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Sample records for england continental margin

  1. Seismicity and Attenuation of the Continental Margin Off New York and Southern/ New England from OBS Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ten Brink, U. S.; Flores, C. H.; McGuire, J. J.; Collins, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Earthquake data recorded during two ocean-bottom-seismometer (OBS) deployments on the continental slope off New York and Southern New England are used to evaluate micro-seismicity and attenuation of the continental margin. The deployments were partly motivated by the detection by land seismometers of several ML2.5-3.8 continental margin earthquakes in this region during the previous four years. The data come from a five-month-long cluster deployment (1 km radius) of eleven short-period OBS in July 2012 at a water depth of ~835 m and a subsequent nine-month deployment of a network of five short-period OBS spaced 50 km apart at water depths between 900-2400 m. The land-based seismic network did not identify seismic activity on the margin during the two deployments. The OBS network located only one earthquake of ML~1 near the shelf edge, suggesting that seismic activity of the margin is probably successfully monitored by land seismometers. A successful land-based detection of earthquakes on the margin may indicate that low seismic attenuation extends from the Eastern U.S. to the continental shelf and slope. To better quantify the attenuation of the margin we derive the peak spectral attenuation of 6-8 ML2.8-4.1 earthquakes recorded by the OBS during the two deployments. These earthquakes were located on land close to shore and offshore between New Jersey and Nova Scotia, and propagation paths are almost entirely within the continental margin. Onshore earthquakes of ML ≤2.6 were not detected by the OBS. Information about the seismicity and attenuation of the margin will be used to evaluate the probability of earthquake-generated landslides.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Variation in megafaunal assemblages on the continental margin south of New England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hecker, Barbara

    1990-01-01

    Megafaunal assemblages at four locations on the slope south of New England were surveyed using a towed camera sled, with photographs taken at automatic 15 s intervals. A total of 284,692 organisms were seen in 94,380 m 2 of sea floor viewed. Classification and ordination analysis defined four megafaunal zones that corresponded to different regions of the slope: an upper slope zone, an upper-middle slope zone, a transitional zone on the lower-middle slope, and a lower slope zone. Each of these zones could be further subdivided into shallow and deep portions of higher species similarity. Faunal densities were high in the upper and lower slope zones and low in the two middle slope zones. The boundaries between zones were frequently marked by abrupt shifts in faunal density and trophic structure. High species overlap between adjacent zones suggested a pattern of continual species turnover along the depth gradient, with zones representing regions of lesser faunal changes separated by regions of greater faunal change. Species replacement with depth was very abrupt in steep areas and gradual in flat areas. The pattern of species turnover and the depths of faunal boundaries varied among geographic locations, reflecting differences in local topography and geology. Patterns of density, and species composition, with depth were very similar at three of the locations but differed significantly at the eastern edge of Georges Bank, a site characterized by very steep topography and numerous glacial erratics and outcrops. Faunal assemblages in zones were frequently dominated by one or two very abundant species, and the boundaries between zones usually reflected the depth limits of these species. At each location, depths of major faunal boundaries coincided with relative changes in slope declivity rather than absolute angles of inclination. Environmental heterogeneity provided by different substrata may further enhance species turnover along the depth gradient. Variable relief also

  5. Organic geochemistry of sediments from the continental margin off southern New England, U.S.A.--Part I. Amino acids, carbohydrates and lignin.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, S M; Venkatesan, M I; Kaplan, I R

    1987-01-01

    Total organic carbon (TOC), lignin, amino acids, sugars and amino sugars were measured in recent sediments for the continental margin off southern New England. The various organic carbon fractions decreased in concentration with increasing distance from shore. The fraction of the TOC that was accounted for by these major components also decreased with increasing distance from shore. The concentration of lignin indicated that only about 3-5% of the organic carbon in the nearshore sediment was of terrestrial origin. The various fractions were highly correlated, which was consistent with a simple linear mixing model of shelf organic matter with material form the slope and rise and indicated a significant transport of sediment from the continental shelf to the continental slope and rise.

  6. Organic geochemistry of sediments from the continental margin off southern New England, U.S.A.--Part I. Amino acids, carbohydrates and lignin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steinberg, S. M.; Venkatesan, M. I.; Kaplan, I. R.

    1987-01-01

    Total organic carbon (TOC), lignin, amino acids, sugars and amino sugars were measured in recent sediments for the continental margin off southern New England. The various organic carbon fractions decreased in concentration with increasing distance from shore. The fraction of the TOC that was accounted for by these major components also decreased with increasing distance from shore. The concentration of lignin indicated that only about 3-5% of the organic carbon in the nearshore sediment was of terrestrial origin. The various fractions were highly correlated, which was consistent with a simple linear mixing model of shelf organic matter with material form the slope and rise and indicated a significant transport of sediment from the continental shelf to the continental slope and rise.

  7. Organic geochemistry of sediments from the continental margin off southern New England, U.S.A.--Part I. Amino acids, carbohydrates and lignin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steinberg, S. M.; Venkatesan, M. I.; Kaplan, I. R.

    1987-01-01

    Total organic carbon (TOC), lignin, amino acids, sugars and amino sugars were measured in recent sediments for the continental margin off southern New England. The various organic carbon fractions decreased in concentration with increasing distance from shore. The fraction of the TOC that was accounted for by these major components also decreased with increasing distance from shore. The concentration of lignin indicated that only about 3-5% of the organic carbon in the nearshore sediment was of terrestrial origin. The various fractions were highly correlated, which was consistent with a simple linear mixing model of shelf organic matter with material form the slope and rise and indicated a significant transport of sediment from the continental shelf to the continental slope and rise.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. Geology of New England passive margin

    SciTech Connect

    Austin, J.A. Jr.; Uchupi, E.; Shaughnessy, D.R. III; Ballard, R.D.

    1980-01-01

    The New England continental margin began to develop in the Middle Triassic, when rifting of Precambrian/Paleozoic terrane produced a complex arrangement of horsts and grabens. During the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic, these grabens were filled with terrigenous clastics, volcanics, and evaporites. When plate separation took place and seafloor spreading began approximately 195 to 190 m.y.B.P., the newly formed continental edge was uplifted and eroded, truncating preexisting rift structures. As North America began to drift away from Africa, subsidence occurred along a series of normal faults now beneath the outer continental shelf. This hinge zone may represent the boundary between continental crust and a transitional zone of continental and oceanic crustal fragments. Atop the faulted and subsiding crustal platform, thick sediments were deposited. The lower part of the drift sequence is an evaporite-carbonate unit of Early-Middle Jurassic age, and the upper part is a clastic wedge of Middle Jurassic to Cenozoic age. More than 80% of these sediments are Jurassic. Their total thickness may be as much as 13 km beneath the southeastern part of Georges Bank.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Reconstructing Rodinia by Fitting Neoproterozoic Continental Margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, John H.

    2009-01-01

    Reconstructions of Phanerozoic tectonic plates can be closely constrained by lithologic correlations across conjugate margins by paleontologic information, by correlation of orogenic belts, by paleomagnetic location of continents, and by ocean floor magmatic stripes. In contrast, Proterozoic reconstructions are hindered by the lack of some of these tools or the lack of their precision. To overcome some of these difficulties, this report focuses on a different method of reconstruction, namely the use of the shape of continents to assemble the supercontinent of Rodinia, much like a jigsaw puzzle. Compared to the vast amount of information available for Phanerozoic systems, such a limited approach for Proterozoic rocks, may seem suspect. However, using the assembly of the southern continents (South America, Africa, India, Arabia, Antarctica, and Australia) as an example, a very tight fit of the continents is apparent and illustrates the power of the jigsaw puzzle method. This report focuses on Neoproterozoic rocks, which are shown on two new detailed geologic maps that constitute the backbone of the study. The report also describes the Neoproterozoic, but younger or older rocks are not discussed or not discussed in detail. The Neoproterozoic continents and continental margins are identified based on the distribution of continental-margin sedimentary and magmatic rocks that define the break-up margins of Rodinia. These Neoproterozoic continental exposures, as well as critical Neo- and Meso-Neoproterozoic tectonic features shown on the two new map compilations, are used to reconstruct the Mesoproterozoic supercontinent of Rodinia. This approach differs from the common approach of using fold belts to define structural features deemed important in the Rodinian reconstruction. Fold belts are difficult to date, and many are significantly younger than the time frame considered here (1,200 to 850 Ma). Identifying Neoproterozoic continental margins, which are primarily

  19. 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

  20. Modeling Sedimentary Deposits on the Continental Margin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-09-30

    sedimentation processes. P. 151-164, in Numerical Experiments in Stratigraphy : Recent Advances in stratigraphic and sedimentologic Computer Simulations. Soc...Niedoroda, A.W., 1996, Modeling the sedimentology and stratigraphy of continental margins, Oceanography, v. 9, p183-188 Swift, D. J. P. B. S. Parsons...hypothesis that on muddy shelves such as the northern California shelf, Holocene event stratigraphy consists of the deposits of high-concentration

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. Evidence for transform margin evolution from the Ivory Coast-Ghana continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mascle, Jean; Blarez, Emmanuel

    1987-03-01

    Results are presented from a recent study (Blarez and Mascle, 1986) of the northern Gulf of Guinea margins, particularly off the eastern Ivory Coast and Ghana, where the continental margin is one of the best-preserved examples of an extinct transform margin. The observations support a four-stage model for transform margin evolution. Tectonically active transform contacts, first between normal continental crusts and then between thinned margins, induce characteristic structures such as pull-apart grabens and shear folds. The next stage, in which thermal exchange between oceanic and continental lithospheres controls a complex subsidence, is followed by the transition to a true intraoceanic fracture zone.

  10. 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.

  11. Transform continental margins - Part 2: A worldwide review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercier de Lépinay, Marion; Loncke, Lies; Basile, Christophe; Roest, Walter R.; Patriat, Martin; Maillard, Agnès; De Clarens, Philippe

    2016-12-01

    We present a global inventory of transform continental margins, based on both a worldwide comparison of continent-ocean boundary identifications with oceanic fracture zones traces, and a compilation of published regional studies. This inventory increases the number of identified transform margins from 29 to 78. These margins represent 16% of continental margins in cumulative length and 31% of non-convergent margins. We include morphological data, published upper crustal sections, continent to ocean transition locations and published Moho shape data in the new database. This review confirms that continent to ocean transitions are sharper at transform margins than at divergent margins. It also emphasizes the structural diversity of transform margins. Associated with one third of transform margins, we define marginal plateaus as a new type of relief that corresponds to a flat but deep surface inside the continental slope, and that may be inherited from crustal thinning prior to transform faulting. Transform margin initiation appears to be favoured along propagating oceans and within cold and thick lithospheres.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Silver, E A

    1969-12-05

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. French Extended Continental Shelf Mapping: example of new continental margin understanding offshore French Guiana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roest, Walter; Loubrieu, Benoit; Loncke, Lies; Basile, Christophe; Graindorge, David; Shipboard Party, Guyaplac

    2017-04-01

    Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Coastal States can extend sovereign rights over the natural resources of the Continental Shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (M) if they can demonstrate that their continental margin extends beyond this distance from the coast. Article 76 of the Convention defines the continental shelf and includes geomorphological and geological criteria to claim such a shelf beyond 200 M. Since 2006, France has filed 7 submissions for a total of 10 distinct geographic regions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf that was established by the Convention to examine those claims, and make recommendations with respect to the justification of the outer limits of the continental shelf. To support the French submissions, a significant effort was employed in acquiring new marine geophysical and geological data and compiling existing data along the deep water parts of the continental margins offshore all the French overseas territories. In this presentation, we will discuss the example of French Guiana, where the data collected for the purpose of fulfilling the obligation under the Convention to submit data and information to the Commission within a 10 year time frame have led to new understanding of the transform continental margin and the Demerara Plateau located to the north of French Guiana and Surinam. In addition, the data collected for this purpose have led to new scientific questions and have encouraged new and enhanced scientific collaboration between French government organizations and the academic community. Follow up research and scientific cruises that will be presented in separate communications have addressed sedimentary processes including contourites, giant comet tail like depressions probably associated with the strong bottom currents observed along the continental slope and potentially related to pockmarks, as well as giant submarine landslides. Most recently, multichannel reflection and wide angle

  10. 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.

  11. Vertical tectonics at an active continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houlié, N.; Stern, T. A.

    2017-01-01

    Direct observations of vertical movements of the earth's surface are now possible with space-based GPS networks, and have applications to resources, hazards and tectonics. Here we present data on vertical movements of the Earth's surface in New Zealand, computed from the processing of GPS data collected between 2000 and 2015 by 189 permanent GPS stations. We map the geographical variation in vertical rates and show how these variations are explicable within a tectonic framework of subduction, volcanic activity and slow slip earthquakes. Subsidence of >3 mm/yr is observed along southeastern North Island and is interpreted to be due to the locked segment of the Hikurangi subduction zone. Uplift of 1-3 mm/yr further north along the margin of the eastern North Island is interpreted as being due to the plate interface being unlocked and underplating of sediment on the subduction thrust. The Volcanic Plateau of the central North Island is being uplifted at about 1 mm/yr, which can be explained by basaltic melts being injected in the active mantle-wedge at a rate of ∼6 mm/yr. Within the Central Volcanic Region there is a 250 km2 area that subsided between 2005 and 2012 at a rate of up to 14 mm/yr. Time series from the stations located within and near the zone of subsidence show a strong link between subsidence, adjacent uplift and local earthquake swarms.

  12. Deep sea sedimentation processes and geomorphology: Northwest Atlantic continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosher, David; Campbell, Calvin; Gardner, Jim; Chaytor, Jason; Piper, David; Rebesco, Michele

    2017-04-01

    Deep-sea sedimentation processes impart a fundamental control on the morphology of the western North Atlantic continental margin from Blake Spur to Hudson Strait. This fact is illustrated by the variable patterns of cross-margin gradients that are based on extensive new multibeam echo-sounder data informed by subbottom profiler and seismic reflection data. Erosion by off-shelf sediment transport in turbidity currents creates gullies, canyons and channels and a steep upper slope. Amalgamation of these conduits produces singular channels and turbidite fan complexes on the lower slope, flattening slope-profile gradients. The effect is an exponentially decaying "graded" slope profile. Comparatively, sediment mass failure produces steeper upper slopes due to head scarp development and a wedging architecture to the lower slope as deposits thin in the downslope direction. This process results in either a "stepped" slope, and/or a significant downslope gradient change where MTDs pinch out. Large drift deposits created by geostrophic currents are developed all along the margin. Blake Ridge, Sackville Spur, and Hamilton Spur are large detached drifts on disparate parts of the margin. They form a linear "above grade" profile along their crests from the shelf to abyssal plain. Deeper portions of the US continental margin are dominated by the Chesapeake Drift and Hatteras Outer Ridge; both plastered elongate mounded drifts. Farther north, particularly on the Grand Banks margin, are plastered and separated drifts. These drifts form "stepped" slope profiles, where they onlap the margin. Trough-mouth fan complexes become more common along the margin with increasing latitude. Sediment deposition and retention, particularly those dominated by glacigenic debris flows, characterize these segments producing an "above grade" slope profile. Understanding these geomorphological consequences of deep sea sedimentation processes is important to extended continental shelf mapping in which

  13. Gravity and magnetic investigations along the Peruvian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinbockel, R.; Dehghani, G. A.; Huebscher, Ch.

    2003-04-01

    This work presents the first three-dimensional gravity and magnetic investigation along the convergent Peruvian margin. Three-dimensional magnetic modelling is still a relatively untried and challenging technique. The gravity and magnetic models image nearly the whole margin which has been only partly resolved with geophysical methods up to now. The gravity and magnetic models are constructed for three areas between 7.25°S and 16.75°S and are based on the available wide-angle seismic velocity models (Hampel et al., 2002a; Broser et al., 2002). The continental margin is characterised by positive free-air anomalies of varying amplitudes, indicating that the margin has been shaped by the subduction of different features on the Nazca Plate. A comparison of the shipboard gravity measurements with the satellite data ensures that the data compiled from different marine surveys are compatible. In the Yaquina Area (7.25°S to 11°S) gravity anomalies caused by the Trujillo Trough and the Mendaña Fracture Zone are successfully modelled with remarkable undulations in the layer geometry of the oceanic crust. Along the continental margin, especially in the Lima Area (10.50°S to 14.40°S), strong undulations of the lower continental crust influence the upper sedimentary layers and support the development of basins along the Peruvian margin. The theory stating that the Peruvian margin is uplifted by the subducting Nazca Ridge (Kulm et al., 1988; Hagen &Moberly, 1994) is supported by gravity modelling. Consequently the buoyant Nazca Ridge is, at least partly, responsible for the extended region of flat subduction. The thickened and slightly asymmetrical crust of the Nazca Ridge is envisaged in gravity modelling. In the Nazca Ridge Area (14.25°S to 16.75°S) no accretionary prism is modelled. We conclude that the ridge is eroding the continental margin; furthermore the subduction of eroded sediments is probable. Gravity modelling suggests that the Nazca Ridge has fractured the

  14. 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.

  15. Tectonic Evolution of Mozambique Ridge in East African continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yong

    2017-04-01

    Tectonic Evolution of Mozambique Ridge in East African continental margin Yong Tang He Li ES.Mahanjane Second Institute of Oceanography,SOA,Hangzhou The East Africa passive continental margin is a depression area, with widely distributed sedimentary wedges from southern Mozambique to northern Somali (>6500km in length, and about 6km in thickness). It was resulted from the separation of East Gondwana, and was developed by three stages: (1) rifting in Early-Middle Jurassic; (2) spreading from Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous; (3) drifting since the Cretaceous period. Tectonic evolution of the Mozambique continental margin is distinguished by two main settings separated by a fossil transform, the Davie Fracture Zone; (i) rifting and transform setting in the northern margin related to opening of the Somali and Rovuma basins, and (ii) rifting and volcanism setting during the opening of the Mozambique basin in the southern margin. 2D reflection seismic investigation of the crustal structure in the Zambezi Delta Depression, provided key piece of evidence for two rifting phases between Africa and Antarctica. The magma-rich Rift I phase evolved from rift-rift-rift style with remarkable emplacement of dyke swarms (between 182 and 170 Ma). Related onshore outcrops are extensively studied, the Karoo volcanics in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, all part of the Karoo "triple-junction". These igneous bodies flow and thicken eastwards and are now covered by up to 5 km of Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments and recorded by seismic and oil exploration wells. Geophysical and geological data recorded during oceanographic cruises provide very controversial results regarding the nature of the Mozambique Ridge. Two conflicting opinions remains open, since the early expeditions to the Indian Ocean, postulating that its character is either magmatic (oceanic) or continental origin. We have carried out an China-Mozambique Joint Cruise(CMJC) on southern Mozambique Basin on 1st June to

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The Peruvian Continental Margin: Results from wide angle seismic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbenhoeft, A.; Bialas, J.; Kopp, H.; Kukowski, N.; Huebscher, C.

    2003-04-01

    Within the scope of the GEOPECO (Geophysical Experiments at the Peruvian Continental Margin) project, seismic investigations along the Pacific margin of Peru were carried out using ocean bottom hydrophones (OBH) and seismometers (OBS) recording marine airgun shots. The structure and the P- wave velocity of the oblique subducting Nazca and overriding South-American Plates from 8°S to 15°S were determined by forward modeling and tomographic inversion of the wide-angle seismic data combined with the analysis of reflection seismic data. The region south of 12°S has been influenced by the southward migration of the aseismic Nazca Ridge the past 11 Ma. The oceanic Nazca Plate is divided by Mendana Fracture Zone (MFZ) which marks a transition zone of a different crustal age of approximately 28 Ma in the north to 38 Ma in the south at the Peruvian trench. North of MFZ the oceanic crust is influenced by Trujillo Trough trending N15E and the surrounding extensional stresses leading to a crustal thinning as can be seen in the northernmost refraction seismic model. The oceanic crust south of MFZ is overall homogeneous with a thin pelagic sedimentary layer and normal oceanic crustal layers. The P-wave velocity of the mantle is overall 7.9-8.1km/s. The Peruvian Continental Margin is characterized by the continental slope and several basins, Trujillo and Yaquina basin, Lima basin and Pisco basin, which are partly affected by the southward migration of the subducting Nazca Ridge. This caused uplift and subsidence along the margin leading to erosional tectonic features. The basins and continental basement could be mapped with forward modeling and tomographic inversion as well as the continental backstop on each profile. An accretionary prism is set up with a width of 20 to 30 km and 4 to 5 km thickness which does not further increase in size as revealed by the profiles recorded further north of Nazca Ridge. This and a taper of 14- 17 degrees at the collision zone indicates that

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Rifted continental margins: The case for depth-dependent extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2014-12-01

    Even though many basic properties of non-volcanic rifted margins are predicted by uniform extension of the lithosphere, uniform extension fails to explain other important characteristics. Particularly significant discrepancies are observed at: 1) the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins (Type I), where large tracts of continental mantle lithosphere are exposed at the seafloor, and at 2) ultra-wide central South Atlantic margins (Type II) where continental crust spans wide regions below which it appears that lower crust and mantle lithosphere were removed. Neither corresponds to uniform extension in which crust and mantle thin by the same factor. Instead, either the crust or mantle lithosphere has been preferentially removed during extension. We show that the Type I and II styles are respectively reproduced by dynamical numerical lithospheric stretching models (Models I-A/C and II-A/C) that undergo depth-dependent extension. In this notation A and C imply underplating of the rift zone during rifting by asthenosphere and lower cratonic lithosphere, respectively. We also present results for models with a weak upper crust and strong lower crust, Models III-A/C, to show that lower crust can also be removed from beneath the rift zone by horizontal advection with the mantle lithosphere. From the model results we infer that these Type I, II, and III margin styles are controlled by the strength of the mid/lower crust, which determines the amount of decoupling between upper and lower lithosphere during extension and the excision of crust or mantle. We also predict the styles of sedimentary basins that form on these margins as a test of the concepts presented.

  4. Rifted Continental Margins: The Case for Depth-Dependent Extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, R. S.; Beaumont, C.

    2015-12-01

    Even though many basic properties of non-volcanic rifted margins are predicted by uniform extension of the lithosphere, uniform extension fails to explain other important characteristics. Particularly significant discrepancies are observed at: 1) the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins (Type I), where large tracts of continental mantle lithosphere are exposed at the seafloor, and at; 2) ultra-wide central South Atlantic margins (Type II) where continental crust spans wide regions below which it appears that lower crust and mantle lithosphere were removed. Neither corresponds to uniform extension in which crust and mantle thin by the same factor. Instead, either the crust or mantle lithosphere has been preferentially removed during extension. We show that the Type I and II styles are respectively reproduced by dynamical numerical lithospheric stretching models (Models I-A/C and II-A/C) that undergo depth-dependent extension. In this notation A and C imply underplating of the rift zone during rifting by asthenosphere and lower cratonic lithosphere, respectively. We also present results for models with a weak upper crust and strong lower crust, Models III-A/C, to show that lower crust can also be removed from beneath the rift zone by horizontal advection with the mantle lithosphere. From the model results we infer that these Types I, II, and III margin styles are controlled by the strength of the mid/lower crust, which determines the amount of decoupling between upper and lower lithosphere during extension and the excision of crust or mantle. We also predict the styles of sedimentary basins that form on these margins as a test of the concepts presented.

  5. Rifted Continental Margins: The Case for Depth-Dependent Extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2015-04-01

    Even though many basic properties of non-volcanic rifted margins are predicted by uniform extension of the lithosphere, uniform extension fails to explain other important characteristics. Particularly significant discrepancies are observed at: 1) the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins (Type I), where large tracts of continental mantle lithosphere are exposed at the seafloor, and at; 2) ultra-wide central South Atlantic margins (Type II) where continental crust spans wide regions below which it appears that lower crust and mantle lithosphere were removed. Neither corresponds to uniform extension in which crust and mantle thin by the same factor. Instead, either the crust or mantle lithosphere has been preferentially removed during extension. We show that the Type I and II styles are respectively reproduced by dynamical numerical lithospheric stretching models (Models I-A/C and II-A/C) that undergo depth-dependent extension. In this notation A and C imply underplating of the rift zone during rifting by asthenosphere and lower cratonic lithosphere, respectively. We also present results for models with a weak upper crust and strong lower crust, Models III-A/C, to show that lower crust can also be removed from beneath the rift zone by horizontal advection with the mantle lithosphere. From the model results we infer that these Types I, II, and III margin styles are controlled by the strength of the mid/lower crust, which determines the amount of decoupling between upper and lower lithosphere during extension and the excision of crust or mantle. We also predict the styles of sedimentary basins that form on these margins as a test of the concepts presented.

  6. Rifted Continental Margins: The Case for Depth-Dependent Extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2016-04-01

    Even though many basic properties of non-volcanic rifted margins are predicted by uniform extension of the lithosphere, uniform extension fails to explain other important characteristics. Particularly significant discrepancies are observed at: 1) the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins (Type I), where large tracts of continental mantle lithosphere are exposed at the seafloor, and at; 2) ultra-wide central South Atlantic margins (Type II) where continental crust spans wide regions below which it appears that lower crust and mantle lithosphere were removed. Neither corresponds to uniform extension in which crust and mantle thin by the same factor. Instead, either the crust or mantle lithosphere has been preferentially removed during extension. We show that the Type I and II styles are respectively reproduced by dynamical numerical lithospheric stretching models (Models I-A/C and II-A/C) that undergo depth-dependent extension. In this notation A and C imply underplating of the rift zone during rifting by asthenosphere and lower cratonic lithosphere, respectively. We also present results for models with a weak upper crust and strong lower crust, Models III-A/C, to show that lower crust can also be removed from beneath the rift zone by horizontal advection with the mantle lithosphere. From the model results we infer that these Types I, II, and III margin styles are controlled by the strength of the mid/lower crust, which determines the amount of decoupling between upper and lower lithosphere during extension and the excision of crust or mantle. We also predict the styles of sedimentary basins that form on these margins as a test of the concepts presented

  7. Recent acoustic studies of western Canadian continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Bornhold, B.D.; Brandon, M.T.; Clowes, R.M.; Currie, R.G.; Davis, E.E.; Hussong, D.M.; Hyndman, R.D.; Riddihough, R.P.; Rogers, G.C.; Yorath, C.J.

    1986-07-01

    A regional survey of the western Canadian continental margin from the central Queen Charlotte Island, 52/sup 0/40'N, to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 47/sup 0/40'N, has been completed with the acoustic imaging system SeaMARC II. These data, combined with single-channel and multichannel seismic reflection data, reveal many new insights concerning the deep structure of the subduction margin off Vancouver Island. Clearly evident in the imagery are the deformation of sediments at the base of the slope, the surface expression of seismically active faults, the mass wasting of sediment frequently observed at the base of the slope, and the erosional canyons and sediment transport channels on the slope and adjacent abyssal plain. The variability in the surficial and deep structures along the length of the margin is great and corresponds well with the postulated variations in the local ocean/continent motion vectors: motion along the southern Queen Charlotte Islands margin is primarily transform (about 55 mm/year) with a small component of convergence (about 10 mm/year); motion south of the triple junction at the Wilson Knolls is convergent but at a very slow rate (about 10 mm/year); and motion along the central and southern Vancouver Island margin is nearly orthogonal to the coast and more rapid (about 40 mm/year).

  8. Segmentation of the Levant continental margin, eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Schattner, U.; Lazar, M.; Hall, J. K.; Ben-Gai, Y.; Neev, D.; Reshef, M.

    2006-10-01

    The Levant continental margin is divided into two major segments by the Carmel structure, which extends from the Dead Sea fault into the eastern Mediterranean. New seismic reflection data over the unexplored northern segment are used for completing the structural framework of the Levant area, together with existing data south of it. Inclusive depth structural maps of the area were produced for the base Pliocene and base Messinian evaporites. Previous studies indicate that differences between the two segments are well expressed in the deep crustal structure. The present study, which focuses mainly on the shallow section, shows that these differences are maintained throughout the accumulation of young sedimentary units, and even in the bathymetry. This preservation of segmentation, both in the shallow and in the deep structure, insinuates that the two segments were formed through different continental breakup processes, which continue to dictate the style of sediment accumulation.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Unraveling the New England orocline, east Gondwana accretionary margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cawood, P. A.; Pisarevsky, S. A.; Leitch, E. C.

    2011-10-01

    The New England orocline lies within the Eastern Australian segment of the Terra Australis accretionary orogen and developed during the late Paleozoic to early Mesozoic Gondwanide Orogeny (310-230 Ma) that extended along the Pacific margin of the Gondwana supercontinent. The orocline deformed a pre-Permian arc assemblage consisting of a western magmatic arc, an adjoining forearc basin and an eastern subduction complex. The orocline is doubly vergent with the southern and northern segments displaying counter-clockwise and clockwise rotation, respectively, and this has led to contrasting models of formation. We resolve these conflicting models with one that involves buckling of the arc system about a vertical axis during progressive northward translation of the southern segment of the arc system against the northern segment, which is pinned relative to cratonic Gondwana. Paleomagnetic data are consistent with this model and show that an alternative model involving southward motion of the northern segment relative to the southern segment and cratonic Gondwana is not permissible. The timing of the final stage of orocline formation (˜270-265 Ma) overlaps with a major gap in magmatic activity along this segment of the Gondwana margin, suggesting that northward motion and orocline formation were driven by a change from orthogonal to oblique convergence and coupling between the Gondwana and Pacific plates.

  14. 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.

  15. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Buried Mesozoic rift basins of Moroccan Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-08-01

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

  17. Global distribution of naturally occurring marine hypoxia on continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helly, John J.; Levin, Lisa A.

    2004-09-01

    Hypoxia in the ocean influences biogeochemical cycling of elements, the distribution of marine species and the economic well being of many coastal countries. Previous delineations of hypoxic environments focus on those in enclosed seas where hypoxia may be exacerbated by anthropogenically induced eutrophication. Permanently hypoxic water masses in the open ocean, referred to as oxygen minimum zones, impinge on a much larger seafloor surface area along continental margins of the eastern Pacific, Indian and western Atlantic Oceans. We provide the first global quantification of naturally hypoxic continental margin floor by determining upper and lower oxygen minimum zone depth boundaries from hydrographic data and computing the area between the isobaths using seafloor topography. This approach reveals that there are over one million km 2 of permanently hypoxic shelf and bathyal sea floor, where dissolved oxygen is <0.5 ml l -1; over half (59%) occurs in the northern Indian Ocean. We also document strong variation in the intensity, vertical position and thickness of the OMZ as a function of latitude in the eastern Pacific Ocean and as a function of longitude in the northern Indian Ocean. Seafloor OMZs are regions of low biodiversity and are inhospitable to most commercially valuable marine resources, but support a fascinating array of protozoan and metazoan adaptations to hypoxic conditions.

  18. Hydrates of nat­ural gas in continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.; Barnard, L.A.

    1982-01-01

    Natural gas hydrates in continental margin sediment can be inferred from the widespread occurrence of an anomalous seismic reflector which coincides with the predicted transition boundary at the base of the gas hydrate zone. Direct evidence of gas hydrates is provided by visual observations of sediments from the landward wall of the Mid-America Trench off Mexico and Guatemala, from the Blake Outer Ridge off the southeastern United States, and from the Black Sea in the U.S.S.R. Where solid gas hydrates have been sampled, the gas is composed mainly of methane accompanied by CO2 and low concentrations of ethane and hydrocarbons of higher molecular weight. The molecular and isotopic composition of hydrocarbons indicates that most of the methane is of biolog cal origin. The gas was probably produced by the bacterial alteration of organic matter buried in the sediment. Organic carbon contents of the sediment containing sampled gas hydrates are higher than the average organic carbon content of marine sediments. The main economic importance of gas hydrates may reside in their ability to serve as a cap under which free gas can collect. To be producible, however, such trapped gas must occur in porous and permeable reservoirs. Although gas hydrates are common along continental margins, the degree to which they are associated with significant reservoirs remains to be investigated.

  19. 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.

  20. Anomalous heat flow belt along the continental margin of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamza, Valiya M.; Vieira, Fabio P.; Silva, Raquel T. A.

    2017-06-01

    A comprehensive analysis of thermal gradient and heat flow data was carried out for sedimentary basins situated in the continental margin of Brazil (CMB). The results point to the existence of a narrow belt within CMB, where temperature gradients are higher than 30 °C/km and the heat flow is in excess of 70 mW/m2. This anomalous geothermal belt is confined between zones of relatively low to normal heat flow in the adjacent continental and oceanic regions. The width of the belt is somewhat variable, but most of it falls within the range of 100-300 km. The spatial extent is relatively large in the southern (in the basins of Pelotas, Santos and Campos) and northern (in the basins of Potiguar and Ceará) parts, when compared with those in the central parts (in the basins of South Bahia, Sergipe and Alagoas). The characteristics of heat flow anomalies appear to be compatible with those produced by thermal sources at depths in the lower crust. Hence, magma emplacement at the transition zone between lower crust and upper mantle is considered the likely mechanism producing such anomalies. Seismicity within the belt is relatively weak, with focal depths less than 10 km for most of the events. Such observations imply that "tectonic bonding" between continental and oceanic segments, at the transition zone of CMB, is relatively weak. Hence, it is proposed that passive margins like CMB be considered as constituting a type of plate boundary that is aseismic at sub-crustal levels, but allows for escape of significant amounts of earth's internal heat at shallow depths.

  1. 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.

  2. Comparative riftology: insights from crustal structure into the evolution of continental rifts and passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kley, Jonas; Stein, Carol; Stein, Seth; Keller, Randy; Wysession, Michael; Frederiksen, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    Continental rifts evolve to seafloor spreading and are preserved in passive margins, or fail and remain as fossil features in continents. Rifts at different stages give insight into these different evolutionary paths. Of particular interest is how volcanic passive margins evolve. These features are characterized by sequences of volcanic rocks yielding magnetic anomalies landward of and sometimes larger than the oldest spreading anomalies. Seaward-dipping reflectors (SDR) occur in stretched continental crust landward of the oldest oceanic crust and are underplated by high-velocity lower crustal bodies. How and when these features form remains unclear. Insights are given by the Midcontinent Rift (MCR), formed by 1.1 Ga rifting of Amazonia from Laurentia, that failed once seafloor spreading was established elsewhere. MCR volcanics are much thicker than other continental flood basalts, due to deposition in a narrow rift rather than a broad region, giving a rift's geometry but a LIP's magma volume. The MCR provides a snapshot of the deposition of a thick highly magnetized volcanic section during rifting. Surface exposures and seismic-reflection data in and near Lake Superior show a rift basin filled by inward-dipping flood basalt layers. Had the rift evolved to seafloor spreading, the basin would have split into two sets of volcanics with opposite-facing SDRs, each with a strong magnetic anomaly. Because the rift formed as a series of alternating half-grabens, structural asymmetries between conjugate margins can naturally occur. Hence the MCR shows that many features form prior to breakup. Because the MCR was massively inverted by regional compression long after it failed and was uplifted, its structure is better known than failed rifts that incurred lesser degrees of inversion. It provides an end member for the evolution of actively extending rifts, characterized by upwelling mantle and negative gravity anomalies, in contrast to failed and inverted rifts without

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-27

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Remineralization of organic carbon in eastern Canadian continental margin sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverberg, Norman; Sundby, Bjørn; Mucci, Alfonso; Zhong, Shaojun; Arakaki, Takeshi; Hall, Per; Landén, Angela; Tengberg, Anders

    2000-04-01

    Undisturbed sediment samples were collected for chemical analyses at six sites during winter and summer cruises to the eastern Canadian continental margin. Micro-electrode oxygen profiles were obtained in freshly collected multicorer samples, and replicate cores were incubated at in situ temperature for 48 h to monitor changes in the concentrations of dissolved oxygen and nitrate. In addition, box cores were subsampled vertically for porewater chemistry, porosity, and particulate carbon. The data obtained are combined with estimates of sedimentation rate based on sediment trap measurements, 210Pb dating and historical data to evaluate the role of benthic processes in the carbon cycle on the eastern Canadian continental margin. With one exception, oxygen uptake rates determined from incubations and calculated from micro-profiles were very similar, indicating that exchange of oxygen across the sediment-water interface was dominated by molecular diffusion. On the basis of this observation, transport by diffusion is assumed for the calculation of the flux rates for other solutes from their respective porewater gradients. The fluxes of oxygen into the sediments were low, but generally comparable to other continental margins at comparable depths. They varied from 1.4 to 1.8 mmol/m 2/d in December 1993 and from 2.8 to 4.5 mmol/m 2/d in June 1994. Uptake of nitrate by the sediment occurred at all sites except for the continental slope off Nova Scotia. Both oxygen and nitrate uptake were higher in summer than in winter, indicative of a lingering response to the input of organic matter associated with the early spring bloom. At one of the sampling sites, Miscou Channel, the measured oxygen uptake rate far exceeded the flux calculated from the oxygen gradient. The difference suggests biologically enhanced exchange with the overlying waters at this site, consistent with the greater abundance of benthic organisms. The rate of organic carbon mineralization at the seafloor (1

  7. 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

  8. Sedimentation on continental margins: An integrated program for innovative studies during the 1990s

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nittrourer, Charles A.; Coleman, James M.; Rouge, Baton; Flood, Roger D.; Ginsburg, Robert N.; Gorsline, Donn S.; Hine, Albert C.; Sternberg, Richard W.; Swift, Donald J. P.; Wright, L. Donelson

    Continental margins are of great scientific interest, and they represent the focus of human interaction with the ocean. Their deep structure forms the transition from continental to oceanic crust, and their surface expression extends from coastal environments of estuaries and shorelines across the continental shelf and slope to either the base of a continental rise or a marginal trough. Modern continental margins represent natural laboratories for investigation of complex relationships between physical, chemical, and biological phenomena, which are sensitive to environmental conditions both on the land and in the ocean. The history of these conditions is preserved within the sedimentary deposits of continental margins. The deposits form repositories for much of the particulate material transported off the world's land masses and produced from dissolved components in the world ocean. Past deposits of continental margins have been uplifted to form many mountain ranges and sedimentary terrains of the world, which record details of Earth history and contain valuable natural resources, such as petroleum and natural gas. Modern deposits of continental margins record the more recent events that have influenced Earth and also contain natural resources (for instance, minerals, sand, and gravel), as well as anthropogenic pollutants (for example, heavy metals and pesticides). The fates of many materials beneficial and deleterious to humans are dependent on the pathways followed by sedimentary particles on continental margins.

  9. The Effect of Temperature Dependent Rheology on a Kinematic Model of Continental Breakup and Rifted Continental Margin Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tymms, V. J.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2004-12-01

    The effect of temperature dependent rheology has been examined for a model of continental lithosphere thinning by an upwelling divergent flow field within continental lithosphere and asthenosphere leading to continental breakup and rifted continental margin formation. The model uses a coupled FE fluid flow and thermal solution and is kinematically driven using a half divergence rate Vx and upwelling velocity Vz. Viscosity structure is modified by the evolving temperature field of the model through the temperature dependent Newtonian rheology. Continental lithosphere and asthenosphere material are advected by the fluid-flow field in order to predict crustal and mantle lithosphere thinning leading to rifted continental margin formation. The results of the temperature dependent rheology model are compared with those of a simple isoviscous model. The temperature dependent rheology model predicts continental lithosphere thinning and depth dependent stretching, similar to that predicted by the uniform viscosity model. However compared with the uniform viscosity model the temperature dependent rheology predicts greater amounts of thinning of the continental crust and lithospheric mantle than the isoviscous solutions. An important parameter within the kinematic model of continental lithosphere breakup and rifted continental margin development is the velocity ratio Vz/Vx. For non-volcanic margins, Vz/Vx is thought to be around unity. Applying a velocity ratio Vz/Vx of unity gives a diffuse ocean-continent transition and exhumation of continental lithospheric mantle. For volcanic margins, Vz/Vx is of order 10, falling to unity with a half-life of order 10 Ma, leading to a more sharply defined ocean-continent transition. While Vx during continental breakup may be estimated, Vz can only be inferred. FE fluid flow solutions, in which Vz is not imposed and without an initial buoyancy driven flow component, predict a velocity ratio Vz/Vx of around unity for both temperature

  10. Electromagnetic study of the active continental margin in northern Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Echternacht, Friedrich; Tauber, Sebastian; Eisel, Markus; Brasse, Heinrich; Schwarz, Gerhard; Haak, Volker

    1997-06-01

    Magnetotelluric and geomagnetic deep sounding measurements were carried out in the magmatic arc and forearc regions of northern Chile between 19.5° and 22°S to study the electrical conductivity structures of this active continental margin. The instruments used covered a very broad period range from 10 -4 s to approx. 2 × 10 4 s and thus enabled a resolution of deep as well as shallow structures. In this paper we focus on the interpretation of data from an east-west profile crossing Chile from the Pacific coast to the Western Cordillera at 20.5°S. A decomposition of the impedance tensors using the Groom-Bailey decomposition scheme shows that a two-dimensional interpretation is possible. The resulting regional strike direction is N9°W. Two-dimensional models were calculated in this coordinate frame and include the significant bathymetry of the trench as well as the topography of the Andes. The final model shows a generally high resistivity in the forearc and a very good conductor below the Precordillera. Unlike earlier models from areas further south, a good conductor is not observed below the magmatic arc itself. This correlates with the so-called Pica gap in the volcanic chain and a higher age of volcanic activity compared with adjacent areas.

  11. Formation of plateau landscapes on glaciated continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-08-01

    Low-relief plateaus separated by deeply incised fjords are hallmarks of glaciated, passive continental margins. Spectacular examples fringe the once ice-covered North Atlantic coasts of Greenland, Norway and Canada, but low-relief plateau landscapes also underlie present-day ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. Dissected plateaus have long been viewed as the outcome of selective linear erosion by ice sheets that focus incision in glacial troughs, leaving the intervening landscapes essentially unaffected. According to this hypothesis, the plateaus are remnants of preglacial low-relief topography. However, here we use computational experiments to show that, like fjords, plateaus are emergent properties of long-term ice-sheet erosion. Ice sheets can either increase or decrease subglacial relief depending on the wavelength of the underlying topography, and plateau topography arises dynamically from evolving feedbacks between topography, ice dynamics and erosion over million-year timescales. This new mechanistic explanation for plateau formation opens the possibility of plateaus contributing significantly to accelerated sediment flux at the onset of the late Cenozoic glaciations, before becoming stable later in the Quaternary.

  12. 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.

  13. Lomonosov Ridge as a Natural Component of Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poselov, V.; Kaminsky, V. D.; Butsenko, V. V.; Grikurov, G. E.

    2010-12-01

    In geodynamic context, Lomonosov Ridge is interpreted as a rifted passive margin framing the Eurasian oceanic basin. At the same time its near-Siberian segment is intimately associated with the Russian Arctic shelf, as evidenced by morphological data and the results of “Trans-Arctic 1992” and “Arctic-2007” geotransect studies. Coring and ACEX data demonstrated the presence in the uppermost geological section of the ridge of Late Cretaceous through Cenozoic sediments and Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary rocks; the latter may belong to deeper levels of sedimentary cover, or may represent the Mesozoic folded basement. Coarse bottom debris contains also the fragments of Riphean-Paleozoic rocks probably derived from the local bedrock source. Structure of sedimentary cover is imaged by continuous seismic observations from the shelf of East Siberian Sea along the length of Lomonosov Ridge to 85 N. In the upper part of the section there are two sedimentary sequences separated by a regional unconformity; their seismic velocities are 2.4-3.1 km/s in the upper sequence and 3.4-4.0 km/s in the lower one, and the total thickness reaches ~ 8 km in the deepest part of New Siberian Basin. Both these sequences and the unconformity are traced from Lomonosov Ridge into Amundsen Basin on seismic reflection sections obtained by drifting ice stations North Pole 2479 and 2480. The low-velocity sediments are underlain by a metasedimetary sequence with velocities decreasing from 4.7-4.9 km/s on the shelf to 4.4-4.9 km/s beneath continental slope and 4.2-4.8 km/s on Lomonosov Ridge. The thickness of metasedimentary sequence is about 7 km on the shelf, up to 3.5 km under continental slope, and strongly variable (1-5 km) on Lomonosov Ridge. The upper layer of consolidated crust is 8-9 km thick on the shelf with velocities 6.1-6.2 km/s; on Lomonosov Ridge both its thickness and velocities increase to 10 km and 6.0-6.4 km/s, respectively. In the lower crust the velocities do not exceed 6

  14. Convective Removal of Continental Margin Lithosphere at the Edges of Subducting Oceanic Plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Palomeras, I.; Masy, J.; Humphreys, E.; Niu, F.

    2013-12-01

    Although oceanic lithosphere is continuously recycled to the deeper mantle by subduction, the rates and manner in which different types of continental lithospheric mantle are recycled is unclear. Cratonic mantle can be chemically reworked and essentially decratonized, although the frequency of decratonization is unclear. Lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts can be lost to the deeper mantle by convective downwellings and delamination phenomena. Here we describe how subduction related processes at the edges of oceanic plates adjacent to passive continental margins removes the mantle lithosphere from beneath the margin and from the continental interior. This appears to be a widespread means of recycling non-cratonic continental mantle. Lithospheric removal requires the edge of a subducting oceanic plate to be at a relatively high angle to an adjacent passive continental margin. From Rayleigh wave and body wave tomography, and receiver function images from the BOLIVAR and PICASSO experiments, we infer large-scale removal of continental margin lithospheric mantle from beneath 1) the northern South American plate margin due to Atlantic subduction, and 2) the Iberian and North African margins due to Alboran plate subduction. In both cases lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed several hundred kilometers inland from the subduction zones. This type of ';plate-edge' tectonics either accompanies or pre-conditions continental margins for orogenic activity by thinning and weakening the lithosphere. These processes show the importance of relatively small convective structures, i.e. small subducting plates, in formation of orogenic belts.

  15. 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

  16. Gravity and structure of the continental margins of southwestern Mexico and northwestern Guatemala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couch, Richard; Woodcock, Stephen

    1981-03-01

    Geophysical measurements over the eastern end of the Tehuantepec Ridge and adjacent continental margins of southern Mexico and northern Guatemala indicate that the ridge is a fracture zone and that it marks the boundary between two different subduction provinces. A positive free-air gravity anomaly which extends northwestward along the outer continental shelf of Guatemala curves abruptly landward in the Gulf of Tehuantepec. The positive shelf anomaly is on trend with the positive anomaly of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, and suggests that rocks genetically related to Cretaceous rocks of the Nicoya Complex extend northwestward along the continental shelf to the Gulf of Tehuantepec. A crustal and subcrustal cross section of the continental margin of Guatemala, constrained by gravity, magnetic, and seismic refraction data, indicates that the rock strata causing the outer shelf gravity high dip landward, consistent with imbricate thrusting of the oceanic crust beneath and into the continental margin. A model crustal cross section of the continental margin of southern Mexico, north of the Tehuantepec Ridge, shows a markedly different margin structure with a relatively small amount of continental accretion and a continental crustal block extending to within approximately 25 km of the trench axis.

  17. SeepC: Preliminary Characterization of Atlantic Margin Seep Ecosystems from Norfolk Canyon to New England Seep Sites.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, P. J.; Ball, B.; Cole, E.; LaBella, A.; Wagner, J.; Van Dover, C. L.; Skarke, A. D.; Ruppel, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Since 2013, more than 500 seep sites have been located along the continental margin of the eastern US using acoustic signals of gas plumes in the water column. During a July 2015 R/V Atlantis expedition, scientists used the submersible Alvin to explore seep sites at depths of 300 to 1500 m. Study sites ranged from Norfolk Canyon north to New England Seep 2 and included Baltimore, Veatch, and Shallop Canyon sites, as well as new unnamed sites between Norfolk and Baltimore Canyons. Mussels dominated the seep sites (cf ''Bathymodiolus'' childressi) but only small populations (<10s of individuals) were observed at seep sites associated with Shallop Canyon. B. heckerae, the dominant mussel at the Blake Ridge and Cape Fear seep sites (sites associated with salt diapirs off the Carolinas), appear to be present at only one of the Atlantic Margin seeps. At the Norfolk Canyon site, dead B. heckerae shells were observed and live individuals may be within the explored area. The abundant vesicomyid clam of Blake Ridge and Cape Fear sites was absent at the continental margin seeps. Apart from B. childressi, the most conspicuous megafaunal invertebrate species at the newly explored seeps was the red crab, Chaceon sp. and the rock crab, Cancer sp. These crabs are not seep endemic but they were especially abundant at the seeps and were observed to feed and mate on the seep grounds. Molecular tools will be used to explore the genetic structure of mussel populations from Norfolk to New England seeps, and stable isotope methods will be used to test for differences among sites in the source of carbon used by mussels. Alvin video transects and photo-mosaics will be used to collect data on macrofauna associated with seeps and to test the hypothesis that shallow seeps (300-500m) support more diverse assemblages than deep sites (1000-1500m).

  18. Surface Expression of Mantle Shortening at an Active Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourguignon, S.; Stern, T.; Savage, M.

    2008-12-01

    , isostatic gravity anomalies are in the + 20-60 mgal range. We interpret both negative and positive dynamic topographies of the South and North Island as, respectively, an early and late response to the same process. i.e. uniform thickening, then rapid release of mantle lithosphere in the early stages of a developing continental margin.

  19. Drilling Gas Hydrates on hydrate Ridge, Oregon continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trehu, A. M.; Bohrmann, G.; Leg 204 Science Party

    2002-12-01

    During Leg 204, we cored and logged 9 sites on the Oregon continental margin to determine the distribution and concentration of gas hydrates in an accretionary ridge and adjacent slope basin, investigate the mechanisms that transport methane and other gases into the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), and obtain constraints on physical properties of hydrates in situ. A 3D seismic survey conducted in 2000 provided images of potential subsurface fluid conduits and indicated the position of the GHSZ throughout the survey region. After coring the first site, we acquired Logging-While-Drilling (LWD) data at all but one site to provide an overview of downhole physical properties. The LWD data confirmed the general position of key seismic stratigraphic horizons and yielded an initial estimate of hydrate concentration through the proxy of in situ electrical resistivity. These records proved to be of great value in planning subsequent coring. The second new hydrate proxy to be tested was infrared thermal imaging of cores on the catwalk as rapidly as possible after retrieval. The thermal images were used to identify hydrate samples and to estimate the distribution and texture of hydrate within the cores. Geochemical analyses of interstitial waters and of headspace and void gases provide additional information on the distribution and concentration of hydrate within the stability zone, the origin and pathway of fluids into and through the GHSZ, and the rates at which gas hydrate is forming. Bio- and lithostratigraphic description of cores, measurement of physical properties, and in situ pressure core sampling and thermal measurements complement the data set, providing ground-truth tests of inferred physical and sedimentological properties. Among the most interesting preliminary results are: 1) that gas hydrates are distributed through a broad depth range within the GHSZ and that different physical and chemical proxies for hydrate distribution and concentration give generally

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Seismic-reflection signature of cretaceous continental breakup on the Wilkes Land margin, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

    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 Mohorovic??ic?? 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.

  5. Influence of dynamic topography on landscape evolution and passive continental margin stratigraphy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Xuesong; Salles, Tristan; Flament, Nicolas; Rey, Patrice

    2017-04-01

    Quantifying the interaction between surface processes and tectonics/deep Earth processes is one important aspect of landscape evolution modelling. Both observations and results from numerical modelling indicate that dynamic topography - a surface expression of time-varying mantle convection - plays a significant role in shaping landscape through geological time. Recent research suggests that dynamic topography also has non-negligible effects on stratigraphic architecture by modifying accommodation space available for sedimentation. In addition, dynamic topography influences the sediment supply to continental margins. We use Badlands to investigate the evolution of a continental-scale landscape in response to transient dynamic uplift or subsidence, and to model the stratigraphic development on passive continental margins in response to sea-level change, thermal subsidence and dynamic topography. We consider a circularly symmetric landscape consisting of a plateau surrounded by a gently sloping continental plain and a continental margin, and a linear wave of dynamic topography. We analyze the evolution of river catchments, of longitudinal river profiles and of the χ values to evaluate the dynamic response of drainage systems to dynamic topography. We calculate the amount of cumulative erosion and deposition, and sediment flux at shoreline position, as a function of precipitation rate and erodibility coefficient. We compute the stratal stacking pattern and Wheeler diagram on vertical cross-sections at the continental margin. Our results indicate that dynamic topography 1) has a considerable influence on drainage reorganization; 2) contributes to shoreline migration and the distribution of depositional packages by modifying the accommodation space; 3) affects sediment supply to the continental margin. Transient dynamic topography contributes to the migration of drainage divides and to the migration of the mainstream in a drainage basin. The dynamic uplift

  6. Modelling of sea floor spreading initiation and rifted continental margin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tymms, V. J.; Isimm Team

    2003-04-01

    Recent observations of depth dependent (heterogeneous) stretching where upper crustal extension is much less than that of the lower crust and lithospheric mantle at both non-volcanic and volcanic margins plus the discovery of broad domains of exhumed continental mantle at non-volcanic rifted margins are not predicted by existing quantitative models of rifted margin formation which are usually based on intra-continental rift models subjected to very large stretching factors. New conceptual and quantitative models of rifted margin formation are required. Observations and continuum mechanics suggest that the dominant process responsible for rifted continental margin formation is sea-floor spreading of the young ocean ridge, rather than pre-breakup intra-continental rifting. Simple fluid flow models of ocean ridge processes using analytical iso-viscous corner-flow demonstrate that the divergent motion of the upwelling mantle beneath the ocean ridge, when viewed in the reference frame of the young continental margin, shows oceanward flow of the lower continental crust and lithospheric mantle of the young rifted margin giving rise to depth dependent stretching as observed. Single-phase fluid-models have been developed to model the initiation of sea-floor spreading and the thermal, stretching and thinning evolution of the young rifted continental margin. Finite element fluid-flow modelling incorporating the evolving temperature dependent viscosity field on the fluid flow also show depth dependent stretching of the young continental margin. Two-phase flow models of ocean ridges incorporating the transport of both solid matrix and melt fluid (Spiegelman &Reynolds 1999) predict the divergent motion of the asthenosphere and lithosphere matrix, and the focusing of basaltic melt into the narrow axial zone spreading centre at ocean ridges. We are adapting two-phase flow models for application to the initiation of sea-floor spreading and rifted continental margin formation. i

  7. 1. Physical properties and age of mid-slope sediments dredged from the Eastern Australian Continental Margin and the implications for continental margin erosion processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubble, T.; Yu, P.; Airey, D.; Clarke, S. L.; Boyd, R.; Keene, J.; Exon, N.; Gardner, J. V.

    2010-12-01

    A large number of submarine landslides were identified on the continental slope on the Eastern Australian margin during voyages aboard the RV Southern Surveyor in 2008. Preliminary sedimentological analysis as well as geotechnical and biostratigraphic data determined for mid-slope dredge samples are reported. The dredge samples are normally-consolidated, calcareous sandy-muds of Neogene age and were recovered from submarine scarps located on the mid-continental slope. These scarps probably represent submarine landslide failure surfaces. Slope stability modelling using classical soil mechanics techniques and measured sediment shear-strengths indicates that the slopes should be stable; however, the ubiquity of mid-slope slides on this margin indicates that their occurrence is relatively common and that submarine-sliding should probably be considered to be a normal characteristic of the margin as suggested by Boyd et al (2010). While this presents something of an interpretational paradox, it nevertheless indicates that an, as yet, unidentified mechanism acts to reduce the shear resistance of these sediments to very low values which enables the slope failures to occur. It is suspected that the expansion of the Antarctic Icesheet in Mid-Miocene time and the consequent large-scale production of cold, equator-ward migrating, bottom water has caused significant erosion and removal of material from mid-slope and lower slope of the Australian continental margin in the Tasman Sea since the Mid-Miocene. Such a process would help to explain the exposure of hard Palaeozoic basement rocks along much of the southern part of the Eastern Australian continental margin. It is also suspected that erosion due to equator-ward moving bottom water effectively and progressively removed material from the toe of the continental slope sediment wedge. This rendered the slope sediments that were deposited throughout the Tertiary more susceptible to mass failure than would have otherwise been the

  8. Modelling Sea Floor Spreading Initiation and Depth Dependent Stretching at Rifted Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusznir, N. J.; Tymms, V.

    2003-12-01

    Depth dependent stretching, in which upper crustal extension is much less than that of the lower crust and lithospheric mantle, has been observed at both non-volcanic and volcanic margins and is not predicted by existing quantitative models of rifted margin formation which are usually based on intra-continental rift models subjected to very large stretching factors. New conceptual and quantitative models of rifted margin formation are required. The timing of depth dependent stretching on the Norwegian margin suggests that depth dependent stretching of continental rifted margin lithosphere occurs during early sea-floor spreading rather than during pre-breakup rifting. These observations suggest that the main thinning of rifted margin lithosphere occurs during early sea-floor spreading rather than during pre-breakup rifting. Single-phase fluid-flow models have been applied successfully to sea-floor spreading at ocean ridges. A single-phase fluid-flow model of sea-floor spreading initiation has been developed to determine rifted continental margin lithosphere thinning and thermal evolution resulting from early sea-floor spreading. The ocean-ridge initiation model uses an isoviscous corner-flow stream-function solution (Batchelor 1967) to predict the divergent lithospheric and asthenospheric fluid-flow field associated with early sea-floor spreading. The thinning of the rifted continental lithosphere is calculated by material advection in the newly initiated ocean ridge fluid-flow field. The model may also include the effects of pre-breakup pure-shear stretching of continental lithosphere. Rifted margin lithosphere thinning and thermal evolution is dependent on ocean-ridge spreading rate (Vx), the mantle upwelling velocity beneath the ridge axis (Vz), and the pre-breakup lithosphere beta stretching factor. The developed model predicts the thinning of the upper crust, lower crust and lithospheric mantle of the continental margin, and the history of rifted margin

  9. 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.

  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. Rifted continental margins: geometric control on crustal architecture and melting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundin, Erik; Redfield, Tim; Peron-Pinvidic, Gwenn

    2014-05-01

    A new model is provided for the distribution of magma-poor and magma-rich rifted margins. The South Atlantic, Central Atlantic, North Atlantic - Arctic (Eurasia Basin), and Red Sea all are magma-rich at their distal ends and magma-poor at their proximal ends (with respect to their poles of rotation). The well-known architectural zonation across fully developed magma-poor margins (limited crustal stretching, hyperextension, exhumed mantle, oceanic crust) is also observed along the lengths of many margins at the super-regional scale. Zones of exhumed mantle, marking magma-poor margin, can be mapped for thousands of kilometers. Likewise can zones of seaward dipping reflectors (SDR) marking magma-rich margins. At this scale, the age of the oceanic crust becomes younger in the direction of the rotation pole, implying that the continents ruptured by rift tip propagation (and rotation pole propagation). Propagation is also manifested by the age of pre-break-up magmatism, break-up unconformity, and margin uplift. Hence, the classic cross-sectional depiction of margin evolution has a third dimension. The degree of melting follows the same pattern. At the distal end of e.g. the South Atlantic, SDR zones are wide and gradually thin toward the rotation pole. Eventually exhumed mantle takes over, marking the transition to the magma-poor margins, which remain to the proximal end of rifting. SDR zones also thin laterally from ca 10-15 km thickness at the continent-ocean boundary (COB) to ca 7 km thick oceanic crust beyond the SDRs. Outcrop data demonstrate that also exhumed mantle contains up to ca 12% melt, infiltrated in the peridotites. Thus, melting is largest at the distal ends near the COB, and decreases both laterally toward the evolving ocean and along strike toward the rift tip. Accepting that continents are rigid to a first order, the linear rate of extension at any given location along an evolving rift and ocean, is governed by the angular rate of opening, the distance

  12. 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

  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. Marginal Groups in Marginal Times: Gypsy and Traveller Parents and Home Education in England, UK

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bhopal, Kalwant; Myers, Martin

    2016-01-01

    This article examines the experiences of home education for Gypsy and Traveller groups in England, UK. We argue that home education is perceived in a particular historical "moment" characterised in the media and more generally throughout society by "risk". Against this backdrop this article considers Gypsy and Traveller…

  17. Marginal Groups in Marginal Times: Gypsy and Traveller Parents and Home Education in England, UK

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bhopal, Kalwant; Myers, Martin

    2016-01-01

    This article examines the experiences of home education for Gypsy and Traveller groups in England, UK. We argue that home education is perceived in a particular historical "moment" characterised in the media and more generally throughout society by "risk". Against this backdrop this article considers Gypsy and Traveller…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. The Formation of Sedimentary Strata on Continental Margins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-09-30

    provides data needed to understand strata formation and allows specifically for better interpretation of long cores recording the environmental ... history of the Eel margin. Because much of the insight gained about strata formation is generic in nature, this work interfaces at the short and

  2. Identifying the "Foot of the Continental Slope" of high-latitude continental margins influenced by trough mouth fans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sverre Laberg, Jan

    2017-04-01

    The continental slope of high-latitude margins often include trough mouth fans, which are sediment fans situated in front of large troughs crossing the continental shelf. The troughs acted as corridors for paleo-ice streams, sectors of fast-flowing ice within the large ice sheets of the last glacial maximum as well as previous glacials. The paleo-ice streams were highly efficient erosional agents, eroding and transporting large volumes of sediments to the continental shelf edge. Here, these sediments were released to move downslope as large debris flows, the "building blocks" of these fans. Due to the very large sediment volume included within these fans, they represent prominent depocenters forming low-gradient sectors (axial gradient often being as low as 1 degree or less) with no clear morphological distinction of the continental slope including its lower limit. Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the criteria provided in Article 76 includes the lower limit or "foot" of the continental slope as one important parameter in the extended Continental Shelf delineation (i.e. beyond the 200 M exclusive economic zone). Because of this, the Norwegian submission regarding the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Norwegian Sea and the Arctic Ocean argued that the origin of the sub-sea floor sediments on the slope needed to be considered when identifying the location of the foot of the continental slope. This was done by mapping the outer limits of the large debris flow deposits of the trough mouth fans, deposits that without doubt have their origin from the continental shelf. Thus, in these cases, the foot of the continental slope coincide with the downslope termination of the large debris flow deposits and the outer limit of the continental shelf lies 60 M beyond this point. The data used for mapping includes swath bathymetry, sub-bottom profiles and short sediment samples (< 10 m), and we present and discuss examples from the Bear Island Trough Mouth

  3. Imaging proto-oceanic crust off the Brazilian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klingelhoefer, F.; Evain, M.; Afilhado, A.; Rigoti, C.; Loureiro, A.; Alves, D.; Leprêtre, A.; Moulin, M.; Schnurle, P.; Benabdellouahed, M.; Baltzer, A.; Rabineau, M.; Feld, A.; Viana, A.; Aslanian, D.

    2015-01-01

    During the Sanba (Santos basin seismic transect) experiment in 2010-2011, a 380-km-long combined wide-angle and reflection seismic profile has been acquired using 30 ocean-bottom seismometers, a 4.5 km seismic streamer and a 8900 in.3 airgun array. The Sanba 3 profile crosses the southern flank of the Sao Paulo Plateau, the Sao Paulo Ridge and the easternmost Santos Basin in an east-west direction. Its eastern end is located on undisturbed oceanic crust. Tomographic and forward modelling of the wide-angle seismic data reveals that the sedimentary thickness is variable with only 1-2 km on top of the ridge and thickening to 4-5 km in the basin. Crustal thickness at the ridge is about 18 km and the relative layer thickness and velocity gradients indicate a continental origin of this ridge. The eastern Santos Basin is underlain by crust of only 5 km thickness, characterized by high seismic velocities between 6.20 km s-1 in the upper crust and 7.40 km s-1 in the lower crust. Three hypotheses for the nature of the crust in this region are tested here: (i) thinned continental crust, (ii) serpentinized upper mantle material, (iii) thin oceanic crust. As seismic velocity gradients seem to rule out a continental origin of this region, and clear Moho reflections argue against serpentinized upper mantle, we propose that the crust underlying the easternmost Santos Basin is of oceanic origin. Deviations from normal oceanic crustal velocities in the lower crust (6.70-7.00 km s-1) can be explained by accretion at slow spreading rates leading to the inclusion of serpentinite into the lower crust at the onset of organized seafloor spreading.

  4. 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. 

  5. Development of continental margins of the Atlantic Ocean and successive breakup of the Pangaea-3 supercontinent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melankholina, E. N.; Sushchevskaya, N. M.

    2017-01-01

    Comparative tectonic analysis of passive margins of the Atlantic Ocean has been performed. Tectonotypes of both volcanic and nonvolcanic margins are described, and their comparison with other passive Atlantic margins is given. The structural features of margins, peculiarities of magmatism, its sources and reasons for geochemical enrichment of melts are discussed. The important role of melting of the continental lithosphere in the development of magmatism is demonstrated. Enriched EM I and EM II sources are determined for the lower parts of the volcanic section, and a depleted or poorly enriched source is determined for the upper parts of the volcanic section based on isotope data. The conclusions of the paper relate to tectonic settings of the initial occurrence of magmatism and rifting and breakup during the period of opening of the Mesozoic Ocean. It was found out that breakup and magmatism at proximal margins led only to insignificant structural transformations and reduction of the thickness of the ancient continental crust, while very important magmatic events happened later in the distal zone. New growth of magmatic crust at the stage of continental breakup is determined as a typical feature of distal zones of the margins under study. The relationship of development of margins with the impact of deep plumes as the source of magmatic material or a heat source only is discussed. Progradation of the zone of extension and breakup into the areas of cold lithosphere of the Atlantic and the formation of a single tectonomagmatic system of the ocean are under consideration.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Geologic history of the continental margin of North America in the Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholl, D. W.; Buffington, E.C.; Hopkins, D.M.

    1968-01-01

    The North American continental margin beneath the Bering Sea is nearly 1,300 km long and extends from Alaska to eastern Siberia. The margin is a canyon-scarred 3,200-3,400-m high escarpment separating one of the world's largest epicontinental seas (the shallow Bering Sea) and the Aleutian Basin (the deep-water Bering Sea), a marginal oceanic basin distinguished by having its southern boundary formed by the Aleutian Ridge. Three geomorphic provinces can be recognized: a southeastern province characterized by a gentle continental slope (lacking V-shaped canyons) and an outlying continental borderland (formed by Umnak Plateau); a central province distinguished by a steep canyon-scarred slope, and a northwestern province having a gentler and, apparently, less eroded continental slope. Continuous seismic reflection profiles show that the margin is constructed of three major structural-stratigraphic units: (1) an acoustic basement underlying the outer shelf and upper slope; (2) an overlying main layered sequence; and (3) a stratified rise unit underlying and forming the continental rise at the base of the slope. The existing margin evolved with downbowing and faulting of the acoustic basement, an older margin probably of Late Mesozoic age, consisting in part of well-indurated siltstone and mudstone, in Early Tertiary time. Concomitant with subsidence as much as 1,500 m of main-layered-sequence strata were draped over the basement. Intense canyon cutting, presumed to have been caused by the rapid deposition of unstable masses of riverborn sediment over the outer shelf and upper slope, is thought to have begun in Late Tertiary and Quaternary time. Concurrent with canyon cutting, submarine fans, consisting of turbidites forming the rise unit, accrued at the base of the continental slope. Subsidence of the continental margin during the Tertiary may be related to foundering ("oceanization") of a continental block to form the Aleutian Basin, or to simple isostatic depression

  12. 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

  13. The Late Paleozoic Southern Margin of the Siberian paleocontinent: transformation from an active continental margin to intracontinental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozlovsky, A. M.; Yarmolyuk, V. V.; Sal'Nikova, E. B.

    2009-04-01

    The large volcanoplutonic belt was formed on the southern margin of Siberian paleocontinent in the Early Carboniferous-Early Permian. Now it's stretched through whole Mongolia and the adjacent region of China. In the belt structure there are defined the successive rock complexes: the older one represented by differentiated basalt-andesite-rhyodacite series and younger bimodal complex of basalt-comendite-trachyrhyolite composition. The granodiorite-plagiogranite and diorite-monzonite-granodiorite plutonic massifs are associated with the former, while peralkaline granite massifs are characteristic of the latter. Geochronological results and geological relations between rocks of the bimodal and differentiated complexes showed first that rocks of the differentiated complex originated 350 to 330 Ma ago at the initial stage of forming of the marginal continental belt, linked with development active continental margin. This is evident from geochronological dates obtained for the Adzh-Bogd and Edrengiyn-Nuruu massifs and for volcanic associations of the complex. The dates are consistent with paleontological data. The bimodal association was formed later, 320 to 290 Ma ago. The time span separating formation of two igneous complexes ranges from several to 20-30 m.y. in different areas of the marginal belt. The bimodal magmatism was interrelated with rifting responsible for development of the Gobi-Tien Shan rift zone in the belt axial part and the Main Mongolian lineament along the belt northern boundary. Loci of bimodal rift magmatism likely migrated with time: the respective magmatic activity first initiated on the west of the rift system and then advanced gradually eastward with development of rift structures. Normal granitoids untypical but occurring nevertheless among the products of rift magmatism in addition to peralkaline massifs are assumed to have been formed, when the basic magmatism associated with rifting stimulated crustal anatexis and generation of crustal

  14. 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.

  15. Post-breakup burial and exhumation of passive continental margins: nine propositions to inform geodynamic models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Paul F.; Duddy, Ian; Japsen, Peter; Chalmers, James; Bonow, Johan

    2017-04-01

    Despite many years of study, the processes involved in the post-breakup development of passive margins remain poorly understood. Integration of apatite fission track analysis (AFTA) and stratigraphic landscape analysis (SLA) at a number of margins has provided new insights into the development of elevated passive continental margins (EPCMs). In particular, these studies have highlighted the importance of integrating evidence from the preserved rock record with information on the deposition and erosional removal of rock units which are no longer present ("missing section"). From these studies we have formulated nine propositions regarding the formation of EPCMs and the nature of the controlling processes, viz: 1: EPCMs are not the inevitable consequence of rifting and breakup 2: Elevated topography at present-day EPCMs developed long after breakup 3: Similar EPCM landscapes at different margins suggest similar controlling processes 4: EPCMs undergo episodic burial and exhumation rather than slow monotonic denudation, both before rifting and after breakup 5: Post-breakup exhumation at continental margins is not restricted to elevated onshore regions 6: Post-breakup burial and exhumation have affected low lying margins as well as EPCMs 7: Episodic km-scale exhumation and re-burial also affects cratonic regions 8: Exhumation events show a broad level of synchroneity across continents and oceans and correlate with plate boundary events and changes in plate motions. 9: EPCMs are located where there is an abrupt, lateral change in crustal or lithospheric thickness These propositions imply that positive and negative vertical motions at passive margins are controlled by plate-scale processes. Many of these key aspects are absent from current geodynamic models of passive margin development. Understanding the processes that control vertical movements at passive continental margins requires development of realistic geodynamic models that honour these propositions.

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

    PubMed

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

    1982-02-05

    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.

  17. Continental Shelf Embayments of the Eastern Margin of the Philippines; Lamon Bay Stratification & Circulation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-21

    Continental shelf embayments of the eastern margin of the Philippines; Lamon Bay stratification & circulation Arnold L. Gordon Lamont-Doherty...Current Bifurcation. The cyclonic dipole circulation of the southwest Lamon Bay is likely closely linked to the active marine ecosystem...characteristics of the ocean processes governing the stratification & circulation within Lamon Bay, including shelf/ slope exchange, and their

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Bishop, James K. B.

    2008-04-01

    Here we show that labile particulate iron and manganese concentrations in the upper 500 m 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.

  20. Predicting Rifted Continental Margin Subsidence History From Satellite Gravity Derived Crustal Thinning: Application to North Atlantic Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurst, N. W.; Kusznir, N. J.; Roberts, A. M.; White, R. S.

    2004-05-01

    3D spectral inversion of satellite derived gravity anomaly data (Smith and Sandwell 1997) and bathymetry data (Gebco 2003) has been used to determine oceanic and continental margin crustal thickness for the North Atlantic between 50 and 70 degrees N. The inverse technique incorporates a correction for the large negative thermal gravity anomaly present in the oceanic and stretched continental lithosphere. This correction can be determined using ocean isochron data for oceanic lithosphere, and margin rift age and beta stretching estimates derived iteratively from crustal basement thickness determined from the gravity inversion for the stretched continental lithosphere. A correction for the gravity anomaly contribution from sediments may be determined using thickness estimates derived from seismic reflection MCS data. Density depth variation within sediments is predicted assuming compaction. Crustal thicknesses determined using a thermal gravity correction derived from ocean isochron data give crustal thicknesses that are consistent with seismic observations. The resulting basement thickness determined from gravity inversion for the thinned continental margin lithosphere may be used to produce estimates of crustal thinning and stretching. Flexural backstripping and reverse post-breakup thermal subsidence modelling may be used to restore present 2D (or 3D) stratigraphic cross sections to earlier post-breakup times. Thermal subsidence arises from the cooling of stretched continental lithosphere and the recently formed oceanic lithosphere, and may be predicted from beta stretching factor (McKenzie 1978) and rift age. Beta stretching factors derived from gravity anomaly inversion have been used to predict reverse thermal subsidence for N Atlantic rifted margins. The resulting palaeo-bathymetric restorations show emergence of the Hatton Bank and NE Faroes rifted margins in early post-breakup times. The predicted palaeo-bathymetries are consistent with palaeo

  1. 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.

  2. The speciation of marine particulate iron adjacent to active and passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Ohnemus, Daniel C.; Marcus, Matthew A.

    2012-03-01

    We use synchrotron-based chemical-species mapping techniques to compare the speciation of suspended (1-51 μm) marine particulate iron collected in two open ocean environments adjacent to active and passive continental margins. Chemical-species mapping provides speciation information for heterogeneous environmental samples, and is especially good for detecting spectroscopically distinct trace minerals and species that could not be detectable by other methods. The average oxidation state of marine particulate iron determined by chemical-species mapping is comparable to that determined by standard bulk X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure spectroscopy. Using chemical-species mapping, we find that up to 43% of particulate Fe in the Northwest Pacific at the depth of the adjacent active continental margin is in the Fe(II) state, with the balance Fe(III). In contrast, particulate iron in the eastern tropical North Atlantic, which receives the highest dust deposition on Earth and is adjacent to a passive margin, is dominated by weathered and oxidized Fe compounds, with Fe(III) contributing 90% of total iron. The balance is composed primarily of Fe(II)-containing species, but we detected individual pyrite particles in some samples within an oxygen minimum zone in the upper thermocline. Several lines of evidence point to the adjacent Mauritanian continental shelf as the source of pyrite to the water column. The speciation of suspended marine particulate iron reflects the mineralogy of iron from the adjacent continental margins. Since the solubility of particulate iron has been shown to be a function of its speciation, this may have implications for the bioavailability of particulate iron adjacent to passive compared to active continental margins.

  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. 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.

  5. Molecular Diversity of Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria from Two Different Continental Margin Habitats

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

    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. PMID:14532064

  6. New constraints on the origins of terranes within the New England Orogen, eastern Australia and their accretion to the eastern margin of Gondwana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, R.; Aitchison, J. C.; Flood, P. G.; Buckman, S.

    2016-12-01

    Paleozoic orogenic systems in eastern Australia, such as the Lachlan and New England orogens, have formed through a progression of accretion events along the eastern margin of Gondwana. These include collisions between island arcs and the continental margin and the growth of subduction complexes. Comparison with modern convergent margins suggests that the inevitable effects of oblique convergence and translation of terranes along the margin have been widely overlooked. Progressive outstepping of the continental margin and the development of new arcs over older accreted substrates complicate understanding. In order to contribute new data towards resolving aspects of the tectonic evolution of this region, we collected clastic sediment samples from terranes either side of the Peel Manning Fault system (PMFS) and examined their detrital zircon content. From west of the PMFS, the Silver Gully Formation in the Gamilaroi terrane, yields mostly Late Silurian ages consistent with an inferred Early Devonian depositional age. The younger Baldwin Formation yields Early Devonian ages together with evidence of Neoproterozoic inheritance perhaps reflecting deposition during the Gamilaroi terrane's collision with eastern Gondwana. Subsampling K-S (Kolmogorov-Smirnov) tests suggest that samples from these two formations were shed from different sources, which may help to identify the final stages of the Gamilaroi Terrane accretion event. Possibly, the most startling results come from units located immediately east of the PMFS within the chert-dominated, accretionary complex of the Djungati terrane. Although the presence of Ordovician limestone blocks has long been known sandstones yield abundant zircons of Ordovician age for which no local magmatic source rocks are known. This suggests that the New England orogen still holds many secrets that will be revealed as new geological tools are applied to its investigation. The implications of such results is that old hypotheses can be

  7. Rifting his­tory and structural development of the continental margin north of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grantz, Arthur; May, S.D.

    1982-01-01

    Seismic-reflection profiles in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea and onshore geology indicate that the continental margin north of Alaska is of Atlantic type. Rifting appears to have begun in earliest Jurassic time, about 190 to 185 m.y. ago, when crustal extension created a rift-valley system beneath the Beaufort shelf and part of the adjacent coastal plain. Subsequent crustal warming caused rift-margin uplift and erosion, created a breakup unconformity, and initiated breakup and seafloor spreading in the Canada Basin about 125 m.y. ago. Subsequent cooling caused rapid subsidence of the margin, which was followed by vigorous progradation of the present continental terrace of the Beaufort Sea beginning in Albian time.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Geomorphic response of a continental margin to tectonic and eustatic variations, the Levant margin during the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben Moshe, Liran; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Enzel, Yehouda; Uri, Schattner

    2017-04-01

    During the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC, 5.97±0.01-5.33 Ma) the Mediterranean Levant margin experienced major eustatic and sedimentary cycles as well as tectonic motion along the nearby Dead Sea fault plate boundary. New structures formed along this margin with morphology responding to these changes. Our study focuses on changes in this morphology across the margin. It is based on interpretation of three 3D seismic reflection volumes from offshore Israel. Multi-attribute analysis aided the extraction of key reflectors. Morphologic analysis of these data quantified interacting eustasy, sedimentation, and tectonics. Late Messinian morphologic domains include: (a) continental shelf; (b) 'Delta' anticline, forming a ridge diagonal to the strike of the margin; (c) southward dipping 'Hadera' valley, separating between (a) and (b); (d) 'Delta Gap' - a water gap crossing perpendicular to the anticline axis, exhibiting a sinuous thalweg; (e) continental slope. Drainage across the margin developed in several stages. Remains of turbidite flows crossing the margin down-slope were spotted across the 'Delta' anticline. These flows accumulated with the MSC evaporate sequence and prior to the anticline folding. Rising of the anticline, above the then bathymetry, either blocked or diverted the turbidites. That rising also defined the Hadera valley. In-situ evaporates, covering the valley floor, are, in turn covered by a fan-delta at the distal end of the valley. The fan-delta complex contains eroded evaporites and Lago-Mare fauna. Its top is truncated by dendritic fluvial channels that drained towards the Delta Gap. The Delta Gap was carved through the Delta ridge in a morphological and structural transition zone. We propose that during the first stages of the MSC (5.97±0.01-5.59 ma) destabilization of the continental slope due to oscillating sea level produced gravity currents that flowed through the pre-existing Delta anticline. Subsequent folding of the Delta anticline

  16. 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).

  17. Seismic structure of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holbrook, W. Steven; Purdy, G. M.; Sheridan, R. E.; Glover, L., III; Talwani, M.; Ewing, J.; Hutchinson, D.

    1994-09-01

    Multichannel and wide-angle seismic data collected off Virginia during the 1990 EDGE Mid-Atlantic seismic experiment provide the most detailed image to date of the continent-ocean transition on the U.S. Atlantic margin. Multichannel data were acquired using a 10,800 cu inch (177 L) airgun array and 6-km-long streamer, and coincident wide-angle data were recorded by ten ocean bottom seismic instruments. A velocity model constructed by inversion of wide-angle and vertical-incidence travel times shows strong lateral changes in deep-crustal structure across the margin. Lower-crustal velocities are 6.8 km/s in rifted continental crust, increase to 7.5 km/s beneath the outer continental shelf, and decrease to 7.0 km/s in oceanic crust. Prominent seaward- dipping reflections comprise a 100-km-wide, 25-km-thick ocean- continent transition zone that consists almost entirely of mafic igneous material accreted to the margin during continental breakup. The boundary between rifted continental crust and this thick igneous crust is abrupt, occupying only about 20 km of the margin. Appalachian intracrustal reflectivity largely disappears across this boundary as velocity increases from 5.9 km/s to greater than 7.0 km/s, implying that the reflectivity is disrupted by massive intrusion and that very little continental crust persists seaward of the reflective crust persists seaward of the reflective crust. The thick igneous crust is spatially correlated with the East Coast magnetic anomaly, implying that the basalts and underlying intrusives cause the anomaly. The details of the seismic structure and lack of independent evidence for an appropriately located hotspot in the central Atlantic imply that nonplume processes are responsible for the igneous material.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The NORWEGIAN-GREENLAND Sea Continental Margins: Morphology and Late Quaternary Sedimentary Processes and Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorren, Tore O.; Laberg, Jan Sverre; Blaume, Frank; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Kenyon, Neil H.; Mienert, Jürgen; Rumohr, Jan; Werner, Friedrich

    The continental margins surrounding the Norwegian-Greenland Sea are to a large degree shaped by processes during the late Quaternary. The paper gives an overview of the morphology and the processes responsible for the formation of three main groups of morphological features: slides, trough mouth fans and channels. Several large late Quaternary slides have been identified on the eastern Norwegian-Greenland Sea continental margin. The origin of the slides may be due to high sedimentation rates leading to a build-up of excess pore water pressure, perhaps with additional pressure caused by gas bubbles. Triggering might have been prompted by earthquakes or by decomposition of gas hydrates. Trough mouth fans (TMF) are fans at the mouths of transverse troughs on presently or formerly glaciated continental shelves. In the Norwegian-Greenland Sea, seven TMFs have been identified varying in area from 2700 km 2 to 215 000 km 2. The Trough Mouth Fans are depocentres of sediments which have accumulated in front of ice streams draining the large Northwest European ice sheets. The sediments deposited at the shelf break/upper slope by the ice stream were remobilized and transported downslope, mostly as debris flows. The Trough Mouth Fans hold the potential for giving information about the various ice streams feeding them with regard to velocity and ice discharge. Two large deep-sea channel systems have been observed along the Norwegian continental margin, the Lofoten Basin Channel and the Inbis Channel. Along the East Greenland margin, several channel systems have been identified. The deep-sea channels may have been formed by dense water originating from cooling, sea-ice formation and brine rejection close to the glacier margin or they may originate from small slides on the upper slope transforming into debris flows and turbidity currents.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Analysis of Submarine Landslides and Canyons along the U.S. Atlantic Margin Using Extended Continental Shelf Mapping Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaytor, J. D.; Brothers, D. S.; Ten Brink, U. S.; Hoy, S. K.; Baxter, C.; Andrews, B.

    2013-12-01

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) studies of the U.S. Atlantic continental slope and rise aim to understand the: 1) the role of submarine landslides in tsunami generation, and 2) the linkages between margin morphology and sedimentary processes, particularly in and around submarine canyon systems. Data from U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) and numerous subsequent mapping surveys have facilitated the identification and characterization of submarine landslides and related features in fine detail over an unprecedented spatial extent. Ongoing analysis of USGS collected piston cores, sub-bottom and multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiles, and an extensive suite of legacy MCS data from two landslides, the Southern New England landslide zone and the Currituck Landslide, suggest that the most recent major landslide events are pre-Holocene, but that failures were complex and most likely multi-phase, at times resulting in extensive overlapping debris deposits. Piston core records plus visual observations of the seafloor from recent TowCam deployments and NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer ROV dives reveal ongoing development of colluvial wedge-style debris aprons at the base of scarps within these landslides, showing that these regions continue to evolve long after the initial failure events. Multibeam bathymetry data and MCS profiles along the upper slope reveal evidence for vertical fluid migration and possible seabed gas expulsion. These observations underscore the need to reevaluate the sources of pore fluid overpressure in slope sediments and their role in landslide generation. ECS and more recent multibeam mapping have provided the opportunity to investigate the full extent of submarine canyon morphology and evolution from Cape Hatteras up to the US-Canadian EEZ, which has led to better understanding of the important role of antecedent margin physiography on their development. Six submarine canyon systems along the margin (Veatch, Hydrographer, Hudson, Wilmington

  7. Geomorphology of the Eastern North American Continental Margin: the role of deep sea sedimentation processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosher, D. C.; Campbell, C.; Piper, D.; Chaytor, J. D.; Gardner, J. V.; Rebesco, M.

    2016-12-01

    Deep-sea sedimentation processes impart a fundamental control on the morphology of the western North Atlantic continental margin from Blake Spur to Hudson Strait. This fact is illustrated by the variable patterns of cross-margin gradients that are based on extensive new multibeam echo-sounder data in concert with subbottom profiler and seismic reflection data. Most of the continental margin has a steep (>3o) upper slope down to 1500 to 2500 m and then a gradual middle and lower slope with a general concave upward shape There is a constant interplay of deep sea sedimentation processes, but the general morphology is dictated by the dominant one. Erosion by off-shelf sediment transport in turbidity currents creating channels, gullies and canyons creates the steep upper slope. These gullies and canyons amalgamate to form singular channels that are conduits to the abyssal plain. This process results in a general seaward flattening of gradients, producing an exponentially decaying slope profile. Comparatively, sediment mass failure produces steeper upper slopes due to head scarp development and a wedging architecture to the lower slope as deposits thin in the downslope direction. This process results in either a two-segment slope, and/or a significant downslope gradient change where MTDs pinch out. Large sediment bodies deposited by contour-following currents are developed all along the margin. Blake Ridge, Sackville Spur, and Hamilton Spur are large detached drifts on disparate parts of the margin. Along their crests, they form a linear profile from the shelf to abyssal plain. Deeper portions of the US continental margin are dominated by the Chesapeake Drift and Hatteras Outer Ridge; both plastered elongate mounded drifts. Farther north, particularly on the Grand Banks margin, are plastered and separated drifts. These drifts tend to form bathymetric steps in profile, where they onlap the margin. Stacked drifts create several steps. Turbidites of the abyssal plain onlap

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Seafloor Geomorphology, Gas & Fluid, and Slope Failure on the Southern Cascadia Continental Margin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-09-30

    D. (1998) Fluid venting in the Aleutian subduction zone , Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 103, p. 2597-2614. Brewer, P.G., Orr, F.M. Jr...Seafloor Geomorphology, Gas & Fluid, and Slope Failure on the Southern Cascadia Continental Margin Daniel L. Orange Department of Earth Sciences...3. DATES COVERED 00-00-1998 to 00-00-1998 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Seafloor Geomorphology, Gas & Fluid, and Slope Failure on the Southern Cascadia

  17. Seismic structure of the northern continental margin of Spain from ESCIN deep seismic profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez-Marrón, J.; Pérez-Estaún, A.; Danñobeitia, J. J.; Pulgar, J. A.; Martínez^Catalán, J. R.; Marcos, A.; Bastida, F.; Ayarza^Arribas, P.; Aller, J.; Gallart, A.; Gonzalez-Lodeiro, F.; Banda, E.; Comas, M. C.; Córdoba, D.

    1996-10-01

    By the end of the Carboniferous, the crust of the continental shelf in northwestern Spain was made up of deeply rooted structures related to the Variscan collision. From Permian to Triassic times the tectonic setting had changed to mainly extensional and the northern Iberian continental margin underwent rifting during Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous times, along with sea-floor spreading and the opening of the Bay of Biscay until the Late Cretaceous. Subsequently, the northern Iberian margin was active during the north-south convergence of Eurasia and Iberia in the Tertiary. A multichannel seismic experiment, consisting of two profiles, one north-south (ESCIN-4) crossing the platform margin offshore Asturias, and another (ESCIN-3) crossing the platform margin to the northwest of Galicia, was designed to study the structure of the northern Iberian margin. The ESCIN-4 stacked section reveals inverted structures in the upper crust within the Le Danois Basin. North of the steep continental slope, ESCIN-4 shows a thick sedimentary package from 6 to 9.5 s, two-way travel time (TWT). Within this latter package, a 40-km-long, north-tapering wedge of inclined, mainly south-dipping reflections is thought to represent a buried, Alpine-age accretionary prism. In the north western part of the ESCIN-3 (ESCIN-3-1) stacked section, horizontal reflections from 6.5 to 8.5 s correspond to an undisturbed package of sediments lying above oceanic-type basement. In this part of the line, a few kilometres long, strong horizontal reflection at 11.2 s within the basement may represent an oceanic Moho reflection. Also, a band of reflections dips gently towards the southeast, from the base of the gently dipping continental slope. The part of ESCIN-3 line that runs parallel to the NW-Galicia coast (ESCIN-3-2), is characterized by bright, continuous lower crustal reflections from 8 to 10 s. Beneath the lower crustal reflectivity, a band of strong reflections dips gently toward the southwest from

  18. 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.

  19. Geological controls on the Storegga gas-hydrate system of the mid-Norwegian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bünz, Stefan; Mienert, Jürgen; Berndt, Christian

    2003-04-01

    The geologic setting of the formerly glaciated mid-Norwegian continental margin exerts specific controls on the formation of a bottom-simulating reflector (BSR) and the inferred distribution of gas hydrates. On the continental slope the lithology of glacigenic debris flow deposits and pre-glacial basin deposits of the Kai Formation prevent gas-hydrate formation, because of reduced pore size, reduced water content and fine-grained sediment composition. Towards the continental shelf, the shoaling and pinch-out of the gas-hydrate stability zone terminates the area of gas-hydrate growth. These geological controls confine the occurrence of gas hydrates and ensuing formation of a BSR to a small zone along the northern flank of the Storegga submarine slide and the slide area itself. A BSR inside the slide area indicates a dynamically adjusting gas-hydrate system to post-slide pressure-temperature equilibrium conditions. These observations, together with widespread evidence for fluid flow and deep-seated hydrocarbon reservoirs, suggest that the formation of BSR and gas hydrates on the mid-Norwegian continental margin is dominated by an advection of gas from the strata distinctly beneath the gas-hydrate stability zone. Fluids migrate upward within the Naust Formation and are deflected laterally by hydrated sediments and less permeable layers. Gases continually accumulate at the top of the slope, where overpressure eventually results in the formation of blow-out pipes and consequent pockmark development on the seabed.

  20. Sea level rise and submarine mass failures on open continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D. E.; Harrison, S.; Jordan, J. T.

    2013-12-01

    Submarine mass failures (which include submarine slides or submarine landslides) occur widely on open continental margins. Understanding their cause is of great importance in view of the danger that they can pose both to coastal populations through tsunamis and to the exploitation of ocean floor resources through mass movement of the sea floor. Present knowledge of the causes of submarine mass failures is briefly reviewed, focussing on the role of sea level rise, a process which has previously only infrequently been cited as a cause. It is argued that sea level rise could easily have been involved in at least some of these events by contributing to increased overpressure in sediments of the continental margin whilst causing seismic activity. The Holocene Storegga Slide off South West Norway may have been partly caused by the early Holocene sea level rise in the area, accentuated by meltwater flux from the discharges of Lake Agassiz-Ojibway in North America. Relative sea level rise increased water loading on the Norwegian continental margin, increasing overpressure in the sediments and also causing seismic activity, triggering the Holocene Storegga Slide. Given that some forecasts of future sea level rise are not greatly different from rises which obtained during the early Holocene, the implications of rising sea levels for submarine mass failures in a global warming world are considered.

  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.

    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

  2. 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

  3. Plume-lithosphere interactions near a passive continental margin: a thermo-mechanical modelling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    François, Thomas; Cloetingh, Sierd; Burov, Evgueni; Matenco, Liviu

    2015-04-01

    Plume head-lithosphere (PLI) interactions have important consequences both for tectonic and mineralogical evolution of the lithosphere and are often considered to be an important factor of continental break-up. Nevertheless, the interaction between plume and post break-up tectonics (i.e. evolution of passive margins) remain unclear. The passive margins represent important geometrical, thermal and rheological barriers that interact with the plume head material during its emplacement below the lithosphere. For example on the Scandinavia's North Atlantic passive margin the large Cenozoic uplift comprised uplift of basin margins as well as accelerated subsidence of basin centres adjacent to the uplifted landmasses while the compressional reactivation coincides with the postulated Iceland-plume events associated with massive magma emplacement. The goal of this study is to understand the role of the Iceland plume in the Cenozoic evolution of the Scandinavia's North Atlantic passive margin. To investigate the interactions between the plume and passive margin we use fully coupled thermo-mechanical 2D numerical code (Flamar v12). The model area is 700 km deep and 1500 km wide comprising rheologically realistic lithosphere and the entire upper mantle Our models have free upper surface boundary, surface erosion, account for the rheological stratification (upper crust, lower crust, lithospheric mantle and asthenosphere), brittle-elastic-ductile rheology, metamorphic phase changes (density and physical properties) and for the specific crustal and thermal structure of the Scandinavia's North Atlantic passive margin. We have tested several parameters including the lateral position of the plume, the rate of extension and the thermo-rheological profile of the continental lithosphere.

  4. 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.

  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. 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).

  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. Estimating long-wavelength dynamic topographic change of passive continental margins since the Early Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Dietmar; Hassan, Rakib; Gurnis, Michael; Flament, Nicolas; Williams, Simon

    2017-04-01

    The influence of mantle convection on dynamic topographic change along continental margins is difficult to unravel, because their stratigraphic record is dominated by tectonic subsidence caused by rifting. Yet, dynamic topography can potentially introduce significant depth anomalies along passive margins, influencing their water depth, sedimentary environments and geohistory. Here we follow a three-fold approach to estimate changes in dynamic topography along both continental interiors and passive margins based on a set of seven global mantle convection models. These models include different methodologies (forward and hybrid backward-forward methods), different plate reconstructions and alternative mantle rheologies. We demonstrate that a geodynamic forward model that includes adiabatic heating in addition to internal heating from radiogenic sources, and a mantle viscosity profile with a gradual increase in viscosity below the mantle transition zone, provides a greatly improved match to the spectral range of residual topography end-members as compared with previous models at very long wavelengths (spherical degrees 2-3). We combine global sea level estimates with predicted surface dynamic topography to evaluate the match between predicted continental flooding patterns and published paleo-coastlines by comparing predicted versus geologically reconstructed land fractions and spatial overlaps of flooded regions for individual continents since 140 Ma. Modelled versus geologically reconstructed land fractions match within 10% for most models, and the spatial overlaps of inundated regions are mostly between 85% and 100% for the Cenozoic, dropping to about 75-100% in the Cretaceous. We categorise the evolution of modelled dynamic topography in both continental interiors and along passive margins using cluster analysis to investigate how clusters of similar dynamic topography time series are distributed spatially. A subdivision of four clusters is found to best reveal end

  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. 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.

  11. The deep structure of the east Oman continental margin: preliminary results and interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barton, P. J.; Owen, T. R. E.; White, R. S.

    1990-02-01

    We describe preliminary results of a coincident normal incidence and wide-angle Seismic experiment across the east Oman continental margin just north of the Masirah Island ophiolite. This margin is affected by tectonic deformation and may be the site of margin-parallel shear in a zone parallel to the Owen Fracture Zone. The reflection profile is used to define upper crustal structure and shows a deep offshore basin dammed oceanwards by a ridge, interpreted here as a rotated fault block. Wide-angle data were collected using ten digital ocean-bottom Seismometers and 110 explosive shots. Preliminary raytracing of a crustal model based on the gravity model of Whitmarsh (1979) shows rapid changes in crustal thickness across the margin. A steep landward dipping reflector, probably the Moho, lies beneath the continental slope. The orientation of this reflector is exactly opposite to the direction of tectonic fabric predicted by a simple overthrust model of ophiolite emplacement from the ocean basin to the east.

  12. Geomorphology and Neogene tectonic evolution of the Palomares continental margin (Western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez de la Peña, Laura; Gràcia, Eulàlia; Muñoz, Araceli; Acosta, Juan; Gómez-Ballesteros, María; R. Ranero, César; Uchupi, Elazar

    2016-10-01

    The Palomares continental margin is located in the southeastern part of Spain. The margin main structure was formed during Miocene times, and it is currently part of the wide deformation zone characterizing the region between the Iberian and African plates, where no well-defined plate boundary occurs. The convergence between these two plates is here accommodated by several structures, including the left lateral strike-slip Palomares Fault. The region is characterized by sparse, low to moderate magnitude (Mw < 5.2) shallow instrumental earthquakes, although large historical events have also occurred. To understand the recent tectonic history of the margin we analyze new high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data and re-processed three multichannel seismic reflection profiles crossing the main structures. The analysis of seafloor morphology and associated subsurface structure provides new insights of the active tectonic features of the area. In contrast to other segments of the southeastern Iberian margin, the Palomares margin contains numerous large and comparatively closely spaced canyons with heads that reach near the coast. The margin relief is also characterized by the presence of three prominent igneous submarine ridges that include the Aguilas, Abubacer and Maimonides highs. Erosive processes evidenced by a number of scars, slope failures, gullies and canyon incisions shape the present-day relief of the Palomares margin. Seismic images reveal the deep structure distinguishing between Miocene structures related to the formation of the margin and currently active features, some of which may reactivate inherited structures. The structure of the margin started with an extensional phase accompanied by volcanic accretion during the Serravallian, followed by a compressional pulse that started during the Latemost Tortonian. Nowadays, tectonic activity offshore is subdued and limited to few, minor faults, in comparison with the activity recorded onshore. The deep Algero

  13. 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

  14. Interactions of 3D mantle flow and continental lithosphere near passive margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrington, R. J.; Stegman, D. R.; Moresi, L. N.; Sandiford, M.; May, D. A.

    2010-03-01

    We investigate the time evolution of 3D numerical models of convection in the upper mantle which incorporate both plate motions and thick continental lithosphere. The resultant flow in the upper mantle is driven by a combination of bottom heated convection and applied shear velocity boundary conditions that represents plate motion. Both the plate velocity and continental lithosphere topography are varied in a way to assess the general influence of 3D geometry as well as a more specific tectonic analogue of the Australian plate. Transient thermal events offshore of the trailing passive margin are observed and include plume migration, boundary layer instability growth at the passive margin and variations in surface heat flux. The geometry and plate velocity both play a significant role in controlling the magnitude and duration of these transient features. In particular, there are large differences between the different models in the oceanic region downstream of the trailing edge of the continent. At near-stationary plate speeds, cold linear downwelling sheets propagate away from the 3D edge of the continent, with regions offshore of the continents central axis localising hot cylindrical upwelling plumes. At very fast plate speeds, the shear flow is dominated by the plate motions. This causes regions neighbouring the trailing edge of the continent to produce broad, hot upwellings and the cold linear sheets to migrate around the continent. At moderate (2 cm/yr) plate speeds, oceanic lithosphere neighbouring the passive margin along the trailing edge of the continent is buffered by cold, downwelling instabilities sinking along the edges of the continental lithosphere. Such neighbouring regions are subjected to larger heat flux than for regions distant to the passive margin, yet also record smaller and less variable vertical surface velocities. These dynamics have implications for volcanism and surface topography, for which 3D aspects play a significant role.

  15. Assessing Geotechnical Parameters and Slope Stability on the Architecture of Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutton, E. W.; Syvitski, J. P.

    2001-12-01

    SedFlux integrates process-based event models so as to numerically: 1) spread fluvial bedload across delta flats, 2) erode uplifted marine deposits, 3) disperse sediment from a river through surface (hypopycnal) plumes, or 4) subsurface (hyperpycnal) plumes, 5) disperse/sort shelf deposits by ocean storms, 6) fail seafloor deposits and remove as a turbidity current, or 7) a debris flow, 8) change the basin configuration due to thermal subsidence, or 9) tectonics (faults, uplift), and 10) compact the final deposit. SedFlux processes interact with evolving boundary conditions given: 11) fluctuations in sea level, 12) supply of sediment, and 13) ocean energy. Inevitably such a comprehensive model relies on a wide variety of input parameters that control these processes. They may be domain parameters that are set for a particular modeled region and are thus time-invariant and space-invariant. In contrast, many of the geotechnical parameters (sediment cohesion, sediment yield, Coulomb friction, permeability, plasticity index, porosity, viscosity, and consolidation coefficient) may be calculated using empirical relationships based on the properties of the developing deposit. In that sense the geotechnical parameters within the model domain vary in time and space. A series of numerical experiments were run: i) to determine how domain-invariant geotechnical input parameters affect the development of a continental margin; and ii) to contrast how margins would develop if these geotechnical parameters were allowed to vary based on deposit characteristics. As the coefficient of consolidation decreases, the numerical margins change from ones showing fewer failures, to margins having more failures located near the shelf-slope break, to margins having upper- to mid-slope failures. As sediment cohesion is increased, failure size increases but the number of seafloor failures decreases. As sediment yield increases, debris flows increasingly deposit their load on the continental

  16. Macrobenthic community structure over the continental margin of Crete (South Aegean Sea, NE Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tselepides, Anastasios; Papadopoulou, Konstantia-N.; Podaras, Dimitris; Plaiti, Wanda; Koutsoubas, Drosos

    2000-08-01

    Macrobenthic faunal composition, abundance, biomass and diversity together with a suite of sedimentary environmental parameters were investigated on a seasonal basis in order to determine factors regulating faunal distribution over the oligotrophic continental margin of the island of Crete (South Aegean Sea, North Eastern Mediterranean). Macrofaunal species composition was similar to that of the western Mediterranean and the neighboring Atlantic having several common dominant species. Mean benthic biomass, abundance and diversity decreased with depth, with a major transition zone occurring at 540 m, beyond which values declined sharply. At comparable depths biomass and abundance values were considerably lower to those found in the Atlantic, high-lighting the extreme oligotrophy of the area. The continental margin of Crete was characterised by a high diversity upper continental shelf environment (dominated by surface deposit feeding polychaetes) and a very low diversity slope and deep-basin environment (dominated by carnivorous and filter feeding polychaetes). Classification and ordination analyses revealed the existence of four principle clusters divided by a faunal boundary between 200 and 540 m, as well as beyond 940 m depth. Significant correlations between macrofauna and sediment parameters led to the conclusion that besides depth, food availability (as manifested by the concentration of chloroplastic pigments) is the principle regulating factor in the system. Such being the case, the prevailing hydrographic features that structure the pelagic food web and are directly responsible for the propagation of organic matter to the benthos also affect its community structure.

  17. 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.

  18. Kinematic evolution of the southwestern Arabian continental margin: implications for the origin of the Red Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voggenreiter, W.; Hötzl, H.

    The tectonic and magnetic evolution of the Jizan coastal plain (Tihama Asir) in southwest Arabia was dominated by SW-NE lithospheric extension related to the development of the Red Sea Rift. A well-exposed, isotopically-dated succession of magmatic rocks (Jizan Group volcanics, Tihama Asir Magmatic Complex) allows a kinematic analysis for this part of the Arabian Red Sea margin. A mafic dyke swarm and several generations of roughly NW-trending normal faults characterized the continental rift stage from Oligocene to early Miocene time. Major uplift of the Arabian graben shoulder probably began about 14 Ma ago. By this time, extension and magmatism ceased in the Jizan area and were followed by an approximately 10 Ma interval of tectonic and magmatic quiescence. A second phase of extension began in the Pliocene and facilitated a vast outpouring of alkaliolivine basalts on the coastal plain. The geometry of faulting in the Jizan area supports a Wernicke-type simple-shear mechanism of continental rifting for the southern Arabian continental margin of the Red Sea.

  19. How is continental break-up recorded in magma-poor rifted margins?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peron-Pinvidic, G.; Manatschal, G.; Minshull, T.; Sawyer, D.

    2006-12-01

    In classical models of continental break-up, rifting is immediately followed by seafloor spreading, which implies that break-up can be identified as a specific spatial and temporal boundary. However, this simple concept is not supported by observations at rifted margins. The classical indicators for determining break-up (break-up unconformity, magnetic anomalies, distribution of high-angle faults and sedimentary wedges) may no longer be relied upon to identify unambiguously the location and age of break-up. We studied the spatial and temporal evolution of the deep Iberia-Newfoundland margins, which are the type examples of magma-poor rifted margins. Our study was based on borehole data and on a mapping of the sedimentary and basement architecture in 3D on seismic reflection profiles. Our results allow us to describe the tectono-sedimentary and morpho-tectonic evolution of final rifting and show that continental break-up is complex. In the Iberia-Newfoundland rift system, the tectono-sedimentary evolution of final rifting can be reconstructed back to 145Ma, when the crust was already thinned to less than 10km. Two major deformation phases have been identified: a first, Tithonian to Barremian in age (145-128Ma) and a second, dated as latest Aptian (112Ma). The Tithonian-Barremian phase is characterized by a migration of the tectonic activity oceanwards and a change of the deformation mechanisms from south to north, from zones of mantle exhumed via downward concave faults to classical half-grabens formed by the normal tilting of thinned continental blocks along upward concave faults. This phase terminates with the formation of the first unequivocal magnetic anomaly (M3 128Ma) and the accretion of more than 170km of crust, at rates of about 1cm/yr, that is neither oceanic nor continental, commonly referred to as Zone of Exhumed Continental Mantle (ZECM). The late-Aptian phase is associated with a major tectono-magmatic event and is responsible for the observed basement

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Early Cenozoic tectonic quiescence at the southern Levant continental margin, eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schattner, Uri; Segev, Amit; Lyakhovsky, Vladimir

    2010-05-01

    The geological record of the easternmost Mediterranean shows almost continuous tectonic activity across the Levant continental margin since its formation during the early Mesozoic until the Recent. The margin developed as part of the Gondwana super continent breakup. Since mid Cenozoic onwards Gondwana descendants, the African and Arabian plates, progressively collided with Eurasia. This collision along with the initiation activity of the Afar plume led to the Cenozoic reactivation of the Levant margin. We explore the geodynamic development of the Levant region between its formation and reactivation through one of the poorly understood time periods in its history. Geological evidence shows that tectonomagmatic processes associated with the formation of the Levant margin and later geodynamic events lasted until the Maastrichtian. During the following ~25 Myr exclusively, thick pelagic and deep sea sediments accumulated on the submerged northwestern Arabian plate. We interpret this early-to-middle Paleogene time window as a unique interval of tectonic and magmatic quiescence. During this mature post continental, breakup stage, thermal equilibrium and isostatic compensation were achieved. A three-dimensional layered lithosphere model was constructed to describe this Middle-Late Eocene geodynamic scene of the Levant area before its reactivation. Layers of the model include the Moho, top of the basement interfaces and the top Avedat Group (Upper Eocene) interfaces. The model was established after a 100 km horizontal restoration along the Dead Sea transform and vertical correction by isostatic compensation to achieve the paleo structure which prevailed in the study area at the end of the Eocene. The reconstructed elevation defines a ramp-shaped structure compatible with independent geological evidence. Results show that most parts of the central Levant margin were submerged ~200 m to ~1800 m, while the paleo bathymetric slopes ranged from ~2° (shelf) to ~6° (slope

  5. Shallow-mantle Recycling and Anomalous, Voluminous Volcanism along the Northern and Northwestern African Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryce, J. G.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Graham, D. W.; Miller, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Mantle-derived volcanism on Earth's surface is generally associated with magma generation as a consequence of volatile addition to suprasubduction zone mantle or in response to decompression melting at diverging plates or in thermochemical anomalies thought to originate deep in the convecting mantle. Many of the hotspots surrounding the northern and northwestern African margin are thought to originate from decompression melting due to upwellings from deep thermochemical anomalies. Similar compositions of lavas erupted in Sicily in the Hyblean Plateau and Mount Etna, Europe's largest most active volcano, have been attributed to contributions from subduction zone enrichments. Considering high-MgO lavas from the northern to northwestern African-Mediterranean margins in the context of recent petrologic models we find the strong majority of the lavas in this region are predominantly alkaline and bear geochemical signatures consistent with derivation from fusible lithologies (volatilized peridotite and/or pyroxenite) [1]. Such results are consistent with implications from recent experimental results that suggest that the mobilization of hydrous, carbonate-rich melts commonly occurs during subduction zone processing [2]. Accordingly, we argue many products generally considered "hot spot" volcanism in this region largely result from partial melting of easily fusible pyroxene-rich and carbonated mantle domains that are relics of shallow-level recycling of volatile-rich melts and/or lithosphere shed during plate boundary processes along the African margin. Long-lived volcanism near continental margins subsequently develops as a consequence of convective anomalies associated with unique tectonic arrangements (oversteepened slabs or slab windows) [3] or, alternatively, as manifestations of convective tectonic anomalies beneath thin lithosphere juxtaposed next to thicker, more stable continental margins [4]. [1] Herzberg and Asimow, 2008; [2] Poli, 2015; [3] Schellart, 2010; [4

  6. 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; Behrmann, Jan-Hinrich; Papenberg, Cord; Geersen, Jacob; Ridente, Domenico; Latino Chiocci, Francesco; Urlaub, Morelia; Bialas, Jörg; Micallef, Aaron

    2015-04-01

    Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. Its volcano edifice is located on top of continental crust close to the Ionian shore in east Sicily. Instability of the eastern flank of the volcano edifice is well documented onshore. The continental margin is supposed to deform as well. Little, however, is known about the offshore extension of the eastern volcano flank and its adjacent continental margin, which is 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 and processed a new marine high-resolution seismic and hydro-acoustic dataset. The data provide new detailed insights into the heterogeneous geology and tectonics of shallow continental margin structures offshore Mt Etna. In a similiar manner as observed onshore, the submarine realm is characterized by different blocks, which are controlled by local- and regional tectonics. We image a compressional regime at the toe of the continental margin, which is bound to an asymmetric basin system confining the eastward movement of the flank. In addition, we constrain the proposed southern boundary of the moving flank, which is identified as a right lateral oblique fault movement north of Catania Canyon. From our findings, we consider a major coupled volcano edifice instability and continental margin gravitational collapse and spreading to be present at Mt Etna, as we see a clear link between on- and offshore tectonic structures across the entire eastern flank. The new findings will help to evaluate hazards and risks accompanied by Mt Etna's slope- and continental margin instability and will be used as a base for future investigations in this region.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bratton, John 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 glacio-eustatic change in sea level.

  8. 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.

  9. Vestiges of a continental margin ophiolite type in the Novo Oriente region, Borborema Province, NE Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitombeira, João Paulo Araújo; Amaral, Wagner da Silva; Uchôa Filho, Evilarde Carvalho; Fuck, Reinhardt Adolfo; Dantas, Elton Luiz; Parente, Clóvis Vaz; da Costa, Felipe Grandjean; Veríssimo, César Ulisses Vieira

    2017-01-01

    The Novo Oriente Group is a restricted well-preserved metasedimentary sequence, composed of two tectonic-stratigraphic sequences in the southwestern portion of the Ceará Central Domain, NE Brazil. The Bonsucesso Formation comprises mainly quartzite and metamafic rocks and the Caraúbas Formation is dominantly metapelitic, with chemical sedimentary contribution, metamafic and metaultramafic rocks. New integrated field, geochemical data and Sm-Nd isotopes of the metaultramafic and metamafic rocks of the two formations have been investigated in order to determine their tectonic setting. The metaultramafic rocks are dominantly composed of deformed and undeformed serpentinites, chloritites, actinolitites, talc-chlorite schists, serpentine-talc schists, talc-rich siliceous rocks and subordinated listwänites. Geochemical data indicate that the serpentinites correspond to rocks resulting from the alteration of dunites depleted in HREE, similar to the pattern presented by subduction-zone serpentinites generated from exhumed sub-continental peridotites and hydrated during ocean-continent transition (OCT) rifting. The metamafic rocks, represented by metagabbros, hornblende metagabbros and metabasalts, consist of basic rocks of basaltic and tholeiitic affinity with signatures between E- and N-MORB and variable contamination by crustal components similar to the rocks formed from the interaction between mantle plumes and heavily thinned continental crust. Isotopic analysis indicates crustal assimilation with negative ɛNd and Paleoproterozoic TDM ages. The data suggest that metaultramafic and metamafic rocks correspond, respectively, to continental sub-lithospheric mantle exhumed in an area of ocean-continent transition (OCT), and mafic magmatism associated with the development of a magma-poor passive margin generated by the break-up of the Rodinia Supercontinent, which was later dismembered by the Brasiliano/Pan-African Orogeny collisional phase and preserved as a Continental

  10. Importance of Microbial Iron Reduction in River-Dominated Continental Margin Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taillefert, M.; Beckler, J. S.; Eitel, E. M.; Owings, S.; Craig, J. D.; Fields, B.; Cathalot, C.; Rassmann, J.; Bombled, B.; Corvaisier, R.; Michalopoulos, P.; Nuzzio, D. B.; Rabouille, C.

    2016-02-01

    Remineralization of organic carbon in continental margin sediments exposed to fast deposition processes is thought to proceed primarily via aerobic respiration and sulfate reduction because the supply of nitrate and metal oxides is not usually significant in deep-sea sediments. Dissimilatory metal reduction, on the other hand, may represent a dominant pathway in coastal and continental shelf sediments where delivery of terrigenous Fe(III) and Mn(IV/III) oxides is sufficiently high or mixing processes near the sediment-water interface recycle these minerals efficiently. Passive continental margin sediments receiving outflow from large rivers are well-known deposition centers for organic carbon, but may also be hot spots for metal-reducing microbial activity considering the simultaneous high deposition rates of unconsolidated metal oxides of terrigenous origin. Interestingly, only a few studies have examined the role of microbial metal reduction in carbon remineralization processes in these environments. In this study, a combination of in situ depth profiles, benthic flux measurements, and ex situ measurements in the Rhône River Delta (< 80 m), Cape Hatteras slope (< 700 m), Louisiana slope (<1,800 m), and Congo River fan ( 5,000 m) sediments are compared to assess the main redox species involved in early diagenesis. Metal reduction dominated carbon remineralization processes in the top 20 cm of sediment subject to high deposition, while evidence for sulfate reduction was lacking. These findings suggest that dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction may be more significant than previously thought in continental slope sediments, which may have important implications on carbon cycling in marine environments.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Sediment Characteristics of Submarine Landslides On the Upper East Australian Continental Margin - Preliminary Findings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, S. L.; Boyd, R.; Hubble, T.; Airey, D.; Keene, J.; Exon, N.; Gardner, J. V.; Shipboard Party Ss12/2008

    2010-12-01

    A large number of recent submarine landslides on the Eastern Australian continental slope were investigated during voyages aboard the RV Southern Surveyor in 2006 and 2008. Preliminary sedimentological analysis, geotechnical and radiocarbon data resulting from the examination of twelve gravity cores recovered from upper-slope slides showed that at least three of the twelve cores penetrated large, geologically-recent, submarine landslide failures. The failure surfaces lay within slide scars at distances of between 60 cm and 200 cm beneath the present-day seabed. Sediment present on the upper slope comprises mixtures of calcareous and terrigenous sand and mud. Distinct differences in physical properties (bulk unit density, water content, grain-size distribution) were recorded across the slide-plane boundaries. Slope stability modelling using classical soil mechanics techniques and measured sediment shear-strengths indicates that the slopes should be stable. However, the ubiquity of slides on this margin indicates that their occurrence is a relatively common event and that submarine-sliding should be considered to be a normal characteristic of this continental margin. While this presents something of an interpretational paradox, it nevertheless indicates that an unidentified mechanism acts to reduce the shear resistance of these sediments to very low values which enables the slope failures to occur. Preliminary bulk dates confirm Boyd et al's (2009) conclusion based on sedimentation rates, that some of the landslide masses were mobilised during the most recent glacial-interglacial cycle. Penecontemporaneous dates recorded for separate but adjacent slides are consistent with the slides being triggered by a single event such as an earthquake. Boyd, R., J. Keene, Hubble T.C.T et al. (2009). Southeast Australia: A Cenozoic Continental Margin Dominated by Mass Transport. Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences, Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research

  15. NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer 2013 Field Season on the U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobecker, E.; Malik, M.; Skarke, A. D.

    2013-12-01

    During the 2013 field season, Okeanos Explorer used its suite of state-of-the-art sonars to systematically map and explore our nation's waters off the Atlantic seaboard, specifically the Atlantic Canyons and New England Seamounts. High resolution three dimensional maps created from the ship's sonars were used to select sites for fine-resolution exploration with the new 6000 meter remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer. Scientists onboard and onshore around the world were actively engaged in all steps of the exploration process, from the identification of broad-scale mapping targets, to the planning and real-time refining of 300 to 1500 meter long planned ROV dive tracks. Live video feeds were available to the general public through the award winning website www.oceanexplorer.noaa.gov. Important exploration milestones during the Okeanos Explorer 2013 Field Season include: the completion of comprehensive, high-resolution multibeam mapping of the continental shelf break from Cape Hatteras to the northern U.S. Atlantic offshore border, totaling over 100,000 square kilometers of new seafloor data within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone; the first successful field season of the ROV Deep Discoverer, which conducted over 40 successful dives; and initial mapping site characterization of eight of the outer seamounts of the New England Seamount Chain. All data collected by Okeanos Explorer are available via the NOAA public archives with metadata records within 60 to 90 days of the end of each cruise.

  16. Late Cenozoic evolution of the East China continental margin: Insights from seismic, gravity, and magnetic analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Lu-Ning; Zhang, Xun-Hua; Jia, Yong-Gang; Han, Bo; Yang, Chuan-Sheng; Geng, Wei; Pang, Yu-Mao

    2017-02-01

    Seismic reflection profiles reveal the structural characteristics beneath the East China Sea shelf margin and the Okinawa Trough, and provide new constraints on the Late Cenozoic evolution of the East China continental margin. The Frontal Shelf Basin between the Taiwan-Sinzi Uplift and the trough axis occupies the western half of the Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough. In this basin, the Middle-Late Miocene sediments are confined to grabens or half-grabens dominated by listric faults, whereas the overlying Pliocene-Quaternary sequence is characterized by a uniform thickness and dense planar-type faults, suggesting that rifting of the Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough initiated during the Middle Miocene but slowed down during the earliest Pliocene. Since that time, the opening of the Okinawa Trough has been dominated by diffuse rifting. The Southern Okinawa Trough is predominately filled by Quaternary sediments, indicating that its back-arc rifting began during the earliest Pleistocene. Contractional structures identified in the pre-Quaternary sequence beneath the continental slope, along with an erosional Pleistocene-pre-Pleistocene unconformity in the Southern Okinawa Trough, demonstrate the existence of pre-rifting compression and uplifting in this region. We use this evidence and previously published results, to propose an evolutionary model of the East China continental margin during the Late Cenozoic. The Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough began rifting during the Middle Miocene on a paleo-uplift. The Luzon Arc initially impinged upon the Eurasian continental margin during the Late Miocene near the southeastern end of the Miyako Fault Belt and activated the proto-Taiwan Orogeny in today's Southern Okinawa Trough and adjacent regions. During the Late Miocene-Pliocene, the orogeny quickly propagated southwestward along with the west-northwest-moving Philippine Sea Plate. Subsequently, the rifting of the Southern Okinawa Trough was initiated during the earliest Pleistocene

  17. 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

  18. Si-WEBS, a European network for the study of Si fluxes on continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ragueneau, O.; Si-Webs Team

    2003-04-01

    Diatoms play an essential role in the export of carbon (C) towards both higher trophic levels and the deep ocean. They have a crucial need for silicon (Si) to build their frustule, but this element has clearly been neglected in studies of carbon and nutrient (N, P) fluxes in continental margins. Over the last 20 years however, coastal ecosystems of temperate regions became particularly sensitive to declining Si:N and Si:P nutrient ratios. Such declines have been related to increased eutrophication and the build-up of dams in river systems. As a result of these anthropogenic perturbations, many ecosystems have switched from nitrate limitation to silicic acid (DSi) limitation, with important consequences for phytoplankton dynamics (from diatoms to less desirable species) and cascading effects on pelagic and benthic food webs. Short-term consequences of Si availability on the shelf mostly affect the resource whereas long-term consequences may affect carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration on the shelf and the auxiliary biological pump. Continental margins also play a filtering role so that changes in Si delivery to the hydrosphere and/or retention along the Land-Ocean-Continuum (LOC) may have a long-term impact on the oceanic C cycle. Here, we suggest an approach to improve our understanding of (1) the role of Si in the functioning of coastal ecosystems and (2) Si delivery to the open ocean at global scale. This approach implies (1) extending the LOICZ budgeting approach to the element Si to derive worldwide Si budgets on continental margins; (2) improving our knowledge of the processes that control Si transformations along the LOC. The EU-SiWEBS Research Training Network (2002-2006) will work in this last direction, by (a) improving the parameterization of the Si cycle in three river, coastal zone and open ocean models, (b) building quantitative modeling tools to describe Si transformations along the land-ocean continuum, and (c) using these tools to evaluate the

  19. The Neogene Evolution of the Mid-Norwegian Continental Margin: Mineralogical and Stratigraphic Aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsberg, C.; Solheim, A.; Berg, K.; Bryn, P.; Lien, R.

    2003-12-01

    The mid Norwegian continental margin lies along the path of the North Atlantic Drift, an extension of the Gulf Stream, and therefore experiences changes in the ocean circulation that are reflected in the sedimentary record. Coupled with this is the climatic deterioration that triggered the growth and oscillations of the Quaternary ice sheets in the northern hemisphere. We will here present the depositional evolution of the mid Norwegian margin as witnessed by the mineralogy of Neogene sediments recovered as part of the site investigations performed for the Ormen Lange gas field. The results will be put into the context of the seismic and sedimentary stratigraphy that has been established for the area that shows a Neogene development from pelagic through contouritic sedimentation to the deposits left by Quaternary glacial/interglacial fluctuations and which has provided the backdrop for the Storegga submarine slide.

  20. Post-rift influence of small-scale convection on the landscape evolution at divergent continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacek, Victor

    2017-02-01

    After decades of geological and geophysical data acquisition along with quantitative modeling of the long-term evolution of the landscape at divergent continental margins, the search for an explanation for the formation and evolution of steep escarpments bordering the coast is still a challenging task. One difficult aspect to explain about the evolution of these escarpments is the expressive variability of denudation rate through the post-rift phase observed in many margins. Here I propose that the interaction of small-scale convection in the asthenosphere with the base of the continental lithosphere can create intermittent vertical displacements of the surface with magnitude of a few hundreds of meters at the continental margin. These topographic perturbations are sufficient to produce an expressive variability in the rate of erosion of the landscape through the post-rift phase similar to the exhumation history observed along old divergent margins. I show that the vertical motion of the surface is amplified when a mobile belt is present at the continental margin, with lithospheric mantle less viscous than the cratonic lithosphere and, consequently, more prone to be partially eroded by the convective asthenosphere. I conclude that the influence of small-scale convection is not the primary explanation for the formation of high topographic features at divergent continental margins, but can be an important component contributing to sustain a preexistent escarpment. The present results are based on numerical simulations that combine thermochemical convection in the mantle, flexure of the lithosphere and surface processes of erosion and sedimentation.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Fishing down the coast: historical expansion and collapse of oyster fisheries along continental margins.

    PubMed

    Kirby, Michael Xavier

    2004-08-31

    Estuarine ecosystems have changed dramatically from centuries of fishing, habitat disturbance, sedimentation, and nutrient loading. Degradation of oyster reefs by destructive fishing practices in particular has had a profound effect on estuarine ecology, yet the timing and magnitude of oyster-reef degradation in estuaries is poorly quantified. Here, I evaluate the expansion and collapse of oyster fisheries in 28 estuaries along three continental margins through the analysis of historical proxies derived from fishery records to infer when oyster reefs were degraded. Exploitation for oysters did not occur randomly along continental margins but followed a predictable pattern. Oyster fisheries expanded and collapsed in a linear sequence along eastern North America (Crassostrea virginica), western North America (Ostreola conchaphila), and eastern Australia (Saccostrea glomerata). Fishery collapse began in the estuaries that were nearest to a developing urban center before exploitation began to spread down the coast. As each successive fishery collapsed, oysters from more distant estuaries were fished and transported to restock exploited estuaries near the original urban center. This moving wave of exploitation traveled along each coastline until the most distant estuary had been reached and overfished.

  5. Coral forests diversity in the outer shelf of the south Sardinian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cau, Alessandro; Moccia, Davide; Follesa, Maria Cristina; Alvito, Andrea; Canese, Simonepietro; Angiolillo, Michela; Cuccu, Danila; Bo, Marzia; Cannas, Rita

    2017-04-01

    Ecological theory predicts that heterogeneous habitats allow more species to co-exist in a given area, but to date, knowledge on relationships between habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity of coral forests in the outer shelf and upper slope along continental margins is rather limited. We investigated biodiversity of coral forests from 8 sites spread over two different geomorphological settings (namely, pinnacles vs. canyons) in the outer shelf along Sardinian continental margin. Using a combination of multivariate statistical analyses, we show here that differences in the composition of coral assemblages among contrasting geomorphological settings were not statistically significant, whereas significant differences emerged among sites within similar geomorphologies (i.e. among pinnacles and among canyons). Our results reveal that environmental and bathymetric factors such as sediment coverage, slope of the substrate, terrain ruggedness, bathymetric positioning index and aspect were important drivers of the observed patterns of coral biodiversity, in both settings. Spatial variability of coral forests' biodiversity is affected by environmental factors that act at the scale of each geomorphological setting (i.e. within each pinnacle and canyon) rather than by the contrasting geomorphological settings themselves. This result allows us to suggest that simple categorization of benthic communities according topographically defined habitat is unlikely to be sufficient for addressing conservation purposes.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. First Evidence for the Presence of Iron Oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria at the Levantine Continental Margins

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. Geophysical exploration in Brazilian continental margin: history and state of the art

    SciTech Connect

    Barbosa, J.C.; Tessis, J.F.; Rosa, A.L.R.

    1984-04-01

    Geophysical exploration by PETROBRAS started in 1954 in the onshore basins and in 1968 in the offshore basins of the Brazilian continental margin. The major problems that these basins share are: short range lateral velocity variations; poor seismic data quality in many areas, especially on land, and small traps with some degree of stratigraphic control. In the search for the solution to these problems, the best techniques available have tried. CDP was introduced in the early 1960's; digital recording and processing in 1968; bright-spot methodology in 1973; trace inversion in 1976; 3-D migration in 1978; and image-ray depth migration in 1981. Facilities for computer-generated displays for geophysical interpretation were made available in the early 1970s. Presently, an interactive interpretation mapping system with graphic stations is in use. Examples of techniques applied to exploration and field development activities include time-to-depth conversion, generation of seismic synthetic logs, and porosity prediction. Geophysics plays an important role in the exploration of the Brazilian continental margin, where recoverable volumes of oil have increased in onshore basins from 86.342 million BOE in 1954 to 2132.81 million BOE in June 1983, and in offshore basins from 0.069 million BOE in 1968 to 1626.73 million BOE in June, 1983. These volumes correspond to 246 bbl onshore and 520 bbl offshore per drilled meter for the same periods.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

    Sharp increases in atmospheric CO2 are resulting in ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation that threaten marine organisms. Resulting changes to benthic biodiversity on continental margins can alter carbon cycle processes and other ecosystem services. The relative importance of these stressors for biodiversity remains unclear though, 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 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.

  16. High-sensitivity aeromagnetic survey of the US Atlantic continental margin.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    1980-01-01

    The US Geological Survey contracted a high-sensitivity, digital aeromagnetic survey that was flown over the US Atlantic continental margin over a period of 15 months between 1974 and 1976. The 185 000 km of profile data have a relative accuracy approaching a few tenths of a nanotesla, which allowed compilation into maps at a scale of 1:250 000, with a contour interval of 2 nT. Automatic data processing using the Werner method allowed calculations of apparent depth to sources of the magnetic anomalies on all of the profiles, assuming a dike or interface as a source. Comparison of the computed depths to magnetic basement with multichannel seismic profiles across the survey area helped to reduce ambiguities in magnetic depth estimates and enabled interpolation of basement structures between seismic profiles. The resulting map showing depth to basement of the Atlantic continental margin is compatible with available multichannel seismic data, and we consider it a reasonable representation of the base of the sedimentary column. -Authors

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. The impact of ocean deoxygenation on iron release from continental margin sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, Florian; McManus, James; Mix, Alan C.; Hensen, Christian; Schneider, Ralph R.

    2014-06-01

    In the oceans' high-nitrate-low-chlorophyll regions, such as the Peru/Humboldt Current system and the adjacent eastern equatorial Pacific, primary productivity is limited by the micronutrient iron. Within the Peruvian upwelling area, bioavailable iron is released from the reducing continental margin sediments. The magnitude of this seafloor source could change with fluctuations in the extension or intensity of the oxygen minimum zones. Here we show that measurements of molybdenum, uranium and iron concentrations can be used as a proxy for sedimentary iron release, and use this proxy to assess iron release from the sea floor beneath the Peru upwelling system during the past 140,000 years. We observe a coupling between levels of denitrification, as indicated by nitrogen isotopes, trace metal proxies for oxygenation, and sedimentary iron concentrations. Specifically, periods with poor upper ocean oxygenation are characterized by more efficient iron retention in the sediment and a diminished iron supply to the water column. We attribute efficient iron retention under more reducing conditions to widespread sulphidic conditions in the surface sediment and concomitant precipitation of iron sulphides. We argue that iron release from continental margin sediments is most effective in a narrow redox window where neither oxygen nor sulphide is present. We therefore suggest that future deoxygenation in the Peru upwelling area would be unlikely to result in increased iron availability, whereas in weaker oxygen minimum zones partial deoxygenation may enhance the iron supply.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Orogenic inheritance and continental breakup: Wilson Cycle-control on rift and passive margin evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiffer, C.; Petersen, K. D.

    2016-12-01

    Rifts often develop along suture zones between previously collided continents, as part of the Wilson cycle. The North Atlantic is such an example, formed where Pangaea broke apart along Caledonian and Variscan sutures. Dipping upper mantle structures in E. Greenland and Scotland, have been interpreted as fossil subduction zones and the seismic signature indicates the presence of eclogite and serpentinite. We speculate that this orogenic material may impose a rheological control upon post-orogenic extension and we use thermo-mechanical modelling to explore such effects. Our model includes the following features: 1) Crustal thickness anomalies, 2) Eclogitised mafic crust emplaced in the mantle lithosphere, and 3) Hydrated mantle peridotite (serpentinite) formed in a pre-rift subduction setting. Our models indicate that the inherited structures control the location and the structural and magmatic evolution of the rift. Rifting of thin initial crust allows for relatively large amounts of serpentinite to be preserved within the uppermost mantle. This facilitates rapid continental breakup and serpentinite exhumation. Magmatism does not occur before continental breakup. Rifts in thicker crust preserve little or no serpentinite and thinning is more focused in the mantle lithosphere, rather than in the crust. Continental breakup is therefore preceded by magmatism. This implies that pre-rift orogenic properties may determine whether magma-poor or magma-rich conjugate margins are formed. Our models show that inherited orogenic eclogite and serpentinite are deformed and partially emplaced either as dipping structures within the lithospheric mantle or at the base of the thinned continental crust. The former is consistent with dipping sub-Moho reflectors often observed in passive margins. The latter provides an alternative interpretation of `lower crustal bodies' which are often regarded as igneous bodies. An additional implication of our models is that serpentinite, often

  3. 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.

  4. Evolution of the SW African passive continental margin during the post-rift phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressel, Ingo; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Götze, Hans-Jürgen; Reichert, Christian

    2014-05-01

    The tectonic evolution of the SW African margin and the breakup of the South Atlantic Ocean are still under debate. Furthermore, there are economic interests in terms of hydrocarbon resources. In particular, the understanding of the subsidence history at the SW African passive continental margin can help to investigate the evolution of this margin. For this reason, we aim to reconstruct paleotopographies for three time steps during the post-rift phase (112 Ma to present day). These three time steps are: Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (67 Ma), Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (93 Ma) and start post-rift (112 Ma). We use a recent regional scale 3D structural model (Maystrenko et al., 2013) as base for our subsidence analysis. This model includes the upper mantle, the crystalline crust, four sedimentary units as well as the water column. The sedimentary units comprise sediments of the (1) Cenozoic, (2) base Turonian-base Cenozoic, (3) base Aptian-base Turonian and (4) pre-Aptian sediments. Therefore, our subsidence reconstruction has the particular advantage that we include as much present day information as possible. In order to reconstruct paleotopographies we calculate the subsidence components separately. On the one hand we determine the thermal subsidence due to cooling of the lithosphere. On the other hand, the load induced subsidence exerted by the preserved sedimentary cover is calculated by applying a backstripping method which considers local isostatic rebound and decompaction. Both the amount of thermal subsidence and the amount of load induced subsidence are then subtracted from the total subsidence which is nowadays observed. Subtracting these individual subsidence components leads to the paleotopographies. The paleotopographies provide information about the long-term behavior of the margin area since the beginning of the post-rift phase. Moreover, the paleotopographies provide the opportunity to estimate vertical movements which have occurred during the post

  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. Seismic and geochemical evidence for shallow gas in sediment on Navarin continental margin, Bering Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, P.R.; Golan-Bac, M.; Karl, H.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.

    1985-03-01

    Marine seismic studies coupled with geochemical investigations demonstrate that hydrocarbon gases are ubiquitous in the near-surface (less than or equal to 250 m or 820 ft depth) 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. Methane, the most abundant hydrocarbon gas, is present in amounts ranging from 84,000 to 1 ..mu..L/L of wet sediment. These concentrations are two to three orders of magnitude greater than the other hydrocarbon gases. The highest concentrations of methane (greater than 1,000 ..mu..L/L) were measured in sediment of Navarinsky Canyon and over the central part of the Navarin basin. The source of methane is mainly biogenic, but the hydrocarbon gas compositions in 17 of 141 cores suggest the presence of thermogenic gas. Most of these 17 cores are from the continental slope at water depths greater than 150 m (490 ft). No direct correlation could be found between acoustic anomalies and gas concentrations in the sediment. This lack of correlation is probably due to the limited penetration of the gravity corer and the spotty distribution of hydrocarbon concentrations.

  7. Shear wave velocity structure of Reed Bank, southern continental margin of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Xiaodong; Ruan, Aiguo; Zhao, Minghui; Qiu, Xuelin; Wu, Zhenli; Niu, Xiongwei

    2015-03-01

    The shear wave velocity structure of a wide angle seismic profile (OBS973-2) across Reed Bank in the southern continental margin of the South China Sea (SCS) is simulated by 2-D ray-tracing method, based on its previous P-wave model. This profile is 369-km-long and consists of fifteen three-component ocean bottom seismometers (OBS). The main results are as follows.(1) The model consists of seven layers and the shear wave velocity increases from 0.7 km/s at the top of sediment layer to 4.0 km/s in the lower crust. (2) The Moho depth decreases from 20-22 km at the Reed Bank to 9-11 km at the deep oceanic basin with the shear wave velocity of 4.2 km/s below the Moho. (3) The Vp/Vs ratio decreases with depth through the sedimentary layers, attributed to increased compaction and consolidation of the rocks. (4) In the continental upper crust (at model distance 90-170 km), S-wave velocity (2.5-3.2 km/s) is relatively low and Vp/Vs ratio (1.75-1.82) is relatively high compared with the other parts of the crust, corresponding to the lower P-wave velocity in the previous P-wave model and normal faults revealed by MCS data, indicating that a strong regional extensional movement had occurred during the formation process of the SCS at the Reed Bank area. (5) The S-wave structures indicate that Reed Bank crust has different rock compositions from that in the east section of the northern margin, denying the presence of conjugate relationship of Reed Bank with Dongsha islands. According to P-wave models and other data, we inferred that Reed Bank and Macclesfield were separated from the same continental crust during the rifting and break-up process.

  8. 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.

  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. Spatiotemporal relationships between earthquakes of the mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Atlantic continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolarinwa, Oluwaseyi J.

    The seismicity of the mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) was compared in space and time with the seismicity along the Atlantic continental margins of Europe, Africa, North America, the Carribean and South America in a bid to appraise the level of influence of the ridge push force at the MAR on the Atlantic coastal seismicity. By analyzing the spatial and temporal patterns of many earthquakes (along with the patterns in their stress directions) in diverse places with similar tectonic settings, it is hoped that patterns that might be found indicate some of the average properties of the forces that are causing the earthquakes. The spatial analysis of the dataset set used shows that areas with higher seismic moment release along the north MAR spatially correlate with areas with relatively lower seismic moment release along the north Atlantic continental margins (ACM) and vice versa. This inverse spatial correlation observed between MAR seismicity and ACM seismicity might be due to the time (likely a long time) it takes stress changes from segments of the MAR currently experiencing high seismic activity to propagate to the associated passive margin areas presently experiencing relatively low seismic activity. Furthermore, the number of Atlantic basin and Atlantic coast earthquakes occurring away from the MAR is observed to be independent of the proximity of earthquake's epicenters from the MAR axis. The effect of local stress as noted by Wysession et al. (1995) might have contributed to the independence of Atlantic basin and Atlantic coast earthquake proximity from the MAR. The Latchman (2011) observation of strong earthquakes on a specific section of the MAR being followed by earthquakes on Trinidad and Tobago was tested on other areas of the MAR and ACM. It was found that that the temporal delay observed by Latchman does not exist for the seismicity along other areas along the MAR and ACM. Within the time window used for this study, it appears that seismicity is occurring

  11. Pervasive evidence for seabed fluid expulsion along upper slope of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brothers, D. S.; Ruppel, C. D.; Kluesner, J. W.; Chaytor, J. D.; Ten Brink, U. S.; Hill, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    Warming-induced hydrate dissociation along the US Atlantic margin (USAM) is poorly understood due to an absence of direct evidence for both in situ methane hydrate and seabed gas venting. Using high-resolution multibeam bathymetric data collected on the shelf-edge and upper slope from North Carolina to Canada, we map more than 5000 pockmarks in water depths of 120 to 700 m. The pockmarks are semicircular, ranging from 50-500 m in diameter, with the vast majority being 100-200 m wide, and 5-15 m in relief. Pockmarks are concentrated in and around canyon heads just seaward of the shelf-edge rollover, but are not found farther downslope. We utilize a dense grid of high-resolution multichannel seismic reflection profiles along the Southern New England stretch of the margin to examine the relationships among the pockmarks, substrate gas/fluid migration, and Pleistocene stratigraphy. By calculating seismic energy and gas-chimney meta-attributes along both profiles we are able to detect high-energy zones and identify probable fluid-migration pathways below the outer shelf and slope. Pockmarks overlie highly disrupted substrate containing abundant evidence for gas pockets (high-amplitude, inverse polarity reflectors) and high probability for fluid chimneys. Approximately coincident with the downslope extent of the pockmark fields (450-600 m depth), a series of enhanced reflectors that were delineated based on attribute analyses, appear within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) or near its base. The continuation of some of these reflectors upslope beyond the present-day GHSZ, the onset of pockmarks near the upslope extent of the GHSZ, and the widespread occurrence of gas chimneys and other fluid flow features in this same area implies that the GHSZ on this margin may be metastable. As the GHSZ oscillates up and down the slope, gas is released and reformed as new hydrate; associated fluids are inferred to migrate upslope and are expelled within the pockmark field. These

  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. Transition from rifted continental to oceanic crust at the southeastern Korean margin in the East Sea (Japan Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, H.; Kim, H.; Jou, H.; Hong, J.; Baag, C.

    2004-12-01

    The southeastern Korean margin documents the processes of continental rifting and seafloor spreading that eventually led to the opening of the southern part of the East Sea (Japan Sea). In this study, we present the transitional structure of the southeastern Korean margin and its formation process from rifted continental to 10 km thick normal oceanic crust. The two-dimensional P velocity model of the southeastern Korean margin was computed from ocean bottom seismometer data by tomographic inversion and distilled by iterative forward modeling. The crustal structure shows the emplacement of high-velocity (>7 km/s) lower crust under the continental shelf and slope area associated with a rapid transition from rifted continental to oceanic crust. The high-velocity lower crust is interpreted as magmatic underplating formed by voluminous igneous activity during rifting. Magnetic modeling confirms its primary correlation with a prominent magnetic anomaly along the edge of the southeastern Korean Peninsula that is assumed to represent volcanic extrusives and intrusives. The continental margin featuring a rapid transition from continental to oceanic crust exhibits a remarkable decrease in crustal thickness accompanied by shallowing of the Moho over a distance of about 50 km. It thus appears that the Korean margin experienced intense tectonism comprising crustal deformation and volcanism associated with the opening of the East Sea and consequently registered the early history of continental rifting and subsequent sea floor spreading. We suggest that the rifting and subsequent seafloor spreading at the Korean margin was significantly controlled by the supply of magma in a region of hotter than normal mantle temperature.

  15. 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.

  16. Magmatism evolution on the last Neoproterozoic development stage of the western Siberian active continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vernikovskaya, Antonina E.; Vernikovsky, Valery A.; Matushkin, Nikolay Yu.; Kadilnikov, Pavel I.; Romanova, Irina V.

    2017-04-01

    Rocks from active continental margin complexes are characterized by a wide variety of chemical compositions from depleted in alkali to alkali differentiates. When addressing issues of geodynamic settings in which such rocks form, it is important to understand the evolution of the host tectonic structure, as well as the chemical affiliation of the various rocks composing it. The Yenisey Ridge orogen located in the south-western framing of Siberia is one of the more studied regions with a long history of Neoproterozoic magmatic events. This orogen was formed during the collision of the Central Angara terrane with Siberia, which took place 761-718 Ma. Subsequent subduction-related events in the orogen have been recorded in the coeval magmatism (711-629 Ma) of two complexes: one is the active continental margin complex (Nb enriched igneous rocks - gabbroids, trachybasalts, A-type granites and carbonatites, including contact metasomatites zones with Nb mineralization), and the other one is an island arc complex (differentiated series volcanics, gabbroids and plagiogranites). The rocks of these complexes are respectively located in two suture zones: the Tatarka-Ishimba zone that formed due to the collision mentioned above, and the Yenisei suture marking the subduction zone [Vernikovsky et al., 2003; 2008]. The final Neoproterozoic stage in the evolution of the active margin of Siberia is manifested as adakite-gabbro-anorthosite magmatism in the 576-546 Ma interval. Our results indicate a genetic relationship between the adakites and their host NEB-type metabasites of the Zimovey massif. These Neoproterozoic adakites could have formed in a setting of transform-strike-slip drift of lithospheric plates after the subduction stopped, both from a crustal and mantle-crustal source, similarly to the Cenozoic magmatic complexes of the transform margin in the eastern framing of Eurasia [Khanchuk et al., 2016]. Vernikovsky V.A., Vernikovskaya A.E., Kotov A.B., Sal'nikova E

  17. Geology and tectonic development of the continental margin north of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grantz, A.; Eittreim, S.; Dinter, D.A.

    1979-01-01

    The continental margin north of Alaska, as interpreted from seismic reflection profiles, is of the Atlantic type and consists of three sectors of contrasting structure and stratigraphy. The Chukchi sector, on the west, is characterized by the deep late Mesozoic and Tertiary North Chukchi basin and the Chukchi Continental Borderland. The Barrow sector of central northern Alaska is characterized by the Barrow arch and a moderately thick continental terrace build of Albian to Tertiary clastic sediment. The terrace sedimentary prism is underlain by lower Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks. The Barter Island sector of northeastern Alaska and Yukon Territory is inferred to contain a very thick prism of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary marine and nonmarine clastic sediment. Its structure is dominated by a local deep Tertiary depocenter and two regional structural arches. We postulate that the distinguishing characteristics of the three sectors are inherited from the configuration of the rift that separated arctic Alaska from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago relative to old pre-rift highlands, which were clastic sediment sources. Where the rift lay relatively close to northern Alaska, in the Chukchi and Barter Island sectors, and locally separated Alaska from the old source terranes, thick late Mesozoic and Tertiary sedimentary prisms extend farther south beneath the continental shelf than in the intervening Barrow sector. The boundary between the Chukchi and Barrow sectors is relatively well defined by geophysical data, but the boundary between the Barrow and Barter Island sectors can only be inferred from the distribution and thickness of Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary rocks. These boundaries may be extensions of oceanic fracture zones related to the rifting that is postulated to have opened the Canada Basin, probably beginning during the Early Jurassic. ?? 1979.

  18. First amphibian magnetotelluric experiment at the passive continental margin in northern Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapinos, G.; Weckmann, U.; Ritter, O.; Jegen, M. D.

    2012-12-01

    An amphibian magnetotelluric (MT) study across the passive continental margin of northern Namibia was conducted in December/January 2010/2011 and October/November 2011 to image the subsurface electrical conductivity structure. The MT experiment is part of the interdisciplinary SAMPLE project (South Atlantic Margin Processes and Links with onshore Evolution) which focusses on imaging and understanding processes related to rifting and the breakup history of the supercontinent Gondwana, in particular the opening of the South Atlantic and the post breakup evolution of the continental passive margins of Africa and South America. The onshore MT data were acquired in the Kaoko Mobile Belt at 167 sites in a ~140 km wide and ~260 km long EW extending corridor, from the Atlantic Ocean onto the Congo Craton. The Kaoko Mobile Belt is a transpressional strike slip orogen with NNW striking sinistral shear zones, folds and thrusts, which was formed during the Pan-African orogeny and the amalgamation of West Gondwana. This onshore network is extended offshore with MT measurements along 2 transects parallel and perpendicular to the Walvis Ridge - an approximately 3400km long seamount volcanic chain, trending NE-SW, from Africa to the Middle Atlantic Ridge, thought to be formed by the volcanic activity of the Tristan da Cunha Plume since the early Cretaceous. The onshore impedances and vertical magnetic transfer functions are generally of excellent quality but indicate significant three-dimensional structures in the crust and upper mantle, particularly in the Western Kaoko Zone, in the vicinity of the prominent shear zones. 2-D inversion of a sub-section of the entire data set, where two-dimensional modeling is consistent with the MT data revealed spatial correlations of a resistive zone and the Archean Congo Craton as well as of conductive structures and surface expressions of prominent faults.

  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. 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

  1. Variations in sediment transport at the central Argentine continental margin during the Cenozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

    The construction of the sedimentary cover at most passive continental margins includes gravitational downslope transport and along-slope contourite deposition, which are controlled by tectonics, climate and oceanography. At the eastern continental margin of Argentina the history of deposition and erosion is intimately linked to the evolution of the South Atlantic and its water masses. Here we present a detailed seismic investigation of the mixed depositional system located between 41°S and 45°S. The study provides a northward complement to prior investigations from the southern Argentine margin and together with these may be used as background information for future ocean drilling in the region. Prominent features in our seismic cross sections are submarine canyons, mass wasting deposits, contourite channels, and sediment drifts. Four major seismic units above regional reflector PLe (˜65 Ma) are separated by distinct unconformities of regional extent. Using a dense grid of reflection seismic profiles, we mapped the depocenter geometries of the seismic units and derived a chronology of the depositional processes during the Cenozoic. While the Paleocene/Eocene (˜65-34 Ma) is characterized by hemipelagic sedimentation under relatively sluggish bottom water conditions, strong Antarctic bottom water (AABW) circulation led to widespread erosion on the slope and growth of a detached sediment drift during the Oligocene and early Miocene (˜34-17 Ma). After deposition of an aggradational seismic unit interpreted to represent the Mid-Miocene climatic optimum (˜17-14 Ma), gravitational downslope sediment transport increased during the middle to late Miocene (˜14-6 Ma) possibly related to tectonic uplift in South America. The Pliocene to Holocene unit (<˜6 Ma) is very heterogeneous and formed by interactions of downslope and along-slope sediment transport processes as indicated by the evolution of canyons, slope plastered drifts and channels.

  2. 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 flexural

  3. Crustal structure of the Peruvian continental margin from wide-angle seismic studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbenhöft, A.; Bialas, J.; Kopp, H.; Kukowski, N.; Hübscher, C.

    2004-11-01

    Active seismic investigations along the Pacific margin off Peru were carried out using ocean bottom hydrophones and seismometers. The structure and the P-wave velocities of the obliquely subducting oceanic Nazca Plate and overriding South American Plate from 8°S to 15°S were determined by modelling the wide-angle seismic data combined with the analysis of reflection seismic data. Three detailed cross-sections of the subduction zone of the Peruvian margin and one strike-line across the Lima Basin are presented here. The oceanic crust of the Nazca Plate, with a thin pelagic sediment cover, ranging from 0-200 m, has an average thickness of 6.4 km. At 8°S it thins to 4 km in the area of Trujillo Trough, a graben-like structure. Across the margin, the plate boundary can be traced to 25 km depth. As inferred from the velocity models, a frontal prism exists adjacent to the trench axis and is associated with the steep lower slope. Terrigeneous sediments are proposed to be transported downslope due to gravitational forces and comprise the frontal prism, characterized by low seismic P-wave velocities. The lower slope material accretes against a backstop structure, which is defined by higher seismic P-wave velocities, 3.5-6.0 km s-1. The large variations in surface slope along one transect may reflect basal removal of upper plate material, thus steepening the slope surface. Subduction processes along the Peruvian margin are dominated by tectonic erosion indicated by the large margin taper, the shape and bending of the subducting slab, laterally varying slope angles and the material properties of the overriding continental plate. The erosional mechanisms, frontal and basal erosion, result in the steepening of the slope and consequent slope failure.

  4. 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.

  5. Grounding-zone wedges (GZWs) on high-latitude continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batchelor, Christine; Dowdeswell, Julian

    2014-05-01

    The grounding-zone of marine-terminating ice sheets is the area at which the ice-sheet base ceases to be in contact with the underlying substrate. The grounding-zone is a key site at which ice, meltwater and sediment are transferred from ice sheets to the marine environment. GZWs are asymmetric sedimentary depocentres which form through the rapid accumulation of glacigenic debris along a line source at the grounding-zone largely through the delivery of deforming subglacial sediments, together with sediment remobilisation from gravity flows. The presence of GZWs in the geomorphological record indicates an episodic style of ice retreat punctuated by still-stands in the grounding-zone position. GZWs may take decades to centuries to form. Moraine ridges and ice-proximal fans may also build up at the grounding-zone during still-stands or re-advances of the ice margin, but these require either considerable vertical accommodation space or are derived from point-sourced subglacial meltwater streams. We present an inventory of GZWs which is compiled from available studies of bathymetric, shallow acoustic and reflection seismic data from high-latitude continental margins. The objectives are to present locations of and morphological data on GZWs from the Arctic and Antarctic, alongside a synthesis of their key architectural and geomorphic characteristics. We use, for example, newly-available two-dimensional seismic reflection data to show the approximate locations of GZWs off northwest and northeast Greenland. Controls on GZW formation are considered in relation to shelf topography and ice-sheet internal dynamics. A total of 129 GZWs are described from high-latitude continental shelves. GZWs are only observed within cross-shelf troughs and major fjord systems, which are the former locations of ice streams and fast-flowing outlet glaciers. Typical high-latitude GZWs are less than 15 km long and 15 to 100 m thick. A positive correlation between GZW length and thickness is

  6. Main features of the Eurasian continental margin morphological structure in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poselov, Victor; Savin, Vasily; Zinchenko, Anna; Ivanov, Michail

    2017-04-01

    The Eurasian continental margin including adjacent parts of the Lomonosov Ridge, Podvodnikov Basin, Mendeleev Rise, Nansen and Amundsen basins is characterized by complicated seabed surface. The main morphological features of the Arctic Ocean bathymetry have been generalized in the geomorphological map 1:5000000 scale. The map is based on the IBCAO v.3.0 grid adjusted with the results of Russian multi-beam and single-beam surveys. The boundaries of the morphological elements were delineated mainly along the maximum changes of the surface profile gradient of the seabed, regardless of absolute inclination. Map legend is divided into two major sections: the continental margin and ocean floor. The first one includes shelfs, slopes and rises; the second includes abyssal plains and mid-oceanic ridge. Main positive and negative elements of the bathymetry are shown on the shelf plains: the rises include plateaus, banks, hills and the depressions include troughs, basins. The morphological structure of the continental slopes has been studied in detail for defining the outer limit of the shelf. Two types of slope were indicated: simple and complex. The slopes of simple structure stretch along the shelf edge in the Barents, Kara and Laptev seas. They begin at the shelf edge and without significant complication of bathymetry are traced down to the rise, and in its absence - to the abyssal plains. The inclination angles of the simple slopes are usually more than 0.7°, though in some cases may be less. Submarine valleys and shelf troughs are observed on the slopes of simple structure. The width of the slopes of this type is relatively short and typically reaches 70-150 km. The slopes of complex structure extend along the East Siberian and Chukchi shelves. They are characterized by a variety of forms complicating the bathymetry: plateaus, terraces, hills, ridges, saddles, valleys, troughs, channels. The inclined surfaces of these forms facing the direction of depth increase are

  7. Two-dimensional numerical modeling of tectonic and metamorphic histories at active continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, Taras; Stöckhert, Bernhard

    2006-04-01

    The evolution of an active continental margin is simulated in two dimensions, using a finite difference thermomechanical code with half-staggered grid and marker-in-cell technique. The effect of mechanical properties, changing as a function of P and T, assigned to different crustal layers and mantle materials in the simple starting structure is discussed for a set of numerical models. For each model, representative P T paths are displayed for selected markers. Both the intensity of subduction erosion and the size of the frontal accretionary wedge are strongly dependent on the rheology chosen for the overriding continental crust. Tectonically eroded upper and lower continental crust is carried down to form a broad orogenic wedge, intermingling with detached oceanic crust and sediments from the subducted plate and hydrated mantle material from the overriding plate. A small portion of the continental crust and trench sediments is carried further down into a narrow subduction channel, intermingling with oceanic crust and hydrated mantle material, and to some extent extruded to the rear of the orogenic wedge underplating the overriding continental crust. The exhumation rates for (ultra)high pressure rocks can exceed subduction and burial rates by a factor of 1.5 3, when forced return flow in the hanging wall portion of the self-organizing subduction channel is focused. The simulations suggest that a minimum rate of subduction is required for the formation of a subduction channel, because buoyancy forces may outweigh drag forces for slow subduction. For a weak upper continental crust, simulated by a high pore pressure coefficient in the brittle regime, the orogenic wedge and megascale melange reach a mid- to upper-crustal position within 10 20 Myr (after 400 600 km of subduction). For a strong upper crust, a continental lid persists over the entire time span covered by the simulation. The structural pattern is similar in all cases, with four zones from trench toward arc

  8. Neotectonic evolution of the Brazilian northeastern continental margin based on sedimentary facies and ichnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gandini, Rosana; Rossetti, Dilce de Fátima; Netto, Renata Guimarães; Bezerra, Francisco Hilário Rego; Góes, Ana Maria

    2014-09-01

    Quaternary post-Barreiras sediments are widespread along Brazil's passive margin. These deposits are well exposed in the onshore Paraíba Basin, which is one of the rift basins formed during the Pangean continental breakup. In this area, the post-Barreiras sediments consist of sandstones with abundant soft-sediment deformation structures related to seismicity contemporaneous with deposition. The trace fossils Thalassinoides and Psilonichnus are found up to 38 m above modern sea level in sandstones dated between 60.0 (± 1.4) and 15.1 (± 1.8) ka. The integration of ichnological and sedimentary facies suggests nearshore paleoenvironments. Such deposits could not be related to eustatic sea-level rise, as this time coincides with the last glaciation. Hence, an uplift of 0.63 mm/yr, or 1.97 mm/yr if sea level was 80 m lower in the last glaciation, would have been required to ascend the post-Barreiras sediments several meters above the present-day sea level during the last 60 ka. This would suggest that the post-rift stage of the South American eastern passive margin may have experienced tectonic reactivation more intense than generally recognized. Although more complete data are still needed, the information presented herein may play an important role in studies aiming to decipher the Quaternary evolution of this passive margin.

  9. 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

  10. Sn to Sg Conversion at the U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallegos, A. C.; Long, M. D.; Benoit, M. H.; Ni, J.

    2015-12-01

    Isacks and Stephens [1975] observed a secondary phase with high frequency Lg characteristics that arrived soon after the Sn wave on seismograms generated by events in the West Indies. They concluded that an Sn-to-Lg conversion occurred at the continental margin, where the crust suddenly thickens. A later study on conversion along the continental margin was done by Seber et al. [1993] in Morocco. They noted that historically Morocco has experienced more damage from earthquakes occurring at the Azores-Gibraltar seismic zone (e.g. the M 8.7-9.0 Lisbon earthquake) at distances up to 500-1000 km than from those within the country. They conclude in their study that there are two parallel Sn-to-Sg conversion zones along the coast and interior of Morocco, where Sg is equivalent to Lg at shorter distances. We have seen similar Sn-to-Sg conversions for a M 5.2 event occurring ~1400 km off the Atlantic Coast on Dec. 23, 2013 using EarthScope's Transportable Array (TA). We perform a travel time back-projection based on the geometry of the raypaths, similar to Seber et al. [1993], to determine the location of the conversion points for several Atlantic events and compare with seismograms generated by continental events. We also investigate the possibility of a second conversion at the crustal boundary between the Appalachians and the Coastal Plain. The MAGIC Array is used in tandem with TA to closely observe the propagation characteristics of the converted wave as it travels through the continent. With the sizeable increase in station coverage we are in a position to study this conversion in greater detail. Understanding the causes of Sn-to-Sg conversion and the conditions needed to produce it can lead to insight into the geometry and characteristics of the continental shelf and inland crustal boundaries. Learning about this conversion is also needed to determine seismic hazard along coastal areas, where high amplitude converted shear waves can cause unexpected levels of damage.

  11. 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

  12. Influence of the Iceland mantle plume on North Atlantic continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, R. S.; Isimm Team

    2003-04-01

    Early Tertiary breakup of the North Atlantic was accompanied by widespread magmatism. The histories of the Iceland mantle plume, of rifting and of magmatism are intimately related. The magmatism provides a challenge both to imaging structure, and to modelling the subsidence and development of the continental margins. We report new work which integrates state-of-the-art seismic imaging and new acquisition on the Atlantic volcanic margins with new techniques for modelling their evolution. We discuss the distribution of igneous rocks along the North Atlantic margins and discuss the temporal and spatial variations in the Iceland mantle plume in the early Tertiary, which have largely controlled this pattern of magmatism. Igneous rocks are added to the crust on rifted margins as extrusive lavas, as sills intruded into the sub-surface and as lower crustal intrusions or underplate. Each provide different, but tractable problems to seismic imaging. We show that many of these difficulties can be surmounted by using very long offsets (long streamers or two-ship methods) with a broad-band, low-frequency source, and by using fixed ocean bottom receivers. We report results from surveys on the North Atlantic continental margins using these methods. Imaging results are shown from the recent FLARE project and from the iSIMM project, which recorded new seismic data recorded in summer 2002. The iSIMM project acquired two seismic surveys, using 85 4-component ocean bottom seismometers with long streamers for wide-angle data, and vertical arrays for far-field source signature recording. One survey crosses the Faroes Shelf and adjacent continental margin, and a second the Hatton-Rockall Basin, Hatton Bank and adjacent oceanic crust. The Faroes wide-angle profiles were overshot by WesternGeco's Topaz using three single-sensor, Q-Marine streamers, 12km plus two 4km. We designed deep-towed, broad-band low-frequency sources tuned to enhance the bubble pulses, with peak frequencies at 8

  13. Flow of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet on the continental margin of the Bellingshausen Sea at the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Larter, Rob D.; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Pudsey, Carol J.; Evans, Jeffrey; Morris, Peter

    2005-11-01

    Geophysical data show that during the last glaciation the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) drained to the continental shelf edge of the Bellingshausen Sea through a cross-shelf bathymetric trough (Belgica Trough) as a grounded, fast flowing, ice stream. The drainage basin feeding this ice stream probably encompassed southwestern Palmer Land, parts of southern Alexander Island, and the Bryan Coast of Ellsworth Land, with an area exceeding 200,000 km2. On the inner continental shelf, streamlined bedrock and drumlins mapped by swath bathymetry show that the ice stream was fed by convergent ice flow draining from Eltanin Bay and bays to the east, as well as by ice draining the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet through the Ronne Entrance. The presence of a paleoice stream in Belgica Trough is indicated by megascale glacial lineations formed in soft till and a trough mouth fan on the continental margin. Grounding zone wedges on the inner and midshelf record ice marginal stillstands during deglaciation and imply a staggered pattern of ice sheet retreat. These new data indicate an extensive WAIS at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) on the Bellingshausen Sea continental margin, which advanced to the shelf edge. In conjunction with ice sheet reconstructions from the Antarctic Peninsula and Pine Island Bay, this implies a regionally extensive ice sheet configuration during the LGM along the Antarctic Peninsula, Bellingshausen Sea, and Amundsen Sea margins, with fast flowing ice streams draining the WAIS and Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet to the continental shelf edge.

  14. 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.

  15. Exploring the Continental Margin of Israel: “Telepresence” at Work

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, Dwight F.; Austin, James A., Jr.; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Ballard, Robert D.

    2011-03-01

    A multidisciplinary team of American and Israeli scientists conducted ocean exploration with a “telepresence” component offshore Israel in September 2010 on board the new E/V Nautilus, which is a reincarnation of the former East German R/V Alexander von Humboldt. This was the first comprehensive geological and biological exploration of the Israel continental margin using deep submergence vehicle systems. Diverse seafloor environments in water depths between 500 and 1300 meters were sampled and imaged using two remotely operated vehicle (ROV) systems, Hercules and Argus. The ROV dives within three areas (Figure 1) investigated high-priority acoustic targets representing geological, biological, or archaeological features as identified by the onboard scientific team. During the dives, biological and geological samples and more than 100 kilometers of high-resolution side-scan sonar data were collected.

  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. Fuerteventura palaeomagnetism and the evolution of the continental margin off Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storetvedt, K. M.

    1980-03-01

    Palaeomagnetic results from Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) suggest that the oldest subaerial lava succession (Series I) originated at around the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary, implying that the basal, post-Albian, complex of submarine volcanics, sheeted dikes and plutonics was emplaced sometime in the late Cretaceous. This time-range for early Fuerteventura magmatism and related tectonic movements is contemporaneous with the major sedimentary hiatus encountered in IPOD drill sites along the continental margins of northwest Africa and southwest Europe. This extensive late Cretaceous unconformity is probably directly related to tectonic uplift which locally formed the island of Fuerteventura. The close timing of these tectonomagmatic processes with the suggested final break-up between Africa and South America may indicate that both the North and South Atlantic Oceans had an intimately connected initial spreading history.

  18. Silicon uptake by sponges: a twist to understanding nutrient cycling on continental margins.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Tectonic evolution at an early proterozoic continental margin: The Svecokarelides of eastern Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, A. F.; Bowes, D. R.; Halden, N. M.; Koistinen, T. J.

    1984-12-01

    The early Proterozoic history of the Baltic Shield in Fennoscandia provides evidence of fragmentation of a late Archaean craton, continental sedimentation and then back-arc spreading, interpreted as being associated with the uprise of a mantle diapir. Basin subsidence and infilling with flysch debris is explained on the basis of thermal decay, locking of a subduction zone and erosion of an uplifted arc. Compressive tectonism in the Karelian part of the Svecokarelian orogen resulted in obduction of the contents of the back-arc basin on to the continental foreland. Further compression caused further thickening of the supracrustal pile and interdigitation of tectonic slices of basement and cover due to thrusting. Subsequently movement was resolved along major NW-trending wrench-faults that generally follow the margin of teh craton and which represent zones of reactivation of planar features developed in late Archaean times. As the crustal pile was warped and uplifted in subsequent deformational phases, the deep levels of the wrench-faults acted as sites of granitoid emplacement. The tectonic activity in the Karelian part of the Svecokarelides is interpreted as the response to the northward movement of oceanic lithosphere in the Svecofennian part of the orogen where successively-formed early Proterozoic island arcs moved northwards and were intensely deformed, associated with the development and emplacement of large masses of igneous material. The resultant orogen, consisting of a stable craton, obducted nappes, exotic terrane, transcurrent faults and island arcs that moved obliquely to the margin of the craton, shows many similarities in development to that of the western Cordillera of North America.

  20. Crustal structure of the North Iberian continental margin from seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, M.; Díaz, J.; Pedreira, D.; Gallart, J.; Pulgar, J. A.

    2017-10-01

    The structure and geodynamics of the southern margin of the Bay of Biscay have been investigated from a set of 11 multichannel seismic reflection profiles, recorded also at wide angle offsets in an onshore-offshore network of 24 OBS/OBH and 46 land sites. This contribution focuses on the analysis of the wide-angle reflection/refraction data along representative profiles. The results document strong lateral variations of the crustal structure along the margin and provide an extensive test of the crustal models previously proposed for the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Offshore, the crust has a typical continental structure in the eastern tip of the bay, which disappears smoothly towards the NW to reach crustal thickness close to 10 km at the edge of the studied area ( 45°N, 6°W). The analysis of the velocity-depth profiles, altogether with additional information provided by the multichannel seismic data and magnetic surveys, led to the conclusion that the crust in this part of the bay should be interpreted as transitional from continental to oceanic. Typical oceanic crust has not been imaged in the investigated area. Onshore, the new results are in good agreement with previous results and document the indentation of the Bay of Biscay crust into the Iberian crust, forcing its subduction to the North. The interpreted profiles show that the extent of the southward indentation is not uniform, with an Alpine root less developed in the central and western sector of the Basque-Cantabrian Basin. N-S to NE-SW transfer structures seem to control those variations in the indentation degree.

  1. 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

  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. Bubble composition of natural gas seeps discovered along the Cascadia Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumberger, T.; Merle, S. G.; Embley, R. W.; Seabrook, S.; Raineault, N.; Lilley, M. D.; Evans, L. J.; Walker, S. L.; Lupton, J. E.

    2016-12-01

    Gas hydrates and gas-filled pockets present in sedimentary deposits have been recognized as large reservoirs for reduced carbon in the Earth's crust. This is particularly relevant in geological settings with high carbon input, such as continental margins. During expedition NA072 on the E/V Nautilus (operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust Inc.) in June 2016, the U.S. Cascadia Continental Margin (Washington, Oregon and northern California) was explored for gas seepage from sediments. During this expedition, over 400 bubble plumes at water depths ranging from 125 and 1640 m were newly discovered, and five of them were sampled for gas bubble composition using specially designed gas tight fluid samplers mounted on the Hercules remotely operated vehicle (ROV). These gas bubble samples were collected at four different depths, 494 m (rim of Astoria Canyon), 615 and 620 m (SW Coquille Bank), 849 m (floor of Astoria Canyon) and 1227 m (Heceta SW). At the two deeper sites, exposed hydrate was present in the same area where bubbles were seeping out from the seafloor. Other than the escaping gas bubbles, no other fluid flow was visible. However, the presence of bacterial mats point to diffuse fluid flow present in the affected area. In this study we present the results of the currently ongoing geochemical analysis of the gas bubbles released at the different sites and depths. Noble gas analysis, namely helium and neon, will give information about the source of the helium as well as about potential fractionation between helium and neon associated with gas hydrates. The characterization of these gas samples will also include total gas (CO2, H2, N2, O2, Ar, CH4 and other hydrocarbons) and stable isotope analysis (C and H). This dataset will reveal the chemical composition of the seeping bubbles as well as give information about the possible sources of the carbon contained in the seeping gas.

  4. 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.

  5. Geological and Sediment Thickness Data Sources From the U.S. Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutchinson, D. R.; Childs, J. R.; Edgar, N. T.; Barth, G.; Hammar-Klose, E.; Dadisman, S. V.; Rowland, R.

    2005-12-01

    Although the United States has not yet ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), work has begun to assess the geophysical and geological data sources that might be applied to an extended continental shelf submission under Article 76 of the UNCLOS. The U.S. Geological Survey, as a follow-up to the Congressional Report published by the University of New Hampshire on data relevant to a potential U.S. submission (Mayer and others, 2002), has identified existing seismic reflection, seismic refraction, and drill-hole data on the U.S. margins for the areas where an extended continental shelf submission could be considered. This work complements ongoing NOAA efforts to map the foot-of-the-slope. The USGS compilation includes more than 80,000 km of multichannel seismic data, 70,000 km of single-channel seismic reflection data, 25 refraction experiments, and 12 drill holes that penetrate to basement. Data quality varies according to year collected and acquisition system used. Data coverage is generally excellent within the 200-nm EEZ boundary, but new data will be required to adequately assess sediment thickness in the area beyond 200-nm in some of the poorly surveyed regions (e.g., the Arctic). Velocity and drill-hole control for deeper sedimentary units is generally poor; this deficiency will also need to be addressed in new data gathering efforts. Subsea mineral resources that might exist in the region of an extended continental shelf vary by region and include conventional hydrocarbons, gas hydrate, ferro-manganese crusts and nodules, and possibly phosphorite deposits. On-going efforts are directed at interpreting these data with reference to UNCLOS criteria and guidelines, as well as evaluating how recent submissions to the United Nations by other States might affect a possible U.S. submission.

  6. Built-up of the continental margin offshore Central Mozambique from marine geophysical investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyde, I.; Block, M.; Ehrhardt, A.; Reichert, C. J.; Schreckenberger, B.

    2009-12-01

    In September/October 2007, along with institutes from Germany, France and Portugal BGR conducted the cruise MoBaMaSis (Mozambique Basin Marine Seismic Survey) using RV MARION DUFRESNE. The goal of the marine geophysical measurements offshore central Mozambique was the investigation of the continental margin in terms of its structure and formation history with special focus on the opening history of Eastern Gondwana and the hydrocarbon potential. A total of four long transects (450 to 225 km long) and a number of connection lines were acquired from the shelf and the slope into the deep Mozambique Basin. The data comprises multichannel seismic reflection (MCS), magnetic, gravimetric and swath bathymetry. On the eastern two transects two on-/offshore seismic refraction studies were carried out. Apart from results of the MCS and the magnetic work, in particular the results of the gravity data are presented. A 3D density model was developed. In the Mozambique Basin a large thick sedimentary succession of up to 8 km thickness from Jurassic to present is observed. Two deep reaching wells supported, at least in part, the identification of stratigraphy. Faint indications for SDR sequences related to volcanic flows are found in the northern part of the study area. In the south, the Beira High represents a prominent structure. The basement high with sediments of considerable reduced thickness is characterized by a distinct gravity minimum. A possible explanation is that the high is formed by a continental fragment. In addition, no clear magnetic chrons are identifiable. Thus, stretched continental crust is assumed underlying this part of the Mozambique Basin.

  7. Organic debris on the continental margins: a simulation analysis of source and fate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, John J.; Dieterle, Dwight A.; Pribble, J. Raymond

    1991-07-01

    A fine-mesh (0.5 km, 2.5 m) two-dimensional model of particle transport and decomposition in the aphotic zone (>150 m) is used to analyse time series (April-August) of element fluxes caught by sediment traps, moored in a transect from the upper slope (500 m) to the continental rise (2750 m) of the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Inclusion of a benthic boundary layer within generally quiescent offshore flows of t1 cm s -1 in the model allows replication of the time phasing and amount of organic carbon sampled by the traps at 50 m above bottom. Over the lower 75 m of the water column on the upper slope, the survival of shelf diatom chains (sinking at 10 m day -1), as well as slope picoplankton (1 m day -1) and zooplankton fecal pellets (100 m day -1), provides most of the model's fidelity after the demise of the spring bloom. On the lower slope, however, the slow setting classes of detritus (<10 m day -1) do not survive the descent, with fluxes of shelf macroaggregates (also sinking at 100 m day -1) and fecal pellets required instead to match observations of particle rain. Downslope resuspension, near-bottom transport, and particle disaggregation may introduce more organic matter to sediments of the continental margins than previously estimated with traps.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Structural and stratigraphic controls on the origin and tectonic history of a subducted continental margin, Oman

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, C. J.; Miller, J. McL.

    2007-03-01

    Eclogites and blueschists exposed in Saih Hatat, Oman, record the subduction and exhumation of continental crustal material beneath the Cretaceous Semail Ophiolite during ophiolite obduction. The eclogite-bearing lower plate, originally part of Oman's distal continental margin, is exposed in two tectonic windows through the less metamorphosed upper plate by a previously mapped low angle, high strain, décollement structure. A major tectonic break, currently poorly exposed, records the juxtaposition of the highest pressure eclogites and garnet blueschists against lower pressure epidote-blueschists. The subsequent exhumation of the entire lower plate to mid crustal levels is marked by a pervasive shearing event associated with a regional greenschist facies overprint. The décollement truncates structures and the metamorphic field gradient in the lower plate, but does not significantly truncate structures or stratigraphy in the upper plate. It is not responsible for the exhumation of the high pressure rocks to mid-crustal levels. Most of the displacement across this structure was accommodated during continuing convergence after the subduction system had ceased to be active, and post ophiolite emplacement onto the platform carbonate sequences. A revised tectonic model is presented which accounts for the structural, geochronological and metamorphic observations.

  12. Basin inversion by distributed deformation: the southern margin of the Bristol Channel Basin, England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glen, R. A.; Hancock, P. L.; Whittaker, A.

    Several models of basin inversion described in the literature are tested in a study of Triassic and Early Jurassic strata exposed along the southern margin of the Bristol Channel Basin in Somerset, England that has been exhumed by <3 km. Two key features of the superbly exposed normal faults are that they formed at several times during basin evolution—not during Triassic to Early Jurassic growth, but during Late Jurassic rifting, and during and after inversion; and that >95% of them are still in net extension, despite widespread kinematic evidence for reverse reactivation. When coupled with the general absence of thin-skinned thrusts and the widespread occurrence of regional contractional folds, it appears that none of three main inversion models—the fault-reactivation model, the thin-skinned model and the buttress model—are by themselves applicable. We erect a new model of basin inversion, the distributed deformation model, which consists of three stages of basin inversion. Stage one involved early partial reactivation of large-displacement steep normal faults. Stage two was dominated by folding, wherein fault blocks underwent oblique (non-coaxial) shortening by map scale folding, accompanied by formation of outer arc normal faults, minor cleavage and neoformed thrusts. Stage three involved reverse reactivation of outer arc normal faults and activation of oblique and strike-slip faults that partitioned deformation into compartments.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Gas hydrate quantification from ocean-bottom seismometer data along the continental margin of Western Svalbard.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chabert, A.; Minshull, T. A.; Westbrook, G. K.; Berndt, C.

    2009-04-01

    The stability of shallow gas hydrate in the Arctic region is expected to be affected by the warming of the bottom-water in the next decades. It is, therefore, important to evaluate how the gas hydrate systems will react to future increases in bottom-water temperature and the impact on climate of the spatial and temporal variability of the release of methane from these reservoirs. As part of the International Polar Year initiative, a multidisciplinary marine expedition was carried out in September 2008 along the continental margin west of Svalbard in the Arctic. One of the objectives was to investigate the extent of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) along and across the continental slope and to estimate the quantity of methane present using the geophysical properties of methane hydrate- and gas-bearing sediments, which occur in and beneath the GHSZ. Three seismic experiments employing ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS) were carried out across and along the continental margin as part of the project. Seismic data from 13 OBS in closely spaced arrays were acquired from 5 representative sites off west Svalbard, above and below the upper limit of the GHSZ. Two to four OBSs were deployed at each site, with a spacing of 200 m. The high frequency airguns were fired at 5-s intervals, concurrently with the acquisition of multi-channel seismic reflection profiles. The OBSs were equipped with a 3-component 4.5 Hz geophone package and a broadband hydrophone; the data-loggers were operated at 1 kHz sample rate. The OBS experiments were designed to recover P- and S-wave velocities to depths of a few hundreds metres below the seabed in order to estimate the amount of hydrate in the region, hydrate increasing both the P- and S-wave velocities of the sediments in which it is present. The data show clearly recorded P reflections at short offsets, as well as refracted arrivals at larger offsets, from depths of 1 to 2 kilometres below the seabed. S waves, generated by P-S conversion on

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The geology and petroleum potential of the Queen Charlotte Basin, Pacific Continental Margin, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Dietrich, J.R.; Higgs, R.; Rohr, K. )

    1990-05-01

    The Queen Charlotte basin is a 40,000 km{sup 2} late Paleogene-Neogene basin underlying the Queen Charlotte Islands, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound region of the Canadian Pacific continental margin. The basin formed during Eocene to Pliocene extension along and adjacent to a transform segment of the Pacific-North American plate boundary. Oblique subduction along the plate boundary in the late Cenozoic resulted in uplift and folding of portions of the northern half of the basin. In detail, the basin consists of numerous, variably oriented half-grabens and subbasins separated and underlain by complexly structured Mesozoic rocks of the Wranellia terrane. Most of the offshore subbasins contain clastic sediments in excess of 3,000 m thick and strata as thick as 6,000 m are known to occur in the deepest depocenters. The older (pre-Pliocene) portions of the basin locally contain volcanics, often interbedded with clastics. Potential hydrocarbon reservoirs within the basin include alluvial-fan fan-delta and tidal-shelf sandstones. Potential hydrocarbon source rocks include Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic shales and limestones locally preserved below the basin and Tertiary shales within the deeper portions of the basin fill. Possible hydrocarbon traps include folds, rollover anticlines, basement fault blocks, and a variety of combined structural-stratigraphic traps. The Queen Charlotte basin is considered to be one of the most prospective areas for significant hydrocarbon resources along the northeast Pacific margin.

  1. 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.

  2. The ambient stress field in the continental margin around the Korean Peninsula and Japanese islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J.; Hong, T. K.; Chang, C.

    2016-12-01

    The ambient stress field is mainly influenced by regional tectonics. The stress field composition is crucial information for seismic hazard assessment. The Korean Peninsula, Japanese Islands and East Sea comprise the eastern margin of the Eurasian plate. The regions are surrounded by the Okhotsk, Pacific, and Philippine Sea plates. We investigate the regional stress field around the Korean Peninsula and Japanese islands using the focal mechanism solutions of regional earthquakes. Complex lateral and vertical variations of regional crustal stress fields are observed around a continental margin. The dominant compression directions are ENE-WSW around the Korean Peninsula and eastern China, E-W in the central East Sea and northern and southern Japan, NW-SE in the central Japan, and N-S around the northern Nankai trough. The horizontal compression directions are observed to be different by fault type, suggesting structure-dependent stress field distortion. The regional stress field change by depth and location, suggesting that the compression and tension stress may alternate in local region. The stress field and structures affect mutually, causing stress field distortion and reactivation of paleo-structures. These observation may be useful for understanding of local stress-field perturbation for seismic hazard mitigation of the region.

  3. 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

  4. A model of the methane cycle, permafrost, and hydrology of the Siberian continental margin

    DOE PAGES

    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

  5. A nitrogen budget for the continental margin of the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dengler, Marcus; Bryant, Lee; Sommer, Stefan; Bourbonnais, Annie; Dullo, Christian; Dale, Andy

    2015-04-01

    In oxic environments, nitrogen (N) is frequently a limiting nutrient for primary production and hence a controlling element in marine ecosystems. The fixed form of N, i.e., bioavailable N for primary production, is primarily in the oxidized form of nitrate (NO3-). However, in the sub-oxic environments of oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), N-species are biochemically converted to biogenic N2 gas which is then released, or lost, to the atmosphere. N-cycling under sub-oxic conditions thus diminishes the oceanic pool of bioavailable N. It has been suggested that although OMZs constitute only about 1% of global ocean volume, they account for about 20-40% of global oceanic N loss. However, to date these estimates are subject to largely uncertainties. Here, we quantify the rate of N-cycling and the associated N-loss by evaluating all terms of a benthic-pelagic nutrient transport budget at the continental margin off Peru using observations from an extensive measurement program conducted along the continental slope and shelf region at 12°S. The data set was collected during austral summer in 2013 and consists of nutrient, microstructure and CTD/O2 profiles as well as shipboard velocity data from two research cruises, a glider swarm experiment and current time series from a moored array. To constrain the benthic contribution to the nutrient budget, benthic nutrient fluxes were measured in benthic chambers using Biogeochemical Observatory (BIGO) landers. Detailed budget determinations were performed on the upper continental slope and shelf break as well as at the shelf. Both regions were anoxic but different with regard to nutrient distribution as well as benthic nutrient release rates. Three major conclusions can be inferred from the study: (1) Unexpectedly, the results showed that diapycnal nutrient fluxes, driven by turbulent mixing caused by the breaking of non-linear internal waves, was one to two orders of magnitude larger than advective and lateral-diffusive fluxes. (2) The

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. The Wide Bay Canyon system: A case study of canyon morphology on the east Australian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, P. W.; Hubble, T.; Airey, D.; Gallagher, S. J.; Clarke, S. L.

    2014-12-01

    A voyage was conducted aboard the RV Southern Surveyor in early 2013 to investigate the east Australian continental margin. From the continental slope of the Wide Bay region offshore Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia, remote sensing data and sediment samples were collected. Bathymetric data reveals that the continental slope of the region presents a mature canyon system. Eight dredge samples were recovered from the walls of Wide Bay Canyon and the adjacent, relatively intact continental slope along the entire length of the slope, from the start of the shelf break to the toe, in water depths ranging from 1100-2500 m. For these samples, sediment composition, biostratigraphic age, and bulk mineralogy data are reported. These slope-forming sediments are primarily comprised of calcareous sandy-silts. Occasional terrestrial plant fossils and minerals can be found in a mostly marine-fossiliferous composition, suggesting minor but significant riverine and aeolian input. Biostratigraphic dates extracted from the foraminiferal contents of these samples indicate that the intra-canyon and slope material was deposited between Middle Miocene to Pliocene, implying that the incision of this section of the margin and formation of the erosional features took place no earlier than the Pliocene. In conjunction with bathymetric data of the local continental slope, the depositional origins of this section of the east Australian continental margin, and the timing of major morphological events such as slope failure and canyon incision can be interpreted. The Wide Bay Canyon system can serve as a representative case study of local canyon formation, allowing a better understanding of the past or ongoing processes that are shaping the margin and giving way to similar morphologies.

  13. 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

  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. Crustal Configuration of the Terrace off Trivandrum, Southwestern Continental Margin of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurian, J.; Vadakkeyakath, Y.; Bhattacharya, G. C.; Sivaramakrishnan, R.; Sk221 Scientific Team*

    2010-12-01

    The Terrace off Trivandrum (TOT) is an anomalous bathymetric protrusion in the southwestern continental margin of India. Recent studies based on paleogeographic reconstructions have suggested that the Terrace off Trivandrum and the bathymetric notch in the Northern Madagascar Ridge are conjugate features related to India-Madagascar separation. While the nature of crust underlying the Northern Madagascar Ridge is ambiguous, no information is available on the nature of the crust in the Terrace off Trivandrum. In this context, the present study was carried out to understand the crustal configuration of TOT based on recently acquired bathymetry, multi-channel seismic reflection, gravity and magnetic data. The seismic reflection data clearly brings out the block-faulted nature of the basement and presence of a nearly N-S trending wide basement high in the central part of the TOT. This region is characterized by the presence of several prominent high amplitude magnetic anomalies as well as several positive residual gravity anomalies superimposed over a broad negative free-air gravity anomaly. At places, the prominent gravity and magnetic anomalies coincide with the bathymetric features suggesting their probable genesis as volcanic emplacements. In the central part of the TOT, the prominent gravity anomalies coincide with the wide basement high. However, no distinctive basement features are conspicuous in the seismic section corresponding to the prominent magnetic anomalies observed at places over this basement high. Integrated modelling of gravity and magnetic data constrained by seismic reflection information suggests that the crustal configuration of the TOT region is comparable to a thinned continental crust intermingled with intruded / extruded volcanics. *SK221 Scientific Team: M.M. Subramaniam, A. Tyagi, P. Vohat, A. Bhattacharya, V.S.K. Rao, P. Shetkar, R.D. Singh, U.K. Singh, K.V. Swamy, S. Upadhyaya

  16. A Comparison of Continental Extension Estimates Across the Margins of the Woodlark Basin, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nazlim, B.; Goodliffe, A. M.

    2016-12-01

    Previous studies have shown that depth dependent extension is commonly observed across rifted margins. This has resulted in a discrepancy between the estimates of extension made through whole lithosphere/crust vs fault heave calculations (for example northwest Australia, South China Sea, Galicia). In the Woodlark Basin, the amount of extension estimated from observed subsidence and brittle extension also do not match. Taking into account sub-seismic resolution and poly-phase faulting reduces this mismatch. In the Woodlark Basin continental extension can also be estimated by extending Euler pole kinematics from the oceanic domain. Previous studies show that this predicts almost double the extension calculated from subsidence and brittle extension. Extension in the Woodlark Basin began at 8.4 Ma and transitioned to sea-floor spreading in the east at 6 Ma. The basin is an ideal place to study the extension discrepancy because of its young age and thin sediments. Seismic reflection easily images basement and fault structures. High resolution bathymetry permits tracing of major faults on the seafloor. A previous study focused on the extension discrepancy at the rifting to spreading transition. This study will focus on the discrepancy further east where seafloor spreading began just after 2 Ma and opening rates are faster. Data used in this study include bathymetry, magnetics, gravity, and low-fold 2-D seismic reflection data. Using the available data, extension estimates have been calculated through brittle extension and subsidence. Euler pole derived extension rates from previous studies were used for comparison. Results indicate that Euler pole kinematics predict far more extension than estimates calculated through subsidence and brittle extension. This provides important insights into processes in the low crust and supports earlier hypotheses that the mantle lithosphere and upper crust may be moving at different rates prior to continental breakup.

  17. Passive recording of an active transform, an example from the Levant continental margin and the Dead Sea Fault

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Guy; Lazar, Michael; Schattner, Uri

    2017-04-01

    Transform faults accommodate lateral motion between two adjacent plates. Records of plate motion and consequent boundary development on land is, at times, scarce and limited to structures along the fault axis. Investigation of a passive continental margin adjacent to the plate boundary might broaden the scope and provide estimates for its structural development. To examine this hypothesis, we analyzed depth and time migrated 3D seismic data together with four boreholes located along the southern Levant continental margin, ca. 100 Km from the continental Dead Sea fault (DSF). The analysis focus on the Plio-Pleistocene sequence, a key period in the development of the DSF. It includes formation of structural maps, stacking pattern investigation and calculation of sedimentation rates based on decompacted 3D depth data. These, in turn, enabled the reconstruction of margin development. This includes Messinian-earliest Zanclean NNE-SSW sinistral strike-slip faulting followed by Zanclean-Late Gelasian syn-depositional folding striking in the same direction. Abrupt change is marked by the Top Gelasian surface that shows indications of regional mass slumping. Successive Mid-Late Pleistocene progradation marks a basinward shift of the depocenter. Progradation controls margin sedimentation rates during the mid-late Pleistocene. These were found to increase throughout the whole Plio-Pleistocene, in contrast to reported sediment discharge from the Nile, which was shown to decrease after the Gelasian. Correlations to onshore findings, suggest that the continental margin records strain localization on the DSF during the Pliocene-Gelasian. This trend peaked at 1.8 Ma when short wavelength strain ceased along the margin, and differential subsidence commenced basinwards. This is attributed to consequent deepening of the DSF plate boundary.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Using crustal thickness and subsidence history on the Iberia-Newfoundland margins to constrain lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Observations at magma-poor rifted margins such as Iberia-Newfoundland show a complex lithosphere deformation history during continental breakup and seafloor spreading initiation leading to complex OCT architecture with hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, exhumed mantle and scattered embryonic oceanic crust and continental slivers. Initiation of seafloor spreading requires both the rupture of the continental crust and lithospheric mantle, and the onset of decompressional melting. Their relative timing controls when mantle exhumation may occur; the presence or absence of exhumed mantle provides useful information on the timing of these events and constraints on lithosphere deformation modes. A single lithosphere deformation mode leading to continental breakup and sea-floor spreading cannot explain observations. We have determined the sequence of lithosphere deformation events for two profiles across the present-day conjugate Iberia-Newfoundland margins, using forward modelling of continental breakup and seafloor spreading initiation calibrated against observations of crustal basement thickness and subsidence. Flow fields, representing a sequence of lithosphere deformation modes, are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FeMargin), and used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FeMargin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the upper 15-20 km of the lithosphere inducing passive upwelling beneath that layer; extensional faulting and magmatic intrusions deform the topmost upper lithosphere, consistent with observations of deformation processes occurring at slow spreading ocean ridges (Cannat, 1996). Buoyancy enhanced upwelling, as predicted by Braun et al. (2000) is also kinematically included in the lithosphere deformation model. Melt generation by decompressional melting is predicted using the parameterization and methodology of Katz et al. (2003). The distribution of lithosphere deformation, the

  5. Multiphased extension along continental margins: a case study of the Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulois, Cédric; Shannon, Patrick, M.; Manuel, Pubellier; Nicolas, Chamot-Rooke; Louise, Watremez; Jacques, Deverchère

    2017-04-01

    Mesozoic faulting has been recognised in several Irish sedimentary basins as part of the northward propagation of the Atlantic rift system. However, the contribution of older structural elements remains poorly constrained. The present study documents the succession of extensional phases in the northern part of the Porcupine Basin sensu largo, offshore west of Ireland, in which structural inheritance and fault reactivation is commonly observed. The correlation of 2D and 3D seismic lines with exploration wells enables the precise definition of four overprinted extensional systems that link to specific tectonic stages identified along the Irish margin. The Porcupine Basin opened through a thickened continental crust that evolved during the Palaeozoic with the Caledonian and Variscan orogenic cycles. Extension initiated during the Carboniferous by reactivation of old structures, resulting in the migration of depocentres bounded by E-W, NE-SW and N-S structural trends. Subsequent episodic rifting occurred during several discrete events. The first rift episode, of Late Triassic to Early Jurassic age, is restricted to the North Porcupine Basin and most likely reactivated E-W structures of Caledonian age. Synrift sediments were generally deposited in a littoral setting that progressively deepened through time. The second episode, much more pronounced, occurred during the Upper Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous (Neocomian). It resulted in shallow to deep marine deposition controlled by structural directions recognised in Caledonian and Variscan terranes. A third rift phase, evidenced by thick clastic deposition, locally occurred during the Aptian and finally died out with the opening of the Bay of Biscay located to the south of the region. A series of extensional megacycles are recognised from seismic unconformities and faulting geometries. Initial extension strongly followed the structural architecture of the continental crust (i.e. ancient folds, thrusts or orogenic fronts

  6. Formation of Fe-Mn crusts within a continental margin environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conrad, Tracey A.; Hein, James R.; Paytan, Adina; Clague, David A.

    2017-01-01

    This study examines Fe-Mn crusts that form on seamounts along the California continental-margin (CCM), within the United States 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. The study area extends from approximately 30° to 38° North latitudes and from 117° to 126° West longitudes. The area of study is a tectonically active northeast Pacific plate boundary region and is also part of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre with currents dominated by the California Current System. Upwelling of nutrient-rich water results in high primary productivity that produces a pronounced oxygen minimum zone. Hydrogenetic Fe-Mn crusts forming along the CCM show distinct chemical and mineral compositions compared to open-ocean crusts. On average, CCM crusts contain more Fe relative to Mn than open-ocean Pacific crusts. The continental shelf and slope release both Fe and Mn under low-oxygen conditions. Silica is also enriched relative to Al compared to open-ocean crusts. This is due to the North Pacific silica plume and enrichment of Si along the path of deep-water circulation, resulting in Si enrichment in bottom and intermediate waters of the eastern Pacific.The CCM Fe-Mn crusts have a higher percentage of birnessite than open-ocean crusts, reflecting lower dissolved seawater oxygen that results from the intense coastal upwelling and proximity to zones of continental slope pore-water anoxia. Carbonate fluorapatite (CFA) is not present and CCM crusts do not show evidence of phosphatization, even in the older sections. The mineralogy indicates a suboxic environment under which birnessite forms, but in which pH is not high enough to facilitate CFA deposition. Growth rates of CCM crusts generally increase with increasing water depth, likely due to deep-water Fe sources mobilized from reduced shelf and slope sediments.Many elements of economic interest including Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, W, and Te have slightly or significantly lower concentrations in CCM crusts relative to crusts from the Pacific

  7. Potential tsunamigenic hazard associated to submarine mass movement along the Ionian continental margin (Mediterranean Sea).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceramicola, S.; Tinti, S.; Praeg, D.; Zaniboni, F.; Planinsek, P.

    2012-04-01

    Submarine mass movements are natural geomorphic processes that transport marine sediment down continental slopes into deep-marine environments. Type of mass wasting include creep, slides, slump, debris flows, each with its own features and taking place over timescale from seconds to years. Submarine landslides can be triggered by a number of different causes, either internal (such as changes in physical chemical sediment properties) or external (e.g. earthquakes, volcanic activity, salt movements, sea level changes etc.). Landslides may mobilize sediments in such a way as to form an impulsive vertical displacement of a body of water, originating a wave or series of waves with long wavelengths and long periods called tsunamis ('harbor waves'). Over 600 km of continental margin has been investigated by OGS in the Ionian sea using geophysical data - morpho-bathymetry (Reson 8111, 8150) and sub-bottom profiles (7-10 KHz) - collected aboard the research vessel OGS Explora in the framework of the MAGIC Project (Marine Geohazard along the Italian Coasts), funded by the Italian Civil Protection. The objective of this project is the definition of elements that may constitute geological risk for coastal areas. Geophysical data allowed the recognition of four main types of mass wasting phenomena along the slopes of the ICM: 1) mass transport complexes (MTCs) within intra-slope basins. Seabed imagery show the slopes of all the seabed ridges to be marked by headwall scarps recording widespread failure, multiple debris flows in several basins indicate one or more past episodes of failure that may be linked to activity on the faults bounding the structural highs. 2) submarine landslide - a multiple failure event have been identified (Assi landslide) at about 6 km away from the coastline nearby Riace Marina. Headwall scars up to 50 m high across water depths of 700 to 1400 m, while sub-bottom profiles indicate stacked slide deposits at and near seabed. 4) canyon headwalls - in the

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Origins and fates of DOM along the New England continental margin. Technical progress report, Year 2

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-06-01

    In year two, the authors have analyzed DOM (dissolved organic matter) samples from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, performed preliminary experiments concerning the decomposition of DOM, and continued methodological development work for measuring DOM isotopic contents. The year three plans are to finish the methods development, and use samples from two upcoming cruises to characterize the cycling of dissolved organic matter along the eastern US seaboard. A brief summary of the year two activities is presented.

  11. New data on the period of existence of the continental margin subduction zone in the Middle Urals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, V. N.; Ivanov, K. S.; Shokalsky, S. P.

    2016-12-01

    U-Pb (SIMS) dating of zircons from granite of the Petrokamensk gabbro-granitoid complex, marking termination of the Devonian island-arc magmatism in the Verkhisetsk-Tura Zone of the Middle Urals, gave an age of 386 ± 3 Ma. Zircons from the West Verkhisetsk granitoids, the formation of which corresponds to the beginning stage of magmatism of the continental margin in the region, yielded ages of 386.6 ± 4.1 and 381.8 ± 6.0 Ma. This suggests that the change in the regime of the island-arc geodynamic mode to an active continental margin took place at the boundary of the Middle and Late Devonian. The upper boundary of existence of the continental margin subduction zone is determined by the closure of the Ural paleo-ocean and the beginning of continental collision processes, which resulted in accumulation of flysch in the Ural foreland trough from the second half of the Bashkirian Stage.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Causes of long-term landscape evolution of "passive" margins and adjacent continental segments at the South Atlantic Ocean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Hackspacher, Peter C.

    2013-04-01

    During the last 10 years research efforts have been devoted to understand the coupling between tectonic and surface processes in the formation of recent topography. Quantification of the rate at which landforms adapt to a changing tectonic, heat flow, and climate environment in the long term has become an important research object and uses intensively data revealed by low-temperature thermochronology, terrigenous cosmogenic nuclides, and geomorphological analyses. The influence of endogenic forces such as mantle processes as one of the causes for "Dynamic Topography Evolution" have been explored in a few studies, recently. In addition, the increased understanding how change in surface topography, and change in the amount of downward moving cold surface water caused by climate change affects warping isotherms in the uppermost crust allows further interpretation of low-temperature thermochronological data. "Passive" continental margins and adjacent continental segments especially at the South Atlantic ocean are perfect locations 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. This climate-continental margin-mantle process-response system is caused by the interaction between endogenic and exogenic forces that are related to the mantle-process driven rift - drift - "passive" continental margin evolution of the South Atlantic, and the climate change since the Early/Late Cretaceous climate maximum. Furthermore, the influence of major transform faults (also called: transfer zones, Fracture Zones (FZ)) on the long-term evolution of "passive" continental margins is still very much in debate. The presentation will provide insight in possible causes for the differentiated long-term landscape evolution along the South Atlantic Ocean.

  15. Global mass wasting at continental margins during Ordovician high meteorite influx

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parnell, John

    2009-01-01

    A large body of evidence exists for the break-up of an asteroid in the Middle Ordovician period (around 470million years ago) and the rapid delivery of meteorites to the Earth, most notably recorded in meteorite-rich strata in Sweden. The large number of meteorites at a single locality, spanning a relatively short time interval, implies a meteorite flux two orders of magnitude greater than at present. Here I survey published data to show that the deposition of Middle Ordovician sedimentary megabreccias-consisting of large rock fragments dispersed in a fine matrix-was coincident with the high meteorite flux. The widespread distribution of such deposits reflects downslope movement of sediment and rock at continental margins on a global scale. My calculations show that this process could have been triggered by the seismic activity and destabilization of sediment slopes resulting from the high influx of meteorites. If so, the anomalous occurrence of megabreccias in the geological record may provide evidence for other episodes of enhanced meteorite delivery to the Earth.

  16. Marginal continental and within-plate neoproterozoic granites and rhyolites of Wrangel Island, Arctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luchitskaya, M. V.; Moiseev, A. V.; Sokolov, S. D.; Tuchkova, M. I.; Sergeev, S. A.; O'Sullivan, P. B.; Verzhbitskii, V. E.; Malyshev, N. A.

    2017-01-01

    The paper presents new data on the U-Pb zircon age, as well as results of isotopic geochemical analysis, of granites and rhyolites from Wrangel Island. The U-Pb age estimates of granites and rhyolites are grouped into two clusters ( 690-730 and 590-610 Ma), which imply that these rocks crystallized in the Late Neoproterozoic. Granitic rocks dated back to 690-730 Ma are characterized by negative ɛNd( t) values and Paleoproterozoic Sm-Nd model age. The older inherited zircons corroborate the ancient age of their crustal source. The granitic rocks pertain to involved peraluminous granites of type I, which form at a continental margin of the Andean type and can be compared with coeval granites and orthogneisses from the Seward Peninsula in Alaska. Rhyolites and granites 590-610 Ma in age are distinguished by a moderately positive ɛNd( t) and Mesoproterozoic model age. It is suggested that they have a heterogeneous magma source comprising crustal and mantle components. The geochemical features of granites and rhyolites correspond to type A granites. Together with coeval OIB-type basalts, they make up a riftogenic bimodal association of igneous rocks, which are comparable with orthogneisses (565 Ma) and gabbroic rocks (540 Ma) of Seward Peninsula in Alaska.

  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. Geology, geophysics, and hydrocarbon potential of Antarctica continental margin of Weddell Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Hinz, K.; Kristoffersen, Y.

    1987-05-01

    A prominent escarpment, called the Explora-Andenes Escarpment, has been recognized between long. 40/sup 0/W, lat. 72/sup 0/40'S and long. 10/sup 0/W, lat. 69/sup 0/20'S. It separates the continental margin from the Weddell Sea basin. Their recent MCS data have revealed the presence of some remarkably symmetric structures beneath a thick pile of tectonically undisturbed sediments. For example, two extensive wedge-shaped basement units occur between 20/sup 0/W and 40/sup 0/W. These units are characterized by a pattern of divergent reflectors which surround an elongated depression in basement. The northern wedge terminates against the Explora-Andenes Escarpment between 25/sup 0/W and 30/sup 0/W. The southern wedge, known as the Explora Wedge, shows a northward-dipping reflection pattern. The seismic characteristics suggest that both wedges consist of volcanic rocks. The basement depression is interpreted as a failed rift basin. The initial fragmentation of Gondwana was accompanied by prolific volcanism, which led to the emplacement of the wedges of dipping reflectors. The tectonomagmatic/volcanic period was followed by transtensional movements between Africa and Antarctica. This phase was heralded by the formation of the Explora-Andenes Escarpment as a new plate boundary and the opening of the Weddell Sea by sea-floor spreading. The Explora-Andenes Escarpment cuts across the early rift structures.

  19. Comparative geochemistry of cadmium, rhenium, uranium, and molybdenum in continental margin sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundby, BjØrn; Martinez, Philippe; Gobeil, Charles

    2004-06-01

    The concentrations of authigenic phases of Cd, Re, U, and Mo increase with depth in four 45-cm-long sediment box cores collected along the axis of the Laurentian Trough, Gulf of St. Lawrence. Average authigenic accumulation rates, estimated from element inventories, are similar to rates in other continental margin environments. Strong regional variations in sediment accumulation rate and sulfide concentration have little influence on the accumulation rates of Cd and Re. This suggests that slow precipitation kinetics controls the accumulation of Cd and Re in these sediments. The accumulation rate of authigenic U is more variable; it may be tied to the kinetics of microbially mediated U reduction and be controlled by the availability of reactive organic matter. Authigenic Mo is distinguished by a sharp subsurface concentration minimum, above which Mo cycles with manganese. Mo released to pore water upon reduction of Mn oxides diffuses downward and enriches the subsurface sediment. Mo accumulates most rapidly in the sediment with the highest sulfide content. Slow conversion of molybdate to thiomolybdate may explain the much slower Mo accumulation rate in the less sulfidic sediments. A component of authigenic Mo accumulates with pyrite in an approximately constant Mo:Fe ratio. The accumulation rate of pyrite and associated Mo is insensitive to AVS abundance. Pyrite formation may be limited by the reactivity of iron oxide minerals.

  20. High-Resolution Holocene Records of Paleoceanographic and Paleoclimatic Variability from the Southern Alaskan Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finney, B. P.; Jaeger, J. M.; Mix, A. C.; Cowan, E. A.; Gulick, S. S.; Mayer, L. A.; Pisias, N. G.; Powell, R. D.; Prahl, F.; Stoner, J. S.

    2004-12-01

    We are investigating sediments from the fjords and continental margin of southern Alaska to develop high-resolution climatic and oceanographic records for the Late Quaternary. Our goal is to better understand linkages between climatic, terrestrial and oceanic systems in this tectonically active and biologically productive region. A field program was conducted aboard the R/V Maurice Ewing in August/September 2004 utilizing geophysical surveys (high-resolution swath bathymetric and backscatter imaging, shallow sub-bottom profiling, and where permitted, high-resolution seismic reflection profiling), piston and multi-coring, and CTD/water sampling at about 30 sites in this region. Cores are being analyzed for sedimentological, microfossil, geochemical and stable isotopic proxies, with chronologies constrained by Pb-210, AMS radiocarbon, tephrochronolgic and paleomagnetic dating. Our preliminary results demonstrate that these rapidly accumulating sedimentary archives can resolve environmental changes on annual to decadal timescales. Records of recent changes in lithogenic sediment accumulation and biological productivity on the Gulf of Alaska shelf track historical climatic data that extends to the early 20th century in this region. The records also correlate with multi-decadal climate regimes during the Little Ice Age as suggested by tree-ring, glacial advance and salmon abundance records from nearby coastal sites. Jack Dymond's enthusiasm for collaborative, interdisciplinary research will help guide us in unraveling the fingerprints of key processes in this relatively unexplored region.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Fluid flow during early compartmentalisation of rafts: A North Sea analogue for divergent continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alves, Tiago M.; Elliott, Claire

    2014-11-01

    High-quality 3D seismic data tied to eighteen (18) boreholes are used to investigate the styles of faulting and associated fluid flow features in Triassic-early Jurassic rafts of the Broad Fourteens Basin, Southern North Sea. The study area is presented as an analogue for continental margins experiencing early stage gravitational gliding, i.e. prior to complete separation and downslope translation of individual rafts. In such a setting, and for present-day stress conditions, fault slip data indicate that chasms and faults separating rafts in the Broad Fourteens Basin comprise structures subject to dip slip and strike-slip reactivation. Chasms and faults sub-parallel to these latter chasms comprise the most significant bypass areas for fluid sourced from pre-salt strata. Faults sub-parallel to the main chasms show limited propagation into Early Cretaceous and Cenozoic strata draping the rafts, a character further stressed by the depth of occurrence of fluid pipes and dim spots. This is an important observation, and leads us to postulate that faults formed during early stage rafting control fluid flow in regions where gravitational gliding is limited such as West and Equatorial Africa, Southeast Brazil and parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

  5. Late Mesozoic magmatism and Cenozoic tectonic deformations of the Barents Sea continental margin: Effect on hydrocarbon potential distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shipilov, E. V.

    2015-01-01

    The paper is focused on the two tectonic-geodynamic factors that made the most appreciable contribution to the transformation of the lithospheric and hydrocarbon potential distribution at the Barents Sea continental margin: Jurassic-Cretaceous basaltic magmatism and the Cenozoic tectonic deformations. The manifestations of Jurassic-Cretaceous basaltic magmatism in the sedimentary cover of the Barents Sea continental margin have been recorded using geological and geophysical techniques. Anomalous seismic units related to basaltic sills hosted in terrigenous sequences are traced in plan view as a tongue from Franz Josef Land Archipelago far to the south along the East Barents Trough System close to its depocentral zone with the transformed thinned Earth's crust. The Barents Sea igneous province has been contoured. The results of seismic stratigraphy analysis and timing of basaltic rock occurrences indicate with a high probability that the local structures of the hydrocarbon (HC) fields and the Stockman-Lunin Saddle proper were formed and grew almost synchronously with intrusive magmatic activity. The second, no less significant multitectonic stress factor is largely related to the Cenozoic stage of evolution, when the development of oceanic basins was inseparably linked with the Barents Sea margin. The petrophysical properties of rocks from the insular and continental peripheries of the Barents Sea shelf are substantially distinct as evidence for intensification of tectonic processes in the northwestern margin segment. These distinctions are directly reflected in HC potential distribution.

  6. 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.

  7. Abbot Ice Shelf, the Amundsen Sea Continental Margin and the Southern Boundary of the Bellingshausen Plate Seaward of West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, J. R.; Tinto, K. J.; Bell, R. E.

    2014-12-01

    The Abbot Ice Shelf extends 450 km along the coast of West Antarctica between 103°W and 89°W and straddles the boundary between the Bellingshausen Sea continental margin, which overlies a former subduction zone, and Amundsen Sea rifted continental margin. Inversion of NASA Operation IceBridge airborne gravity data for sub-ice bathymetry shows that the western part of the ice shelf, as well as Cosgrove Ice Shelf to the south, are underlain by a series of east-west trending rift basins. The eastern boundary of the rifted terrain coincides with the eastern boundary of rifting between Antarctica and Zealandia and the rifts formed during the early stages of this rifting. Extension in these rifts is minor as rifting quickly jumped north of Thurston Island. The southern boundary of the Cosgrove Rift is aligned with the southern boundary of a sedimentary basin under the Amundsen Embayment continental shelf to the west, also formed by Antarctica-Zealandia rifting. The shelf basin has an extension factor, β, of 1.5 - 1.7 with 80 -100 km of extension occurring in an area now ~250 km wide. Following this extension early in the rifting process, rifting centered to the north of the present shelf edge and proceeded to continental rupture. Since then, the Amundsen Embayment continental shelf has been tectonically quiescent and has primarily been shaped though subsidence, sedimentation and the passage of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet back and forth across it. The former Bellingshausen Plate was located seaward of the Amundsen Sea margin prior to its incorporation into the Antarctic Plate at ~62 Ma. During the latter part of its existence, Bellingshausen plate motion had a clockwise rotational component relative to Antarctica producing convergence between the Bellingshausen and Antarctic plates east of 102°W. Seismic reflection and gravity data show that this convergence is expressed by an area of intensely deformed sediments beneath the continental slope from 102°W to 95°W and

  8. Evidence of slope failure in the Sines Contourite Drift area (SW Portuguese Continental Margin) - preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixeira, Manuel; Roque, Cristina; Terrinha, Pedro; Rodrigues, Sara; Ercilla, Gemma; Casas, David

    2017-04-01

    Slope instability, expressed by landslide activity, is an important natural hazard both onshore as well as offshore. Offshore processes create great concern on coastal areas constituting one of the major and most prominent hazards, directly by the damages they generate and indirectly by the possibility of generating tsunamis, which may affect the coast line. The Southwest Portuguese Continental Margin has been identified as an area where several mass movements occurred from Late Pleistocene to Present. Recently, an area of 52 km long by 34 km wide, affected by slope failure has been recognized in the Sines contourite drift located off the Alentejo. SWIM and CONDRIBER multibeam swath bathymetry has been used for the geomorphologic analysis and for recognition of mass movement scars on the seabed. Scars' areas and volumes were calculated by reconstructing paleo-bathymetry. The net gain and net loss were calculated using both paleo and present day bathymetry. Geomorphologically, the study area presents 4 morphologic domains with landslide scars: I) Shelf and upper slope display an irregular boundary with domain II with a sharp step ( 150m - 600m); II) Smooth area with gentle slope angles making the transition from smoother area to the continental slope (scarp), with large scars, suggesting slow rate and distributed mass wasting processes over this area ( 600 - 1200m); III) Scarp with high rates of retrograding instability, where faster processes are verified and a great number of gullies is feeding downslope area (1200m - 3200m); IV) Lebre Basin where mass movements deposits accumulate (> 3200m). A total of 51 landslide scars were identified with a total affected area of 137.67 km2, with 80.9 km2 being located in the continental slope with about 59% of the disrupted area, between 1200 and 3200m, and 41% (56.6 km2) lies in the continental shelf and upper slope, on a range of depths between 150 and 800m. The mean scar area is 2.7 km2 and the maximum area recorded on a

  9. 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

  10. Structural Controls on the Evolution of the Southeastern Brazilian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashby, David; McCaffrey, Ken; Holdsworth, Bob; Almeida, Julio

    2010-05-01

    The South Atlantic passive margins show considerable variation along strike in terms of both structural style and margin width. Much of this change is thought to be due to variations in basement structure. Previous studies have shown that the influence of pre-existing structures can range from metre-scale local variations in basement fabrics to tens of kilometre-scale lithospheric heterogeneities relating to past deformation events. The Santos basin (offshore Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is an increasingly important target for hydrocarbon exploration. The basin is thought to be underlain by thinned continental crust, possibly part of the Neoproterozoic Ribeira mobile belt, whose structures onshore lie parallel or sub-parallel to the continental margin. The formation of structures in the Santos basin and onshore southeastern Brazil has previously been thought to have been controlled by reactivation of these basement structures. Recent discoveries such as the giant Tupi oil field and recently drilled dry wells in the basin (Guaraní, Corcovado-2), highlight the importance of understanding the sub-salt structure in the basin. A remote sensing- and field-based study of structures formed during Cretaceous and Tertiary rifting events was carried out. We identify two generations of structures: ~120Ma Cretaceous tholeiitic dykes and associated faults; and ~60Ma Tertiary faults, showing silicified breccias associated with further alkaline magmatism. A strong northeast - southwest structural trend is identified from remote sensed imagery. At outcrop scale, sinistral-oblique and normal faults appear to have formed during the Cretaceous and Tertiary, and Cretaceous dykes show sinistral-oblique emplacement kinematics. These datasets are consistent with sinistral transtension during repeated phases of regional east-west extension. Basement fabrics often show strike parallel to the northeast-southwest trend of the brittle structures, but show a wide variation in dip angle. The

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Disintegration of the continental margin of northwestern Gondwana: Late Devonian of the eastern Anti-Atlas (Morocco)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendt, Jobst

    1985-11-01

    The Devonian early Carboniferous sequence in the eastern Anti-Atlas represents a complete record of the last stage of the depositional and tectonic evolution along the northwestern margin of Gondwana. As a consequence of early Variscan block faulting, a platform and basin topography was established during the Middle and Late Devonian. Platforms were covered by condensed cephalopod limestones; sedimentation in the basins was mainly argillaceous with calcareous and turbiditic intercalations. In the latest Famennian/early Tournaisian the whole area was covered by delta deposits in the south passing into turbidites and olistostromes toward a continental slope farther north. This sedimentary and structural evolution reflects the gradual foundering and disintegration of the northwestern continental margin of Gondwana prior to the collisional stage in the late Visean/late Carboniferous.

  17. The Pan-African continental margin in northeastern Africa - Evidence from a geochronological study of granulites at Sabaloka, Sudan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroener, A.; Stern, R. J.; Dawoud, A. S.; Compston, W.; Reischmann, T.

    1987-09-01

    The evolution of the Pan-African ancient continental margin in northeastern Africa was investigated, using an Nd model age, ion-microprobe data on zircon ages, and Rb-Sr whole-rock dates on the high-grade gneiss terrain at Sabaloka, Sudan, a region which is formally considered to be part of the Archaean/early Proterozoic Nile craton. The analysis of these data indicates that the Sabaloka granulites and gneisses are not Archaen in age. Instead, they reflect Pan-African metamorphic events. The gneisses studied may represent the infrastructure of the ancient African continental margin onto which the juvenile arc assemblage of the Arabian-Nubian shield was accreted during intense horizontal shortening and crustal interstacking of a major collision event.

  18. iSIMM (Integrated Seismic Imaging and Modelling of Margins): Seismic Acquisition on the Faroes Shelf, Hatton Bank and adjacent Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, B.; Kusznir, N.; Christie, P.; Roberts, A. M.; Lunnon, Z.; Roberts, A. W.; Hurst, N.; Smith, L.; Parkin, C.; Surendra, A.; Davies, A.

    2002-12-01

    The iSIMM project is using state-of-the art seismic techniques with long-offset and wide-angle data, to image the crust formed on volcanic continental margins in parallel with developing and testing new quantitative models of rifted margin formation, incorporating heterogeneous stretching, the effects of melt generation and emplacement and varying thermal anomalies in the mantle. During June-July 2002, we used RRS Discovery to acquire wide angle and normal incidence seismic data on the Faroes Shelf and adjacent continental margin, Hatton-Rockall Basin, Hatton Bank and the adjacent oceanic crust using OBS and MCS. In August 2002, WesternGeco's Topaz used three single-sensor, Q-Marine streamers, 12km plus two 4km, to overshoot the wide-angle profiles on the Faroes Shelf and adjacent continental margin. In the Faroes region we deployed 85 4-component ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) and 5 vertical arrays along a 350km-long profile extending from the Faroes-Shetland Channel across the Faroes Shelf and continental margin into the oceanic crust of the Norwegian Sea. The entire profile was shot twice. First with a 6,300 cubic inch airgun array towed at 20 m depth and tuned to enhance the initial peak output pressure pulse. Second, with the airguns reconfigured to enhance the low-frequency bubble waveform, producing a source rich in low frequency energy (centred on 10-12 Hz), and with a broad bandwidth. Shots were spaced at either 75 m or 100 m, giving shot repetition rates in excess of 60 secs, thus avoiding contaminating with wrap-round energy from the previous shot. The Q-Marine acquisition used a 48-gun, 10,170 cu. in. airgun array, also tuned to enhance the low-frequency bubble signature, shooting at 50m/20s intervals and recorded on individual sensors for optimal grouping. The streamer configuration provides swath coverage at shorter offsets, while the long offsets record diving waves and wide-angle reflections. Shot-by-shot source signature recording will facilitate

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Bottom current influenced sedimentation in the Argentine Basin and on the Argentine Continental Margin reflected in high resolution seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Lom-Keil, H.; Schacht, R.; Spiess, V.

    2003-04-01

    Sediment deposition and distribution in the western Argentine Basin and along the Argentine continental margin is strongly influenced by deep water current activity, i.e. the Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW), spreading northward along the continental margin below 4000 m, the southward flowing North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) between 1500 and 3500 m and the northward oriented Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) between 700 and 1100 m. Furthermore the Argentine continental margin is characterised by numerous deep incisions and channels, supporting vertical gravity driven sediment transport. In January 2000 and February 2001 cruises with R/V Meteor in the western South Atlantic Ocean, performed as part of the former Bremen Special Research Project 261 (Cruise M46/3) and as an ODP pre-site survey (Cruise M49/2), provided high resolution seismic information on the internal structure of these complex sedimentary structures. The south west Argentine Basin is covered by the huge Zapiola sediment drift, which reaches a sediment thickness of up to 3 km and is draped by extended fields of sediment waves. High resolution seismic profiles across the western part of the drift deposits allow a closer inspection of the onset and growth of the sediment wave coverage, which starts at 400 ms below seafloor. The data also suggest a movement of the western drift crest to the south west during the growth of the drift. Drift deposits, showing evidence of strong bottom water activity, are also a widespread feature along the deeper Argentine continental margin, especially in vicinity of deeply incised channels. These deposits are often associated with topside or embedded sediment layers showing a wavy topography. Further upslope indications for bottom current erosion can be identified as well as downslope sediment transport forming thick slump deposits.

  3. A Polygenetic Origin for some Oceanic Lithosphere: Evidence from Forearc, Continental Margin and Ophiolite Mantle Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, J. A.; Parkinson, I. J.

    2003-12-01

    It is a common assumption that ophiolites and oceanic lithosphere attain their structures and compositions through partial melting of mantle in a single tectonic setting and with a simple petrogenetic relationship between all the units. There is, however, growing evidence that some oceanic lithosphere and ophiolite complexes contain a record of a polygenetic history of formation. This may be apparent in crustal units (complex lava stratigraphies or cross-cutting dykes and gabbros) but the best evidence is recorded in the chrome spinel compositions of residual mantle. Among the most effective plots is that of oxygen fugacity, calculated from accurately-determined ferric iron concentrations, against Cr-number. In the ocean basins, forearc peridotites from the Izu-Bonin Mariana, Tonga and South Sandwich systems may be of two types. In the first, both peridotites and dunites have similar oxygen fugacities and a small range in Cr-number. We interpret these as mongenetic. In the second, the peridotites have low oxygen fugacities and moderate Cr-number and trend towards dunites with high oxygen fugacities and high Cr-number. We interpret these as representing mid-ocean ridge mantle lithosphere, which existed prior to a subduction event and was subsequently invaded by subduction-related melts. The time-gap between the ridge and subduction events may be millions of years or, in the case of subduction initiation, represent a continuum. At passive continental margins, such as the Galicia margin, the origin may again be monogenetic or polygenetic. In the latter case, the mantle peridotites may exhibit a trend from low Cr-number to moderate Cr-number and decreasing oxygen fugacity. We interpret these as representing orogenic peridotite uplifted during an amagmatic extensional event and invaded by MORB magma during subsequent spreading. As with forearc peridotites, the time gap between these two events may be large or there be a continuum. A surprising number of ophiolites

  4. Sulfur cycling in an iron oxide-dominated, dynamic marine depositional system: The Argentine continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedinger, Natascha; Brunner, Benjamin; Krastel, Sebastian; Arnold, Gail L.; Wehrmann, Laura M.; Formolo, Michael J.; Beck, Antje; Bates, Steven M.; Henkel, Susann; Kasten, Sabine; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2017-05-01

    The interplay between sediment deposition patterns, organic matter type and the quantity and quality of reactive mineral phases determines the accumulation, speciation and isotope composition of pore water and solid phase sulfur constituents in marine sediments. Here, we present the sulfur geochemistry of siliciclastic sediments from two sites along the Argentine continental slope—a system characterized by dynamic deposition and reworking, which result in non-steady state conditions. The two investigated sites have different depositional histories but have in common that reactive iron phases are abundant and that organic matter is refractory—conditions that result in low organoclastic sulfate reduction rates. Deposition of reworked, isotopically light pyrite and sulfurized organic matter appear to be important contributors to the sulfur inventory, with only minor addition of pyrite from organoclastic sulfate reduction above the sulfate-methane transition (SMT). Pore-water sulfide is limited to a narrow zone at the SMT. The core of that zone is dominated by pyrite accumulation. Iron monosulfide and elemental sulfur accumulate above and below this zone. Iron monosulfide precipitation is driven by the reaction of low amounts of hydrogen sulfide with ferrous iron and is in competition with the oxidation of sulfide by iron (oxyhydr)oxides to form elemental sulfur. The intervals marked by precipitation of intermediate sulfur phases at the margin of the zone with free sulfide are bordered by two distinct peaks in total organic sulfur. Organic matter sulfurization appears to precede pyrite formation in the iron-dominated margins of the sulfide zone, potentially linked to the presence of polysulfides formed by reaction between dissolved sulfide and elemental sulfur. Thus, SMTs can be hotspots for organic matter sulfurization in sulfide-limited, reactive iron-rich marine sedimentary systems. Furthermore, existence of elemental sulfur and iron monosulfide phases meters

  5. 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

  6. High-resolution and Deep Crustal Imaging Across The North Sicily Continental Margin (southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agate, M.; Bertotti, G.; Catalano, R.; Pepe, F.; Sulli, A.

    Three multichannel seismic reflection profiles across the North Sicily continental mar- gin have been reprocessed and interpreted. Data consist of an unpublished high pene- tration seismic profile (deep crust Italian CROP Project) and a high-resolution seismic line. These lines run in the NNE-SSW direction, from the Sicilian continental shelf to the Tyrrhenian abyssal plain (Marsili area), and are tied by a third, high penetration seismic line MS104 crossing the Sisifo High. The North Sicily continental margin represents the inner sector of the Sicilian-Maghrebian chain that is collapsed as con- sequence of extensional tectonics. The chain is formed by a tectonic wedge (12-15 km thick. It includes basinal Meso-Cenozoic carbonate units overthrusting carbonate platform rock units (Catalano et al., 2000). Presently, main culmination (e.g. Monte Solunto) and a number of tectonic depressions (e.g. Cefalù basin), filled by >1000 m thick Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary wedge, are observed along the investigated tran- sect. Seismic attributes and reflector pattern depicts a complex crustal structure. Be- tween the coast and the M. Solunto high, a transparent to diffractive band (assigned to the upper crust) is recognised above low frequency reflective layers (occurring be- tween 9 and 11 s/TWT) that dips towards the North. Their bottom can be correlated to the seismological (African?) Moho discontinuity which is (26 km deep in the Sicilian shelf (Scarascia et al., 1994). Beneath the Monte Solunto ridge, strongly deformed re- flectors occurring between 8 to 9.5 s/TWT (European lower crust?) overly the African (?) lower crust. The resulting geometry suggests underplating of the African crust respect to the European crust (?). The already deformed crustal edifice is dissected by a number of N-dipping normal faults that open extensional basins and are associ- ated with crustal thinning. The Plio-Pleistocene fill of the Cefalù basin can be subdi- vided into three subunits by

  7. DSDP Site 603: First deep (>1000-m) penetration of the continental rise along the passive margin of eastern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hinte, Jan E.; Wise, Sherwood W., Jr.; Biart, Brian N. M.; Mitchener Covington, J.; Dunn, Dean A.; Haggerty, Janet A.; Johns, Mark W.; Meyers, Philip A.; Moullade, Michel R.; Muza, Jay P.; Ogg, James G.; Okamura, Makoto; Sarti, Massimo; von Rad, Ulrich

    1985-06-01

    Drilling at Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 603 has provided the first deep (>1000-m) penetration of strata beneath the continental rise off the Atlantic margin of North America. Nearly continuously cored through 1585 m of section down to Berriasian pelagic limestones, the site 435 km (270 mi) east of Cape Hatteras intersected an extensive Lower Cretaceous deep-sea fan complex, which provides new information on the petroleum potential of the continental rise. Hauterivian to early Aptian in age, this 208-m interval of interbedded limestones, sand, and black shale turbidites begs the existence of any post-Valanginian reefs along the Baltimore Canyon Trough. Less extensive terrigenous turbidites were encountered higher in the section up to the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary, which is marked by a current-laminated sand rich in dark spherules. Pelagic early Paleogene clays are disconformably overlain by Miocene pelagic mud. Turbiditic silts and clays began to accumulate rapidly at this site during the middle Miocene, leading to deposition of muddy contourites that formed the Lower Continental Rise Hills of the Hatteras Outer Ridge as sand turbidites were ponded concurrently on its landward side. The section at Site 603 confirms the concept that eustatic and other large-scale events subdivide Earth history into distinct chapters allowing the correlation of deep-sea seismic sequence boundaries with continental shelf and margin unconformities.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Evidence for local volcanism in Mississippian continental-margin strata in southwestern Nevada, Nevada test site

    SciTech Connect

    Trexler, J.H. Jr.; Cashman, P.H. ); Herring, D.M.

    1993-04-01

    A thick section of siltstone, shale, and quartzite at NTS records continental-margin sedimentation coeval with Antler foreland-basin clastic fill to the west. These strata are Osagean and Meramecian (palynology) through upper Chesterian and Morrowan (ammonoids) in age, and appear to contain no sediment of sand or coarser size derived from the Antler allochthon. These rocks have been referred to by previous workers as part of the Eleana Fm., but the authors regard them as more properly equivalent to the Chainman Shale. Their composition has important tectonic implications. Preliminary data suggest that swelling clays in core drilled in these strata may originally have been wind-blown bentonitic ash. A continuously cored section at the north end of Syncline Ridge (hole UE17e) contains abundant swelling clays, as well as dolomite, anhydrite, and other evaporitic minerals. This mineral assemblage, combined with a paucity of fauna and bioturbation, indicates restricted circulation. Rare quartzite intervals near the top of the section are clean, current-reworked arenites with sedimentary structures indicating shallow marine, possibly intertidal conditions. This association suggests a restricted, shallowing-upward marine basin, probably anoxic at times. The clay content indicates a significant sediment input from air-fall ash. Present plate-reconstructions place southern Nevada near 2--8[degree] N latitude, with trade winds prevailing from the paleonortheast (near present north). Volcanic detritus in Late Mississippian sediments of southern Nevada is evidence that volcanism in the Antler orogenic terrane west of the foreland basin is recorded in shelf sediments east of the foreland.

  12. Buried Mesozoic rift basins of the U. S. middle Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Benson, R.N. )

    1991-08-01

    The Atlantic continental margin is one of the frontier areas for oil and gas exploration in the US. Most the activity has been offshore where Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous siliciclastic and carbonate rocks have been the drilling objectives, with only one significant but noncommercial gas discover. Onshore, recent exploration activities have focused on early Mesozoic rift basins buried beneath the postrift sediments of the middle Atlantic coastal plain. Many of the basins are of interest because they contain fine-grained lacustrine rocks that have sufficient organic richness, if not lost through hydrocarbon generation, to be classified as source beds for oil or gas. Locations of inferred rift basins beneath the middle Atlantic coastal plain were determined by analysis of drill-hole data in combination with gravity anomaly and aeromagnetic maps. Two basins in Delaware and the Queen Anne basin of Maryland are imaged on a regional Vibroseis profile. Areas enclosing inferred rift basins in the offshore region were mapped from interpretation of seismic reflection profiles. Assuming that petroleum source beds are present in the basin (synrift) rocks, hydrocarbon-generation models (Lopatin method) indicate that for a basin just offshore Delaware that is buried by 7 km of postrift sediments, only dry gas would be present in reservoir rocks; for the Norfolk basin of the Virginia coast buried by only 3 km of postrift rocks, the upper few hundred meters of synrift rocks are still within the oil-generation window. The less deeply buried basins beneath the coastal plain likely are still within the oil window.

  13. The marine record of deglaciation from the continental margin off Nova Scotia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keigwin, L. D.; Jones, G. A.

    Continental margin sediments off Nova Scotia accumulate at high rates (up to 360 cm kyr-1) and contain a history of millennial-scale environmental changes which are dominated by the proximity of the Laurentide ice sheet during the latest Quaternary. Using stable isotope ratios of oxygen, accelerator mass spectrometer radiocarbon dating, micropaleontology, and sedimentology, we document these changes in six piston cores ranging in water depth from ~450 to ~4300 m. We find that maximum δ18O in N. pachyderma occurred about 15 ka and preceded the maximum abundance of this species in these cores by ~1000 years. Between 13 and 14 ka we find a second peak in abundance of N. pachyderma, minimum δ18O, and two pulses of ice rafting. The sediment lithology supports terrestrial studies which indicate that there was a general withdrawal of ice beyond the upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic red beds by 14 ka in southeastern Canada, so the ice rafting events between 13 and 14 ka probably reflect ice stream activity in the St. Lawrence valley. The Younger Dryas event is recognized as a peak in abundance of N. pachyderma and ice rafting (dated as ~11.3 ka), but meltwater discharge to the Gulf of St. Lawrence was either too small or occurred over too long a time to leave a distinct δ18O minimum off Nova Scotia. At 7.1 ka, in the middle of Holocene warming, we find a third peak in abundance of N. pachyderma and another δ18O minimum but no ice rafting. We interpret these data as evidence of a late-occurring meltwater event which, if correct, could have originated in the Great Lakes, in the Labrador-Ungava region, or in both. The final millennial-scale phenomenon off Nova Scotia is the onset of ``Neoglaciation,'' marked by increased ice rafting and increased % N. pachyderma beginning about 5 kyr ago.

  14. 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).

  15. Geology report for proposed oil and gas lease sale No. 90; continental margin off the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dillon, William P.

    1983-01-01

    This report summarizes our general knowledge of the geology and petroleum potential, as well as potential problems and hazards associated with development of petroleum resources, within the area proposed for nominations for lease sale number 90. This area includes the U.S. eastern continental margin from Raleigh Bay, just south of Cape Hatteras, to southern Florida, including the upper Continental Slope and inner Blake Plateau. The area for possible sales for lease sale number 90, as well as the area for lease sale number 78 and the previous areas leased are shown in figure 1; physiographic features of the region are shown in figure 2. Six exploration wells have been drilled within the proposed lease area (figs. 3 and 4), but no commercial discoveries have been made. All six wells were drilled on the Continental Shelf. No commercial production has been obtained onshore in the region. The areas already drilled have thin sedimentary rock sections, and the deeper strata are dominantly of continental facies. Petroleum formation may have been hindered by a lack of organic material and lack of sufficient burial for thermal maturation. However, analyses of drilling and seismic profiling data presented here indicate that a much thicker section of sedimentary rocks containing a much higher proportion of marine deposits, exists seaward of the Continental Shelf. These geologic conditions imply that the basins farther offshore may be more favorable environments for generating petroleum.

  16. Miocene to Present evolution of the Calabria Tyrrhenian continental margin (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepe, F.; Sulli, A.; Bertotti, G.; Cella, F.

    2009-04-01

    The Miocene to Present evolution of the Calabria Tyrrhenian Continental Margin (CTCM, Southern Tyrrhenian Sea) are reconstructed using two ENE-WSW oriented, near-vertical seismic profiles (CROP-M27 and SISTER 11 lines). The interpreted profiles were time-to-depth converted, merged and translated in a geological section, which was also extended to the Tyrrhenian bathial plain and the Calabrian arc using wide-angle seismic data [Scarascia et al., 1994], and tested with gravity modelling. Across the CTCM, top of KCU is laterally variable in depth forming basins filled by Oligo-Miocene clastic to terrigenous deposits up to 1500m thick. Basins are separated by major structures with contractional or transcurrent kinematics, where faults are arranged in a positive flower structure fashion, affecting the KCU as well as lower Oligocene to Miocene deposits. The Messinian evaporites display essentially a constant thickness of ~-400m with the exception of the Paola Basin where deep-water Messinian evaporites are up to 1000 m thick. Plio-Quaternary deposits display a remarkable variation in thickness from ~-4.5 km in the Paola Basin to less then 400m in the central sector of the margin. Plio-Quaternary sediments are internally sub-divisible into four sub-units separated by tectonics enhanced angular unconformities. W-ward vergent reverse faults with limited vertical displacement offset the top of KCU as well as the Oligo-Miocene sedimentary and evaporitic units in the eastern side of the Paola basin and in the distal part of the CTCM where a number of closely spaced, W-vergent thrust faults are also observed in the Plio-Pleistocene deposits. Along the CTCM, the only significant normal fault which was identified is located around its central sector, dips to the W and has a displacement of ~-580m. Across the margin, the Moho was inferred at ~-35 km beneath the Calabria Arc and shallows up to 24 km in correspondence with the coastline. Moho deepens again to a depth of ~-28 km in

  17. 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

  18. Structural evolution of the accretional continental margin of the Paleoproterozoic Svecofennian orogen in southern Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beunk, F. F.; Page, L. M.

    2001-09-01

    Volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Västervik and Valdemarsvik groups along the southern margin of the 1.90-1.85 Ga south Svecofennian crustal province in Sweden have been migmatised and intruded by granitoids and gabbros during extension (deformation phase D1), at a depth of at least 10 km. Peak metamorphic conditions were reached around 1825 Ma. Extension switched to compression before cooling. The partially molten middle crust facilitated shortening and thickening by isoclinal and sheath folds on scales from a decimetre to 10 km (D2). A pervasive mylonitic S2 foliation developed. These structures were refolded into eastward plunging crustal scale upright folds with E(SE)-W(NW) trending axial planes (D3). D2-D3 deformation structures are colinear and developed during top-to-the-WNW slip along S2. Locally, zones of high ductile strain in garnet-bearing migmatite assemblages record considerable vertical displacement (from 850 to 300 MPa), possibly in nappe roots. Some major D2 sheath folds are embraced by D3- like, but NNW-trending megafolds (D4), apparently resulting from shortening around the former. D2-D4 deformations are interpreted to be broadly coeval and related to transpressive crustal shortening against the northern Svecofennian continental back-stop. After cooling to high greenschist-facies conditions, early structures underwent renewed transpression in north-south direction, expressed in localized, retrogressive shear zones (phase D5). Much D5 strain was accommodated by the 10 km wide, NW-SE striking, right-lateral Loftahammar-Linköping Deformation Zone (LLDZ), operative around 1800-1780 Ma. Regional strain partitioning caused transverse shortening in 15-20 km wide border zones of the LLDZ. Later overprints (D6) involve narrow, subparallel, NW-SE striking and steeply NE dipping low greenschist-facies mylonite zones, some of which merge into the regional, polyphase Åsbro-Norrköping Deformation Zone. D6 was transpressive; oblique, left-lateral, NE

  19. Sidescan-sonar data collected during May 1978 from the southern New England continental shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McClennen, Charles E.

    1981-01-01

    Sidescan-sonar data were collected aboard R/V WESTWARD (Cruise W-39-4) during May 1978 by the U.S. Geological Survey using an Ocean Research Equipment System. Navigation in the study area was by Loran C. The 368 kilometers of survey were conducted in Block Island Sound, in Rhode Island Sound, and over the mid-Continental Shelf south of Block Island and Martha's Vineyard (Fig. 1).

  20. 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.

  1. Morphosedimentary expression of the Giant Pock Mark structure known as the "Gran Burato" (Transitional Zone, Galicia continental margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, Angel Enrique; Rubio, Belén; Rey, Daniel; Mohamed, Kais; Alvarez, Paula; Plaza-Morlote, Maider; Bernabeu, Ana; Druet, Maria; Martins, Virginia

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the characterization of the sedimentary environment and other sedimentological features of the Transitional Zone of the Galicia continental margin, in the vicinity of the giant pock -mark structure known as the Gran Burato. The area is characterized by marginal platforms and a horst-graben system controlled by NW-SE oriented normal faults. In this zone, three giant pockmark structures, one of them known as the Gran Burato, were reported as associated to large-scale fluid escapes. The study area is located on the Transitional Zone (TZ) of the Galicia passive continental margin, which extends from Cape Finisterre (43o N) in the North to around 40oN in the South. This margin shows a complex structural configuration, which is reflected in the seabed, owing to tectonic movements from Mesozoic rifting phases and Eocene compression (Pyrennean Orogeny). Sedimentological, geochemical and physical properties analysis and 14C AMS-dating of a 4 m piston core extracted in the vicinity of the Gran Burato complemented by multibeam and TOPAS surveys allowed characterizing of the sedimentary environment in the study area. The interpretation of these data showed that the sedimentary and tectonic evolution of the area controlled by the activity of fluid dynamics.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Numerical modelling of crustal growth at active continental margins: implications for the origin of batholiths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Katharina; Gerya, Taras; Castro, Antonio

    2010-05-01

    As the dynamics and melt sources for batholith generation still remain controversial a set of numerical experiments has been performed using a 2D geochemical - petrological - thermomechanical numerical code (I2VIS) to study dynamics of crustal growth at an active continental margin. The petrological - thermomechanical model simulates oceanic - continental subduction, based on finite differences and marker in cell techniques. The model accounts for spontaneous slab retreat and bending, dehydration of subducted crust, aqueous fluid transport, partial melting, melt extraction and melt emplacement in form of both extrusive volcanics and intrusive plutons. A set of numerical experiments has been performed by varying the rheological weakening effect imposed by fluids and melts. The results indicate that two major tectonic modes of crustal growth exist: (i) plume - absent and (ii) plume - present regimes. Crustal growth in the plume - absent regime is accomplished dominantly by magma emplacement within the lower crust. Melts are extracted from partially molten rocks located atop the slab (i.e. hydrated mantle, sediments and basalts) and are emplaced within the lower crust in form of laterally extending and crystallizing, flattened batholiths of mainly basaltic to andesitic composition. In the case of a plume - present regime subduction of large quantities of sediments results in the formation of buoyant, silicic plumes composed of partially molten sediments and partially molten basalts with some contribution of hydrated mantle. Subsequently these plumes ascend from the slab and intrude into the crust, where they finally crystallize as intrusive bodies (batholiths) within the upper crust. Additionally, extracted melts from partially molten rocks, which are formed both atop the slab and inside the plumes, are being emplaced within the lower crust, where they extend laterally with time until they crystallize. Consequently, two coupled mechanisms contribute to crustal growth

  5. Probable Occurrence of Gas Hydrates Along the Continental Margins of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramprasad, T.

    2004-12-01

    The gas hydrates have gained the importance of being potential to be an alternate energy resource and are know to occur world wide in the sediments of the outer continental margins and polar regions associated with permafrost and are stable under certain temperature-pressure conditions. A gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) thickness map of Indian offshore has been created from spatial analysis of physical parameters that influence the formation and preservation of gas hydrates by using Arc/Info GIS software. These parameters include bathymetry and heatflow/geothermal gradient data obtained from published literature, digital databases and unpublished sources, and the seabed temperature from extrapolation of the best-fit polynomial of hydrothermal profile. In addition to the measured heatflow/geothermal data, the values were predicted in the regions devoid of data by considering the Indian offshore comprising of three provinces such as: oceanic, stretched continental crust and the crust influenced by the hotspot. Heatflow versus age relationship is used in case of oceanic crust in Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Andaman Sea in the regions beyond the shelf edge. The stretched crust criterion is applied only in the northern Arabian Sea between shelf and the inferred oceanic crust. A regression line is fitted between the available heatflow data and the corresponding age of the crust to compute heatflow values, in the region where the crust influenced by the Reunion hotspot. Seabed temperature data were also predicted in deficient areas based on the regression analysis of available bathymetry versus seabed temperature relationship. The thickness of gas hydrate stability zone was computed both in TWT (msec) and meters, by solving the gas hydrate phase and pressure-temperature equations at each GIS grid node. The GHSZ thickness map is reliable to the extent it can be used as an important indicator for gas hydrate potential of an area. Large volumes of multi-channel seismic

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Morphology and lithology of the continental slope north of the Demerara marginal plateau: results from the DRADEM cruise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, Christophe; Girault, Igor; Heuret, Arnauld; Loncke, Lies; Poetisi, Ewald; Graindorge, David; Deverchère, Jacques; Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Frédéric Lebrun, Jean; Perrot, Julie; Roest, Walter

    2017-04-01

    The DRADEM scientific cruise was carried out from July 9th to 21th 2016 on board the R/V Pourquoi Pas?, in the Exclusive Economic Zones of Suriname and French Guiana. This cruise is part of a program dedicated to geological investigations of the continental margin, including the Demerara plateau, following the GUYAPLAC (2003) and IGUANES (2013) cruises, and before the MARGATS cruise (2016). The aims of DRADEM were to map the continental slope of the transform margin north of the Demerara plateau, and to dredge the rocks outcropping on the slope. We completed the bathymetric mapping of the continental slope, including part of the edge of the Demerara plateau. These new bathymetric data confirm the segmentation of the transform margin in three parts with very different morphologies. In addition, two circular structures were interpreted as mud volcanoes, one on the northern edge of the plateau, the other one in the distal part of the Orinoco deep sea fan. Twelve dredges were performed between 4700 and 3500 m water depths. Four from these twelve did not recovered rocks. The eight others recovered variable amounts of rocks, often encrusted, but of various nature: sediments (breccia, coarse sandstones, sandstones with plants debris, sandstones with shells, clayey ooze), micro-granular rocks and metamorphic rocks (including mylonite). The nature of the rocks was determined from macroscopic observation of the altered rocks. Of course, these determinations need to be validated and refined by further studies onshore. In any case, most of these rocks were previously unknown in this area, and they will strongly influence our understanding of the structure and evolution of this margin. They provide evidence for large vertical displacements that brought to the surface some of these rocks, that were formed in a deep setting.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Methane flux and sulfate reduction variations in the continental margin offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Y.; Lin, S.; Yang, T. F.; Chen, Y.; Liu, C.; Wang, Y.; Chung, S.

    2008-12-01

    Methane gas is an important greenhouse gas. It can affect global climate if large amounts of methane gas release to the atmosphere. During migration, methane will be consumed via anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM) before reaching seawater or the atmosphere (Hinrichs et al, 1999). High methane concentration associated with gas hydrate will enhance sulfate reduction and AOM, resulting in steep sulfate gradients and shallow sulfate-methane interface (SMI) (Borowski et al., 1999). Therefore, sulfate profile is useful to estimate methane flux if AOM become the predominant process in sediment. During our TowCam survey, methane seep-related seafloor features, especially authigenic carbonate buildups, chimney structures and chemosynthetic communities, were found in the continental margin offshore southwestern Taiwan. In order to understand methane flux and sulfate reduction variations in this study area, piston cores and gravity cores were collected on board the r/v Ocean Research I. Sediment samples collected were analyzed for methane, sulfate, dissolved sulfide, pyrite-sulfide, organic carbon, and carbonate content. Spatial variations of methane concentration and sulfate reduction were found in this study area. Shallow SMI and high methane concentration were found on the front of the accretional wedge close to the deformation front (Yung-An lineament). Some SMI depth is shallower than 1m. Methane and dissolved sulfide concentration were as high as 10mM at some locations. Concentration of methane and dissolved sulfide decreased while SMI depth increase away from the accretional wedge front from west to east. C-13 isotope depleted authigenic carbonate and mussel tissues found on gas seep area showed that methane is the major carbon source and the AOM is an important biogeochemical process in the study area. The range of sulfate and methane flux calculated by the Fick's law were 1.80-219 mmole/m2/yr and 0.01-87 mmole/m2/yr, respectively. Sulfate flux, however, was higher

  12. 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

  13. Upper Wisconsinan till recovered on the continental shelf southeast of New England

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bothner, Michael H.; Spiker, E. C.

    1980-01-01

    Basal till was identified in two sediment cores collected about 69 kilometers southeast of Nantucket Island on the east and west sides of Great South Channel. These are the first samples of till collected on the outer continental shelf off the northeastern United States. The carbon-14 age of the total organic carbon in the tills provides a "no older than" age of about 20,000 years before present and suggests that the tills were deposited during the late Wisconsinan glaciation. This conclusion is in support of the hypothesis of an extensive Laurentide ice sheet that extended to the northern side of Georges Bank. Copyright ?? 1980 AAAS.

  14. Thermal history and evolution of the Rio de Janeiro - Barbacena section of the southeastern Brazilian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neri Gezatt, Julia; Stephenson, Randell; Macdonald, David

    2015-04-01

    The transect between the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Barbacena (22°54'S, 43°12'W and 21°13'S, 43°46'W, respectively) runs through a segment of a complex range of N-NE/S-SW trending basement units of the Ribeira Belt and southern Sao Francisco Craton, intensely reworked during the Brasiliano-Pan-African orogenic cycle. The ortho- and paragneisses in the area have metamorphic ages between 650 and 540 Ma and are intruded by pre-, syn- and post-tectonic granitic bodies. The transect, perpendicular to the strike direction of the continental margin, crosses the Serra do Mar escarpment, where the sample density is higher in order to better constrain occasional significant age changes. For logistical reasons, the 40 samples collected were processed in two separate batches for apatite fission track (AFT) analysis. The first batch comprised 19 samples, from which 15 produced fission track ages. Analyses were carried out at University College London (UCL), following standard procedures. Preliminary results for the study show AFT ages between 85.9±6.3 and 54.1±4.2 Ma, generally with younger ages close to the coast and progressively older ages towards the continental interior. The highest area sampled, around the city of Teresopolis, ranges from 740 to 1216 m above sea level and shows ages between 85.9±6.3 and 71.3±5.3 Ma. There is no evident lithological or structural distribution control. Medium track length values range from 12.57 to 13.89 µm and distributions are unimodal. Thermal history modelling was done using software QTQt. Individual sample model cooling curves can be divided into two groups: a dominant one, showing a single, slower cooling trend, and a second one with a rapid initial cooling curve, which becomes less steep around 65 Ma. In both groups the maximum paleotemperatures are around 110 Ma. The thermal history model for the first batch of samples is compatible with a single cooling event for the area following continental rifting and

  15. 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

  16. 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

    reservoirs. Geochemical mixing models reveal that the measured 129I/I ratios in Atacama are in agreement with multiple sources of iodine that include variable contributions from old organic iodine sources (i.e., marine sedimentary rocks) and younger fluids such as pore waters, geothermal fluids and meteoric waters. Our results show that the large variation observed in the iodine isotopic ratios of different reservoirs (129I/I from 150 to 1580 × 10-15) is indicative of significant mixing and circulation of fluids of meteoric, sedimentary and volcanic origin along the Chilean continental margin in the last 30 million years. We conclude that this protracted and large-scale fluid flow was driven by tectonic uplift and highly influenced by the climatic history of the Atacama Desert. The combination of such factors has played an unforeseen role in transporting and accumulating iodine and other soluble components in the Atacama region, and is evidence that elemental remobilization is a key process in the overall crustal cycle of iodine over scales of millions of years.

  17. Processes in the benthic boundary layer at the Iberian continental margin and their implication for carbon mineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, L.; vanWeering, T.; Gust, G.

    This paper evaluates the role of biological processes in the cycling of particulate organic matter within the benthic boundary layer (BBL). It reveals that horizontal, advective fluxes of particulate matter exceed the vertically sinking fluxes through the water column. The data suggest that there is an important additional mechanism of carbon mineralization at hydrodynamically energetic continental margins, and that not the sediment surface but the near-bed fluid layer of the BBL is the major region for organic carbon mineralisation, and the amount of carbon finally buried depends on the time that aggregates are exposed to the BBL. Water and sediment samples were taken during three cruises to the North East Atlantic continental margin. The study site covered the area between 41°N, 9°W and 44°N, 13°W with transects perpendicular to and along the continental margin, resolving velocity and particle features of the benthic boundary layer [BBL] at 5-40 cm height above the sea floor. Particulate organic carbon in the BBL ranged from 29 to 102 mg m -3, total particulate matter from 1.2 to 6.2 g m -3 and Chloroplastic pigments from 0.01 to 0.26 mg m -3. Sediments on the continental margin consisted of an aggregated surface layer, which covered the underlying sediments. At all stations, surface erosion yielded BBL aggregates > 100 μm at critical friction velocities [u ∗c] of 0.4 to 1.2 cms -1. The erosion thresholds of underlying cohesive sediments typically increased from 1.1 to 1.8 cms -1 from shallow to deeper sites. Long-term flow velocity data reveal a tidally modulated flow field with repetitive cycling of particles between sea bed and suspension, representing altogether a situation of prolonged particle resuspension time, moderate residual currents and large variability of flow speed. The currents parallel and cross slope (north-south, on -and offslope) move the BBL aggregates with little net distance in one direction per tidal cycle. Within the ensuing

  18. 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.

  19. Characterising the evolution of transform continental margins - a geophysical study of the Swan Island transform margin-Cayman Trough intersection, Caribbean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castiello, G.; Peirce, C.; Grevemeyer, I.

    2016-12-01

    Here we present initial results of a multi-approach geophysical investigation of the Swan Island Transform Zone (SITZ), that marks the southern boundary of the Cayman Trough, whose oceanic crust is accreted at the ultra-slow spreading (full rate of 15-17 mm/yr) Mid-Cayman spreading centre (MCSC). Wide-angle seismic, gravity, magnetic and swath bathymetry data were acquired during the METEOR Cruise M115 in April 2015 along an approximately 180 km-long across-margin transect located at 50 km to the west of the spreading axis. Thirty four-component (hydrophone, three component geophone) ocean-bottom seismographs (OBSs) were deployed at 5 km intervals along profile to record shots fired approximately every 150 m by a 5440 in3Sercel G-gun airgun array. Ship-based gravity and magnetic data were acquired contemporaneously along-profile. These data have been analyzed and modeled using forward modeling approaches to reveal the crustal velocity-density structure that, together with the seabed swath bathymetry morphology imaging, have been used to determine: 1) structure of the ocean-continent transition, 2) mode and rate of evolution of the transform margin, 3) if lateral motion at the SITZ occurs along a single fault or within a fault zone, 4) how the motion between oceanic and continental lithosphere is accommodated, and 5) the lateral structural and thermal coupling between the continental and the oceanic crust.

  20. 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

  1. From hyperextended rift to convergent margin types: mapping the outer limit of the extended Continental Shelf of Spain in the Galicia area according UNCLOS Art. 76

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somoza, Luis; Medialdea, Teresa; Vázquez, Juan T.; González, Francisco J.; León, Ricardo; Palomino, Desiree; Fernández-Salas, Luis M.; Rengel, Juan

    2017-04-01

    Spain presented on 11 May 2009 a partial submission for delimiting the extended Continental Shelf in respect to the area of Galicia to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). The Galicia margin represents an example of the transition between two different types of continental margins (CM): a western hyperpextended margin and a northern convergent margin in the Bay of Biscay. The western Galicia Margin (wGM 41° to 43° N) corresponds to a hyper-extended rifted margin as result of the poly-phase development of the Iberian-Newfoundland conjugate margin during the Mesozoic. Otherwise, the north Galicia Margin (nGM) is the western end of the Cenozoic subduction of the Bay of Biscay along the north Iberian Margin (NIM) linked to the Pyrenean-Mediterranean collisional belt Following the procedure established by the CLCS Scientific and Technical Guidelines (CLCS/11), the points of the Foot of Slope (FoS) has to be determined as the points of maximum change in gradient in the region defined as the Base of the continental Slope (BoS). Moreover, the CLCS guidelines specify that the BoS should be contained within the continental margin (CM). In this way, a full-coverage multibeam bathymetry and an extensive dataset of up 4,736 km of multichannel seismic profiles were expressly obtained during two oceanographic surveys (Breogham-2005 and Espor-2008), aboard the Spanish research vessel Hespérides, to map the outer limit of the CM.In order to follow the criteria of the CLCS guidelines, two types of models reported in the CLCS Guidelines were applied to the Galicia Margin. In passive margins, the Commission's guidelines establish that the natural prolongation is based on that "the natural process by which a continent breaks up prior to the separation by seafloor spreading involves thinning, extension and rifting of the continental crust…" (para. 7.3, CLCS/11). The seaward extension of the wGM should include crustal continental blocks and the so

  2. 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

  3. Syn- and post-rift anomalous vertical movements in the eastern Central Atlantic passive margin: a transect across the Moroccan passive continental margin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charton, Remi; Bertotti, Giovanni; Arantegui, Angel; Luber, Tim; Redfern, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Traditional models of passive margin evolution suggesting generalised regional subsidence with rates decreasing after the break-up have been questioned in the last decade by a number of detailed studies. The occurrence of episodic km-scale exhumation well within the post-rift stage, possibly associated with significant erosion, have been documented along the Atlantic continental margins. Despite the wide-spread and increasing body of evidence supporting post-rift exhumation, there is still limited understanding of the mechanism or scale of these phenomena. Most of these enigmatic vertical movements have been discovered using low-temperature geochronology and time-temperature modelling along strike of passive margins. As proposed in previous work, anomalous upward movements in the exhuming domain are coeval with higher-than-normal downward movements in the subsiding domain. These observations call for an integrated analysis of the entire source-to-sink system as a pre-requisite for a full understanding of the involved tectonics. We reconstruct the geological evolution of a 50km long transect across the Moroccan passive margin from the Western Anti-Atlas (Ifni area) to the offshore passive margin basin. Extending the presently available low-temperature geochronology database and using a new stratigraphic control of the Mesozoic sediments, we present a reconstruction of vertical movements in the area. Further, we integrate this with the analysis of an offshore seismic line and the pattern of vertical movements in the Anti-Atlas as documented in Gouiza et al. (2016). The results based on sampled rocks indicate exhumation by circa 6km after the Variscan orogeny until the Middle Jurassic. During the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous the region was subsequently buried by 1-2km, and later exhumed by 1-2km from late Early/Late Cretaceous onwards. From the Permian to present day, the Ifni region is the link between the generally exhuming Anti Atlas and continually subsiding

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Geology of the offshore Southeast Georgia Embayment, U.S. Atlantic continental margin, based on multichannel seismic reflection profiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buffler, Richard T.; Watkins, Joel S.; Dillon, William P.

    1979-01-01

    The sedimentary section is divided into three major seismic intervals. The intervals are separated by unconformities and can be mapped regionally. The oldest interval ranges in age from Early Cretaceous through middle Late Cretaceous, although it may contain Jurassic rocks where it thickens beneath the Blake Plateau. It probably consists of continental to nearshore clastic rocks where it onlaps basement and grades seaward to a restricted carbonate platform facies (dolomite-evaporite). The middle interval (Upper Cretaceous) is characterized by prograding clinoforms interpreted as open marine slope deposits. This interval represents a Late Cretaceous shift of the carbonate shelf margin from the Blake Escarpment shoreward to about its present location, probably due to a combination of co tinued subsidence, an overall Late Cretaceous rise in sea level, and strong currents across the Blake Plateau. The youngest (Cenozoic) interval represents a continued seaward progradation of the continental shelf and slope. Cenozoic sedimentation on the Blake Plateau was much abbreviated owing mainly to strong currents.

  7. The continental slope off New England: A long-range sidescan-sonar perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scanlon, K.M.

    1984-01-01

    The first continuous overview of a large segment of the continental slope and rise off the northeastern United States has been obtained using the GLORIA II long-range sidescan-sonar system. Extensive dissection by canyon and gully systems and evidence of possible large-scale sediment sliding are seen on the slope. The style and degree of incision, as well as the numbers and locations of canyons, have been found to differ significantly from previously published maps. It is suggested that the slope is a significant source of the sediment that has been deposited on the rise, and that some abrupt changes in the courses of canyons may be the result of local structural control. ?? 1984 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  8. HyFlux - Part I: Regional Modeling of Methane Flux From Near-Seafloor Gas Hydrate Deposits on Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Asper, V.; Garcia, O. P.; Kastner, M.; Leifer, I.; Naehr, T.; Solomon, E.; Yvon-Lewis, S.; Zimmer, B.

    2008-12-01

    HyFlux - Part I: Regional modeling of methane flux from near-seafloor gas hydrate deposits on continental margins MacDonald, I.R., Asper, V., Garcia, O., Kastner, M., Leifer, I., Naehr, T.H., Solomon, E., Yvon-Lewis, S., and Zimmer, B. The Dept. of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) has recently awarded a project entitled HyFlux: "Remote sensing and sea-truth measurements of methane flux to the atmosphere." The project will address this problem with a combined effort of satellite remote sensing and data collection at proven sites in the Gulf of Mexico where gas hydrate releases gas to the water column. Submarine gas hydrate is a large pool of greenhouse gas that may interact with the atmosphere over geologic time to affect climate cycles. In the near term, the magnitude of methane reaching the atmosphere from gas hydrate on continental margins is poorly known because 1) gas hydrate is exposed to metastable oceanic conditions in shallow, dispersed deposits that are poorly imaged by standard geophysical techniques and 2) the consumption of methane in marine sediments and in the water column is subject to uncertainty. The northern GOM is a prolific hydrocarbon province where rapid migration of oil, gases, and brines from deep subsurface petroleum reservoirs occurs through faults generated by salt tectonics. Focused expulsion of hydrocarbons is manifested at the seafloor by gas vents, gas hydrates, oil seeps, chemosynthetic biological communities, and mud volcanoes. Where hydrocarbon seeps occur in depths below the hydrate stability zone (~500m), rapid flux of gas will feed shallow deposits of gas hydrate that potentially interact with water column temperature changes; oil released from seeps forms sea-surface features that can be detected in remote-sensing images. The regional phase of the project will quantify verifiable sources of methane (and oil) the Gulf of Mexico continental margin and selected margins (e.g. Pakistan Margin, South China Sea

  9. Modelling Sea-floor Spreading Initiation and Rifted Continental Margin Formation: Does Depth Dependent Stretching Occur Pre- or Syn-breakup?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusznir, N. J.; Karner, G. D.

    2004-05-01

    Depth dependent stretching, in which upper continental crustal extension is much less than that of the lower crust and lithospheric mantle, is a characteristic of both non-volcanic and volcanic rifted margins. A key question is whether depth dependent stretching of rifted margin lithosphere occurs during the initiation of sea-floor spreading or during pre-breakup rifting. A kinematic fluid-flow model of sea-floor spreading initiation has been developed to determine the concomitant distribution and amplitude of rifted continental margin lithosphere thinning and thermal evolution. The ocean-ridge initiation model uses an iso-viscous corner-flow stream-function solution (Batchelor 1967) to predict the divergent lithospheric and asthenospheric fluid-flow field of the extending continental margin lithosphere. The thinning of the continental margin lithosphere is calculated by material advection in the newly initiated ocean ridge fluid-flow field. The ocean-ridge initiation model predicts depth dependent stretching of continental lithosphere. Rifted continental margin lithosphere thinning and thermal evolution are dependent on ocean-ridge spreading rate (Vx), the mantle upwelling velocity beneath the ridge axis (Vz), and the pre-breakup lithosphere beta stretching factor. The sea-floor spreading initiation model predicts that the distribution and magnitude of depth dependent stretching of continental margin lithosphere is highly sensitive to the ratio of Vz/Vx. For volcanic margins Vz/Vx may be > 5 during sea-floor spreading initiation, reducing to Vz/Vx ~ 1 after a few Myr (Nielsen & Hopper 2002), while for non-volcanic margins, lower values of Vz/Vx (~ 1) are expected during sea-floor spreading initiation. For Vz/Vx ~ 1 the sea-floor spreading initiation model predicts that lower continental crust and continental lithospheric mantle adjacent to the margin are advected oceanward and result in rifted margin depth dependent stretching and continental mantle exhumation

  10. 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

  11. Low-Temperature Thermochronology Applied to Constrain the Multi-Episodic Thermotectonic Evolution of the Southeastern Continental Margin of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendes, L. D.; Heilbron, M. C. P. L.; Hodges, K. V.; Van Soest, M. C.; Silva, L. G. A. E.

    2015-12-01

    Low-temperature thermochronology was applied to constrain the Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the continental margin of southeast Brazil. Using apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology (AHe), we acquired data from 107 crystals of basement samples collected from a NW-SE transect in the Mantiqueira Mountains to the Guanabara Graben, as well as from the NE-SE transverse faults. The data range from 43.5 ± 1.9 Ma to 250.1 ± 8.7 Ma (2 σ) for corrected ages. The Neo-Cretaceous, Eo-Cretaceous, and Paleocene are the main recorded AHe ages, in order of importance. The Eo-Cretaceous ages indicate the occurrence of older thermal events related to a pre-rifting phase (~121 Ma). The Neo-Cretaceous ages signify the importance of tectonic and magmatic events, and regional uplifting for the thermal history of the study area, including ages related to the Serra do Mar Mountains uplift (~86 Ma). Paleocene ages seem to be related to the reactivation (~65 Ma), which was responsible for the continental rifts in the southeastern Brazil. Finally, the Eocene ages (49.7 Ma and 43.5 Ma), which are from samples restricted to the Resende Basin border faults, indicate a continental rift reactivation. Time-temperature (t-T) paths obtained from inverse modeling, performed using HeFTy (Ketcham, 2005) with a Radiation Damage Diffusion and Annealing Model (Flowers et al., 2009), suggests rapid cooling episodes for all samples. The main thermal events show a direct correlation with the timing of regional tectonic events: reactivation phases, continental margin uplift, and the sedimentary record. Apatite (U-Th)/He ages increase with distance from the coast and with elevation. However, these patterns are discontinued by samples of younger ages as a result of the reactivation process of pre-existing structures. The total estimated denudation range from 1.2 to 2.8 km. The erosion rates range from 15.2 to 35.3 m/My. Thus, the multi-episodic thermal events, which led to the formation of important

  12. Modeling the conversion of hydroacoustic to seismic energy at island and continental margins: preliminary analysis of Ascension Island data

    SciTech Connect

    Harben, P.; Rodgers, A.

    1999-07-26

    Seismic stations at islands and continental margins will be an essential component of the International Monitoring System (IMS) for event location and identification in support of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) monitoring. Particularly important will be the detection and analysis of hydroacoustic-to-seismic converted waves (T-phases) at island or continental margins. Acoustic waves generated by sources in or near the ocean propagate for long distances very efficiently due to the ocean sound speed channel (SOFAR) and low attenuation. When ocean propagating acoustic waves strike an island or continental margin they are converted to seismic (elastic) waves. We are using a finite difference code to model the conversion of hydroacoustic T-waves at an island or continental margin. Although ray-based methods are far more efficient for modeling long-range (> 1000 km) high-frequency hydroacoustic propagation, the finite difference method has the advantage of being able to model both acoustic and elastic wave propagation for a broad range of frequencies. The method allows us to perform simulations of T-phases to relatively high frequencies ({>=}10 Hz). Of particular interest is to identify factors that affect the efficiency of T-phase conversion, such as the topographic slope and roughness at the conversion point and elastic velocity structure within the island or continent. Previous studies have shown that efficient T-phase conversion occurs when the topographic slope at the conversion point is steep (Cansi and Bethoux, 1985; Talandier and Okal, 1998). Another factor impacting T-phase conversion may be the near-shore structure of the sound channel. It is well known that the depth to the sound channel axis decreases in shallow waters. This can weaken the channeled hydroacoustic wave. Elastic velocity structure within the island or continent will impact how the converted seismic wave is refracted to recording stations at the surface and thus impact the T

  13. Sediment deposition rates on the continental margins of the eastern Arabian Sea using 210Pb, 137Cs and 14C.

    PubMed

    Somayajulu, B L; Bhushan, R; Sarkar, A; Burr, G S; Jull, A J

    1999-09-30

    Eight gravity cores from the active eastern continental margins of the Arabian Sea were dated using 210Pbxs, 137Cs and 14C. The short-term (< or = 100 years) sedimentation rates range from 0.06 to 0.66 cm/year where as the long-term (> or = 1000 years) ones using AMS 14C on planktonic foraminifera varied from 0.004 to 0.13 cm/year. For long-term chronology (< or = 50,000 years) AMS dating of well-cleaned planktonic foraminifera is most suited.

  14. Multichannel seismic depth sections and interval velocities over outer continental shelf and upper continental slope between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod: rifted margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grow, John A.; Mattick, Robert E.; Schlee, John S.

    1979-01-01

    Six computer-generated seismic depth sections over the outer continental shelf and upper slope reveal that subhorizontal Lower Cretaceous reflectors continue 20 to 30 km seaward of the present shelf edge. Extensive erosion on the continental slope has occurred primarily during the Tertiary, causing major unconformities and retreat of the shelf edge to its present position. The precise age and number of erosional events is not established, but at least one major erosional event is thought to be Oligocene and related to a marine regression in response to a worldwide eustatic lowering of sea level. Velocities derived from the multichannel data reveal distinctive ranges and lateral trends as functions of sediment age, depth of burial, and distance from the coastline. Seismic units beneath the shelf and slope of inferred Tertiary age range from 1.7 to 2.7 km/sec, increasing with age and depth of burial. Units interpreted as Upper Cretaceous rocks beneath the shelf range from 2.3 to 3.6 km/sec and show a distinct lateral increase across the shelf followed by a decrease beneath the present continental slope. Inferred Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic rocks beneath the shelf increase from 3.7 to 4.8 km/sec from nearshore to offshore and indicate a change in facies from clastic units below the inner shelf to carbonate units beneath the outer shelf and upper continental slope. Both reflection and refraction data suggest that thin, high-velocity limestone units (5.0 km/sec) are present within the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic units beneath the outermost shelf edge, but that these change lithology or pinch out before reaching the middle shelf. Although lateral changes in velocity across the shelf and local velocity inversions appear, the interval velocities along the length of the margin show excellent continuity between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod. The high-velocity horizons within the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic shelf-edge complex indicate the presence of a

  15. Geochemical evidence for modern sediment accumulation on the continental shelf off southern New England

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bothner, Michael H.; Spiker, E. C.; Johnson, P. P.; Rendigs, R. R.; Aruscavage, P. J.

    1981-01-01

    An area of fine-grained sediment approximately 170 km x 74 km in size, located in water depths between 60 m and 150 m, south of Martha's Vineyard, Mass., is a site of modern sediment deposition. The 14C ages systematically increase with sediment depth from about 1,300 years B.P. at the surface to 8,000-10,000 years B.P. at the depth of maximum core penetration. The old age for the surface sediments probably results from a combination of deposition of old carbon and faunal mixing. In the finest sediments, the sedimentation rates were approximately 130 cm/1,000 yrs when deposition began and have decreased to about 25 cm/1,000 yrs. The decreasing sedimentation rate reflects a diminishing source of fine sediments, which presumably came from the Georges Bank and Nantucket Shoals area. Inventories of excess 210Pb in undisturbed cores average 70 dpm/cm2 (disintegrations per minute per square centimeter), more than two times higher than the flux of 210Pb from the atmosphere and from 226Ra decay in the overlying water. This additional influx of 210Pb either must be with new fine-grained sediment material or from solutions that are stripped of their 210Pb by particulates in the bottom nepheloid layer. Stable Pb concentrations in surface sediments are about 28 ppm, as much as two times higher than concentrations at depth. The high accumulation rates, 210Pb inventories, and trace-metal profiles imply that this area is a modern sink for fine-grained sediments and for pollutants associated with particulate matter in the water column. To our knowledge, this is the only site of present-day natural deposition on the Continental Shelf off the eastern United States, exclusive of the Gulf of Maine. Because the net currents on the outer half of this Continental Shelf flow from northeast to southwest, this fine-grained deposit may receive its sediments and possible contaminants from the Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank regions.

  16. Seabed fluid expulsion along the upper slope and outer shelf of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, D.S.; Ruppel, C.; Kluesner, J.W.; ten Brink, U.S.; Chaytor, J.D.; Hill, J.C.; Andrews, B.D.; Flores, C.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying the spatial distribution of seabed fluid expulsion features is crucial for understanding the substrate plumbing sys