jurassic shelf edge beneath the present continental rise. Of these, the synrift basins and Cretaceous/Jurassic shelf edge are considered to be the best targets for exploration. ?? 1989.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  9. Uplift along passive continental margins, changes in plate motion and mantle convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Japsen, Peter; Green, Paul F.; Chalmers, James A.; Bonow, Johan M.

    2014-05-01

    The origin of the forces that produce elevated, passive continental margins (EPCMs) is a hot topic in geoscience. It is, however, a new aspect in the debate that episodes of uplift coincide with changes in plate motion. This has been revealed, primarily, by studies of the burial, uplift and exhumation history of EPCMs based on integration on stratigraphic landscape analysis, low-temperature thermochronology and evidence from the geological record (Green et al., 2013). In the Campanian, Eocene and Miocene, uplift and erosion affected the margins of Brazil and Africa (Japsen et al., 2012b). The uplift phases in Brazil coincided with main phases of Andean orogeny which were periods of relatively rapid convergence at the Andean margin of South America (Cobbold et al., 2001). Because Campanian uplift in Brazil coincides, not only with rapid convergence at the Andean margin of South America, but also with a decline in Atlantic spreading rate, Japsen et al. (2012b) suggested that all these uplift events have a common cause, which is lateral resistance to plate motion. Because the uplift phases are common to margins of diverging plates, it was also suggested that the driving forces can transmit across the spreading axis; probably at great depth, e.g. in the asthenosphere. Late Eocene, Late Miocene and Pliocene uplift and erosion shaped the elevated margin of southern East Greenland (Bonow et al., in review; Japsen et al., in review). These regional uplift phases are synchronous with phases in West Greenland, overlap in time with similar events in North America and Europe and also correlate with changes in plate motion. The much higher elevation of East Greenland compared to West Greenland suggests dynamic support in the east from the Iceland plume. Japsen et al. (2012a) pointed out that EPCMs are typically located above thick crust/lithosphere that is closely juxtaposed to thinner crust/lithosphere. The presence of mountains along the Atlantic margin of Brazil and in East

  10. Pleistocene marine ice sheets and ice shelves at the East Siberian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, Frank; Kuk Hong, Jong; Hegewald, Anne; Matthiessen, Jens; Stein, Rüdiger; Kim, Sookwan; Jensen, Laura; Jokat, Wilfried; Nam, Seung Il

    2014-05-01

    RV "Polarstern" cruise ARK-XIII/3 (2008) and RV "Araon" cruise ARA03B (2012) investigated an area in the Arctic Ocean located between the Chukchi Borderland and the East Siberian Sea (between 165°W and 170°E). Based on swath bathymetry, sediment echosounding, seismic profiling and sediment coring we present evidence that the western Arctic Ocean had a glaciated continental margin during several glacial periods of the Pleistocene (Niessen et al. 2013). At the southern end of the Mendeleev Ridge and on the Chukchi and East Siberian continental slopes ice sheets and ice shelves grounded in up to 1200 m present water depth. We found mega-scale glacial lineations (MSGL) associated with deposition of glaciogenic wedges and debris-flow deposits indicative of sub-glacial erosion and deposition close to the former grounding lines. Glacially lineated areas are associated with large-scale erosion, capped with diamicton and draped by, in places, several metres of pelagic sediments. On the Arlis Plateau, a detailed bathymetric map exhibits several generations of MSGL, which we interpret as relicts of different Pleistocene glaciations. Traces of former grounding line positions suggest that an ice shelf of approximately 900 m in thickness has spread across the Southern Mendeleev Ridge in a north-easterly direction. According to our results, ice sheets of more than one km in thickness continued onto, and likely centered over, the East Siberian Shelf. A preliminary age model suggests that the youngest and shallowest grounding event of an ice sheet should be within Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 and clearly predates the Last Glacial Maximum. The oldest and deepest event predates MIS 6. The youngest grounding event on the Arlis Plateau is tentatively dated to have occurred during MIS 4. These results have important implication for the former distribution of thick ice masses in the Arctic Ocean during the Pleistocene. They are relevant for albedo, ocean-atmosphere heat exchange

  11. Petroleum source potential of rocks dredged from the continental slope in the eastern Gulf of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Plafker, George; Claypool, George Edwin

    1979-01-01

    A bedrock dredging program by the R/V Sea Sounder in 1977 and 1978 along the continental slope in the eastern Gulf of Alaska revealed a previously unknown Eocene sedimentary sequence that includes argillaceous rocks with favorable petroleum source rock characteristics. Seven of 36 dredge hauls that sampled outcrop contain argillaceous rocks with more than l percent and as much as 1.64 percent organic carbon. Some of the rocks in samples of probable early Eocene age have undergone a thermal history that has resulted in generation of hydrocarbons. The organic matter appears to be hydrogen deficient, however, which could indicate that the rocks are more likely to be a source of gas rather than liquid hydrocarbon, unless the hydrogen loss is due to weathering. The Eocene rocks are associated with sandstone and conglomerate on the continental slope. They dip northward beneath younger Tertiary strata in the outer continental shelf where they could be an important petroleum source and exploratory target.

  12. Cretaceous source rock characterization of the Atlantic Continental margin of Morocco

    SciTech Connect

    Jabour, H. )

    1993-02-01

    Characterization of the petroleum potential for the Atlantic margin of Morocco has been based primarily on limited, antiently acquired organic geochemical data. These indicate the area of drilling behind the paleoshelf edge to be only fair in organic carbon and C15+ extract values with predominantly terrestrial kerogen types. Recently acquired geochemical data obtained from relatively recent drilling both behind and beyond the paleoshelf edge indicate 4 depositional facies containing hydrogen rich amorphous kerogen assemblages. These are: (1) Lower to Mid Jurassic inner shelf facies probably deposited in algal rich lagoon-like, (2) Lower Cretaceous non marine coaly facies probably deposited in algal rich swamplike environments, (3) Middle Cretaceous facies characterized by restrited anoxic environment with sediments rich in marine kerogen types deposited under sluggish wather circulation, (4) Upper Cretaceous to Tertiary outer-shelf to Upper slope facies probably deposited under algal-rich upwelling systems. Of these, the Cretaceous facies is the most widespread and represents the best source rock potential characteristics. Correlation of these facies to recently acquired good quality seismic packages allows for extrapolation of probable organic facies distribution throughout the continental margin. This should enhance the hydrocarbon potential of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments both landward and seaward of the paleoshelf edge and thus permits refinement of strategies for hydrocarbon exploration in the area.

  13. Maturation of Tertiary sediments in the Asian Continental Margins: A basis for hydrocarbon generation studies

    SciTech Connect

    Miki, Takashi )

    1994-07-01

    In the marginal areas of the Asian continent, the Paleogene and Miocene coal-bearing formations are sporadically distributed. In some areas, particularly in the sea regions, their equivalents are possibly explored for oil and gas. The basins mainly formed as tectonic depressions, and are filled with fluvial to marine clastic rocks. The formations show marked lateral variation in thickness, lithology, and sediment characteristics, which are related to the geotectonic settings of the basins at active plate margins. Remarkable accumulation of overburden and high paleogeothermal conditions, which are marked in northern Kyushu, Japan, and Thailand, influenced diagenesis. Organic and inorganic maturation studies in northern Kyushu reveal a progress of diagenesis from the inland of Kyushu toward the sea region essentially controlled by additional heat supply from the sea region during and after sedimentation. The sediments on the land surface are chiefly overmatured, and/or contain minor amounts of organic carbon. High paleogeothermal influence on Tertiary maturation is clear also in northern Thailand. The high paleotemperature conditions in these areas may be related to tectonic interaction between the oceanic and continental plates.

  14. Physiography of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and implications about continental margin development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greene, H.D.; Maher, N.M.; Paull, C.K.

    2002-01-01

    Combined EM-300 multibeam bathymetric data and satellite photography reveal the physiography of the continental margin between 35°50′ and 37°03′N and from the shoreline west of 122°40′ and 122°37′W, which includes Monterey Bay, in a previously unprecedented detail. Patterns in these images clearly reveal the processes that are actively influencing the current geomorphology of the Monterey Bay region, including the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Our data indicates that seafloor physiography within the MBNMS results from plate margin tectonic deformation, including uplift and erosion along structural lineaments, and from fluid flow. Mass wasting is the dominant process active within the Ascension–Monterey and Sur–Partington submarine canyon systems and along the lower slopes. Meanders, slump dams, and constricted channels within the submarine canyons, especially within Monterey Canyon, slow and interrupt down-canyon sediment transport. We have identified for the first time thin sediment flows, rotational slumps, rills, depressions that may be associated with pipes, and other fluid-induced features we call ‘scallops’ off the Ascension slope, and suggest that fluid flow has sculptured the seafloor morphologies here. These unusual seafloor morphologies are similar to morphologies found in terrestrial areas modified by ground-water flow.

  15. Heat flow in eastern Egypt - The thermal signature of a continental breakup

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.; Boulos, F. K.; Hennin, S. F.; El-Sherif, A. A.; El-Sayed, A. A.

    1985-01-01

    It is noted that the Red Sea is a modern example of continental fragmentation and incipient ocean formation. A consistent pattern of high heat flow in the Red Sea margins and coastal zone, including Precambrian terrane up to at least 30 km from the Red Sea, has emerged from the existing data. It is noted that this pattern has important implications for the mode and mechanism of Red Sea opening. High heat flow in the Red Sea shelf requires either a high extension of the crust in this zone (probably with major basic magmatic activity) or young oceanic crust beneath this zone. High heat flow in the coastal thermal anomaly zone may be caused by lateral conduction from the offshore lithosphere and/or from high mantle heat flow. It is suggested that new oceanic crust and highly extended continental crust would be essentially indistinguishable with the available data in the Red Sea margins, and are for many purposes essentially identical.

  16. Ten years of studies on Maryland's inner Continental Margin and coastal bays

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kerhin, R.T.; Conkwright, R.; Wells, D.

    1999-01-01

    During the past ten years of the Association of American State Geologists-Mineral Management Service Continental Margins Program, the Maryland Geological Survey investigated the sedimentological, paleontological, stratigraphical and geophysical character of Maryland's inner continental shelf. Based on seismic records and sedimentological analyses completed during the first four years, a late Quaternary stratigraphic model was developed. Five distinct stratigraphic units were identified and described on the Maryland inner shelf. These units represent late Pleistocene interglacial deposits, the oldest of which corresponds to pre-Illinoian (oxygen-isotope stages 7 and/or 9) transgressive shelf sands. Overlying the Q1 unit, the Q2 unit is a 6-meter thick mud sequence of oxygen-isotope stage 5 (128-75 ka) age. Units Q3 and Q4 representing fluvial and leading edge estuarine deposits (oxygen-isotope stages 4, 3 and 2) filled numerous paleochannels that were incised into units Q2 and Q1. Modern trailing-edge transgressive shelf shoals (Unit Q5) discontinuously cap the sequence. The 5th and 6th years studies reported on the economic minerals of surficial and cored sediments. Vibracores collected off the Maryland's shelf during previous studies were analyzed for mineral types and abundances, weight percent of general size fractions, and heavy mineral (HM) content. Mineralogic maturity indices were compiled to correlate the THM and economic heavy minerals (EHM) abundances with position offshore, sediment type, and the indices themselves. For the 7th year, the Maryland Geological Survey re-examined geophysical records and lithological data originally collected by the Army Corps of Engineers to locate and assess beach fill borrow areas for the Ocean City Beach Replenishment Project. Data from 163 vibracores and over 300 kilometers of high-resolution seismic profile records collected off Ocean City, Maryland, supported the stratigraphic model developed by MGS during the first

  17. A model of the methane cycle, permafrost, and hydrology of the Siberian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, D.

    2014-06-01

    A two-dimensional model of a passive continental margin was adapted to the simulation of the methane cycle on Siberian continental shelf and slope, attempting to account for the impacts of glacial/interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to freezing conditions with deep permafrost formation during glacial times, and immersion in the ocean in interglacial times. The model is used to gauge the impact of the glacial cycles, and potential anthropogenic warming in the deep future, on the atmospheric methane emission flux, and the sensitivities of that flux to processes such as permafrost formation and terrestrial organic carbon (Yedoma) deposition. Hydrological forcing drives a freshening and ventilation of pore waters in areas exposed to the atmosphere, which is not quickly reversed by invasion of seawater upon submergence, since there is no analogous saltwater pump. This hydrological pump changes the salinity enough to affect the stability of permafrost and methane hydrates on the shelf. Permafrost formation inhibits bubble transport through the sediment column, by construction in the model. The impact of permafrost on the methane budget is to replace the bubble flux by offshore groundwater flow containing dissolved methane, rather than accumulating methane for catastrophic release when the permafrost seal fails during warming. By far the largest impact of the glacial/interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is attenuation by dissolution of bubbles in the ocean when sea level is high. Methane emissions are highest during the regression (soil freezing) part of the cycle, rather than during transgression (thawing). The model-predicted methane flux to the atmosphere in response to a warming climate is small, relative to the global methane production rate, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. A slight increase due to warming could be completely counteracted by sea level rise on geologic time scales

  18. A model of the methane cycle, permafrost, and hydrology of the Siberian continental margin

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Archer, D.

    2014-06-03

    A two-dimensional model of a passive continental margin was adapted to the simulation of the methane cycle on Siberian continental shelf and slope, attempting to account for the impacts of glacial/interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to freezing conditions with deep permafrost formation during glacial times, and immersion in the ocean in interglacial times. The model is used to gauge the impact of the glacial cycles, and potential anthropogenic warming in the deep future, on the atmospheric methane emission flux, and the sensitivities of that flux to processes such as permafrost formation and terrestrial organic carbonmore » (Yedoma) deposition. Hydrological forcing drives a freshening and ventilation of pore waters in areas exposed to the atmosphere, which is not quickly reversed by invasion of seawater upon submergence, since there is no analogous saltwater pump. This hydrological pump changes the salinity enough to affect the stability of permafrost and methane hydrates on the shelf. Permafrost formation inhibits bubble transport through the sediment column, by construction in the model. The impact of permafrost on the methane budget is to replace the bubble flux by offshore groundwater flow containing dissolved methane, rather than accumulating methane for catastrophic release when the permafrost seal fails during warming. By far the largest impact of the glacial/interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is attenuation by dissolution of bubbles in the ocean when sea level is high. Methane emissions are highest during the regression (soil freezing) part of the cycle, rather than during transgression (thawing). The model-predicted methane flux to the atmosphere in response to a warming climate is small, relative to the global methane production rate, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. A slight increase due to warming could be completely counteracted by sea level rise on geologic time

  19. Geology of the continental margin beneath Santa Monica Bay, Southern California, from seismic-reflection data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, M.A.; Normark, W.R.; Bohannon, R.G.; Sliter, R.W.; Calvert, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    We interpret seismic-reflection data, which were collected in Santa Monica Bay using a 70-in3 generator-injector air gun, to show the geologic structure of the continental shelf and slope and of the deep-water, Santa Monica and San Pedro Basins. The goal of this research is to investigate the earthquake hazard posed to urban areas by offshore faults. These data reveal that northwest of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Palos Verdes Fault neither offsets the seafloor nor cuts through an undeformed sediment apron that postdates the last sea level rise. Other evidence indicates that this fault extends northwest beneath the shelf in the deep subsurface. However, other major faults in the study area, such as the Dume and San Pedro Basin Faults, were active recently, as indicated by an arched seafloor and offset shallow sediment. Rocks under the lower continental slope are deformed to differing degrees on opposite sides of Santa Monica Canyon. Northwest of this canyon, the continental slope is underlain by a little-deformed sediment apron; the main structures that deform this apron are two lower-slope anticlines that extend toward Point Dume and are cored by faults showing reverse or thrust separation. Southeast of Santa Monica Canyon, lower-slope rocks are deformed by a complex arrangement of strike-slip, normal, and reverse faults. The San Pedro Escarpment rises abruptly along the southeast side of Santa Monica Canyon. Reverse faults and folds underpinning this escarpment steepen progressively southeastward. Locally they form flower structures and cut downward into basement rocks. These faults merge downward with the San Pedro Basin fault zone, which is nearly vertical and strike slip. The escarpment and its attendant structures diverge from this strike-slip fault zone and extend for 60 km along the margin, separating the continental shelf from the deep-water basins. The deep-water Santa Monica Basin has large extent but is filled with only a thin (less than 1.5-km

  20. Continental margin deformation along the Andean subduction zone: Thermo-mechanical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerbault, Muriel; Cembrano, J.; Mpodozis, C.; Farias, M.; Pardo, M.

    2009-12-01

    The Chilean Andes extend north-south for about 3000 km over the subducting Nazca plate, and show evidence of local rheological controls on first-order tectonic features. Here, rheological parameters are tested with numerical models of a subduction driven by slab-pull and upper plate velocities, and which calculate the development of stress and strain over a typical period of 4 Myr. The models test the effects of subduction interface strength, arc and fore-arc crust rheology, and arc temperature, on the development of superficial near-surface faulting as well as viscous shear zones in the mantle. Deformation geometries are controlled by the intersection of the subduction interface with continental rheological heterogeneities. Upper plate shortening and trench advance are both correlated, and favored, to a first-order by upper plate weakness, and to a second-order by interface strength. In cases of a strong interface, a weak fore-arc crust is dragged downward by “tectonic erosion”, a scenario for which indications are found along the northern Chilean margin. In contrast for a resistant fore-arc, the slab-pull force transmits to the surface and produces topographic subsidence. This process may explain present-day subsidence of the Salar de Atacama basin and/or the persistence of a Central Depression. Specific conditions for northern Chile produce a shear zone that propagates from the subduction zone in the mantle, through the Altiplano lower crust into the Sub-Andean crust, as proposed by previous studies. Models with a weak interface in turn, allow buoyant subducted material to rise into the continental arc. In case of cessation of the slab-pull, this buoyant material may rise enough to change the stress state in the continental crust, and lead to back-arc opening. In a case of young and hydrated oceanic plate forced by the slab-pull to subduct under a resistant continent, this plate is deviated and indented by the continental mantle, and stretches horizontally

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  2. Organic matter diagenesis and hydrocarbon generation on outer Continental Margin of northwestern Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers, P.A.; Snowdon, L.R.; Heggie, D.; Bent, A.

    1989-03-01

    Organic geochemical analyses of sediments and rocks obtained from drill sites on the Exmouth and Wombat Plateaus and the Argo Abyssal Plain on the northwestern margin of Australia were done onboard the JOIDES Resolution during Ocean Drilling Program Legs 122 and 123. These analyses provide information about the sources of organic matter to these offshore locations from Triassic to Holocene times and also indicate the degree of postdepositional diagenesis and maturation the organic matter has experienced. Because this margin has interest to petroleum explorationists, these data have practical as well as fundamental significance. Triassic claystones (equivalent to the onshore Mungeroo Formation) from the Wombat Plateau contain up to several percent of land-derived organic carbon. Neocomian siltstones and claystones (equivalent to the Barrow Group and Muderong Shale) from the Exmouth Plateau hold similar organic matter but at lower concentrations. Younger sediments are generally very lean in organic matter. Gas chromatographic analysis of extractable hydrocarbons shows a large and often dominant contribution of continental components, notably n-alkanes with a strong odd/even ratio and tricyclic diterpanes. Both Rock-Eval and hydrocarbon results agree in indicating low to moderate levels of thermal maturity. Locations on the Exmouth Plateau typically contain large amounts of thermogenic gaseous hydrocarbons dominated by methane. Concentrations peak in Senonian chalk sequences. In Neocomian siltstones and claystones, methane-ethane ratios diminish as concentrations decrease. The source of these hydrocarbons is likely to be the Triassic coals and coaly material below the Dingo claystone, which was not drilled during these legs but has been characterized from industry wells on this passive margin.

  3. Link between Mid-Ocean Ridge kinematics and uplift of passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Døssing, A.; Japsen, P.; Nielsen, T.; Thybo, H.; Dahl-Jensen, T.

    2012-04-01

    Tectonic models predict post-rift subsidence of rift margins after initial flexural rebound and transgression of a sedimentary wedge over the subsiding mar¬gin as the lithosphere cools with time. However, studies of North Atlantic rifted margins show that thermal subsidence following breakup at the Paleocene-Eocene transition was interrupted by significant uplift movements. These vertical movements represent a long-standing enigma and they have been linked to sea-level fluctuations, climate deterioration and tectonics but as yet they remain unexplained. Here we combine regional Multi-Channel Seismic reflection data across the NE Greenland Shelf, the Greenland Fracture Zone (GFZ) and continental East Greenland Ridge (EGR) in the northern NE Atlantic and stratigraphic data from a drill core. We show that a mid-Miocene change from down-faulting to uplift along the GFZ-EGR correlates with significant uplift of the NE Greenland margin. This tectonic change is associated with a regional unconformity that marks the first occurrences of mass-¬wasted deposits in the deep sea off the NE Greenland Shelf and the development of prograd¬ing mega-sequences and angular truncation of hemipelagic sediments below the unconformity, respectively, on the outer and inner NE Greenland Shelf. We attribute the tectonic changes at the GFZ to the development of a modern, continuous spreading system along the Mohns-Knipovich Ridge segments that led to an opening of the Fram Strait corridor, to large-scale changes in ocean circulation and climate and possibly to medium-scale (20-30 m) sea-level fluctuations. While these consequences of the tectonic changes may have affected the amplitude of uplift in NE Greenland, they cannot explain the uplift at the GFZ-EGR in deep sea. We therefore find that plate-tectonic changes produced the driving force for the mid-Miocene uplift in NE Greenland.

  4. The Davie Ridge: a Marginal Transform Ridge not Formed During Continental Breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phethean, J. J. J.; Van Hunen, J.; McCaffrey, K. J. W.; Davies, R. J.

    2014-12-01

    The breakup of Gondwana translated Madagascar southwards relative to Africa along the Davie Fracture Zone (DFZ). This fracture zone now forms the Transform Passive Continental Margin (TPCM) from Kenya to Mozambique. The Davie Ridge (DR), a transform marginal ridge, has formed along the DFZ between 5 and 2°S and 22 and 11°S, but with little expression in-between. It has been proposed that this marginal ridge was formed by the thermal effects of a passing Mid Ocean Ridge (MOR) during the separation of Gondwana. Plate kinematic reconstructions, however, constrained by ocean magnetic anomalies, show that the MOR only passed between the north and south expressions of the DR. Therefore the positive linear gravity anomalies of the DR cannot be attributed to the effects of a passing MOR, and some other mechanism must be found to explain their formation. Interpretation of seismic reflection profiles along the DR shows that the gravity highs occur adjacent to large basin structures. In the north this correlates with a basin-bounding basement high of ~Albian age, and in the south with the rift flank uplifts of the currently active Quirimbas graben. This suggests that the northern and southern DR segments are instead shoulder uplifts resulting from two separate extensional episodes during different stress regimes. These are the Cretaceous NE-SW extension during the breakup of the south Atlantic, and the E-W extension of the Neogene-recent Afar-East Africa rift system, respectfully. The lack of deformation and DR formation along the region of the TPCM passed by the MOR suggests it has been coupled by thermal effects and/or the injection of magma.

  5. New Mesozoic-Cenozoic palaeotectonic maps used to shed light on Tethyan geological development (Eastern Mediterranean, Taurides and Arabian margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, A. H. F.; Parlak, O.; Ustaömer, T.

    2012-04-01

    The main objective here is to present and discuss a series of new palaeotectonic maps for the region that includes the easternmost Mediterranean, the Arabian margin and the Taurides, and which assimilate much recently published information. Critical to this is a review of the Taurides which tests alternative reconstructions that involve either the creation of a series of rifts within a large continental area and/or an array of or microcontinents separated by Mesozoic ocean basins. The proposed reconstructions envisage a long-lived Palaeozoic-Early Cenozoic Tethys bordering Eurasia (Rheic and Palaeotethyan oceans), northward subduction of these oceans beneath Eurasia and the rifting of continental fragments from Gondwana (e.g. during Ordovician and Triassic). Consideration of field relations indicates that the various platform units in southern Turkey (e.g. Bey Dağları; Malatya-Keban; Kirşehir) do not restore as a single large Tauride continent. Instead continental fragments rifted from Gondwana during the Triassic to open several Mesozoic oceanic basins, notably the large Southern Neotethyan ocean, the Berit ocean (new name) and the Inner Tauride ocean, while the İzmir-Arkara-Erzincan ocean developed adjacent to Eurasia. In general, Mid-Permian to Mid-Triassic pulsed rifting culminated in Late Triassic-Early Jurassic spreading. After Early-Mid Jurassic passive subsidence, Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous was characterised by alkaline, within-plate magmatism related to plume activity or renewed rifting. Late Cretaceous ophiolites formed above subduction zones in several oceanic basins. During latest the Cretaceous ophiolites were emplaced southwards onto the Tauride and Arabian platforms. The Southern Neotethys sutured with the Arabian margin during the Early-Middle Miocene, while ocean crust remained in the Eastern Mediterranean further west. The leading edge of the North African continental margin, the Eratosthenes High, collided with a subduction trench south

  6. Geoacoustic characteristics at the DH-2 long-core sediments in the Korean continental margin of the East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryang, Woo Hun; Kim, Seong Pil; Hahn, Jooyoung

    2015-04-01

    A long core of 27.2 m was acquired at the DH-2 site (37°34.355'N and 129°19.516'E) in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. The core site is located near the Donghae City and the water depth is 316.6 m deep. The long-core sediment was recovered using the Portable Remotely Operated Drill (PROD), a fully contained drilling system, remotely operated at the seafloor. The recovered core sediments were analyzed for physical, sedimentological, and geoacoustic properties mostly at 10~30 cm intervals. Based on the long-core data with subbottom and air-gun profiles at the DH-2 core site, geoacoustic characteristics of the deeper sedimentary successions were firstly investigated in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. The geoacoustic measurements comprise 86 P-wave velocities and 76 attenuation values. These geoacoustic characteristics of the DH-2 long core probably contribute for reconstruction of geoacoustic models reflecting vertical and lateral variability of acoustic properties in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. Keywords: long core, geoacoustic, East Sea, continental margin, P-wave speed Acknowledgements: This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0025733) and by the Agency of Defense Development (UD140003DD).

  7. Comparison of Sedimentary Processes on Adjacent Passive and Active Continental Margins Offshore of Southwest Taiwan Based on Echo Character Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, C.; Chiu, J.

    2008-12-01

    Echo character recorded on Chirp sub-bottom sonar data from offshore area of southwest Taiwan were analyzed to examine and compare the sedimentary processes of adjacent passive and active continental margin settings. Seafloor echoes in the study area are classified into four types: (1) distinct echoes, (2) indistinct echoes, (3) hyperbolic echoes, and (4) irregular echoes. Based on the mapped distribution of the echo types, the sedimentary processes offshore of southwest Taiwan are different in the two tectonic settings. On the passive South China Sea margin, slope failure is the main process on the upper continental slope, whereas turbidite deposits accumulate in the lower continental slope. In contrast, the submarine Taiwan orogenic wedge is characterized by fill-and-spill processes in the intraslope basins of the upper slope, and mass-transport deposits are observed in the canyons and on the lower Kaoping slope. This difference is largely caused by the huge influx of terrigenous sediments into the submarine Taiwan orogenic wedge province compared to the passive South China Sea continental margin. In the passive South China Sea margin, loading and movement of the Taiwan orogenic wedge has had significant effect on the seafloor morphology, and triggered retrogressive failures. Gas hydrate dissociation may have enhanced the slope failure processes at some locations.

  8. Morphological and sedimentary characterization of changing glacial regimes on the eastern Wilkes Land margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, J. J.; Escutia, C.; de Santis, L.; Donda, F.

    2009-04-01

    An integration of all seismic reflection data sets available from the eastern Wilkes Land margin allow us to: (1) define five regionally preserved shelf erosional unconformities when the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) extended to the outer continental shelf, and (2) redefine some of the unconformities previously interpreted on the continental rise. Morphological characterization of the five unconformities on the shelf shows an evolution of the ice sheet drainage paths with time. Widespread large erosive U-shaped channels (channel widths of 1-4 km, maximum widths between walls of up to 25 km, and up to 500 m in relief) characterize the basal unconformity (WL-U3) that is interpreted to mark the first glacial advance in this margin. Above WL-U3, the drainage channels become localized and increasily wider and shallower as we move up-section. The youngest valley, eroded during the last glacial maximum (LGM), is broad (25 km) and has the trapezoidal cross-section profile characteristic of glacial troughs elsewhere around Antarctica. The variation in the spatial distribution and morphological character of the drainage systems in the Wilkes Land with time, we believe is related to evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet glacial regime that changed from a temperate wet-based ice sheet during the development of WL-U3 to a cold-based and persistent ice sheet (Pliocene?). This hypothesis is supported by the variations of sedimentary depocenters and sedimentary processes the base of the slope and continental rise. On the continental rise, our isopach maps of the nine glacial sequences (named WL-S3B-WL-S9, from the deepest to the shallowest) show three main sedimentary depocenter shifts with time. During deposition of sequences WL-S3B to WL-S4 sedimentation is focused on the base of the slope and the uppermost continental rise with thicknesses that vary between 0.55 and 0.75 ms (TWTT). Glacial sequences at the base of the slope are dominated by extensive glacigenic mass

  9. First images of the crustal structure across the eastern Algerian margin, from deep penetrating seismic data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouyahiaoui, Boualem; Abtout, Abdeslam; Sage, Françoise; Klingelhoeffer, Frauke; Collot, Jean-yves; Yelles-chaouche, Abdelkarim; Marok, Abbas; Djellit, Hamou; Galves, Audrey; Bracène, Rabah; Schnurle, Philippe; Graindorge, David; party, Scientific

    2013-04-01

    The Algerian continental margin North Africa presents one of only a few examples of a passive continental margin formed in a back-arc environment, which undergoes current compression and is proposed to be reactivated today. In the framework of the Algerian - French SPIRAL research program (Sismique Profonde et Investigation Regionale du nord de l'ALgérie), a seismic cruise was conducted on the R/V Atalante from September to November 2009. During the cruise, deep penetrating low frequency multichannel and wide-angle seismic data were acquired in order to study the deep structure of the Algerian margin. In this work, we present the preliminary results from wide-angle modeling of the North-east Algerian margin in the region of Annaba along a N-S transect using a data set of 42 OBS (ocean bottom seismometers) along a profile extending 117km, and 13 broadband seismological stations along a profile of 80 km length. Travel-time tomography and forward modeling were undertaken to model the velocity structure in this region. The resulting velocity models image the thickness of the sedimentary layers, which varies between a few hundred meters on the continental margin of more than 4 km in the basin. The crust is about 6 km thick in the basin, and thickens to 7-8 km between 40 and 60km distance from the margin toe. Crustal thickness increases to about 22 km at the continental slope over a distance of ~ 90 km. The nature of the crust was determined to be thin oceanic with abnormal velocity gradient in the basin, and thinned continental from around 30 km distance from the coast landward. Integration of the wide-angle seismic data with multichannel seismic, gravity and magnetic data will help to better understand the structure of the Algerian margin and the adjacent oceanic basin in the Annaba region, and to discuss the numerous cinematic models proposed in literature regarding the formation of the north-Algerian basin.

  10. Circum-Pacific accretion of oceanic terranes to continental blocks: accretion of the Early Permian Dun Mountain ophiolite to the E Gondwana continental margin, South Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Alastair

    2016-04-01

    Accretionary orogens, in part, grow as a result of the accretion of oceanic terranes to pre-existing continental blocks, as in the circum-Pacific and central Asian regions. However, the accretionary processes involved remain poorly understood. Here, we consider settings in which oceanic crust formed in a supra-subduction zone setting and later accreted to continental terranes (some, themselves of accretionary origin). Good examples include some Late Cretaceous ophiolites in SE Turkey, the Jurassic Coast Range ophiolite, W USA and the Early Permian Dun Mountain ophiolite of South Island, New Zealand. In the last two cases, the ophiolites are depositionally overlain by coarse clastic sedimentary rocks (e.g. Permian Upukerora Formation of South Island, NZ) that then pass upwards into very thick continental margin fore-arc basin sequences (Great Valley sequence, California; Matai sequence, South Island, NZ). Field observations, together with petrographical and geochemical studies in South Island, NZ, summarised here, provide evidence of terrane accretion processes. In a proposed tectonic model, the Early Permian Dun Mountain ophiolite was created by supra-subduction zone spreading above a W-dipping subduction zone (comparable to the present-day Izu-Bonin arc and fore arc, W Pacific). The SSZ oceanic crust in the New Zealand example is inferred to have included an intra-oceanic magmatic arc, which is no longer exposed (other than within a melange unit in Southland), but which is documented by petrographic and geochemical evidence. An additional subduction zone is likely to have dipped westwards beneath the E Gondwana margin during the Permian. As a result, relatively buoyant Early Permian supra-subduction zone oceanic crust was able to dock with the E Gondwana continental margin, terminating intra-oceanic subduction (although the exact timing is debatable). The amalgamation ('soft collision') was accompanied by crustal extension of the newly accreted oceanic slab, and

  11. Structural Precursors to Continental Break-Up; the Faroe Islands, NE Atlantic Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, R. J.; Holdsworth, R. E.; Imber, J.; Ellis, D.

    2008-12-01

    During the Palaeogene the NE Atlantic margin was subjected to a series of extension events immediately prior to and during continental break-up (at ca. 54 Ma). In the Faroes region of the margin, palaeostress analyses on faults exposed on the Faroe Islands indicate that the extension vector rotated in an anticlockwise sense from NE-SW to NW-SE. Remnants of the Faroe Islands Basalt Group (FIBG) exposed on the islands were emplaced at or around sea-level, to a total stratigraphic thickness in excess of 6.6 km, requiring a comparable magnitude of subsidence; to date, the structures preserved on the Faroe Islands have been inferred as being concurrent with subsidence. However, no onshore studies have accounted for the uplift events that must have occurred to bring the Faroe Islands to their current elevation (the highest peak at 882 m a.s.l.). The purpose of this study is to constrain the relative timings and kinematics of structures exposed on the Faroe Islands in order to investigate the regional tectonic deformation regime during continental break-up and sea-floor spreading; processes that have not hitherto been resolved using geophysical techniques. For the first time, we provide structural evidence that suggests uplift was accommodated by reactivation of pre-existing structures in the period immediately following emplacement of the FIBG. Structures on the islands provide clear evidence for a 3-phase tectonic evolution: (1a) anticlockwise rotation from E-W to NE-SW extension, facilitated first on N-S (dip-slip) faults, followed by NW-SE (dip-slip) faults. NE- SW extension (1b) continued with emplacement of a NW-SE- and NNE-SSW-oriented dyke swarm. Event-1 began prior to the deposition of the coal-bearing Prestfjall Formation, and was sustained through to emplacement of the Enni Formation, resulting in notable thickness variations across the Judd, Brynhild and Westray fault-zones. Further anticlockwise rotation of the extension vector led to (2a) the emplacement of

  12. Geometry of the Iapetus Baltoscandian continental margin; evidence for basement highs from the external imbricate zone.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, A. Hugh N.

    2015-04-01

    The geometry of the Iapetus Baltoscandian continental margin prior to Scandinavian Caledonian collision is important, since only with a detailed initial input can synthetic palaeogeographic and deformation models be correctly applied. The Scandes comprise ~SE-directed nappes pierced by tectonic windows exposing basement with condensed, post-Gaskiers-glaciation (582-580Ma) cover sequences. Here, evidence, largely from the Lower Allochthon (external imbricate zone), for major displacement of these basement rocks ('Window Allochthon'), is summarized; palaeogeographically they formed a topographic-high along the Baltoscandian continental margin. In the Oslo Graben and East Finnmark areas (southernmost/northernmost Scandinavia), the transition from (par)-autochthon to allochthon is preserved (Osen-Roa Nappe Complex/Gaissa Thrust Belt; ORNC/GTB). These areas give reliable templates for other parts of the orogen, where the orogen leading edge has been extensively eroded. In the ORNC and GTB, bulk shortening was ~50%, with values rising towards the hinterland; metamorphic grades also increase towards the hinterland. Balanced-sections restore the trailing-edges of the ORNC and GTB to Norwegian coastal areas. In Finnmark, restoration places pre-Marinoan (pre~650 Ma) GTB anchizone-grade rocks above epizone-grade post-Gaskiers rocks lying unconformably on basement in the Komagfjord tectonic window. In southern Norway, restored pre-Gaskiers ORNC rocks overlie Cambro-Ordovician sediments unconformable on basement in the Atnsjøen/Spekedalen windows and WGR. Caledonian Middle Allochthon deformation in Finnmark was SE-directed and in the GTB E- to ESE-directed. In the Komagfjord window basement, Caledonian imbrication was SE-directed, but the overlying basal Middle Allochthon mylonites have an out-of-sequence E-ESE overprint. Thus the Komagfjord basement/cover lies structurally between the Middle and Lower Allochthons. In the Atnsjøen/Spekedalen windows, SE-directed Caledonian

  13. U.S. Eastern Continental Shelf Carbon Cycling (USECoS): Modeling, Data Assimilation, and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mannino, Antonio

    2008-01-01

    Although the oceans play a major role in the uptake of fossil fuel CO2 from the atmosphere, there is much debate about the contribution from continental shelves, since many key shelf fluxes are not yet well quantified: the exchange of carbon across the land-ocean and shelf-slope interfaces, air-sea exchange of CO2, burial, and biological processes including productivity. Our goal is to quantify these carbon fluxes along the eastern U.S. coast using models quantitatively verified by comparison to observations, and to establish a framework for predicting how these fluxes may be modified as a result of climate and land use change. Our research questions build on those addressed with previous NASA funding for the USECoS (U.S. Eastern Continental Shelf Carbon Cycling) project. We have developed a coupled biogeochemical ocean circulation model configured for this study region and have extensively evaluated this model with both in situ and remotely-sensed data. Results indicate that to further reduce uncertainties in the shelf component of the global carbon cycle, future efforts must be directed towards 1) increasing the resolution of the physical model via nesting and 2) making refinements to the biogeochemical model and quantitatively evaluating these via the assimilation of biogeochemical data (in situ and remotely-sensed). These model improvements are essential for better understanding and reducing estimates of uncertainties in current and future carbon transformations and cycling in continental shelf systems. Our approach and science questions are particularly germane to the carbon cycle science goals of the NASA Earth Science Research Program as well as the U.S. Climate Change Research Program and the North American Carbon Program. Our interdisciplinary research team consists of scientists who have expertise in the physics and biogeochemistry of the U.S. eastern continental shelf, remote-sensing data analysis and data assimilative numerical models.

  14. Germanium-silicon fractionation in a river-influenced continental margin: The Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baronas, J. Jotautas; Hammond, Douglas E.; Berelson, William M.; McManus, James; Severmann, Silke

    2016-04-01

    In this study we have sampled the water column and sediments of the Gulf of Mexico to investigate the effects of high riverine terrigenous load and sediment redox conditions on the cycling of Ge and Si. Water column Ge/Si ratios across the Gulf of Mexico continental shelf range from 1.9 to 25 μmol/mol, which is elevated compared to the global ocean value of 0.7 μmol/mol. The Ge enrichment in the Gulf of Mexico seawater is primarily due to anthropogenic contamination of the Mississippi river, which is the main Ge and Si source to the area, and to a smaller extent due to discrimination against Ge during biogenic silica (bSi) production (Ge/Si = 1.2-1.8 μmol/mol), especially by radiolarians and siliceous sponges (Ge/Si = 0.6-1.1 μmol/mol). Most sediment pore waters (Ge/Si = 0.3-4.5 μmol/mol) and sediment incubation experiments (benthic flux Ge/Si = 0.9-1.2 μmol/mol) indicate precipitation of authigenic phases that sequester Ge from pore waters (non-opal sink). This process appears to be independent of oxidation-reduction reactions and suggests that authigenic aluminosilicate formation (reverse weathering) may be the dominant Ge sink in marine sediments. Compilation of previously published data shows that in continental margins, non-opal Ge burial flux is controlled by bSi supply, while in open ocean sediments it is 10-100 times lower and most likely limited by the supply of lithogenic material. We provide a measurement-based estimate of the global non-opal Ge burial flux as 4-32 Mmol yr-1, encompassing the 2-16 Mmol yr-1 needed to keep the global marine Ge cycle at steady state.

  15. The onshore-offshore ENCENS project: Imaging the stretching of the continental lithosphere and inception of oceanic spreading in the eastern Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leroy, S.; Ebinger, C.; D'Acremont, E.; Stuart, G.; Al-Lazki, A.; Tiberi, C.; Autin, J.; Watremez, L.; Beslier, M.; Bellahsen, N.; Lucazeau, F.; Perrot, J.; Mouthereau, F.; Courrèges, E.; Huchon, P.; Rouzo, S.; Balahaf, S.; Sholan, J.; Unternehr, P.; Hello, Y.; Anglade, A.; Desprez, O.; Beguery, L.; Aouji, O.; Daniel, R.; Al Toubi, K.

    2006-12-01

    The eastern Gulf of Aden exemplifies several extensional processes that began 35 Ma ago from continental rifting to seafloor spreading at 2 cm/yr. Thin post-breakup sediment cover reveals the syn- and pre-rift basement fabric and the variable styles of conjugate margins along and across strike. A comprehensive multi- disciplinary study of the eastern part of the northern margin of the Gulf of Aden has been undertaken recently in the framework of the French margins program (GDR Marges) and the NERC with the long term objective to integrate in a consistent model of evolution, field observations where the margins crop out, results of marine geophysical survey where the margins are submerged and seismological observations of deep interior structure. A deep onshore-offshore seismic survey operated by IFREMER-GENAVIR was conducted between February, 3rd and March 14th 2006 off the Dhofar coast (southern Oman). We collect 67 multichannel seismic reflection profiles and 15 seismic refraction profiles acquired thanks to 60 stations. The shots have been recorded by 35 Ocean Bottom Seismometers (15 from IRD-Villefranche sur Mer and 20 from INSU Paris) and 25 seismological stations deployed onland in Southern Oman (18 stations from Encens-UK project funded by NERC and managed by RHUL ; 2 temporary and 4 permanent stations from Sultan Qaboos University ; 1 from ENS Paris). The network has been extended to the southern conjugate margin with 2 broadband stations deployed in Socotra island. The preliminary results show the evolution of the thickness of the crust from 35 km in the upper part of the margin to about 5 km in the ocean-continent transition. From our observations (low angle faults dipping toward the ocean or the continent imaged) we will propose rifting models responsible for the lithospheric stretching. The segmentation of the margins should be also precisely defined thanks to the multibeam bathymetry, the magnetism and the gravity acquired during the cruise.

  16. Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Crustal Growth at Active Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, G.; Gerya, T.; Tackley, P. J.

    2011-12-01

    Active margins are important sites of new continental crust formation by magmatic processes related to the subduction of oceanic plates. We investigate these phenomena using a three-dimensional coupled petrological-geochemical-thermomechanical numerical model, which combines a finite-difference flow solver with a non-diffusive marker-in-cell technique for advection (I3ELVIS code, Gerya and Yuen, PEPI,2007). The model includes mantle flow associated with the subducting plate, water release from the slab, fluid propagation that triggers partial melting at the slab surface, melt extraction and the resulting volcanic crustal growth at the surface. The model also accounts for variations in physical properties (mainly density and viscosity) of both fluids and rocks as a function of local conditions in temperature, pressure, deformation, nature of the rocks, and chemical exchanges. Our results show different patterns of crustal growth and surface topography, which are comparable to nature, during subduction at active continental margins. Often, two trench-parallel lines of magmatic activity, which reflect two maxima of melt production atop the slab, are formed on the surface. The melt extraction rate controls the patterns of new crust at different ages. Moving free water reflects the path of fluids, and the velocity of free water shows the trend of two parallel lines of magmatic activity. The formation of new crust in particular time intervals is distributed in finger-like shapes, corresponding to finger-like and ridge-like cold plumes developed atop the subducting slabs (Zhu et al., G-cubed,2009; PEPI,2011). Most of the new crust is basaltic, formed from peridotitic mantle. Granitic crust extracted from melted sediment and upper crust forms in a line closer to the trench, and its distribution reflects the finger-like cold plumes. Dacitic crust extracted from the melted lower crust forms in a line farther away from the trench, and its distribution is anticorrelated with

  17. Methane Derived Authigenic Carbonates from the Upper Continental Margin of the Bay of Biscay (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre, C.; Blanc-Valleron, M. M.; Dupré, S.

    2014-12-01

    Extensive seafloor carbonate pavements are present at water depth from 140 to 180 meters on the upper continental margin of the Bay of Biscay, 50 to 60 km away from the present-day coastline. They form at the seafloor meter-high sub-circular reliefs with a diameter from 10 m to 100 m that are surrounded by light brown silto-sandy unconsolidated sediments. All these structures are associated with active methane seeps that cover an area of 80km from N to S and up to 8km from W to E. These carbonates were sampled during the two cruises GAZCOGNE 1 (july-august 2013) and GAZCOGNE 2 (september 2013). The carbonate crusts are porous sandstones, dark brown to black by impregnation with Fe-Mn oxides/hydroxides. Subseafloor concretions are homogenous light to medium grey fine-grained sandstones. The bulk carbonate content varies in the range 36-42 weight %. The carbonate mineralogy is dominated by aragonite that cements the detrital grains whereas calcite comes from the biogenic carbonates. Dolomite occurs in significant amount in a few samples. Circular cavities of 5 to 10 µm of diameter in the carbonate cement represent traces of gas bubbles; smaller holes in the aragonite crystals are due to carbonate dissolution by CO2 issued from aerobic oxidation of methane. The oxygen isotopic compositions of the bulk carbonate (+1.7 to +4.5‰) and aragonite cement (-0.2 to +1.4‰) are lower than the values in equilibrium with the present-day temperature and salinity conditions. This indicates that the carbonate precipitated in mixtures of seawater and continental water, i.e. in a context of submarine groundwater discharge. The carbon isotopic compositions of the bulk carbonate (-51.9 to -38.2‰) and aragonite cement (-49.9 to -29.3‰) demonstrate that most carbon derived from methane oxidized as bicarbonate during microbial anaerobic oxidation of methane. The GAZCOGNE study is co-funded by TOTAL and IFREMER as part of the PAMELA (Passive Margin Exploration Laboratories

  18. Key controls of surface carbonate system dynamics around the northwest European continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Z.; Hydes, D. J.; Hartman, S. E.; Hartman, M. C.

    2011-12-01

    Monthly sampling coupled to continuous underway observation from a ship-of-opportunity (Pride of Bilbao) provides new insights into the relative importance of processes controlling the seasonal to inter-annual variability of the carbonate system around the northwest European continental margin. Total alkalinity (TA) and total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were determined alongside measurements of nutrients and continuous records of temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-fluorescence, and dissolved oxygen (DO). The northwest European continental margin is temperate latitude system with a strong seasonal cycle in biological productivity determined by light, nutrient supply, and stratification. Here we contrast findings in two areas: the shallow non stratified English Channel (depth ~50 m) and seasonally stratified oligotrophic waters of the central Bay of Biscay (depth >3000 m). In the Bay of Biscay, the seasonal variations of the carbonate system, nutrient, and DO were mainly controlled by the winter mixing and spring phytoplankton bloom. DIC and nutrients in the Bay increased from autumn and reached the annual maxima in later winter, they then decreased significantly during the spring bloom corresponding to the biological uptake. DIC fell during the spring bloom with a near Redfield ratio in relation to the nutrient uptake. In contrast, post bloom in summer, a continued decrease in DIC in the absence of measurable nitrate was possibly related to the nutrient supply from the turbulent mixing. pCO2 and pH showed a double peak in the annual cycles modulated by temperature which counterbalanced the influence of winter mixing and biological production. The inter-annual biogeochemical variability was closely related to the changes in winter mixed layer depth and the phytoplankton biomass. The Bay of Biscay acted as a sink for atmospheric CO2 in all seasons, with higher air-to-sea CO2 fluxes observed in cold winter and the productive spring season. In the more dynamic

  19. Gas emissions at the continental margin west off Svalbard: mapping, sampling, and quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahling, H.; Römer, M.; Pape, T.; Bergès, B.; dos Santos Fereirra, C.; Boelmann, J.; Geprägs, P.; Tomczyk, M.; Nowald, N.; Dimmler, W.; Schroedter, L.; Glockzin, M.; Bohrmann, G.

    2014-05-01

    We mapped, sampled, and quantified gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard during R/V Heincke cruise He-387 in late summer 2012. Hydroacoustic mapping revealed that gas emissions were not limited to a zone just above 396 m below sea level (m b.s.l.). Flares from this depth gained significant attention in the scientific community in recent years because they may be caused by bottom water-warming induced hydrate dissolution in the course of global warming and/or by recurring seasonal hydrate formation and decay. We found that gas emissions occurred widespread between about 80 and 415 m b.s.l. which indicates that hydrate dissolution might only be one of several triggers for active hydrocarbon seepage in that area. Gas emissions were remarkably intensive at the main ridge of the forlandet moraine complex in 80 to 90 m water depths, and may be related to thawing permafrost. Focused seafloor investigations were performed with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) "Cherokee". Geochemical analyses of gas bubbles sampled at about 240 m b.s.l. as well as at the 396 m gas emission sites revealed that the vent gas is primarily composed of methane (> 99.70%) of microbial origin (average δ13C = -55.7‰ V-PDB). Estimates of the regional gas bubble flux from the seafloor to the water column in the area of possible hydrate decomposition were achieved by combining flare mapping using multibeam and single beam echosounder data, bubble stream mapping using a ROV-mounted horizontally-looking sonar, and quantification of individual bubble streams using ROV imagery and bubble counting. We estimated that about 53 × 106 mol methane were annually emitted at the two areas and allow a large range of uncertainty due to our method (9 to 118 × 106 mol yr-1). These amounts, first, show that gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard were in the same order of magnitude as bubble emissions at other geological settings, and second, may be used to calibrate models

  20. Gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard: mapping, sampling, and quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahling, H.; Römer, M.; Pape, T.; Bergès, B.; dos Santos Fereirra, C.; Boelmann, J.; Geprägs, P.; Tomczyk, M.; Nowald, N.; Dimmler, W.; Schroedter, L.; Glockzin, M.; Bohrmann, G.

    2014-11-01

    We mapped, sampled, and quantified gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard during R/V Heincke cruise He-387 in late summer 2012. Hydroacoustic mapping revealed that gas emissions were not limited to a zone just above 396 m water depth. Flares from this depth have gained significant attention in the scientific community in recent years because they may be caused by bottom-water warming-induced hydrate dissolution in the course of global warming and/or by recurring seasonal hydrate formation and decay. We found that gas emissions occurred widespread between about 80 and 415 m water depth, which indicates that hydrate dissolution might only be one of several triggers for active hydrocarbon seepage in that area. Gas emissions were remarkably intensive at the main ridge of the Forlandet moraine complex in 80 to 90 m water depths, and may be related to thawing permafrost. Focused seafloor investigations were performed with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) "Cherokee". Geochemical analyses of gas bubbles sampled at about 240 m water depth as well as at the 396 m gas emission sites revealed that the vent gas is primarily composed of methane (> 99.70%) of microbial origin (average δ13C = -55.7‰ V-PDB). Estimates of the regional gas bubble flux from the seafloor to the water column in the area of possible hydrate decomposition were achieved by combining flare mapping using multibeam and single-beam echosounder data, bubble stream mapping using a ROV-mounted horizontally looking sonar, and quantification of individual bubble streams using ROV imagery and bubble counting. We estimated that about 53 × 106 mol methane were annually emitted at the two areas and allow for a large range of uncertainty due to our method (9 to 118 × 106 mol yr-1). First, these amounts show that gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard were on the same order of magnitude as bubble emissions at other geological settings; second, they may be used to calibrate

  1. Assessing the importance of tropical cyclones on continental margin sedimentation in the Mississippi delta region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dail, Michael. B.; Reide Corbett, D.; Walsh, J. P.

    2007-08-01

    Recent research on the Mississippi margin indicates notable seasonal variation in seabed dynamics. During years with minimal tropical-system activity, sediments initially deposited from late spring to early fall are remobilized by wind-driven currents and wave energy during extra-tropical weather systems in the winter. This research reveals the profound significance of tropical cyclones on Louisiana Shelf sedimentation. The amount of material delivered to and advected across the shelf by recent tropical cyclones is considerably larger than that related to winter storm systems. In Fall 2004, the river-dominated shelf of Louisiana was impacted by three tropical systems in less than a month, including Hurricane Ivan. Ivan, with maximum sustained winds in excess of 74 m s -1 (144 knots) and a minimum measured central pressure of 910 mbar, was the eighth most intense Atlantic hurricane on record at the time. In order to assess the impact these tropical systems had on the continental margin west of the Mississippi delta, seabed samples were collected from box cores in October 2004 and analyzed for particle-reactive radionuclides 234Th, 7Be, and 210Pb. Radiochemical data and observations from X-radiographs indicate event-driven sediment deposits ranged from 4 to 30 cm on the shelf and 2-6 cm in the Mississippi Canyon. These deposits exhibit distinct radiochemical signatures and differ visually and texturally from the underlying sediment. The well-developed physical stratification and graded nature of the deposits observed in core X-radiographs suggests that the sediment could have been deposited from sediment-gravity flows. Inventories of 7Be and 7Be/ 234Th xs ratios reveal this series of cyclones transported considerably more material to the outer shelf and slope than periods of minimal tropical-system activity. When compared to seasonal depositional rates created by winter storms, tropical-cyclone-related event deposits on the middle and outer shelf are up to an order

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  3. Tectonic affinity of the Alxa Block, Northwest China: Constrained by detrital zircon U-Pb ages from the early Paleozoic strata on its southern and eastern margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Beihang; Zhang, Jin; Zhang, Yiping; Zhao, Heng; Wang, Yannan; Nie, Fengjun

    2016-06-01

    The tectonic affinity of the Alxa Block is important in the reconstruction of the paleogeographical evolution of China. The early Paleozoic strata (the Dahuangshan Formation and Xiangshan Group) of the southern and eastern Alxa Block have consistent rock compositions, similar depositional ages, paleocurrents, detrital zircon age distributions, and cumulative probability curves of crystallization ages for detrital zircon grains relative to the depositional ages, and were deposited in similar slope basins. All these data indicate that the early Paleozoic strata of the Alxa Block were sourced predominantly from Neoproterozoic orogenic belts in the eastern Gondwana continent, instead of the Alxa Block to the north, the North China Block to the east and the North Qilian Orogenic Belt to the south. During the early Paleozoic, the Alxa Block was an independent block with the South China Block (SCB) to the west and the North China Block (NCB) to the east and situated to the northwest of the eastern Gondwana with its long axis trending north northwest-south southeast, and it belonged to a passive continental margin dipping to the north northwest, with the eastern part of the margin located closer to the eastern Gondwana. The Hexi Corridor is part of the Alxa Block and a part of the same slope basin during the early Paleozoic. The southern boundary of the Alxa Block is now the front thrust of the North Qilian Shan.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

  5. Evolution of post-rift sediment transport on a young rifted margin : Insights from the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baurion, C.; Gorini, C.; Leroy, S.; Lucazeau, F.; Migeon, S.

    2012-04-01

    The formation of gravity-driven sedimentary systems on continental rifted margins results from the interaction between climate, ocean currents and tectonic activity. During the early stages of margin evolution, the tectonic processes are probably as important as climate for the sedimentary architecture. Therefore, the young margins (ca. 35 Ma) of the Gulf of Aden provide the opportunity to evaluate the respective roles of monsoon and tectonic uplift in the formation and evolution through the post-rift period of gravity-driven deposits (Mass Transport Complexes (MTCs) and deep-sea systems) on the continental slopes and in the oceanic basin respectively. Here we present a combined geomorphologic and stratigraphic study of the northern margin (Oman and Yemen) and the southern margin (Socotra island), in which we classified and interpreted the gravity-driven processes, their formation and their evolution during the post-rift period. The interpretation of seismic lines reveals the presence of bottom currents since the drift phase, suggesting that the Gulf of Aden was connected to the world oceans at that time. An abrupt depositional change affected the eastern basin of the Gulf of Aden around 10 Ma or thereafter (Chron 5), characterised by the first occurrence of deep sea fans and an increase in the number of MTCs. The first occurrence of MTCs may be explained by the combined 2nd-3rd order fall of the relative sea-level (Serravalian/Tortonian transition). This variation of relative sea level combined with a climatic switch (Asian monsoon onset around 15 Ma and its intensification around 7-8 Ma) control the sediment flux. The youngest unit of the post-rift supersequence is characterised by a second important MTC occurrence that is restricted to the eastern part of the deep basin. This is caused by a late uplift of the northern and southern margins witnessed onshore by the presence of young stepped marine terraces.

  6. Turbidite paleoseismology along the active continental margin of Chile - Feasible or not?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhardt, Anne; Melnick, Daniel; Hebbeln, Dierk; Lückge, Andreas; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-07-01

    Much progress has been made in estimating recurrence intervals of great and giant subduction earthquakes using terrestrial, lacustrine, and marine paleoseismic archives. Recent detailed records suggest these earthquakes may have variable recurrence periods and magnitudes forming supercycles. Understanding seismic supercycles requires long paleoseismic archives that record timing and magnitude of such events. Turbidite paleoseismic archives may potentially extend past earthquake records to the Pleistocene and can thus complement commonly shorter-term terrestrial archives. However, in order to unambiguously establish recurring seismicity as a trigger mechanism for turbidity currents, synchronous deposition of turbidites in widely spaced, isolated depocenters has to be ascertained. Furthermore, characteristics that predispose a seismically active continental margin to turbidite paleoseismology and the correct sample site selection have to be taken into account. Here we analyze 8 marine sediment cores along 950 km of the Chile margin to test for the feasibility of compiling detailed and continuous paleoseismic records based on turbidites. Our results suggest that the deposition of areally widespread, synchronous turbidites triggered by seismicity is largely controlled by sediment supply and, hence, the climatic and geomorphic conditions of the adjacent subaerial setting. The feasibility of compiling a turbidite paleoseismic record depends on the delicate balance between sufficient sediment supply providing material to fail frequently during seismic shaking and sufficiently low sedimentation rates to allow for coeval accumulation of planktonic foraminifera for high-resolution radiocarbon dating. We conclude that offshore northern central Chile (29-32.5°S) Holocene turbidite paleoseismology is not feasible, because sediment supply from the semi-arid mainland is low and almost no Holocene turbidity-current deposits are found in the cores. In contrast, in the humid region

  7. Shaping of the Southern Adriatic Continental Margin Through Widespread Mass Wasting and Bottom Currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trincardi, F.; Cattaneo, A.; Correggiari, A.; Verdicchio, G.; Tobi, T.

    2003-12-01

    New TOBI seafloor images and VHR Chirp sonar profiles reveal widespread collapsing of the South Adriatic continental slope including: multiple overlapping slide scars affecting more than 100 km of Pleistocene regressive shelf-margin deposits below the shelf edge, extensive blocky slides on the lower slope (block sizes up to 200 x 500 m), and a basin wide acoustically-transparent deposit up to 40 m thick, buried under a late-Pleistocene-Holocene mud section, in water depths greater than 1000 m. Lateral variations in internal geometry and seafloor morphology likely reflects along margin differences in sediment composition and thickness of the mass-transport deposits and variable run outs (up to 40 km). Preliminary correlation to published cores in the area indicates that the main mass transport deposit reached the basin floor during the Last Glacial Maximum, but younger failures of smaller size may have affected the slope in more recent times. The new data show that the entire slope area is swept by bottom currents generating furrowed areas up to several tens of km2 in extent, moats on the downdrift side of seafloor irregularities (slide blocks) and preferential sediment deposition on the inferred updrift side, and growth of upslope-migrating sediment waves. In particular, two fields of sediment waves can be mapped in water depths of 400-600 and 1000 m. The former may reflect the activity of the Levantine Intermediate Waters, while the latter may be linked to the downslope flow of the Northern Adriatic Dense Waters. Future work will focus on the definition of intervals of growth vs quiescence of the sediment waves, their possible relation to paleoceanographic reconfigurations, and their interplay with seafloor irregularities dictated by slope instability. A smaller-scale possibly comparable interaction of seafloor morphology generated by sediment deformation and differential deposition of muddy deposits on the shelf emphasizes the importance of bottom

  8. Shelfal sediment transport by undercurrents forces turbidity current activity during high sea level, Chile continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhardt, Anne; Hebbeln, Dierk; Regenberg, Marcus; Lückge, Andreas; Strecker, Manfred. R.

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the links between terrigenous sediment supply and marine transport and depositional processes along tectonically active margins is essential to decipher turbidite successions as potential archives of climatic and seismic forcings and to comprehend timing and quantity of marine clastic deposition. Sequence stratigraphic models predict coarse-grained terrigenous sediment delivery to deep-marine sites mainly during sea-level fall and lowstand. Marine clastic deposition during periods of transgression and highstand has been attributed to the continued geomorphic connectivity between terrestrial sediment sources and marine sinks (e.g., rivers connected to submarine canyons) often facilitated by narrow shelves, high sediment supply causing delta migration to the shelf edge, and/or abrupt increases in sediment supply due to climatic variability or catastrophic events. To decipher the controls on Holocene highstand turbidite deposition, we analyzed twelve sediment cores of spatially disparate, coeval Holocene turbidite systems along the Chile margin (29-40°S) with changing climatic and geomorphic characteristics but uniform changes of sea level. Intraslope basins in north-central Chile (29-33°S) offshore a narrow to absent shelf record a shut-off of turbidite activity during the Holocene. In contrast, core sites in south-central Chile (36-40°S) offshore a wide continental shelf have repeatedly experienced turbidite deposition during sea-level highstand conditions, even though most of the depocenters are not connected via canyons to sediment sources. The interplay of stable high sediment supply related to strong onshore precipitation in combination with a wide shelf, over which undercurrents move sediment towards the shelf edge, appears to control Holocene turbidite sedimentation and sediment export to the deep sea.

  9. Dextral Strike-Slip Faulting Along the Early Permian Margin of Pangaea (Eastern Australia) and Implications for Oroclinal Bending

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenbaum, G.; Uysal, I. T.; Babaahmadi, A.

    2014-12-01

    The breakup of the Pangaean supercontinent was one of the most significant events that affected Phanerozoic global tectonics. Heralding this process, and following the Carboniferous maximum stage of continental assembly, was a period in which the southern part of Pangaea (Gondwana) was subjected to a counterclockwise rotation relative to Laurasia. According to tectonic reconstructions, dextral wrench faulting and oroclinal bending in Varsican Europe and eastern Gondwana accompanied this rotation, but direct evidence for dextral strike-slip faulting in the eastern Gondwanan margin has hitherto not been reported. Here we show evidence from a well-preserved fault zone in eastern Australia (Red Rock fault zone), which occurs along the eastern limb of the Z-shaped Texas/Coffs Harbour orocline. Structural observations show evidence for dextral strike-slip faulting, with a reverse kinematic component, along a sub-vertical fault plane oriented NNE-SSW. Direct geochronological data (Rb-Sr and Ar-Ar) from fault gouge samples associated with this fault zone indicate that brittle faulting occurred in the early-mid Permian (288-264 Ma). In addition, oxygen and hydrogen stable isotope geochemistry indicates that the origin of fluids that circulated in the fault zone was associated with a deep crustal source. These results are consistent with independent constraints on the timing of oroclinal bending, supporting the idea that dextral wrench faulting has directly contributed to the formation of the oroclines. We propose a kinematic model for the formation of the oroclines, attributing the early stage of oroclinal bending to subduction rollback and slab segmentation (at ~300-288 Ma) followed by a period of dextral wrench faulting at 288-264 Ma. In the context of Pangaea, our model suggests that the origin of oroclines along the rim of Gondwana was likely associated with bending in response to migrating plate boundaries, and a subsequent tightening of pre-existing curvatures by

  10. Natural constraints on exploring Antarctica's continental margin, existing geophysical and geological data basis, and proposed drilling program

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.B.

    1987-05-01

    There have been a number of multichannel seismic reflection and seismic refraction surveys of the Antarctic continental shelf. While glacial erosion has left acoustic basement exposed on portions of the inner shelf, thick sedimentary sequences occur on the passive margin of east Antarctica. The thickness and age of these strata vary due to different breakup histories of the margin. Several sedimentary basins have been identified. Most are rift basins formed during the early stages of Antarctica's separation from other Gondwana continents and plateaus. The west Antarctic continental shelf is extensive, being approximately twice the size of the Gulf of Mexico shelf. It has been poorly surveyed to date, owing mainly to its perennial sea ice cover. Gradual subduction of the spreading center from south to north along the margin resulted in old active margin sequences being buried beneath passive margin sequences. The latter should increase in thickness from north to south along the margin although no data bear this out. Hydrocarbon potential on the northern portion of the west Antarctic margin is considered low due to a probable lack of reservoir rocks. Establishment of ice sheets on Antarctica caused destruction of land vegetation and greatly restricted siliciclastic sand-producing environments. So only sedimentary basins which contain pre-early Miocene deposits have good hydrocarbon prospectivity. The Antarctic continental shelf is the deepest in the world, averaging 500 m and in places being more than a kilometer deep. The shelf has been left rugged by glacial erosion and is therefore prone to sediment mass movement. Widespread sediment gravity flow deposits attest to this. The shelf is covered with sea ice most of the year and in a few areas throughout the year. Icebergs, drift freely in the deep waters of the shelf; drift speeds of 1 to 2.5 km/year are not uncommon.

  11. Tectonic development of passive continental margins of the southern and central Red Sea with a comparison to Wilkes Land, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohannon, R.G.; Eittreim, S.L.

    1991-01-01

    The continental margins of the southern and central Red Sea and most of Wilkes Land, Antarctica have bulk crustal configurations and detailed structures that are best explained by a prolonged history of magmatic expansion that followed a brief, but intense period of mechanical extension. Extension on the Red Sea margins was spatially confined to a rift that was 20-30 km in width. The rifting phase along the Arabian margin of the central and southern Red Sea occurred 25-32 Ma ago, primarily by detachment faulting at upper crustal levels and ductile uniform stretching at depth. Rifting was followed by an early magmatic phase during which the margin was invaded by dikes and plutons, primarily of gabbro and diorite, at 20-24 Ma, after the crust was mechanically thinned from 40 km to ??? 20 km. We infer continued spreading after that in which broad shelves were formed by a process of magmatic expansion, because the offshore crust is only 8-15 km thick, including sediment, and seismic reflection data do not depict horst and graben or half graben structures from which mechanical extension might be inferred. The Wilkes Land margin is similar to the Arabian example. The margin is about 150 km in width, the amount of upper crustal extension is too low to explain the change in sub-sediment crustal thickness from ??? 35 km on the mainland to < 10 km beneath the margin and reflectors in the deepest seismic sequence are nearly flat lying. Our model requires large volumes of melt in the early stages of continental rifting. The voluminous melt might be partly a product of nearby hot spots, such as Afar and partly the result of an initial period of partial fusion in the deep continental lithosphere under lower temperatures than ordinarily required by dry solidus conditions. ?? 1991.

  12. Recurrent Pleistocene sub-marine slide events on the south Vøring Plateau, mid-Norwegian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjelstuen, B.; Skaug, M.; Haflidason, H.

    2009-12-01

    Throughout the Pleistocene the sediment input and depositional environments on the continental slope off Norway have been strongly controlled by variability in the ocean circulation, glaciations and sea-level changes. Repeated occurrence of shelf edge glaciations along the whole NW European margin, from Ireland to Svalbard, started at Marine Isotope Stage 12 (c. 0.5 Ma). During these periods, fast moving ice streams crossed the continental shelf on a number of locations, and large submarine fans and prograding wedges accumulated on the continental slope. During glacial maximums and in the early phases of the deglaciations high sedimentation rates, >2000 cm/ka, characterised the Norwegian continental margin. Within these depositional environments more than 30 large-scale mass failures have been identified. Here, we report on three slide events on the south Vøring Plateau, on the mid-Norwegian margin. These slides have affected an area between 2900 and 12000 km2 and involved 580-2400 km3 of sediments, noting that the slide debrites left by the failure events reach a maximum thickness of c. 150 m. For comparison the Holocene Storegga Slide, considered the largest exposed sub-marine slide in the world today, mobilized c. 2500-3500 km3 of masses and affected an area of c. 95 000 km2. The Vøring Plateau sub-marine slides are most likely younger than 0.5 Ma, thus occurring in a time period of repeated ice sheet growth to the shelf edge and high accumulation rates. The failures have occurred within an area dominated by gradients less than 1 degree, and observation of long run-out distances indicate that hydroplaning was important during slide development. Our multichannel seismic profiles further show that gas hydrate bearing sediments are observed on the mid-Norwegian continental margin. Thus, dissociation of gas hydrates and high sedimentation rates may have promoted conditions for failures to occur.

  13. Occurrence and formation of dolomite in organic-rich continental margin sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, P.A.; Burns, S.J.

    1985-11-01

    Dolomite is presently forming at rates less than 500 m/m.y. in continental margin marine sediments having organic carbon contents greater than 0.5 wt. %. At higher sedimentation rates, the dolomite content of the sediments is greatly diluted. At lower organic carbon content, the pore-water chemistry precludes dolomite formation. The reactants for dolomite formation have the following sources: magnesium supplied from overlying seawater, calcium supplied by the dissolution of calcium carbonate, and carbon supplied from carbonate dissolution and organic carbon oxidation. The rate of dolomite formation appears to be limited by the rate of calcium carbonate dissolution. This rate can be quantitatively calculated from the magnesium diffusional and advective fluxes. Conversely, in ancient sediments the depth and timing of dolomite formation can be calculated from the amount of dolomite and the sedimentation rate. In dolomite-rich sediments these calculations demonstrate that most of the dolomite formed within a few tens of meters of the sea floor within the zone of microbial sulfate reduction. Such dolomites have negative values of delta/sup 13/C. In dolomite-poor sediments dolomite may form at greater burial depth, below the zone of sulfate reduction, resulting in positive values of delta/sup 13/C. The distribution coefficient of strontium in dolomite has been determined to have an average value of 0.06. Using this value, predicted strontium contents for submarine dolomites range from 150 ppm in dolomite-rich sections to 1,290 ppm in dolomite-poor sections.

  14. Formation of modern and Paleozoic stratiform barite at cold methane seeps on continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Torres, M.E.; Bohrmann, G.; Dube, T.E.; Poole, F.G.

    2003-01-01

    Stratiform (bedded) Paleozoic barite occurs as large conformable beds within organic- and chert-rich sediments; the beds lack major sulfide minerals and are the largest and most economically significant barite deposits in the geologic record. Existing models for the origin of bedded barite fail to explain all their characteristics: the deposits display properties consistent with an exhalative origin involving fluid ascent to the seafloor, but they lack appreciable polymetallic sulfide minerals and the corresponding strontium isotopic composition to support a hydrothermal vent source. A new mechanism of barite formation, along structurally controlled sites of cold fluid seepage in continental margins, involves barite remobilization in organic-rich, highly reducing sediments, transport of barium-rich fluids, and barite precipitation at cold methane seeps. The lithologic and depositional framework of Paleozoic and cold seep barite, as well as morphological, textural, and chemical characteristics of the deposits, and associations with chemosymbiotic fauna, all support a cold seep origin for stratiform Paleozoic barite. This understanding is highly relevant to paleoceanographic and paleotectonic studies, as well as to economic geology.

  15. Late Cretaceous - early Tertiary dextral transpression in north Sinai: Reactivation of the Tethyan Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Moustafa, A.R.; Khalil, M.H. )

    1988-08-01

    Detailed photogeologic study and field checks indicate the North Sinai folds are associated with northwest-dipping upthrusts, especially on their southeastern steeply dipping flanks. These northeast-southwest-plunging folds include both large folded ranges (tens of kilometers long, e.g., Gebels Yelleq, El Maghara, and El Halal) and smaller folds (2-10 km long). The smaller folds have right-stepping en echelon arrangement and define six east-northeast elongated belts which were probably formed by right-lateral wrenching in Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary time. These belts are called the G, El Amrar belt, the G. El Mistan belt, the G. Um Latiya belt, the G. Falig belt, the El Giddi Pass-G. El Minsherah-G. El Burqa belt, and the Mitla Pass-G. Kherim-G. Araif El Naq belt. The existence of northwest-dipping upthrusts within and between these en echelon fold belts probably indicates the wrenching was convergent. The en echelon fold belts are proposed to overlie pre-existing deep-seated faults which could have been formed by the Late Triassic-Liassic rifting of north Africa-Arabia to form the southern passive continental margin of the Tethys sea. Mesozoic rocks thicken across these faults. Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary reactivation of these faults by dextral transpression probably resulted from the oblique movement between Africa and Eurasia to close the Tethys sea.

  16. A mechanism to thin the continental lithosphere at magma-poor margins.

    PubMed

    Lavier, Luc L; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2006-03-16

    Where continental plates break apart, slip along multiple normal faults provides the required space for the Earth's crust to thin and subside. After initial rifting, however, the displacement on normal faults observed at the sea floor seems not to match the inferred extension. Here we show that crustal thinning can be accomplished in such extensional environments by a system of conjugate concave downward faults instead of multiple normal faults. Our model predicts that these concave faults accumulate large amounts of extension and form a very thin crust (< 10 km) by exhumation of mid-crustal and mantle material. This transitional crust is capped by sub-horizontal detachment surfaces over distances exceeding 100 km with little visible deformation. Our rift model is based on numerical experiments constrained by geological and geophysical observations from the Alpine Tethys and Iberia/Newfoundland margins. Furthermore, we suggest that the observed transition from broadly distributed and symmetric extension to localized and asymmetric rifting is directly controlled by the existence of a strong gabbroic lower crust. The presence of such lower crustal gabbros is well constrained for the Alpine Tethys system. Initial decoupling of upper crustal deformation from lower crustal and mantle deformation by progressive weakening of the middle crust is an essential requirement to reproduce the observed rift evolution. This is achieved in our models by the formation of weak ductile shear zones.

  17. Silicon uptake by sponges: a twist to understanding nutrient cycling on continental margins

    PubMed Central

    Maldonado, Manuel; Navarro, Laura; Grasa, Ana; Gonzalez, Alicia; Vaquerizo, Isabel

    2011-01-01

    About 75% of extant sponge species use dissolved silicon (DSi) to build a siliceous skeleton. We show that silicon (Si) uptake by sublittoral Axinella demosponges follows an enzymatic kinetics. Interestingly, maximum uptake efficiency occurs at experimental DSi concentrations two orders of magnitude higher than those in the sponge habitats, being unachievable in coastal waters of modern oceans. Such uptake performance appears to be rooted in a former condition suitable to operate at the seemingly high DSi values characterizing the pre-Tertiary (>65 mya) habitats where this sponge lineage diversified. Persistence of ancestral uptake systems causes sponges to be outcompeted by the more efficient uptake of diatoms at the low ambient DSi levels characterizing Recent oceans. Yet, we show that sublittoral sponges consume substantial coastal DSi (0.01–0.90 mmol Si m−2 day−1) at the expenses of the primary-production circuit. Neglect of that consumption hampers accurate understanding of Si cycling on continental margins. PMID:22355549

  18. Styles of neotectonic fault reactivation within a formerly extended continental margin, North West Shelf, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitney, Beau B.; Hengesh, James V.; Gillam, Dan

    2016-08-01

    We have investigated the locations and patterns of neotectonic deformation in the Carnarvon basin along the Mesozoic rifted margin of Western Australia to evaluate the characteristics of post-Neogene tectonic reactivation. Geological, geophysical, geotechnical, and bathymetric data demonstrate that preferentially oriented rift-era structures have been reactivated under the current neotectonic stress regime. The most recent pulse of neotectonic reactivation initiated during the Plio-Pleistocene (4.0 to 1.8 million years ago) and is ongoing. Reactivated structures in the region demonstrate a variety of styles of deformation consistent with dextral-transpression. Structural styles include both positive and negative flower structures, restraining and releasing bends, and hourglass structures. Barrow Island lies within a broad kinematic restraining bend that appears to warp the MIS 5e marine terrace on the island. Fold reconstructions of Neogene strata on the Cape Range and Barrow anticlines yield uplift rates consistent with uplift rates determined from folded late Pleistocene units in the Cape region. Although tectonic rates are low compared to interplate settings, evidence for active tectonic deformation precludes this part of the Australian plate from being classified as a Stable Continental Region.

  19. Morphology and sedimentation along the Kongsfjord Channel System, Svalbard continental margin, European Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forwick, M.; Vorren, T. O.; Hass, C. H.; Laberg, J.; Vanneste, M.

    2011-12-01

    The continental margin off northwestern Svalbard (between 79° and 80° N) has been affected by repeated mass wasting, as well as from northward-flowing contourite currents. One on the most striking morphological features is the approximately 120 km long, SE-NW oriented Kongsfjord Channel System (KCS) that can be traced from the shelf break at 250-300 m water depth to a maximum water depth of about 4000 m. Several channels/gullies starting at the shelf break merge into the main channel at around 1400 m. The main channel is at maximum 500 m wide and 80 m deep. Repeated interaction of the channel with contourite deposition has occurred. This includes relocation of the channel's axis related to the northward migration of the contourites, as well as renewed incision of contourites by activitiy within the channel. Two sediment cores were retrieved from either side of the main channel at 1430 m water depth, and two from about 1560 m water depth, respectively. The stratigraphy of these cores can easily be correlated to dated cores from the west Spitsbergen continental margin (Jessen et al., 2010). Preliminary results reveal that the sedimentation rates (SRs) at the shallower locations are generally higher than at the deeper stations during the past c. 30,000 years. At the sites from 1430 m water depth, the SRs were rather uniform during the past c. 10,000 years. However, prior to c. 10,000 cal. years BP, the SRs were significantly higher at the location of the core that was retrieved northeast of the channel. We assume that this is related to enhanced down-slope sediment transport within the channel and deposition to the right (northeast) of the transport direction - due to the Coriolis force and/or the northward-flowing contourite currents. The sources for sediment transport within the channel are most probably 1) enhanced sediment supply from the Kongsfjorden ice stream during the last glacial, and 2) winnowing of fine-grained material in the upper parts of the KCS and

  20. 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

  1. Uplift, exhumation and erosion along the Angolan continental margin: an integrated approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gröger, Heike R.; Machado, Vladimir; Di Pinto, Giuseppe

    2013-04-01

    The topographical development along the SW African margin is not exclusively rift-related. In addition to the onset of rifting in the Early Cretaceous, additional Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic events of uplift, exhumation and erosion are discussed. Thermochronology has proven to be a valuable tool to constrain phases of exhumation in passive continental margins. For South Africa and Namibia a large number of thermochronological data are available. Angola on the other hand is still scarcely investigated. This study is based on thermochronological data from onshore Angola, integrated with quantitative morphotectonic analysis and the on- and offshore stratigraphic record. In South Africa and Namibia published thermochronological data document pronounced Early and Late Cretaceous cooling events, which can be related to 2.5-3.5 km of removed section during the Cretaceous. An additional 1-2 km of removed section are estimated during the Cenozoic. In Angola predominantly Permo-Triassic apatite fission track ages indicate significantly less Cretaceous to Cenozoic erosion (< 2.5 km). The apatite fission track data do not provide high resolution constraints on the syn-post rift topographical development along the Angolan margin. However, thermal modelling points to a pronounced Miocene final cooling event. River bed topography upstream the Angolan escarpment is in equilibrium, while the escarpment itself forms a major knick zone. Downstream the main knick point towards the coast, river long-profiles are characterised by convex reaches which are the evidence of an immature, non steady-state topography. Estimation from knick point migration reveals about 1 km uplift within the Cenozoic (< 57 Ma). Published basin reconstructions offshore South Africa and Namibia confirm the general picture of pronounced Cretaceous erosion in the offshore sedimentary record of the basins south of the Walvis ridge (Walvis, Lüderitz and Orange basin). More pronounced Cenozoic erosion in Angola

  2. Increased continental-margin slumping frequency during sea-level lowstands above gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Buelow, W.J.; Ussler, W. III; Borowski, W.S.

    1996-02-01

    We present {sup 14}C data on sediment samples from cores of the upper 7 m of the sediment column overlying a major continental-rise gas hydrate field on the southern Carolina Rise and inner Blake Ridge offshore the southeastern United States. The data show that glacial-age sediments are underrepresented in the cores. The observation is consistent with a previously predicted association between sea-level lowstands and increased frequency of sea-floor slumping on continental margins containing gas hydrates. 26 refs., 3 figs.

  3. Crustal structure of a transform plate boundary: San Francisco Bay and the central California continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holbrook, W.S.; Brocher, T.M.; ten Brink, U.S.; Hole, J.A.

    1996-01-01

    Wide-angle seismic data collected during the Bay Area Seismic Imaging Experiment provide new glimpses of the deep structure of the San Francisco Bay Area Block and across the offshore continental margin. San Francisco Bay is underlain by a veneer (<300 m) of sediments, beneath which P wave velocities increase rapidly from 5.2 km/s to 6.0 km/s at 7 km depth, consistent with rocks of the Franciscan subduction assemblage. The base of the Franciscan at-15-18 km depth is marked by a strong wide-angle reflector, beneath which lies an 8- to 10-km-thick lower crust with an average velocity of 6.75??0.15 km/s. The lower crust of the Bay Area Block may be oceanic in origin, but its structure and reflectivity indicate that it has been modified by shearing and/or magmatic intrusion. Wide-angle reflections define two layers within the lower crust, with velocities of 6.4-6.6 km/s and 6.9-7.3 km/s. Prominent subhorizontal reflectivity observed at near-vertical incidence resides principally in the lowermost layer, the top of which corresponds to the "6-s reflector" of Brocher et al. [1994]. Rheological modeling suggests that the lower crust beneath the 6-s reflector is the weakest part of the lithosphere; the horizontal shear zone suggested by Furlong et al. [1989] to link the San Andreas and Hayward/Calaveras fault systems may actually be a broad zone of shear deformation occupying the lowermost crust. A transect across the continental margin from the paleotrench to the Hayward fault shows a deep crustal structure that is more complex than previously realized. Strong lateral variability in seismic velocity and wide-angle reflectivity suggests that crustal composition changes across major transcurrent fault systems. Pacific oceanic crust extends 40-50 km landward of the paleotrench but, contrary to prior models, probably does not continue beneath the Salinian Block, a Cretaceous arc complex that lies west of the San Andreas fault in the Bay Area. The thickness (10 km) and high

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  6. Hydrodynamic and Thermohaline Seasonal Structures of Peninsular Malaysia's eastern continental shelf sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daryabor, Farshid; Tangang, Fredolin; Juneng, Liew

    2010-05-01

    The seasonal ocean circulation and the seasonal thermal structure in Peninsular Malaysia's eastern continental shelf sea were studied numerically using the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS) with 18-km horizontal resolution and 50 sigma levels conforming to a realistic bottom topography. A 10-year control run was performed using climatological monthly mean wind stresses, restoring-type surface salt, temp and heat, and observational oceanic inflow/outflow at the open boundaries. The seasonally averaged effects of isolated forcing terms are presented and analyzed from the following experiments: 1) heat fluxes effects removed and 2) wind effects removed. This procedure allowed analysis of the contribution of individual parameters to the general hydrology and specific features of the Peninsular Malaysia's eastern continental shelf sea: for example, coastal jets, mesoscale topographic gyres, and countercurrents. The results show that the ROMS model has the capability of simulating seasonal variations of the Peninsular Malaysia's eastern continental shelf sea circulation and thermohaline structure. The simulated Peninsular Malaysia's eastern continental shelf sea surface circulation is generally anticyclonic (cyclonic) during the summer (winter) monsoon period with a strong western boundary current, a mean maximum speed of 0.8 m s-1 (0.5 m s-1), and extending to a depth of around 30 m (40 m). During summer, the western boundary current splits and partially leaves the coast; the bifurcation point is at 40°N in Jun and shifts north to 70°N in July. A mesoscale eddy on the Sunda shelf, the southwest of Natuna Island at (2.50°N, 1060°E) and extending to two mesoscale eddy at (20°N, 1070°E) and (2.50°N, 1090°E) also on the Gulf of Thailand (7.50°N, 1040°E), was also simulated. These eddies are cyclonic (anticyclonic) with maximum swirl velocity of 0.3 m s-1 at the peak of the summer (winter) monsoon. The simulated thermohaline structure for summer and winter are

  7. Gulf of Aden: Structure and evolution of a young ocean basin and continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Cochran, J.R.

    1981-01-10

    New marine geophysical data are used to describe the structure and history of the Gulf of Aden. Magnetic anomaly data shows seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies of Sheba Ridge from the axial anomaly to anomaly 5 (10 m.y. B.P.) between the Owen fracture zone and 45 /sup 0/E and to anomaly 2' (3 m.y. B.P.) or anomaly 3 (4 m.y. B.P.) west of 45 /sup 0/E. The data does not support the two episodes of seafloor spreading recently proposed. Landward of the seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies is a magnetic quiet zone of uncorrelatable anomalies. The magnetic quiet zone boundary is also a structural boundary effectively marking the edge of Sheba Ridge, with deeper basement lacking a significant topographic gradient found on the landward side. A magnetic quiet zone is found not only where Sheba Ridge splits continental lithosphere but also on East Sheba Ridge where the ridge splits the old oceanic lithosphre of the Owen and Somali basins. There the position occupied by the continental margin within the gulf is marked by nonmagnetic ridge complexes that stretch from the continents to the Owen fracture zone. The magnetic quiet zone boundary is not an isochron in either the Gulf of Aden or the Red Sea, suggesting that significant horizontal motions can occur prior to the initiation of seafloor spreading. The offset on the Dead Sea Rift is used to estimate that from 80 to 160 km of opening, amounting to between 65% and 200% extension of the initial rift valley, occurred in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea prior to the establishment of a mid-ocean ridge. It is suggested that the development of a new ocean basin occurs in two stages. The first involves diffuse extension over an area perhaps 10 km wide in a rift valley environment without an organized spreading center. This is followed by concentration of the extension at a single axis and the beginning of true seafloor spreading.

  8. Spatial Extent of Wave-Supported Fluid Mud on the Waipaoa Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, R. P.; Ogston, A. S.; Walsh, J. P.; Orpin, A. R.

    2013-12-01

    Data from acoustic and optical sensors provide a powerful tool to connect near-bed water-column processes with the deposits they generate. Ideally, the product of water-column and seabed interactions can then be applied more broadly to understand systems as a whole, in both space and time. Recent observational research has allowed for an improved understanding of shelf sediment-transport dynamics in many coastal systems, including the dynamic Waipaoa Sedimentary System (WSS), on the east coast of the north island of New Zealand. This narrow shelf (~20 km) on an active continental margin is subject to strong environmental forcings in the form of high waves (>5 m), strong currents (>50 cm/s), and frequent floods of the Waipaoa River, which delivers an average of 15 MT of sediment to Poverty Bay and the coastal environment each year. A year-long study of the WSS during 2010-2011 combined observational data from instrumented tripods at three locations on the continental shelf, with repeat sediment cores collected in four-month intervals, to identify and assess the mechanisms of cross- and off-shelf sediment transport. Observational data identified that cross-shelf sediment transport is stochastic, typically driven by high-wave events, with 40% of the net annual cross-shelf flux for one tripod location occurring during a single wave-supported fluid mud (WSFM) in July 2010. Fortunately, this event was recorded in the instrument data, and the resulting deposit was plainly visible in x-radiograph images. This particular WSFM was observed in x-radiographs collected as deep as ~50 m, and as far as ~28 km from the mouth of the Waipaoa River, and is more prevalent on the northern portion of the shelf. A critical water depth is not the only criteria for WSFM deposition, as some shallower areas on the southern shelf, which were subject to high bed stress, show no evidence of WSFM in this event, while cores collected in deeper areas (e.g. lower bed stress) on the northern shelf

  9. Data report: Permeabilities of eastern equatorial Pacific and Peru margin sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gamage, K.; Bekins, B.; Screaton, E.

    2006-01-01

    Constant-flow permeability tests were conducted on core samples from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 201 from the eastern equatorial Pacific and the Peru margin. Eighteen whole-round core samples from Sites 1225, 1226, 1227, 1230, and 1231 were tested for vertical permeabilities. Sites 1225, 1226, and 1231 represent sediments of the open ocean, whereas Sites 1227 and 1230 represent sediments of the ocean margin. Measured vertical permeabilities vary from ???8 ?? 10-19 m2 to ???1 ?? 10-16 m2 for a porosity range of 450%-90%.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  11. The crustal structure and tectonic development of the continental margin of the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica: implications from geophysical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalberg, Thomas; Gohl, Karsten

    2014-07-01

    The Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica represents a key component in the tectonic history of Antarctic-New Zealand continental breakup. The region played a major role in the plate-kinematic development of the southern Pacific from the inferred collision of the Hikurangi Plateau with the Gondwana subduction margin at approximately 110-100 Ma to the evolution of the West Antarctic Rift System. However, little is known about the crustal architecture and the tectonic processes creating the embayment. During two `RV Polarstern' expeditions in 2006 and 2010 a large geophysical data set was collected consisting of seismic-refraction and reflection data, ship-borne gravity and helicopter-borne magnetic measurements. Two P-wave velocity-depth models based on forward traveltime modelling of nine ocean bottom hydrophone recordings provide an insight into the lithospheric structure beneath the Amundsen Sea Embayment. Seismic-reflection data image the sedimentary architecture and the top-of-basement. The seismic data provide constraints for 2-D gravity modelling, which supports and complements P-wave modelling. Our final model shows 10-14-km-thick stretched continental crust at the continental rise that thickens to as much as 28 km beneath the inner shelf. The homogenous crustal architecture of the continental rise, including horst and graben structures are interpreted as indicating that wide-mode rifting affected the entire region. We observe a high-velocity layer of variable thickness beneath the margin and related it, contrary to other `normal volcanic type margins', to a proposed magma flow along the base of the crust from beneath eastern Marie Byrd Land-West Antarctica to the Marie Byrd Seamount province. Furthermore, we discuss the possibility of upper mantle serpentinization by seawater penetration at the Marie Byrd Seamount province. Hints of seaward-dipping reflectors indicate some degree of volcanism in the area after break-up. A set of gravity anomaly data

  12. Genesis of giant promontories during two-stage continental breakup and implications for post-Rodinia circum-Arctic margins (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, D. C.

    2013-12-01

    Giant promontories are a seldom-noted feature of the present-day population of passive margins. A number of them formed during the breakup of Pangea: the South Tasman Rise and Naturaliste Plateau off Australia, the Grand Banks and Florida off North America, the Falkland Plateau off South America, and the Horn of Africa. Giant promontories protrude hundreds of kms seaward from a corner of the continent and are not to be confused with the low-amplitude irregularies that occur at intervals along most passive margins. Giant promontories that might have formed during the breakup of the earlier supercontinents, Rodinia and Nuna, have not been recognized. Properties of the modern examples suggest some identifying criteria. They are cored by continental crust that was created or last reworked during the previous collisional cycle. Judging from the examples listed, the early histories of the two flanks of a promontory will differ because separate continents or microcontinents drift away in different directions at different times. For example, the eastern flank of the >500-km-long South Tasman Rise formed when the Lord Howe Rise separated from Australia at ca. 85 Ma, whereas the western flank formed when Antarctica moved past at ca. 65-33 Ma. (Age spans of various passive margins quoted herein are from Bradley, 2008, Earth Sci. Rev. 91:1-26.) During ocean closure (typically, arc-passive margin collision), a promontory may be exposed to earlier and more intense tectonism than elsewhere along the margin. Unique events are also possible. For example, the tip of Florida experienced a glancing collision with Cuba during the Paleogene, an event that was not felt elsewhere along the Gulf or Atlantic margins of the southeastern U.S. Giant promontories are unlikely to have deep lithospheric keels and may be prone to being dislodged and rotated during collision. Thus, what starts as a promontory may end up as a microcontinent in an orogen. The case for giant promontories in the circum

  13. Late Neogene and Quaternary evolution of the northern Albemarle Embayment (mid-Atlantic continental margin, USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mallinson, D.; Riggs, S.; Thieler, E.R.; Culver, S.; Farrell, K.; Foster, D.S.; Corbett, D.R.; Horton, B.; Wehmiller, J. F.

    2005-01-01

    Seismic surveys in the eastern Albemarle Sound, adjacent tributaries and the inner continental shelf define the regional geologic framework and provide insight into the sedimentary evolution of the northern North Carolina coastal system. Litho- and chronostratigraphic data are derived from eight drill sites on the Outer Banks barrier islands, and the Mobil #1 well in eastern Albemarle Sound. Within the study area, parallel-bedded, gently dipping Miocene beds occur at 95 to > 160 m below sea level (m bsl), and are overlain by a southward-thickening Pliocene unit characterized by steeply inclined, southward-prograding beds. The lower Pliocene unit consists of three seismic sequences. The 55-60 m thick Quaternary section unconformably overlies the Pliocene unit, and consists of 18 seismic sequences exhibiting numerous incised channel-fill facies. Shallow stratigraphy (< 40 m bsl) is dominated by complex fill patterns within the incised paleo-Roanoke River valley. Radiocarbon and amino-acid racemization (AAR) ages indicate that the valley-fill is latest Pleistocene to Holocene in age. At least six distinct valley-fill units are identified in the seismic data. Cores in the valley-fill contain a 3-6 m thick basal fluvial channel deposit that is overlain by a 15 m thick unit of interlaminated muds and sands of brackish water origin that exhibit increasing marine influence upwards. Organic materials within the interlaminated deposits have ages of 13-11 cal. ka. The interlaminated deposits within the valley are overlain by several units that comprise shallow marine sediments (bay-mouth and shoreface environments) that consist of silty, fine- to medium-grained sands containing open neritic foraminifera, suggesting that this area lacked a fronting barrier island system and was an open embayment from ???10 ka to ???4.5 ka. Seismic data show that initial infilling of the paleo-Roanoke River valley occurred from the north and west during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene

  14. Sediment accumulation on the Southern California Bight continental margin during the twentieth century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alexander, C.R.; Lee, H.J.

    2009-01-01

    Sediment discharged into the portion of the Southern California Bight extending from Santa Barbara to Dana Point enters a complex system of semi-isolated coastal cells, narrow continental shelves, submarine canyons, and offshore basins. On both the Santa Monica and San Pedro margins, 210Pb accumulation rates decrease in an offshore direction (from ??0.5 g cm-2yr-1 to 0.02 g cm-2yr -1), in concert with a fining in sediment grain size (from 4.5?? to 8.5??), suggesting that offshore transport of wave-resuspended material occurs as relatively dilute nepheloid layers and that hemiplegic sedimentation dominates the supply of sediment to the outer shelf, slope, and basins. Together, these areas are effectively sequestering up to 100% of the annual fluvial input. In contrast to the Santa Monica margin, which does not display evidence of mass wasting as an important process of sediment delivery and redistribution, the San Pedro margin does provide numerous examples of failures and mass wasting, suggesting that intraslope sediment redistribution may play a more important role there. Basin deposits in both areas exhibit evidence of turbidites tentatively associated with both major floods and earthquakes, sourced from either the Redondo Canyon (San Pedro Basin) or Dume Canyon (Santa Monica Basin). On the Palos Verdes shelf, sediment-accumulation rates decrease along and across the shelf away from the White's Point outfall, which has been a major source of contaminants to the shelf deposits. Accumulation rates prior to the construction of the outfall were ??0.2 g cm-2yr-1 and increased 1.5-3.7 times during peak discharges from the outfall in 1971. The distal rate of accumulation has decreased by ??50%, from 0.63 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1971-1992 to 0.29 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1992-2003. The proximal rate of accumulation, however, has only decreased ??10%, from 0.83 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1971-1992 to 0.73 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1992-2003. Effluent

  15. Estimated post-Messinian sediment supply and sedimentation rates on the Ebro continental margin, Spain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.

    1990-01-01

    Because of the extensive data base of seismic profiles, radiometric ages, and stratigraphic time markers such as the subaerial Messinian surface, sedimentation rates and Ebro River sediment discharge can be estimated for different periods and environments of the Ebro continental margin. New values for sediment discharge (i.e., 6.2 versus previous estimates of 2-3.5 million t/yr) for the Holocene highstand are more reliable but remain minimum estimates because a small proportion of Ebro sediment advected to the Balearic Rise and Abyssal Plain cannot be accounted for, especially during lowstands. The general highstand conditions of the Pliocene, which were similar to those of the Holocene, resulted in a low discharge of Ebro River sediment (ca. 6.5 million t/yr) and an even thickness of sediment across the margin that deposited at rates of about 24-40 cm/ky. In contrast, sediment supply increased two-three times during the Pleistocene, the margin prograded rapidly and deposition occurred at rates of 101-165 cm/ky on the outer shelf and slope, but basin floor rates remained anomalously low (21-26 cm/ky) because sediment was drained and broadly dispersed eastward in Valencia Trough. During the late Pleistocene rise of sea level, the main depocenters progressively shifted shoreward and sedimentation rates greatly decreased from 175 cm/ky on the upper slope during the early transgression to 106 cm/ky on the outer shelf and then to 63 cm/ky on the mid-shelf during the late transgression as the river sediment discharge dropped to half by Holocene time. Maximal sedimentation rates occurred in active depocenters of sediment dispersal such as the Holocene delta (370 cm/ky) or the youngest Pleistocene Oropesa channel-levee complex (705 cm/ky) where deposition rates increased by an order of magnitude or more compared to average Ebro shelf (38 cm/ky) or base-of-slope rates in the Pleistocene (21 cm/ky). The sedimentation rates verify the importance of sea-level control on the

  16. H/V spectral ratios of the continental margin sediments offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jing-Yi; Cheng, Win-Bin; Chin, Shao-Jinn; Hsu, Shu-Kun

    2015-04-01

    For decades, it has been mentioned that submarine slope failures are spatially linked to the presence of gas hydrates/gas-charged sediments. When triggered by earthquakes, over steepen and instable sediments may prompt breakouts of the slopes containing gas hydrates and cause submarine landslides and tsunamis. Widely distributed BSRs have been observed in the area offshore of southwestern Taiwan where the active accretionary complex meets with the passive China continental margin. In the region, large or small scale landslides were also reported based on seismic interpretations. In order to clarify the link between earthquake, landslide and the presence of gas hydrate, we evaluate the response of seafloor sediments in regard to passive dynamic loads. Horizontal-to-vertical (H/V) spectral ratios are used to characterize the local sediment response. Ambient noise as well as distant earthquake is used as generators of the passive dynamic loads. Based on this study, we aim to characterize the site in terms of its physical properties and the local site effect produced by shallow marine sediments. Estimating H/V spectral ratios of data recorded by the short period OBSs (Ocean Bottom Seismometer) deployed in the active and paqssive margin offshore southwestern Taiwan show similar spectral characteristics and provide a general understanding of the preferential vibration modes of sediment systems. The results show that the maximal H/V ratios appeared in the range of 5-10 Hz, where the horizontal amplitudes increased by an order of magnitude relative to the vertical amplitude. The stations located in the northwestern part of study area were characterized by another relatively small peak at proximately 2 Hz, which may indicates the presence of a discontinuity of sediments. For most stations, the H/V ratios estimated based on the earthquakes (i.e. strong input signal) and noise (background, micro-seismic noise) records were characterized by different pattern. No distinct peak

  17. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in the Concepción Methane Seep Area, Chilean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, P.; Linke, P.; Scholz, F.; Schmidt, M.; Liebetrau, V.; Treude, T.

    2012-04-01

    Within subduction zones of active continental margins, large amounts of methane can be mobilized by dewatering processes and transported to the seafloor along migration pathways. A recently discovered seep area located off Concepción (Chile) at water depth between 600 to 1100 mbsl is characterized by active methane vent sites as well as massive carbonates boulders and plates which probably are related to methane seepage in the past. During the SO210 research expedition "Chiflux" (Sept-Oct 2010), sediment from the Concepción Methane Seep Area (CSMA) at the fore arc of the Chilean margin was sampled to study microbial activity related to methane seepage. We sampled surface sediments (0-30cm) from sulfur bacteria mats, as well as clam, pogonophoran, and tubeworm fields with push cores and a TV-guided multicorer system. Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and sulfate reduction rates were determined using ex-situ radioisotope tracer techniques. Additionally, porewater chemistry of retrieved cores as well as isotopic composition and age record of surrounding authigenic carbonates were analyzed. The shallowest sulfate-methane-transition zone (SMTZ) was identified at 4 cm sediment depth hinting to locally strong fluid fluxes. However, a lack of Cl- anomalies in porewater profiles indicates a shallow source of these fluids, which is supported by the biogenic origin of the methane (δ13C -70‰ PDB). Sulfide and alkalinity was relatively high (up to 20 mM and 40 mEq, respectively). Rates of AOM and sulfate reduction within this area reached magnitudes typical for seeps with variation between different habitat types, indicating a diverse methane supply, which is affecting the depths of the SMTZ. Rates were highest at sulfur a bacteria mats (20 mmol m-2 d-1) followed by a large field of dead clams, a pogonophoran field, a black sediment spot, and a carbonate rich clam field. Lowest rates (0.2 mmol m-2 d-1) were measured in close vicinity to these hot spots. Abundant massive

  18. Late Miocene sedimentary architecture of the Ebro Continental Margin (Western Mediterranean): Implications to the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameselle, Alejandra L.; Urgeles, Roger; De Mol, Ben; Camerlenghi, Angelo

    2014-05-01

    The Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) resulted from a significant multi-phase drop and subsequent reflooding of the Mediterranean Sea during the Late Miocene. In a relatively short time span (5.96 to 5.33 Ma), partial desiccation of the basin and consequent subaerial exposure of the continental margins resulted in widespread erosion of continental shelves and slopes and regressive erosion along major fluvial valleys. Using 3D seismic reflection data from the Ebro Margin (Western Mediterranean), we provide new insights into the origin of the Messinian Erosional Surface (MES) and timing of the capture of the subaerial Ebro Basin. The observed sedimentary architecture of the Ebro Continental Margin indicates a sedimentary-active continental slope and delta progradation during Middle-Late Miocene, in a normal regressive context associated to a pre-Messinian proto-Ebro River. Configuration of the clinoforms below the MES suggests that deltaic sediments of the Messinian Paleo-Ebro River deposited during the Tortonian and initial Messinian sea-level drawdown. The MES formed at the top of the Tortonian Highstand, where a fluvial network was deeply carved, and in the topset region of the Messinian Falling Stage Systems Tract, where minor erosion occurred. The patterns of Messinian erosion and sedimentation produced a MES with a step-like profile. Significant Miocene progradation and the mature development attained by the Messinian Ebro River network during the MSC indicate that capture of the Ebro Basin occurred prior to the MSC. Fluvial deposits are outstandingly preserved on the main valleys of the MES indicating that re-flooding of the margin was extremely rapid. Therefore, the step-like profile of the MES was created during the latest stages of the main Messinian sea-level drawdown and lowstand.

  19. Evolution of the continental margin of southern Spain and the Alboran Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dillon, William P.; Robb, James M.; Greene, H. Gary; Lucena, Juan Carlos

    1980-01-01

    Seismic reflection profiles and magnetic intensity measurements were collected across the southern continental margin of Spain and the Alboran basin between Spain and Africa. Correlation of the distinct seismic stratigraphy observed in the profiles to stratigraphic information obtained from cores at Deep Sea Drilling Project site 121 allows effective dating of tectonic events. The Alboran Sea basin occupies a zone of motion between the African and Iberian lithospheric plates that probably began to form by extension in late Miocene time (Tortonian). At the end of Miocene time (end of Messinian) profiles show that an angular unconformity was cut, and then the strata were block faulted before subsequent deposition. The erosion of the unconformity probably resulted from lowering of Mediterranean sea level by evaporation when the previous channel between the Mediterranean and Atlantic was closed. Continued extension probably caused the block faulting and, eventually the opening of the present channel to the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar and the reflooding of the Mediterranean. Minor tectonic movements at the end of Calabrian time (early Pleistocene) apparently resulted in minor faulting, extensive transgression in southeastern Spain, and major changes in the sedimentary environment of the Alboran basin. Active faulting observed at five locations on seismic profiles seems to form a NNE zone of transcurrent movement across the Alboran Sea. This inferred fault trend is coincident with some bathymetric, magnetic and seismicity trends and colinear with active faults that have been mapped on-shore in Morocco and Spain. The faults were probably caused by stresses related to plate movements, and their direction was modified by inherited fractures in the lithosphere that floors the Alboran Sea.

  20. Quantification of gas bubble emissions from submarine hydrocarbon seeps at the Makran continental margin (offshore Pakistan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    RöMer, Miriam; Sahling, Heiko; Pape, Thomas; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Spieß, Volkhard

    2012-10-01

    Evidence for twelve sites with gas bubble emissions causing hydroacoustic anomalies in 18 kHz echosounder records (`flares') was obtained at the convergent Makran continental margin. The hydroacoustic anomalies originating from hydrocarbon seeps at water depths between 575 and 2870 m disappeared after rising up to 2000 m in the water column. Dives with the remotely operated vehicle `Quest 4000 m' revealed that several individual bubble vents contributed to one hydroacoustic anomaly. Analyzed gas samples suggest that bubbles were mainly composed of methane of microbial origin. Bubble size distributions and rise velocities were determined and the volume flux was estimated by counting the emitted bubbles and using their average volume. We found that a low volume flux (Flare 1 at 575 mbsl: 90 ml/min) caused a weak hydroacoustic signal in echograms whereas high volume fluxes (Flare 2 at 1027 mbsl: 1590 ml/min; Flare 5 C at 2870 mbsl: 760 ml/min) caused strong anomalies. The total methane bubble flux in the study area was estimated by multiplying the average methane flux causing a strong hydroacoustic anomaly in the echosounder record with the total number of equivalent anomalies. An order-of-magnitude estimate further considers the temporal variability of some of the flares, assuming a constant flux over time, and allows a large range of uncertainty inherent to the method. Our results on the fate of bubbles and the order-of-magnitude estimate suggest that all of the ˜40 ± 32 × 106 mol methane emitted per year within the gas hydrate stability zone remain in the deep ocean.

  1. 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

  2. The Late Paleozoic evolution of the Gondwanaland continental margin in northern Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, C. M.

    Tectonic activity on the Gondwanaland continental margin in northern Chile and northwestern Argentina has been continuous from the early Paleozoic to the present. Paleozoic accretion resulted from the buildup of accretionary and magmatic arc complexes, and possibly from the addition of exotic terranes. Paleozoic strata between 25°S and 29°S in northern Chile comprise two north-south elongated strips separated by a 100-km-wide graben infilled with younger rocks. The western strip consists of deep-sea turbidites and basic lavas of the Devonian or Early Carboniferous Las Tórtolas Formation. Subduction of these rocks during Carboniferous times produced the Chañaral mélange in the area south of 26°30'S. The mélange probably resulted from intrastratal movements of partly consolidated strata within an accretionary wedge. Further tectonic deformation of both the turbidites and the mélange was produced by northeast directed subduction. The subduction complex is bounded to the east by the Atacama strike-slip fault system. To the east of the graben are relatively undeformed Early Carboniferous lacustrine sedimentary rocks of the Chinches Formation. These were deposited in a deep, elongated basin, possibly of pull-apart type resulting from strike-slip movement parallel to the coastline. Late Carboniferous to Early Permian magmatic activity superimposed on both these sedimentary successions suggests seaward migration of the subduction zone. The development of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Andean complex, which overlies the Paleozoic rocks with a marked unconformity, was not accompanied by the accretion of a further subduction complex.

  3. A statistical overview of mass movement characteristics on the North American atlantic outer continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booth, James S.; O'Leary, Dennis W.

    1992-01-01

    An analysis of 179 mass movements on the North American Atlantic continental slope and upper rise shows that slope failures have occurred throughout the geographic extent of the outer margin. Although the slope failures show no striking affinity for a particular depth as an origination level, there is a broad, primary mode centered at about 900 m. The resulting slides terminate at almost all depths and have a primary mode at 1100 m, but the slope/rise boundary (at 2200 m) also is an important mode. Slope failures have occurred at declivities ranging from 1° to 30° (typically, 4°); the resultant mass movement deposits vary in width from 0.2 to 50 km (typically, 1-2 km) and in length from 0.3 to 380 km (typically, 2–4 km), and they have been reported to be as thick as 650 m. On a numeric basis, mass movements are slightly more prevalent on open slopes than in other physiographic settings, and both translational and rotational failure surfaces are common. The typical mass movement is disintegrative in nature. Open slope slides tend to occur at lower slope angles and are larger than canyon slides. Further, large‐scale slides rather than small‐scale slides tend to originate on gentle slopes (≍ 3-4°). Rotational slope failures appear to have a slightly greater chance of occurring in canyons, but there is no analogous bias associated with translational failures. Similarly, disintegrative slides seem more likely to be associated with rotational slope failures than translational ones and are longer than their nondisintegrative counterparts. The occurrence of such a variety of mass movements at low declivities implies that a regional failure mechanism has prevailed. We suggest that earthquakes or, perhaps in some areas, gas hydrates are the most likely cause of the slope failures.

  4. Geoacoustic models of the Donghae-to-Gangneung region in the Korean continental margin of the East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryang, Woo Hun; Kim, Seong Pil; Hahn, Jooyoung

    2016-04-01

    Geoacoustic model is to provide a model of the real seafloor with measured, extrapolated, and predicted values of geoacoustic environmental parameters. It controls acoustic propagation in underwater acoustics. In the Korean continental margin of the East Sea, this study reconstructed geoacoustic models using geoacoustic and marine geologic data of the Donghae-to-Gangneung region (37.4° to 37.8° in latitude). The models were based on the data of the high-resolution subbottom and air-gun seismic profiles with sediment cores. The Donghae region comprised measured P-wave velocities and attenuations of the cores, whereas the Gangneung region comprised regression values using measured values of the adjacent areas. Geoacoustic data of the cores were extrapolated down to a depth of the geoacoustic models. For actual modeling, the P-wave speed of the models was compensated to in situ depth below the sea floor using the Hamilton method. These geoacoustic models of this region probably contribute for geoacoustic and underwater acoustic modelling reflecting vertical and lateral variability of acoustic properties in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. Keywords: geoacoustic model, environmental parameter, East Sea, continental margin Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the research grants from the Agency of Defense Development (UD140003DD and UE140033DD).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. New insights into the structure of Norwegian continental margins from modern aeromagnetic compilations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebbing, J.; Olesen, O.; Gernigon, L.; Skilbrei, J. R.

    2007-12-01

    We present the aeromagnetic compilation of the Norwegian mainland and its shelf area and its importance for geological models and tectonic studies. The combined data-set reveal that the bedrock structures are continuous from the Baltic Shield under the Caledonian orogen into the continental shelf and that the late-Caledonian collapse of the Caledonian orogene has influenced the style of extension on the Norwegian shelf. On the margin, modern high-resolution aeromagnetic surveys with small line-spacing, more accurate navigation and sensitive magnetometers have revealed the existence of significant magnetic anomalies arising from sedimentary layers. Sub-cropping Late Paleozoic to Tertiary sedimentary units along the Trøndelag-Nordland coast produce a very distinct anomaly pattern. The asymmetry of the anomalies, with a steep gradient and a negative anomaly to the east and a more gentle gradient to the west, relate the anomalies to a strata gently dipping westward. Susceptibility measurements on core samples, hand specimens and in situ on bedrock exposures are essential for the interpretation of these anomalies. Remapping of the oceanic crust has also improved our under-standing of the Tertiary opening of the North Atlantic as previously interpreted oceanic fracture zones zones do not exist; these were artefacts of poor navigation and wide line spacing of the vintage datasets. Tectonic reconstruction has shown that the opening of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea between the Jan Mayen and Senja fracture zones occurred along a stable axis without offsets of the oceanic spreading anomalies and without jumps in spreading axis. Transfer zones have previously been associated with oceanic fracture zones along the Mid-Norwegian and East-Greenland margins. Transfer zones are important entry points for sedimentary drainage systems, a relationship that has also been suggested for the transport of Cretaceous sands to the mid-Norwegian margin. Our new interpretation has consequently

  8. Diverse Approaches USED to Characterize the Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards Along the Southern Alaska Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haeussler, P. J.; Witter, R. C.; Liberty, L. M.; Brothers, D. S.; Briggs, R. W.; Armstrong, P. A.; Freymueller, J. T.; Parsons, T.; Ryan, H. F.; Lee, H. J.; Roland, E. C.

    2014-12-01

    Earthquakes and tsunamis are the principal geohazards of southern Alaska. The entire margin has ruptured in megathrust earthquakes, including the M9.2 1964 event, and these earthquakes have launched deadly local and trans-Pacific tsunamis. Tsunamis have been by far the largest killer in these earthquakes. Moreover, the subduction zone displays a range in locking behavior from completely locked beneath Prince William Sound, to ­­­­nearly freely slipping beneath the Shumagin Islands. Characterizing earthquake-related tsunami sources requires a diverse set of methods, and we discuss several examples. One important source for tsunamis is from megathrust splay faults. The Patton Bay splay fault system ruptured during the 1964 earthquake and generated a tsunami that impacted coastlines tens of minutes after the earthquake. A combination of multibeam mapping, high-resolution and crustal-scale seismic data, thermochronology, and detrital zircon geochronology show focused exhumation along this splay fault system for the last 2-3 Ma. Moreover, this long term pattern of exhumation mimics the pattern of uplift in 1964. Submarine landslides are another example of a tsunami source. Numerous devastating slides were triggered by the 1964 earthquake. Multibeam bathymetry, bathymetry difference maps, high-resolution seismic data, and records of paleotsunamis in coastal marshes reveal a long history of submarine landsliding in the coastal fjords of Alaska. The Little Ice Age appears to have had a significant influence on the submarine landslides in the 1964 earthquake through increased sediment production, transport to fjord margins, and, locally, compaction by glacier advances. Glacial retreat before 1964 gave rise to over-steepened slopes susceptible to dynamic failure. Numerous blocks in the submarine landslides were particularly effective in generating high tsunami run up. Finally, regional tectonic displacements of the seafloor have launched trans-Pacific tsunamis. Coastal

  9. The Kongsfjorden Channel System offshore NW Spitsbergen, European Arctic: evidence of down-slope processes in a contour-current dominated setting on the continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forwick, Matthias; Sverre Laberg, Jan; Hass, H. Christian; Osti, Giacomo

    2016-04-01

    The Kongsfjorden Channel System (KCS) is located on the continental slope in the eastern Fram Strait, off northwest Spitsbergen. It provides evidence that the influence of down-slope sedimentary processes locally exceeds regional along-slope sedimentation. Compared to other submarine channel systems on and off glaciated continental margins, it is a relatively short system (~120 km) occurring at a large range of water depths (~250-4000 m). It originates with multiple gullies on the Kongsfjorden Trough Mouth Fan merging to small channels that further downslope merge to a main channel. The overall location of the channel system is controlled by variations in slope gradients (0-20°) and the ambient regional bathymetry: widest and deepest incisions occur in areas of steepest slope gradients. The KCS has probably been active since ~1 Ma when glacial activity on Svalbard increased and grounded ice expanded to the shelf break off Kongsfjorden repeatedly. Activity within the system was probably highest during glacials. However, reduced activity presumably took place also during interglacials. The presentation summarizes the work of Forwick et al. (2015). Reference: Forwick, M., Laberg, J.S., Hass, H.C. & Osti, C., 2015. The Kongsfjorden Channel System offshore NW Svalbard: downslope sedimentary processes in a contour-current-dominated setting. Arktos 1, DOI: 10.1007/s41063-015-0018-4.

  10. Hanging canyons of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada: Fault-control on submarine canyon geomorphology along active continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Peter T.; Barrie, J. Vaughn; Conway, Kim W.; Greene, H. Gary

    2014-06-01

    Faulting commonly influences the geomorphology of submarine canyons that occur on active continental margins. Here, we examine the geomorphology of canyons located on the continental margin off Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, that are truncated on the mid-slope (1200-1400 m water depth) by the Queen Charlotte Fault Zone (QCFZ). The QCFZ is an oblique strike-slip fault zone that has rates of lateral motion of around 50-60 mm/yr and a small convergent component equal to about 3 mm/yr. Slow subduction along the Cascadia Subduction Zone has accreted a prism of marine sediment against the lower slope (1500-3500 m water depth), forming the Queen Charlotte Terrace, which blocks the mouths of submarine canyons formed on the upper slope (200-1400 m water depth). Consequently, canyons along this margin are short (4-8 km in length), closely spaced (around 800 m), and terminate uniformly along the 1400 m isobath, coinciding with the primary fault trend of the QCFZ. Vertical displacement along the fault has resulted in hanging canyons occurring locally. The Haida Gwaii canyons are compared and contrasted with the Sur Canyon system, located to the south of Monterey Bay, California, on a transform margin, which is not blocked by any accretionary prism, and where canyons thus extend to 4000 m depth, across the full breadth of the slope.

  11. Crustal rheological strength heterogeneities control the formation of continental plateau margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chang; Zhu, Bojing; Yang, Xiaolin

    2015-08-01

    The margins bordering the Tibetan Plateau show two end-member morphologies in topographic gradient: steep margins and low-gradient margins. To investigate the formation mechanism of convergent intracontinental plateau margins, we conduct 2D numerical experiments to simulate crustal deformation process across plateau margins. Our numerical experiments demonstrate that heterogeneities in crustal rheological strength control significantly the formation of plateau margins when subjected to crustal convergence. A very steep margin is the result of crustal convergence between plateau with weak lower crust and foreland basin with strong lower crust. By contrast, a low-gradient margin could result from crustal convergence between plateau and foreland with less strength contrast. This finding suggests that the diversity in topographic gradient along the Tibetan Plateau borders reflects heterogeneities in crustal rheological strength across the plateau margins. Steep gradient at the margins indicate large crustal rheological strength contrasts between the weak ductile lower crust of the Tibetan Plateau and its strong surrounding foreland basins, like the Sichuan Basin, the Tarim Basin and the Qaidam Basin. Beneath these steep margins the horizontal flow of the Tibetan ductile lower crust is inhibited and forced to extrude to support escarpments. Low-gradient at the margins indicate less crustal strength variations between the plateau and outer forelands, like at the northeastern and southeastern margins, where they might be outlets for the weak ductile Tibetan lower crust to flow away from the plateau.

  12. 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

    It has been a long held view that oceanic fracture zones play an important role in the segmentation of continental margins and therefore provide a major structural control on their evolution and the development of associated petroleum systems. The geometry of fracture zones reflects the spreading history of the seafloor: subtle changes in plate motion causes stress-field reorientation, which in turn results in changes in the orientation of the fracture zone. These changes can introduce strike-perpendicular compression or extension across transform faults; the latter may lead to increased ridge segmentation and the initiation of new spreading centres. We present two examples of secondary fracture zone initiation and disappearance within the Atlantic Ocean between 1) the Atlantis and Kane major fracture zones in the Central Atlantic and 2) the Ascension and Rio de Janeiro fracture zones in the South Atlantic. We investigate the discontinuous nature of these fracture zones by exploring their relationship with major plate re-organisation events and seafloor spreading geometry. Using a series of stage reconstruction poles that represent the motion of both North and South America relative to Africa since the initiation of Atlantic seafloor spreading, we have performed a quantitative analysis of spreading directions along major Atlantic fracture zones. Our results demonstrate a notable correlation between the timing of major plate reorganisation events and the initiation and disappearance of secondary fracture zones. Such events are clearly recorded in the Atlantic margin stratigraphic record as major unconformities. We are therefore able to interpret fracture zone abundance in terms of palaeo-spreading geometry and the opening history of the Atlantic Ocean. This allows us to make important inferences about the influence of fracture zones on the segmentation and structural control of continental margins. Specifically, in our South Atlantic case study, where secondary

  13. Historical changes in terrestrially derived organic carbon inputs to Louisiana continental margin sediments over the past 150 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sampere, Troy P.; Bianchi, Thomas S.; Allison, Mead A.

    2011-03-01

    Major rivers (and associated deltaic environments) provide the dominant pathway for the input of terrestrial-derived organic carbon in sediments (TOCT) to the ocean. Natural watershed processes and land-use changes are important in dictating the amount and character of carbon being buried on continental margins. Seven core sites were occupied on the Louisiana continental margin aboard the R/V Pelican in July 2003 along two major sediment transport pathways south and west of the Mississippi River mouth. Lignin profiles in these age-dated cores (210Pb geochronology) indicate artificial reservoir retention as a primary control on organic carbon quantity and quality reaching the margin post-1950, whereas pre-1950 sediments may reflect soil erosion due to land clearing and farming practices. Lignin (Λ8) concentrations (range 0.2 to 1.7) also indicate that TOCT delivery rates/decay processes have probably remained relatively consistent from proximal to distal stations along transects. The down-core profile at the Canyon station seems to be temporally linked and connected to inner shelf deposition, suggestive of rapid cross-shelf transport. Sources of terrestrially derived organic carbon were reflective of mixed angiosperms over the last 150 years in cores west and south of the Mississippi River delta. The lignin-phenol vegetation index (LPVI) (range 130.0 to 510) proved to be a sensitive indicator of source changes in these sediments and eliminated some of the variability compared to C/V (range 0.01 to 0.4) and S/V (range 0.9 to 2.1) ratios. Stochastic events such as hurricanes and large river floods have a measurable, albeit ephemeral, effect on the shelf TOCT record. Burial of TOCT on the river-dominated Louisiana continental margin is largely driven by anthropogenic land-use alterations in the last 150 years. Land-use changes in the Mississippi River basin and river damming have likely affected carbon cycling and TOCT burial on the Louisiana continental margin over a

  14. Importance of the margin inheritance in the present-day crustal structure of the Longmen Shan range, Eastern border of the Tibetan plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robert, A.; Pubellier, M.; de Sigoyer, J.; Billerot, A.; Vergne, J.

    2011-12-01

    The Longmen Shan range, located at the eastern border of the Tibetan plateau (Sichuan province, China), is characterized by one of the most important topographic gradient of the world whereas the present-day convergence recorded by GPS measurements is quite low (~3mm/yr). The mountain is also located above an abrupt 18km-high Moho step interpreted as the result of the confrontation of the thick Tibetan crust (~63km) against the resistant Yangtze craton (~45km). This peculiar crustal structure, as well as the thickening of the Tibetan crust in its eastern part, is often considerate as a result of the Cenozoic collision between India and Eurasia. This study highlights the importance of structural and thermal inheritance in the current crustal structure of this area. In fact, sedimentary records indicate that the Longmen Shan formed an abrupt passive margin from the beginning of the Paleozoic to the middle Triassic as a consequence of the opening of the Prototethys and the Paleotethys. The Longmen Shan correspond to a major paleogeographic boundary between the shallow water sediments of the Sichuan basin to the South-East and the deep sea mostly flysch-type sediments of the Songpan Garze terrane to the North West. Moreover, geochimical data indicate an important extension of the continental crust further west of the sedimentary transition. The oblique position of the Longmen Shan compared to the direction of opening is responsible of a trantensive passive margin structure as observed for the present-day vietnamian passive margin. This geometry is characterized by an abrupt decrease of the continental crust thickness associated with the sedimentary transition whereas the continent/ocean transition is located further away. We propose that the peculiar geometry of the old passive margin in the Longmen Shan is responsible for the important localization of the deformation during the 3 reactivations of the range (Triassic, Cretaceous and Late Tertiary).

  15. Temporal and spatial complexity in post-glacial sedimentation on the tectonically active, Poverty Bay continental margin of New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orpin, Alan R.; Alexander, Clark; Carter, Lionel; Kuehl, Steve; Walsh, J. P.

    2006-11-01

    On the eastern Raukumara Ranges of the New Zealand East Coast, active tectonics, vigorous weather systems, and human colonisation have combined to cause widespread erosion of the mudstone- and sandstone-dominated hinterland. The Waipaoa River sedimentary dispersal system is an example that has responded to environmental change, and is now New Zealand's second largest river in terms of suspended sediment discharge. This paper presents new sediment accumulation rates for the continental shelf and slope that span century to post-glacial time scales. These data are derived from radiochemical tracer, palynological, tephrostratigraphic, and seismic methods. We hypothesise on the temporal and spatial complexity of post-glacial sedimentation across the margin and identify the broad extent of sediment dispersal from the Waipaoa system. The ˜15 km 3 Poverty Bay mid-shelf basin lies adjacent to the mouth of the Waipaoa River, reaching a maximum thickness of ˜45 m. A post-glacial mud lobe of an additional ˜3 km 3 extends through the Poverty Gap and out onto the uppermost slope, attaining 40 m thickness in a structurally controlled sub-basin. Here, an offset in the last-glacial erosion surface indicates that deposition was sympathetic with fault activity and the creation of accommodation space, implying that sedimentation was not supply limited. Contrary to classical shelf sedimentation models, the highest modern accumulation rate of 1 cm y -1 occurs on the outer-shelf sediment lobe, approximately ˜2 times the rate recorded at the mid-shelf basin depocentre, and ˜10 times faster than the excess 210Pb rates estimated from the slope. Pollen records from slope cores fingerprint Polynesian then European settlement, and broaden the spatial extent of post-settlement sedimentation initially documented from the Poverty Bay mid-shelf. Changes in sub-millennial sedimentation infer a 2-3-times increase in post-settlement accumulation on the shelf but a smaller 1-2 times increase on

  16. Continent-ocean transition at the western Barents Sea/Svalbard continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Eldholm, O.; Faleide, J.I.; Myhre, A.M.

    1987-12-01

    The change in crustal type at the western Barents Sea/Svalbard margin takes place over a narrow zone related to primary rift and shear structures reflecting the stepwise opening of the Greenland Sea. Regionally, the margin is composed of two large shear zones and a central rifted-margin segment. Local transtension and transpression at the plate boundary caused the early Cenozoic tectonism in Svalbard and the western Barents Sea, and might explain the prominent marginal gravity and velocity anomalies.

  17. Source, composition and reactivity of sedimentary organic carbon in the river-dominated marginal seas: A study of the eastern Yellow Sea (the northwestern Pacific)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Suk-Hee; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Yi, Hi-Il; Yamamoto, Masanobu; Gal, Jong-Ku; Kang, Sujin; Shin, Kyung-Hoon

    2016-08-01

    We investigated the source, composition and reactivity of sedimentary organic carbon (OC) in a river-dominated continental marginal sea, the eastern Yellow Sea. A multi-proxy approach was applied to 9 riverbank sediments and 69 marine surface sediments, combining bulk and molecular organic parameters. The riverbank sediments (n=9) have on average low C/N ratio (4.8±0.5) and enriched δ13CTOC values (-21.5±0.6%) while the BIT index is on average 0.27. The sedimentary OC in the marine surface sediments appears to have a predominantly marine origin (on average C/N ratio=7.0±0.6 and δ13CTOC=-21.9±0.5%, n=69) with minor contribution of continental (i.e. soil- and lake/river-derived) OC (on average BIT index=0.00±0.01, n=69). However, the Δ14C values were depleted (on average -227±53%, n=8). Accordingly, our results highlight that fossil OC, potentially derived from erosion of sedimentary bedrocks in the catchment areas and/or human activities is being contributed to the sedimentary OC pool in the eastern Yellow Sea. More work is needed to better constrain the source, composition, and age of the organic material supplied to the eastern Yellow Sea, given the lack of biogeochemical data from the Korean rivers.

  18. A comparison of Holocene fluctuations of the eastern and western margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, L.; Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T. V.; Hall, B. L.; Applegate, P. J.; Howley, J.; Axford, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Determining how the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) responded to past temperature fluctuations is important for assessing its future stability in a changing climate. We present a record of the Holocene extents of the western GrIS margin near Kangerlussuaq (67.0°N, 50.7°W) and compare this with the past fluctuations of Bregne ice cap (71°N, 25.6° W), a small ice cap in the Scoresby Sund region 90 km from the eastern GrIS margin, to examine the mechanisms that influenced past ice margin fluctuations. The past extents of the Bregne ice cap are a proxy for the climatic conditions that influenced the nearby GrIS margin. We used glacial geomorphic mapping, 10Be dating of boulders and bedrock, and sediment cores from proglacial and non-glacial lakes. In western Greenland, 10Be ages on the Keglen moraines, 13 km west of the current GrIS margin and the Ørkendalen moraines, ≤2 km west of the current ice margin date to 7.3 × 0.1 ka (n=6) and 6.8 × 0.3 ka (n=9), respectively. Fresh moraines, ≤50 m from the current ice margin date to AD 1830-1950 and are likely associated with advances during the Little Ice Age (LIA). In some areas, the LIA moraines lie stratigraphically above the Ørkendalen moraines, indicating the GrIS was inboard of the Ørkendalen limit from 6.8 ka to the 20th century. In eastern Greenland, 10Be ages show that Bregne ice cap retreated within its late Holocene limit by 10.7 ka. A lack of clastic sediment in a proglacial lake suggests the ice cap was smaller or completely absent from ~10-2.6 ka. A snowline analysis indicates that temperatures ~0.5°C warmer than present would render the entire ice cap into an ablation zone. Glacial silts in the proglacial lake at ~2.6 and ~1.9 cal kyr BP to present indicate advances of Bregne ice cap. Fresh moraines ≤200 m of Bregne ice cap were deposited ≤2.6 cal kyr BP and mark the largest advance of the Holocene. Both the western GrIS margin and Bregne ice cap were influenced by Northern Hemisphere summer

  19. Collapse and flow of lowstand shelf-margin deposits: An example from the eastern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trincardi, F.; Field, M.E.

    1992-01-01

    The upper slope of the eastern Tyrrhenian Sea margin has a complex morphology shaped by Quaternary tectonism and by sedimentation phases controlled by changing sea levels. Sediment slides of widely varying size and shape are common in Quaternary deposits of the upper slope, particularly where gradients are steep. Our study of a large sediment failure in lowstand prograded coastal deposits west of Cape Licosa indicates that the nature of shelf-margin deposition is an additional important control on failure. The failure zone has a mobilization surface showing in-situ deformation in the sediment above it; an upper failure surface; a head scarp; and a zone of ponded sediment debris downslope from the exposed surface of failure. The basal mobilization surface is roughly parallel to the seafloor and coincident with a major downlap surface. The failed section is less that 20 m thick and local in extent, but deformation on the basal mobilization surface extends outside the immediate area of the failure. Directly downslope of the slide scarp are internally stratified mounds that show no evidence of deformation or movement. Most of the prograded deposit experienced in-situ deformation that evolved into the collapse of part of the sediment pile above the mobilization surface. A portion of the mobilized sediment flowed a few kilometers basinward and accumulated at the base of a slope-parallel ridge. Sediment failure occurred on the Licosa shelf margin following a major pulse of coastal sedimentation along the lowstand shoreline. On many continental margins, sea-level lowering is thought to be an important cause of failure unconsolidated sediment deposited during previous high-stand conditions. The Licosa slide demonstrates that sea-level fall has another, equally important but indirect, role in sediment failure. As sea level falls and reaches its lowstand position, streams are at their peak efficiency and a coarsening-upward clastic coastal wedge is rapidly emplaced at

  20. Regional Mesozoic basin development along the Irish continental margins: evidence from regional gravity studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, B. M.; Readman, P. W.

    2003-04-01

    Sedimentary basins, which formed in response to multiphase rifting episodes during the early to late Mesozoic Era, comprise a global assemblage distributed across the entire North Atlantic region from eastern North America to the European Platform. This assemblage of basins has as its centre the region around and to the west of Ireland where tectonic re-activation of a strong NE-SW trending Caledonian basement fabric partly controlled the siting of the basins. The development of individual basins was contemporaneous with the onset of sea-floor-spreading within the Atlantic south of the Charlie Gibbs and Azores Fracture Zones. In this study a compilation of marine and satellite gravity data is primarily used to produce a regional interpretation of the tectonic fabrics in the region. A series of gravity models across the various sedimentary basins including the Rockall Basin, the Porcupine Basin and the Celtic and Irish Sea basins are used with vertical incidence and wide-angle seismic data to define crustal structure and its relationship with basin geometries. Two end-member sedimentary basin types are recognized in a regional preliminary model for Mesozoic basin development. The deep-water Rockall and Porcupine basins overlie North Atlantic lithosphere where large amounts of extensional strain were focused into the upper and mid-crust producing large amounts of syn-rift subsidence. In the shallow water shelf sea basin areas of the Celtic and Irish Sea generally smaller strains occur equally throughout all levels of the lithosphere and is distributed across wide regions of the lower crust and mantle lithosphere. This model for basin structuring requires that the strain field varies erratically within the upper to mid-crust across the North Atlantic. These changes in the pattern of strain are accommodated by rotation of continental crustal blocks (about vertical axes) and also by large-scale crustal transfer fault systems that penetrate at least to a lower crustal

  1. Sequence stratigraphy and systems tract analysis of the Neogene-Quaternary continental margin off the Zambezi delta, Mozambique

    SciTech Connect

    Kolla, V. ); Macurda, D.B. Jr. ); Nelson, H.R. Jr. )

    1991-03-01

    During the Neogene and Quaternary, the Zambezi River built a broad delta-platform from 75 to over 100 km into the Indian Ocean. A regional seismic grid shows numerous discontinuities in the delta platform, slope, and deeper basinal areas. Based on downward shifts of reflection terminations and onlaps at or below shelf edge, more than 25 sequences have been identified. Within the gross Neogene package, the basal section is characterized by aggradation, followed by rapid and significant (oblique) progradation, which is then followed by numerous aggradational-progradation and progradation packages in the upper, younger sections. From recognition of aggradation-progradation patterns and from well information, it appears that the first, significant, and rapid progradation occurred since mid-Miocene. The earliest of the Neogene sequence appears thicker towards south and thinner towards north, opposite of the younger sequences. The number of sequences, their modes of stacking, and thickness distributions reflect relative sea-level changes and the points of sediment input as the Zambezi River shifted in position from south to north in time. The Zambezi passive continental margin, located in the Indian Ocean basin, is a stable platform as opposed to the unstable continental margins off the Mississippi, McKenzie, and Niger deltas and is far from the stable margins that were the basis of the Haq et al. cycle-chart (1987). Thus the Zambezi continental margin provides an independent test case for verification of eustatic cycles and for the evaluation of allogenic (eustatic) versus autogenic (subsidence and delta switching) effects on depositional systems and systems tracts.

  2. A time-transgressive Holocene onset from Globorotalia menardii records on Brazilian continental margin sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwai, F. S.; Costa, K. B.; Toledo, F. A. D. L.; Santarosa, A. C. A.; Chiessi, C. M.; Camillo, E., Jr.; Quadros, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    The planktic foraminifer Globorotalia menardii presents a cyclic behavior within Pleistocene glacial cycles on Atlantic; it disappears during glacial periods and returns to this ocean after deglaciations. Therefore, G. menardii has been used to identify limits between those cycles and the last limit is recognized as the Holocene onset. The Holocene onset has been reported before as being more than 4 kyrs later than expected at the equatorial Atlantic Ocean based on a G. menardii record (Broecker & Pena, 2014). In this study, we explore the time-transgressive Holocene onset of G. menardii in the Atlantic from 21 piston cores collected along the Brazilian continental margin, between 7 ˚N and 33 ˚S. Radiocarbon dating was conducted on Globigerinoides ruber on samples prior to and after G. menardii reappearance in the cores. Reservoir-age corrected 14C dates vary between 17 and 6.5 cal kyrs; the older ages are found at ~14 ˚S and younger ages at 6 ˚N and 33 ˚S. From these ages and latitudes, we hypothesize that G. menardii's population has spread at higher rates southward. From the scenario observed on Brazilian coast it is possible to conclude that although ocean circulation has an important role on dispersion of planktonic foraminifera, it may be superimposed by ecological constraints of the species. G. menardii absence during glacials is linked to the Agulhas Leakage activity, which is prevented from getting to the Atlantic due the northern position of the Subtropical Convergence Zone during glacials. On interglacials, warm and saline waters carrying G. menardii are transported into the Subtropical Gyre currents, achieving Brazil's coast through the South Equatorial Current and spreading south and northward through Brazil Current and North Brazil Current, respectively. Nonetheless, from velocity and volume registered for this currents, we would expect a higher G. menardii dispersion rate northward. A faster southward dispersal during the deglaciation suggests

  3. A water column study of methane around gas flares located at the West Spitsbergen continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentz, Torben; Damm, Ellen; Schneider von Deimling, Jens; Mau, Susan; McGinnis, Daniel Frank; Schlüter, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In the Arctic Seas, the West Spitsbergen continental margin represents a prominent methane seep area. In this area, free gas formation and gas ebullition as a consequence of hydrate dissociation due to global warming are currently under debate. Recent studies revealed shallow gas accumulation and ebullition of methane into the water column at more than 250 sites in an area of 665 km2. We conducted a detailed study of a subregion of this area, which covers an active gas ebullition area of 175 km2 characterized by 10 gas flares reaching from the seafloor at~245 m up to 50 m water depth to identify the fate of the released gas due to dissolution of methane from gas bubbles and subsequent mixing, transport and microbial oxidation. The oceanographic data indicated a salinity-controlled pycnocline situated ~20 m above the seafloor. A high resolution sampling program at the pycnocline at the active gas ebullition flare area revealed that the methane concentration gradient is strongly controlled by the pycnocline. While high methane concentrations of up to 524 nmol L-1 were measured below the pycnocline, low methane concentrations of less than 20 nmol L-1 were observed in the water column above. Variations in the δ13CCH4 values point to a 13C depleted methane source (~-60‰ VPDB) being mainly mixed with a background values of the ambient water (~-37.5‰ VPDB). A gas bubble dissolution model indicates that ~80% of the methane released from gas bubbles into the ambient water takes place below the pycnocline. This dissolved methane will be laterally transported with the current northwards and most likely microbially oxidized in between 50 and 100 days, since microbial CH4 oxidation rates of 0.78 nmol d-1 were measured. Above the pycnocline, methane concentrations decrease to local background concentration of ~10 nmol L-1. Our results suggest that the methane dissolved from gas bubbles is efficiently trapped below the pycnocline and thus limits the methane concentration in

  4. Pathways of carbon oxidation in continental margin sediments off central Chile.

    PubMed

    Thamdrup, B; Canfield, D E

    1996-12-01

    Rates and oxidative pathways of organic carbon mineralization were determined in sediments at six stations on the shelf and slope off Concepcion Bay at 36.5 degrees S. The depth distribution of C oxidation rates was determined to 10 cm from accumulation of dissolved inorganic C in 1-5-d incubations. Pathways of C oxidation were inferred from the depth distributions of the potential oxidants (O2, NO3-, and oxides of Mn and Fe) and from directly determined rates of SO4(2-) reduction. The study area is characterized by intense seasonal upwelling, and during sampling in late summer the bottom water over the shelf was rich in NO3- and depleted of O2. Sediments at the four shelf stations were covered by mats of filamentous bacteria of the genera Thioploca and Beggiatoa. Carbon oxidation rates at these sites were extremely high near the sediment surface (>3 micromol cm-3 d-1) and decreased exponentially with depth. The process was entirely coupled to SO4(2-) reduction. At the two slope stations where bottom-water O2 was > 100 microM, C oxidation rates were 10-fold lower and varied less with depth; C oxidation coupled to the reduction of O2, NO3-, and Mn oxides combined to yield an estimated 15% of the total C oxidation between 0 and 10 cm. Carbon oxidation through Fe reduction contributed a further 12-29% of the depth-integrated rate, while the remainder of C oxidation was through SO4(2-) reduction. The depth distribution of Fe reduction agreed well with the distribution of poorly crystalline Fe oxides, and as this pool decreased with depth, the importance of SO4(2-) reduction increased. The results point to a general importance of Fe reduction in C oxidation in continental margin sediments. At the shelf stations, Fe reduction was mainly coupled to oxidation of reduced S. These sediments were generally H2S-free despite high SO4(2-) reduction rates, and precipitation of Fe sulfides dominated H2S scavenging during the incubations. A large NO3- pool was associated with the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Geology and physiography of the continental margin north of Alaska and implications for the origin of the Canada Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grantz, Arthur; Eittreim, Stephen L.; Whitney, O.T.

    1979-01-01

    The continental margin north of Alaska is of Atlantic type. It began to form probably in Early Jurassic time but possibly in middle Early Cretaceous time, when the oceanic Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean is thought to have opened by rifting about a pole of rotation near the Mackenzie Delta. Offsets of the rift along two fracture zones are thought to have divided the Alaskan margin into three sectors of contrasting structure and stratigraphy. In the Barter Island sector on the east and the Chukchi sector on the west the rift was closer to the present northern Alaska mainland than in the Barrow sector, which lies between them. In the Barter Island and Chukchi sectors the continental shelf is underlain by prisms of clastic sedimentary rocks that are inferred to include thick sections of Jurassic and Neocomian (lower Lower Cretaceous) strata of southern provenance. In the intervening Barrow sector the shelf is underlain by relatively thin sections of Jurassic and Neocomian strata derived from northern sources that now lie beneath the outer continental shelf. The rifted continental margin is overlain by a prograded prism of Albian (upper Lower Cretaceous) to Tertiary clastic sedimentary rocks that comprises the continental terrace of the western Beaufort and northern Chukchi Seas. On the south the prism is bounded by Barrow arch, which is a hingeline between the northward-tilted basement surface beneath the continental shelf of the western Beaufort Sea and the southward-tilted Arctic Platform of northern Alaska. The Arctic platform is overlain by shelf clastic and carbonate strata of Mississippian to Cretaceous age, and by Jurassic and Cretaceous clastic strata of the Colville foredeep. Both the Arctic platform and Colville foredeep sequences extend from northern Alaska beneath the northern Chukchi Sea. At Herald fault zone in the central Chukchi Sea they are overthrust by more strongly deformed Cretaceous to Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of Herald arch, which trends

  7. Metallogeny of the northeastern Pacific Rim: an example of the distribution of ore deposits along a growing continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldfarb, R.J.; Hart, C.J.; Mortensen, J.K.; Weber, Graeme

    1999-01-01

    The distribution of mineral deposits within northwestern North America (Alaska, Yukon, and northern British Columbia) allows for an in-depth examination of the metallogenic patterns of a growing continental margin. A more complete understanding of the tectonic evolution of this part of the Pacific Rim, achieved over the last 15 to 20 years, now allows for the placement of ore systems into a well-defined plate tectonic framework. Ore deposits older than about 185 Ma represent hydrothermal systems that were active in the platform/shelf environment of ancestral North America's miogeocline or hydrothermal systems developed in oceanic arcs and continental fragments more distal to the craton. These include important SEDEX, VMS, and pre-accretionary porphyry deposits. In contrast, most mineral deposits younger than about 185 Ma were formed within the growing Cordilleran orogen, as terranes were accreted to the continental margin during interactions between the North America and Pacific/Farallon/Kula plates. Such syn- to post-accretionary mineralised systems include many large lode gold and porphyry/skarn systems.

  8. Record of Permian-Early Triassic continental arc magmatism in the western margin of the Jiamusi Block, NE China: petrogenesis and implications for Paleo-Pacific subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hao; Ge, Wenchun; Dong, Yu; Bi, Junhui; Wang, Zhihui; Ji, Zheng; Yang, H.; Ge, W. C.; Dong, Y.; Bi, J. H.; Wang, Z. H.; Ji, Z.

    2016-09-01

    In this paper, we report zircon U-Pb ages, Hf isotopes and whole-rock geochemical data for the Permian to Early Triassic granitoids from the western margin of the Jiamusi Block (WJB), NE China. The intermediate to felsic (SiO2 = 59.67-74.04 wt%) granitoids belong to calc-alkaline series and are characterized by enrichments in light rare earth elements and large ion lithophile elements with pronounced negative Nb, Ta and Ti anomalies, revealing typical continental magmatic arc geochemical signatures. The zircon U-Pb determinations on the granodiorite, monzogranite, syenogranite and quartz diorite samples yielded ages between ca. 275-245 Ma, which, together with the published coeval intrusive rocks, indicates that Permian to Early Triassic continental arc magmatism occurred extensively in the WJB. The low and mainly negative zircon ɛ Hf(t) values between -7.6 and +1.6 and the zircon Hf model ages of 1.2-1.8 Ga, which are significantly older than their crystallization ages, suggest that they were mainly derived from reworking of ancient crustal materials with a limited input of juvenile components. The geochemical systematics and petrogenetic considerations indicate that the studied granitoids were generated from a zone of melting, assimilation, storage, and homogenization, i.e., a MASHed zone at the base of Paleo- to Mesoproterozoic continental crust, where large portions of igneous rocks and minor clay-poor sediments involved in the source region. In combination with regional geological data, we argue that the Jiamusi Block was unlikely the rifted segment of the Songliao Block and two possible geodynamical models were proposed to interpret the formation of the ca. 275-245 Ma granitoids in the WJB. In the context of Permian global plate reconstruction, we suggest that Paleo-Pacific plate subduction was initiated in the Permian to Early Triassic beneath the Jiamusi Block, and even whole eastern NE China.

  9. Seismic refraction study of the continental edge off the eastern united states

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sheridan, R.E.; Grow, J.A.; Behrendt, John C.; Bayer, K.C.

    1979-01-01

    Three long, strike-parallel, seismic-refraction profiles were made on the continental shelf edge, slope and upper rise off New Jersey during 1975. The shelf edge line lies along the axis of the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly (ECMA), while the continental rise line lies 80 km seaward of the shelf edge. Below the unconsolidated sediments (1.7-3.6 km/sec), high-velocity sedimentary rocks (4.2-6.2 km/sec) were found at depths of 2.6-8.2 km and are inferred to be cemented carbonates. Although multichannel seismic-reflection profiles and magnetic depth-to-source data predicted the top of oceanic basement at 6-8 km beneath the shelf edge and 10-11 km beneath the rise, no refracted events occurred as first arrivals from either oceanic basement (layer 2, approximately 5.5 km/ sec) or the upper oceanic crust (layer 3A, approximately 6.8 km/sec). Second arrivals from 10.5 km depth beneath the shelf edge are interpreted as events from a 5.9 km/sec refractor within igneous basement. Other refracted events from either layers 2 or 3A could not be resolved within the complex second arrivals. A well-defined crustal layer with a compressional velocity of 7.1-7.2 km/sec, which can be interpreted as oceanic layer 3B, occurred at 15.8 km depth beneath the shelf and 12.9 km beneath the upper rise. A well-reversed mantle velocity of 8.3 km/sec was measured at 18-22 km depth beneath the upper continental rise. Comparison with other deep-crustal profiles along the continental edge of the Atlantic margin off the United States, specifically in the inner magnetically quiet zone, indicates that the compressional wave velocities and layer depths determined on the U.S.G.S. profiles are very similar to those of nearby profiles. This suggests that the layers are continuous and that the interpretation of the oceanic layer 3B under the shelf edge east of New Jersey implies progradation of the shelf outward over the oceanic crust in that area. This agrees with magnetic anomaly evidence which shows the

  10. The Preservation of Meso- Archean Refractory Lithospheric Mantle Underneath the Eastern Margin of the Tanzania Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Q.; Liu, J.; Pearson, G. D.; Gibson, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies on the petrology and geochemistry of peridotite xenoliths from the Tanzanian Craton and its rifted margins have investigated the origin, chemical change and thermal state of the cratonic roots from its core area (Nzega and Mwadui), its Northern (Marsabit) and Eastern margin Labait and Lashaine area (e.g. Dawson, 1964; Henjes-Kunst and Altherr, 1991; Lee & Rudnick, 1999; Chesley et al., 1999; Gibson et al., 2013). These studies suggest that the Tanzanian cratonic mantle formed via high degrees of melt extraction in the Archean (oldest Re-depletion age TRD = 3.4 Ga, Burton et al., 2000) and sev­eral episodes of refertilization. In order to gain further temporal and chemical understanding on the effects of tectonic processes on cratonic roots, we carried out a Re-Os isotopic study on peridotites (n = 11) from Lashaine, which will be followed by Lu-Hf, Sm-Nd and Sr isotope investigations of the constituent minerals of the same samples. The preliminary whole-rock Os isotope data from Lashaine peridotites show a large range of 187Os/188Os (0.1061 - 0.1261), with TRD ages from Meso-Archean to very young (3.1 Ga to 0.3 Ga). There is a negative correlation between TRD and bulk alumina contents. One sample with the lowest Al2O3 yields the oldest age of 3.1 Ga. Five samples range from 2.5 to 2.8 Ga, three give ages close to 2 Ga, and one sample with a high Al2O3 has a TRD at 0.3 Ga. The positive Al2O3-187Os/188Os correlation trend passes above the PM composition may reflect ancient metasomatism by high Re/Os melts or recent metasomatism by very radiogenic Os plume-derived melts. These processes could be related to the evolution of the peripheral Proterozoic mobile belts, or Cenozoic rifting on the Eastern margin. Collectively, our new Os isotope data demonstrate that Meso-Archean (at least 3.1 Ga old) mantle portions are still retained underneath the rifted Eastern margin of the Craton. This is in line with previous results indicating that Archean cratonic

  11. Tectonic significance of the Eratosthenes Seamount: a continental fragment in the process of collision with a subduction zone in the eastern Mediterranean (Ocean Drilling Program Leg 160)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Alastair H. F.

    1998-11-01

    One of the objectives of ODP Leg 160 in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (April-May, 1995) was concerned with the study of processes of genesis and incipient collision of an inferred crustal fragment, the Eratosthenes Seamount, with the active margin of the Eurasian plate to the north, represented by southern Cyprus. The upper part of the Eratosthenes Seamount (i.e. upper several hundred metres) was found to include both shallow- and deep-water carbonates dating back to Early Cretaceous time. Shallow-water platform carbonate deposition, similar to that of the onshore Levant continental margin to the east (i.e. part of the North African plate), was followed by submergence to bathyal depths (>1000 m) in the Late Cretaceous to Middle Eocene, punctuated by depositional and tectonic hiatuses. Tectonic uplift (approximately 1 km) was followed by shallow-water carbonate deposition in the Early Miocene. The platform was exposed during the Messinian desiccation crisis. During the Early Pliocene the platform subsided to bathyal depths associated with localised accumulation of limestone debris flows. Subsidence accelerated in the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene, reaching a present-day maximum depth of ca. 2500 m. Deformation of the Eratosthenes Seamount (i.e. subsidence and high-angle faulting) resulted from crustal flexure, induced by southward overthrusting of the Cyprus active margin. Tectonic subsidence of the Eratosthenes Seamount was approximately synchronous with rapid surface uplift of the over-riding plate, the Troodos Ophiolite of southern Cyprus. This uplift is explained in terms of incipient collision of an Eratosthenes continental fragment with a subduction trench, coupled with the effects of diapiric protrusion of serpentinite located within the core of the Troodos Ophiolite. The Eratosthenes drilling, thus, documented a modern analogue of subduction/collisional processes leading to accretion of continental fragments and carbonate platforms in orogenic belts.

  12. Factors controlling late Cenozoic continental margin growth from the Ebro Delta to the western Mediterranean deep sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Maldonado, A.

    1990-01-01

    The Ebro continental margin sedimentation system originated with a Messinian fluvial system. This system eroded both a major subaerial canyon cutting the margin southeastward from the present Ebro Delta and an axial valley that drained northeastward down Valencia Trough. Post-Messinian submergence of this topography and the Pliocene regime of high sea levels resulted in a marine hemipelagic drape over the margin. Late Pliocene to Pleistocene glacial climatic cycles, drainagebasin deforestation, and sea-level lowstands combined to increase sediment supply, cause the margin to prograde, and create a regime of lowstand sediment-gravity flows in the deeper margin. The depositional patterns of regressive, transgressive and highstand sea-level regimes suggest that location of the sediment source near the present Ebro Delta throughout the late Cenozoic, southward current advection of sediment, and greater subsidence in the southern margin combined to cause generally asymmetric progradation of the margin to the southeast. Thicker, less stable deposits filling the Messinian subaerial canyon underwent multiple retrograde failures, eroded wide gullied canyons and formed unchanneled base-of-slope sediment aprons in the central margin area; other margin areas to the north and south developed a series of channel-levee complexes. On the basin floor, the formation of Valencia Valley over the Messinian subaerial valley and earlier faults led to draining of about 20% of the Ebro Pleistocene sediment from channel-levee complexes through the valley to prograde Valencia Fan as much as 500 km northeast of the margin. Thus, the Ebro margin has two growth directions, mainly southeastward during higher sea levels, and eastward to northeastward during lower sea levels. The northeastward draining of turbidity currents has produced unusually thin and widely dispersed turbidite systems compared to those on ponded basin floors. During the past few centuries, man's impact has exceeded natural

  13. Lower and middle Guadalupian shelf carbonates, eastern margin of Central Basin platform, Permian basin, west Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, R.F.; Chalcraft, R.G.

    1988-01-01

    Lower and middle Guadalupian shelf carbonates serve as the reservoir for a nearly continuous band of oil fields extending 100 mi along the eastern margin of the Central Basin platform of west Texas. Approximately 5 billion bbl of oil have been produced from stratigraphic-structural traps within the Upper Permian (Gaudalupian Series) dolomites of the San Andrea and Grayburg Formations in Upton, Crane, Ector, Pecos, and Andrews Counties, Texas. The San Andrea and Grayburg Formations are cyclical shallowing-upward carbonate sequences of open shelf through sabkha facies whose depositional strike parallels the eastern margin of the Central Basin platform. Porosity and permeability of reservoir rock are governed by diagenetic processes such as dolomitization, anhydrite porosity occlusion, leaching, silicification, and authigenic clay formation. Self sediments are primarily burrowed wackestones and packstones that locally contain pelletal, skeletal, and ooid grainstones. Typical subtidal shelf sediments are capped by algal-laminated dolomite, nodular anhydritic dolomite, and bedded anhydrite. The fauna is normally sparse and dominated by foraminifera and algae. Less common faunal components include pelecypods, crinoids, sponges, Bryozoa, brachiopods, gastropods, and coral that are associated with the development of small scattered patch reefs. Lowering the sea level during the early Guadalpian initiated basinward progradation of San Andres carbonate facies with hydrocarbon reservoirs best developed in shallow self fusulinid wackestones to packstone and oolitic grainstone. Reservoir dolomites of the Grayburg formation are present east of San Andres fields with optimal reservoir properties occurring near the San Andreas outer shelf margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Stratigraphic and isotopic link between the northern Stikine terrane and an ancient continental margin assemblage, Canadian Cordillera

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, J.L.; Gehrels, G.E.; Patchett, P.J. ); Mihalynuk, M.G. )

    1991-12-01

    Geologic and isotopic data strongly imply a Late Triassic depositional link between a juvenile volcanic arc (northern Stikine terrane) and an outboard ancient continental margin assemblage (Nisling terrane) in the Canadian Cordillera. Two sandstone samples and a schist clast from a conglomerate layer at the base of the Upper Triassic Stuhini Group (northern Stikine terrane) have Nd-depleted mantle model ages of 1400-1430 and 1600 Ma, respectively; other Stuhini Group rocks have model ages of 390,660 and 690 Ma. Three samples of Nisling terrane schist and gneiss yield Nd model ages of 910, 1770, and 2450 Ma and highly radiogenic {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios. These isotopic data corroborate stratigraphic evidence that detritus at the base of northern Stikine was shed from the Nisling terrane and strengthen interpretations that these terranes became linked by Late Triassic time. Thus, Upper Triassic strata of the northern Stikine terrane may have accumulated on top of or adjacent to an exotic continental fragment, a rifted fragment of the North American margin, or the in situ North American margin.

  16. A 600,000 year long continental pollen record from Lake Van, eastern Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litt, T.; Pickarski, N.; Heumann, G.

    2014-12-01

    Lake Van is the fourth largest terminal lake in the world (38.5°N, 43 °E, volume 607 km3, area 3570 km2, maximum water depth 460 m), extending for 130 km WSW-ENE on the Eastern Anatolian High Plateau, Turkey. The sedimentary record of Lake Van, partly laminated, obtains a long and continuous continental sequence that covers multiple interglacial-glacial cycles. Promoted by the potential of the sedimentary sequence for reconstructing the paleoecological and paleoclimate development of the Near East, a deep drilling operation was carried out in 2010 supported by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). The 119 m long continental record is based on a well-dated composite profile drilled on the so-called Ahlat Ridge in water depth of 360 m encompassing the last 600,000 years. It contains the longest continuous continental pollen record of the Quaternary in the entire Near East and central Asia obtained to date. It documents glacial and interglacial stages as well as pronounced interstadials encompassing the entire 600 ka of the sedimentary record. The cold-adapted vegetation in the Lake Van region during glacial stages and stadial substages can be described as dwarf-shrub steppe and desert steppe very similar to each other. The climax vegetation of the interglacial stages in the Lake Van region is characterized by an oak steppe-forest with pistachio and juniper. It is interesting to note that, in contrast to the atmospheric CO2 concentration from Antarctic ice cores or marine isotope values based on benthic foraminifera, there is no clear subdivision in the Lake Van pollen record between low-amplitude interglacials (cooler cycles) prior the mid-Brunhes event (MBE) at 430 ka and high-amplitude, post MBE interglacials. Lower CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere might be compensated by stronger insolation forcing during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 13a and 15a. A similar pattern can be observed during the triplicate interglacial complex MIS 7

  17. Advection of Sea-Ice Meltwater and Halocline Water Along the Siberian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauch, D.; Torres-Valdes, S.; Polyakov, I.; Chernyavskaya, E.; Novikhin, A.; Dmitrenko, I.; McKay, J. L.; Mix, A. C.

    2014-12-01

    Our study is based on hydrochemical and stable oxygen isotope data at the Laptev Sea continental slope from summers 2005-2009 and reveals a general pattern in water mass distribution and potential shelf-basin exchange. Despite considerable inter-annual variations, a frontal system can be inferred between shelf, continental slope and central Eurasian Basin waters in the upper 100 m of the water column along the continental slope. Net sea-ice melt is consistently found at the continental slope. However, the sea-ice meltwater signal is independent from the local retreat of the sea-ice edge and appears to be advected from upwind locations. In addition to the along-slope frontal system at the continental shelf break, a strong gradient is identified on the Laptev Sea shelf at ~122-126°E with an eastward increase of riverine and sea-ice related brine water contents. These waters cross the shelf break at ~140°E and feed the Low Salinity Halocline Water (LSHW, salinity S<33) in the upper 50 m of the water column. High silicate concentrations in Laptev Sea bottom waters may lead to speculation about a link to the local silicate maximum found within the salinity range of ~33 to 34.5, typical for the Lower Halocline Water (LHW) at the continental slope. However brine signatures and nutrient ratios from the central Laptev Sea differ from those observed at the continental slope. Similar to the advection of the sea-ice melt signal along the Laptev Sea continental slope the nutrient signal at 50-70 m water depth within the LHW might also be fed by advection parallel to the slope. Thus, our analyses suggest that advective processes from upstream locations play a significant role in the meltwater distribution and halocline formation in the northern Laptev Sea. Inter-annual variations within the properties of LHW are further investigated.

  18. Submarine landslides along the eastern Mediterranean Israeli continental slope - a possible source for tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, O.; Reuven, E.; Aharonov, E.

    2013-12-01

    Numerous shallow submarine slope failures (scars and deposits) are observed in recent high resolution bathymetric grids of the continental slope off the Israeli eastern Mediterranean coast. The nature of these slope failures is currently not comprehensively understood as well as the question of whether the eastern Mediterranean continental slope is continuously or episodically unstable. This question is relevant to tsunami hazard along the densely populated eastern Mediterranean shores. We report here first steps towards understanding the present state of this submarine landslide system, which include mapping and analyzing the geology of the landslides and the hosting slopes. The continental slope extends from water depths of about 150 to more than 1000 meters with a slope of less than 5 degrees in general. Bathymetric grids with pixel resolution of 15 m till water depth of 700 m and 50 m till water depth of 1700 m were used. Analyzing the bathymetry revealed three main submarine surface features on the continental slope: (a) numerous shallow landslides, within the upper sequence of the post-Messenian sediments. Landslide widths range between hundreds to thousand of meters at the scar, with scar heights up to hundred meters. The toes of the landslides are not always mapable and lay up to a few kilometers down slope from the scar. Slope angles within the scars are 5 degrees to more than 15 degrees. In general landslides size decreases from south to north where their head scar depth turns to be shallower northwards. At least two types of landslides were detected: presumably young slides with sharp scars and presumably old slides with secondary slides and secondary drainage systems developed within the scar area; (b) a few kilometers long, north striking step-like lineaments. Step heights are up to 100 meters and the slopes are up to 20 degrees. The offset between parallel steps is less than a kilometer to a few kilometers. Analyzing seismic lines, the steps are

  19. Sediment movement and dispersal patterns on the Grand Banks continental shelf and slope were tied to the dynamics of the Laurentide ice-sheet margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashid, H.; MacKillop, K.; Piper, D.; Vermooten, M.; Higgins, J.; Marche, B.; Langer, K.; Brockway, B.; Spicer, H. E.; Webb, M. D.; Fournier, E.

    2015-12-01

    The expansion and contraction of the late Pleistocene Laurentide ice-sheet (LIS) was the crucial determining factor for the geomorphic features and shelf and slope sediment mobility on the eastern Canadian continental margin, with abundant mass-transport deposits (MTDs) seaward of ice margins on the upper slope. Here, we report for the first time sediment failure and mass-transport deposits from the central Grand Banks slope in the Salar and Carson petroleum basins. High-resolution seismic profiles and multibeam bathymetry show numerous sediment failure scarps in 500-1600 m water depth. There is no evidence for an ice margin on the upper slope younger than MIS 6. Centimeter-scale X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF), grain size, and oxygen isotope data from piston cores constrain sediment processes over the past 46 ka. Geotechnical measurements including Atterberg limit tests, vane shear measurements and triaxial and multi-stage isotropic consolidation tests allowed us to assess the instability on the continental margin. Cores with continuous undisturbed stratigraphy in contourite silty muds show normal downcore increase in bulk density and undrained peak shear strength. Heinrich (H) layers are identifiable by a marked increase in the bulk density, high Ca (ppm), increase in iceberg-rafted debris and lighter δ18O in the polar planktonic foram Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral): with a few C-14 dates they provide a robust chronology. There is no evidence for significant supply of sediment from the Grand Banks at th