Science.gov

Sample records for rift oblicuo aplicaciones

  1. Hawaii Rifts

    SciTech Connect

    Nicole Lautze

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. How Mountains Become Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. East African Rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

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

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

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

  5. Volcanism at rifts

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-07-01

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

  6. Rift Valley Fever (RVF)

    MedlinePlus

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

  7. Continental rifting: a planetary perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Muehlberger, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    The only inner planet that has abundant evidence of regional extension, and the consequent generation of rifts in the earth. The absence of plate motion on the other inner planets limits their rifts to localized bulges or subsidence areas. The rifting of oceanic lithosphere is seldom preserved in the geological record. Thus, such rifting must be inferred via plate tectonic interpretation: if there is rifting, then there must be subduction whose results are commonly well preserved. Modern continental rifts are found in many tectonic settings: continental breakup, extension transverse to collisional stresses, or wide regions of nearly uniform extension. Recognition of these settings in older rocks becomes more difficult the farther back in geologic time you travel. Rift basin fillings typically show rapid lateral and vertical facies and thickness changes, bimodal volcanism, and distinctive rift-drift sequences. Proterozoic rifts and aulacogens are well-documented in North America; ex. Keweenawan, western margin of Labrador fold belt, Belt-Uinta and the Wopmay-Athapuscow regions. Documented Archean rifts are rare. In Quebec, the truncated margin of the Minto craton bounded on the south by a 2.8 Ga greenstone belt implies an earlier rift event. The oldest proposed rift dated at 3.0 Ga contains the Pongola Supergroup in southeastern Africa. The presence of Archean dikes demonstrates a rigid crust and andesites as old as 3.5 Ga imply plate tectonics and thus, at least, oceanic rifting.

  8. Rift Valley Fever Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. Continental rifting - Progress and outlook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, B. H.; Morgan, P.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. East African Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

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

  13. Rift basins - Origin, history, and distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K. C.

    1985-01-01

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

  14. [Rift Valley fever].

    PubMed

    Pépin, M

    2011-06-01

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

  15. Factors controlling depth of continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  16. Rifting on Venus: Implications for lithospheric structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  17. Hydrocarbon potential of intracratonic rift basins

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-09-01

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

  18. Structural style of the Turkana Rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-03-01

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

  19. Cenozoic rift formation in the northern Caribbean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mann, P.; Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  1. Factors controlling depth of continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  2. Parga Chasma: Coronae and Rifting on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  3. Magmatism in rifting and basin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thybo, H.

    2008-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guseva, E. N.

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, Sascha; Williams, Simon E.; Butterworth, Nathaniel P.; Müller, R. Dietmar

    2016-08-01

    Rifted margins are formed by persistent stretching of continental lithosphere until breakup is achieved. It is well known that strain-rate-dependent processes control rift evolution, yet quantified extension histories of Earth’s major passive margins have become available only recently. Here we investigate rift kinematics globally by applying a new geotectonic analysis technique to revised global plate reconstructions. We find that rifted margins feature an initial, slow rift phase (less than ten millimetres per year, full rate) and that an abrupt increase of plate divergence introduces a fast rift phase. Plate acceleration takes place before continental rupture and considerable margin area is created during each phase. We reproduce the rapid transition from slow to fast extension using analytical and numerical modelling with constant force boundary conditions. The extension models suggest that the two-phase velocity behaviour is caused by a rift-intrinsic strength–velocity feedback, which can be robustly inferred for diverse lithosphere configurations and rheologies. Our results explain differences between proximal and distal margin areas and demonstrate that abrupt plate acceleration during continental rifting is controlled by the nonlinear decay of the resistive rift strength force. This mechanism provides an explanation for several previously unexplained rapid absolute plate motion changes, offering new insights into the balance of plate driving forces through time.

  6. 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.

  7. Buried troughs, grabens and rifts in Sudan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salama, R. B.

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

  8. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

    Brune, Sascha; Williams, Simon E; Butterworth, Nathaniel P; Müller, R Dietmar

    2016-08-11

    Rifted margins are formed by persistent stretching of continental lithosphere until breakup is achieved. It is well known that strain-rate-dependent processes control rift evolution, yet quantified extension histories of Earth's major passive margins have become available only recently. Here we investigate rift kinematics globally by applying a new geotectonic analysis technique to revised global plate reconstructions. We find that rifted margins feature an initial, slow rift phase (less than ten millimetres per year, full rate) and that an abrupt increase of plate divergence introduces a fast rift phase. Plate acceleration takes place before continental rupture and considerable margin area is created during each phase. We reproduce the rapid transition from slow to fast extension using analytical and numerical modelling with constant force boundary conditions. The extension models suggest that the two-phase velocity behaviour is caused by a rift-intrinsic strength--velocity feedback, which can be robustly inferred for diverse lithosphere configurations and rheologies. Our results explain differences between proximal and distal margin areas and demonstrate that abrupt plate acceleration during continental rifting is controlled by the nonlinear decay of the resistive rift strength force. This mechanism provides an explanation for several previously unexplained rapid absolute plate motion changes, offering new insights into the balance of plate driving forces through time. PMID:27437571

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo

    2009-09-01

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

  10. Stratigraphic Modelling of Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Rio Grande rift: problems and perspectives

    SciTech Connect

    Baldridge, W.S.; Olsen, K.H.; Callender, J.F.

    1984-01-01

    Topics and ideas addressed include: (1) the regional extent of the Rio Grande rift; (2) the structure of the crust and upper mantle; (3) whether the evidence for an axile dike in the lower crust is compelling; (4) the nature of faulting and extension in the crust; and (5) the structural and magmatic development of the rift. 88 references, 5 figures.

  13. Evidence of Ancient Rifts Beneath Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irie, K.; Velasco, A. A.

    2011-12-01

    Continental rifts are defined as geological features where Earth's lithosphere is pulled away by surface expansion of the Earth. Their physiographic features include linear rift valleys associated with active volcanism. Many rifts fail to split a continent and ancient rifts that failed to split can be found by using seismic waves to image these ancient structures. Using seismic data collected by EarthScope USArray stations in Texas, we calculate teleseismic receiver functions and utilized surface wave dispersion curves to simultaneously invert for the velocity structure beneath each seismic station. With the calculated receiver functions, we generate maps to show preliminary 3-D crust/upper mantle boundary structure, the velocity ratio of P and S waves, and the S-wave velocity structure. We expect to characterize the ancient rift zones that exist in Texas and compare these results with the Rio Grande Rift in New Mexico. The goal for this comparison is to determine whether Rio Grande rift is still active or doomed to be another failed rift.

  14. Detection and Response for Rift Valley fever

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that impacts domestic livestock and humans in Africa and the Middle East, and poses a threat to military operations in these areas. We describe a Rift Valley fever Risk Monitoring website, and its ability to predict risk of disease temporally and spatially. We al...

  15. Two-stage rifting in the Kenya rift: implications for half-graben models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugisha, F.; Ebinger, C. J.; Strecker, M.; Pope, D.

    1997-09-01

    The Kerio sub-basin in the northern Kenya rift is a transitional area between the southern Kenya rift, where crustal thickness is 30 km, and the northern Kenya rift, where crustal thickness is 20 km. The lack of data on the shallow crustal structure, geometry of rift-bounding faults, and rift evolution makes it difficult to determine if the crustal thickness variations are due to pre-rift structure, or along-axis variations in crustal stretching. We reprocessed reflection seismic data acquired for the National Oil Corporation of Kenya, and integrated results with field and gravity observations to (1) delineate the sub-surface geometry of the Kerio sub-basin, (2) correlate seismic stratigraphic sequences with dated strata exposed along the basin margins, and (3) use new and existing results to propose a two-stage rifting model for the central Kenya rift. Although a classic half-graben form previously had been inferred from the attitude of uppermost strata, new seismic data show a more complex form in the deeper basin: a narrow full-graben bounded by steep faults. We suggest that the complex basin form and the northwards increase in crustal thinning are caused by the superposition of two or more rifting events. The first rifting stage may have occurred during Palaeogene time contemporaneous with sedimentation and rifting in northwestern Kenya and southern Sudan. The distribution of seismic sequences suggests that a phase of regional thermal subsidence occurred prior to renewed faulting and subsidence at about 12 Ma after the eruption of flood phonolites throughout the central Kenya rift. A new border fault developed during the second rifting stage, effectively widening the basin. Gravity and seismic data indicate sedimentary and volcanic strata filling the basin are 6 km thick, with up to 4 km deposited during the first rifting stage.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  17. Cenozoic rift tectonics of the Japan Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Kimura, K.

    1988-08-01

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

  18. Seismological investigation of the Okavango Rift, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Youqiang

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

  19. Flexural modeling of the midcontinent rift

    SciTech Connect

    Nyquist, J.E.; Wang, H.F.

    1988-08-10

    A basement profile obtained from seismic reflection data has been used to constrain a two-dimensional flexural model of basin formation for the Midcontinent Rift at a latitude of 45/sup 0/25'N. Model parameters included the thickness of the elastic plate, the basin width, and the maximum basin thickness. Modeling suggests that flexure produced a deep narrow basin along the rift axis and that the crust was thinned at the time of basin formation to an elastic thickness of 9.6 km for a plate ruptured by rifting, or 5.7 km for an unbroken plate, with corresponding maximum basin thicknesses of 14 km and 16 km respectively. The plate thickness depends most strongly on the basin width and is well constrained by the seismic data, although erosion may have narrowed the basin. The maximum basin thickness is poorly constrained because of the lack of seismic data for depths greater than about 10 km and because the strata at the center of the rift have been disturbed by a postrift compressional event which produced the St. Croix horst. Despite uncertainty about the basin thickness, the load required to flex the crust to produce the Midcontinent Rift basin is too large to be attributed to the weight of the central flood basalts unless the basin subsided into a fluid less dense than the solidified basalts. On the basis of seismic refraction data and by analogy with other rifts, we hypothesize that a magnetic ''rift pillow'' intruded in the lower crust. The basaltic pillow subsequently solidified to produce a large, high-velocity region in the lower crust, centered under the rift axis, as determined from deep seismic refraction. This crystallization and cooling may be responsible for the ''sag'' phase of rift evolution, as evidenced by laterally widespread occurrence of postvolcanic sediments. copyright American Geophysical Union 1988

  20. Investigation of rifting processes in the Rio Grande Rift using data from unusually large earthquake swarms

    SciTech Connect

    Sanford, A.; Balch, R.; House, L.; Hartse, H.

    1995-12-01

    San Acacia Swarm in the Rio Grande Rift. Because the Rio Grande rift is one of the best seismically instrumented rift zones in the world, studying its seismicity provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the active tectonic processes within continental rifts. We have been studying earthquake swarms recorded near Socorro in an effort to link seismicity directly to the rifting process. For FY94, our research has focused on the San Acacia swarm, which occurred 25 km north of Socorro, New Mexico, along the accommodation zone between the Albuquerque-Belen and Socorro basins of the central Rio Grande rift. The swarm commenced on 25 February 1983, had a magnitude 4.2 main shock on 2 March and ended on 17 March, 1983.

  1. 3D Dynamics of Oblique Rift Systems: Fault Evolution from Rift to Break-up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, S.

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Lithospheric processes that enhance melting at rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Furman, T.

    2008-12-01

    Continental rifts are commonly sites for mantle melting, whether in the form of ridge melting to create new oceanic crust, or as the locus of flood basalt activity, or in the long initial period of rifting before lavas evolve fully into MORBs. The high topography in the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary under a rift creates mantle upwelling and adiabatic melting even in the absence of a plume. This geometry itself, however, is conducive to lithospheric instability on the sides of the rifts. Unstable lithosphere may founder into the mantle, producing more complex aesthenospheric convective patterns and additional opportunities to produce melt. Lithospheric instabilities can produce additional adiabatic melting in convection produced as they sink, and they may also devolatilize as they sink, introducing the possibility of flux melting to the rift environment. We call this process upside-down melting, since devolatilization and melting proceed as the foundering lithosphere sinks, rather than while rising, as in the more familiar adiabatic decompression melting. Both adiabatic melting and flux melting would take place along the edges of the rift and may even move magmatism outside the rift, as has been seen in Ethiopia. In volcanism postdating the flood basalts on and adjacent to the Ethiopian Plateau there is evidence for both lithospheric thinning and volatile enrichment in the magmas, potentially consistent with the upside-down melting model. Here we present a physical model for the conjunction of adiabatic decompression melting to produce new oceanic crust in the rift, while lithospheric gravitational instabilities drive both adiabatic and flux melting at its margins.

  3. Structure and stratigraphy of the Rukwa rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilembe, Elias A.; Rosendahl, Bruce R.

    1992-08-01

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

  4. Surface deformation in volcanic rift zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pollard, D.D.; Delaney, P.T.; Duffield, W.A.; Endo, E.T.; Okamura, A.T.

    1983-01-01

    The principal conduits for magma transport within rift zones of basaltic volcanoes are steeply dipping dikes, some of which feed fissure eruptions. Elastic displacements accompanying a single dike emplacement elevate the flanks of the rift relative to a central depression. Concomitant normal faulting may transform the depression into a graben thus accentuating the topographic features of the rift. If eruption occurs the characteristic ridge-trough-ridge displacement profile changes to a single ridge, centered at the fissure, and the erupted lava alters the local topography. A well-developed rift zone owes its structure and topography to the integrated effects of many magmatic rifting events. To investigate this process we compute the elastic displacements and stresses in a homogeneous, two-dimensional half-space driven by a pressurized crack that may breach the surface. A derivative graphical method permits one to estimate the three geometric parameters of the dike (height, inclination, and depth-to-center) and the mechanical parameter (driving pressure/rock stiffness) from a smoothly varying displacement profile. Direct comparison of measured and theoretical profiles may be used to estimate these parameters even if inelastic deformation, notably normal faulting, creates discontinuities in the profile. Geological structures (open cracks, normal faults, buckles, and thrust faults) form because of stresses induced by dike emplacement and fissure eruption. Theoretical stress states associated with dilation of a pressurized crack are used to interpret the distribution and orientation of these structures and their role in rift formation. ?? 1983.

  5. Impact of rheological layering on rift asymmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaquet, Yoann; Schmalholz, Stefan M.; Duretz, Thibault

    2015-04-01

    Although numerous models of rift formation have been proposed, what triggers asymmetry of rifted margins remains unclear. Parametrized material softening is often employed to induce asymmetric fault patterns in numerical models. Here, we use thermo-mechanical finite element models that allow softening via thermal weakening. We investigate the importance of lithosphere rheology and mechanical layering on rift morphology. The numerical code is based on the MILAMIN solver and uses the Triangle mesh generator. Our model configuration consists of a visco-elasto-platic layered lithosphere comprising either (1) only one brittle-ductile transition (in the mantle) or (2) three brittle-ductile transitions (one in the upper crust, one in the lower crust and one in the mantle). We perform then two sets of simulations characterized by low and high extensional strain rates (5*10-15 s-1, 2*10-14 s-1). The results show that the extension of a lithosphere comprising only one brittle-ductile transition produces a symmetric 'neck' type rift. The upper and lower crusts are thinned until the lithospheric mantle is exhumed to the seafloor. A lithosphere containing three brittle-ductile transitions favors strain localization. Shear zones at different horizontal locations and generated in the brittle levels of the lithosphere get connected by the weak ductile layers. The results suggest that rheological layering of the lithosphere can be a reason for the generation of asymmetric rifting and subsequent rift morphology.

  6. The 1974 Ethiopian rift geodimeter survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P.

    1977-01-01

    The field techniques and methods of data reduction for five successive geodimeter surveys in the Ethiopian rift valley are enlarged upon, with the considered conclusion that there is progressive accumulation of upper crustal strain, consonant with on-going rift extension. The extension is restricted to the Quaternary volcanotectonic axis of the rift, namely the Wonji fault belt, and is occurring at rates of 3 to 6 mm/yr in the northern sector of the rift valley. Although this concurs with the predictions of platetectonic analysis of the Afar triple junction, it is considered premature to endorse such a concurrence on the basis of only 5 years of observations. This is underlined by the detection of local tectonic contractions and expansions associated with geothermal and gravity anomalies in the central sector of the rift valley. There is a hint of a component of dextral slip along some of the rift-floor fault zones, both from geological evidence and from the strain patterns detected in the present geodetic surveys.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinabo, Baraka Damas

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bosworth, W.

    1987-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shchetnikov, Alexander

    2016-11-01

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

  10. Rift initiation with volatiles and magma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gawthorpe, Robert; Ford, Mary

    2015-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

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

  16. Rifting Thick Lithosphere - Canning Basin, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czarnota, Karol; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-02-01

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

  18. Crustal extension in the Baikal rift zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zorin, Yu; Cordell, L.

    1991-01-01

    Analysis of the gravity field along four profiles crossing the Baikal rift zone permits an estimate of the amount of anomalous mass produced by 1. (1) graben-fill sediments, 2. (2) Moho uplift and intrusion of mantle sills and dikes, 3. (3) an asthenospheric bulge. Crustal extension is evaluated based on the idea of mass and volume balance of material introduced into and removed from the initial volume of the crust. Extension in the Baikal rift increases southwestward from 0.9 km in the Chara depression to 19.3 km in the South Baikal depression. These values generally agree with the position of the Euler pole determined from seismic data (fault plane solutions). Average rotation velocity for the lithospheric plates separated by the rift zone is estimated to be 5.93 ?? 10-4 rad/m.y. over about 30 m.y. ?? 1991.

  19. Submarine thermal springs on the Galapagos Rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corliss, J.B.; Dymond, J.; Gordon, L.I.; Edmond, J.M.; Von Herzen, R. P.; Ballard, Richard D.; Green, K.; Williams, D.; Bainbridge, A.; Crane, K.; Van Andel, T. H.

    1979-01-01

    The submarine hydrothermal activity on and near the Galápagos Rift has been explored with the aid of the deep submersible Alvin. Analyses of water samples from hydrothermal vents reveal that hydrothermal activity provides significant or dominant sources and sinks for several components of seawater; studies of conductive and convective heat transfer suggest that two-thirds of the heat lost from new oceanic lithosphere at the Galápagos Rift in the first million years may be vented from thermal springs, predominantly along the axial ridge within the rift valley. The vent areas are populated by animal communities. They appear to utilize chemosynthesis by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria to derive their entire energy supply from reactions between the seawater and the rocks at high temperatures, rather than photosynthesis

  20. Submarine thermal sprirngs on the galapagos rift.

    PubMed

    Corliss, J B; Dymond, J; Gordon, L I; Edmond, J M; von Herzen, R P; Ballard, R D; Green, K; Williams, D; Bainbridge, A; Crane, K; van Andel, T H

    1979-03-16

    The submarine hydrothermal activity on and near the Galápagos Rift has been explored with the aid of the deep submersible Alvin. Analyses of water samples from hydrothermal vents reveal that hydrothermal activity provides significant or dominant sources and sinks for several components of seawater; studies of conductive and convective heat transfer suggest that two-thirds of the heat lost from new oceanic lithosphere at the Galápagos Rift in the first million years may be vented from thermal springs, predominantly along the axial ridge within the rift valley. The vent areas are populated by animal communities. They appear to utilize chemosynthesis by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria to derive their entire energy supply from reactions between the seawater and the rocks at high temperatures, rather than photosynthesis. PMID:17776033

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, L.; Keller, G. R.

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanberg, Chandler A.

    1983-05-01

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

  3. Variation in styles of rifting in the Gulf of California.

    PubMed

    Lizarralde, Daniel; Axen, Gary J; Brown, Hillary E; Fletcher, John M; González-Fernández, Antonio; Harding, Alistair J; Holbrook, W Steven; Kent, Graham M; Paramo, Pedro; Sutherland, Fiona; Umhoefer, Paul J

    2007-07-26

    Constraints on the structure of rifted continental margins and the magmatism resulting from such rifting can help refine our understanding of the strength of the lithosphere, the state of the underlying mantle and the transition from rifting to seafloor spreading. An important structural classification of rifts is by width, with narrow rifts thought to form as necking instabilities (where extension rates outpace thermal diffusion) and wide rifts thought to require a mechanism to inhibit localization, such as lower-crustal flow in high heat-flow settings. Observations of the magmatism that results from rifting range from volcanic margins with two to three times the magmatism predicted from melting models to non-volcanic margins with almost no rift or post-rift magmatism. Such variations in magmatic activity are commonly attributed to variations in mantle temperature. Here we describe results from the PESCADOR seismic experiment in the southern Gulf of California and present crustal-scale images across three rift segments. Over short lateral distances, we observe large differences in rifting style and magmatism--from wide rifting with minor synchronous magmatism to narrow rifting in magmatically robust segments. But many of the factors believed to control structural evolution and magmatism during rifting (extension rate, mantle potential temperature and heat flow) tend to vary over larger length scales. We conclude instead that mantle depletion, rather than low mantle temperature, accounts for the observed wide, magma-poor margins, and that mantle fertility and possibly sedimentary insulation, rather than high mantle temperature, account for the observed robust rift and post-rift magmatism.

  4. Variation in styles of rifting in the Gulf of California.

    PubMed

    Lizarralde, Daniel; Axen, Gary J; Brown, Hillary E; Fletcher, John M; González-Fernández, Antonio; Harding, Alistair J; Holbrook, W Steven; Kent, Graham M; Paramo, Pedro; Sutherland, Fiona; Umhoefer, Paul J

    2007-07-26

    Constraints on the structure of rifted continental margins and the magmatism resulting from such rifting can help refine our understanding of the strength of the lithosphere, the state of the underlying mantle and the transition from rifting to seafloor spreading. An important structural classification of rifts is by width, with narrow rifts thought to form as necking instabilities (where extension rates outpace thermal diffusion) and wide rifts thought to require a mechanism to inhibit localization, such as lower-crustal flow in high heat-flow settings. Observations of the magmatism that results from rifting range from volcanic margins with two to three times the magmatism predicted from melting models to non-volcanic margins with almost no rift or post-rift magmatism. Such variations in magmatic activity are commonly attributed to variations in mantle temperature. Here we describe results from the PESCADOR seismic experiment in the southern Gulf of California and present crustal-scale images across three rift segments. Over short lateral distances, we observe large differences in rifting style and magmatism--from wide rifting with minor synchronous magmatism to narrow rifting in magmatically robust segments. But many of the factors believed to control structural evolution and magmatism during rifting (extension rate, mantle potential temperature and heat flow) tend to vary over larger length scales. We conclude instead that mantle depletion, rather than low mantle temperature, accounts for the observed wide, magma-poor margins, and that mantle fertility and possibly sedimentary insulation, rather than high mantle temperature, account for the observed robust rift and post-rift magmatism. PMID:17653189

  5. Thermomechanical models of the Rio Grande rift

    SciTech Connect

    Bridwell, R.J.; Anderson, C.A.

    1980-01-01

    Fully two-dimensional, coupled thermochemical solutions of a continental rift and platform are used to model the crust and mantle structure of a hot, buoyant mantle diapir beneath the Rio Grande rift. The thermomechanical model includes both linear and nonlinear laws of the Weertman type relating shear stress and creep strain rate, viscosity which depends on temperature and pressure, and activation energy, temperature-dependent thermal conductivity, temperature-dependent coefficient of thermal expansion, the Boussinesq approximation for thermal bouyancy, material convection using a stress rate that is invariant to rigid rotations, an elastically deformable crust, and a free surface. The model determines the free surface velocities, solid state flow field in the mantle, and viscosity structure of lithosphere and asthenosphere. Regional topography and crustal heat flow are simulated. A suite of symmetric models, assumes continental geotherms on the right and the successively increasing rift geotherms on the left. These models predict an asthenospheric flow field which transfers cold material laterally toward the rift at > 300 km, hot, buoyant material approx. 200 km wide which ascends vertically at rates of 1 km/my between 175 to 325 km, and spreads laterally away from the rift at the base of the lithosphere. Crustal spreading rates are similar to uplift rates. The lithosphere acts as stiff, elastic cap, damping upward motion through decreased velocities of 1 km/10 my and spreading uplift laterally. A parameter study varying material coefficients for the Weertman flow law suggests asthenospheric viscosities of approx. 10/sup 22/ to 10/sup 23/ poise. Similar studies predict crustal viscosities of approx. 10/sup 25/ poise. The buoyant process of mantle flow narrows and concentrates heat transport beneath the rift, increases upward velocity, and broadly arches the lithosphere. 10 figures, 1 table.

  6. The Offshore East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Syn-rift unconformities punctuating the lower-middle Cambrian transition in the Atlas Rift, Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvaro, J. Javier; Ezzouhairi, Hassan; Clausen, Sébastien; Ribeiro, M. Luisa; Solá, Rita

    2015-04-01

    The Cambrian Tamdroust and Bab n'Ali Volcanic Complexes represent two magmatic episodes developed in the latest Ediacaran-Cambrian Atlas Rift of Morocco. Their rifting pulses were accompanied by accumulation of volcanosedimentary edifices (dominated by effusive lava flows in the former and explosive acidic aprons in the latter) associated with active tilting and uplift. Sealing of their peneplaned horst-and-graben palaeotopographies led to the onset of distinct onlapping geometries and angular discordances capping eroded basements ranging from the Ediacaran Ouarzazate Supergroup to the Cambrian Asrir Formation. Previous interpretations of these discordances as pull-apart or compressive events are revised here and reinterpreted in an extensional (rifting) context associated with active volcanism. The record of erosive unconformities, stratigraphic gaps, condensed beds and onlapping patterns across the traditional "lower-middle Cambrian" (or Cambrian Series 2-3) transition of the Atlas Rift must be taken into consideration for global chronostratigraphic correlation based on their trilobite content.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Stratigraphy and rifting history of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Anza rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Winn, R.D. Jr.; Steinmetz, J.C. ); Kerekgyarto, W.L. )

    1993-11-01

    Lithological and compositional relationships, thicknesses, and palynological data from drilling cuttings from five wells in the Anza rift, Kenya, indicate active rifting during the Late Cretaceous and Eocene-Oligocene. The earlier rifting possibly started in the Santonian-Coniacian, primarily occurred in the Campanian, and probably extended into the Maastrichtian. Anza rift sedimentation was in lacustrine, lacustrine-deltaic, fluvial, and flood-basin environments. Inferred synrift intervals in wells are shalier, thicker, more compositionally immature, and more poorly sorted than Lower Cretaceous ( )-lower Upper Cretaceous and upper Oligocene( )-Miocene interrift deposits. Synrift sandstone is mostly feldspathic or arkosic wacke. Sandstone deposited in the Anza basin during nonrift periods is mostly quartz arenite, and is coarser and has a high proportion of probable fluvial deposits relative to other facies. Volcanic debris is absent in sedimentary strata older than Pliocene-Holocene, although small Cretaceous intrusions are present in the basin. Cretaceous sandstone is cemented in places by laumontite, possibly recording Campanian extension. Early Cretaceous history of the Anza basin is poorly known because of the limited strata sampled; Jurassic units were not reached. Cretaceous rifting in the Anza basin was synchronous with rifting in Sudan and with the breakup and separation of South America and Africa; these events likely were related. Eocene-Oligocene extension in the Anza basin reflects different stresses. The transition from active rifting to passive subsidence in the Anza basin at the end of the Neogene, in turn, records a reconfigured response of east African plates to stresses and is correlated with formation of the East Africa rift.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  11. The 1973 Ethiopian-Rift geodimeter survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.

    1974-01-01

    Remeasurement of the Adama, Lake Langana, and Arba Minch (Lake Margherita) geodimeter networks in 1973 has enabled Mohr's interpretation concerning possible surface ground deformation in the Ethiopian rift to be considerably developed. Extension appears to have occurred across the Mojjo-Adama horst at a rate of about 1 cm yr/1. The opposing rims of the Adama graben have not moved significantly relative to one another (between 1969 and 1973), but stations on the sliced graben floor show possible movement with a large rift-trend component. In the Wolenchiti quadrilateral, significant movement of station RABBIT is confirmed, but the radical change of vector (that of 1970-1971 to that of 1971-1973) casts doubt on a tectonic cause and seems to indicate that stations on steep hillslopes are liable to be unstable. South of the quadrilateral and east of the Adama graben, alternating rift-trend zones of extension and shortening appear to coexist. In the Lake Langana network, significant movements of the order of 0.5 cm yr/1 are directed perpendicular to the rift floor faulting.

  12. Rift Valley Fever, Mayotte, 2007–2008

    PubMed Central

    Giry, Claude; Gabrie, Philippe; Tarantola, Arnaud; Pettinelli, François; Collet, Louis; D’Ortenzio, Eric; Renault, Philippe; Pierre, Vincent

    2009-01-01

    After the 2006–2007 epidemic wave of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in East Africa and its circulation in the Comoros, laboratory case-finding of RVF was conducted in Mayotte from September 2007 through May 2008. Ten recent human RVF cases were detected, which confirms the indigenous transmission of RFV virus in Mayotte. PMID:19331733

  13. Molecular Rift: Virtual Reality for Drug Designers.

    PubMed

    Norrby, Magnus; Grebner, Christoph; Eriksson, Joakim; Boström, Jonas

    2015-11-23

    Recent advances in interaction design have created new ways to use computers. One example is the ability to create enhanced 3D environments that simulate physical presence in the real world--a virtual reality. This is relevant to drug discovery since molecular models are frequently used to obtain deeper understandings of, say, ligand-protein complexes. We have developed a tool (Molecular Rift), which creates a virtual reality environment steered with hand movements. Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display, is used to create the virtual settings. The program is controlled by gesture-recognition, using the gaming sensor MS Kinect v2, eliminating the need for standard input devices. The Open Babel toolkit was integrated to provide access to powerful cheminformatics functions. Molecular Rift was developed with a focus on usability, including iterative test-group evaluations. We conclude with reflections on virtual reality's future capabilities in chemistry and education. Molecular Rift is open source and can be downloaded from GitHub.

  14. Molecular Rift: Virtual Reality for Drug Designers.

    PubMed

    Norrby, Magnus; Grebner, Christoph; Eriksson, Joakim; Boström, Jonas

    2015-11-23

    Recent advances in interaction design have created new ways to use computers. One example is the ability to create enhanced 3D environments that simulate physical presence in the real world--a virtual reality. This is relevant to drug discovery since molecular models are frequently used to obtain deeper understandings of, say, ligand-protein complexes. We have developed a tool (Molecular Rift), which creates a virtual reality environment steered with hand movements. Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display, is used to create the virtual settings. The program is controlled by gesture-recognition, using the gaming sensor MS Kinect v2, eliminating the need for standard input devices. The Open Babel toolkit was integrated to provide access to powerful cheminformatics functions. Molecular Rift was developed with a focus on usability, including iterative test-group evaluations. We conclude with reflections on virtual reality's future capabilities in chemistry and education. Molecular Rift is open source and can be downloaded from GitHub. PMID:26558887

  15. Diagnostic approaches for Rift Valley Fever

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Disease outbreaks caused by arthropod-borne animal viruses (arboviruses) resulting in significant livestock and economic losses world-wide appear to be increasing. Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus (RVFV) is an important arbovirus that causes lethal disease in cattle, camels, sheep and goats in Sub-Saha...

  16. The Midcontinent Rift and Grenville connection

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-04-01

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

  17. Rifting and Faulting on icy Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nimmo, F.

    2003-12-01

    Two kinds of rifting have been identified on the icy Galilean satellites [1,2]. Europa possesses ˜10~km wide extensional bands, characterized by very high degrees of local extension, internal deformation on a lengthscale of ˜~100~m, and a general resemblance to mid-ocean ridges on Earth [3]. Ganymede has ˜100~km wide areas of grooved terrain, characterized by km-scale tilted fault blocks [4,5], lower degrees of local extension (stretching factor <1.6 [5]) and a general resemblance to continental rifts on Earth [1]. The characteristic spacing of faults on Europa and Ganymede has been used to infer the depth to the brittle-ductile transition (BDT), which depends on the strain rate and the shell thickness [4,6]. Here I present another constraint on these quantities, obtained by considering the circumstances under which narrow (Europa-style) or wide (Ganymede-style) rifts may form. The model is based on an analysis of terrestrial continent rifting [7]. When an ice shell is extended, the thermal gradient increases and it becomes weaker, favouring further extension. The extension also gives rise to lateral shell thickness variations, which oppose further extension. However, these lateral thickness variations may be removed if the base of the ice shell can flow rapidly. If lateral flow is rapid, narrow zones of extension and high stretching factors are generated. If lateral flow is slow, wider rifts and lower stretching factors are favoured. Thick ice shells or high strain rates favour narrow rifts; thin ice shells or low strain rates favour wide rifts. The existence of wide rifts on Ganymede is consistent with a conductive shell thickness of 4-8~km at the time of rifting, and agrees with previous estimates of strain rates [8]. To produce narrow rifting and the inferred BDT depth on Europa requires a larger shell thickness (8-20~km) and a strain rate >= 10-15~s-1. Based on the likely shell thicknesses, the inferred strain rates for Europa and Ganymede can be explained

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Jerome; Wilson, Terry; Henrys, Stuart

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemelsdaël, Romain; Ford, Mary; Malartre, Fabrice

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Munjae; Jung, Haemyeong; Kil, Youngwoo

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Structural inheritance, segmentation, and rift localization in the Gulf of Aden oblique rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellahsen, Nicolas; Leroy, Sylvie; Autin, Julia; d'Acremont, Elia; Razin, Philippe; Husson, Laurent; Pik, Raphael; Watremez, Louise; Baurion, Celine; Beslier, Marie-Odile; Khanbari, Khaled; Ahmed, Abdulhakim

    2013-04-01

    The structural evolution of the Gulf of Aden passive margins was controlled by its oblique divergence kinematics, inherited structures, and the Afar hot spot. The rifting between Arabia and Somalia started at 35 Ma just before the hot spot paroxysm (at 30Ma) and lasted until 18Ma, when oceanic spreading started. Fieldwork suggests that rift parallel normal faults initiated in the (future) distal margins, after a first stage of distributed rifting, and witness the rift localization, as confirmed by 4-layer analogue models. These faults arise either from crust or lithosphere scale buoyancy forces that are strongly controlled by the mantle temperature under the influence of the Afar hot spot. This implies a transition from a distributed mode to a localized one, sharper, both in space and time, in the West (close to the hot spot) than in the East (far away from the hot spot). In this framework, first order transform F.Z. are here (re-) defined by the fact that they deform continental crust. In the Gulf of Aden, as well as in other continental margins, it appears that these F.Z. are often, if not always, located at continental transfer or "transform" fault zones. Our detailed field-study of an offshore transfer fault zone in the southeastern Gulf of Aden (Socotra Island) shows that these structures are long-lived since early rifting until post rift times. During the early rifting, they are inherited structures reactivated as oblique normal faults before accommodating strike-slip motion. During the Ocean-Continent Transition (OCT) formation ("post syn-rift" times), a significant uplift occurred in the transfer fault zone footwall as shown by stratigraphic and LT thermochronology data. Second order transform F.Z. are defined as deforming only the OCT, thus initiated at the moment of its formation. In the western Gulf of Aden, the hot spot provoked a rift localization strongly oblique to the divergence and, as a consequence, several second order transform F.Z. formed (as

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, R.; Hertogen, J.

    2008-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Tectonics of the South Georgia Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heffner, David M.

    Triassic rifting of the supercontinent Pangea left behind numerous basins on what is now the eastern North American margin. The South Georgia Rift (SGR) was thought to be the best preserved of these basins having been capped by thick basalt flows of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) and later buried beneath the Cretaceous and younger Coastal Plain. Because it is buried beneath the Coastal Plain, the SGR is only known through sparse drilling and geophysical methods. Despite this limited dataset, the SGR is the only one of the eastern North American Triassic basins known to overlie the ancient Alleghanian suture between Laurentia and Gondwana, although it isn't clear what influence this lithospheric weakness played in formation of the rift. The SGR has been variably interpreted as a singular large basin or as isolated sub-basins separated by transfer zones. Transfer zones are rift-transverse structural features that link major faults of rift sub-basins and accommodate differences in extensional strain. Transfer zones have been previously hypothesized to be present in the SGR based on onshore projections of Central Atlantic fracture zones, but observations confirming their existence, such as reversal in sub-basin polarity, have been lacking. Three separate hypotheses are tested related to the SGR: 1) the J-Horizon corresponds everywhere with basalt; 2) transfer zones are an important structural component of the SGR; 3) structural features of the Central Atlantic Ocean are related to transfer zones of the SGR. Reanalysis of existing well and seismic data shows that the extent of the flood basalt in the SGR is restricted and that the J-Horizon coincides with the base of the Coastal Plain. Subsurface mapping reveals reversals in sub-basin polarity, confirming the existence of previously hypothesized transfer zones. Small circle projections of the transfer zones correlate with oceanic features, and Central Atlantic fracture zones project onshore into inferred

  5. Development regimes of rifted basins and criteria of their petroleum potential

    SciTech Connect

    Larchenkov, E. )

    1994-07-01

    The majority of great sedimentary basins were formed primarily by stretching and usually initiated by rifting. The evolution and development of intercontinental and passive margin rifted basins are discussed. Each basin type described (in the paper) is associated with either single or branched rift zones. The basin types are (1) unburied rift, i.e., recent rifts, or ancient rifts with post-rift stage without significant subsidence such as East Africa rifts, and Reconcavo basin in Brazil; and (2) buried rift zones where the post-rift stage is characterized by active subsidence and sediment accumulation. The basins often form by repeated rifting, and a rift zone of a different age may be completely or partially superimposed or separated from other rifting events.

  6. Structure of continental rifts: Role of older features and magmatism

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R.

    1996-12-31

    Recent geological and geophysical studies in several continental rifts have begun to shed light on the details of the processes which govern the structural evolution of these important exploration targets. In Kenya and Tanzania, the classic East African rift has been the object of several investigations which reveal that its location follows the boundary (suture ?) between the Tanzanian craton (Archean) and Mozambiquan belt (Proterozoic), The Baikal rift also follows a similar boundary, and the Mid-continent rift of North America appears to do the same. Rifts themselves often act as zones of weakness which are reactivated by younger tectonic regimes. The classic North American example of this effect is the Eocambrian Southern Oklahoma aulacogen which was deformed to create the Anadarko basin and Wichita uplift in the late Paleozoic. The Central basin platform has a similar history although the original rift formed at {approximately}1,100Ma. Integration of geophysical data with petrologic and geochemical data from several rift zones has also provided a new picture of the nature and extent of magmatic modification of the crust. An interesting contradiction is that Phanerozoic rifts, except the Afar region, show little evidence for major magmatic modification of the crust whereas, at least in North America, many Precambrian rifts are associated with very large mafic bodies in the crust. The Kenya rift displays evidence for modification of the lower crust in a two-phase magmatic history, but upper crustal magmatic features are limited to local intrusions associated with volcanoes. In this rift, complex basement structure plays a much more important role than previously realized, and the geophysical signatures of basement structure and magmatism are easy to confuse. If this is also the case in other rifts, additional rift basins remain to be discovered.

  7. Structure of continental rifts: Role of older features and magmatism

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, G.R. )

    1996-01-01

    Recent geological and geophysical studies in several continental rifts have begun to shed light on the details of the processes which govern the structural evolution of these important exploration targets. In Kenya and Tanzania, the classic East African rift has been the object of several investigations which reveal that its location follows the boundary (suture ) between the Tanzanian craton (Archean) and Mozambiquan belt (Proterozoic), The Baikal rift also follows a similar boundary, and the Mid-continent rift of North America appears to do the same. Rifts themselves often act as zones of weakness which are reactivated by younger tectonic regimes. The classic North American example of this effect is the Eocambrian Southern Oklahoma aulacogen which was deformed to create the Anadarko basin and Wichita uplift in the late Paleozoic. The Central basin platform has a similar history although the original rift formed at [approximately]1,100Ma. Integration of geophysical data with petrologic and geochemical data from several rift zones has also provided a new picture of the nature and extent of magmatic modification of the crust. An interesting contradiction is that Phanerozoic rifts, except the Afar region, show little evidence for major magmatic modification of the crust whereas, at least in North America, many Precambrian rifts are associated with very large mafic bodies in the crust. The Kenya rift displays evidence for modification of the lower crust in a two-phase magmatic history, but upper crustal magmatic features are limited to local intrusions associated with volcanoes. In this rift, complex basement structure plays a much more important role than previously realized, and the geophysical signatures of basement structure and magmatism are easy to confuse. If this is also the case in other rifts, additional rift basins remain to be discovered.

  8. The Role of Rift Obliquity During Pangea Fragmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Seismotectonics of Reelfoot rift basement structures

    SciTech Connect

    Dart, R.L.; Swolfs, H.S. )

    1993-03-01

    Contour maps of the Precambrian basement surface show major northwest-trending structural features within the boundaries of the northeast-oriented Reelfoot rift. These northwest-trending features, southeast of New Madrid, Missouri, consist of a trough flanked on the northeast by a 2-km-high ridge. These features correlate with similar features on an updated depth-to-magnetic basement map. The boundary between the trough and the ridge slopes gently to the southwest. The upward projection of this boundary into the overlying Paleozoic strata may be expressed on a structure-contour map of the Cambrian rocks. The vertical relief of this boundary on the younger datum is inferred to be about 1 km. This Precambrian trough-ridge structure may correlate with a southwest dipping, west-northwest-striking normal fault inferred by Schwalb (1982) to offset rocks of the Cambrian-Ordovician Knox Megagroup that subcrop at the Paleozoic surface. Schwalb (1982) inferred 1.22 km of vertical relief on this fault near the bootheel of Missouri. The nature and significance of this tectonic-structural boundary is unclear, but at the top of the Precambrian basement rocks, it coincides with the southwestern terminus of the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) near the end of the Blytheville arch in northeastern Arkansas. Since the mid-1970's, when instrumental recording began, some of the earthquakes in the NMSZ having the largest magnitudes occurred in this area. The authors working hypothesis is that this trough-ridge structural boundary may concentrate stress and/or may be a barrier that defines the southwestern limit of the seismically active axial fault zone in the rift. Future study will concentrate on improving the understanding of the influence of rift-bounding faults on the lateral extent of this structure, as well as constructing a tectonic stress model of seismically active rift faults and this trough-ridge structure.

  10. The Midcontinent rift system in Kansas

    SciTech Connect

    Berendsen, P. . Kansas Geological Survey)

    1993-03-01

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

  11. Mesozoic and early Tertiary rift tectonics in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1992-08-01

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

  12. Westward drift, rift asymmetry and continental uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doglioni, C.; Carminati, E.; Bonatti, E.

    2003-04-01

    Although not predicted by classic plate tectonics theory, the topography of ocean ridges and rifts show a distinct asymmetry, when depth is plotted both vs. distance from the ridge and square root of the age of the oceanic crust. The eastern sides of the East Pacific Rise, of the mid Atlantic ridge, of the NW Indian ridge are in average more elevated than the conjugate flank to the west and eastern sides show slower subsidence rates. A similar asymmetry can be observed across the Red Sea and Baikal rifts. We suggest that depleted and lighter asthenosphere generated by partial melting below the ocean ridges shifts 'eastward' relative to the lithosphere, determining a density deficit below the eastern flank. The 'eastward' migration of the lighter Atlantic asthenosphere under the African continent, could eventually have contributed to the anomalous post-rift uplift of Africa and explain the anomalously higher topography of Africa with respect to other continents. This model suggests that the 'westward' drift of the lithosphere relative to the underlying mantle might be a global phenomenon and not just a mean delay.

  13. The MOZART Project - MOZAmbique Rift Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Mesozoic Rifting in the German North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutz, R.; Jähne, F.; Arfai, J.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William; Morley, Chris K.

    1994-09-01

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

  18. Style of rifting and the stages of Pangea breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frizon de Lamotte, Dominique; Fourdan, Brendan; Leleu, Sophie; Leparmentier, François; Clarens, Philippe

    2015-05-01

    Pangea results from the progressive amalgamation of continental blocks achieved at 320 Ma. Assuming that the ancient concept of "active" versus "passive" rifting remains pertinent as end-members of more complex processes, we show that the progressive Pangea breakup occurred through a succession of rifting episodes characterized by different tectonic evolutions. A first episode of passive continental rifting during the Upper Carboniferous and Permian led to the formation of the Neo-Tethys Ocean. Then at the beginning of Triassic times, two short episodes of active rifting associated to the Siberian and Emeishan large igneous provinces (LIPs) failed. The true disintegration of Pangea resulted from (1) a Triassic passive rifting leading to the emplacement of the central Atlantic magmatic province (200 Ma) LIP and the subsequent opening of the central Atlantic Ocean during the lowermost Jurassic and from (2) a Lower Jurassic active rifting triggered by the Karoo-Ferrar LIP (183 Ma), which led to the opening of the West Indian Ocean. The same sequence of passive then active rifting is observed during the Lower Cretaceous with, in between, the Parana-Etendeka LIP at 135 Ma. We show that the relationships between the style of rifts and their breakdown or with the type of resulting margins (as magma poor or magma dominated) are not straightforward. Finally, we discuss the respective role of mantle global warming promoted by continental agglomeration and mantle plumes in the weakening of the continental lithosphere and their roles as rifting triggers.

  19. Kinematics and Dynamics of the Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Phanerozoic Rifting Phases And Mineral Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassaan, Mahmoud

    2016-04-01

    In North Africa occur Mediterranean and Red Sea metallogenic provinces. In each province distribute 47 iron- manganese- barite and lead-zinc deposits with tectonic-structural control. The author presents in this paper aspects of position of these deposits in the two provinces with Phanerozoic rifting . The Mediterranean Province belongs to two epochs, Hercynian and Alpine. The Hercynian Epoch manganese deposits in only Moroccoa- Algeria belong to Paleozoic tectonic zones and Proterozoic volcanics. The Alpine Epoch iron-manganese deposits are of post-orogenic exhalative-sedimentary origin. Manganese deposits in southern Morocco occur in Kabil-Rief quartz-chalcedony veins controlled by faults in andesitic sheets and in bedded pelitic tuffs, strata-form lenses and ore veins, in Precambrian schist and in Triassic and Cretaceous dolomites. Disseminated manganese with quartz and barite and effusive hydrothermal veins are hosted in Paleocene volcanics. Manganese deposits in Algeria are limited and unrecorded in Tunisia. Strata-form iron deposits in Atlas Heights are widespread in sub-rift zone among Jurassic sediments inter-bedding volcanic rocks. In Algeria, Group Beni-Saf iron deposits are localized along the Mediterranean coast in terrigenous and carbonate rocks of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Eocene age within faults and bedding planes. In Morocco strata-form hydrothermal lead-zinc deposits occur in contact zone of Tertiary andesite inter-bedding Cambrian shale, Lias dolomites and Eocene andesite. In both Algeria and Tunisia metasomatic Pb-Zn veins occur in Campanian - Maastrichtian carbonates, Triassic breccia, Jurassic limestone, Paleocene sandstones and limestone and Neogene conglomerates and sandstones. The Red Sea metallogenic province belongs to the Late Tertiary-Miocene times. In Wadi Araba hydrothermal iron-manganese deposits occur in Cretaceous sediments within 320°and 310 NW faults related to Tertiary basalt. Um-Bogma iron-manganese deposits are closely

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bingham, Robert; Ferraccioli, Fausto

    2014-05-01

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

  3. [The Great Rift Valley. Parasitological results].

    PubMed

    Nozais, J P

    1985-01-01

    East Africa is separated from the continent by the Great Rift Valley which was created at the end of the secondary era limiting then the East Africa under-continent with peculiar fauna and flora features. A several million years long isolation, during the tertiary era, seems to explain that a certain number of protozoan and helminthic diseases present peculiar clinical, epidemiological, therapeutical and parasitological features. The occurrence of those peculiar strains tends to indicate that in this region, for example, the resistance of P. falciparum to amino-4-quinolines is a regional feature which should not largely expand to the rest of the African continent.

  4. Recurrence of Rift Valley fever in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Arthur, R R; el-Sharkawy, M S; Cope, S E; Botros, B A; Oun, S; Morrill, J C; Shope, R E; Hibbs, R G; Darwish, M A; Imam, I Z

    1993-11-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) has been recorded in man and in domestic animals in Egypt after a 12-year absence. Human infections were first noted in the Aswan Governorate in late May, 1993. Only cases of ocular disease, an infrequent and late manifestation, were reported. Of 41 cases, 35 were tested serologically and 27 (77%) had RVF virus-specific IgM antibodies. An estimated 600-1500 infections occurred in the region. Abortions in cattle and buffalo were seen concurrently and antibodies to RVFV were present in 39% of domestic livestock, presumably unvaccinated. RVFV was isolated from an aborted water buffalo fetus.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brune, Sascha

    2015-04-01

    Present-day knowledge of rifted margin formation is largely based on 2D seismic lines, 2D conceptual models, and corroborated by 2D numerical experiments. However, the 2D assumption that the extension direction is perpendicular to the rift trend is often invalid. In fact, worldwide more than 75% of all rifted margin segments have been formed under significant obliquity exceeding 20° (angle measured between extension direction and rift trend normal): During formation of the Atlantic Ocean, oblique rifting dominated at the sheared margins of South Africa and Patagonia, the Equatorial Atlantic margins, separation of Greenland and North America, and it played a major role in the protracted rift history of the North East Atlantic. Outside the Atlantic Ocean, oblique rifting occurred during the split between East and West Gondwana, the separation of India and Australia, India and Madagascar, Australia and Antarctica, as well as Arabia and Africa. It is presently observed in the Gulf of California, the Aegean and in the East African Rift. Despite its significance, the degree to which oblique lithospheric extension affects first-order rift and passive margin properties like surface stress pattern, fault azimuths, and basin geometry, is still not entirely clear. This contribution provides insight in crustal stress patterns and fault orientations by applying a 3D numerical rift model to oblique extensional settings. The presented forward experiments cover the whole spectrum of oblique extension (i.e. rift-orthogonal extension, low obliquity, high obliquity, strike-slip deformation) from initial deformation to breakup. They are conducted using an elasto-visco-plastic finite element model and involve crustal and mantle layers accounting for self-consistent necking of the lithosphere. Results are thoroughly compared to previous analogue experiments, which yields many similarities but also distinct differences for late rift stages and for high obliquity. Even though the model

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-08-01

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

  10. Extension in the Rio Grande rift.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cordell, L.

    1982-01-01

    A positive gravity anomaly along the axis of the Rio Grande rift reflects a volume of anomalous mass added at the base of the crust and intruded into the crust. Part of this volume can be associated with vertical uplift of the crust. The remainder of this anomalous volume, plus the volume of surficial graben fill, can be associated with horizontal crustal extension. The volume of crustal uplift in the Rio Grande rift is unknown, but this term can be eliminated by means of an independent equation provided by assumption of generalized isostatic equilibrium. The volume and mass equations combined provide a solution for extension of the crust in terms of the following parameters: total anomalous mass deficiency in the mantle lithosphere, total anomalous mass excess in the crust and its density contrast, total anomalous mass deficiency of surficial graben fill and its density contrast, and the volume of material eroded from the uplift. Using standard density estimates and masses determined by equivalent-source modeling of gravity profiles, I obtained 1-km extension at 37oN (Colorado-New Mexico border), 13- km extension at 35oN (Albuquerque, New Mexico), and 24-km extension at 33oN in S New Mexico.-Author

  11. Volcanic architecture of the Afar Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vye, C.; Smith, K.; Bateson, L.; Jordan, C.

    2010-12-01

    A new approach for rapidly mapping large volcanic areas has enabled identification of the spatial relationship between lava flows at the scale of single eruptive units, and the temporal development of faults associated with continental rifting. This integrated geological mapping approach involving remote sensing and three-dimensional image analysis has been applied to the Afar Region of the African Rift. We analyse topography and surface rock chemistry based false colour Landsat, ASTER and Lidar imagery within an immersive three-dimensional visualisation suite using SocetSet and Geovisionary software. This remote data is ground-proofed by the targeted field studies. This method is proving to be particularly successful in producing a subdivision of basaltic lava flows based on surface features and morphology of flow lobes where chemostratigraphic applications fail to identify individual eruption units. The high-resolution record has facilitated investigations of the style and size of fissure eruptions, their source, the processes affecting synchronous basaltic and felsic volcanic activity, and the style and duration of basaltic lava flow emplacement. The success of this technique is particularly significant when working in areas which are difficult to access, and may be applied in the future within environmentally or logistically challenging regions.

  12. Anatomy of lithosphere necking during orthogonal rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nestola, Yago; Cavozzi, Cristian; Storti, Fabrizio

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  14. The rift to drift evolution of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranero, Cesar R.; Cameselle, Alejandra; Franke, Dieter; Barckhausen, Udo

    2016-04-01

    Re-processing with modern algorithms of multichannel seismic reflection records from the South China Sea provide novel images on the crustal structure of the continental margin and its boundary zone with the oceanic crust (COB). The selected re-processed seismic lines strike perpendicular to the margins' trend and cross the entire basin, providing complementary images of conjugated rift segments of the NW, SW, and E sub-basins. Re-processed sections image the post-rift and syn-rift sediment, and fault-bounded basement blocks, often also intra-crustal fault reflections that together provide detailed information of the tectonic structural style during rifting. Further, the largest imaging improvement has been obtained in the delineation of -very often- clear fairly continuous reflections from the crust-mantle boundary across the continental margin into the oceanic crust. The images show how crustal thickness and structure change in parallel to changes in the tectonic style of the deformation during the evolution of the rift. The interpreted COB occurs in regions where the tectonic style displays the most noticeable changes from segments where extension is dominated by normal faulting to segments where faulting is comparatively minor and the crust shows fairly gentle lateral thickness variations; these latter segments are interpreted as oceanic crust. The identification of the continental and oceanic tectonic domains permits to study the along-strike evolution in rifting processes and rift segmentation. Also, the comparison of the tectonic structure of the conjugated flanks of the continental rift across the ocean basins is used to understand the last stages of rifting and the relative importance of tectonic extension and magmatism in final break up and spreading initiation. Although there is ample evidence of important volcanism in the images, with some spectacular large conical volcanoes formed over continental crust and numerous sill-like reflections in the

  15. Rapid onset of narrowing and along-strike propagation of an intra-arc rift: The Taupo Rift, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villamor, P.; Berryman, K. R.; Ellis, S. M.; Schreurs, G.; Wallace, L. M.; Leonard, G.; Langridge, R. M.; Nairn, I. A.

    2012-12-01

    Intra-arc active continental rifting occurs within the Taupo Rift in the North Island, New Zealand. Based on geological and geophysical evidence, we show that the Taupo rift has narrowed via inward and eastward migration of faulting (asymmetric narrowing) and propagated southwards along its axis. This evolution has occurred at relatively high rates of ~25 km/Ma (narrowing), ~ 7 to 15 km/Ma (eastward migration), and ~ < 200 to 275 km/Ma (southward propagation; rates only for the last ~ 340 kyr). The initial onshore narrow rift width is likely to be an effect of a narrow propagating rift from offshore. While several process are likely to influence rapid evolution, we propose that the main control on further rapid narrowing appears to be the presence of large heterogeneities in the crust that enable concentration of deformation, such as large magma bodies of the volcanic arc of Hikurangi subduction margin. The presence of these magma bodies localises faulting. Once faulting is localised it propagates along strike from the heterogeneity into non volcanic segments of the rift, which causes generalised narrowing. Temporal and spatial correlation between voluminous volcanic eruptions and major active faulting migration supports this model. Eastward migration of faulting also follows the eastward migration of the volcanic arc and is likely related to slab rollback. Finally, we show that southward propagation of rifting is linked to southward migration of the Hikurangi plateau and occurs episodically aided by voluminous local volcanism. The detailed recent spatial and temporal evolution of continental rifting in the Taupo Rift reveals the early stages of continental break-up and demonstrates fast evolution of rifting when aided by large scale volcanic processes such as rhyolitic supereruptions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Papers presented to the Conference on the Processes of Planetary Rifting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The basic problems of processes of planetary rifting are addressed from the following viewpoints: (1) speculation as to the origin and development of rifts; (2) rifts on other planets; (3) tectonics; (4) geology; (5) chemistry of the lithosphere; (6) physics of the lithosphere; and (7) resources associated with rifting. The state of ignorance on the subject and its remedy is debated.

  18. Composition of the crust beneath the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooney, W.D.; Christensen, N.I.

    1994-01-01

    We infer the composition of the crust beneath and on the flanks of the Kenya rift based on a comparison of the KRISP-90 crustal velocity structure with laboratory measurements of compressional-wave velocities of rock samples from Kenya. The rock samples studied, which are representative of the major lithologies exposed in Kenya, include volcanic tuffs and flows (primarily basalts and phonolites), and felsic to intermediate composition gneisses. This comparison indicates that the upper crust (5-12 km depth) consists primarily of quartzo-feldspathic gneisses and schists similar to rocks exposed on the flanks of the rift, whereas the middle crust (12-22 km depth) consists of more mafic, hornblende-rich metamorphic rocks, probably intruded by mafic rocks beneath the rift axis. The lower crust on the flanks of the rift may consist of mafic granulite facies rocks. Along the rift axis, the lower crust varies in thickness from 9 km in the southern rift to only 2-3 km in the north, and has a seismic velocity substantially higher than the samples investigated in this study. The lower crust of the rift probably consists of a crust/mantle mix of high-grade metamorphic rocks, mafic intrusives, and an igneous mafic residuum accreted to the base of the crust during differentiation of a melt derived from the upper mantle. ?? 1994.

  19. Structural evolution history of the Red Sea Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Almeida, G. A. F.

    2010-05-01

    The Red Sea Rift has been an object of comprehensive studies by several generations of geologists and geophysicists. Many publications and open-file reports provide insights into the geological history of this rift. Paleogene and Cretaceous rocks, which are considered to be prerift, are locally exposed at the margins of the Red Sea Rift. At the same time, some evidence indicates that at least some of these rocks are related to the early stage of the evolution of the Red Sea Rift. The available geological data suggest that the Red Sea region started its active evolution in the Cretaceous. As follows from lithostratigraphic data, the Cretaceous-Paleogene trough that predated the Oligocene-Quaternary rift covered this region completely or partially. The pre-Oligocene magmatism and geological evidence show that the Cretaceous-Paleogene trough was of the rift type. The Cretaceous-Eocene and Oligocene-Quaternary phases of rifting were separated by an epoch of uplifting and denudation documented by the erosion surface and unconformity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H. V.

    1978-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-04-01

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

  5. 3-D Evolutionary model of the oblique rift basins-the study of Central African Rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Recent rift-related volcanism in Afar, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  7. Precambrian rift: genesis of strata-bound ore deposits.

    PubMed

    Kanasewich, E R

    1968-09-01

    Study of deep seismic reflections has detected a Precambrian rift valley below flat-lying sediments in southern Alberta. The anomalous magnetic and gravity trends show that the rift is continuous across Alberta and British Columbia (through the Kimberley lead-zinc field) and possibly the Coeur d'Alene mining district of Idaho. There is evidence that these ore bodies were deposited in a Precambrian rift under conditions similar to those prevailing in the hot-brine areas of the modern Red Sea.

  8. Venus - Volcanism and rift formation in Beta Regio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1984-10-01

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

  9. Diagnostic approaches for Rift Valley fever.

    PubMed

    Wilson, W C; Weingartl, H M; Drolet, B S; Davé, K; Harpster, M H; Johnson, P A; Faburay, B; Ruder, M G; Richt, J A; McVey, D S

    2013-01-01

    Disease outbreaks caused by arthropod-borne animal viruses (arboviruses) resulting in significant livestock and economic losses world-wide appear to be increasing. Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus is an important arbovirus that causes lethal disease in cattle, camels, sheep and goats in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is concern that this virus could spread because of global warming, increased animal trade or through bioterrorism. This paper discusses the current and developing approaches to diagnosis of RVF. Diagnostic assays are available for RVF, but availability can be limited and there is a need for global harmonization. Continued improvement of standard serological and viral genome amplification approaches, including new embedded/syndromic testing, biosensor, emerging virus detection and characterization technologies is needed.

  10. Diffuse Radiation from the Aquila Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jyothy, S. N.; Murthy, Jayant; Karuppath, Narayanankutty; Sujatha, N. V.

    2015-12-01

    We present an analysis of the diffuse ultraviolet (UV) background in a low latitude region near the Aquila Rift based on observations made by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). The UV background is at a level of about 2000 ph cm-2 s-1 sr-1 Å-1 with no correlation with either the Galactic latitude or the 100 μm infrared (IR) emission. Rather, the UV emission falls off with distance from the bright B2 star HIP 88149, which is in the centre of the field. We have used a Monte Carlo model to derive an albedo of 0.6-0.7 in the UV with a phase function asymmetry factor (g) of 0.2-0.4. The value for the albedo is dependent on the dust distribution while g is determined by the extent of the halo.

  11. Regional magnetic anomaly constraints on continental rifting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vonfrese, R. R. B.; Hinze, W. J.; Olivier, R.; Bentley, C. R.

    1985-01-01

    Radially polarized MAGSAT anomalies of North and South America, Europe, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica demonstrate remarkably detailed correlation of regional magnetic lithospheric sources across rifted margins when plotted on a reconstruction of Pangea. These major magnetic features apparently preserve their integrity until a superimposed metamorphoric event alters the magnitude and pattern of the anomalies. The longevity of continental scale magnetic anomalies contrasts markedly with that of regional gravity anomalies which tend to reflect predominantly isostatic adjustments associated with neo-tectonism. First observed as a result of NASA's magnetic satellite programs, these anomalies provide new and fundamental constraints on the geologic evolution and dynamics of the continents and oceans. Accordingly, satellite magnetic observations provide a further tool for investigating continental drift to compliment other lines of evidence in paleoclimatology, paleontology, paleomagnetism, and studies of the radiometric ages and geometric fit of the continents.

  12. The role of inheritance in structuring hyperextended rift systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manatschal, Gianreto; Lavier, Luc; Chenin, Pauline

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Teleseismic body wave tomography within a highly extended continental rift: the Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eilon, Z.; Abers, G. A.; Jin, G.; Kim, Y.; Gaherty, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    The Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea, has been a region of westward-propagating continental extension for 6-8 Ma, grading westward from seafloor spreading to newly thinned continent. The D'Entrecasteaux Islands (DIs) lie immediately to the west of the youngest spreading centres in continental crust that has undergone 140-190 km of extension. These islands are dominated by metamorphic core complexes (MCCs) containing 5-6 Ma ultra-high pressure (UHP) coesite-eclogite exhumed at ~20 mm/yr coeval with extension. An array of 31 PASSCAL broadband seismometers and 8 broadband OBSs was installed around the region from 2010-2011 to investigate the thinned continent close to the onset of seafloor spreading. We present results of a teleseismic P- and S- wave tomography study that images the mantle beneath the rapidly extending continent. Preliminary observations include strong azimuthal dependence of differential travel times, indicating significant lateral velocity variations and inferred thermal gradients. Using Ps receiver functions and SsPmP reflections, we estimate variations in Moho depth to correct for the crustal effect on travel times. We observe large (>1s) travel time delays beneath the DIs in both P and S arrivals, while stations on the Trobriand Islands and Papuan Peninsula exhibit travel time deficits of 1-2 s. This indicates that lithosphere is thinnest beneath the DIs, along the axis of the rift, in agreement with the location of Quaternary volcanism and consistent with results from surface waves [Ge et al., AGU2013 abstract] and a previous, lower-resolution tomographic study nearby. There is also evidence for moderately thinned lithosphere in the basin immediately south of the DIs. We have previously established strong, spreading-parallel anisotropy from SKS splitting caused by mantle olivine fabric beneath the DIs and the Trobriand Platform, inferred to represent asthenospheric flow in response to rifting. Detailed tomography will reveal how thinning of

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. The effect of thermal weakening and buoyancy forces on rift localization: Field evidences from the Gulf of Aden oblique rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellahsen, N.; Husson, L.; Autin, J.; Leroy, S.; d'Acremont, E.

    2013-11-01

    On the basis of field and geophysical data, analog and numerical models, we here discuss the role of buoyancy forces arising from thickness variations in the lithosphere during rifting. In the Gulf of Aden, an oceanized Tertiary oblique rift, several successive directions of extension and associated normal faults suggest that transient stress rotations occurred during rifting. Especially, rift-parallel faults (070°E) overprinted the early divergence-perpendicular normal faults (110°E). Moreover, some first-order differences are noticeable between the western part of the Gulf, which deformed under the Afar hot spot influence, and the eastern part. In the western Gulf of Aden, the ocean-continent transition (OCT) and the oceanic ridge have cut obliquely through the inherited and reactivated Mesozoic basins (100°E to 140°E). The OCT trend is parallel to the overall Gulf trend (070°E). In the eastern part, the oceanization occurred within few syn-rift 110°E-trending basins and the OCT trends mostly perpendicular to the divergence direction. Here, we propose that this contrast is strongly controlled by the Afar hot spot: during rifting times, the hot spot likely induced a hot thermal anomaly in the western asthenosphere. This may have triggered both thermal buoyancy forces and thermal weakening of the lithosphere that helped localizing the rift obliquely. In such localized rift, rift-perpendicular trending crustal buoyancy forces (i.e. around 160°E) have enhanced rift-parallel normal faults (070°E) during final rift localization into a narrow zone strongly oblique to the early syn-rift basins. As a consequence of the Afar hot spot, in the west, the ridge is long and straight; in the east, the ridge segments are rather long too (although less than in the west) as the ridge initiated parallel to the OCT; in between, the ridge is more segmented as both the hot spot influence gradually decreases eastward and the ridge initiated obliquely to the OCT.

  16. The geology and geophysics of the Oslo rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruder, M. E.

    1981-01-01

    The regional geology and geophysical characteristics of the Oslo graben are reviewed. The graben is part of a Permian age failed continental rift. Alkali olivine, tholefitic, and monzonitic intrusives as well as basaltic lavas outline the extent of the graben. Geophysical evidence indicates that rifting activity covered a much greater area in Skagerrak Sea as well as the Paleozoic time, possibly including the northern Skagerrak Sea as well as the Oslo graben itself. Much of the surficial geologic characteristics in the southern part of the rift have since been eroded or covered by sedimentation. Geophysical data reveal a gravity maximum along the strike of the Oslo graben, local emplacements of magnetic material throughout the Skagerrak and the graben, and a slight mantle upward beneath the rift zone. Petrologic and geophysical maps which depict regional structure are included in the text. An extensive bibliography of pertinent literature published in English between 1960 and 1980 is also provided.

  17. Lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions of Southern California.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-11

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

  18. Lithospheric thinning beneath rifted regions of Southern California.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-11

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

  19. Metallogeny of the midcontinent rift system of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  20. Sociocultural and Economic Dimensions of Rift Valley Fever

    PubMed Central

    Muga, Geoffrey Otieno; Onyango-Ouma, Washington; Sang, Rosemary; Affognon, Hippolyte

    2015-01-01

    Health researchers have advocated for a cross-disciplinary approach to the study and prevention of infectious zoonotic diseases, such as Rift Valley Fever. It is believed that this approach can help bring out the social determinants and effects of the zoonotic diseases for the design of appropriate interventions and public health policy. A comprehensive literature review using a systematic search strategy was undertaken to explore the sociocultural and economic factors that influence the transmission and spread of Rift Valley Fever. Although the findings reveal a paucity of social research on Rift Valley Fever, they suggest that livestock sacrificial rituals, food preparation and consumption practices, gender roles, and inadequate resource base for public institutions are the key factors that influence the transmission. It is concluded that there is need for cross-disciplinary studies to increase the understanding of Rift Valley Fever and facilitate appropriate and timely response and mitigation measures. PMID:25688166

  1. Serpentized mantle at rifted margins: The Goban Spur example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, A. D.; Minshull, T. A.

    2002-12-01

    The crustal structure of rifted continental margins can tell us about the processes that operated from continental extension to eventual break-up and sea floor spreading. Variations between margins may record different processes operating during extension or indicate changes in the external geological controls such as mantle plume influence. Extension between Europe and North America began in the mid Cretaceous, dated at the Goban Spur-Flemish Cap rift as late Hauterivian-early Barremian (126-128 Ma) from deep sea drilling (DSDP leg 80) results on the Goban Spur margin. Marine magnetic anomaly 34 can be identified clearly on both margins and indicates that sea floor spreading began no later than 83 Ma. Syn-rift volcanism is limited to a 20 km basaltic body, with considerable lateral extent, at the foot of the continental slope, emplaced at the end of continental rifting. \

  2. An integrated geophysical study of the northern Kenya rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariita, Nicolas O.; Keller, G. Randy

    2007-06-01

    The Kenyan part of the East African rift is among the most studied rift zones in the world. It is characterized by: (1) a classic rift valley, (2) sheer escarpments along the faulted borders of the rift valley, (3) voluminous volcanics that flowed from faults and fissures along the rift, and (4) axial and flank volcanoes where magma flow was most intense. In northern Kenya, the rift faults formed in an area where the lithosphere was weakened and stretched by Cretaceous-Paleogene extension, and in central and southern Kenya, it formed along old zones of weakness at the contact between the Archean Tanzania craton and the Proterozoic Mozambique orogenic belt. Recent geophysical investigations focused on the tectonic evolution of the East African rift and on exploration for geothermal energy in the southern portion of the Kenyan rift provide considerable information and insight on the structure and evolution of the lithosphere. In the north, a variety of other data exist. However, the lack of an integrated regional analysis of these data was the motivation for this study. Our study began with the collection and compilation of gravity data, and then we used the seismic refraction results from the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP), published seismic reflection data, aeromagnetic data, and geologic and drilling data as constraints in the construction of integrated gravity models. These models and gravity anomaly maps provide insight on spatial variations in crustal thickness and upper mantle structure. In addition, they show the distribution of basins and help characterize the distribution of magmatism along the axis of the northern sector of the rift. Our main observations are the following: (1) the region of thinning and anomalous mantle widens northward in agreement with previous studies showing that the crust thins from about 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; (2) as observed in the south, gravity highs observed along the axis are due to mafic

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  6. Structure of the southern Rio Grande rift from gravity interpretation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daggett, P. H.; Keller, G. R.; Wen, C.-L.; Morgan, P.

    1986-01-01

    Regional Bouguer gravity anomalies in southern New Mexico have been analyzed by two-dimensional wave number filtering and poly-nomial trend surface analysis of the observed gravity field. A prominent, regional oval-shaped positive gravity anomaly was found to be associated with the southern Rio Grande rift. Computer modeling of three regional gravity profiles suggests that this anomaly is due to crustal thinning beneath the southern Rio Grande rift. These models indicate a 25 to 26-km minimum crustal thickness within the rift and suggest that the rift is underlain by a broad zone of anomalously low-density upper mantle. The southern terminus of the anomalous zone is approximately 50 km southwest of El Paso, Texas. A thinning of the rifted crust of 2-3 km relative to the adjacent Basin and Range province indicates an extension of about 9 percent during the formation of the modern southern Rio Grande rift. This extension estimate is consistent with estimates from other data sources. The crustal thinning and anomalous mantle is thought to result from magmatic activity related to surface volcanism and high heat flow in this area.

  7. P Wave Velocity Structure Beneath the Baikal Rift Axis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  8. Exploring the contrasts between fast and slow rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Jason P.; de Monserrat, Albert; White, Lloyd; Hall, Robert

    2016-04-01

    Researchers are now finding that extension sometimes occurs at rates much faster than the mean rates observed in the development of passive margins. Examples of rapid and ultra-rapid extension are found in several locations in Eastern Indonesia. This includes in northern and central Sulawesi as well as in eastern- and westernmost New Guinea. The periods of extension are associated with sedimentary basin growth as well as phases of crustal melting and rapid uplift. This is recorded through seismic imagery of basins offshore Sulawesi and New Guinea as well as through new field studies of the onshore geology in these regions. A growing body of new geochronological and biostratigraphic data provide some control on the rates of processes, indicating that rates of extension are typically at least twice as fast and potentially an order of magnitude faster than the fastest rates applied for more commonly studied rift settings (e.g. Atlantic opening, East African Rift, Australia-Antarctica opening). Here we explore a suite of experiments more appropriate for rifting episodes in Eastern Indonesia, and compare the evolution of these 'fast' (20-100 mm/year full rate) rifting models to experiments with the same crustal geometries rifting at ~5-20 mm/year. In particular, we explore to what depths hot lower crust and mantle can be exhumed by fast rifting, and whether we can produce the p-T-t paths implied by recent onshore geological studies.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, M.G. )

    1991-03-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Numerical modelling of quaternary deformation and post-rifting displacement in the Asal-Ghoubbet rift (Djibouti, Africa) [rapid communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cattin, Rodolphe; Doubre, Cécile; de Chabalier, Jean-Bernard; King, Geoffrey; Vigny, Christophe; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Ruegg, Jean-Claude

    2005-11-01

    Over the last three decades a host of information on rifting process relating to the geological and thermal structure, long-time scale deformation (Quaternary and Holocene) and rifting cycle displacement across the Asal-Ghoubbet rift has been made available. These data are interpreted with a two-dimensional thermo-mechanical model that incorporates rheological layering of the lithosphere, dyke inflation and faulting. Active fault locations and geometry are mainly controlled by both thermal structure and magma intrusion into the crust. The distributed slip throughout the inner rift is related to the closeness of magma chamber, leading to additional stress into the upper thinned crust. Assuming a constant Arabia-Somalia motion of 11 mm/year, the variation of subsidence rate between the last 100 and 9 ka is associated with a decrease of the average injection rate from 10 to 5 mm/year. These values, about equal to the regional opening rate, suggest that both volcanism and tectonic play an equivalent role in the rifting process. Our modelled sequence of events gives one possible explanation for both vertical and horizontal displacements observed since the 1978 seismovolcanic crisis. Although part of the post-rifting deformation could be due to viscous relaxation, the high opening rate in the first years after the event and the abrupt velocity change in 1984-1986 argue for a large dyke inflation of 12 cm/year ending in 1985. The asymmetric and constant pattern of the GPS velocity since 1991 suggests that present post-rifting deformation is mainly controlled by fault creep and regional stretching. This study demonstrates the internal consistency of the data set, highlights the role of magmatism in the mechanics of crustal stretching and reveals a complex post-rifting process including magma injection, fault creep and regional stretching.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Tectonic and climatic control on evolution of rift lakes in the Central Kenya Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergner, A. G. N.; Strecker, M. R.; Trauth, M. H.; Deino, A.; Gasse, F.; Blisniuk, P.; Dühnforth, M.

    2009-12-01

    The long-term histories of the neighboring Nakuru-Elmenteita and Naivasha lake basins in the Central Kenya Rift illustrate the relative importance of tectonic versus climatic effects on rift-lake evolution and the formation of disparate sedimentary environments. Although modern climate conditions in the Central Kenya Rift are very similar for these basins, hydrology and hydrochemistry of present-day lakes Nakuru, Elmenteita and Naivasha contrast dramatically due to tectonically controlled differences in basin geometries, catchment size, and fluvial processes. In this study, we use eighteen 14C and 40Ar/ 39Ar dated fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary sections to unravel the spatiotemporal evolution of the lake basins in response to tectonic and climatic influences. We reconstruct paleoclimatic and ecological trends recorded in these basins based on fossil diatom assemblages and geologic field mapping. Our study shows a tendency towards increasing alkalinity and shrinkage of water bodies in both lake basins during the last million years. Ongoing volcano-tectonic segmentation of the lake basins, as well as reorganization of upstream drainage networks have led to contrasting hydrologic regimes with adjacent alkaline and freshwater conditions. During extreme wet periods in the past, such as during the early Holocene climate optimum, lake levels were high and all basins evolved toward freshwater systems. During drier periods some of these lakes revert back to alkaline conditions, while others maintain freshwater characteristics. Our results have important implications for the use and interpretation of lake sediment as climate archives in tectonically active regions and emphasize the need to deconvolve lacustrine records with respect to tectonics versus climatic forcing mechanisms.

  15. Geodynamic models of the Wilson Cycle: From rifts to mountains to rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, Susanne; Tetreault, Joya; Torsvik, Trond

    2015-04-01

    The Wilson Cycle theory that oceans close and reopen along the former suture is a fundamental concept in plate tectonics. The theory suggests that subduction initiates at a passive margin, closing the ocean, and that future continental extension localises at the ensuing collision zone. Each stage of the Wilson Cycle will therefore be characterised by inherited structural and thermal heterogeneities. Here we investigate the role of Wilson Cycle inheritance by considering the influence of (1) passive margin structure on continental collision and (2) collision zones on passive margin formation. Passive margins may be preferred locations for subduction initiation because inherited faults and areas of exhumed serpentinized mantle may weaken a margin enough to localise shortening. If subduction initiates at a passive margin, the shape and structure of the passive margins will affect future continental collision. Our review of present-day passive margins along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans reveals that most passive margins are located on former collision zones. Continental break-up occurs on relatively young sutures, such as Morocco-Nova Scotia, and on very old sutures, such as the Greenland-Labrador and East Antarctica-Australia systems. This implies that it is not always post-collisional collapse that initiates the extensional phase of a Wilson Cycle. We highlight the impact of collision zone inheritance on continental extension and rifted margin architecture. We show numerical experiments of one Wilson Cycle of subduction, collision, and extension. Subduction initiates at a tapered passive margin. Closure of a 60 Ma ocean leads to continental collision and slab break-off, followed by some tens of kilometres of slab eduction. Mantle flow above the sinking detached slab enhances deformation in the rift area. The resulting rift exposes not only continental crust, but also subduction-related sediments and oceanic crust remnants. Renewed subduction in the post

  16. Tectonic controls on rift basin morphology: Evolution of the northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Deino, A. L.; Tesha, A. L.; Becker, T.; Ring, U.

    1993-01-01

    Radiometric (K-Ar and Ar-40/Ar-39) age determinations of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, combined with structural, gravity, and seismic reflection data, are used to constrain the age of sedimentary strata contained within the seismically and volcanically active northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift and to characterize changes in basin and flank morphologies with time. Faulting and volcanism within the Tukuyu-Karonga basin began at approximately 8.6 Ma, when sediments were deposited in abroad, initially asymmetric lake basin bounded on its northeastern side by a border fault system with minor topographic relief. Extensions, primarily by a slip along the border fault, and subsequent regional isostatic compensation led to the development of a 5-km-deep basin bounded by broad uplifted flanks. Along the low-relief basin margin opposite border fault, younger stratigraphic sequences commonly onlap older wedge-shaped sequences, although their internal geometry is often progradational. Intrabasinal faulting, flankuplift, and basaltic and felsic volcanism from centers at the northern end of the basin became more important at about 2.5 Ma when cross-rift transfer faults developed to link the Tukuyu-Karonga basin to the Rukwa basin. Local uplift and volcanic construction at the northern end of the basin led to a southeastward shift in the basin's depocenter. Sequence boundaries are commonly erosional along this low-relief (hanging wall) margin and conformable in the deep lake basin. The geometry of stratigraphic sequences and the distribution of the erosion indicate that horizontal and vertical crustal movements both across and along the length of the rift basin led to changes in levels of the lake, irrespective of paleoclimatic fluctuations.

  17. Groundwater fluoride enrichment in an active rift setting: Central Kenya Rift case study.

    PubMed

    Olaka, Lydia A; Wilke, Franziska D H; Olago, Daniel O; Odada, Eric O; Mulch, Andreas; Musolff, Andreas

    2016-03-01

    Groundwater is used extensively in the Central Kenya Rift for domestic and agricultural demands. In these active rift settings groundwater can exhibit high fluoride levels. In order to address water security and reduce human exposure to high fluoride in drinking water, knowledge of the source and geochemical processes of enrichment are required. A study was therefore carried out within the Naivasha catchment (Kenya) to understand the genesis, enrichment and seasonal variations of fluoride in the groundwater. Rocks, rain, surface and groundwater sources were sampled for hydrogeochemical and isotopic investigations, the data was statistically and geospatially analyzed. Water sources have variable fluoride concentrations between 0.02-75 mg/L. 73% exceed the health limit (1.5mg/L) in both dry and wet seasons. F(-) concentrations in rivers are lower (0.2-9.2mg/L) than groundwater (0.09 to 43.6 mg/L) while saline lake waters have the highest concentrations (0.27-75 mg/L). The higher values are confined to elevations below 2000 masl. Oxygen (δ(18)O) and hydrogen (δD) isotopic values range from -6.2 to +5.8‰ and -31.3 to +33.3‰, respectively, they are also highly variable in the rift floor where they attain maximum values. Fluoride base levels in the precursor vitreous volcanic rocks are higher (between 3750-6000 ppm) in minerals such as cordierite and muscovite while secondary minerals like illite and kaolinite have lower remnant fluoride (<1000 ppm). Thus, geochemical F(-) enrichment in regional groundwater is mainly due to a) rock alteration, i.e. through long residence times and natural discharge and/or enhanced leakages of deep seated geothermal water reservoirs, b) secondary concentration fortification of natural reservoirs through evaporation, through reduced recharge and/or enhanced abstraction and c) through additional enrichment of fluoride after volcanic emissions. The findings are useful to help improve water management in Naivasha as well as similar

  18. Groundwater fluoride enrichment in an active rift setting: Central Kenya Rift case study.

    PubMed

    Olaka, Lydia A; Wilke, Franziska D H; Olago, Daniel O; Odada, Eric O; Mulch, Andreas; Musolff, Andreas

    2016-03-01

    Groundwater is used extensively in the Central Kenya Rift for domestic and agricultural demands. In these active rift settings groundwater can exhibit high fluoride levels. In order to address water security and reduce human exposure to high fluoride in drinking water, knowledge of the source and geochemical processes of enrichment are required. A study was therefore carried out within the Naivasha catchment (Kenya) to understand the genesis, enrichment and seasonal variations of fluoride in the groundwater. Rocks, rain, surface and groundwater sources were sampled for hydrogeochemical and isotopic investigations, the data was statistically and geospatially analyzed. Water sources have variable fluoride concentrations between 0.02-75 mg/L. 73% exceed the health limit (1.5mg/L) in both dry and wet seasons. F(-) concentrations in rivers are lower (0.2-9.2mg/L) than groundwater (0.09 to 43.6 mg/L) while saline lake waters have the highest concentrations (0.27-75 mg/L). The higher values are confined to elevations below 2000 masl. Oxygen (δ(18)O) and hydrogen (δD) isotopic values range from -6.2 to +5.8‰ and -31.3 to +33.3‰, respectively, they are also highly variable in the rift floor where they attain maximum values. Fluoride base levels in the precursor vitreous volcanic rocks are higher (between 3750-6000 ppm) in minerals such as cordierite and muscovite while secondary minerals like illite and kaolinite have lower remnant fluoride (<1000 ppm). Thus, geochemical F(-) enrichment in regional groundwater is mainly due to a) rock alteration, i.e. through long residence times and natural discharge and/or enhanced leakages of deep seated geothermal water reservoirs, b) secondary concentration fortification of natural reservoirs through evaporation, through reduced recharge and/or enhanced abstraction and c) through additional enrichment of fluoride after volcanic emissions. The findings are useful to help improve water management in Naivasha as well as similar

  19. The Central Lake Malawi (Nyasa) Rift: single or multiple rift segments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCartney, T.; Scholz, C. A.; Shillington, D. J.; Accardo, N. J.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Kamihanda, G.

    2015-12-01

    Accommodation zones connect rift segments, which are fundamental elements of continental rift architecture. The sedimentary record aids our assessment of the evolution of this linkage. The central basin of Lake Malawi is one of the most structurally complex regions of the Malawi Rift. Border fault margins have been interpreted on both shorelines; three structures within the basin have been interpreted as segments of a corresponding accommodation zone. We investigate these structures by integrating single- and multi-channel reflection seismic data, including new MCS acquired in 2015 for the SEGMeNT project. The stratigraphic record in the central basin, inferred from seismic reflection profiles, provides compelling evidence that most fault-related subsidence is accommodated by the western border fault. Strata on both sides of all three structures dip to the west. The pre-rift basement in the sub-basin west of the central structure is considerably deeper (~ 4 s TWTT sub-bottom) than that in the broader eastern sub-basin (~ 2.5 s TWTT sub-bottom). A syncline in the eastern sub-basin shows little variation in seismic facies, particularly over the last 1.3 m.y. In contrast, the western sub-basin exhibits seismic facies indicative of fluvial input from two major rivers, siliciclastic input from the border fault footwall rising > 1000 m above lake level, and mud diapirs in the deepest part of the sub-basin. Horizons pierced by these diapirs onlap the central structure, suggesting diapir rise postdates relative uplift of the structure. Correlations with the age model from a 2005 scientific drilling project will better constrain this timing. The structural high helps focus siliciclastic sediments into the sub-basin, resulting in the overpressure conditions required for mud diapirism. We hypothesize that the diapirs are the result of sediment loading in the deep main depocenter of the central basin rather than fault mechanisms. The basement highs in the central basin control

  20. Length and Timescales of Rift Faulting and Magma Intrusion: The Afar Rifting Cycle from 2005 to Present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebinger, Cynthia; Ayele, Atalay; Keir, Derek; Rowland, Julie; Yirgu, Gezahegn; Wright, Tim; Belachew, Manahloh; Hamling, Ian

    2010-05-01

    Although fault and magmatic processes have achieved plate spreading at mid-ocean ridges throughout Earth's history, discrete rifting episodes have rarely been observed. This paper synthesizes ongoing seismic, structural, space-based geodetic, and petrologic studies from the subaerial Red Sea rift in Ethiopia where a major rifting episode commenced in September 2005. Our aims are to determine the length and timescales of magmatism and faulting, the partitioning of strain between faulting and magmatism, and their implications for the maintenance of along-axis segmentation. Most of the magma for the initial and subsequent 12 intrusions was sourced from the center of the Dabbahu-Manda Hararo rift segment. Strain is accommodated primarily by axial dike intrusions fed from mid-segment magma chamber(s). These findings show that episodic (approximate century interval), rapid opening of discrete rift segments is the primary mechanism of plate boundary deformation. The scale (˜65 km × 8 km) and intensity of crustal deformation (˜6 m), as well as the volume of intrusive and extrusive magmatism (>3 km3), provokes a re-evaluation of seismic and volcanic hazards in subaerial rift zones.

  1. The South China sea margins: Implications for rifting contrasts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, D.E.; Nissen, S.S.

    2005-01-01

    Implications regarding spatially complex continental rifting, crustal extension, and the subsequent evolution to seafloor spreading are re-examined for the northern and southern-rifted margins of the South China Sea. Previous seismic studies have shown dramatic differences in the present-day crustal thicknesses as the manifestations of the strain experienced during the rifting of the margin of south China. Although the total crustal extension is presumed to be the same along the margin and adjacent ocean basin, the amount of continental crustal extension that occurred is much less along the east and central segments of the margin than along the western segment. This difference was accommodated by the early formation of oceanic crust (creating the present-day South China Sea basin) adjacent to the eastern margin segment while continued extension of continental crust was sustained to the west. Using the observed cross-sectional areas of extended continental crust derived from deep penetration seismics, two end-member models of varying rift zone widths and varying initial crustal thicknesses are qualitatively examined for three transects. Each model implies a time difference in the initiation of seafloor spreading inferred for different segments along the margin. The two models examined predict that the oceanic crust of the South China Sea basin toward the west did not begin forming until sometime between 6-12 my after its initial formation (???32 Ma) toward the east. These results are compatible with crustal age interpretations of marine magnetic anomalies. Assuming rifting symmetry with conjugate margin segments now residing along the southern portions of the South China Sea basin implies that the total width of the zone of rifting in the west was greater than in the east by about a factor of two. We suggest the most likely causes of the rifting differences were east-west variations in the rheology of the pre-rift crust and associated east-west variations in the

  2. Hydrocarbon potential of Dead Sea Rift valley

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, J.E.; Kashai, E.L.; Croker, P.F.

    1983-03-01

    The Dead Sea Rift is one of the world's unique geologic and topographic features, whose petroleum potential has not yet been evaluated. The sector of the Dead Sea is an asymmetric graben 20 km (12 mi) from rim to rim and over 120 km (75 mi) long. The total throw from the west rim, where the Upper Cretaceous crops out to the deeper portion of the grabens, is more than 8 km (26,200 ft). Throw on the eastern side is considerably greater as the valley wall is largely Precambrian. The level of the Dead Sea is -400 m (-1300 ft) - the lowest place on earth. Asphalt blocks floating from the Dead Sea, along with asphalt and heavy oil seeps in the valley, have been known since biblical times. These are suggestive of leaks from deeper accumulations. Although some exploration drilling has been done, no test has yet reached objectives in the deeper sunken block where the Miocene is figured to be at a depth of at least 7 km (23,000 ft.)

  3. [Rift Valley fever virus: evolution in progress].

    PubMed

    Tolou, H; Plumet, S; Leparc-Goffart, I; Couissinier-Paris, P

    2009-06-01

    Several viruses now circulating in tropical zones around the globe are potential threats for ever-increasing human populations even in temperate zones that have long remained unaffected. The mechanisms underlying transport and transmission, which can be enhanced by human activity, can be even stronger in zones where factors needed to support development of these viruses, i.e., hosts, reservoirs and vectors, are already present. This possibility has been illustrated by dengue virus, and now by the rapid spread of the Chikungunya virus on Reunion Island in 2005 and then in Italy in 2007. The spreading of Chikungunya virus despite its mild reputation had a major unexpected impact. It showed that the evolution of the virus, whether a cause or consequence of observed events, could be determinant. The risk of extension of more pathogenic viruses due to similar mechanisms must be considered as a possibility. In this regard the Rift Valley fever virus, that already involves a large area and has a major reservoir, is one of the viruses that deserves close surveillance.

  4. Tectonostratigraphic development of the Interior Sudan rifts, Central Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McHargue, Tim R.; Heidrick, Tom L.; Livingston, Jack E.

    1992-10-01

    In the Muglad, Melut and Blue Nile rift basins of Interior Sudan three major episodes of rifting, concomitant subsidence and nonmarine/nonvolcanic sedimentation are recognized. These three rifting cycles, which spanned 140 to 95 Ma (Fl), 95 to 65 Ma (F2), and 65 to 30 Ma (F3), resulted in the accumulation of up to 5400, 4200 and 5400 m of sediments, respectively. In the Muglad Basin, the best known and largest of the Sudan rift basins, each rifting cycle consists of (1) a basal sandstone unit (at least near rift margins), that is followed by (2) an upward coarsening section of lacustrine shale grading through marginal lacustrine mudstone and sandstone into fluvial mudstone and sandstone, and (3) a capping blanket of fluvial and alluvial sandstone. The shale-dominated portions of these cycles were deposited in a closed-drainage basin during active faulting. The fluvial and alluvial blanket sands were deposited in an open-drainage basin during the thermal sag phase following each tectonic cycle. The Early Cretaceous F1 intracontinental rifts of Interior Sudan were linked to major rifts/spreading centres in the Proto-South Atlantic by the dextral WSW-trending Central African Shear Zone and to the Indian Ocean via the NW-trending Anza rift in Kenya. In the Muglad Basin, F1 deformation involved high strain rates, rapid syn-rift crustal stretching and subsidence, and the formation of deep, fault-bounded tensional and transtensional pull-apart basins. During the F2 and F3 deformations, the rates of subsidence and stretching were much lower and were focused within smaller geographic areas. Structural elements include asymmetric half-grabens and less common full-grabens with central highs. The three superimposed tectonic episodes resulted in the subsidence of NNW- to NW-trending rift sub-basins; this gave rise to a wide variety of normal fault geometries, displacements, and growth histories. Planar domino-style and listric normal F1 fault arrays are modeled. The rotated F1

  5. Investigation of rifting processes in the Rio Grande Rift using data from an unusually large earthquake swarm. Final report, October 1, 1992--September 30, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Sanford, A.; Balch, R.; Hartse, H.; House, L.

    1995-03-01

    Because the Rio Grande Rift is one of the best seismically instrumented rift zones in the world, studying its seismicity provides an exceptional opportunity to elucidate the active tectonic processes within continental rifts. Beginning on 29 November 1989, a 15 square km region near Bernardo, NM, produced the strongest and longest lasting sequence of earthquakes in the rift in 54 years. Our research focuses on the Bernardo swarm which occurred 40 km north of Socorro, New Mexico in the axial region of the central Rio Grande rift. Important characteristics concerning hypocenters, fault mechanisms, and seismogenic zones are discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Orogenic structural inheritance and rifted passive margin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salazar Mora, Claudio A.; Huismans, Ritske S.

    2016-04-01

    Structural inheritance is related to mechanical weaknesses in the lithosphere due to previous tectonic events, e.g. rifting, subduction and collision. The North and South Atlantic rifted passive margins that formed during the breakup of Western Gondwana, are parallel to the older Caledonide and the Brasiliano-Pan-African orogenic belts. In the South Atlantic, 'old' mantle lithospheric fabric resulting from crystallographic preferred orientation of olivine is suggested to play a role during rifted margin formation (Tommasi and Vauchez, 2001). Magnetometric and gravimetric mapping of onshore structures in the Camamu and Almada basins suggest that extensional faults are controlled by two different directions of inherited older Brasiliano structures in the upper lithosphere (Ferreira et al., 2009). In the South Atlantic Campos Basin, 3D seismic data indicate that inherited basement structures provide a first order control on basin structure (Fetter, 2009). Here we investigate the role of structural inheritance on the formation of rifted passive margins with high-resolution 2D thermo-mechanical numerical experiments. The numerical domain is 1200 km long and 600 km deep and represents the lithosphere and the sublithospheric mantle. Model experiments were carried out by creating self-consistent orogenic inheritance where a first phase of orogen formation is followed by extension. We focus in particular on the role of varying amount of orogenic shortening, crustal rheology, contrasting styles of orogen formation on rifted margin style, and the time delay between orogeny and subsequent rifted passive formation. Model results are compared to contrasting structural styles of rifted passive margin formation as observed in the South Atlantic. Ferreira, T.S., Caixeta, J.M., Lima, F.D., 2009. Basement control in Camamu and Almada rift basins. Boletim de Geociências da Petrobrás 17, 69-88. Fetter, M., 2009. The role of basement tectonic reactivation on the structural evolution

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-16

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Crustal Velocity Structure Across the Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacKenzie, G. D.; Thybo, H.; Maguire, P. K.; Mammo, T.; Khan, M. A.

    2003-12-01

    As part of the project EAGLE (the Ethiopia Afar Geophysical Lithospheric Experiment) a 400 km NW-SE wide-angle reflection/refraction seismic profile, was recorded across the Main Ethiopian Rift in January 2003. Instruments were deployed at a nominal spacing of 1 km and consisted primarily of single component Reftek "Texan" recorders with 3 component Guralp CMG-6TD seismometers deployed every 4 - 5 km. Eight in-line borehole shots and eleven fan shots of between 1 and 2 tonnes were recorded over a 4-day period. The data show good energy propagation along the entire length of the profile with a wide coverage of Pg, PmP and Pn phases plus at least one intra-crustal reflected phase. Considerable variation is observed in the amplitude of the reflected Moho and intra-crustal phases across the entire length of the profile. We present preliminary 2D velocity models of the lithospheric structure of the rift from the modelling of this data using both tomographic and raytrace modelling methods. These show a low velocity surface layer across the length of the profile with a clear graben-like structure beneath the centre of the Rift. This layer is likely to represent layered basalts and Mesozoic sediments beneath the plateau region and Quaternary sediments and volcanics within the Rift. An approximately 38 km thick crust, thinning slightly beneath the Rift and including at least 1 intra crustal reflector is also modelled.

  13. Experiments on oblique rifting in brittle-ductile systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tron, Virginie; Brun, Jean-Pierre

    1991-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-17

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    James C Witcher

    2002-07-30

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

  16. Tectonics and sedimentology of post-rift anomalous vertical movements: the rifted margin of Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Roughly 15 years ago it was discovered that substantial parts of the Morocco passive continental margin experienced km-scale, post-rift exhumation. It was predicted that the sands resulting from the associated erosion would be present in the offshore and potentially form hydrocarbon reservoirs. At the same time, anomalous post-rift vertical movements have been documented in various localities of the world and rifted continental margins are at present exciting objects of research. Following intense research efforts the knowledge of the kinematics of vertical movements and their implications for sedimentary systems is increasing. The low-T geochronology initially limited to the classical Meseta-Massif Ancien de Marrakech transect has been expanded reaching the Reguibate Massif to the S and covering, possibly more importantly, one transect in E-W direction along the Anti Atlas. Exhumation occurred along two dominant trends. In N-S direction a several hundred-kilometers long exhuming domain developed roughly parallel to the Atlantic margin. Changes in magnitude and timing of exhumation are observed along this elevated domain associated with E-W trending undulations. The timing of main stage of upward movement of E-W trending highs seems to be Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous in the Meseta and High Atlas and somewhat older, Early to Middle Jurassic, in the Anti-Atlas and Reguibate. The discovery of E-W trending highs and lows has major implication for sediment distribution and dispersal. At the large scale, it means that the drainage basins were smaller than initially predicted. This seems to be compatible with the paucity of sands encountered by recent exploration wells drilled offshore Morocco. At the scale of several kilometers, W-E trending anticlines and synclines developed in a generally subsiding coastal environment. These folds often had an expression at the sea floor documented by ravinement surfaces and (Jurassic) reef build-ups on top of the anticlines

  17. The First Prediction of a Rift Valley Fever Outbreak

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anyamba, Assaf; Chretien, Jean-Paul; Small, Jennifer; Tucker, Compton J.; Formenty, Pierre; Richardson, Jason H.; Britch, Seth C.; Schnabel, David C.; Erickson, Ralph L.; Linthicum, Kenneth J.

    2009-01-01

    El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) related anomalies were analyzed using a combination of satellite measurements of elevated sea surface temperatures, and subsequent elevated rainfall and satellite derived normalized difference vegetation index data. A Rift Valley fever risk mapping model using these climate data predicted areas where outbreaks of Rift Valley fever in humans and animals were expected and occurred in the Horn of Africa from December 2006 to May 2007. The predictions were subsequently confirmed by entomological and epidemiological field investigations of virus activity in the areas identified as at risk. Accurate spatial and temporal predictions of disease activity, as it occurred first in southern Somalia and then through much of Kenya before affecting northern Tanzania, provided a 2 to 6 week period of warning for the Horn of Africa that facilitated disease outbreak response and mitigation activities. This is the first prospective prediction of a Rift Valley fever outbreak.

  18. A groundwater convection model for Rio Grande rift geothermal resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.; Harder, V.; Daggett, P. H.; Swanberg, C. A.

    1981-01-01

    It has been proposed that forced convection, driven by normal groundwater flow through the interconnected basins of the Rio Grande rift is the primary source mechanism for the numerous geothermal anomalies along the rift. A test of this concept using an analytical model indicates that significant forced convection must occur in the basins even if permeabilities are as low as 50-200 millidarcies at a depth of 2 km. Where groundwater flow is constricted at the discharge areas of the basins forced convection can locally increase the gradient to a level where free convection also occurs, generating surface heat flow anomalies 5-15 times background. A compilation of groundwater data for the rift basins shows a strong correlation between constrictions in groundwater flow and hot springs and geothermal anomalies, giving strong circumstantial support to the convection model.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, P.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favre, P.; Stampfli, G. M.

    1992-12-01

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

  1. Flexural analysis of uplifted rift flanks on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Susan A.; Simons, Mark; Solomon, Sean C.

    1992-01-01

    Knowledge of the thermal structure of a planet is vital to a thorough understanding of its general scheme of tectonics. Since no direct measurements of heat flow or thermal gradient are available for Venus, most estimates have been derived from theoretical considerations or by analog with the Earth. The flexural response of the lithosphere to applied loads is sensitive to regional thermal structure. Under the assumption that the yield strength as a function of depth can be specified, the temperature gradient can be inferred from the effective elastic plate thickness. Previous estimates of the effective elastic plate thickness of Venus range from 11-18 km for the foredeep north of Uorsar Rupes to 30-60 km for the annular troughs around several coronae. Thermal gradients inferred for these regions are 14-23 K km(exp -1) and 4-9 K km(exp -1) respectively. In this study, we apply the same techniques to investigate the uplifted flanks of an extensional rift. Hypotheses for the origin of uplifted rift flanks on Earth include lateral transport of heat from the center of the rift, vertical transport of heat by small-scale convection, differential thinning of the lithosphere, dynamical uplift, and isostatic response to mechanical uploading of the lithosphere. The 1st hypothesis is considered the dominant contributor to terrestrial rift flanks lacking evidence for volcanic activity, particularly for rift structures that are no longer active. In this study, we model the uplifted flanks of a venusian rift as the flexural response to a vertical end load.

  2. US-Africa collaborative research on incipient continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atekwana, E. A.

    2007-12-01

    Since 1999, we have been conducting research in Botswana in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Botswana (UB). Recently, we have expanded our research activities to include the University of Zambia (UNZA). The goal of the collaborative efforts center on investigating geologic processes operating during the initial stages of continental extension. During student training, US students partner with peers from UB and UNZA to conduct field-based research within a multi-disciplinary framework focused on investigating the interplay between neotectonics and surficial processes due to rifting. The student projects are designed to: 1) assess the role of pre-existing structures on rift basin development; 2) determine fault kinematics and direction of rift extension; 3) characterize the geometry of the basins; 4) assess current models for fault growth and propagation and linkage to form border faults; 5) investigate environmental change information preserved in rift basin sediments; 6) determine how magma below the rift basin affects surface water chemical properties; and 7) develop tectonic and geologic models for the evolution of rift basins during the incipient stages of continental extension. Our goal is to provide is to improve research and education in developing countries while providing talented and motivated US students with hands-on field research experience in near surface geophysical surveying, field geologic mapping, GPS mapping, and geochemical and hydrogeologic techniques necessary for addressing basic research questions in the geosciences, as well as resources exploration (e.g., hydrocarbon, water resources, mineral, geothermal, etc.). Our US students acquire an enriching cultural experience, make personal contacts, and build relationships that will form the core of future international research collaborations. At the same time, project activities introduce the African students to state-of the art geophysical equipment and research methodologies

  3. New vectors of Rift Valley fever in West Africa.

    PubMed Central

    Fontenille, D.; Traore-Lamizana, M.; Diallo, M.; Thonnon, J.; Digoutte, J. P.; Zeller, H. G.

    1998-01-01

    After an outbreak of Rift Valley fever in Southern Mauritania in 1987, entomologic studies were conducted in a bordering region in Sénégal from 1991 to 1996 to identify the sylvatic vectors of Rift Valley fever virus. The virus was isolated from the floodwater mosquitoes Aedes vexans and Ae. ochraceus. In 1974 and 1983, the virus had been isolated from Ae. dalzieli. Although these vectors differ from the main vectors in East and South Africa, they use the same type of breeding sites and also feed on cattle and sheep. Although enzootic vectors have now been identified in West Africa, the factors causing outbreaks remain unclear. PMID:9621201

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  5. Oldest Homo and Pliocene biogeography of the Malawi Rift.

    PubMed

    Schrenk, F; Bromage, T G; Betzler, C G; Ring, U; Juwayeyi, Y M

    1993-10-28

    The Malawi Rift and Pliocene palaeofaunas, which include a hominid mandible attributed to Homo rudolfensis, provide a biogeographical link between the better known Plio-Pleistocene faunal records of East and Southern Africa. The Malawi Rift is in a latitudinal position suitable for recording any hominid and faunal dispersion towards the Equator that was brought on by increased aridity of the Late Pliocene African landscape. The evidence suggests that Pliocene hominids originated in the eastern African tropical domain and dispersed to southern Africa only during more favourable ecological circumstances.

  6. Intermittent upwelling of asthenosphere beneath the Gregory Rift, Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki Kyoto Univ. ); Kimura, Nobukazu ); Itaya, Tetsumaru ); Koyaguchi, Takehiro ); Suwa, Kanenori )

    1991-06-01

    K-Ar dates and chemical compositions of basalts in the Gregory Rift, Kenya, demonstrate marked secular variation of lava chemistry. Two magmatic cycles characterized by incompatible element relative depletion are recognized; both occurring immediately after the peak of basaltic volcanism and coeval with both trachyte/phonolite volcanism and domal uplift of the region. These cycles may be attributed to increasing degree of partial melting of mantle source material in association with thinning of the lithosphere by thermal erosion through contact with hot upwelling asthenospheric mantle. Cyclic variation in asthenosphere upwelling may be considered an important controlling process in the evolution of the Gregory Rift.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peron-Pinvidic, Gwenn; Terje Osmundsen, Per

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Factors controlling the final depth of active and failed continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  10. Massive and prolonged deep carbon emissions associated with continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyunwoo; Muirhead, James D.; Fischer, Tobias P.; Ebinger, Cynthia J.; Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Sharp, Zachary D.; Kianji, Gladys

    2016-02-01

    Carbon from Earth’s interior is thought to be released to the atmosphere mostly via degassing of CO2 from active volcanoes. CO2 can also escape along faults away from active volcanic centres, but such tectonic degassing is poorly constrained. Here we use measurements of diffuse soil CO2, combined with carbon isotopic analyses to quantify the flux of CO2 through fault systems away from active volcanoes in the East African Rift system. We find that about 4 Mt yr-1 of mantle-derived CO2 is released in the Magadi-Natron Basin, at the border between Kenya and Tanzania. Seismicity at depths of 15-30 km implies that extensional faults in this region may penetrate the lower crust. We therefore suggest that CO2 is transferred from upper-mantle or lower-crustal magma bodies along these deep faults. Extrapolation of our measurements to the entire Eastern rift of the rift system implies a CO2 flux on the order of tens of megatonnes per year, comparable to emissions from the entire mid-ocean ridge system of 53-97 Mt yr-1. We conclude that widespread continental rifting and super-continent breakup could produce massive, long-term CO2 emissions and contribute to prolonged greenhouse conditions like those of the Cretaceous.

  11. Extensional tectonics and collapse structures in the Suez Rift (Egypt)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chenet, P. Y.; Colletta, B.; Desforges, G.; Ousset, E.; Zaghloul, E. A.

    1985-01-01

    The Suez Rift is a 300 km long and 50 to 80 km wide basin which cuts a granitic and metamorphic shield of Precambrian age, covered by sediments of Paleozoic to Paleogene age. The rift structure is dominated by tilted blocks bounded by NW-SE normal faults. The reconstruction of the paleostresses indicates a N 050 extension during the whole stage of rifting. Rifting began 24 My ago with dikes intrusions; main faulting and subsidence occurred during Early Miocene producing a 80 km wide basin (Clysmic Gulf). During Pliocene and Quaternary times, faulting is still active but subsidence is restricted to a narrower area (Present Gulf). On the Eastern margin of the gulf, two sets of fault trends are predominant: (1) N 140 to 150 E faults parallel to the gulf trend with pure dip-slip displacement; and (2) cross faults, oriented NOO to N 30 E that have a strike-slip component consistent with the N 050 E distensive stress regime. The mean dip cross fault is steeper (70 to 80 deg) than the dip of the faults parallel to the Gulf (30 to 70 deg). These two sets of fault define diamond shaped tilted block. The difference of mechanical behavior between the basement rocks and the overlying sedimentary cover caused structural disharmony and distinct fault geometries.

  12. Rift Valley Fever Overview and Recent Developments at USDA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral disease with significant health and economic impacts to domestic animals and humans in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Human infections are believed to occur mainly from mosquito bites and from infectious aerosols. The available strategies for protection...

  13. Rift Valley fever Entomology, Ecology, and Outbreak Risk Factors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease of domestic ruminants and humans in Africa. The disease is most severe in cattle, sheep, and goats, and it causes high mortality in young animals and abortion in adults. Exotic aanimal breeds from areas where RVF is not endemic tend to be ...

  14. Potential for Rift Valley to be Introduced into North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease of domestic ruminants in Africa. The disease is most severe in cattle, sheep, and goats, causing mortality in young animals and abortion in adults. Human infection causes significant morbidity and mortality. RVF occurs in sub-Saharan Afri...

  15. Innovative tephra studies in the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. Complete Genome Sequence of Rift Valley Fever Virus Strain Lunyo.

    PubMed

    Lumley, Sarah; Horton, Daniel L; Marston, Denise A; Johnson, Nicholas; Ellis, Richard J; Fooks, Anthony R; Hewson, Roger

    2016-04-14

    Using next-generation sequencing technologies, the first complete genome sequence of Rift Valley fever virus strain Lunyo is reported here. Originally reported as an attenuated antigenic variant strain from Uganda, genomic sequence analysis shows that Lunyo clusters together with other Ugandan isolates.

  17. Complete Genome Sequence of Rift Valley Fever Virus Strain Lunyo

    PubMed Central

    Horton, Daniel L.; Marston, Denise A.; Johnson, Nicholas; Ellis, Richard J.; Fooks, Anthony R.; Hewson, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Using next-generation sequencing technologies, the first complete genome sequence of Rift Valley fever virus strain Lunyo is reported here. Originally reported as an attenuated antigenic variant strain from Uganda, genomic sequence analysis shows that Lunyo clusters together with other Ugandan isolates. PMID:27081121

  18. Masirah Graben, Oman: A hidden Cretaceous rift basin

    SciTech Connect

    Beauchamp, W.H.; Ries, A.C.; Coward, M.P.

    1995-06-01

    Reflection seismic data, well data, geochemical data, and surface geology suggest that a Cretaceous rift basin exists beneath the thrusted allochthonous sedimentary sequence of the Masirah graben, Oman. The Masirah graben is located east of the Huqf uplift, parallel to the southern coast of Oman. The eastern side of the northeast-trending Huqf anticlinorium is bounded by an extensional fault system that is downthrown to the southeast, forming the western edge of the Masirah graben. This graben is limited to the east by a large wedge of sea floor sediments and oceanic crust, that is stacked as imbricate thrusts. These sediments/ophiolites were obducted onto the southern margin of the Arabian plate during the collision of the Indian/Afghan plates at the end of the Cretaceous. Most of the Masirah graben is covered by an allochthonous sedimentary sequence, which is complexly folded and deformed above a detachment. This complexly deformed sequence contrasts sharply with what is believed to be a rift sequence below the ophiolites. The sedimentary sequence in the Masirah graben was stable until further rifting of the Arabian Sea/Gulf of Aden in the late Tertiary, resulting in reactivation of earlier rift-associated faults. Wells drilled in the Masirah graben in the south penetrated reservoir quality rocks in the Lower Cretaceous Natih and Shuaiba carbonates. Analyses of oil extracted from Infracambrian sedimentary rocks penetrated by these wells suggest an origin from a Mesozoic source rock.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

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

  1. Comparing Two Profiles: The Amazing Size of the Rift Valleys.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Housepian, Jean

    1983-01-01

    Describes an activity for grade 7-9 students previously introduced to topographic maps and profile lines. Two profiles of equal scale are used to help students appreciate the tremendous size of mid-ocean rift valleys. Procedures and examples of completed profiles are provided. (JN)

  2. Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2013 East African Rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, Gavin P.; Jones, Eric S.; Stadler, Timothy J.; Barnhart, William D.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Hayes, Gavin P.; Jones, Eric S.; Stadler, Timothy J.; Barnhart, William D.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Rifting in East Africa is not all coeval; volcanism and faulting have been an ongoing phenomenon on the continent since the Eocene (~45 Ma). The rifting began in northern East Africa, and led to the separation of the Nubia (Africa) and Arabia plates in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and in the Lake Turkana area at the Kenya-Ethiopia border. A Paleogene mantle superplume beneath East Africa caused extension within the Nubia plate, as well as a first order topographic high known as the African superswell which now includes most of the eastern and southern sectors of the Nubia plate. Widespread volcanism erupted onto much of the rising plateau in Ethiopia during the Eocene-Oligocene (45–29 Ma), with chains of volcanoes forming along the rift separating Africa and Arabia. Since the initiation of rifting in northeastern Africa, the system has propagated over 3,000 km to the south and southwest, and it experiences seismicity as a direct result of the extension and active magmatism.

  3. Forecast and Outbreak of Rift valley fever in Sudan, 2007

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks occur during heavy rainfall in various sub-Saharan countries including Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania and more recently in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Given the wide geographic and ecological range of RVF virus, it is necessary to monitor large areas for condit...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Raymond R.; McKay, Robert M.

    1997-01-01

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

  5. Helium isotopes in fluids of the Baykal rift zone

    SciTech Connect

    Polyak, B.G.; Prasolov, E.M.; Tolstikhin, I.N.; Kozlovtseva, S.V.; Kononov, V.I.; Khutorskoy, M.D. All-Union Petroleum Geologic Exploration Research Inst., Saint Petersburg Kola Research Center, Apatity )

    1993-02-01

    The isotopic composition of helium in subterranean fluids from 34 locations in southern Siberia and northern Mongolia has been measured. The ratio [sup 3]He/[sup 4]He ranges from radiogenic ([approximately]10[sup [minus]8]) to mantle ([approximately]10[sup [minus]5]) values. For the most part, the hydrocarbon fluids of the Irkutsk amphitheater contain only radiogenic helium; this distinguishes the amphitheater from ancient platforms. In contrast, fluids from the Baykal rift zone are distinguished by the presence of helium with a mantle component; this component reaches almost 100% in thermal fluids in the Tunka basin. The ratios CH[sub 4]/[sup 3]He and (CO[sub 2] + CH[sub 4])/[sup 3]He suggest that the methane and carbon dioxide in the rift zone fluids may be partially magmatogenic; in the Irkutsk amphitheater, on the other other hand, such gases originated as a result of purely crustal processes. The [sup 3]He/[sup 4]He ratio varies along the length of the Baikal rift zone, with decreasing values correlating with decreasing heat flow, increasing thickness of crust, and decreasing dimensions of rift basins. 39 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  6. Potential Effects of Rift Valley Fever in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) has been the cause of disease outbreaks throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and the infection often results in heavy economic costs through loss of livestock. If RVFV, which is common to select agent lists of the US Department of Health and Human Services and ...

  7. Development of a sheep challenge model for Rift Valley fever

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever is a zoonotic disease responsible for severe outbreaks in ruminant livestock characterized by mass abortion and high mortality rates in younger animals. The lack of a fully licensed vaccine in the US has spurred increased demand for a protective vaccine. Thus, development of a reli...

  8. Development of a sheep challenge model for Rift Valley fever

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic disease that causes severe epizootic disease in ruminants, characterized by mass abortion and high mortality rates in younger animals. The development of a reliable challenge model is an important prerequisite for evaluation of existing and novel vaccines. A stu...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  10. Seismic structure of the uppermost mantle beneath the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keller, Gordon R.; Mechie, J.; Braile, L.W.; Mooney, W.D.; Prodehl, C.

    1994-01-01

    A major goal of the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP) 1990 experiment was the determination of deep lithospheric structure. In the refraction/wide-angle reflection part of the KRISP effort, the experiment was designed to obtain arrivals to distances in excess of 400 km. Phases from interfaces within the mantle were recorded from many shotpoints, and by design, the best data were obtained along the axial profile. Reflected arrivals from two thin (< 10 km), high-velocity layers were observed along this profile and a refracted arrival was observed from the upper high-velocity layer. These mantle phases were observed on record sections from four axial profile shotpoints so overlapping and reversed coverage was obtained. Both high-velocity layers are deepest beneath Lake Turkana and become more shallow southward as the apex of the Kenya dome is approached. The first layer has a velocity of 8.05-8.15 km/s, is at a depth of about 45 km beneath Lake Turkana, and is observed at depths of about 40 km to the south before it disappears near the base of the crust. The deeper layer has velocities ranging from 7.7 to 7.8 km/s in the south to about 8.3 km/s in the north, has a similar dip as the upper one, and is found at depths of 60-65 km. Mantle arrivals outside the rift valley appear to correlate with this layer. The large amounts of extrusive volcanics associated with the rift suggest compositional anomalies as an explanation for the observed velocity structure. However, the effects of the large heat anomaly associated with the rift indicate that composition alone cannot explain the high-velocity layers observed. These layers require some anisotropy probably due to the preferred orientation of olivine crystals. The seismic model is consistent with hot mantle material rising beneath the Kenya dome in the southern Kenya rift and north-dipping shearing along the rift axis near the base of the lithosphere beneath the northern Kenya rift. This implies lithosphere

  11. The role of structural inheritance in continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, Susanne; Tetreault, Joya

    2015-04-01

    In nature we observe that passive margins tend to originate on continental collision zones. This is not surprising as continents are long-lived and therefore have undergone multiple deformation phases, producing many regions with inherited structures. Collision zones can act as intrinsic rift-localizers for several reasons: rifting at a suture may be initiated by extensional collapse of the orogen, the thicker crustal root of orogens and their associated increase in heat producing elements makes orogens thermally weak, and inherited thrust faults form large-scale heterogeneities. When investigating continental extension geodynamically, numerical experiments often simplify such inheritance and start from laterally homogeneous crustal layers with a prescribed inhomogeneity that initiates deformation. These inhomogeneities represent thermal or structural remnants from previous deformation phases and are imposed as a thermal anomaly, a variation in Moho geometry, or an inherited weak region. However, imposed initial heterogeneities do not fully capture the structural and thermal complexities of continental sutures. Here we present 2-D numerical experiments that investigate the role of inherited crustal structures in continental rifting and passive margin formation. We first examine a series of experiments in which we explicitly prescribe collisional structures in the initial setup, such as increased Moho depth and inherited thrust faults. Different prescribed collisional structures result in different rift to break-up durations, crustal shear zone patterns, and margin symmetry. Our second series of experiments actually creates an inherited collision zone through subduction and closure of an ocean. We use this set-up to investigate how extension localizes on a former continental collision zone. Passive margin architecture strongly depends on the duration of post-collision thermal equilibration time, with a long pause between collision and initiation of extension

  12. The Porcupine Basin: from rifting to continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reston, Timothy; Gaw, Viola; Klaeschen, Dirk; McDermott, Ken

    2015-04-01

    Southwest of Ireland, the Porcupine Basin is characterized by axial stretching factors that increase southward to values greater than six and typical of rifted margins. As such, the basin can be regarded as a natural laboratory to investigate the evolution and symmetry of rifting leading towards continental separation and breakup, and in particular the processes of mantle serpentinisation, and the onset of detachment faulting. We have processed through to prestack depth migration a series of E-W profiles crossing the basin at different axial stretching factors and linked by a N-S profile running close to the rift axis. Our results constrain the structure of the basin and have implications for the evolution of rifted margins. In the north at a latitude of 52.25N, no clear detachment is imaged, although faults do appear to cut down into the mantle, so that serpentinisation may have started. Further south (51.75N), a bright reflection (here named P) cuts down to the west from the base of the sedimentary section, is overlain by small fault blocks and appears to represent a detachment fault. P may in part follow the top of partially serpentinized mantle: this interpretation is consistent with gravity modelling, with numerical models of crustal embrittlement and mantle serpentinization during extension and with wide-angle data (see posters of Prada and of Watremez). Furthermore, P closely resembles the S reflection west of Iberia, where such serpentinites are well documented. P develops where the crust was thinned to less than 3 km during rifting, again similar to S. Although overall the basin remains symmetrical, the consistent westward structural dip of the detachment implies that, at high stretching factors, extension became asymmetric. Analysis of the depth sections suggests that the detachment may have been active as a rolling hinge rooting at low-angle beneath the Porcupine Bank, consistent with the presence of a footwall of serpentinites. This requires very weak

  13. The role of inherited crustal structures and magmatism in the development of rift segments: Insights from the Kivu basin, western branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, Benoît; Delvaux, Damien; Ross, Kelly Ann; Poppe, Sam; Kervyn, Matthieu; d'Oreye, Nicolas; Kervyn, François

    2016-06-01

    The study of rift basin's morphology can provide good insights into geological features influencing the development of rift valleys and the distribution of volcanism. The Kivu rift segment represents the central section of the western branch of the East African Rift and displays morphological characteristics contrasting with other rift segments. Differences and contradictions between several structural maps of the Kivu rift make it difficult to interpret the local geodynamic setting. In the present work, we use topographic and bathymetric data to map active fault networks and study the geomorphology of the Kivu basin. This relief-based fault lineament mapping appears as a good complement for field mapping or mapping using seismic reflection profiles. Results suggest that rifting reactivated NE-SW oriented structures probably related to the Precambrian basement, creating transfer zones and influencing the location and distribution of volcanism. Both volcanic provinces, north and south of the Kivu basin, extend into Lake Kivu and are connected to each other with a series of eruptive vents along the western rift escarpment. The complex morphology of this rift basin, characterized by a double synthetic half-graben structure, might result from the combined action of normal faulting, magmatic underplating, volcanism and erosion processes.

  14. Large-scale variation in lithospheric structure along and across the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Kaminski, W.; Fuchs, K.; Grosse, C.; Hoffmann, H.; Stangl, R.; Stellrecht, R.; Khan, M.A.; Maguire, Peter K.H.; Kirk, W.; Keller, Gordon R.; Githui, A.; Baker, M.; Mooney, W.; Criley, E.; Luetgert, J.; Jacob, B.; Thybo, H.; Demartin, M.; Scarascia, S.; Hirn, A.; Bowman, J.R.; Nyambok, I.; Gaciri, S.; Patel, J.; Dindi, E.; Griffiths, D.H.; King, R.F.; Mussett, A.E.; Braile, L.W.; Thompson, G.; Olsen, K.; Harder, S.; Vees, R.; Gajewski, D.; Schulte, A.; Obel, J.; Mwango, F.; Mukinya, J.; Riaroh, D.

    1991-01-01

    The Kenya rift is one of the classic examples of a continental rift zone: models for its evolution range from extension of the lithosphere by pure shear1, through extension by simple shear2, to diapiric upwelling of an asthenolith3. Following a pilot study in 19854, the present work involved the shooting of three seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection profiles along the axis, across the margins, and on the northeastern flank of the rift (Fig. 1). These lines were intended to reconcile the different crustal thickness estimates for the northern and southern parts of the rift4-6 and to reveal the structure across the rift, including that beneath the flanks. The data, presented here, reveal significant lateral variations in structure both along and across the rift. The crust thins along the rift axis from 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; there are abrupt changes in Mono depth and uppermost-mantle seismic velocity across the rift margins, and crustal thickening across the boundary between the Archaean craton and PanAfrican orogenic belt immediately west of the rift. These results suggest that thickened crust may have controlled the rift's location, that there is a decrease in extension from north to south, and that the upper mantle immediately beneath the rift may contain reservoirs of magma generated at greater depth.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosworth, William

    1994-12-01

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

  16. Closing of the Midcontinent-Rift - a far-field effect on Grenvillian compression

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.

    1994-01-01

    The Midcontinent rift formed in the Laurentian supercontinent between 1109 and 1094 Ma. Soon after rifting, stresses changed from extensional to compressional, and the central graben of the rift was partly inverted by thrusting on original extensional faults. Thrusting culminated at about 1060 Ma but may have begun as early as 1080 Ma. On the southwest-trending arm of the rift, the crust was shortened about 30km; on the southeast-trending arm, strike-slip motion was dominant. The rift developed adjacent to the tectonically active Grenville province, and its rapid evolution from an extensional to a compressional feature at c1080 Ma was coincident with renewal of northwest-directed thrusting in the Grenville, probably caused by continent-continent collision. A zone of weak lithosphere created by rifting became the locus for deformation within the otherwise strong continental lithosphere. Stresses transmitted from the Grenville province utilized this weak zone to close and invert the rift. -Author

  17. The Pongola structure of southeastern Africa - The world's oldest preserved rift?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

    Rocks of the Pongola Supergroup form an elongate belt in the Archean Kaapvaal Craton of southern Africa. Because these rocks exhibit many features that are characteristic of rocks deposited in continental rifts, including rapid lateral variations in thickness and character of sediments, volcanic rocks that are bimodal in silica content, coarse, basement derived conglomerates and thick sequences of shallow water sedimentary facies associations, it is suggested that the Pongola Supergroup was deposited in such a rift. The age of these rocks (approximately 3.0 Ga) makes the Pongola structure the world's oldest well-preserved rift so far recognized, and comparison of the Pongola Rift with other rifts formed more recently in earth history reveals striking similarities, suggesting that the processes that formed this rift were not significantly different from those that form continental rifts today.

  18. Crustal structure beneath the Kenya Rift from axial profile data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mechie, J.; Keller, Gordon R.; Prodehl, C.; Gaciri, S.; Braile, L.W.; Mooney, W.D.; Gajewski, D.; Sandmeier, K.-J.

    1994-01-01

    Modelling of the KRISP 90 axial line data shows that major crustal thinning occurs along the axis of the Kenya Rift from Moho depths of 35 km in the south beneath the Kenya Dome in the vicinity of Lake Naivasha to 20 km in the north beneath Lake Turkana. Low Pn velocities of 7.5-7.7 km/s are found beneath the whole of the axial line. The results indicate that crustal extension increases to the north and that the low Pn velocities are probably caused by magma (partial melt) rising from below and being trapped in the uppermost kilometres of the mantle. Along the axial line, the rift infill consisting of volcanics and a minor amount of sediments varies in thickness from zero where Precambrian crystalline basement highs occur to 5-6 km beneath the lakes Turkana and Naivasha. Analysis of the Pg phase shows that the upper crystalline crust has velocities of 6.1-6.3 km/s. Bearing in mind the Cainozoic volcanism associated with the rift, these velocities most probably represent Precambrian basement intruded by small amounts of igneous material. The boundary between the upper and lower crusts occurs at about 10 km depth beneath the northern part of the rift and 15 km depth beneath the southern part of the rift. The upper part of the lower crust has velocities of 6.4-6.5 km/s. The basal crustal layer which varies in thickness from a maximum of 2 km in the north to around 9 km in the south has a velocity of about 6.8 km/s. ?? 1994.

  19. East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. The importance of rift history for volcanic margin formation.

    PubMed

    Armitage, John J; Collier, Jenny S; Minshull, Tim A

    2010-06-17

    Rifting and magmatism are fundamental geological processes that shape the surface of our planet. A relationship between the two is widely acknowledged but its precise nature has eluded geoscientists and remained controversial. Largely on the basis of detailed observations from the North Atlantic Ocean, mantle temperature was identified as the primary factor controlling magmatic production, with most authors seeking to explain observed variations in volcanic activity at rifted margins in terms of the mantle temperature at the time of break-up. However, as more detailed observations have been made at other rifted margins worldwide, the validity of this interpretation and the importance of other factors in controlling break-up style have been much debated. One such observation is from the northwest Indian Ocean, where, despite an unequivocal link between an onshore flood basalt province, continental break-up and a hot-spot track leading to an active ocean island volcano, the associated continental margins show little magmatism. Here we reconcile these observations by applying a numerical model that accounts explicitly for the effects of earlier episodes of extension. Our approach allows us to directly compare break-up magmatism generated at different locations and so isolate the key controlling factors. We show that the volume of rift-related magmatism generated, both in the northwest Indian Ocean and at the better-known North Atlantic margins, depends not only on the mantle temperature but, to a similar degree, on the rift history. The inherited extensional history can either suppress or enhance melt generation, which can explain previously enigmatic observations.

  1. Water management problems in the Ethiopian rift: Challenges for development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayenew, Tenalem

    2007-06-01

    The Ethiopian rift is characterized by many perennial rivers and lakes occupying volcano-tectonic depressions with highly variable hydrogeological setting. The rift lakes and rivers were the focal points for relatively large-scale water resources development. They are used for irrigation, soda abstraction, commercial fish farming, recreation and support a wide variety of endemic birds and wild animals. Ethiopia's major mechanized irrigation farms and commercial fishery are confined within the rift. A few of the lakes have shrunk as a result of excessive abstraction of water; others expanded due to increased surface runoff and groundwater flux from percolated over-irrigated fields and active tectonism. Excessive land degradation and deforestation have also played a role. Human factors, in combination with the natural conditions of climate and geology have influenced the water quality. The chemistry of some of the lakes has been changed dramatically. This paper tries to present the challenges of surface water resources development with particular reference to environmental problems caused in the last few decades. The methods employed include field hydrological mapping supported by aerial photograph and satellite imagery interpretations, hydrometeorological and hydrochemical data analysis and catchment hydrological modeling. A converging evidence approach was adapted to reconstruct the temporal and spatial variations of lake levels and the hydrochemistry. The result revealed that the major changes in the rift valley are related mainly to recent improper utilization of water and land resources in the rivers draining the rift floor and the lakes' catchment, and to direct lake water abstraction, aggravated intermittently by natural factors (climate and tectonism). These changes appear to have grave environmental consequences, which demand urgent integrated basin-wide water management practice.

  2. The importance of rift history for volcanic margin formation (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collier, J.; Armitage, J. J.; Minshull, T. A.

    2010-12-01

    Rifting and magmatism are fundamental geological processes that shape the surface of our planet. A relationship between the two is widely acknowledged but its precise nature has eluded geoscientists and remained controversial. Two decades ago, largely based on detailed observations from the North Atlantic, a paradigm was established that identified mantle temperature as the primary factor. This idea has dominated our understanding with most authors seeking to explain observed variations in volcanic activity at rifted margins in terms of the mantle temperature at the time of breakup. However, as more detailed observations have been made at other rifted margins world-wide, the validity of this paradigm and the importance of other factors in controlling breakup style have been much debated. One such example is from the Northwest Indian Ocean where, despite an unequivocal link between an onshore flood basalt province, breakup and a hotspot track leading to an active ocean island volcano, the associated continental margins show little magmatism. Here we reconcile these observations by applying a numerical model that explicitly accounts for the effects of earlier episodes of extension. Our approach allows us to compare directly breakup magmatism generated at different locations and so isolate the key controlling factors. We show that the volume of rift-related magmatism generated, both in the Northwest Indian Ocean and at the better known North Atlantic margins, depends not only on the mantle temperature but, to a similar degree, on the rift history. Our work shows that the inherited extensional history can either suppress or enhance melt generation. We believe this explains previously enigmatic observations and brings a critical new understanding to models of continental breakup. Model predictions showing the importance of timing on the volume magmatism produced during continental break-up. Curves show peak igneous crustal thickness for the arrival of a 200 °C, 50 km

  3. A recombinant Rift Valley fever virus glycoprotein subunit vaccine confers full protection against Rift Valley fever challenge in sheep

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic pathogen causing disease outbreaks in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The virus has great potential for transboundary spread due to the presence of competent vectors in non-endemic areas. There is currently no fully licensed vaccine suita...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    This study is based on a coupled basin infilling study and a landforms analysis of the Lake Albert Rift located at the northern part of the western branch of the East African Rift. The basin infilling study is based on both subsurface data and outcrops analysis. The objective was to (1) obtain an age model based on onshore mammals biozones, (2) to reconstruct the 3D architecture of the rift using sequence stratigraphy correlations and seismic data interpretation, (3) to characterize the deformation and its changes through times and (4) to quantify the accommodation for several time intervals. The infilling essentially consists of isopach fault-bounded units composed of lacustrine deposits wherein were characterized two major unconformities dated at 6.2 Ma (Uppermost Miocene) and 2.7 Ma (Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary), coeval with major subsidence and climatic changes. The landforms analysis is based on the characterization and relative dating (geometrical relationships with volcanism) of Ugandan landforms which consist of stepped planation surfaces (etchplains and peplians) and incised valleys. We here proposed a seven-steps reconstruction of the deformation-erosion-sedimentation relationships of the Lake Albert Basin and its catchments: - 55-45 Ma: formation of laterites corresponding to the African Surface during the very humid period of the Lower-Middle Eocene; - 45-22: stripping of the African Surface in response of the beginning of the East-African Dome uplift and formation of a pediplain which associated base level is the Atlantic Ocean; - 17-2.5 Ma: Initiation of the Lake Albert Basin around 17 Ma and creation of local base levels (Lake Albert, Edward and George) on which three pediplains tend to adapt; - 18 - 16 Ma to 6.2 Ma: "Flexural" stage (subsidence rate: 150-200 m/Ma; sedimentation rate 1.3 km3/Ma between 17 and 12 Ma and 0.6 km3/Ma from 12 to 6 Ma) - depocenters location (southern part of Lake Albert Basin) poorly controlled by fault; - 6.2 Ma to 2

  5. An epidemic of Rift Valley fever in Egypt. 1. Diagnosis of Rift Valley fever in man.

    PubMed

    Imam, I Z; Darwish, M A; El-Karamany, R

    1979-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus was isolated from 53 of 56 sera collected from patients with a clinical picture of dengue-like illness during the peak of the epidemic of RVF in Egypt in the autumn of 1977. RVF virus was also isolated from the throat washings of two patients and the faeces of four, all of whom were positive for virus isolation from the serum. All the isolates were identified by the complement fixation (CF) test. Serological diagnosis of RVF, using paired sera from 16 patients, was made by both the haemagglutination-inhibition (HI) and CF tests. HI antibodies were demonstrated in all the acute sera, whereas CF antibodies, which seem to appear later, were detected in only seven acute and twelve convalescent sera. A longer period than the 12 days in this study must be allowed to elapse between the taking of the paired sera for a definite serological diagnosis to be obtained, especially when CF antibodies are taken into account.

  6. A refinement of the chronology of rift-related faulting in the Broadly Rifted Zone, southern Ethiopia, through apatite fission-track analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balestrieri, Maria Laura; Bonini, Marco; Corti, Giacomo; Sani, Federico; Philippon, Melody

    2016-03-01

    To reconstruct the timing of rift inception in the Broadly Rifted Zone in southern Ethiopia, we applied the fission-track method to basement rocks collected along the scarp of the main normal faults bounding (i) the Amaro Horst in the southern Main Ethiopian Rift and (ii) the Beto Basin in the Gofa Province. At the Amaro Horst, a vertical traverse along the major eastern scarp yielded pre-rift ages ranging between 121.4 ± 15.3 Ma and 69.5 ± 7.2 Ma, similarly to two other samples, one from the western scarp and one at the southern termination of the horst (103.4 ± 24.5 Ma and 65.5 ± 4.2 Ma, respectively). More interestingly, a second traverse at the Amaro northeastern terminus released rift-related ages spanning between 12.3 ± 2.7 and 6.8 ± 0.7 Ma. In the Beto Basin, the ages determined along the base of the main (northwestern) fault scarp vary between 22.8 ± 3.3 Ma and 7.0 ± 0.7 Ma. We ascertain through thermal modeling that rift-related exhumation along the northwestern fault scarp of the Beto Basin started at 12 ± 2 Ma while in the eastern margin of the Amaro Horst faulting took place later than 10 Ma, possibly at about 8 Ma. These results suggest a reconsideration of previous models on timing of rift activation in the different sectors of the Ethiopian Rift. Extensional basin formation initiated more or less contemporaneously in the Gofa Province (~ 12 Ma) and Northern Main Ethiopian Rift (~ 10-12 Ma) at the time of a major reorganization of the Nubia-Somalia plate boundary (i.e., 11 ± 2 Ma). Afterwards, rift-related faulting involved the Southern MER (Amaro Horst) at ~ 8 Ma, and only later rifting seemingly affected the Central MER (after ~ 7 Ma).

  7. Colorado Basin Structure and Rifting, Argentine passive margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autin, Julia; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Loegering, Markus; Anka, Zahie; Vallejo, Eduardo; Rodriguez, Jorge; Marchal, Denis; Reichert, Christian; di Primio, Rolando

    2010-05-01

    The Argentine margin presents a strong segmentation with considerable strike-slip movements along the fracture zones. We focus on the volcanic segment (between the Salado and Colorado transfer zones), which is characterized by seaward dipping reflectors (SDR) all along the ocean-continent transition [e.g. Franke et al., 2006; Gladczenko et al., 1997; Hinz et al., 1999]. The segment is structured by E-W trending basins, which differs from the South African margin basins and cannot be explained by classical models of rifting. Thus the study of the relationship between the basins and the Argentine margin itself will allow the understanding of their contemporary development. Moreover the comparison of the conjugate margins suggests a particular evolution of rifting and break-up. We firstly focus on the Colorado Basin, which is thought to be the conjugate of the well studied Orange Basin [Hirsch et al., 2009] at the South African margin [e.g. Franke et al., 2006]. This work presents results of a combined approach using seismic interpretation and structural, isostatic and thermal modelling highlighting the structure of the crust. The seismic interpretation shows two rift-related discordances: one intra syn-rift and the break-up unconformity. The overlying sediments of the sag phase are less deformed (no sedimentary wedges) and accumulated before the generation of oceanic crust. The axis of the Colorado Basin trends E-W in the western part, where the deepest pre-rift series are preserved. In contrast, the basin axis turns to a NW-SE direction in its eastern part, where mainly post-rift sediments accumulated. The most distal part reaches the margin slope and opens into the oceanic basin. The general basin direction is almost orthogonal to the present-day margin trend. The most frequent hypothesis explaining this geometry is that the Colorado Basin is an aborted rift resulting from a previous RRR triple junction [e.g. Franke et al., 2002]. The structural interpretation

  8. Albertine Rift, Uganda: Deformation-Sedimentation-Erosion relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The Albertine Rift is the northern part of the western branch of the East African Rift that runs over a distance of around 2000 km from Lake Albert in the north to Lake Malawi in the south. Lake Albert Basin is assumed to be a classical half-graben initiated around 12 Ma and oriented NNW-SSW, with a major northwesterly bounding fault - the Bunia fault - located along the western Congolese shoreline (Ebinger, 1989; Pickford & al., 1993). The aim of this study is to understand the relationships between deformation, erosion, and sedimentation of the rift through time by restoring (1) the timing and amplitude of vertical movements (subsidence, uplift), (2) the geometry and paleo-environmental evolution (including climate) of the sedimentary infilling and (3) the geomorphological evolution of the surrounding area and associated erosion budget. Seismic data and outcrops studies suggest a much more complex history than previously described. (1) The age model, mainly based on mammal fossils (Pickford et al., 1993; Van Damme and Pickford, 2003), is debated, but the early stage of the rift is probably Middle Miocene. (2) No half-graben geometry has been characterized: the infilling consists of juxtaposed tabular compartments with sharp thicknesses variations along bounding faults, in response of either low rate extensional or combined strike-slip/extensional movements. The following onshore-offshore evolution is proposed: - Middle Miocene (~ 13 Ma) to Late Miocene (?): rifting 1 - differential subsidence along N60° faults - major deepening from fluvio-deltaic to deep lacustrine environments (maximum flooding at 8 Ma) - uplift, erosion and reworking of weathered profiles - first generation of pediments. - Late Miocene (?) to Late Pliocene (~ 3 Ma): quiescence phase - homogenous subsidence - lacustrine clays interbedded with sandy flood-lobes - uplift, erosion and reworking of ferruginous laterite (iron duricrusts) - second generation of pediments. - Late Pliocene (~ 3Ma) to

  9. Aerosol and Cloud Microphysical Characteristics of Rifts and Gradients in Maritime Stratocumulus Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharon, Tarah M.; Albrecht, Bruce A.; Jonsson, Haflidi H.; Minnis, Patrick; Khaiyer, Mandana M.; Van Reken, Timothy; Seinfeld, John; Flagan, Rick

    2008-01-01

    A cloud rift is characterized as a large-scale, persistent area of broken, low reflectivity stratocumulus clouds usually surrounded by a solid deck of stratocumulus. A rift observed off the coast of Monterey Bay, California on 16 July 1999 was studied to compare the aerosol and cloud microphysical properties in the rift with those of the surrounding solid stratus deck. Variables measured from an instrumented aircraft included temperature, water vapor, and cloud liquid water. These measurements characterized the thermodynamic properties of the solid deck and rift areas. Microphysical measurements made included aerosol, cloud drop and drizzle drop concentrations and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations. The microphysical characteristics in a solid stratus deck differ substantially from those of a broken, cellular rift where cloud droplet concentrations are a factor of 2 lower than those in the solid cloud. Further, CCN concentrations were found to be about 3 times greater in the solid cloud area compared with those in the rift and aerosol concentrations showed a similar difference as well. Although drizzle was observed near cloud top in parts of the solid stratus cloud, the largest drizzle rates were associated with the broken clouds within the rift area. In addition to marked differences in particle concentrations, evidence of a mesoscale circulation near the solid cloud rift boundary is presented. This mesoscale circulation provides a mechanism for maintaining a rift, but further study is required to understand the initiation of a rift and the conditions that may cause it to fill.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kebede, Fekadu; Kulhánek, Ota

    1991-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Contour mapping of relic structures in the Precambrian basement of the Reelfoot rift, North American midcontinent

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dart, R.L.; Swolfs, H.S.

    1998-01-01

    A new contour map of the basement of the Reelfoot rift constructed from drill hole and seismic reflection data shows the general surface configuration as well as several major and minor structural features. The major features are two asymmetric intrarift basins, bounded by three structural highs, and the rift margins. The basins are oriented normal to the northeast trend of the rift. Two of the highs appear to be ridges of undetermined width that extend across the rift. The third high is an isolated dome or platform located between the basins. The minor features are three linear structures of low relief oriented subparallel to the trend of the rift. Two of these, located within the rift basins, may divide the rift basins into paired subbasins. These mapped features may be the remnants of initial extensional rifting, half graben faulting, and basement subsidence. The rift basins are interpreted as having formed as opposing half graben, and the structural highs are interpreted as having formed as associated accommodation zones. Some of these features appear to be reactivated seismogenic structures within the modem midcontinent compressional stress regime. A detailed knowledge of the geometries of the Reelfoot rift's basement features, therefore, is essential when evaluating their seismic risk potential.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Interaction between an incipient rift and a cratonic lithosphere : The North Tanzania Rift seen from some seismic tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gautier, Stéphanie; Plasman, Matthieu; Tiberi, Christel; Lopez, Marie; Peyrat, Sophie; Perrot, Julie; Albaric, Julie; Déverchère, Jacques; Deschamps, Anne; Ebinger, Cindy; Roecker, Steven; Mulibo, Gabriel; Wambura, Richard Ferdinand; Muzuka, Alfred; Msabi, Michael; Gama, Remigius

    2016-04-01

    The North Tanzania part of the East African Rift is the place of an incipient break up of the lithosphere. This continental rifting happens on the edge of the Tanzanian craton, and their interaction leads to major changes in the surface deformation. The evolution of the rift and its morphology is strongly linked to the inherited structures, particularly the Proterozoic belts and the craton itself. It is thus of prime interest to image the structure of the craton edges to fully understand its impact on the localisation of the current deformation at the surface. Since 2007 different multidisciplinary projects have taken place in this area to address this question. We present here a work based on a collaborative work between French, American and Tanzanian institutes that started in 2013. About 35 seismological stations were installed for 2 years in the Natron lake region, and 10 short period instruments were added for 9 months in the Manyara area to record local and telesismic events. We have analysed more than a hundred teleseismic events to compute the receiver function, and we finally obtain a Moho map of the region as well as azimuthal distribution of converted phases. The stations located on the edge of the rift and near the craton present a continuous evolution of their crustal pattern in the RF signal. Especially, we identify a clear phase at about 7s for those stations that corresponds to an interface separating a normal upper mantle from a very slow mantle at about 70 km depth. We first model those receiver functions to perfectly fit the signal, and more precisely the transverse component, which shows a strong and coherent pattern. Second, the local seismic network we have installed for 9 months in Manyara region advantageously completed the 2007 SEISMOTANZ network. In this part of the rift the seismicity is deep (20-30 km) and clustered without any magmatism record at the surface, opposite to Natron area. We could then relocalize the deep seismicity observed

  16. Deformational models of rifting and folding on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1988-05-01

    Features of presumed tectonic origin on Venus are reviewed, and lithospheric strength envelopes are derived based on laboratory measurements of the deformational properties of crustal and subcrustal rocks, extrapolated to conditions appropriate to Venus. Models for rifting and folding are developed that use this lithospheric structure and take into account both brittle and ductile yielding as well as finite elastic strength. For both rifting and folding, structures with characteristic widths and spacings are predicted whose size depends on the thickness of the lithosphere, density contrast, and elastic properties of the layer. Finally, the model predictions are compared with the widths and spacings of observed tectonic features, and it is concluded that they are consistent with a relatively strong mantle layer separated from a thin brittle surface layer by a ductile lower crust. These results allow constraints to be placed on the crustal thickness and thermal gradient on Venus.

  17. Erosion of Terrestrial Rift Flank Topography: A Quantitative Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissel, Jeffrey K.

    1999-01-01

    Many rifted or passive continental margins feature a seaward-facing erosional escarpment which abruptly demarcates deeply weathered, low relief, interior uplands from a deeply incised, high relief coastal zone. It is generally accepted that these escarpments originate at the time of continental rifting and propagate inland through the elevated rift flank topography at rates on the order of 1 km/Myr over the course of a margin's history. Considering the length of passive margins worldwide and an average rift flank plateau height of several hundred meters, it is clear that sediment eroded from passive margins is an important component of the mass flux from continents to oceans through geologic time. The overall goal of the research reported here is to develop a quantitative understanding of the kinematics of escarpment propagation across passive margins and the underlying geological processes responsible for this behavior. Plateau-bounding escarpments in general exhibit two basic forms depending on the direction of surface water drainage on the plateau interior relative to the escarpment. Where surface water flows away from the escarpment, the escarpment takes the form of subdued embayments and promontories, such that its overall trend remains fairly straight as it evolves with time. Where upland streams flow across the escarpment, it takes the form of dramatic, narrow gorges whose heads appear to propagate up the plateau drainage systems as large-scale knickpoints. From work on the Colorado Plateau, Schmidt (1987) noted that the Colorado River is located much closer to the Grand Canyon's south rim, a drainage divide escarpment, than to the north rim, which is a gorge-like escarpment. The main implication is that the gorge-like form might be associated with higher long-term average erosion rates compared to the drainage divide escarpment type.

  18. Intracontinental rifting and inversion: Missour basin and Atlas Mountains, Morocco

    SciTech Connect

    Beauchamp, W.; Barazangi, M.; Demnati, A.; Alji, M.E.

    1996-09-01

    The intracontinental High and Middle Atlas mountain belts in Morocco intersect to form the southern and western margins of the Missour basin, an intermontane basin formed as a result of the uplift and inversion of the Mesozoic Atlas paleorifts. These rifts were areas where the crust was greatly attenuated and more subject to deformation in response to nearby plate boundary tectonics. Data from observations based on seismic reflection profiles and wells over the Missour basin for hydrocarbon exploration and field mapping were used to understand the basin evolution, structural styles, and inversion timing of the nearby Atlas Mountains. Hercynian and Mesozoic normal faults were reactivated into high-angle reverse and thrust faults in the Mesozoic during the Jurassic, Early Cretaceous (early Alpine phase), and the Paleogene (late Alpine phase). The reactivation of synrift normal faults of the paleo-Atlas rifts inverted previous half grabens into anticlinal structures, with the axis of the half graben centered below the axis of the inverted anticline. The resulting inverted fold geometries are controlled by the geometries of the extensional planar or listric faults. The Atlas paleorift system is one of the largest rift systems in Africa. Little hydrocarbon exploration has occurred within the Atlas Mountains and the margins of the paleo-Atlas rift system. Inversion of synrift structures can lead to both the destruction and preservation of synrift traps and the creation of new hydrocarbon traps. The study of the effects of inversion in the Missour basin may lead to the discovery of footwall subthrust hydrocarbon traps in the Mesozoic sedimentary sequence of the Atlas Mountains.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

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

  20. The Sagatu Ridge dike swarm, Ethiopian rift margin. [tectonic evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.; Potter, E. C.

    1976-01-01

    A swarm of dikes forms the core of the Sagatu Ridge, a 70-km-long topographic feature elevated to more than 4000 m above sea level and 1500 m above the level of the Eastern (Somalian) plateau. The ridge trends NNE and lies about 50 km east of the northeasterly trending rift-valley margin. Intrusion of the dikes and buildup of the flood-lava pile, largely hawaiitic but with trachyte preponderant in the final stages, occurred during the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene and may have been contemporaneous with downwarping of the protorift trough to the west. The ensuing faulting that formed the present rift margin, however, bypassed the ridge. The peculiar situation and orientation of the Sagatu Ridge, and its temporary existence as a line of crustal extension and voluminous magmatism, are considered related to a powerful structural control by a major line of Precambrian crustal weakness, well exposed further south. Transverse rift structures of unknown type appear to have limited the development of the ridge to the north and south.

  1. Rift-stage evolution of northern Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Watkins, J.S.

    1989-03-01

    Distribution of salt, location of major growth-fault trends, gravity and magnetic anomalies, and deep seismic reflections appear to be related to relict rift-stage basement structures in the northern Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Coast. The basement contains a number of discrete salt basins, probably half grabens, formed during initial rifting. Transform faults trending north-northwest-south-southeast form the sides of the basins. Salt thickness is variable but increases in basins to the east and south. The Corsair fault appears to root in the northern edge of a salt basin, but the surface of the fault crops out over an interbasin high. East-west dislocations of the gravity and magnetic fields coincide with the inferred transform faults; in some cases, linear magnetic anomalies are associated with interbasin highs. Strong deep reflectors are locally associated with basement highs. Overall, the picture appears to be one of north-south rifting, broken by north-northwest-south-southeast-trending transform faults. The overall pattern suggests left-lateral shear.

  2. A continental rift model for the La Grande greenstone belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skulski, T.; Hynes, A.; Liu, M.; Francis, D.; Rivard, B.; Stamatelopoulou-Seymour, K.

    1986-01-01

    Stratigraphic relationships and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks contrain the nature and timing of the tectonic and magmatic processes in the pre-deformational history of the La Grande greenstone belt in the Superior Province of north-central Quebec. The lowermost supracrustals in this belt are obscured by syntectonic granitoid intrusives. The supracrustal succession in the western part of the belt consists of a lower sequence of immature clastic sediments and mafic volcanoclastics, overlain by pillowed and massive basalts. Further east, along tectonic strike, a lower sequence of mafic volcanoclastics and immature clastic sediments is overlain by a thick sequence of pillowed and massive basalts, and resedimented coarse clastic sediments and banded iron formation. These are overlain by assive basaltic andesites, andesites and intermediate volcanoclastics intercalated with immature clastic sediments. In contrast, in the eastern part of the belt lenses of felsic volcanics and volcanoclastics occur at the base of the succession and pillowed and massive basalts are overlain by komatiites at the top. The La Grande greenstone belt can be explained as the product of continental rifting. The restricted occurence of komatiites, and eastwardly directed paleocurrents in clastic sediments in the central part of the belt are consistent with rifting commencing in the east and propagating westward with time. The increase in depth of emplacement and deposition with time of the lower three units in the central part of the belt reflects deposition in a subsiding basin. These supracrustal rocks are believed to represent the initial rift succession.

  3. Present-day kinematics of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saria, E.; Calais, E.; Stamps, D. S.; Delvaux, D.; Hartnady, C. J. H.

    2014-04-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is a type locale for investigating the processes that drive continental rifting and breakup. The current kinematics of this ~5000 km long divergent plate boundary between the Nubia and Somalia plates is starting to be unraveled thanks to a recent augmentation of space geodetic data in Africa. Here we use a new data set combining episodic GPS measurements with continuous measurements on the Nubian, Somalian, and Antarctic plates, together with earthquake slip vector directions and geologic indicators along the Southwest Indian Ridge to update the present-day kinematics of the EAR. We use geological and seismological data to determine the main rift faults and solve for rigid block rotations while accounting for elastic strain accumulation on locked active faults. We find that the data are best fit with a model that includes three microplates embedded within the EAR, between Nubia and Somalia (Victoria, Rovuma, and Lwandle), consistent with previous findings but with slower extension rates. We find that earthquake slip vectors provide information that is consistent with the GPS velocities and helps to significantly reduce uncertainties of plate angular velocity estimates. We also find that 3.16 Myr MORVEL average spreading rates along the Southwest Indian Ridge are systematically faster than prediction from GPS data alone. This likely indicates that outward displacement along the SWIR is larger than the default value used in the MORVEL plate motion model.

  4. Benue trough and the mid-African rift system

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, D.

    1996-01-29

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  6. On the differences in continental rifting at the Earth, Mars and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nikishin, A. M.; Milanovsky, E. E.

    1985-01-01

    During the process of continental rifting on Earth, the lower ductile crust stretches, forming a neck, while the upper brittle crust is broken in blocks by faults, and the blocks sink down the thinned lower crust; if the stretching continues, the neck may break and a newly originated oceanic crust is formed at this place. The rift system structure depends on the depth of the boundary surface between the brittle crust and the ductile crust, the litospheric thickness, the tension value, etc.. The rigid brittle rifting when narrow necks form in the lower crust is characteristic of the contemporary Earth; on Mars the brittle rifting with large subsidence was characteristic of the Tharsis upland formation epoch. The ductile rifting is typical of the Venus. The differences in rheologic features of the lithospheres of different planets causes the variation in types of rifting.

  7. Kantis: A new Australopithecus site on the shoulders of the Rift Valley near Nairobi, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mbua, Emma; Kusaka, Soichiro; Kunimatsu, Yutaka; Geraads, Denis; Sawada, Yoshihiro; Brown, Francis H; Sakai, Tetsuya; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Saneyoshi, Mototaka; Omuombo, Christine; Muteti, Samuel; Hirata, Takafumi; Hayashida, Akira; Iwano, Hideki; Danhara, Tohru; Bobe, René; Jicha, Brian; Nakatsukasa, Masato

    2016-05-01

    Most Plio-Pleistocene sites in the Gregory Rift Valley that have yielded abundant fossil hominins lie on the Rift Valley floor. Here we report a new Pliocene site, Kantis, on the shoulder of the Gregory Rift Valley, which extends the geographical range of Australopithecus afarensis to the highlands of Kenya. This species, known from sites in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and possibly Kenya, is believed to be adapted to a wide spectrum of habitats, from open grassland to woodland. The Kantis fauna is generally similar to that reported from other contemporaneous A. afarensis sites on the Rift Valley floor. However, its faunal composition and stable carbon isotopic data from dental enamel suggest a stronger C4 environment than that present at those sites. Although the Gregory Rift Valley has been the focus of paleontologists' attention for many years, surveys of the Rift shoulder may provide new perspective on African Pliocene mammal and hominin evolution. PMID:27178456

  8. Distributed Nubia-Somalia relative motion and dike intrusion in the Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bendick, R.; McClusky, S.; Bilham, R.; Asfaw, L.; Klemperer, S.

    2006-04-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) in central Ethiopia extended in the rift-normal direction at a mean rate of 4.0 +/- 0.9 mm yr-1 (1σ) during the period 1992-2003, nearly a factor of two slower than the opening rate estimated from global plate motion inversions. Rift opening near a geodetic array during this period was accommodated by a single dike injection event in 1993, spatially coincident with active magmatic segments, probably triggered by observed seismicity. Following dike injection, the crust in the rift relaxed as a layered medium, with a ~15-km-thick elastic lid over a viscous half space of 1018 Pa s. Diking, rather than normal faulting on rift-bounding faults, appears to be the predominant mechanism of extension in the MER, explaining the very low regional rates of moment release. The length scale and temporal behaviour of surface displacements require viscoelastic rheology in the rift.

  9. Dike intrusions during rifting episodes obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes

    PubMed Central

    L., Passarelli; E., Rivalta; A., Shuler

    2014-01-01

    As continental rifts evolve towards mid-ocean ridges, strain is accommodated by repeated episodes of faulting and magmatism. Discrete rifting episodes have been observed along two subaerial divergent plate boundaries, the Krafla segment of the Northern Volcanic Rift Zone in Iceland and the Manda-Hararo segment of the Red Sea Rift in Ethiopia. In both cases, the initial and largest dike intrusion was followed by a series of smaller intrusions. By performing a statistical analysis of these rifting episodes, we demonstrate that dike intrusions obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes. We find that the dimensions of dike intrusions obey a power law analogous to the Gutenberg-Richter relation, and the long-term release of geodetic moment is governed by a relationship consistent with the Omori law. Due to the effects of magma supply, the timing of secondary dike intrusions differs from that of the aftershocks. This work provides evidence of self-similarity in the rifting process. PMID:24469260

  10. Kantis: A new Australopithecus site on the shoulders of the Rift Valley near Nairobi, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mbua, Emma; Kusaka, Soichiro; Kunimatsu, Yutaka; Geraads, Denis; Sawada, Yoshihiro; Brown, Francis H; Sakai, Tetsuya; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Saneyoshi, Mototaka; Omuombo, Christine; Muteti, Samuel; Hirata, Takafumi; Hayashida, Akira; Iwano, Hideki; Danhara, Tohru; Bobe, René; Jicha, Brian; Nakatsukasa, Masato

    2016-05-01

    Most Plio-Pleistocene sites in the Gregory Rift Valley that have yielded abundant fossil hominins lie on the Rift Valley floor. Here we report a new Pliocene site, Kantis, on the shoulder of the Gregory Rift Valley, which extends the geographical range of Australopithecus afarensis to the highlands of Kenya. This species, known from sites in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and possibly Kenya, is believed to be adapted to a wide spectrum of habitats, from open grassland to woodland. The Kantis fauna is generally similar to that reported from other contemporaneous A. afarensis sites on the Rift Valley floor. However, its faunal composition and stable carbon isotopic data from dental enamel suggest a stronger C4 environment than that present at those sites. Although the Gregory Rift Valley has been the focus of paleontologists' attention for many years, surveys of the Rift shoulder may provide new perspective on African Pliocene mammal and hominin evolution.

  11. Dike intrusions during rifting episodes obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes.

    PubMed

    Passarelli, L; Rivalta, E; Shuler, A

    2014-01-01

    As continental rifts evolve towards mid-ocean ridges, strain is accommodated by repeated episodes of faulting and magmatism. Discrete rifting episodes have been observed along two subaerial divergent plate boundaries, the Krafla segment of the Northern Volcanic Rift Zone in Iceland and the Manda-Hararo segment of the Red Sea Rift in Ethiopia. In both cases, the initial and largest dike intrusion was followed by a series of smaller intrusions. By performing a statistical analysis of these rifting episodes, we demonstrate that dike intrusions obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes. We find that the dimensions of dike intrusions obey a power law analogous to the Gutenberg-Richter relation, and the long-term release of geodetic moment is governed by a relationship consistent with the Omori law. Due to the effects of magma supply, the timing of secondary dike intrusions differs from that of the aftershocks. This work provides evidence of self-similarity in the rifting process. PMID:24469260

  12. Dike intrusions during rifting episodes obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes.

    PubMed

    Passarelli, L; Rivalta, E; Shuler, A

    2014-01-28

    As continental rifts evolve towards mid-ocean ridges, strain is accommodated by repeated episodes of faulting and magmatism. Discrete rifting episodes have been observed along two subaerial divergent plate boundaries, the Krafla segment of the Northern Volcanic Rift Zone in Iceland and the Manda-Hararo segment of the Red Sea Rift in Ethiopia. In both cases, the initial and largest dike intrusion was followed by a series of smaller intrusions. By performing a statistical analysis of these rifting episodes, we demonstrate that dike intrusions obey scaling relationships similar to earthquakes. We find that the dimensions of dike intrusions obey a power law analogous to the Gutenberg-Richter relation, and the long-term release of geodetic moment is governed by a relationship consistent with the Omori law. Due to the effects of magma supply, the timing of secondary dike intrusions differs from that of the aftershocks. This work provides evidence of self-similarity in the rifting process.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  14. Seismic Investigations of an Accommodation zone in the Northern Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baldridge, W. S.; Valdes, J.; Nedorub, O.; Phrampus, B.; Braile, L. W.; Ferguson, J. F.; Benage, M. C.; Litherland, M.

    2010-12-01

    Seismic reflection and refraction data acquired in the Rio Grande rift near Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2009 and 2010 by the SAGE (Summer of Applied Geophysical Experience) program imaged the La Bajada fault (LBF) and strata offset across the associated, perpendicular Budagher fault (BF). The LBF is a major basin-bounding normal fault, offset down to the west; the smaller BF is an extensional fault that breaks the hanging wall ramp of the LBF. We chose this area because it is in a structurally complex region of the rift, comprising a small sub-basin and plunging relay ramps, where north-trending, en echelon basin-bounding faults (including the LBF) transfer crustal extension laterally between the larger Española (to north) and Albuquerque rift basins. Our data help determine the precise location and geometry of the poorly exposed LBF, which, near the survey location, offsets the rift margin vertically about 3,000 m. When integrated with industry reflection data and other SAGE seismic, gravity, and magnetotelluric surveys, we are able to map differences in offset and extension laterally (especially southward) along the fault. We interpret only about 200 m of normal offset across the BF. Our continuing work helps define multiple structural elements, partly buried by syn-rift basin-filling sedimentary rocks, of a complex intra-rift accommodation zone. We are also able to discriminate pre-Eocene (Laramide) from post-Miocene (rift) structures. Our data help determine the amount of vertical offset of pre-rift strata across structural elements of the accommodation zone, and depth and geometry of basin fill. A goal is to infer the kinematic development of this margin of the rift, linkages among faults, growth history, and possible pre-rift structural controls. This information will be potentially useful for evaluation of resources, including oil and/or gas in pre-rift strata and ground water in Late Miocene to Holocene rift-filling units.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burton, William C.; Southworth, Scott

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Structural evolution of the Rio Grande rift: Synchronous exhumation of rift flanks from 20-10 Ma, embryonic core complexes, and fluid-enhanced Quaternary extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricketts, Jason William

    The Rio Grande rift in Colorado and New Mexico is one of the well-exposed and well-studied continental rifts in the world. Interest in the rift is driven not only by pure scientific intrigue, but also by a desire and a necessity to quantify earthquake hazards in New Mexico as well as to assess various water related issues throughout the state. These motivating topics have thus far led to the publication of two Geological Society of America Special Publication volumes in 1994 and 2013. This dissertation aims at building on the wealth of previous knowledge about the rift, and is composed of three separate chapters that focus on the structural evolution of the Rio Grande rift at several different time and spatial scales. At the largest scale, apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronologic data suggest synchronous extension along the entire length of the Rio Grande rift in Colorado and New Mexico from 20-10 Ma, which is important for understanding and evaluating possible driving mechanisms which are responsible for the rift. Previous tectonic and magmatic events in western North America were highly influential in the formation of the Rio Grande rift, and the new thermochronologic data suggest that its formation may have been closely linked to foundering and removal of the underlying Farallon Plate. A fundamental result of rift development at these scales is a concentration of strain is some regions of the rift. In these regions of maximum extension, fault networks display a geometry involving both high- and low-angle fault networks. These geometries are similar to the early stages in the development of metamorphic core complexes, and thus these regions in the rift link incipient extensional environments to highly extended terranes. At shorter time scales, heterogeneous strain accumulation may be governed in part by fluids in fault zones. As an example, along the western edge of the Albuquerque basin, travertine deposits are cut by extensional veins that record anomalously high

  17. Deformation in a hyperslow oceanic rift: Insights from the tectonics of the São Miguel Island (Terceira Rift, Azores)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibrant, A. L. R.; Marques, F. O.; Hildenbrand, A.; Boulesteix, T.; Costa, A. C. G.; Catalão, J.

    2016-02-01

    The evolution of hyperslow oceanic rifts, like the Terceira Rift (TR) in the Azores, is still poorly understood. Here we examine the distribution of strain and magmatism in the portion of the TR making up the Nubia-Eurasia plate boundary. We use São Miguel Island because it stretches most of the TR width, which allows to investigate the TR's architecture and shedding light on TR's age and mode of deformation. From topography and structural analysis, and new measurements of 380 faults and dikes, we show that (1) São Miguel has two main structural directions, N150 and N110, mostly concentrated in the eastern part of the island as an onshore continuation of the faults observed offshore in the NE (N110 faults) and SW (N140) TR walls; (2) a new N50-N80 fault system is identified in São Miguel; (3) fault and dike geometries indicate that eastern São Miguel comprises the TR's northern boundary, and the lack of major faults in central and western São Miguel indicates that rifting is mostly concentrated at master faults bounding the TR. Based on TR's geometry, structural observations and plate kinematics, we estimate that the TR initiated between 1.4 and 2.7 Ma ago and that there is no appreciable seafloor spreading associated with rifting. Based on plate kinematics, on the new structural data, and on São Miguel's structural and volcanic trends, we propose that the eastern two thirds of São Miguel lie along a main TR-related transform fault striking N70-N80, which connects two widely separated N130-N150 TR-trending segments.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Ambient noise tomography of the East African Rift in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domingues, Ana; Silveira, Graça; Ferreira, Ana M. G.; Chang, Sung-Joon; Custódio, Susana; Fonseca, João F. B. D.

    2016-03-01

    Seismic ambient noise tomography is applied to central and southern Mozambique, located in the tip of the East African Rift (EAR). The deployment of MOZART seismic network, with a total of 30 broad-band stations continuously recording for 26 months, allowed us to carry out the first tomographic study of the crust under this region, which until now remained largely unexplored at this scale. From cross-correlations extracted from coherent noise we obtained Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion curves for the period range 5-40 s. These dispersion relations were inverted to produce group velocity maps, and 1-D shear wave velocity profiles at selected points. High group velocities are observed at all periods on the eastern edge of the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons, in agreement with the findings of previous studies. Further east, a pronounced slow anomaly is observed in central and southern Mozambique, where the rifting between southern Africa and Antarctica created a passive margin in the Mesozoic, and further rifting is currently happening as a result of the southward propagation of the EAR. In this study, we also addressed the question concerning the nature of the crust (continental versus oceanic) in the Mozambique Coastal Plains (MCP), still in debate. Our data do not support previous suggestions that the MCP are floored by oceanic crust since a shallow Moho could not be detected, and we discuss an alternative explanation for its ocean-like magnetic signature. Our velocity maps suggest that the crystalline basement of the Zimbabwe craton may extend further east well into Mozambique underneath the sediment cover, contrary to what is usually assumed, while further south the Kaapval craton passes into slow rifted crust at the Lebombo monocline as expected. The sharp passage from fast crust to slow crust on the northern part of the study area coincides with the seismically active NNE-SSW Urema rift, while further south the Mazenga graben adopts an N-S direction

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-06-01

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

  1. The Kaena Ridge Submarine Rift Zone off Oahu, Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, J. R.

    2002-12-01

    Deep-water multibeam data was collected in the Kauai Channel between the islands of Kauai and Oahu during the years 2000 to 2002 using the R/V Roger Revelle in support of the NSF funded Hawaii Ocean Mixing Experiment (HOME) with M. Gregg and A. Chave as principal investigators. The bathymetric surveys covered the Kaena Ridge, possibly a large submarine rift zone extension of the Waianae Volcano that makes up the western half of the island of Oahu. The Kaena ridge is bordered by the Kauai Channel and debris avalanche deposit material to the west, the Waianae slump to the south, and the Kaena slump to the north. The 35-55 km wide crest of the Kaena ridge extends 75-100 km northwest from Kaena Point, the westernmost tip of Oahu. The length and morphology resemble that of the Hana Ridge, the submarine extension of the Haleakala east rift zone. The broad central portion of Kaena ridge is comprised of two apparent lava shields 15 km and 10 km in diameter, both rising 200 m above the ridge (approximately 2500 m above the basal seafloor) to within 880 m and 660 m of sea level, respectively. The large size and distant location of the westernmost cone in the middle of the Kauai Channel suggests that it might predate Waianae Volcano and represent a precursor to the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Chain, aborted before it ever reached sea level. Several 1500 m high steep concave landslide scars facing the giant Waianae slump mark the southern side of the ridge. To the north, a series of four 15 to 30 km wide benches step down to the basal seafloor, forming the Kaena slump, which may represent a less developed version of the Waianae slump. A 42 km long and 22 km wide (at its center) narrow rift zone ridge, in the classic Hawaiian submarine rift zone style (e.g., Puna ridge), bifurcates from the main broad ridge near the distal end. The smaller ridge trends north-northwest and is covered with approximately a dozen volcanic cones along its axis. Its rough morphology is

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

  3. High Fluoride and Geothermal Activities In Continental Rift Zones, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldesenbet, S. F.; Wohnlich, S.

    2012-12-01

    The Central Main Ethiopian Rift basin is a continental rift system characterized by volcano-tectonic depression endowed with huge geothermal resource and associated natural geochemical changes on groundwater quality. Chemical composition of groundwater in the study area showed a well defined trend along flow from the highland and escarpment to the rift floor aquifer. The low TDS (< 500mg/l) Ca-Mg-HCO3 dominated water at recharge area in the highlands and escarpments evolve progressively into Ca-Na-HCO3 and Na-Ca-HCO3 type waters along the rift ward groundwater flow paths. These waters finally appear as moderate TDS (mean 960mg/l) Na-HCO3 type and as high TDS (> 1000 mg/l) Na-HCO3-Cl type in volcano-lacustrine aquifers of the rift floor. High concentrations of fluoride (up to 97.2 mg/l) and arsenic (up to 98μg/l) are recognized feature of groundwaters which occur mostly in the vicinity of the geothermal fields and the rift lakes in the basin. Fluoride and arsenic content of dry volcaniclastic sediments close to these areas are in the range 666-2586mg/kg and 10-13mg/kg respectively. The relationship between fluoride and calcium concentrations in groundwaters showed negative correlation. Near-equilibrium state attained between the mineral fluorite (CaF2) and the majority of fluoride-rich (>30mg/l) thermal groundwater and shallow cold groundwater. This indicated that the equilibrium condition control the high concentration of fluoride in the groundwaters. Whereas undersaturation state of fluorite in some relatively low-fluoride (<30mg/l) thermal waters indicated a dilution by cold waters. Laboratory batch leaching experiments showed that fast dissolution of fluoride from the sediment samples suddenly leached into the interacting water at the first one hour and then remain stable throughout the experiment. The concentrations of leached fluoride from the hot spring deposits, the lacustrine sediments, and the pyroclastic rock are usually low (1% of the total or less than

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Upper-mantle seismic structure in a region of incipient continental breakup: northern Ethiopian rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastow, Ian D.; Stuart, Graham W.; Kendall, J.-Michael; Ebinger, Cynthia J.

    2005-08-01

    The northern Ethiopian rift forms the third arm of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden triple junction, and marks the transition from continental rifting in the East African rift to incipient oceanic spreading in Afar. We determine the P- and S-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Ethiopian rift using independent tomographic inversion of P- and S-wave relative arrival-time residuals from teleseismic earthquakes recorded by the Ethiopia Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) passive experiment using the regularised non-linear least-squares inversion method of VanDecar. Our 79 broad-band instruments covered an area 250 × 350 km centred on the Boset magmatic segment ~70 km SE of Addis Ababa in the centre of the northern Ethiopian rift. The study area encompasses several rift segments showing increasing degrees of extension and magmatic intrusion moving from south to north into the Afar depression. Analysis of relative arrival-time residuals shows that the rift flanks are asymmetric with arrivals associated with the southeastern Somalian Plate faster (~0.65 s for the P waves; ~2 s for the S waves) than the northwestern Nubian Plate. Our tomographic inversions image a 75 km wide tabular low-velocity zone (δVP~-1.5 per cent, δVS~-4 per cent) beneath the less-evolved southern part of the rift in the uppermost 200-250 km of the mantle. At depths of >100 km, north of 8.5°N, this low-velocity anomaly broadens laterally and appears to be connected to deeper low-velocity structures under the Afar depression. An off-rift low-velocity structure extending perpendicular to the rift axis correlates with the eastern limit of the E-W trending reactivated Precambrian Ambo-Guder fault zone that is delineated by Quaternary eruptive centres. Along axis, the low-velocity upwelling beneath the rift is segmented, with low-velocity material in the uppermost 100 km often offset to the side of the rift with the highest rift flank topography. Our observations from this magmatic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kluegel, A.; Walter, T. R.

    2003-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  14. Uplift and subsidence of the Suez rift: Constraints from fission-track analysis and sediment backstripping

    SciTech Connect

    Steckler, M.S.; Omar, G.I.; Buck, W.R. )

    1988-08-01

    The Gulf of Suez is a Neogene rift that has evolved as one arm of the Sinai triple junction. The basement uplifts flanking the rift are larger than can be explained by uniform lithospheric extension. The timing of the regional heating required by the uplift has important implications for hydrocarbon maturation for the Gulf of Suez and rifts in general. The local geology indicates that the uplift did not predate rifting. Therefore, a regional subsidence and two-dimensional backstripping of the rift sediments were undertaken in conjunction with fission track analyses of the basement uplift. The initial rift deposits (Nukhul Formation) indicate slow extension during the earliest Miocene. The extension rate increased at the beginning of the deposition of the Rudeis Formation at approximately 19 Ma as the Gulf of Suez entered its main phase of rifting. By the end of the deposition of the Kareem Formation (approximately 14-15 Ma), most of the Africa-Arabia separation had transferred to the Gulf of Aqaba-Dead Sea transform. In order to determine the onset of the rift flank uplift relative to the rift history, 55 apatite fission track analyses were performed on samples from the basement of the eastern desert, on the western side of the rift. Apatite fission tracks record the thermal history of the samples for temperatures up to 125{degree}c. Apparent ages range from 382 to 11 Ma representing samples that have undergone various degrees of track annealing. Track length distributions clearly show the fading of tracks acquired prior to uplift in more deeply buried samples and the accumulation of long unannealed tracks subsequent to unroofing. The pattern of the track length vs. age distribution indicates that major uplift began simultaneously with the main phase of rifting at 19-20 Ma.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Stress perturbation associated with the Amazonas and other ancient continental rifts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zoback, M.L.; Richardson, R.M.

    1996-01-01

    The state of stress in the vicinity of old continental rifts is examined to investigate the possibility that crustal structure associated with ancient rifts (specifically a dense rift pillow in the lower crust) may modify substantially the regional stress field. Both shallow (2.0-2.6 km depth) breakout data and deep (20-45 km depth) crustal earthquake focal mechanisms indicate a N to NNE maximum horizontal compression in the vicinity of the Paleozoic Amazonas rift in central Brazil. This compressive stress direction is nearly perpendicular to the rift structure and represents a ???75?? rotation relative to a regional E-W compressive stress direction in the South American plate. Elastic two-dimensional finite element models of the density structure associated with the Amazonas rift (as inferred from independent gravity modeling) indicate that elastic support of this dense feature would generate horizontal rift-normal compressional stresses between 60 and 120 MPa, with values of 80-100 MPa probably most representative of the overall structure. The observed ???75?? stress rotation constrains the ratio of the regional horizontal stress difference to the rift-normal compressive stress to be between 0.25 and 1.0, suggesting that this rift-normal stress may be from 1 to 4 times larger than the regional horizontal stress difference. A general expression for the modification of the normalized local horizontal shear stress (relative to the regional horizontal shear stress) shows that the same ratio of the rift-normal compression relative to the regional horizontal stress difference, which controls the amount of stress rotation, also determines whether the superposed stress increases or decreases the local maximum horizontal shear stress. The potential for fault reactivation of ancient continental rifts in general is analyzed considering both the local stress rotation and modification of horizontal shear stress for both thrust and strike-slip stress regimes. In the Amazonas

  17. Modern and ancient mineralization in the Salton Trough Rift

    SciTech Connect

    McKibben, M.A. . Dept. Earth Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    The Salton Trough of SW North America is an active continental rift, the landward extension of the divergent tectonics of the Gulf of California. Shallow magmatic heat sources, thick porous sediments, tectonic activity and saline lakes interact to yield a variety of Pleistocene to modern hydrothermal systems. The oldest mineralization, the fish Creek evaporite, is a CASO[sub 4] deposit formed by a pre-rift Tertiary marine incursion. 4--5 million years ago the prograding Colorado River delta bisected the Trough, influencing the character of Pliocene and younger hydrothermal activity. The northern part of the Trough became a closed basin filled intermittently by large freshwater lakes. Along the W margin of the rift lies the Modoc hot spring gold deposit. This deposit occurs at the intersection of a range-front growth fault with fossil lake levels, suggesting paleohydrologic control by ancient lakes. Active geothermal systems within the Trough include low-T systems such as Heber and East Mesa, localized along high-angle faults where shallow groundwaters are conductively heated above basement highs. These blind systems have no surface expression and only moderate geophysical anomalies. High-T (> 250 C) active systems occur in sediment filled pull-apart basins developed over spreading center fragments (e.g., Salton Sea, Brawley, Cerro Prieto). These systems exhibit high heat flow, strong gravity and magnetic anomalies, and often have surface manifestations such as Quaternary volcanoes and thermal features. Many contain hot metalliferous brines that have evolved in the saline lake environment of the northern Trough.

  18. Early Continental Rifting of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Chiu, M.; Chan, C.

    2010-12-01

    Combined two years (2007 and 2008) of OBS and MCS studies in the northern slope of the South China Sea, we suggest that the early rifting, probably during 60 - 30 mabp, is an asymmetrical Atlantic-type continental rifting. The crust thin out from 35-40 km of possible continental crust to about 10-15 km of typical oceanic crust. Along the continent-ocean boundary, we observe an intrusion of the high P-wave velocity (about 7.5-8.0 km/sec). This is possible of mantle exhumation as comparable to other Atlantic-type continental margins. The OBS result is revealed by the gravity data. Along the upper layers of the continental crust as well as the oceanic crust, the MCS and multi-beam bathymetry data show that they are covered by numerous submarine seamounts. This probably relate to a volcanic origin of the Cenozoic sea-floor spreading during 30-15 mabp as mapped by previous magnetic anomalies in this region. The sea-floor spreading spread apart in the central, NW and SW sub-basins with several different episodes. Lack of the deep crustal data in the southern slope of the South China Sea, particularly around the Sprately area, the interpretation is speculative. However, several very large-size atolls (150 - 200 km in diameter), such as the Chen-Ho, Shun-Zu, Chung-Yeh and Chiu-Cheng fringing reefs, are sub-parallel located along the south margins. We interpret that these are the upper portions of the continental rifting. Combined the two tectonic stories in the northern and southern slope of the South China Sea, we believe that it is in consistent with the complicate nature of the South China Sea crust.

  19. Basin Modelling of the Laptev Sea Rift, NE Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandes, C.; Franke, D.; Piepjohn, K.; Gaedicke, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Laptev Sea Rift in the northeastern Arctic shelf area of Russia is a standard example for an oceanic rift system that propagates into a continent and plays an important role in the geodynamic models for the opening of the Eurasia Basin. To better understand the evolution of this rift, a basin modelling study was carried out with the software PetroMod®. The software simulates and analyses the burial history and temperature evolution of a sedimentary basin. It is a dynamic forward simulation based on the finite element method. The modelled section used in this study is based on a depth converted seismic section, acquired by the BGR. The section covers the Anisin Basin and is characterized by listric normal faults. The numerical simulation was supported by tectonic and sedimentological field data sets that were collected in outcrops during the CASE 13 expedition in 2011. Normal faults in outcrops were analysed using fault-slip inversion techniques to derive the paleo-extension direction. The presence of normal faults in relatively unconsolidated Paleogene sediments and in Neogene to Quaternary volcanic rocks, indicate very young extension in the area of the New Siberian Islands. The conceptual model for the simulation was built on the basis of the seismic data and the properties of the rocks and sediments observed in the outcrops. Initial results show that the present-day temperature field in the area of the Anisin Basin is characterized by seafloor-parallel isotherms. In the central part of the graben structure, the isotherms are slightly bent down and the heat-flow is reduced, probably due to blanketing effects. An extracted geohistory curve is almost linear and implies that subsidence controlled by faults is the dominating mechanism. From the simulation, sedimentation rates are derived that were highest in the early Paleocene phase of graben development and decreased in the late Eocene.

  20. Stratigraphy, structure, and extent of the East Continent Rift Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Wickstrom, L.H. )

    1992-01-01

    The proven existence of pre-Mt. Simon sedimentary rocks named the Middle Run Formation in southwestern Ohio led to the establishment of the Cincinnati Arch Consortium, a joint industry-government partnership to investigate the areal extent, nature, and origin of this new unit. Utilizing available well, seismic, and potential-field data, the consortium has shown that the Middle Run was deposited in a Precambrian rift basin, named the East Continent Rift Basin (ECRB). These data indicate the ECRB assemblage consists of a large folded and faulted wedge of interlayered volcanic and sedimentary rocks, unconformably overlain by Cambrian strata. This wedge is estimated to be thickest (up to about 22,000 feet) on the western edge, where it is in fault contact with Grenville Province rocks. To the west, the ECRB may extend as far as central Illinois and postdates the Precambrian Granite-Rhyolite Province rocks. The contact between the ECRB and this older province appears to be in part an angular unconformity and in part block faulted. The northern limit of this basin was not encountered in the study area; this may indicate a connection with the Midcontinent Rift in Michigan. In central Kentucky, the boundary conditions are more complex. It appears that the ECRB is constricted between a large block of the Granite-Rhyolite Province to the west and the Grenville Front on the east. Large Cambrian extensional structures (Rough Creek Graben and Rome Trough) were overprinted on the Granite-Rhyolite and Grenville Provinces. The ECRB may have acted as a stable block between these Cambrian features. The relationships of the ECRB to overlying Paleozoic features may be profound. Indeed, the ECRB may prove to be the reason for the very existence of the Cincinnati and Kankakee Arches.

  1. Continental breakup in Africa: From superplume to rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    The low seismic velocities that underlie the East African continent are a ubiquitous feature of global tomographic images, and can readily explain both observed plateau uplift and the volcanic Cenozoic geological record in the region. However, knowledge of the morphology of the African Superplume, and the nature of the mantle flow-field remain incomplete. Over the last decade East Africa has seen many deployments of seismic stations, with the aim of understanding continental breakup in the region. We have combined data from 5 of these experiments, to enable us to resolve high resolution models of upper mantle P- and S- wave velocities, and seismic anisotropy extending from the Red Sea to Kenya. The tomographic inversions highlight a sheet like upwelling beneath this whole region. It is oriented SW-NE and extends from at least the transition zone to the crust. This is most likely associated with upwelling material associated with the African superplume. In the uppermost 100 km, strong P- and S- wave low velocity anomalies underlie the most recent rift related volcanism and are likely associated with high temperatures and partial melt. High quality SKS splitting results, from a variety of back azimuths, reveal depth variations in anisotropy beneath large parts of Ethiopia. The lower layer parallels the SW-NE trend of the low velocity anomaly, suggesting an LPO fabric due to mantle flow. The upper layer parallels structural features at the surface, including aligned melt in the crust/lithosphere at the rift axis, and Pan-African fabrics in regions not characterised by Quaternary volcanism. These results suggest that thermal instabilities arising from upwelling material provides heat for melting and uplift, but rifting may follow pre-existing weaknesses in the lithosphere.

  2. 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.

  3. Geomechanical and Petrophysical Properties of Rift Basin Mudstones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharova, N. V.; Goldberg, D.; Collins, D.; Malkewicz, N.

    2015-12-01

    Mudstone caprocks are important components of reservoir systems in a variety of geologic and geoingeneering applications, but their properties and behavior under in situ conditions remain only partially understood. This study presents a detailed analysis of geomechanical and petrophysical properties of 20 lacustrine mudstones from the Mesozoic Newark Rift Basin, the largest of exposed rift basins in eastern North America, considered as a potential CO2 sequestration site. The samples were selected to represent variable lithology, organic content, redox state, structure (massive and thinly bedded), degree of matrix anisotropy, and burial depths. An extensive characterization program was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and included laboratory CT scans, XRD, SEM, MICP, porosity, permeability, and acoustic velocity measurements, as well as geomechanical testing of both matrix and fracture strength under a range of confining pressures. Core measurements were integrated with available logging data to allow for multiscale comparison and correlation. Most of the analyzed mudstones have the clay content of 50-70%, with abundant mica and detrital grains. The pore system is dominated by narrow micropores (mostly <5-100 microns wide), and nano-scale pore throats (0.005-0.05 microns). Full Mohr-Coulomb failure envelopes built for each mudstone type indicate a large variability in projected unconfined strength and the coefficient of internal friction. The dataset allows building empirical relations between compositional, structural and mechanical properties of these lacustrine mudstones, as well as physical parameters such as acoustic velocity (both laboratory and logging) and elastic moduli. These relations can be applied to other lacustrine mudstones in the East American rift basins, and provide important information for caprock stability modeling in these basins.

  4. Lithology and temperature: How key mantle variables control rift volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shorttle, O.; Hoggard, M.; Matthews, S.; Maclennan, J.

    2015-12-01

    Continental rifting is often associated with extensive magmatic activity, emplacing millions of cubic kilometres of basalt and triggering environmental change. The lasting geological record of this volcanic catastrophism are the large igneous provinces found at the margins of many continents and abrupt extinctions in the fossil record, most strikingly that found at the Permo-Triassic boundary. Rather than being considered purely a passive plate tectonic phenomenon, these episodes are frequently explained by the involvement of mantle plumes, upwellings of mantle rock made buoyant by their high temperatures. However, there has been debate over the relative role of the mantle's temperature and composition in generating the large volumes of magma involved in rift and intra-plate volcanism, and even when the mantle is inferred to be hot, this has been variously attributed to mantle plumes or continental insulation effects. To help resolve these uncertainties we have combined geochemical, geophysical and modelling results in a two stage approach: Firstly, we have investigated how mantle composition and temperature contribute to melting beneath Iceland, the present day manifestation of the mantle plume implicated in the 54Ma break up of the North Atlantic. By considering both the igneous crustal production on Iceland and the chemistry of its basalts we have been able to place stringent constraints on the viable temperature and lithology of the Icelandic mantle. Although a >100°C excess temperature is required to generate Iceland's thick igneous crust, geochemistry also indicates that pyroxenite comprises 10% of its source. Therefore, the dynamics of rifting on Iceland are modulated both by thermal and compositional mantle anomalies. Secondly, we have performed a global assessment of the mantle's post break-up thermal history to determine the amplitude and longevity of continental insulation in driving excess volcanism. Using seismically constrained igneous crustal

  5. Images of Kilauea East Rift Zone eruption, 1983-1993

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Takahashi, Taeko Jane; Abston, C.C.; Heliker, C.C.

    1995-01-01

    This CD-ROM disc contains 475 scanned photographs from the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaii Observatory Library. The collection represents a comprehensive range of the best photographic images of volcanic phenomena for Kilauea's East Rift eruption, which continues as of September 1995. Captions of the images present information on location, geologic feature or process, and date. Short documentations of work by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in geology, seismology, ground deformation, geophysics, and geochemistry are also included, along with selected references. The CD-ROM was produced in accordance with the ISO 9660 standard; however, it is intended for use only on DOS-based computer systems.

  6. Signs of continental rifting in the southwestern Japanese Island Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernysheva, E. A.; Eroshenko, D. V.

    2016-03-01

    The southwestern margin of the Japan Arc evolved in the geodynamic regime of continental rifting during the Miocene-Pleistocene. This has been verified by broad manifestations of metasomatosis of mantle peridotites that underlie the lithosphere of the Japan Islands and by episodes of deep magmatism (kimberlites and melilitites) in the region. The high enrichment of deep melts in incompatible rare and rare earth elements is partially preserved in melts of regional basalts from smaller depths. In contrast, spreading basalts of the Sea of Japan and subduction basalts from the Nankai trench at the boundary with the Philippine Plate are extremely depleted in rare elements.

  7. Seismic investigation of the southern Rio Grande Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Lennox E.

    Competing models exist to explain what caused the Earth's crust to spread apart 29 million years ago to create a region known today as the Rio Grande Rift (RGR). The RGR extends from central Colorado through New Mexico to northern Mexico, near El Paso. The RGR has different geologic features that distinguish it from most other valleys (e.g., the RGR was not cut by a river nor does a river branch upstream). A growing body of evidence shows that geologic activity still occurs in the RGR, with a continuation of faulting, seismicity and widening at a small rate of about 0.3 mm/yr (Woodward , 1977). We map of the seismic velocity structure and crustal thickness using data from the Rio Grande Rift Seismic TRAnsect (RISTRA) experiment and the EarthScope Transportable Array (USArray) dataset. In addition to the data we collected from the RISTRA experiment and USArray dataset, we also acquired receiver functions from the EarthScope Automatic Receiver Survey (EARS) website (http://www.earthscope.org/data) and waveform data from the Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (DMC). We requested seismograms from the IRIS DMC database where we acquired teleseismic events from Jan 2000 to Dec 2009. This includes 7,259 seismic events with a minimum magnitude of 5.5 and 106,389 continuous waveforms. This data was preprocessed (merged, rotated) using a program called Standing Order of Data (SOD). The RISTRA experiment and the USArray were designed to image crust and mantle structures by computing receiver functions for all data in the Southern Rio Grande Rift (SRGR). We map the crustal thickness, seismic velocity, and mantle structure for the sole purpose to better determine the nature of tectonic activity that is presently taking place and further investigate the regional extension of the Southern Rio Grande Rift (SRGR). Here we present preliminary results of the crustal and velocity structure using the kriging interpolation scheme seem stable

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  9. Relation of summit deformation to east rift zone eruptions on Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

    SciTech Connect

    Epp, D.; Decker, R.W.; Okamura, A.T.

    1983-07-01

    An inverse relationship exists between the summit deflation of Kilauea, as recorded by summit tilt, and the elevation of associated eruptive vents on the East Rift Zone. This relationship implies that East Rift eruptions drain the summit magma reservior to pressure levels that are dependent on the elevation of the eruptive vents.

  10. The origin and geologic evolution of the East Continent Rift Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Drahovzal, J.A. . Kentucky Geological Survey)

    1992-01-01

    The East Continent Rift Basin (ECRB) is a newly recognized, dominantly sedimentary-volcanic Proterozoic rift basin that apparently represents the southern extension of the Keweenawan Midcontinent Rift. The ECRB extends from central Michigan at least as far south as south-central Kentucky. The inferred age of the rift fill is approximately 1,000 Ma. Evidence supporting a rift origin for the ECRB includes: interbedding of continental flood basalts and felsic volcanics with siliciclastics; sedimentary fill consisting of distal, arid-climate alluvial fan sediments that lack metamorphic lithologies; close proximity and similar lithologic succession to the Keweenawan rift-fill rocks of the Michigan Basin; and inferred marginal block faulting of Granite-Rhyolite Province rocks near the western edge of the ECRB. ECRB evolution is interpreted as follows: (1) formation of Granite-Rhyolite Province rocks (1,500--1,340 Ma); (2) Keweenawan crustal extension and rifting with development of central mafic complexes, emplacement of volcanic rocks, and deposition of siliciclastic fill from eroded marginal Granite-Rhyolite Province tilted fault blocks (ca 1,000 Ma); (3) overthrusting of the Grenville allochthon and associated foreland thrusting and folding of the rift sequence rocks together with deposition of foreland basin sediments (975---890 Ma); (4) Late Proterozoic erosional removal of the foreland basin sediments and interpreted wrench faulting along the Grenville Front (post-975 to pre-570 Ma); and (5) tectonic inversion, with the ECRB area remaining relatively high during major cambrian subsidence in central Kentucky (590--510 Ma).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-07-01

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

  12. Applications of surface geology models to subsurface interpretations in continental rifted basins

    SciTech Connect

    Charpentier, P.; Jarrige, J.; Richert, J. )

    1990-05-01

    Field geology surveys done from 1980 to 1987 along the Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, and in the East African rift led us to (1) compare the two in-extension domains in terms of geometry, mechanism and timing of deformation to point out the structural and sedimentary elements useful to interpret seismic and well data and (2) propose geodynamic models to perform a more efficient exploration in other rifted basins. Field observations show that the fault pattern is controlled by the inherited fabric of the basement, which is reactivated during the rifting process. This fabric defines the location of the oblique-to-the-rift transfer zones which cut the deformed area in losangic blocks limited by antithetic normal faults parallel to the rift. Transfer zones exhibit either strike-slip faults or local compressive structures, or horst-and-graben pattern. The interference between the normal faults and the transfer zones induces the typical zigzag pattern in which petroleum traps will have specific setting. These synsedimentary deformations have a direct influence on the reservoir facies changes. The mechanical evolution is characterized by multistage tectonic deformations in which the doming generally approved as a first rifting initiation is not necessary to explain the observed extension. Sinking of the central trough and uplift of the rift shoulders represents the last stage of the rifting process due only to thermal subsidence. This process is important in hydrocarbon generation and migration.

  13. Rift valley fever in the US: Commerce networks, climate, and susceptible vector and host populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne hemorrhagic viral disease with substantial negative impacts on public and animal health in its endemic range of sub-Saharan Africa. Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) could enter the United States and lead to widespread morbidity and mortality in humans, domes...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. When Did Midcontinent Rift Volcanism End and Where Was Laurentia at that Time?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fairchild, L. M.; Swanson-Hysell, N.; Ramezani, J.; Sprain, C. J.; Gaastra, K. M.; Bowring, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Data from the North American Midcontinent Rift provide a robust record of Laurentia's (cratonic North America's) paleogeographic position from ca. 1110 to 1080 Ma. The resulting apparent polar wander path (APWP) reveals rapid motion of the continent towards the equator throughout the rift's lifetime. Constraints on the age of the youngest volcanics within the rift and on the paleolatitude of Laurentia at that time are important for quantifying the rate of this motion and its apparent deceleration in the late stage of rift development. Furthermore, precise calibration of the APWP enhances the robustness of paleogeographic reconstructions. The three rift successions with ca. 1090 to 1085 Ma late stage volcanics are the Lake Shore Traps of Michigan, the Michipicoten Island Formation of Ontario and the Schroeder-Lutsen basalts of Minnesota. In past studies, paleomagnetic data from the Schroeder-Lutsen basalts have been grouped with results from the North Shore Volcanic Group, which it unconformably overlies. In this study, we separate these data and add newly developed results from 40 additional flows. New data from the Michipicoten Island Formation allow for a well constrained pole that now includes data from more than 25 flows. High quality paleomagnetic data are published for the Lake Shore Traps, and we complement these with a newly developed high precision U-Pb zircon date as an update to current constraints. Taken altogether, these data strengthen our understanding of the rift's demise and the rate of Laurentia's motion as rift volcanism gave way to post-rift sedimentation.

  16. Rifting and Post-Rift Reactivation of The Eastern Sardinian Margin (Western Tyrrhenian Back-Arc Basin) Evidenced by the Messinian Salinity Crisis Markers and Salt Tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Eastern Sardinian margin formed during the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea, a back-arc basin created by continental rifting and oceanic spreading related to the eastward migrating Apennine subduction system from middle Miocene to Pliocene times. We carried out the "METYSS" project aiming at better understanding the Miocene-Pliocene relationships between crustal tectonics and salt tectonics in this key-area, where rifting is pro parte coeval with the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC, 5.96-5.33 Ma) and Messinian salt décollement creates thin-skinned tectonics. Thereby, we use the MSC seismic markers and the deformation of viscous salt and its brittle overburden as proxies to better delineate the timing of rifting and post-rift reactivation, and especially to quantifying vertical and horizontal movements. Our mapping of the Messinian Erosion Surface and of Messinian Upper and Mobile Units shows that a rifted basin already existed by the Messinian times, revealing a major pre-MSC rifting episode across the entire domain. Because salt tectonics can create fan-shaped geometries in sediments, syn-rift deposits have to be carefully re-examined in order to decipher the effects of crustal tectonics (rifting) and salt tectonics. Our data surprisingly showed that there are no clues for Messinian syn-rift sediments along the East-Sardinia Basin and Cornaglia Terrace, hence no evidence for rifting after Late Tortonian times. Nevertheless, widespread deformation occurred during the Pliocene and is attributed to post-rift reactivation. Some Pliocene vertical movements have been evidenced by discovering localized gravity gliding of the salt and its Late Messinian (UU) and Early Pliocene overburden. To the South, crustal-scale southward tilting triggered along-strike gravity gliding of salt and cover recorded by upslope extension and downslope shortening. To the North, East of the Baronie Ridge, there was some post-salt crustal activity along a narrow N-S basement trough, bounded

  17. Gas Geochemistry of Volcanic and Geothermal Areas in the Kenya Rift: Implications for the Role of Fluids in Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Ranka, L. S.; Onguso, B.; Kanda, I.; Opiyo-Akech, N.; Sharp, Z. D.; Hilton, D. R.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Muirhead, J.

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is an active continental rift and ideal to investigate the processes of rift initiation and the breaking apart of continental lithosphere. Mantle and crust-derived fluids may play a pivotal role in both magmatism and faulting in the EAR. For instance, large quantities of mantle-derived volatiles are emitted at Oldoinyo Lengai volcano [1, 2]. Throughout the EAR, CO2-dominated volatile fluxes are prevalent [3, 4] and often associated with faults (i.e. Rungwe area, Tanzania, [5, 6]). The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between volcanism, faulting and the volatile compositions, focusing on the central and southern Kenyan and northern Tanzanian section of the EAR. We report our analysis results for samples obtained during a 2013 field season in Kenya. Gases were sampled at fumaroles and geothermal plants in caldera volcanoes (T=83.1-120.2°C) and springs (T=40-79.6°C and pH 8.5-10) located near volcanoes, intra-rift faults, and a transverse fault (the Kordjya fault, a key fluid source in the Magadi rift) by 4N-NaOH solution-filled and empty Giggenbach bottles. Headspace gases were analyzed by a Gas Chromatograph and a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer at the University of New Mexico. Both N2/Ar and N2/He ratios of all gases (35.38-205.31 and 142.92-564,272, respectively) range between air saturated water (ASW, 40 and ≥150,000) and MORB (100-200 and 40-50). In addition, an N2-Ar-He ternary diagram supports that the gases are produced by two component (mantle and air) mixing. Gases in the empty bottles from volcanoes and springs have N2 (90.88-895.99 mmom/mol), CO2 (2.47-681.21 mmom/mol), CH4 (0-214.78 mmom/mol), O2 (4.47-131.12 mmom/mol), H2 (0-35.78 mmom/mol), Ar (0.15-10.65 mmom/mol), He (0-2.21 mmom/mol), and CO (0-0.08 mmom/mol). Although some of the samples show an atmospheric component, CO2 is a major component in most samples, indicating both volcanoes and springs are emitting CO2. Gases from volcanoes are enriched in

  18. Cenozoic extension in the Kenya Rift from low-temperature thermochronology: Links to diachronous spatiotemporal evolution of rifting in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres Acosta, Verónica; Bande, Alejandro; Sobel, Edward R.; Parra, Mauricio; Schildgen, Taylor F.; Stuart, Finlay; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2015-12-01

    The cooling history of rift shoulders and the subsidence history of rift basins are cornerstones for reconstructing the morphotectonic evolution of extensional geodynamic provinces, assessing their role in paleoenvironmental changes and evaluating the resource potential of their basin fills. Our apatite fission track and zircon (U-Th)/He data from the Samburu Hills and the Elgeyo Escarpment in the northern and central sectors of the Kenya Rift indicate a broadly consistent thermal evolution of both regions. Results of thermal modeling support a three-phased thermal history since the early Paleocene. The first phase (~65-50 Ma) was characterized by rapid cooling of the rift shoulders and may be coeval with faulting and sedimentation in the Anza Rift basin, now located in the subsurface of the Turkana depression and areas to the east in northern Kenya. In the second phase, very slow cooling or slight reheating occurred between ~45 and 15 Ma as a result of either stable surface conditions, very slow exhumation, or subsidence. The third phase comprised renewed rapid cooling starting at ~15 Ma. This final cooling represents the most recent stage of rifting, which followed widespread flood-phonolite emplacement and has shaped the present-day landscape through rift shoulder uplift, faulting, basin filling, protracted volcanism, and erosion. When compared with thermochronologic and geologic data from other sectors of the East African Rift System, extension appears to be diachronous, spatially disparate, and partly overlapping, likely driven by interactions between mantle-driven processes and crustal heterogeneities, rather than the previously suggested north-south migrating influence of a mantle plume.

  19. Geophysical evidence of pre-sag rifting and post-rifting fault reactivation in the Parnaíba basin, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes de Castro, David; Hilário Bezerra, Francisco; Adolfo Fuck, Reinhardt; Vidotti, Roberta Mary

    2016-04-01

    This study investigated the rifting mechanism that preceded the prolonged subsidence of the Paleozoic Parnaíba basin in Brazil and shed light on the tectonic evolution of this large cratonic basin in the South American platform. From the analysis of aeromagnetic, aerogravity, seismic reflection and borehole data, we concluded the following: (1) large pseudo-gravity and gravity lows mimic graben structures but are associated with linear supracrustal strips in the basement. (2) Seismic data indicate that 120-200 km wide and up to 300 km long rift zones occur in other parts of the basins. These rift zones mark the early stage of the 3.5 km thick sag basin. (3) The rifting phase occurred in the early Paleozoic and had a subsidence rate of 47 m Myr-1. (4) This rifting phase was followed by a long period of sag basin subsidence at a rate of 9.5 m Myr-1 between the Silurian and the late Cretaceous, during which rift faults propagated and influenced deposition. These data interpretations support the following succession of events: (1) after the Brasiliano orogeny (740-580 Ma), brittle reactivation of ductile basement shear zones led to normal and dextral oblique-slip faulting concentrated along the Transbrasiliano Lineament, a continental-scale shear zone that marks the boundary between basement crustal blocks. (2) The post-orogenic tectonic brittle reactivation of the ductile basement shear zones led to normal faulting associated with dextral oblique-slip crustal extension. In the west, pure-shear extension induced the formation of rift zones that crosscut metamorphic foliations and shear zones within the Parnaíba block. (3) The rift faults experienced multiple reactivation phases. (4) Similar processes may have occurred in coeval basins in the Laurentia and Central African blocks of Gondwana.

  20. Oblique rift opening revealed by reoccurring magma injection in central Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruch, Joël; Wang, Teng; Xu, Wenbin; Hensch, Martin; Jónsson, Sigurjón

    2016-08-01

    Extension deficit builds up over centuries at divergent plate boundaries and is recurrently removed during rifting events, accompanied by magma intrusions and transient metre-scale deformation. However, information on transient near-field deformation has rarely been captured, hindering progress in understanding rifting mechanisms and evolution. Here we show new evidence of oblique rift opening during a rifting event influenced by pre-existing fractures and two centuries of extension deficit accumulation. This event originated from the Bárðarbunga caldera and led to the largest basaltic eruption in Iceland in >200 years. The results show that the opening was initially accompanied by left-lateral shear that ceased with increasing opening. Our results imply that pre-existing fractures play a key role in controlling oblique rift opening at divergent plate boundaries.

  1. Oblique rift opening revealed by reoccurring magma injection in central Iceland

    PubMed Central

    Ruch, Joël; Wang, Teng; Xu, Wenbin; Hensch, Martin; Jónsson, Sigurjón

    2016-01-01

    Extension deficit builds up over centuries at divergent plate boundaries and is recurrently removed during rifting events, accompanied by magma intrusions and transient metre-scale deformation. However, information on transient near-field deformation has rarely been captured, hindering progress in understanding rifting mechanisms and evolution. Here we show new evidence of oblique rift opening during a rifting event influenced by pre-existing fractures and two centuries of extension deficit accumulation. This event originated from the Bárðarbunga caldera and led to the largest basaltic eruption in Iceland in >200 years. The results show that the opening was initially accompanied by left-lateral shear that ceased with increasing opening. Our results imply that pre-existing fractures play a key role in controlling oblique rift opening at divergent plate boundaries. PMID:27492709

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-08-01

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

  3. Tag team tectonics: mantle upwelling and lithospheric heterogeneity ally to rift continents (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Furman, T.

    2013-12-01

    The configuration of continents we know today is the result of several billion years of active Wilson Cycle tectonics. The rifting of continents and subsequent development of ocean basins is an integral part of long-term planetary-scale recycling processes. The products of this process can be seen globally, and the East African Rift System (EARS) provides a unique view of extensional processes that actively divide a continent. Taken together with the adjoining Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the EARS has experienced over 40 Ma of volcanism and ~30 Ma of extension. While early (pre-rift) volcanism in the region is attributed to mantle plume activity, much of the subsequent volcanism occurs synchronously with continental rifting. Numerous studies indicate that extension and magmatism are correlated: extension leads to decompression melting while magmatism accommodates further extension (e.g. Stein et al., 1997; Buck 2004; Corti 2012). Evaluation of the entire EARS reveals significant geochemical patterns - both spatial and temporal - in the volcanic products. Compositional variations are tied directly to the melt source(s), which changes over time. These variations can be characterized broadly by region: the Ethiopian plateau and Turkana Depression, the Kenya Rift, and the Western Rift. In the Ethiopian plateau, early flood basalt volcanism is dominated by mantle plume contributions with variable input from lherzolitic mantle lithosphere. Subsequent alkaline shield volcanism flanking the juvenile Main Ethiopian Rift records the same plume component as well as contributions from a hydrous peridotitic lithosphere. The hydrous lithosphere does not contribute indefinitely. Instead, young (< 2 Ma) volcanism taps a combination of the mantle plume and anhydrous depleted lithospheric mantle. In contrast, volcanism in the Kenya Rift and the Western Rift are derived dominantly from metasomatized lithospheric mantle rather than mantle plume material. These rifts lie in the mobile

  4. Oblique rift opening revealed by reoccurring magma injection in central Iceland.

    PubMed

    Ruch, Joël; Wang, Teng; Xu, Wenbin; Hensch, Martin; Jónsson, Sigurjón

    2016-01-01

    Extension deficit builds up over centuries at divergent plate boundaries and is recurrently removed during rifting events, accompanied by magma intrusions and transient metre-scale deformation. However, information on transient near-field deformation has rarely been captured, hindering progress in understanding rifting mechanisms and evolution. Here we show new evidence of oblique rift opening during a rifting event influenced by pre-existing fractures and two centuries of extension deficit accumulation. This event originated from the Bárðarbunga caldera and led to the largest basaltic eruption in Iceland in >200 years. The results show that the opening was initially accompanied by left-lateral shear that ceased with increasing opening. Our results imply that pre-existing fractures play a key role in controlling oblique rift opening at divergent plate boundaries. PMID:27492709

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okereke, C. S.

    1988-08-01

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

  6. Backarc rifting, constructional volcanism and nascent disorganised spreading in the southern Havre Trough backarc rifts (SW Pacific)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wysoczanski, R. J.; Todd, E.; Wright, I. C.; Leybourne, M. I.; Hergt, J. M.; Adam, C.; Mackay, K.

    2010-02-01

    High resolution multibeam (EM300 and SEABEAM) data of the Southern Havre Trough (SHT), combined with observations and sample collections from the submersible Shinkai6500 and deep-tow camera, are used to develop a model for the evolution and magmatism of this backarc system. The Havre Trough and the associated Kermadec Arc are the product of westward subduction at the Pacific-Australian plate boundary. Detailed studies focus on newly discovered features including a seamount (Saito Seamount) and a deep graben (Ngatoroirangi Rift, > 4000 m water depth floored with a constructional axial volcanic ridge > 5 km in length and in excess of 200 m high), both of which are characterised by pillow and lobate flows estimated at < 20,000 years old based on sediment cover, high reflectivity and thin Mn crusts on recovered glassy olivine basalts and basaltic andesites. Elongate volcanic ridges at 35°15'S and 34°30'S, and backarc seamounts (35°30'S, 178°30'E) occur at the eastern margin of the SHT. Similar seafloor morphology is observed in the central and western portions of the basin, suggesting that recent volcanism may be broadly distributed across the backarc. Mass balance modelling indicates a maximum crustal thickness of ~ 11 km to < 6 km, similar to estimates of crustal thickness in the Lau Basin to the north. Given such high crustal attenuation and extensive backarc mafic magmatism within deep SHT rifts, we propose that the SHT is in an incipient phase of distributed and "disorganised" oceanic crustal accretion in multiple, ephemeral, and short but deep (> 4000 m) spreading systems. These discontinuous spreading systems are characterised by failed rifts, rift segmentation, and propagation. Successive episodes of magmatic intrusion into thinned faulted arc basement results in defocused asymmetrical accretion. Cross-arc volcanic chains, isolated volcanoes and underlying basement plateaus are interpreted to represent a "cap" of recent extrusives. However, they may also be

  7. Construction and destruction of a volcanic island developed inside an oceanic rift: Graciosa Island, Terceira Rift, Azores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibrant, A. L. R.; Marques, F. O.; Hildenbrand, A.

    2014-09-01

    There is a great lack of knowledge regarding the evolution of islands inside active oceanic rifts, in particular the meaning of the different evolutionary steps. Therefore, we conducted an investigation in Graciosa Island, which lies at the northwestern end of the Terceira Rift in the Azores Triple Junction, with the objective of constraining the evolution of the island in terms of volcanic growth and mass wasting, in particular the meaning and age of the destruction events. From digital elevation model (DEM) analysis, stratigraphic and tectonic observations, K/Ar dating on key samples, and available bathymetry and gravity data, we propose that Graciosa comprises five main volcanic complexes separated by major unconformities related to large scale mass wasting: (1) The older volcanic edifice (Serra das Fontes Complex) grew until ca. 700 ka, and was affected by a major flank collapse towards the southwest, which removed the whole SW flank, the summit and a part of the NE flank. (2) The Baía do Filipe Complex developed between at least 472 ka and 433 ka in two different ways: in the SW (presently offshore) as a main volcano, and in the NE unconformably over the sub-aerial remnants of the Serra das Fontes Complex, as secondary volcanic edifices. (3) The Baía do Filipe Complex was affected by a major flank collapse towards the SW, again removing most of the edifice. (4) The remnants of the Baía do Filipe Complex were covered in unconformity by the Serra Dormida Complex between ca. 330 and 300 ka, which in turn was unconformably covered by the younger Basaltic Cover Complex between ca. 300 ka and 214 ka. These two units were affected by a third major sector collapse that removed the whole western flank, the summit and part of the eastern flank of the Serra Dormida and Basaltic Cover complexes. (5) Despite the relatively young age of Graciosa, the collapse scars are not well preserved, and not active anymore. (6) A central-type volcano has been growing since at least

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  11. Rift strength controls rapid plate accelerations: A global analysis of Pangea fragmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Motions of Earth's plates are thought to be driven by slab pull, basal drag, and ridge push. Here we propose that plate motions during supercontinental fragmentation are decisively controlled by the non-linear decay of a resistive force: rift strength. We use state-of-the-art global tectonic reconstructions and the new geotectonic analysis tool pyGPlates to analyze the transition from rifting to sea-floor spreading of well-studied post-Pangea rift systems (Central Atlantic, South Atlantic, Iberia/Newfoundland, Australia/Antarctica, North Atlantic, South China Sea, Gulf of California). In all cases, continental extension starts with a slow phase (< 10 mm/yr, full extension velocity) followed by a rapid acceleration over periods of a few My that introduces a fast rift phase (> 10 mm/yr). The transition from slow to fast extension takes place long before crustal break-up. In fact, we find that approximately half of the present day rifted margin area was created during the slow, and the other half during the fast phase. We reproduce the transition from slow to fast rifting using numerical forward models with force boundary conditions, such that rift velocities are not imposed but instead evolve naturally in response to changing strength of the rift. These models show that the two-phase velocity behavior during rifting and the rapid speed-up are intrinsic features of continental rupture that can be robustly inferred for different crust and mantle rheologies.It has been proposed that abrupt plate accelerations can be caused by plume-lithosphere interaction, subduction initiation, and slab detachment. However, none of these mechanisms explains our result that plate speed-up systematically precedes continental break-up. We therefore propose dynamic rift weakening as a new mechanism for rapid plate motion changes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Kinematic problem of oblique rift zones in Iceland

    SciTech Connect

    Jancin, M.

    1985-01-01

    Regional distribution of surficial isochrons on Iceland locally lacks the oceanic-ridge subparallel alignment that is characteristic of the adjoining North Atlantic sea floor. Strikes of Icelandic lava isochrons generally reflect dips imparted by continued lava accumulation, subsidence, and burial. The angle between trends of central volcano-related fissure swarms, dikes, and faults, and regionally-adjacent approximate isochrons, defines the Obliquity Angle (OA). The OA is measured from the isochron to the extensional structures, and may vary from 0/sup 0/ to 90/sup 0/; cw angles are (+), ccw (-). Three large-OA neovolcanic zones are present in Iceland: the WNW-trending zone is central Iceland; the ENE zone along Reykjanes peninsula; and, possibly, the WNW and largely submarine Tjornes Fracture Zone (TFZ). The TFZ shares characteristics of a highly-oblique rift zone and a transform-related shear zone. In north-central Iceland, OA's along 7-11 Ma isochrons vary continuously from +40/sup 0/ to 90/sup 0/ to -50/sup 0/, over 130 km from West to East. As subaerial isochrons on Iceland range up to 90/sup 0/ to spatially-associated extensional structures, isochron trends locally parallel presumed plate-flow lines (N8OW); offshore, isochrons are approximately normal to flow lines. However extension in central Iceland occurs within the long-lived, WNW-trending oblique rift zone, with little or no commensurate extension and volcanism parallel to structural strike to the South and North, constitutes a major kinematic problem.

  14. Rift valley fever: recent insights into pathogenesis and prevention.

    PubMed

    Boshra, Hani; Lorenzo, Gema; Busquets, Núria; Brun, Alejandro

    2011-07-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a zoonotic pathogen that primarily affects ruminants but can also be lethal in humans. A negative-stranded RNA virus of the family Bunyaviridae, this pathogen is transmitted mainly via mosquito vectors. RVFV has shown the ability to inflict significant damage to livestock and is also a threat to public health. While outbreaks have traditionally occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, recent outbreaks in the Middle East have raised awareness of the potential of this virus to spread to Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Although the virus was initially characterized almost 80 years ago, the only vaccine approved for widespread veterinary use is an attenuated strain that has been associated with significant pathogenic side effects. However, increased understanding of the molecular biology of the virus over the last few years has led to recent advances in vaccine design and has enabled the development of more-potent prophylactic measures to combat infection. In this review, we discuss several aspects of RVFV, with particular emphasis on the molecular components of the virus and their respective roles in pathogenesis and an overview of current vaccine candidates. Progress in understanding the epidemiology of Rift Valley fever has also enabled prediction of potential outbreaks well in advance, thus providing another tool to combat the physical and economic impact of this disease.

  15. Upwarp of anomalous asthenosphere beneath the Rio Grande rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parker, E.C.; Davis, P.M.; Evans, J.R.; Iyer, H.M.; Olsen, K.H.

    1984-01-01

    Continental rifts are possible analogues of mid-ocean ridges, although major plate tectonic features are less clearly observed1. Current thermal models of mid-ocean ridges2-4 consist of solid lithospheric plates overlying the hotter, less viscous asthenosphere, with plate thickness increasing away from the ridge axis. The lithospheric lower boundary lies at or near the melting point isotherm, so that at greater depths higher temperatures account for lower viscosity, lower seismic velocities and possibly partial melting. Upwarp of this boundary at the ridge axis concentrates heat there, thus lowering densities by expansion and raising the sea floor to the level of thermal isostatic equilibrium. At slow spreading ridges, a major central graben forms owing to the mechanics of magma injection into the crust5. Topography, heat flow, gravity and seismic studies support these models. On the continents, a low-velocity channel has been observed, although it is poorly developed beneath ancient cratons6-9. Plate tectonic models have been applied to continental basins and margins10-12, but further similarities to the oceanic models remain elusive. Topographic uplift is often ascribed to Airy type isostatic compensation caused by crustal thickening, rather than thermal compensation in the asthenosphere. Here we discuss the Rio Grande rift, in southwestern United States. Teleseismic P-wave residuals show that regional uplift is explained by asthenosphere uplift rather than crustal thickening. ?? 1984 Nature Publishing Group.

  16. Using Lake Superior Parks to Present the Midcontinent Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Blavascunas, E.

    2014-12-01

    Some of the Midwest's most spectacular scenery occurs near Lake Superior, in places like Pictured Rocks and Apostle Islands National Lakeshores, Isle Royale National Park, Interstate Park, and Porcupine Mountains State Park. These landscapes provide an enormous, but underutilized opportunity for park interpreters and educators to explain some of the most exciting concepts of modern geology. A crucial aspect of doing this is recognizing that many of the rocks and landforms in individual parks are pieces of a huge regional structure. This structure, called the Midcontinent Rift System (MCRS), is a 1.1 billion year old 3000 km (2000 mile) long scar along which the North American continent started to tear apart, just as Africa is splitting today along the East African Rift, but for some reason failed to form a new ocean. Drawing on our experience as researchers and teachers studying the MCRS (Steins) and as an interpreter at Isle Royale National Park (Blavascunas), we seek to give interpreters a brief introduction to MCRS to help them present information about what geologists know already and what they are learning from continuing research. Our goal is to help interpreters visualize how what they see at a specific site fits into an exciting regional picture spanning much of the Midwest.

  17. Environmental health impacts of East African Rift volcanism.

    PubMed

    Davies, T C

    2008-08-01

    The East African Rift Valley (EARV) is a structure of a major order in the Earth's crust. Accompanying volcanic activity has influenced greatly the nature of the soils and the geochemistry of ground and surface waters, an influence that is reflected in water and food quality. Direct volcanic impacts result from the up-welling of volatile, potentially harmful elements (PHE), such as F, As, and Hg, that dissolve directly into groundwaters. Intense tropical weathering results in clear redistribution of all but the most refractory elements to form distinct zones of micronutrient deficiencies and PHE excesses. Of concern, too, is human exposure to volcanic materials such as dust and clay-enriched soil fractions. Further alteration of the landscape geochemistry is being brought about by pollution from human activities, with increasing health concerns in many ecosystems of the region. This review shows that the unique distribution pattern of trace elements, imprinted by the East African Rift volcanism and modified by weathering and anthropogenic factors, correlates with a number of geochemical diseases in man and animals. It is submitted that accurate diagnoses of these diseases and associated health conditions, and prescription of appropriate remedies, must be founded upon a fundamental understanding of how the elements were naturally distributed in the first place. This can only be realised through the construction of complete geochemical databases for the region.

  18. Towards a safe, effective vaccine for Rift Valley fever virus.

    PubMed

    Labeaud, Desiree

    2010-11-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an important animal and human threat and leads to longstanding morbidity and mortality in susceptible hosts. Since no therapies currently exist to treat Rift Valley fever, it remains a public and animal health priority to develop safe, effective RVFV vaccines (whether for animals, humans, or both) that provide long-term protective immunity. In the evaluated article, Bhardwaj and colleagues describe the creation and testing of two successful vaccine strategies against RVFV, a DNA plasmid vaccine expressing Gn coupled to C3d, and an alpha-virus replicon vaccine expressing Gn protein. Both vaccines elicited strong neutralizing antibody responses, prevented morbidity and mortality in RVFV-challenged mice, and enabled protection of naive mice via passive antibody transfer from vaccinated mice. Both DNA and replicon RVFV vaccines have previously been shown to protect against RVFV challenge, but these results allow for direct comparison of the two methods and evaluation of a combined prime-boost method. The results also highlight the specific humoral and cell-mediated immune responses to vaccination.

  19. An epidemiological model of Rift Valley fever with spatial dynamics.

    PubMed

    Niu, Tianchan; Gaff, Holly D; Papelis, Yiannis E; Hartley, David M

    2012-01-01

    As a category A agent in the Center for Disease Control bioterrorism list, Rift Valley fever (RVF) is considered a major threat to the United States (USA). Should the pathogen be intentionally or unintentionally introduced to the continental USA, there is tremendous potential for economic damages due to loss of livestock, trade restrictions, and subsequent food supply chain disruptions. We have incorporated the effects of space into a mathematical model of RVF in order to study the dynamics of the pathogen spread as affected by the movement of humans, livestock, and mosquitoes. The model accounts for the horizontal transmission of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) between two mosquito and one livestock species, and mother-to-offspring transmission of virus in one of the mosquito species. Space effects are introduced by dividing geographic space into smaller patches and considering the patch-to-patch movement of species. For each patch, a system of ordinary differential equations models fractions of populations susceptible to, incubating, infectious with, or immune to RVFV. The main contribution of this work is a methodology for analyzing the likelihood of pathogen establishment should an introduction occur into an area devoid of RVF. Examples are provided for general and specific cases to illustrate the methodology.

  20. 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

  1. Generation of Continental Rifts, Basins and Swells by Lithosphere Instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Domal uplifts, volcanism, basin formation and rifting have often struck the same continent in different areas at the same time. Their characteristics and orientations are difficult to reconcile with mantle convection or tectonic forces and suggest a driving mechanism that is intrinsic to the continent. The rifts seem to develop preferentially at high angles to the edge of the continent whereas swells and basins seem confined to the interior. Another intriguing geometrical feature is that the rifts often branch out in complicated patterns at their landward end. In Western Africa, for example, magmatic activity currently occurs in a number of uplifted areas including the peculiar Cameroon Volcanic Line that stretches away from the continental margin over about 1000 km. Magmatic and volcanic activity has been sustained along this line for 70 My with no age progression. The mantle upwelling that feeds the volcanoes is not affected by absolute plate motions and hence is attached to the continent. The Cameroon Volcanic Line extends to the Biu swell to the North and the Jos plateau to the West defining a striking Y-shaped pattern. This structure segues into several volcanic domes including the Air, the Hoggar, the Darfur, the Tibesti and the Haruj domes towards the Mediterranean coast. Another example is provided by North America, where the late Proterozoic-early Ordovician saw the formation of four major basins, the Michigan, Illinois, Williston and Hudson Bay, as well as of major rifts in southern Oklahoma and the Mississipi Valley within a short time interval. At the same time, a series of uplifts developed, such as the Ozark and Nashville domes. Motivated by these observations, we have sought an explanation in the continental lithosphere itself. We describe a new type of convective instability at the base of the lithosphere that leads to a remarkable spatial pattern at the scale of an entire continent. We carried out fluid mechanics laboratory experiments on buoyant

  2. How oblique extension and structural inheritance control rift segment linkage: Insights from 4D analogue models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwaan, Frank; Schreurs, Guido

    2016-04-01

    INTRODUCTION During the early stages of rifting, rift segments may form along non-continuous and/or offset pre-existing weaknesses. It is important to understand how these initial rift segments interact and connect to form a continuous rift system. A previous study of ours (Zwaan et al., in prep) investigated the influence of dextral oblique extension and rift offset on rift interaction. Here we elaborate upon our previous work by using analogue models to assess the added effects of 1) sinistral oblique extension as observed along the East African Rift and 2) the geometry of linked and non-linked inherited structures. METHODS Our set-up involves a base of foam and plexiglass that forces distributed extension in the overlying model materials: a sand layer for the brittle upper crust and a viscous sand/silicone mixture for ductile lower crust. A mobile base plate allows lateral motion for oblique extension. We create inherited structures, along which rift segments develop, with right-stepping offset lines of silicone (seeds) on top of the basal viscous layer. These seeds can be connected by an additional weak seed that represents a secondary inherited structural grain (model series 1) or disconnected and laterally discontinuous (over/underlap, model series 2). Selected models are run in an X-ray computer topographer (CT) to reveal the 3D evolution of internal structures with time that can be quantified with particle image velocitmetry (PIV) techniques. RESULTS Models in both series show that rift segments initially form along the main seeds and then generally propagate approximately perpendicular to the extension direction: with orthogonal extension they propagate in a parallel fashion, dextral oblique extension causes them to grow towards each other and connect, while with sinistral oblique extension they grow away from each other. However, sinistral oblique extension can also promote rift linkage through an oblique- or strike-slip zone oriented almost parallel to

  3. A preliminary description of the Gan-Hang failed rift, southeastern china

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodell, P. C.; Gilder, S.; Fang, X.

    1991-10-01

    The Gan-Hang failed rift, as defined by present-day topography, extends at least 450 km in length and 50 km in width. It is a northeast-southwest trending series of features spanning from Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang province into Jiangxi province through Fuzhou City. Southwest of Fuzhou, the rift splits into two portions: one continuing along the southwestern trend, and the other diverging westward. The total extent of the rift cannot be defined at this time. The rift is superimposed upon a major suture zone of Caledonian or early Mesozoic age. The suture represents the fusing of the South China (Huanan) and Yangtze cratons. Perhaps in Late Triassic, but for sure by Late-Middle Jurassic time, the rifting was initiated and followed this older suture, in part. This time corresponds roughly to the middle stage of the Yanshanian orogeny and to the subduction of the postulated Pacific- Kula ridge southeast of the continental margin. The total thickness of the sediments and volcanics filling the rift valley reaches more than 10,000 m. Peak intensity of extension was between Late-Middle Jurassic and Middle to Late Cretaceous. Sedimentation within the rift was not continuous and is marked with periodic unconformities. Sediments within the rift include red beds, sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, conglomerates, breccias, tuffs, and ignimbrites. Vertebrate fossils and dinosaur eggs are also found. Contemporaneous volcanics within and flanking the rift include basalts, rhyolites, granites, gabbros, dacites, and andesites. Silicic volcanics are mostly attributed to caldera systems. Early basalts are tholeiitic and later change to alkaline-olivine basalt. Bimodal volcanism is recognized. Peak intensity of volcanism ranges between 135 and 75 Ma. In Early Cenozoic time, the area was a topographic low. Paleocene- Eocene sediments and evaporites are the last rocks to be deposited in the rift. Today the rift is delineated by major, high-angle faults (the Pingxiang-Guangfeng deep fault

  4. Matching conjugate volcanic rifted margins: 40Ar/ 39Ar chrono-stratigraphy of pre- and syn-rift bimodal flood volcanism in Ethiopia and Yemen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ukstins, Ingrid A.; Renne, Paul R.; Wolfenden, Ellen; Baker, Joel; Ayalew, Dereje; Menzies, Martin

    2002-05-01

    40Ar/ 39Ar dating of mineral separates and whole-rock samples of rhyolitic ignimbrites and basaltic lavas from the pre- and syn-rift flood volcanic units of northern Ethiopia provides a temporal link between the Ethiopian and Yemen conjugate rifted volcanic margins. Sixteen new 40Ar/ 39Ar dates confirm that basaltic flood volcanism in Ethiopia was contemporaneous with flood volcanism on the conjugate margin in Yemen. The new data also establish that flood volcanism initiated prior to 30.9 Ma in Ethiopia and may predate initiation of similar magmatic activity in Yemen by ˜0.2-2.0 Myr. Rhyolitic volcanism in Ethiopia commenced at 30.2 Ma, contemporaneous with the first rhyolitic ignimbrite unit in Yemen at ˜30 Ma. Accurate and precise 40Ar/ 39Ar dates on initial rhyolitic ignimbrite eruptions suggest that silicic flood volcanism in Afro-Arabia post-dates the Oligocene Oi2 global cooling event, ruling out a causative link between these explosive silicic eruptions (with individual volumes ≥200 km 3) and climatic cooling which produced the first major expansion of the Antarctic ice sheets. Ethiopian volcanism shows a progressive and systematic younging from north to south along the escarpment and parallel to the rifted margin, from pre-rift flood volcanics in the north to syn-rift northern Main Ethiopian Rift volcanism in the south. A dramatic decrease in volcanic activity in Ethiopia between 25 and 20 Ma correlates with a prominent break-up unconformity in Yemen (26-19 Ma), both of which mark the transition from pre- to syn-rift volcanism (˜25-26 Ma) triggered by the separation of Africa and Arabia. The architecture of the Ethiopian margin is characterized by accumulation and preservation of syn-rift volcanism, while the Yemen margin was shaped by denudational unloading and magmatic starvation as the Arabian plate rifted away from the Afar plume. A second magmatic hiatus and angular unconformity in the northern Main Ethiopian Rift is evident at 10.6-3.2 Ma, and is

  5. Do melt-rich shear zones lubricate rift flanks? 3-D spatial gradients in anisotropy beneath the East African Rift in Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holtzman, B. K.; Gaherty, J. B.; Kendall, J.; Stuart, G.

    2006-12-01

    Melt-enhanced weakening of the mantle may be essential for a continent to break apart and rift. A primary means of understanding this aspect of the dynamics of rifting (and other geodynamic settings) is the interpretation of seismic anisotropy in terms of melt distribution and/or mantle flow direction. In recent rock- deformation experiments, the relationships between flow direction and seismic fast direction are complicated by the presence of water (e.g. Katayama et al., 2004) and segregated melt (Holtzman et al. 2003). In the latter, deviatoric stress drives melt to organize into networks of melt-rich shear zones. Scaling from laboratory to upper mantle conditions predicts characteristic network spacings of <1 km, less than wavelengths of measured seismic waves; thus they should cause significant seismic anisotropy. Measurable gradients in anisotropy may be diagnostic indicators of gradients in melt segregation. Because melt-rich shear zones will weaken the mantle on a large scale, the presence of such anisotropy gradients would map to gradients in viscosity. To map melt distribution beneath the rift and test for the presence or absence of this process, we combine measurements of seismic velocities beneath the East African Rift in Ethiopia with modeling of elastic properties of aligned, segregated melt and olivine fabric. Analysis of SKS phases has shown that fast directions parallel magmatic centers in the rift and splitting magnitudes are largest near the rift flanks, consistent with the hypothesis above (e.g. Kendall et al., 2006). Preliminary analysis of Love-Rayleigh differential times across the rift are consistent with a vertical fast axis, suggesting the presence of a vertically aligned, rift parallel melt phase down to the solidus (Pilidou et al., 2005). We expand on these results by applying a cross-correlation procedure to precisely estimate relative amplitude and phase of surface waves traversing the rift. Data are derived from the EAGLE and Ethiopia

  6. Long-term cooling history of the Albertine Rift: new evidence from the western rift shoulder, D.R. Congo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, F. U.; Glasmacher, U. A.; Ring, U.; Grobe, R. W.; Mambo, V. S.; Starz, M.

    2016-09-01

    To determine the long-term landscape evolution of the Albertine Rift in East Africa, low-temperature thermochronology was applied and the cooling history constrained using thermal history modelling. Acquired results reveal (1) "old" cooling ages, with predominantly Devonian to Carboniferous apatite fission-track ages, Ordovician to Silurian zircon (U-Th)/He ages and Jurassic to Cretaceous apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He ages; (2) protracted cooling histories of the western rift shoulder with major phases of exhumation in mid-Palaeozoic and Palaeogene to Neogene times; (3) low Palaeozoic and Neogene erosion rates. This indicates a long residence time of the analysed samples in the uppermost crust, with the current landscape surface at a near-surface position for hundreds of million years. Apatite He cooling ages and thermal history models indicate moderate reheating in Jurassic to Cretaceous times. Together with the cooling age distribution, a possible Albertine high with a distinct relief can be inferred that might have been a source area for the Congo Basin.

  7. Transition From Rift to Drift at Obliquely Divergent Continental Rifts: the Paired Rio Muni (W Africa) and NE Brazilian Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, J. P.; Green, P. F.; Wilson, P. G.; Westbrook, G. K.; Lawrence, S.

    2005-12-01

    We develop a synoptic model for the breakup and drift of a major sheared continental margin system: the Rio Muni basin and its NE Brazilian counterpart. It relates the evolution of crustal structure determined from seismic interpretation (including gravity-modelling of the deep-imaging PROBE dataset) to the cooling history of this margin system yielded from thermal history data (mainly apatite fission track analysis - AFTAr - and vitrinite reflectance data). Shear margins initiate as a leaky transform fracture system accommodating the oblique (i.e. non-orthogonal) divergence of opposing rifted continental margins. As such, the transition from continental breakup (i.e. rupture) to continental drift (i.e. ocean opening) at shear margins exhibits significant differences from that of the much better understood normally divergent rifts, where the spreading vector is normal to the strike of the opposing rift margins. For example, unlike at normally divergent rifts, continental breakup and drift are separate episodes in the early evolution of shear margins. In Rio Muni-NE Brazil, they are recorded by separate breakup and drift unconformities spanning a 15-20Ma. interval, the time taken for the ocean ridge to traverse the length of the margin before a continuous arm of oceanic crust separated Rio Muni from its Brazilian counterpart. In the Rio Muni basin, the c.70km-wide Ascension Fracture Zone (AFZ) exhibits oblique-slip faulting and synrift half-graben formation that accommodated oblique extension during the period leading up to and immediately following whole-lithosphere failure and continental breakup 117Ma. Gravity-modelling of PROBE seismic profiles reveals a land-locked precursor oceanic basin that preceded full ocean opening and which subsequently was stranded on the African margin. Its existence supports the idea of multiple rift suture lines accommodating episodic breakup and it emphasizes the significance of separate breakup and drift episodes at shear margins

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  9. New perspectives on the evolution of narrow, modest extension continental rifts: Embryonic core complexes and localized, rapid Quaternary extension in the Rio Grande rift, central New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricketts, J.; Karlstrom, K. E.; Kelley, S.

    2013-12-01

    Updated models for continental rift zones need to address the role and development of low-angle normal fault networks, episodicity of extension, and interaction of 'active and passive' driving mechanisms. In the Rio Grande rift, USA, low-angle normal faults are found throughout the entire length of the rift, but make up a small percentage of the total fault population. The low-angle Jeter and Knife Edge faults, for example, crop out along the SW and NE margins of the Albuquerque basin, respectively. Apatite fission track (AFT) age-elevation data and apatite (U-Th)/He (AHe) ages from these rift flank uplifts record cooling between ~21 - 16 Ma in the NE rift flank and ~20 - 10 Ma in the SW, which coincides with times of rapid extension and voluminous syntectonic sedimentation. The timing of exhumation is also similar to rift flanks farther north in active margins based on AFT data alone. In addition, synthetic faults in the hanging wall of each low-angle fault become progressively steeper and younger basinward, and footwall blocks are the highest elevation along the rift flanks. These observations are consistent with a model where initially high-angle faults are shallowed in regions of maximum extension. As they rotate, new intrabasinal faults emerge which also can be rotated if extension continues. These relationships are similarly described in mature core complexes, and if these processes continued in the Rio Grande rift, it could eventually result in mid-crustal ductily deformed rocks in the footwall placed against surficial deposits in the hanging wall across faults that have been isostatically rotated to shallow dips. Although existing data are consistent with highest strain rates during a pulse of extension along the entire length of the rift 20-10 Ma., GPS-constrained measurements suggest that the rift is still actively-extending at 1.23-1.39 nstr/yr (Berglund et al., 2012). Additional evidence for Quaternary extension comes from travertine deposits that are

  10. Volcanic evolution of an active magmatic rift segment on a 100 Kyr timescale: exposure dating of lavas from the Manda Hararo/Dabbahu segment of the Afar Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, S.; Williams, A.; Pik, R.; Burnard, P.; Vye, C.; France, L.; Ayalew, D.; Yirgu, G.

    2012-12-01

    In the Afar depression (Ethiopia), extension is already organised along rift segments which morphologically resemble oceanic rifts. Segmentation here results from interactions between dyke injection and volcanism, as observed during the well documented 2005 event on the Dabbahu rift segment. During this tectono-volcanic crisis, a megadyke was injected, followed by 12 subsequent dike intrusions, sometimes associated with fissure flow eruptions. Despite the accurate surveying of the magmatic and tectonic interplay during this event via remote sensing techniques, there is a lack of data on timescales of 1 to 100 kyr, the period over which the main morphology of a rift is acquired. The Dabbahu rift segment represents an ideal natural laboratory to study the evolution of rift morphology as a response to volcanic and tectonic influences. It is possible to constrain the timing of fault growth relative to the infilling of the rift axial depression by lava flows, and to assess the influence of the different magma bodies involved in lava production along the rift-segment. We use cosmogenic nuclides (3He) to determine the ages of young (<100 kyr) lava flows and to date the initiation and movement of fault scarps which cut the lavas. Combined with major & trace element compositions, field mapping and digital cartography (Landsat, ASTER and SPOT imagery), the rift geomorphology can be linked to the magmatic and tectonic history defined by surface exposure dating. The results show that over the last 100 ka the Northern part of the Dabbahu segment was supplied by two different magma reservoirs which can be identified based on their distinctive chemistries. The main reservoir is located beneath Dabbahu volcano, and has been supplied with magma for at least 72 ka. This magmatic centre supplies magma to most of the northern third of the rift segment. The second reservoir is located further south, on the axis, close to the current mid-segment magma chamber, which was responsible for

  11. Transient cracks and triple junctions induced by Cocos-Nazca propagating rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schouten, H.; Smith, D. K.; Zhu, W.; Montesi, L. G.; Mitchell, G. A.; Cann, J. R.

    2009-12-01

    The Galapagos triple junction is a ridge-ridge-ridge triple junction where the Cocos, Nazca, and Pacific plates meet around the Galapagos microplate (GMP). On the Cocos plate, north of the large gore that marks the propagating Cocos-Nazca (C-N) Rift, a 250-km-long and 50-km-wide band of NW-SE-trending cracks crosscuts the N-S-trending abyssal hills of the East Pacific Rise (EPR). These appear as a succession of minor rifts, accommodating some NE-SW extension of EPR-generated seafloor. The rifts successively intersected the EPR in triple junctions at distances of 50-100 km north of the tip of the C-N Rift. We proposed a simple crack interaction model to explain the location of the transient rifts and their junction with the EPR. The model predicts that crack locations are controlled by the stress perturbation along the EPR, induced by the dominant C-N Rift, and scaled by the distance of its tip to the EPR (Schouten et al., 2008). The model also predicts that tensile stresses are symmetric about the C-N Rift and thus, similar cracks should have occurred south of the C-N Rift prior to formation of the GMP about 1 Ma. There were no data at the time to test this prediction. In early 2009 (AT 15-41), we mapped an area on the Nazca plate south of the C-N rift out to 4 Ma. The new bathymetric data confirm the existence of a distinctive pattern of cracks south of the southern C-N gore that mirrors the pattern on the Cocos plate until about 1 Ma, and lends support to the crack interaction model. The envelope of the symmetric cracking pattern indicates that the distance between the C-N Rift tip and the EPR varied between 40 and 65 km during this time (1-4 Ma). The breakdown of the symmetry at 1 Ma accurately dates the onset of a southern plate boundary of the GMP, now Dietz Deep Rift. At present, the southern rift boundary of the GMP joins the EPR with a steep-sided, 80 km long ridge. This ridge releases the stress perturbation otherwise induced along the EPR by elastic

  12. The northern Nevada rift: regional tectono-magmatic relations and Middle Miocene stress direction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zoback, M.L.; McKee, E.H.; Blakely, R.J.; Thompson, G.A.

    1994-01-01

    As defined by the most recent aeromagnetic surveys, the north-northwest-trending northern Nevada rift zone extends for at least 500km from southern Nevada to the Oregon-Nevada border. At several places along the rift, the magnetic anomaly is clearly related to north-northwest-trending dikes and flows that erupted between 17 and 14 Ma. The tectonic significance of the rift is dramatized by its length, its coincidence in time and space with the oldest silicic caldera complex along the Yellowstone hotspot trend, and its parallelism with the subduction zone along the North American coast prior to the establishment of the San Andreas fault. The northern Nevada rift is also equivalent in age, trend, and composition to feeder dikes that fed the main eruptive pulse of the Columbia River flood basalts in northern Oregon ~15.6-16.5 Ma. Because of these similarities, both regions are considered to be part of an enormous lithospheric rift that propagated rapidly south-southeast and north-northwest, respectively, from a central mantle plume. The present north-northwest trend of the rift reflects the state of stress in the Basin and Range during middle Miocene time and is consistent with stress indicators of similar age throughout the Basin and Range Rio Grande rift provinces. -from Authors

  13. Long-term coupling and feedbacks between surface processes and tectonics during rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theunissen, Thomas; Huismans, Ritske S.

    2016-04-01

    Whereas significant efforts have been made to understand the relationship between mountain building and surfaces processes, limited research has been done on the relationship between surface processes and extensional tectonics. Here we present high-resolution 2-D coupled tectonic-surface processes modeling of extensional basin formation. The main aim is to find out how erosion and deposition affect the deformation in extensional systems. We test the combined effects of crustal rheology and varying surface process efficiency (erodibility, sea level) on structural style of rift and passive margin formation. The results show that both erosion of rift flank areas and basin deposition enhance localization of crustal deformation. Frictional-plastic extensional shear zones accumulate more deformation during a longer period of time, and loading of offshore basins can generate crustal ductile flow. In extreme cases sediment deposition delays lithospheric rupture. These mechanisms are enhanced when fluvial erosion, transport and deposition are efficient. We show that removal of mass from rift flanks and sedimentary loading in the basin area provide a first order feedback with tectonic deformation and control on rifted margin tectonic-morphology. However, surface processes do not change the first order mode of rifting, which is largely controlled by crustal rheology. Rift escarpment morphology is function of paleo-topography and sea level. Variation of strain localization in natural rift systems correlates with the observed behavior and suggests similar feedbacks as demonstrated by the forward numerical models.

  14. Transform and rift structure of Paleogene crust near Resolution Ridge, Tasman Sea, southwest New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barker, Daniel H. N.; Wood, Ray; Sutherland, Rupert

    2008-07-01

    Multibeam bathymetry, seismic reflection, magnetic anomaly, and gravity anomaly data show that most of the Resolution Ridge System is Tasman Sea oceanic crust, deformed by Eocene rift faulting associated with the initiation of the modern Australia-Pacific plate boundary. Resolution Ridge, the most eastern ridge of the system, is inferred to be continental crust that was plucked from the southwest corner of the Campbell Plateau during Eocene rift propagation. Rift propagation proceeded through sequential northward steps between weak points in the lithosphere: young fossil spreading centers, fracture zones, and the western margin of the continental Campbell Plateau. Fracture zones guided the large-scale geometry of the rift, but there is not always a close surface correspondence between transform and rift faults. This may be because transform faults were subvertical, whereas rift faults evolved to be moderately dipping. The very good correspondence of fracture zones, rift faults, and magnetic anomalies from the Resolution Ridge System with their conjugates southwest of the Campbell Plateau allows precise prerift reconstruction of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary at a time (circa 48 Ma) of significant global plate reorganization and profound change in Pacific plate motion. This precise plate reconstruction better constrains plate motion chains that connect the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hemispheres, thus contributing to debate of global scientific issues such as what caused the bend in the Emperor-Hawaii seamount chain.

  15. Curie Point Depth Estimates Beneath the Incipient Okavango Rift Zone, Northwest Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leseane, K.; Atekwana, E. A.; Mickus, K. L.; Mohamed, A.; Atekwana, E. A.

    2013-12-01

    We investigated the regional thermal structure of the crust beneath the Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ), surrounding cratons and orogenic mobile belts using the Curie Point Depth (CPD) estimates. Estimating the depth to the base of magnetic sources is important in understanding and constraining the thermal structure of the crust in zones of incipient continental rifting where no other data are available to image the crustal thermal structure. Our objective was to determine if there are any thermal perturbations within the lithosphere during rift initiation. The top and bottom of the magnetized crust were calculated using the two dimensional (2D) power-density spectra analysis and three dimensional (3D) inversions of the total field magnetic data of Botswana in overlapping square windows of 1degree x 1 degree. The calculated CPD estimates varied between ~8 km and ~24 km. The deepest CPD values (16-24 km) occur under the surrounding cratons and orogenic mobile belts whereas the shallowest CPD values were found within the ORZ. CPD values of 8 to 10 km occur in the northeastern part of ORZ; a site of more developed rift structures and where hot springs are known to occur. CPD values of 12 to 16 km were obtained in the southwestern part of the ORZ where rift structures are progressively less developed and where the rift terminates. The results suggests possible thermal anomaly beneath the incipient ORZ. Further geophysical studies as part of the PRIDE (Project for Rift Initiation Development and Evolution) project are needed to confirm this proposition.

  16. Initiation of the western branch of the East African Rift coeval with the eastern branch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, E. M.; Stevens, N. J.; O'Connor, P. M.; Dirks, P. H. G. M.; Gottfried, M. D.; Clyde, W. C.; Armstrong, R. A.; Kemp, A. I. S.; Hemming, S.

    2012-04-01

    The East African Rift System transects the anomalously high-elevation Ethiopian and East African plateaux that together form part of the 6,000-km-long African superswell structure. Rifting putatively developed as a result of mantle plume activity that initiated under eastern Africa. The mantle activity has caused topographic uplift that has been connected to African Cenozoic climate change and faunal evolution. The rift is traditionally interpreted to be composed of two distinct segments: an older, volcanically active eastern branch and a younger, less volcanic western branch. Here, we show that initiation of rifting in the western branch began more than 14 million years earlier than previously thought, contemporaneously with the eastern branch. We use a combination of detrital zircon geochronology, tephro- and magnetostratigraphy, along with analyses of past river flow recorded in sedimentary rocks from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, to constrain the timing of rifting, magmatism and drainage development in this part of the western branch. We find that rift-related volcanism and lake development had begun by about 25million years ago. These events were preceded by pediment development and a fluvial drainage reversal that we suggest records the onset of topographic uplift caused by the African superswell. We conclude that uplift of eastern Africa was more widespread and synchronous than previously recognized.

  17. Rift-to-collision transition recorded by tectonothermal evolution of the northern Pyrenees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vacherat, Arnaud; Mouthereau, Frédéric; Pik, Raphaël.; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Gautheron, Cécile; Bernet, Matthias; Daudet, Maxime; Balansa, Jocelyn; Tibari, Bouchaib; Pinna Jamme, Rosella; Radal, Julien

    2016-04-01

    The impact of rift-related processes on tectonic and thermal evolution of collisional orogens is poorly documented. Here, we study the northern Pyrenees, a region that has preserved a geological record of the transition from rifting to collision. Using modeling of new low-temperature thermochronological data, including fission track and (U-Th)/He on apatite and zircon, we propose a temporal reconstruction of the inversion of the European rifted margin. Our data confirm that rifting and related cooling started in the Late Paleozoic-Triassic. Throughout the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous the European margin recorded slow heating during postrift subdsidence. Modeling of thermochronological data allows distinguishing subsidence and denudation controlled by south dipping normal faults in granitic massifs that reflect a second episode of crustal thinning at 130-110 Ma. Following onset of convergence at 83 Ma, shortening accumulated into the weak and hot Albian-Cenomanian rift basins floored by both hyperextended continental crust and exhumed subcontinental mantle. The lack of cooling during this initial stage of convergence is explained by the persistence of a high geothermal gradient. The onset of exhumation-related cooling is recognized in the whole Pyrenean region at 50-35 Ma. This timing reveals that the main phase of mountain building started when hyperextended rift basins closed and collision between proximal domains of the rifted margin occurred.

  18. Lithospheric Decoupling and Rotations: Hints from Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. Which mantle below the active rift segments in Afar?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The evolution of mantle sources beneath the Ethiopian volcanic province has long been discussed and debated with a long-lived controversy in identifying mantle reservoirs and locating them in the mantle. One interpretation of the isotopic composition of erupted lavas considers that the Afar mantle plume composition is best expressed by recent lavas from Afar and Gulf of Aden (e.g. Erta Ale, Manda Inakir and the 45°E torus anomaly on the Gulf of Aden) implying that all other volcanics (including other active segments and the initial flood basalt province) result from mixing of this plume component with additional lithospheric and asthenospheric components. A completely opposite view considers that the initial Oligocene continental flood basalts best represent the isotopic composition of the Afar mantle plume, which is subsequently mixed in various proportions with continental lithospheric mantle for generating some of the specific signature of Miocene and Quaternary volcanics. The precise and correct identification of mantle components involved in the generation of magmas is of particular importance because this is the only way to document the participation of mantle during extension and its potential role in break-up processes. In this contribution we provide new isotopic data for central Afar and we revisit the whole data set of the Ethiopian volcanic province in order to: (i) precisely identify the distinct mantle components implicated and (ii) discuss their location and evolution not only considering geochemical mixings, but also taking into account additional characteristics of erupted magmatic suites (volumes, location and relationships with amount of extension and segmentation). This new interpretation of geochemical data allows reconsidering the evolution of mantle in the course of rift evolution. In terms of mantle sources, two populations of active segments are frontally opposed in the volcanic province: those that share exactly the same composition with

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohr, P. A.

    1974-01-01

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

  2. Consequences of Rift Propagation for Spreading in Thick Oceanic Crust in Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karson, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Iceland has long been considered a natural laboratory for processes related to seafloor spreading, including propagating rifts, migrating transforms and rotating microplates. The thick, hot, weak crust and subaerial processes of Iceland result in variations on the themes developed along more typical parts of the global MOR system. Compared to most other parts of the MOR, Icelandic rift zones and transform faults are wider and more complex. Rift zones are defined by overlapping arrays of volcanic/tectonic spreading segments as much as 50 km wide. The most active rift zones propagate N and S away from the Iceland hot spot causing migration of transform faults. A trail of crust deformed by bookshelf faulting forms in their wakes. Dead or dying transform strands are truncated along pseudofaults that define propagation rates close to the full spreading rate of ~20 mm/yr. Pseudofaults are blurred by spreading across wide rift zones and laterally extensive subaerial lava flows. Propagation, with decreasing spreading toward the propagator tips causes rotation of crustal blocks on both sides of the active rift zones. The blocks deform internally by the widespread reactivation of spreading-related faults and zones of weakness along dike margins. The sense of slip on these rift-parallel strike-slip faults is inconsistent with transform-fault deformation. These various deformation features as well as subaxial subsidence that accommodate the thickening of the volcanic upper crustal units are probably confined to the brittle, seismogenic, upper 10 km of the crust. At least beneath the active rift zones, the upper crust is probably decoupled from hot, mechanically weak middle and lower gabbroic crust resulting in a broad plate boundary zone between the diverging lithosphere plates. Similar processes may occur at other types of propagating spreading centers and magmatic rifts.

  3. Crustal structure of the northern mississippi embayment and a comparison with other continental rift zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooney, W.D.; Andrews, M.C.; Ginzburg, A.; Peters, D.A.; Hamilton, R.M.

    1983-01-01

    Previous geological and geophysical investigations have suggested that the Mississippi Embayment is the site of a Late Precambrian continental rift that was reactivated in the Mesozoic. New information on the deep structure of the northern Mississippi Embayment, gained through an extensive seismic refraction survey, supports a rifting hypothesis. The data indicate that the crust of the Mississippi Embayment may be characterized by six primary layers that correspond geologically to unconsolidated Mesozoic and Tertiary sediments (1.8 km/s), Paleozoic carbonate and clastic sedimentary rocks (5.9 km/s), a low-velocity layer of Early Paleozoic sediments (4.9 km/s), crystalline upper crust (6.2 km/s), lower crust (6.6 km/s), modified lower crust (7.3 km/s), and mantle. Average crustal thickness is approximately 41 km. The presence and configuration of the low-velocity layer provide new evidence for rifting in the Mississippi Embayment. The layer lies within the northeast-trending upper-crustal graben reported by Kane et al. (1981), and probably represents marine shales deposited in the graben after rifting. The confirmation and delineation of a 7.3 km/s layer, identified in previous studies, implies that the lower crust has been altered by injection of mantle material. Our results indicate that this layer reaches a maximum thickness in the north-central Embayment and thins gradually to the southeast and northwest, and more rapidly to the southwest along the axis of the graben. The apparent doming of the 7.3 km/s layer in the north-central Embayment suggests that rifting may be the result of a triple junction located in the Reelfoot Basin area. The crustal structure of the Mississippi Embayment is compared to other continental rifts: the Rhinegraben, Limagnegraben, Rio Grande Rift, Gregory Rift, and the Salton Trough. This comparison suggests that alteration of the lower crust is a ubiquitous feature of continental rifts. ?? 1983.

  4. Thermo-tectonic evolution of the Upper Rhine Graben rift shoulders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Link, K.; Rahn, M.; Keller, J.

    2003-04-01

    The Upper Rhine Graben (URG) is the central segment of the European Cenozoic rift system, extending from the Mediterranean to the North Sea (Ziegler, 1992). The URG extends over a distance of 300 km from Basel (Switzerland) to Frankfurt (Germany) with an average width of 30--40 km. An initial rifting phase is recognised by Middle Eocene (Lutetian) lake deposits. The main rifting phase started at the end of the Eocene (Priabonian) and was followed by prominent uplift in the southern URG area in the Miocene (Schumacher, 2002). Apatite fission track (FT) dating is used to constrain the thermo-tectonic evolution of the rift shoulders. By FT data modelling varying cooling histories are derived for different tectonic blocks of the rift shoulders. In some areas tectonic uplift started in the Upper Cretaceous, a long time before the initial rifting of the URG. In the modelled data no increase in cooling, which might represent rift shoulder uplift and denudation related to the main rifting phase, can be observed. In contrast, in the southern part, the cooling rate increased in Miocene times due to greater uplift and denudation, although the climate changed to cooler and dryer conditions. Contemporaneous with this phase is enormous sediment erosion in the southern graben segment. As a consequence, the driving forces leading to the observed thermo-tectonic evolution of the rift shoulders cannot be explained by URG formation and/or climate changes alone, but must be seen in the context of a European intraplate stress regime. References: Schumacher, M.E. (2002): Tectonics, 21: 1--17. Ziegler, P.A. (1992): Tectonophysics, 208: 91--111.

  5. The tectonic evolution of the southeastern Terceira Rift/São Miguel region (Azores)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiß, B. J.; Hübscher, C.; Lüdmann, T.

    2015-07-01

    The eastern Azores Archipelago with São Miguel being the dominant subaerial structure is located at the intersection of an oceanic rift (Terceira Rift) with a major transform fault (Gloria Fault) representing the westernmost part of the Nubian-Eurasian plate boundary. The evolution of islands, bathymetric highs and basin margins involves strong volcanism, but the controlling geodynamic and tectonic processes are currently under debate. In order to study this evolution, multibeam bathymetry and marine seismic reflection data were collected to image faults and stratigraphy. The basins of the southeastern Terceira Rift are rift valleys whose southwestern and northeastern margins are defined by few major normal faults and several minor normal faults, respectively. Since São Miguel in between the rift valleys shows an unusual W-E orientation, it is supposed to be located on a leaky transform. South of the island and separated by a N120° trending graben system, the Monacco Bank represents a N160° oriented flat topped volcanic ridge dominated by tilted fault blocks. Up to six seismic units are interpreted for each basin. Although volcanic ridges hamper a direct linking of depositional strata between the rift and adjacent basins, the individual seismic stratigraphic units have distinct characteristics. Using these units to provide a consistent relative chrono-stratigraphic scheme for the entire study area, we suggest that the evolution of the southeastern Terceira Rift occurred in two stages. Considering age constrains from previous studies, we conclude that N140° structures developed orthogonal to the SW-NE direction of plate-tectonic extension before ~ 10 Ma. The N160° trending volcanic ridges and faults developed later as the plate tectonic spreading direction changed to WSW-ENE. Hence, the evolution of the southeastern Terceira Rift domain is predominantly controlled by plate kinematics and lithospheric stress forming a kind of a re-organized rift system.

  6. Distribution of contemporary crustal deformation and mechanisms for extension in the Woodlark Rift: insights from GPS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, L. M.; Ellis, S. M.; Tregoning, P.; Little, T. A.; Palmer, N.

    2012-12-01

    The Woodlark Rift, southeastern Papua New Guinea, is a classic example of a rift transitioning from continental rifting to seafloor spreading, and is also the site of exhumation of the world's youngest Ultra-High Pressure (UHP) terranes. Prior to now, very little GPS data existed to constrain the kinematics of contemporary rifting, and the relationship of modern-day rifting to exhumation of the young UHP terranes. We present results from GPS campaign measurements at ~45 sites throughout the southeastern Papua New Guinea region, from GPS campaigns conducted in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Our results suggest that most of the modern-day extensional deformation has shifted southward towards the north coast of the PNG mainland, away from the locus of UHP exhumation in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, although a few mm/yr of active extension remains in the region of UHP rock exhumation. This is consistent with modelling studies that predict a shift in the locus of extension away from the locus of UHP exhumation during the final, waning stages of UHP exhumation. Rates of total extension in the Woodlark Rift increase from west to east from several mm/yr (in the far western Woodlark Rift) to >20 mm/yr further east, due to clockwise rotation of microplates in the region about nearby poles of rotation. We will discuss the implications that our kinematic modelling of the GPS data, earthquake slip vector data, and geological data have for the large-scale driving mechanisms behind rifting in southeast PNG. Our results favour a model where rapid microplate rotation (at 2-3 degrees/Myr) and rifting in the Woodlark Basin is a consequence of strong slab pull forces from extremely rapid subduction (6-13 cm/yr) at the New Britain and San Cristobal trenches further to the north.

  7. EAGLE - Design of 2003 Controlled Source Seismic Profile Across the Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maguire, P. K.; Ebinger, C. J.; Asfaw, L. M.; Mackenzie, G.; Khan, M. A.

    2001-12-01

    The Ethiopia Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE) is a project to image the crust and upper mantle just prior to break-up in the northern Ethiopian Rift, where the transition from continental rifting to incipient sea-floor spreading is captured. A major component of EAGLE is a 400km cross-rift controlled source profile involving the detonation of 8 borehole shots into a nominal 450 recorders distributed along the line. The principal objective of this part of the project is to provide a cross-rift P-wave velocity model of the crust and upper mantle across a transitional rift segment. The results will be used: (1) to constrain the volume of magmatic material that has been added to the crust across the rift; (2) to determine the distribution of crustal strain; (3) to identify pre-rift variations in lithospheric properties that may have influenced high strain location; and (4) to provide high resolution crustal velocity control to enhance interpretation of teleseismic and local earthquake data recorded on the linked EAGLE passive array projects. A planning visit to Ethiopia in 2001 resulted in 7 of the 8 borehole sites being provisionally identified. Information concerning population distribution and environmental risk, water table depths and restrictions on the use of underwater shots will limit the distance to which seismic energy can be observed from each shotpoint. Results from previous surveys both in Ethiopia and in the Kenya Rift enable expected amplitude-distance relations to be estimated. Using (1) the optimum crustal seismic velocity model consistent with available gravity data, (2) the proposed distribution of shots and recording stations, (3) the range to which energy from each shot should be observed, and(4) field and remote sensing constraints on major rift structures and volcanic centres, 2-D forward modelling of first arrival travel times is being undertaken to enable tighter control on the experiment design in line with the defined

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, Samson; Ghebreab, Woldai

    2013-11-01

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

  9. Distributed deformation ahead of the Cocos-Nazca Rift at the Galapagos triple junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Deborah K.; Schouten, Hans; Zhu, Wen-lu; Montési, Laurent G. J.; Cann, Johnson R.

    2011-11-01

    The Galapagos triple junction is not a simple ridge-ridge-ridge (RRR) triple junction. The Cocos-Nazca Rift (C-N Rift) tip does not meet the East Pacific Rise (EPR). Instead, two secondary rifts form the link: Incipient Rift at 2°40‧N and Dietz Deep volcanic ridge, the southern boundary of the Galapagos microplate (GMP), at 1°10‧N. Recently collected bathymetry data are used to investigate the regional tectonics prior to the establishment of the GMP (∼1.5 Ma). South of C-N Rift a band of northeast-trending cracks cuts EPR-generated abyssal hills. It is a mirror image of a band of cracks previously identified north of C-N Rift on the same age crust. In both areas, the western ends of the cracks terminate against intact abyssal hills suggesting that each crack initiated at the EPR spreading center and cut eastward into pre-existing topography. Each crack formed a short-lived triple junction until it was abandoned and a new crack and triple junction initiated nearby. Between 2.5 and 1.5 Ma, the pattern of cracking is remarkably symmetric about C-N Rift providing support for a crack interaction model in which crack initiation at the EPR axis is controlled by stresses associated with the tip of the westward-propagating C-N Rift. The model also shows that offsets of the EPR axis may explain times when cracking is not symmetric. South of C-N Rift, cracks are observed on seafloor as old as 10.5 Ma suggesting that this triple junction has not been a simple RRR triple junction during that time.

  10. Stress control of deep rift intrusion at Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Amelung, Falk; Yun, Sang-Ho; Walter, Thomas R; Segall, Paul; Kim, Sang-Wan

    2007-05-18

    Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii, deforms by a combination of shallow dike intrusions in the rift zones and earthquakes along the base of the volcano, but it is not known how the spreading is accommodated in the lower part of the volcanic edifice. We present evidence from interferometric synthetic aperture radar data for secular inflation of a dike-like magma body at intermediate depth in the southwest rift zone during 2002 to 2005. Magma accumulation occurred in a section of the rift zone that was unclamped by previous dikes and earthquakes, suggesting that stress transfer plays an important role in controlling subsurface magma accumulation.

  11. An integrated geophysical analysis of the upper crust of the southern Kenya rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simiyu, Silas M.; Keller, G. Randy

    2001-12-01

    Previous interpretations of seismic data collected by the Kenya Rift International Seismic Project (KRISP) experiments indicate the presence of crustal thickening within the rift valley area beneath the Kenya dome, an uplift centred on the southern part of the Kenya rift. North of the dome, these interpretations show thinning of the crust and an increase in crustal extension. To the south near the Kenya/Tanzania border, crustal thinning associated with the rift is modest. Our study was aimed at further investigating crustal structure from this dome southwards via a detailed analysis focused on upper crustal structure. We used results from surface geological mapping, drill hole data from water wells and geothermal exploration wells, KRISP 85 seismic data for a profile across the rift, KRISP 85 and 90 seismic data for a profile along the rift axis and KRISP 94 seismic data for a profile crossing southernmost Kenya to constrain gravity modelling and construction of integrated models of crustal structure. Our integrated analysis produced the following results concerning the structure and evolution of the southern Kenya rift: (1) the graben master faults are consistently located along the western margin of the rift valley, and there is no evidence for half-graben polarity reversals for a distance of about 300km (2) there is no axial (north-south) crustal symmetry with respect to the apex of the Kenya dome, and the crustal thickness may be as much related to pre-rift crustal type and thickness as it is to crustal thickening and modification by magmatic processes; (3) the pre-existing lithospheric contrast between the Archaean and Proterozoic basement terranes played a significant role in the location and structural geometry of the rift; (4) south of latitude 1°S, low velocities and densities observed under the western flank of the rift probably represent reworked Archaean Tanzanian craton; (5) magmatic modification of the upper crust is modest except near the major

  12. Concentration of Rift Valley fever and Chikungunya viruses by precipitation.

    PubMed

    Klein, F; Mahlandt, B G; Cockey, R R; Lincoln, R E

    1970-09-01

    Simple and efficient methods for concentrating Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus and chikungunya (CHIK) virus are described. Ammonium sulfate, potassium sulfate, or alcohol was used as a precipitating agent and the precipitate was resuspended to volumes suitable for further processing and purification. The methods permitted concentration of live RVF virus and CHIK virus about 100-fold with negligible losses of virus. RVF virus retained a high level of infectivity with potassium aluminum sulfate and alcohol, but CHIK virus retained a higher infectivity level with ammonium sulfate than with potassium aluminum sulfate. The data indicate that serum plays an important role in the concentration of both viruses, at least when the sulfate methods are used.

  13. Synchronous oceanic spreading and continental rifting in West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davey, F. J.; Granot, R.; Cande, S. C.; Stock, J. M.; Selvans, M.; Ferraccioli, F.

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic anomalies associated with new ocean crust formation in the Adare Basin off north-western Ross Sea (43-26 Ma) can be traced directly into the Northern Basin that underlies the adjacent morphological continental shelf, implying a continuity in the emplacement of oceanic crust. Steep gravity gradients along the margins of the Northern Basin, particularly in the east, suggest that little extension and thinning of continental crust occurred before it ruptured and the new oceanic crust formed, unlike most other continental rifts and the Victoria Land Basin further south. A preexisting weak crust and localization of strain by strike-slip faulting are proposed as the factors allowing the rapid rupture of continental crust.

  14. Active volcanism on Venus in the Ganiki Chasma rift zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shalygin, E. V.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Head, J. W.

    2015-06-01

    Venus is known to have been volcanically resurfaced in the last third of solar system history and to have undergone a significant decrease in volcanic activity a few hundred million years ago. However, fundamental questions remain: Is Venus still volcanically active today, and if so, where and in what geological and geodynamic environment? Here we show evidence from the Venus Express Venus Monitoring Camera for transient bright spots that are consistent with the extrusion of lava flows that locally cause significantly elevated surface temperatures. The very strong spatial correlation of the transient bright spots with the extremely young Ganiki Chasma, their similarity to locations of rift-associated volcanism on Earth, provide strong evidence for their volcanic origin and suggests that Venus is currently geodynamically active.

  15. The Risk of Nosocomial Transmission of Rift Valley Fever

    PubMed Central

    Al-Hamdan, Nasser A.; Panackal, Anil A.; Al Bassam, Tami H.; Alrabea, Abdullah; Al Hazmi, Mohammed; Al Mazroa, Yagoub; Al Jefri, Mohammed; Khan, Ali S.; Ksiazek, Thomas G.

    2015-01-01

    In 2000, we investigated the Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreak on the Arabian Peninsula—the first outside Africa—and the risk of nosocomial transmission. In a cross-sectional design, during the peak of the epidemic at its epicenter, we found four (0.6%) of 703 healthcare workers (HCWs) IgM seropositive but all with only community-associated exposures. Standard precautions are sufficient for HCWs exposed to known RVF patients, in contrast to other viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF) such as Ebola virus disease (EVD) in which the route of transmission differs. Suspected VHF in which the etiology is uncertain should be initially managed with the most cautious infection control measures. PMID:26694834

  16. [Severe hemorrhagic forms of Rift Valley fever: about 5 cases].

    PubMed

    Salem, Mohamed Lemine Ould; Baba, Sidi El Wafi Ould; Fall-Malick, Fatimetou Zahra; Boushab, Boushab Mohamed; Ghaber, Sidi Mohamed; Mokhtar, Abdelwedoud

    2016-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an arbovirus caused by an RNA virus belonging to family Bunyaviridae (genus phlebovirus). It is a zoonosis that primarily affects animals but it also has the capacity to infect humans, either by handling meat, runts of sick animals or, indirectly, by the bite of infected mosquitoes (Aedes sp, Anopheles sp, Culex sp). In most cases, RVF infection in humans is asymptomatic, but it can also manifest as moderate febrile syndrome with a favorable outcome. However, some patients may develop hemorrhagic syndrome and/or neurological damages with a fatal evolution. We present a case study of the development of 5 patients with RVF associated with hemorrhagic fever syndrome admitted to the internal medicine department at National Hospital Center in Nouakchott (Mauritania), in October 2015. The outcome was favorable for two of the five patients. The other 3 died, two of hemorrhagic shock and one of septic shock. PMID:27642413

  17. Rift Valley Fever Outbreaks in Mauritania and Related Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Caminade, Cyril; Ndione, Jacques A.; Diallo, Mawlouth; MacLeod, Dave A.; Faye, Ousmane; Ba, Yamar; Dia, Ibrahima; Morse, Andrew P.

    2014-01-01

    Four large outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) occurred in Mauritania in 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2012 which caused lots of animal and several human deaths. We investigated rainfall and vegetation conditions that might have impacted on RVF transmission over the affected regions. Our results corroborate that RVF transmission generally occurs during the months of September and October in Mauritania, similarly to Senegal. The four outbreaks were preceded by a rainless period lasting at least a week followed by heavy precipitation that took place during the second half of the rainy season. First human infections were generally reported three to five weeks later. By bridging the gap between meteorological forecasting centers and veterinary services, an early warning system might be developed in Senegal and Mauritania to warn decision makers and health services about the upcoming RVF risk. PMID:24413703

  18. [Fatal haemorrhagic rift valley fever: a case at Madagascar].

    PubMed

    Raveloson, N E; Ramorasata, J C; Rasolofohanitrininosy, R; Rakotoarivony, S T; Andrianjatovo, J J; Sztark, F

    2010-04-01

    Rift valley fever (RVF) is a viral zoonosis that can also infect humans. Haemorrhagic RVF is a severe potentially fatal form of the disease. Although haemorrhagic RVF accounts for only 1% of all infections, death occurs in up to 5% of cases. The purpose of this report is describe a severe case of haemorrhagic RVF observed in a 22-year-old cattle breeder admitted to the intensive care units of the Joseph Raseta Befelatanana University Hospitals in Antananarivo. The disease presented as an infectious syndrome but hemorrhagic manifestations developed early (day 2). They consisted of diffuse haemorrhage events (haemorrhagic vomit, gingival haemorrhage, skin haemorrhage, urinary haemorrhage, and haemorrhage on the venous puncture site). In spite of intensive care, haemorrhagic complications lead to death on day 4 of clinical evolution. Laboratory findings demonstrated alteration in liver function and coagulation disturbances. Multiple organ failure was also observed.

  19. Rift Valley fever during rainy seasons, Madagascar, 2008 and 2009.

    PubMed

    Andriamandimby, Soa Fy; Randrianarivo-Solofoniaina, Armand Eugène; Jeanmaire, Elisabeth M; Ravololomanana, Lisette; Razafimanantsoa, Lanto Tiana; Rakotojoelinandrasana, Tsanta; Razainirina, Josette; Hoffmann, Jonathan; Ravalohery, Jean-Pierre; Rafisandratantsoa, Jean-Théophile; Rollin, Pierre E; Reynes, Jean-Marc

    2010-06-01

    During 2 successive rainy seasons, January 2008 through May 2008 and November 2008 through March 2009, Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) caused outbreaks in Madagascar. Human and animal infections were confirmed on the northern and southern coasts and in the central highlands. Analysis of partial sequences from RVFV strains showed that all were similar to the strains circulating in Kenya during 2006-2007. A national cross-sectional serologic survey among slaughterhouse workers at high risk showed that RVFV circulation during the 2008 outbreaks included all of the Malagasy regions and that the virus has circulated in at least 92 of Madagascar's 111 districts. To better predict and respond to RVF outbreaks in Madagascar, further epidemiologic studies are needed, such as RVFV complete genome analysis, ruminant movement mapping, and surveillance implementation.

  20. Aedes Mosquito Saliva Modulates Rift Valley Fever Virus Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Le Coupanec, Alain; Babin, Divya; Fiette, Laurence; Jouvion, Grégory; Ave, Patrick; Misse, Dorothee; Bouloy, Michèle; Choumet, Valerie

    2013-01-01

    Background Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a severe mosquito-borne disease affecting humans and domestic ruminants. Mosquito saliva contains compounds that counteract the hemostatic, inflammatory, and immune responses of the host. Modulation of these defensive responses may facilitate virus infection. Indeed, Aedes mosquito saliva played a crucial role in the vector's capacity to effectively transfer arboviruses such as the Cache Valley and West Nile viruses. The role of mosquito saliva in the transmission of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) has not been investigated. Objective Using a murine model, we explored the potential for mosquitoes to impact the course of RVF disease by determining whether differences in pathogenesis occurred in the presence or absence of mosquito saliva and salivary gland extract. Methods C57BL/6NRJ male mice were infected with the ZH548 strain of RVFV via intraperitoneal or intradermal route, or via bites from RVFV-exposed mosquitoes. The virus titers in mosquitoes and mouse organs were determined by plaque assays. Findings After intraperitoneal injection, RVFV infection primarily resulted in liver damage. In contrast, RVFV infection via intradermal injection caused both liver and neurological symptoms and this route best mimicked the natural infection by mosquitoes. Co-injections of RVFV with salivary gland extract or saliva via intradermal route increased the mortality rates of mice, as well as the virus titers measured in several organs and in the blood. Furthermore, the blood cell counts of infected mice were altered compared to those of uninfected mice. Interpretation Different routes of infection determine the pattern in which the virus spreads and the organs it targets. Aedes saliva significantly increases the pathogenicity of RVFV. PMID:23785528

  1. Volcaniclastic alluvial fan sedimentation, northern Rio Grande rift

    SciTech Connect

    McPherson, J.G.; Waresback, D.B.; Self, S.

    1986-05-01

    The Pliocene Puye Formation is a well-exposed, volcanogenic, alluvial fan sequence 150+ m thick, representing a range of volcaniclastic deposits (proximal, medial, and distal) that may be generated in response to long-lived, multicompositional (basaltic to rhyolitic) volcanism in a rift setting. The deposits are a composite of eruptives (effusives and pyroclastics) and epiclastics (reworked primary volcanics). An almost complete record of source-area volcanics (style, intensity, and composition) is preserved in the volcaniclastic fan deposits, as sedimentation rates were high and basinal subsidence was continuous because of concomitant rift downfaulting. At least eight silicic, primary airfall beds are interstratified through the fan deposits and provide a reliable stratigraphic control for establishing vertical and lateral lithofacies correlations. Proximal (inner fan) lithofacies include voluminous block-and-ash deposits that have downfan facies equivalents as pyroclastic flows and mudflows. Other proximal facies include very coarse clast-bearing debris flows, boulder-rich stream-channel and hyperconcentrated flood-flow deposits, and minor sheet-flood sequences. Medial (midfan) deposits display the greatest variability in lithofacies and provide details of the rate and intensity of volcanism by means of a distinctive vertical lithofacies assemblage: a basal plinian layer, stacked debris flows, and stacked mudflows, capped by a fluvial reworking phase of interstratified stream-channel and sheetflood deposits. Debris flows (clast and matrix rich), mudflows, and hyperconcentrated flood-flow deposits are abundant; the latter show evidence of transformation to mudflows with increasing transport distance, as they incorporate added fines (ash). Sheetflood deposits increase in number and thickness at the expense of stream-channel deposits.

  2. Dike injection and magma mixing in Kenya rift volcanoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anthony, E. Y.; Espejel, V.; Biggs, J.

    2009-12-01

    A nexus of volcanoes in the rift graben at approximately the latitude of Nairobi consist of central vent trachyte, phonolite, and peralkaline rhyolite and cinder cone and fissure-fed flows of basalt to benmoreite. The volcanoes are referred to as the Central Kenya Peralkaline Province (CKPP, Macdonald and Scaillet, 2006, Lithos 91, 59-73) and formed by a combination of processes including fractional crystallization, magma mixing, and volatile transport (Ren et al., 2006, Lithos 91, 109-124; Macdonald et al., 2008, JPet 49, 1515-1547). This presentation focuses on magma mixing for trachytes and phonolites for Suswa rocks, which are the southernmost part of the CKPP. We also explore the contribution of magma process studies to the interpretation of recent geodetic data, which indicate inflation/deflation of up to 21 cm for Kenyan volcanoes from 1997 to present (Biggs et al., 2009, Geology, in press). Incontrovertible evidence for magma mixing is found in field evidence, where a basaltic trachyandesite ash horizon is found interbedded with syncaldera trachyte (Skilling, 1993, J. Geol. Society London 150, 885-896), hand-specimen and thin-section petrography, and disequilibrium mineral chemistry. Precaldera lavas contain a homogeneous group of anorthoclase crystals with An content 6% or less. Syncaldera samples contain this same group and two other populations: polysynthetic twinned labradorite and andesine and anorthoclase with An content of 17%. Textures for all three groups indicate disequilibrium. Postcaldera flows contain the high and low An anorthoclase populations but lack the polysynthetic twinned labradorite and andesine. These observations suggest a model of injection of mafic magmas via diking into shallow trachtytic magma systems. Recent geodetic studies of dike injection and subsequent seismic/volcanic activity in both Ethiopia and Lengai point to the ongoing importance of these processes to rift evolution in East Africa.

  3. Young Stellar Object Candidates in the Aquila Rift Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Miao-miao; Wang, Hong-chi; Stecklum, B.

    2010-10-01

    Using the 2m telescope of the Turingia State Observatory at Tauten-berg (TLS), imaging observations in 3 wavebands (H α, R and I) are performed in the 16 fields in the Aquila Rift region. The observed fields cover about 7 square degrees. Excluding the 3 fields with unqualified data, the photometrical analysis is made for the remaining 13 fields, from which point sources are identified, and finally 7 H α emission-line star candidates are identified by color-color diagrams. The 7 candidates are located in five fields. Three of them are located near the Galactic plane, while the galactic latitudes of the rest are greater than 4°. The 2 M ASS counterparts of the point sources are identified, and the properties of the 7 H α emission-line star candidates are further analyzed by using the two-color diagrams. It is found that the near-infrared radiation from these H α emission-line star candidates has no obvious infrared excess, one of them even falls on the main-sequence branch. This indicates that the H α-emissive young stellar objects (YSOs) are not always accompanied with the infrared excess, and that the results of the H α emission line observation and the infrared excess observation are mutually supplemented. If the 7 H α emission-line star candidates are regarded as YSO candidates, then the number of YSOs in the Aquila Rift region is quite small. The further confirmation of these candidates needs subsequent spectral observations.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  5. Molecular biology and genetic diversity of Rift Valley fever virus

    PubMed Central

    Ikegami, Tetsuro

    2013-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a member of the family Bunyaviridae, genus Phlebovirus, is the causative agent of Rift Valley fever (RVF), a mosquito-borne disease of ruminant animals and humans. The generation of a large sequence database has facilitated studies of the evolution and spread of the virus. Bayesian analyses indicate that currently circulating strains of RVFV are descended from an ancestral species that emerged from a natural reservoir in Africa when large-scale cattle and sheep farming were introduced during the 19th century. Viruses descended from multiple lineages persist in that region, through infection of reservoir animals and vertical transmission in mosquitoes, emerging in years of heavy rainfall to cause epizootics and epidemics. On a number of occasions, viruses from these lineages have been transported outside the enzootic region through the movement of infected animals or mosquitoes, triggering outbreaks in countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Madagascar, where RVF had not previously been seen. Such viruses could potentially become established in their new environments through infection of wild and domestic ruminants and other animals and vertical transmission in local mosquito species. Despite their extensive geographic dispersion, all strains of RVFV remain closely related at the nucleotide and amino acid level. The high degree of conservation of genes encoding the virion surface glycoproteins suggests that a single vaccine should protect against all currently circulating RVFV strains. Similarly, preservation of the sequence of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase across viral lineages implies that antiviral drugs targeting the enzyme should be effective against all strains. Researchers should be encouraged to collect additional RVFV isolates and perform whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, so as to enhance our understanding of the continuing evolution of this important virus. This review forms part of a series

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, Mathieu; Nutz, Alexis

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Active Tectonics In The Rukwa Rift (sw Tanzania): A Study of The Potential For Large Earthquakes In A Continental Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kervyn, F.

    The Rukwa rift is a deep sedimentary basin that is considered as a tectonic trans- fer zone between the Tanganyika and the Malawi troughs. The tectonic evolution of the depression is controlled by the reactivation of proterozoic structures and started with the deposition of the permo-triasic Karoo sediments. In the southeast, the rift is divided into two facing half graben separated by a Precambrian horst, whereas its northwestern part has a more symmetrical graben structure. Although most of the vertical displacement is accommodated by the Lupa eastern boundary fault, onshore shallow seismic profiles have confirmed the co-occurrence of intrabasin synthetic- and strike-slip faults within the sub surface sediments. Both normal and dextral strike-slip movement are indeed observed in the basin in response to the E-W to WNW-SSE ex- tension. The region has a moderate seismic activity and the earthquakes magnitude is generally below M 6.5. However, a M 7.4 earthquake occurred in the Rukwa region in 1910 but its exact location remains uncertain. The current research aimed at the identi- fication of active faults within the recent deposits of the basin by the combination in a GIS of radar interferometric data with topographical and geological maps, geophysical data, and field observations. Radar interferometry (InSAR) was found to be especially suitable for DEM computation in low relief areas where available topographic data are limited in accuracy. Numerous topographic lineaments were observed on InSAR DEM, and follow two main directions, both oblique to the main NW-SE trend of the rift. On the one hand, the GIS analysis confirms that the observed lineaments corre- spond to real natural alignment such like the drainage for example, and are therefore not related to atmospheric artefacts. On the other hand, the field observations revealed that in most cases, the topographic lineaments are very subtle and difficult to identify. However, direct correlations with tectonic

  9. Climatic influence on rift structure: Axial rift evolution in Guaymas Basin during the past 250,000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kluesner, J. W.; Lonsdale, P.; Kirtland, S. E.

    2009-12-01

    a striking correlation between climatic cycles, sedimentation rate, acoustic character of sediment packages, and changes in rift structure. Off-axis intrusion of young sills masks past trough floor structures resulting in only the paleo-rift flanks being imaged on seismic profiles. Assuming a constant spreading rate of 45 km/My and the relationship between different sediment packages and changes in climate, sediments imaged on off-axis flanks in the Southern Trough of Guaymas Basin record the evolution of the axial graben and flanks during the past 250,000 years. The relationship between climatic change and rift structure observed in the Southern Trough, Guaymas Basin may provide insight into how sedimentation and axial structure of a young intercontinental ocean basin have been modulated by climate change.

  10. San Andres Rift, Nicaraguan Shelf: A 346-Km-Long, North-South Rift Zone Actively Extending the Interior of the "Stable" Caribbean Plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvajal, L. C.; Mann, P.

    2015-12-01

    The San Andres rift (SAR) is an active, 015°-trending, bathymetric and structural rift basin that extends for 346 km across the Nicaraguan platform and varies in bathymetric width from 11-27 km and in water depth from 1,250 to 2,500 m. We used four 2D regional seismic lines tied to two offshore, industry wells located west of the SAR on the Nicaraguan platform to map normal faults, transfer faults, and possibly volcanic features with the rift. The Colombian islands of San Andres (26 km2) and Providencia (17 km2) are footwall uplifts along west-dipping, normal fault bounding the eastern margin of the rift. Mapping indicates the pre-rift section is Late Cretaceous to Oligocene in age and that the onset of rifting began in the early to middle Miocene as shown by wedging of the Miocene and younger sedimentary fill controlled by north-south-striking normal faults. Structural restorations at two locations across the rift shows that the basin opened mainly by dip-slip fault motions producing a total, east-west extension of 18 km in the north and 15 km in the south. Structural restoration shows the rift formed on a 37-km-wide, elongate basement high - possibly of late Cretaceous, volcanic origin and related to the Caribbean large igneous province. Previous workers have noted that the SAR is associated with province of Pliocene to Quaternary seamounts and volcanoes which range from non-alkaline to mildly alkaline, including volcanic rocks on Providencia described as andesites and rhyolites. The SAR forms one of the few recognizable belts of recorded seismicity within the Caribbean plate. The origin of the SAR is related to Miocene and younger left-lateral displacement along the Pedro Banks fault to the north and the southwestern Hess fault to the south. We propose that the amount of left-lateral displacement that created the rift is equivalent to the amount of extension that formed it: 18-20 km.

  11. Analysis of the Junction of the East African Rift and the Cretaceous-Paleogene Rifts in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariita, N. O.; Tadesse, K.; Keller, G. R.

    2003-12-01

    The East African rift (EAR) is a Tertiary-Miocene system that extends from the Middle East, through East Africa, to Mozambique in southern Africa. Much of the present information is from the Ethiopian and Kenyan parts of the rift. Several characteristics of the EAR such as rift-related volcanism, faulting and topographic relief being exposed make it attractive for studying continental rift processes. Structural complexities reflected in the geometries of grabens and half-grabens, the existence of transverse fault zones and accommodation zones, and the influence of pre-existing geologic structures have been documented. In particular, the EAR traverses the Anza graben and related structures near the Kenya/Ethiopian border. The Anza graben is one in a series of Cretaceous-Paleogene failed rifts that trend across Central Africa from Nigeria through Chad to Sudan and Kenya with an overall northwest-southeast trend. In spite of a number of recent studies, we do not understand the interaction of these two rift systems. In both Ethiopia and Kenya, the rift segments share some broad similarities in timing and are related in a geographic sense. For example, volcanism appears to have generally preceded or in some cases have been contemporaneous with major rift faulting. Although, these segments are distinct entities, each with its own tectonic and magmatic evolution, and they do connect in the region crossed by the Anza graben and related structures. In our present study, we are using a combination of recently collected seismic, gravity and remote sensing data to increase our understanding of these two segments of the EAR. We hope that by analysing the satellite data, the variety and differences in the volume of magmatic products extruded along in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya will be identified. The geometry of structures (in particular, those causing the gravity axial high) will be modelled to study the impact of the older Anza graben structural trends with the

  12. No thermal anomalies in the mantle transition zone beneath an incipient continental rift: evidence from the first receiver function study across the Okavango Rift Zone, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

    Mechanisms leading to the initiation and early-stage development of continental rifts remain enigmatic, in spite of numerous studies. Among the various rifting models, which were developed mostly based on studies of mature rifts, far-field stresses originating from plate interactions (passive rifting) and nearby active mantle upwelling (active rifting) are commonly used to explain rift dynamics. Situated atop of the hypothesized African Superplume, the incipient Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ) of northern Botswana is ideal to investigate the role of mantle plumes in rift initiation and development, as well as the interaction between the upper and lower mantle. The ORZ developed within the Neoproterozoic Damara belt between the Congo Craton to the northwest and the Kalahari Craton to the southeast. Mantle structure and thermal status beneath the ORZ are poorly known, mostly due to a complete paucity of broad-band seismic stations in the area. As a component of an interdisciplinary project funded by the United States National Science Foundation, a broad-band seismic array was deployed over a 2-yr period between mid-2012 and mid-2014 along a profile 756 km in length. Using P-to-S receiver functions (RFs) recorded by the stations, the 410 and 660 km discontinuities bordering the mantle transition zone (MTZ) are imaged for the first time. When a standard Earth model is used for the stacking of RFs, the apparent depths of both discontinuities beneath the Kalahari Craton are about 15 km shallower than those beneath the Congo Craton. Using teleseismic P- and S-wave traveltime residuals obtained by this study and lithospheric thickness estimated by previous studies, we conclude that the apparent shallowing is the result of a 100-150 km difference in the thickness of the lithosphere between the two cratons. Relative to the adjacent tectonically stable areas, no significant anomalies in the depth of the MTZ discontinuities or in teleseismic P- and S-wave traveltime residuals are

  13. Formation of hyperextended rifted margins: Insights from flexural isostatic structural-stratigraphic modeling and observations from present-day rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohn, Geoffroy; Kusznir, Nick; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2014-05-01

    The understanding of how continental lithosphere extends, thins and ruptures leading to the formation of a new divergent plate boundary represent a fundamental question in Earth Sciences. In particular the mechanisms controlling the extreme pre-breakup stretching and thinning of the continental crust and lithosphere, documented at many present-day rifted margins, are still poorly known. Many questions remain of the fundamental processes controlling the extensional deformation of the continental crust and lithosphere, including fault geometries and their evolution in space and time, the occurrence of decoupling horizons within the continental crust and the importance of depth-dependent lithosphere thinning processes. We investigate the control of these key factors on continental crust and lithosphere thinning processes by combining seismic reflection and drill-hole observations from present-day Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins with flexural isostatic forward tectonic and stratigraphic modeling. These observations made at present-day rifted margins constrain the input parameters used in the flexural isostatic forward modeling. At the same time, the forward tectonic and stratigraphic modeling provides validation of the interpretation of the seismic reflection data. Through this modeling, we produce isostatically and thermally balanced sections reproducing the geometries observed along the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins. Our results suggest that crustal and lithospheric thinning results from the combination of both pure- and simple-shear deformation. The model predicts the critical role of intra-crustal decoupling horizons confirming the importance of depth-dependent thinning through polyphased rifting events.

  14. From surface observations to in depth structures and plate kinematics in oblique rifts. Insights from the Main Ethiopian Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippon, Melody; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst; Corti, Giacomo; Bonini, Marco; Sani, Federico; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2013-04-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) is the oblique NE-SW trending plate boundary between Nubia and Somalia that developed above an inherited lithospheric-scale weak zone, the Mozambique Ocean Suture Zone (MOSZ). In this area, plate's kinematics has been estimated from various sources including: GPS and seismic data, spreading rate estimates, magnetic anomaly & paleostress reconstruction from field and seismic data. These various data sets give a range for the orientation of the stretching direction between N105° and 115°. However, in the MER, it is shown that strain is strongly partitioned between boundary and internal faults. Far field stress is re-oriented along the boundary faults that are activated in pure extension. This observation questions the use of paleostress reconstructions based on fault slip data and focal mechanisms to estimate the direction of plate motion. Detailed analysis of fault orientation and fault kinematics in analogue model illustrates that strain partitioning is triggered by the geometry of the deep-seated weak zone and that fault orientations give a better insight on the direction of stretching than paleostress tensors. Moreover, our model allows the recovering of the far field stress direction and the orientation of the weak zone in depth from surface observation of fault trend data. Applying this model to surface data of the MER give a different stretching direction for the formation of the boundary and the internal fault suggesting a clockwise rotation of Somalia. Also the model gives major constraints on the direction of the deep-seated weak zone. Its orientation is evolving from N62° in the Northern MER, to N18° in the Wide Rifted Zone (passing from N35° and N25° for the Central MER and the Southern MER).

  15. Style of extensional tectonism during rifting, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohannon, R.G.

    1989-01-01

    Geologic and geophysical studies from the Arabian continental margin in the southern Red Sea and LANDSAT analysis of the northern Somalia margin in the Gulf of Aden suggest that the early continental rifts were long narrow features that formed by extension on closely spaced normal faults above moderate- to shallow-dipping detachments with break-away zones defining one rift flank and root zones under the opposing rift flank. The rift flanks presently form the opposing continental margins across each ocean basin. The detachment on the Arabian margin dips gently to the west, with a breakaway zone now eroded above the deeply dissected terrain of the Arabian escarpment. A model is proposed in which upper crustal breakup occurs on large detachment faults that have a distinct polarity. -from Author

  16. Triassic rift-related sedimentary basins in northern Chile (24° 29°S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, M.; Bell, C. M.

    1992-10-01

    Triassic rocks in northern Chile (latitude 24°-29°S) include marine and continental rift-related sedimentary deposits, associated with basaltic, andesitic, and silicic volcanic rocks. Five main successions include the deposits of two marine basins (Profeta and San Félix) separated by three continental basins (Cifuncho, La Ternera, and La Coipa). The marine strata include turbidites and debris flow deposits interpreted as coarse-grained fan-delta sediments. The continental sediments include lacustrine fan delta, open lake, braided river, alluvial fan, and sabkha deposits. The widespread fan-delta systems (both marine and lacustrine), together with abrupt lateral and vertical facies discontinuities and large-scale depositional cycles, are indicative of rift-controlled sedimentation. The associated magmatic activity indicates that this rifting was the product of subduction-related extension or strike-slip movement on the active plate margin. Triassic rifting was followed in Late Triassic to Early Jurassic times by widespread thermotectonic subsidence.

  17. Early growth of Kohala volcano and formation of long Hawaiian rift zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lipman, P.W.; Calvert, A.T.

    2011-01-01

    Transitional-composition pillow basalts from the toe of the Hilo Ridge, collected from outcrop by submersible, have yielded the oldest ages known from the Island of Hawaii: 1138 ?? 34 to 1159 ?? 33 ka. Hilo Ridge has long been interpreted as a submarine rift zone of Mauna Kea, but the new ages validate proposals that it is the distal east rift zone of Kohala, the oldest subaerial volcano on the island. These ages constrain the inception of tholeiitic volcanism at Kohala, provide the first measured duration of tholeiitic shield building (???870 k.y.) for any Hawaiian volcano, and show that this 125-km-long rift zone developed to near-total length during early growth of Kohala. Long eastern-trending rift zones of Hawaiian volcanoes may follow fractures in oceanic crust activated by arching of the Hawaiian Swell in front of the propagating hotspot. ?? 2011 Geological Society of America.

  18. Banderas Rift Zone: A plausible NW limit of the Jalisco Block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez, Román

    2002-10-01

    Echo soundings recently made in Bahía de Banderas show that this region is a graben with steeply dipping walls and several basins; it is the offshore continuation of the Valle de Banderas graben, and of a branching rift (Río Ameca rift) originating in the Tepic-Zacoalco rift zone. The general trend of the three structures is ENE with some NE trending offsets, and they have a total length of 150 km; this Banderas Rift Zone is proposed as the NW limit of the Jalisco block. The existence of this limit suggests that there is another platelet, or block, between the Jalisco block and a portion of the Rivera plate, probably bounded by the Tres Marías escarpment, the Jalisco block and the North America plate.

  19. Inflation rates, rifts, and bands in a pāhoehoe sheet flow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoblitt, Richard P.; Orr, Tim R.; Heliker, Christina; Denlinger, Roger P.; Hon, Ken; Cervelli, Peter F.

    2012-01-01

    The margins of sheet flows—pāhoehoe lavas emplaced on surfaces sloping Inflation and rift-band formation is probably cyclic, because the pattern we observed suggests episodic or crude cyclic behavior. Furthermore, some inflation rifts contain numerous bands whose spacing and general appearances are remarkably similar. We propose a conceptual model wherein the inferred cyclicity is due to the competition between the fluid pressure in the flow's liquid core and the tensile strength of the viscoelastic layer where it is weakest—in inflation rifts. The viscoelastic layer consists of lava that has cooled to temperatures between 800 and 1070 °C. This layer is the key parameter in our model because, in its absence, rift banding and stepwise changes in the flow height would not occur.

  20. Workshop on The Rio Grande Rift: Crustal Modeling and Applications of Remote Sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blanchard, D. P. (Editor)

    1980-01-01

    The elements of a program that could address significant earth science problems by combining remote sensing and traditional geological, geophysical, and geochemical approaches were addressed. Specific areas and tasks related to the Rio Grande Rift are discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Three-Dimensional (3D) Structure of the Malawi Rift from Remote Sensing and Geophysics Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salmi, Haifa S. Al; Abdelsalam, Mohamed G.

    2014-05-01

    The Malawi rift is a Cenozoic aged rift representing the southernmost segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). This rift extends over 900 km from the Rungwe volcanic province (Tanzania) in the north to the Urema graben (Mozambique) to the south, with an average width of 50km. It traverses a complex array of Proterozoic orogenic belts of different ages and Permo-Triassic (Karoo) and cretaceous graben systems. The rift's depth is between 3 to 5km partitioned between the topographic escarpment and the sediments fill. The basin's subsidence reflects accumulation of sediments and rift flank uplift. Regardless of its importance in understanding rift tectonics, especially in Africa, the three-dimensional (3D) geometry of the rift is not fully understood. This research presents results from detailed analysis of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) extracted from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data to map surface morphological expressions of the entire basin. These results are compared with available seismic data to provide along-strike and at depth variation of the geometry of the border fault systems, nature of rift segmentation and alternation of the polarity of half-grabens, and the partitioning of displacement between exposed and sub-surface border faults. Our results show the following: (1) Surface expression of border faults show that, unlike the typical half-graben en-echelon rift model, where half-graben segments with opposite polarity are linked together through accommodation zones indicative of soft linkage, the Malawi rift shows along-strike segmentation by changing geometry from half-graben to full graben geometry. A half-graben with specific polarity passes through a full-graben geometry before giving place to a half-graben with the opposite polarity. The length of half-gaben and graben segments becomes shorter as the rift progresses from north to south, and this is accompanied by a decrease in displacement within border

  4. Arshan palaeoseismic feature of the Tunka fault (Baikal rift zone, Russia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smekalin, Oleg P.; Shchetnikov, Alexander A.; White, Dustin

    2013-01-01

    The traditional concept of the rift development of flank depressions in the Baikal rift zone is now doubted in view of some indicators for compression deformations identified by the seismogeological and geodetic methods. Besides, the paleoseismological investigations revealed seismogenic strike-slips and reverse faults in the Tunka fault zone that is a major structure-controlling element of the Tunka rift depression. However, a detailed study of the upslope-facing scarp in the Arshan paleoseismogenic structure zone has shown that its formation might be due to rift mechanism of basin formation. Age estimation has been made for the previously unknown pre-historic earthquake whose epicentral area coincides with the western flank of the Arshan paleoseismogenic structure. Judging from previously determined ages of paleoearthquakes, the mean recurrence period for faulting events on the central Tunka fault is 2780-3440 years.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1994-01-01

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

  6. Geologic Mapping of the Juno Chasma Quadrangle, Venus: Establishing the Relation Between Rifting and Volcanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Senske, D. A.

    2008-01-01

    To understand the spatial and temporal relations between tectonic and volcanic processes on Venus, the Juno Chasma region is mapped. Geologic units are used to establish regional stratigraphic relations and the timing between rifting and volcanism.

  7. The magmatic budget of Atlantic type rifted margins: is it related to inheritance?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manatschal, Gianreto; Tugend, Julia; Picazo, Suzanne; Müntener, Othmar

    2016-04-01

    In the past, Atlantic type rifted margins were either classified as volcanic or non-volcanic. An increasing number of high quality reflection and refraction seismic surveys and drill hole data show a divergent style of margin architecture and an evolution in which the quantity and distribution of syn-rift magmatism is variable, independently of the amount of extension. Overgeneralized classifications and models assuming simple relations between magmatic and extensional systems are thus inappropriate to describe the formation of rifted margins. More recent studies show that the magmatic evolution of rifted margins is complex and cannot be characterized based on the volume of observed magma alone. On the one hand, so-called "non-volcanic" margins are not necessarily amagmatic, as shown by the results of ODP drilling along the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins. On the other hand, magma-rich margins, such as the Norwegian, NW Australian or the Namibia rifted margins show evidence for hyper-extension prior to breakup. These observations suggest that the magmatic budget does not only depend on extension rates but also on the composition and temperature of the decompressing mantle. Moreover, the fact that the magmatic budget may change very abruptly along strike and across the margin is difficult to reconcile with the occurrence of plumes or other deep-seated large-scale mantle phenomena only. These overall observations result in questions on how magmatic and tectonic processes are interacting during rifting and lithospheric breakup and on how far inheritance may control the magmatic budget during rifting. In our presentation we will review results from the South and North Atlantic and the Alpine Tethys domain and will discuss the structural and magmatic evolution of so-called magma-rich and magma-poor rifted margins. In particular, we will try to define when, where and how much magma forms during rifting and lithospheric breakup. The key questions that we aim to address

  8. The Transition from Initial Rifting to Ultra-Slow Seafloor Spreading within Endeavor Deep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pockalny, R. A.; Larson, R. L.; Popham, C. T.; Natland, J. H.

    2004-12-01

    Endeavor Deep is a NW-SE trending, 3 km-deep rift basin located along the divergent portion of the Nazca/Juan Fernandez plate boundary. The rift basin is the result of the propagation of the East Ridge toward the northwest with relative motion across the ridge defined by a rapidly rotating (5.5 degrees/myr) Euler Pole located ~100 km to the northwest. The close proximity of Endeavor Deep to this Euler Pole results in a rapidly varying velocity field along the length of the deep and represents a unique location to study the effect of varying divergence rates on initial crustal extension. Recently collected EM300 bathymetry, DSL120 sidescan, surface-towed magnetics and JASON II observations have documented 4 distinct stages of rifting along the 70 km length of Endeavor Deep. These stages include (from NW to SE): amagmatic rifting, distributed initial volcanism, centralized waxing volcanism, and crustal formation by ultra-slow seafloor spreading. Amagmatic extension, evolving to rifting, occurs at spreading rates less than 13 km/myr and is characterized by rapidly deepening rift depths from NW to SE with an overall increase in depth of about 2.5 km. Extension is accommodated over a width of about 10-15 km and some flexural uplift of the defining scarps is observed. Distributed initial volcanism occurs at spreading rates from 13-14 km/myr and is characterized by coalesced volcanic constructs (100-200 m-high, 1-2 km-wide) across the width of the rift floor. The depth of the rift basin becomes fairly constant, but the cross-sectional area of the deep continues to increase. Centralized waxing volcanism occurs at spreading rates from 14-17 km/myr and is characterized by pillow ridges and tectonic lineations along the central portion of the rift floor which are oriented parallel to the long axis of the rift basin (orthogonal to the direction of extension). The floor of the rift basin begins to shoal and the cross-sectional area of the deep decreases initially and then

  9. A Numerical and Analogue Study of Dike Ascent in Asymmetric Continental Rift Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schierjott, J.; Maccaferri, F.; Acocella, V.; Rivalta, E.

    2015-12-01

    In continental rift zones, tectonic extension generates deep topographic depressions, typically graben or half-graben structures, confined by large border faults. Volcanism may be distributed within, at the border and outside of the depressions, and the mechanisms controlling this distribution are debated. Recently, Maccaferri et al. (2014) proposed that the reorientation of the principal stresses linked to crustal thinning and overall crustal mass redistribution in rift zones modifies the expected trajectory of ascending magma pockets and plays a fundamental role in the distribution of volcanism at the surface. However, the model does not explain why volcanism is asymmetric in most continental rift zones. The goal of this study is to investigate the relation between the characteristic distribution of volcanism at the surface, the distribution and geometry of magma storage at depth, and the observed geometric asymmetry of the grabens at most rift zones. By using a boundary element model for dike propagation and analogue laboratory experiments we evaluate the ascent path of magmatic dikes in asymmetric continental rifts.We find that the position of the magma source along the cross section of the rift and its spatial extent and the asymmetry of the graben cross section are the most important factors controlling one-sided volcanic activity at surface. For dikes starting beneath the rift's center, the more asymmetric the rift structure the more likely is asymmetric volcanic activity. Dikes are deflected to the shallow rift side and no volcanism develops on the deep side or only focused in one spot. However, if the position of the magma ponding region is offset towards the deep side of the graben, the dikes tend to emerge on the rift shoulder adjacent to such deep side. To a minor extent, also the starting depth of the dikes, any topographic loading on the graben flanks due to flank uplift and the background tectonic stress impact the surface distribution of volcanism

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woldetinsae, G.; Götze, H. J.

    2004-12-01

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

  11. Rift to drift transition in Siberian Arctic and its impact on continental margin architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drachev, S. S.

    2003-04-01

    The East Siberian Arctic Continental Margin (ESAM) represents a rare case of rifting to spreading transition. Present-day geodynamics of this plate tectonic interplay is characterized by a very slow plate divergence in the Laptev Sea as this regions is located just landward of the slowest spreading center worldwide (the Gakkel Ridge), close to the pole of North American/Eurasian plate rotation. However the existing geological and geophysical data, mainly seismic reflection and potential field data, allow conclusion that this situation has been far different in the past. Just after its formation at the end of Late Cretaceous through a series of plate convergence and folding episodes the crust of the ESAM has been strongly modified by an intense rifting. The earliest rift episode took place eastward of the present Laptev Sea, in the East Siberian Sea and probably Chukchi seas, where presently abandoned rifts are stretched landward along the principal weakened zones in the ESAM basement. This rifting might have been related to a spreading episode in the Amerasia Basin and perhaps was triggered by a mantle plume ca. 120 mln. yr. ago (De Long and Franz Joseph Land basalts). Outer parts of the ERAM might have also been rifted away to create marginal blocks, as the Arlis and Chukchi plateau. Second rift event was clearly related to the opening of the Eurasia Basin, preceding it and remaining active through the Cenozoic. The rift to drift transition has been taking place in a huge, “dry” and still active Laptev Rift System, which is a landward projection of the Gakkel Ridge spreading axis. This extension had a major effect on the western ERAM causing strong normal faulting and crustal thinning, up to 70% in some places. However, total crustal extension in the Laptev Rift System is considerably smaller than a value of total opening of the Eurasia Basin, so the spreading is not completely accommodated by the rifting. It may be speculated that a major portion of this

  12. Origin of three-armed rifts in volcanic islands: the case of El Hierro (Canary Islands)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galindo Jiménez, Inés; Becerril Carretero, Laura; Martí Molist, Joan; Gudmundsson, Agust

    2015-04-01

    Rifts zones in volcanic oceanic islands are common structures that have been explained through several theories/models. However, despite all these models it is as yet unclear whether it is the intense intrusive activity or the sector collapses that actually control the structural evolution and geometry of oceanic-island rift zones. Here we provide a new hypothesis to explain the origin and characteristics of the feeding system of oceanic-island rift zones based on the analysis of more than 1700 surface, subsurface (water galleries), and submarine structural data from El Hierro (Canary Islands). El Hierro's geological structure is primarily controlled by a three-armed rift-zone, the arms striking NE, WSW and S. Between the rift axes there are three valleys formed during huge landslides: El Golfo, El Julan, and Las Playas. Our results show: (1) a predominant NE-SW strike of structural elements, which coincides with the main regional trend of the Canary Archipelago as a whole; (2) a clear radial strike distribution of structural elements for the whole volcanic edifice (including submarine flanks) with respect to the centre of the island; (3) that the rift zones are mainly subaerial structures and do not propagate through the submarine edifice; (4) that it is only in the NE rift that structures have a general strike similar to that of the rift as a whole, and; (5) that in the W and S rifts there is not clear main direction, showing the structural elements in the W rift a fan distribution coinciding with the general radial pattern in the island as a whole. Based on these data, we suggest that the radial-striking structures reflect comparatively uniform stress fields that operated during the constructive episodes, mainly conditioned by the combination of overburden pressure, gravitational spreading, and magma-induced stresses. By contrast, in the shallower parts of the edifice, that is, the NE-SW, N-S and WNW-ESE-striking structures, reflect local stress fields related

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  14. Imaging the midcontinent rift beneath Lake Superior using large aperture seismic data

    SciTech Connect

    Trehu, A.; Shay, J. ); Morel-a-l'Huissier, P.; Milkereit, B. ); Meyer, R.; Jefferson, T.; Shih, X.R. ); Karl, J. ); Mereu, R.; Epili, D. ); Sexton, J.; Wendling, S. ); Hajnal, Z.; Chan, W.K. ); Hutchison, D. )

    1991-04-01

    The authors present a detailed velocity model across the 1.1 billion year old Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) in central Lake Superior. The model was derived primarily from onshore-offshore large-aperture seismic and gravity data. High velocities obtained within a highly reflective half-graben that was imaged on coincident seismic reflection data demonstrate the dominantly magic composition of the graben fill and constrain its total thickness to be at least 30 km. Strong wide-angle reflections are observed from the lower crust and Moho, indicating that the crust is thickest (55-60 km) beneath the axis of the graben. The total crustal thickness decreases rapidly to about 40 km beneath the south shore of the lake and decreases more gradually to the north. Above the Moho is a high-velocity lower crust interpreted to result from syn-rift basaltic intrusion into and/or underplating beneath the Archean lower crust. The lower crust is thickest beneath the axis of the main rift half-graben. A second region of thick lower crust is found approximately 100 km north of the axis of the rift beneath a smaller half graben that is interpreted to reflect an earlier stage of rifting. The crustal model presented here resembles recent models of some passive continental margins and is in marked contrast to many models of both active and extinct Phanerozoic continental rift zones. It demonstrates that the Moho is a dynamic feature, since the pre-rift Moho is probably within or above the high-velocity lower crust, whereas the post-rift Moho is defined as the base of this layer. In the absence of major tectonic activity, however, the Moho is very stable, since the large, abrupt variations in crustal thickness beneath the MRS have been preserved for at least a billion years.

  15. The Importance of Magmatic Fluids in Continental Rifting in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Lee, H.; Fischer, T. P.; Roecker, S. W.; Kianji, G.

    2015-12-01

    The breakup of strong continental lithosphere requires more than far-field tectonic forces. Growing evidence for early-stage cratonic rift zones points to the importance of heat, magma and volatile transfer in driving lithospheric strength reduction. The relative contributions of these processes are fundamental to our understanding of continental rifting. We present a synthesis of results from geological, geochemical and geophysical studies in one of the most seismically and volcanically active sectors of the East African Rift (Kenya-Tanzania border) to investigate the role of fluids during early-stage rifting (<10 Ma). Xenolith data indicate that rifting initiated in initially thick lithosphere. Diffuse soil CO2 flux maxima occur in the vicinity of faults, with carbon isotope values exhibiting a mantle-derived signature. These faults feed aligned sets of hydrothermal springs, which have N2-He-Ar relative abundances also indicating a mantle-derived source. Geochemical and surface faulting information are integrated with subsurface imaging and fault kinematic data derived from the 38-station CRAFTI broadband seismic array. Teleseismic and abundant local earthquakes enable assessment of the state-of-stress and b-values as a function of depth. High Vp/Vs ratios and tomographic imaging suggest the presence of fluids in the crust, with high pore fluid pressures driving failure at lower tectonic stress. Together, these cross-disciplinary data provide compelling evidence that early-stage rifting in East Africa is assisted by fluids exsolved from deep magma bodies, some of which are imaged in the lower crust. We assert that the flux of deep magmatic fluids during rift initiation plays a key role in weakening lithosphere and localizing strain. High surface gas fluxes, fault-fed hydrothermal springs and persistent seismicity highlight the East African Rift as the ideal natural laboratory for investigating fluid-driven faulting processes in extensional tectonic environments.

  16. Teleseismic Investigations of the Malawi and Luangwa Rift Zones: Ongoing Observations From the SAFARI Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    In order to evaluate the influence of crustal and mantle heterogeneities upon the initiation of the Malawi rift zone (MRZ) and reactivation of the Zambian Luangwa rift zone (LRZ) subject to Cenozoic plate boundary stress fields and mantle buoyancy forces, we installed and operated 33 Seismic Arrays For African Rift Initiation (SAFARI) three-component broadband seismic stations in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia from 2012 to 2014. During the twenty-four month acquisition period, nearly 6200 radial receiver functions (RFs) were recorded. Stations situated within the MRZ, either along the coastal plains or within the Shire Graben toward the south, report an average crustal thickness of 42 km relative to approximately 46 km observed at stations located along the rift flanks. This implies the juvenile MRZ is characterized by a stretching factor not exceeding 1.1. Meanwhile, P-to-S velocity ratios within the MRZ increase from 1.71 to 1.82 in southernmost Malawi, indicating a substantial modification of the crust during Recent rifting. Time-series stacking of approximately 5500 RFs recorded by the SAFARI and 44 neighboring network stations reveals an apparent uplift of 10 to 15 km along both the 410- and 660-km mantle transition zone (MTZ) discontinuities beneath the MRZ and LRZ which, coupled with an apparently normal 250-km MTZ thickness, implies a first-order high-velocity contribution from thickened lithosphere. Preliminary manual checking of SAFARI shear-wave splitting (SWS) measurements provides roughly 650 high-quality XKS phases following a component re-orientation to correct station misalignments. Regional azimuthal variations in SWS fast orientations are observed, from rift-parallel in the vicinity of the LRZ to rift-oblique in the MRZ. A major 60° rotation in the fast orientation occurs at approximately 31°E, possibly resulting from the modulation of mantle flow around a relatively thick lithospheric keel situated between the two rift zones.

  17. Rifting to drifting transition of the Southwest Subbasin of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Taoran; Li, Chun-Feng

    2015-09-01

    Continental rupturing process and related dynamics on the onset of seafloor spreading remain poorly understood in the opening of the South China Sea. To constrain the timing and cause of major tectonic events, we focus on the rifting-to-drifting transition of the Southwest Subbasin, which has very wide extended continental margins. By carefully interpreting rifting structures and carbonate platforms and reefs, we distinguished two major unconformities, i.e., the breakup unconformity (BRU) and the mid-Miocene unconformity, in the two conjugate margins of the Southwest Subbasin. The age of the BRU in our study area is near the Oligocene/Miocene boundary (~23 Ma). Pre-stack depth migration of a recently acquired multichannel reflection seismic profile reveals complex structures and strong lateral velocity variations associated with a 3.5 km thick syn-rifting sequence developed right at the continent-ocean boundary (COB) of the Southwest Subbasin. This syn-rifting sequence is bounded landwards by a large seaward dipping fault, and tapers out seawards. An erosional truncation, which represents the mid-Miocene unconformity landwards but the older breakup unconformity on the seaward side, occurred at the top of this sequence. The overall transitional deformation style from the rifting to drifting suggests a successive episode of rifting, faulting, compression, tilting, and erosion at the COB during the crustal thinning and mantle upwelling. Localized thick syn-rifting deposition and early deposition beneath the BRU in the oceanic domain exist only at the seaward concave part of the COB, indicating discrete rifting and seafloor spreading prior to the buildup of a unified spreading center for the entire subbasin.

  18. Petroleum geology of Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1993-08-01

    This overview of the petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic (CAR) is based on exploration work by Exxon and partners in the years 1969-1991. The work included 50,000 km of modern reflection seismic, 53 exploration wells, 1,000,000 km[sup 2] of aeromagnetic coverage, and about 10,500 km of gravity profiles. The results outline ten Cretaceous and Tertiary rift basins, which constitute a major part of the West and Central African rift system (WCARS). The rift basins derive from a multiphased geologic history dating from the Pan-African (approximately 750-550 Ma) to the Holocene. WCARS in the study area is divided into the West African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (CAS). WAS basins in Niger and Chad are chiefly extensional, and are filled by up to 13,000 m of Lower Cretaceous to Holocene continental and marine clastics. The basins contain five oil (19-43[degrees]API) and two oil and gas accumulations in Upper Cretaceous and Eocene sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced and sealed by Upper Cretaceous and Eocene marine and lacustrine shales. The most common structural styles and hydrocarbon traps usually are associated with normal fault blocks. CAS rift basins in Chad and CAR are extensional and transtensional, and are filled by up to 7500 m of chiefly Lower Cretaceous continental clastics. The basins contain eight oil (15-39[degrees]API) and one oil and gas discovery in Lower and Upper Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced by Lower Cretaceous shales and sealed by interbedded lacustrine and flood-plain shales. Structural styles range from simple fault blocks through complex flower structures. The main hydrocarbon traps are in contractional anticlines. Geological conditions favor the discovery of potentially commercial volumes of oil in WCARS basins, of Niger, Chad and CAR. 108 refs., 24 figs., 4 tabs.

  19. Imaging the midcontinent rift beneath Lake Superior using large aperture seismic data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trehu, Anne M.; Morel-a-l'Huissier, Patrick; Meyer, R.; Hajnal, Z.; Karl, J.; Mereu, R. F.; Sexton, J.; Shay, J.; Chan, W. K.; Epili, D.; Jefferson, T.; Shih, X. R.; Wendling, S.; Milkereit, B.; Green, A.; Hutchinson, Deborah R.

    1991-01-01

    We present a detailed velocity model across the 1.1 billion year old Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) in central Lake Superior. The model was derived primarily from onshore-offshore large-aperture seismic and gravity data. High velocities obtained within a highly reflective half-graben that was imaged on coincident seismic reflection data demonstrate the dominantly mafic composition of the graben fill and constrain its total thickness to be at least 30km. Strong wide-angle reflections are observed from the lower crust and Moho, indicating that the crust is thickest (55–60km) beneath the axis of the graben. The total crustal thickness decreases rapidly to about 40 km beneath the south shore of the lake and decreases more gradually to the north. Above the Moho is a high-velocity lower crust interpreted to result from syn-rift basaltic intrusion into and/or underplating beneath the Archean lower crust. The lower crust is thickest beneath the axis of the main rift half-graben. A second region of thick lower crust is found approximately 100km north of the axis of the rift beneath a smaller half graben that is interpreted to reflect an earlier stage of rifting. The crustal model presented here resembles recent models of some passive continental margins and is in marked contrast to many models of both active and extinct Phanerozoic continental rift zones. It demonstrates that the Moho is a dynamic feature, since the pre-rift Moho is probably within or above the high-velocity lower crust, whereas the post-rift Moho is defined as the base of this layer. In the absence of major tectonic activity, however, the Moho is very stable, since the large, abrupt variations in crustal thickness beneath the MRS have been preserved for at least a billion years.

  20. Deformation during the 1975-1984 Krafla rifting crisis, NE Iceland, measured from historical optical imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollingsworth, James; Leprince, SéBastien; Ayoub, FrançOis; Avouac, Jean-Philippe

    2012-11-01

    We measure the displacement field resulting from the 1975-1984 Krafla rifting crisis, NE Iceland, using optical image correlation. Images are processed using the COSI-Corr software package. Surface extension is accommodated on normal faults and fissures which bound the rift zone, in response to dike injection at depth. Correlation of declassified KH-9 spy and SPOT5 satellite images reveals extension between 1977-2002 (2.5 m average opening over 80 km), while correlation of aerial photos between 1957-1990 provide measurements of the total extension (average 4.3 m opening over 80 km). Our results show ˜8 m of opening immediately north of Krafla caldera, decreasing to 3-4 m at the northern end of the rift. Correlation of aerial photos from 1957-1976 reveal a bi-modal pattern of opening along the rift during the early crisis, which may indicate either two different magma sources located at either end of the rift zone (a similar pattern of opening was observed in the 2005 Afar rift crisis in East Africa), or variations in rock strength along the rift. Our results provide new information on how past dike injection events accommodate long-term plate spreading, as well as providing more details on the Krafla rift crisis. This study also highlights the potential of optical image correlation using inexpensive declassified spy satellite and aerial photos to measure deformation of the Earth's surface going back many decades, thus providing a new tool for measuring Earth surface dynamics, e.g. glaciers, landsliding, coastal erosion, volcano monitoring and earthquake studies, when InSAR and GPS data are not available.

  1. Imaging continental breakup using teleseismic body waves: The Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eilon, Zachary; Abers, Geoffrey A.; Gaherty, James B.; Jin, Ge

    2015-09-01

    This study images the upper mantle beneath the D'Entrecasteax Islands, Papua New Guinea, providing insight into mantle deformation beneath a highly rifted continent adjacent to propagating spreading centers. Differential travel times from P and S-wave teleseisms recorded during the 2010-2011 CDPapua passive seismic experiment are used to invert for separate VP and VS velocity models of the continental rift. A low-velocity structure marks the E-W axis of the rift, correlating with the thinnest crust, high heat flow, and a linear trend of volcanoes. This slow region extends 250 km along strike from the oceanic spreading centers, demonstrating significant mantle extension ahead of seafloor breakup. The rift remains narrow to depth indicating localization of extension, perhaps as a result of mantle hydration. A high-VP structure at depths of 90-120 km beneath the north of the array is more than 6.5% faster than the rift axis and contains well-located intermediate depth earthquakes. These independent observations place firm constraints on the lateral thermal contrast at depth between the rift axis and cold lithosphere to the north that may be related to recent subduction, although the polarity of subduction cannot be resolved. This geometry is gravitationally unstable; downwelling or small-scale convection could have facilitated rifting and rapid lithospheric removal, although this may require a wet mantle to be realistic on the required time scales. The high-V structure agrees with the maximum P,T conditions recorded by young ultra-high pressure rocks exposed on the rift axis and may be implicated in their genesis.

  2. Transfer zones and fault reactivation in inverted rift basins: Insights from physical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konstantinovskaya, Elena A.; Harris, Lyal B.; Poulin, Jimmy; Ivanov, Gennady M.

    2007-08-01

    Lateral transfer zones of deformation and fault reactivation were investigated in multilayered silicone-sand models during extension and subsequent co-axial shortening. Model materials were selected to meet similarity criteria and to be distinguished on CT scans; this approach permitted non-destructive visualisation of the progressive evolution of structures. Transfer zones were initiated by an orthogonal offset in the geometry of a basal mobile aluminium sheet and/or by variations of layer thickness or material rheology in basal layers. Transfer zones affected rift propagation and fault kinematics in models. Propagation and overlapping rift culminations occurred in transfer zones during extension. During shortening, deviation in the orientation of frontal thrusts and fold axes occurred within transfer zones in brittle and ductile layers, respectively. CT scans showed that steep (58-67°) rift-margin normal faults were reactivated as reverse faults. The reactivated faults rotated to shallower dips (19-38°) with continuing shortening after 100% inversion. Rotation of rift phase faults appears to be due to deep level folding and uplift during the inversion phase. New thrust faults with shallow dips (20-34°) formed outside the inverted graben at late stages of shortening. Frontal ramps propagated laterally past the transfer structure during shortening. During inversion, the layers filling the rift structures underwent lateral compression at the depth, the graben fill was pushed up and outwards creating local extension near the surface. Sand marker layers in inverted graben have showed fold-like structures or rotation and tilting in the rifts and on the rift margins. The results of our experiments conform well to natural examples of inverted graben. Inverted rift basins are structurally complex and often difficult to interpret in seismic data. The models may help to unravel the structure and evolution of these systems, leading to improved hydrocarbon exploration

  3. Accumulation of fossil fuels and metallic minerals in active and ancient rift lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, E.I.

    1983-01-01

    A study of active and ancient rift systems around the world suggests that accumulations of fossil fuels and metallic minerals are related to the interactions of processes that form rift valleys with those that take place in and around rift lakes. The deposition of the precursors of petroleum, gas, oil shale, coal, phosphate, barite, Cu-Pb-Zn sulfides, and uranium begins with erosion of uplifted areas, and the consequent input of abundant nutrients and solute loads into swamps and tectonic lakes. Hot springs and volcanism add other nutrients and solutes. The resulting high biological productivity creates oxidized/reduced interfaces, and anoxic and H2S-rich bottom waters which preserves metal-bearing organic tissues and horizons. In the depositional phases, the fine-grained lake deposits are in contact with coarse-grained beach, delta, river, talus, and alluvial fan deposits. Earthquake-induced turbidites also are common coarse-grained deposits of rift lakes. Postdepositional processes in rifts include high heat flow and a resulting concentration of the organic and metallic components that were dispersed throughout the lakebeds. Postdepositional faulting brings organic- and metal-rich sourcebeds in contact with coarse-grained host and reservoir rocks. A suite of potentially economic deposits is therefore a characteristic of rift valleys. ?? 1983.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  5. 3-D magnetotelluric image of offshore magmatism at the Walvis Ridge and rift basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jegen, Marion; Avdeeva, Anna; Berndt, Christian; Franz, Gesa; Heincke, Björn; Hölz, Sebastian; Neska, Anne; Marti, Anna; Planert, Lars; Chen, J.; Kopp, Heidrun; Baba, Kiyoshi; Ritter, Oliver; Weckmann, Ute; Meqbel, Naser; Behrmann, Jan

    2016-06-01

    The Namibian continental margin marks the starting point of the Tristan da Cunha hotspot trail, the Walvis Ridge. This section of the volcanic southwestern African margin is therefore ideal to study the interaction of hotspot volcanism and rifting, which occurred in the late Jurassic/early Cretaceous. Offshore magnetotelluric data image electromagnetically the landfall of Walvis Ridge. Two large-scale high resistivity anomalies in the 3-D resistivity model indicate old magmatic intrusions related to hot-spot volcanism and rifting. The large-scale resistivity anomalies correlate with seismically identified lower crustal high velocity anomalies attributed to magmatic underplating along 2-D offshore seismic profiles. One of the high resistivity anomalies (above 500 Ωm) has three arms of approximately 100 km width and 300 km to 400 km length at 120° angles in the lower crust. One of the arms stretches underneath Walvis Ridge. The shape is suggestive of crustal extension due to local uplift. It might indicate the location where the hot-spot impinged on the crust prior to rifting. A second, smaller anomaly of 50 km width underneath the continent ocean boundary may be attributed to magma ascent during rifting. We attribute a low resistivity anomaly east of the continent ocean boundary and south of Walvis Ridge to the presence of a rift basin that formed prior to the rifting.

  6. Basaltic volcanism in Ethiopia: Constraints on continental rifting and mantle interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Hart, W. K.; WoldeGabriel, G.; Walter, R. C.; Mertzman, S. A.

    1989-06-10

    Middle to late Cenozoic mafic lavas from the Ethiopian volcanic province exhibit considerable chemical and isotopic diversity that is linked to eruption age and eruption location. These variations provide a geochemical framework in which continental rifting can be examined. Trace element and Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic data are interpreted to indicate involvement of up to two depleted and two enriched mantle reservoirs throughout Cenozoic rift development in Ethiopia. Superimposed on the characteristics imparted by varying degrees of melting of these distinct reservoirs are the effects of crystal fractionation and, in some instances, crustal contamnation. Initial stages of Oligocene rifting and volcanism, as manifested by the rift-bounding plateau flood basalts, are attributed to asthenospheric upwelling and melting of a heterogeneous, enriched subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Mildly alkaline lavas were produced from an enriched source with characteristics similar to those of the inferred source of other mantle/minus/derived lavas and xenoliths from east Africa (LoNd array, EMI to HIMU). Contemporaneous tholeiitic lavas were derived from a source similar to that producing oceanic basalts from Samoa and the Society Islands (EMII). As lithospheric thinning and rifting continued into the Miocene, upwelling depleted asthenosphere (depleted OIB reservoir, PREMA) interacted with the lithospheric sources producing lavas with hybrid elemental and isotopic characteristics (11-6 Ma plateau and rift margin basalts).

  7. Structural evolution of the southern transfer zone of the Gulf of Suez rift, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abd-Allah, Ali M. A.; Abdel Aal, Mohamed H.; El-Said, Mohamed M.; Abd El-Naby, Ahmed

    2014-08-01

    We present a detailed study about the initiation and reactivations of Zeit-El Tor transfer zone, south Gulf of Suez rift, and its structural setting and tectonic evolution with respect to the Cretaceous-Cenozoic tectonic movements in North Egyptian margin. NE trending zone of opposed-dipping faults (22 km wide) has transferred the NE and SW rotations of the sub-basins in central and south Gulf of Suez rift, respectively. The evolution of this zone started by reactivation of the NE oriented late Neoproterozoic fractures that controlled the occurrence of Dokhan Volcanics in the rift shoulders. Later, the Syrian Arc contraction reactivated these fractures by a sinistral transpression during the Late Cretaceous-Eocene time. N64°E extension of the Oligo-Miocene rift reactivated the NE fractures by a sinistral transtension. During this rifting, the NE trending faults forming the transfer zone were more active than the rift-bounding faults; the Upper Cretaceous reverse faults in the blocks lying between these NE trending faults were rotated; and drape-related reverse faults and the positive flower structures were formed. Tectonic inversion from contraction to extension controlled the distribution and thickness of the Upper Cretaceous-Miocene rocks.

  8. Formation of the Shanxi Rift in North China: The control of preexisting lithospheric weakness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, F.; Liu, M.; Ye, J.

    2012-12-01

    The Shanxi Rift is an active seismic zone in North China, developed mainly since Pliocene (~5 Ma). Its formation has been associated with the Indo-Asian collision; other hypothesized causes include a regional extensional stress field associated with subduction of the western pacific plate and mantle upwelling under the North China Plain. However, these mechanisms do not explain why the rift system did not form along the western boundary of the North China Plain, where lithospheric thickness changes sharply from more than 150 km under the Ordos block and the Taihangshan Mountains to the west, to less than 70 km under the North China Plain. We have used a viscoplastic finite element model to explore the conditions for localized rifting in North China. Our results show that, for all the hypothesized causes, the preferred site of rifting would be along the boundary zone of changing lithospheric thickness. The only way to initiate the Shanxi rift in its current location, which is between the Ordos block and the Taihangshan Mountains with thick lithosphere, is to have preexisting lithospheric weakening there. This lithospheric weakness was likely formed during the collision between the Easter North China block and the Western North China block during the Paleoproterozoic (~1.8 Ga). Hence the ancient tectonic event still controls the young continental rifting.

  9. Propagated rifting in the Southwest Sub-basin, South China Sea: Insights from analogue modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Weiwei; Li, Jiabiao

    2016-10-01

    How the South China Sea rifted has long been a puzzling question that is still debated, particularly with reference to the Southwest Sub-basin (SWSB). Analogue modelling remains one of the most useful tools for testing rift models and processes. Here, we present and discuss a series of analogue modelling experiments designed to investigate the rifting process of the SWSB. Convincing geophysical results were compiled to provide realistic constraints to test the experimental results and interpretations. A heterogeneous lithosphere model with a varied lithospheric structure showed tectono-morphological features similar to the natural case of the SWSB, indicating that the initial thermal condition and rheological stratification of the lithosphere should have a dominant effect on the rifting process of the SWSB. Rigid tectonic blocks existed in the continental margin, such as the Macclesfield Bank and the Reed Bank, and they played important roles in both the shaping of the continent-ocean boundary and the coupling between the crust and mantle. The initial thermal condition and rheological stratification of the lithosphere under the South China Sea controlled the propagated rifting process of the SWSB. Extension was centred on the deep troughs between the rigid blocks, and the break-up occurred in these areas between them. The westward rifting propagation is best explained with a heterogeneous lithosphere model characterized by varied lithospheric structure, and it was responsible for producing the V-shaped configuration of the SWSB.

  10. Multi-velocity, multi-directional extension in the South Atlantic rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heine, Christian; Brune, Sascha; Zoethout, Jasper; Dietmar Müller, R.

    2013-04-01

    Integrated plate kinematic and forward extensional modelling provides new and powerful insights into the evolution of conjugate passive margin systems. The South Atlantic conjugate margins are an ideal laboratory as intracontinental rifting in Africa and South America preceeding the opening of the South Atlantic rift allows to quantitatively reconstruct the kinematics of the pre-seafloor spreading extensional phase. We utilise a self-consistent, high resolution plate kinematic model which includes deforming plates to analyse the spatio-temporal evolution of rifting in the South Atlantic and Equatorial rift system and relate our findings to margin geometry and volcanism. We find that the South Atlantic Rift initiates with a slow extension velocity that persists over ~20 My followed by rapid plate acceleration whereby the extension rate increases ten-fold during few million years to final sea-floor spreading velocities. Simultaneously, the plate motion vector of the South American plate experiences strong counter-clockwise rotation. We further combine our plate kinematic models with forward numerical models of lithosphere extension to investigate the effects of a multi-velocity, multi-directional extensional history on the dynamics of lithosphere deformation. Our results illustrate the spatio-temporal variability of breakup, extension and margin geometry along the South Atlantic and Equatorial rift systems.

  11. Quantification and restoration of extensional deformation along the Western Iberia and Newfoundland rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutra, Emilie; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy; Unternehr, Patrick

    2013-08-01

    Many recent papers describe the structure of the Iberia and Newfoundland rifted margins; however, none of them propose kinematic restorations of the complete rift system to quantify the amount of extension necessary to exhume mantle and initiate seafloor spreading. In our study, we use two pairs of cross sections considered as conjugate lines: one across the Galicia Bank-Flemish Cap and the other across the Southern Iberia Abyssal Plain-Flemish Pass. Both transects have been imaged by reflection- and refraction-seismic methods and have been drilled during Ocean Drilling Program Legs 103, 149, 173, and 210. Drilling penetrated parts of the rift stratigraphy and the underlying basement. The cross sections can therefore be considered as the best-documented conjugate transects across present-day hyperextended, magma-poor rifted margins. The aim of this paper is threefold: (1) provide a detailed description of the crustal architecture of the two conjugate sections, (2) define the extensional structures and their ages, and (3) quantify the amount of strain and strain rate accommodated along these lines. This paper proposes a quantitative description of extension along the Iberia-Newfoundland rift system and discusses the limitations and problems in quantifying extensional deformation along hyperextended rifted margins.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  13. The Corinth Rift Laboratory (CRL) strainmeters: calibration and data analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canitano, A.; Bernard, P.; Linde, A. T.; Sacks, S. I.; Boudin, F.

    2010-12-01

    The Gulf of Corinth (Greece) is one of the most seismic regions in Europe, producing some strong earthquakes in the decades, 1 to 1.5 cm/yr of north-south extension, and frequent seismic swarms. This structure is a 110 km long, N110E oriented graben bounded by systems of very recent normal faults. The Corinth Rift Laboratory (CRL) project is concentrated in the western part of the rift, around the city of Aigion, where instrumental seismicity and strain rate is highest. The CRL Network is made up about fifteen seismic stations as well as tiltmeters, strainmeters or GPS in order to study the local seismicity, and to observe and model the short and long term mechanics of the normal fault system. The instrumental seismicity in the Aigion zone clearly shows a strong concentration of small earthquakes between 5 and 10 km. In order to study slow transient deformation,two borehole strainmeters have been installed in the area (Trizonia, Monasteraki). We focus here on the one installed in the Trizonia island, which is continuously recording the horizontal strain at 150 m depth with a short term resolution better than 10-9. The dominant signal is the earth and sea tidal effects (few 10-7 strain), this one is modulated by the mechanical effects of the free oscillations of the Gulf with periods between 8 and 40 min. The barometric pressure fluctuations acts in combination with the mean sea level variation at longer periods and both effects are not independant. The comparison between the strain data and the two forcing signals exhibits a non zero phase delay of the sea-level which is increasing with period. We estimate a transfer function after few correlation iterations for each forcing signal but the physical interpretation of the sea-level function is still unclear. As the strainmeter is at 150 m depth, below the shoreline, a sea water percolation on land would increase the effect of sea level fluctuation, and be more efficient at longer periods. The dilatometer response to

  14. Tomography of the East African Rift System in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Metasomatism and the Weakening of Cratons: A Mechanism to Rift Cratons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wenker, Stefanie; Beaumont, Christopher

    2016-04-01

    The preservation of cratons is a demonstration of their strength and resistance to deformation. However, several cratons are rifting now (e.g. Tanzania and North China Craton) or have rifted in the past (e.g. North Atlantic Craton). To explain this paradox, we suggest that widespread metasomatism of the originally cold depleted dehydrated craton mantle lithosphere root can act as a potential weakening mechanism. This process, particularly melt metasomatism, increases root density through a melt-peridotite reaction, and reduces root viscosity by increasing the temperature and rehydrating the cratonic mantle lithosphere. Using 2D numerical models, we model silicate-melt metasomatism and rehydration of cold cratonic mantle lithosphere that is positioned beside standard Phanerozoic lithosphere. The models are designed to investigate when a craton is sufficiently weakened to undergo rifting and is no longer protected by the initially weaker adjacent standard Phanerozoic lithosphere. Melt is added to specified layers in the cratonic mantle lithosphere at a uniform volumetric rate determined by the duration of metasomatism (3 Myr, 10 Myr or 30 Myr), until a total of ~30% by volume of melt has been added. During melt addition heat and mass are properly conserved and the density and volume increase by the respective amounts required by the reaction with the peridotite. No extensional boundary conditions are applied to the models during the metasomatism process. As expected, significant refertilization leads to removal and thinning of progressively more gravitationally unstable cratonic mantle lithosphere. We show that the duration of metasomatism dictates the final temperature in the cratonic upper mantle lithosphere. Consequently, when extensional boundary conditions are applied in our rifting tests in most cases the Phanerozoic lithosphere rifts. The craton rifts only in the models with the hottest cratonic upper mantle lithosphere. Our results indicate rifting of cratons

  16. The development of the Midcontinent Rift in the context of rapid paleogeographic change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson-Hysell, N.; Vaughn, A. A.; Mustain, M. R.; Feinberg, J. M.

    2012-12-01

    Despite being active for >20 million years and resulting in the thinning of pre-rift crust by a factor of 3 or more, the 1.1 Ga Midcontinent Rift failed to dismember the Laurentian craton. This failure resulted in the preservation of a thick record of rift-related volcanic and sedimentary rocks that give geoscientists a powerful window into the development of this ancient rift. Most models for the development of the Midcontinent Rift attribute its origin to the upwelling and decompression melting of a mantle plume. On the basis of the great volume of generated magma and interpretation of geochemical data, it is argued that the early stage plateau flood basalts of the rift (~1110-1105 Ma) and the main stage volcanics that erupted into the central basin (~1100-1095 Ma) were both dominated by plume-sourced melts. However, this model needs to be reconciled with paleomagnetic data from rift volcanics that reveal a significant decrease in inclination between the early and main stage volcanics. New data we have developed from 90+ flows of the early stage Osler Volcanic Group bolster evidence from the succession at Mamainse Point that this change in inclination is the result of fast equatorward plate motion during the early stage and into the main stage of rift volcanism. Even with >20° of latitudinal motion from the time of initial volcanism to eruption of the thick main stage volcanics, magmatism was largely confined to the same geographic region in a relatively narrow central basin. If a long-lived plume was in a fixed position relative to Earth's spin axis, the large relative motion of Laurentia would make it unable to continue to be a source of melt to the rift. Two possible explanations to reconcile a plume-contribution in the main stage with this latitudinal change are: (1) That the active contribution from an underlying plume was limited to the early stage of volcanism, but substantial volume of material accreted to the lithosphere that was subsequently sampled

  17. The role of discrete intrabasement shear zones during multiphase continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Thomas B.; Jackson, Christopher A.-L.; Bell, Rebecca E.; Duffy, Oliver B.; Fossen, Haakon

    2016-04-01

    Rift systems form within areas of relatively weak, heterogeneous lithosphere, containing a range of pre-existing structures imparted from previous tectonic events. The extent to which these structures may reactivate during later rift phases, and therefore affect the geometry and evolution of superposed rift systems, is poorly understood. The greatest obstacle to understanding how intrabasement structures influence the overlying rift is obtaining detailed constraints on the origin and 3D geometry of structures within crystalline basement. Such structures are often deeply buried beneath rift systems and therefore rarely sampled directly. In addition, due to relatively low internal acoustic impedance contrasts and large burial depths, crystalline basement typically appears acoustically transparent on seismic reflection data showing no resolvable internal structure. However, offshore SW Norway, beneath the Egersund Basin, intrabasement structures are exceptionally well-imaged due to large impedance contrasts within a highly heterogeneous and shallow basement. We use borehole-constrained 2D and 3D seismic reflection data to constrain the 3D geometry of these intrabasement reflections, and examine their interactions with the overlying rift system. Two types of intrabasement structure are observed: (i) thin (c. 100 m) reflections displaying a characteristic trough-peak-trough wavetrain; and (ii) thick (c. 1 km), sub-parallel reflection packages dipping at c. 30°. Through 1D waveform modelling we show that these reflection patterns arise from a layered sequence as opposed to a single interface. Integrating this with our seismic mapping we correlate these structures to the established onshore geology; specifically layered mylonites associated with the Caledonian thrust belt and cross-cutting extensional Devonian shear zones. We observe multiple phases of reactivation along these structures throughout multiple rift events, in addition to a range of interactions with

  18. Finite-element modelling of the structure and evolution of the South Kenya Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gölke, Matthias; Mechie, James

    1994-09-01

    A finite-element (FE) model was used in this study to investigate the intraplate rifting process in south Kenya, East Africa. The rifting model shows that the important factors influencing the amount of shoulder uplift and rift subsidence include the horizontal deviatoric extensional stresses, the viscosity of the lower crust, and the dimension and density contrast of the low-velocity upper-mantle anomaly. Thus, for instance, a reduced lower-crust viscosity as well as an increased extensional far-field stress favours the subsidence of the rift basin. In turn, for a reduced lower-crust viscosity, the magnitude of the applied extensional stress should be reduced in order to end up with the same topography of the rifted area as can be obtained with a more viscous lower crust combined with a relatively high extensional far-field stress. In addition, it also became obvious that the uplift of the crust-mantle boundary beneath the rift depends predominantly on the size and density contrast of the upper-mantle anomaly. An increased density contrast between the upper-mantle anomaly and normal mantle results in increased buoyancy forces thus producing an increased uplift of the crust-mantle boundary. In turn, in order to avoid too large values for the surface topography, a reduced lower-crust viscosity in the order of η = 10 21 Pa s is required. Models without an upper-mantle low-density anomaly have resulted in crustal thickening beneath the rift and not in crustal thinning. In accordance with the geological field evidence, we have modelled the evolution of the South Kenya Rift in two stages. In the first stage, from 16 to 10 Ma ago, a broad regional uplift of a few hundred metres produced by a relatively small but broad low-density upper-mantle anomaly was accompanied by an insignificant amount of faulting. In the second stage, from 10 Ma ago to the present day, significant faulting accompanied by the buoyancy effects of a larger, low-density, low-velocity upper

  19. Initiation and development of the Kivu rift segment in Central Africa by reactivating un-favorably oriented structural weaknesses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, Damien; Smets, Benoît

    2015-04-01

    The Kivu rift region forms the central segment of the western branch of the East African rift system, between the northern termination of the Tanganyika rift and the southern extension of the Edward-George rift. Its structure and geological evolution has been revised in the light of a compilation of existing data on earthquake epicenters, focal depth, focal mechanisms, thermal springs and neotectonic faults. It has long been shown that the link between the Kivu rift basin and the Northern termination of the Tanganyika rift basin forms an accommodation zone in which the Rusizi tectonic depression occupies a central place (Ebinger, 1989). In addition, our compilation suggests that the NNE-trending Kivu rift basin and the N-S northern half of the Tanganyika rift basin initiated as separated, partly overlapping and differently oriented basins. The orientation and development of the Kivu rift basin was controlled by an inferred Mid-Proterozoic crustal shear zone and a Pan-African reverse fault front. It was not optimally oriented with the general (first-order) stress field characterized by roughly E-W extension. In a later stage, the more optimally N-S oriented North Tanganyika basin progressed towards the North and connected to Kivu rift in its middle in a region now occupied by the town of Bukavu. This accommodation zone is marked by Quaternary volcanism, warm thermal springs, frequent and relatively shallow seismicity. The southwestern part of the Kivu rift became progressively abandoned but it is still seismically active and hosts a number of warm thermal springs. This particular architecture influences the present-day stress field. This work is a contribution to the Belgian GeoRisCA project. Ebinger, C.J. 1989. Geometric and kinematic development of border faults and accommodation zones, Kivu-Rusizi Rift, Africa. Tectonics, 8, 117-133

  20. The Thinning of the lithosphere before Magmatic Spreading is Established at the Western End of the Cocos-Nazca Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D. K.; Schouten, H.

    2015-12-01

    The transition from rifting of oceanic lithosphere to full magmatic spreading is examined at the Galapagos triple junction (GTJ) where the tip of the Cocos-Nazca spreading center (called C-N Rift) is propagating westward and breaking apart 0.5 Ma lithosphere formed at the East Pacific Rise near 2 15'N. Bathymetric mapping of the western section of the C-N Rift is limited, but sufficient to obtain a first-order understanding of how seafloor spreading is established. An initial rifting stage is followed by rifting with magma supply and lastly, full magmatic spreading is established. The flexural rotation of normal faults that border the rift basins is used to document thinning of the effective elastic thickness of the lithosphere before magmatic spreading begins. The earliest faults show small outward rotation (1-5 degrees) for their offset suggesting that they cut thick lithosphere. Subsequent faults closer to the axis have larger outward rotations (up to 35-40 degrees) with larger offset indicating that the lithosphere was much thinner at the time of faulting and that low-angle detachment faults are forming. It is during late stage rifting and prior to full magmatic spreading that detachment faults such as the Intrarift ridge along Hess Deep rift are observed. Studies of low-angle detachment faulting during continental breakup at the Woodlark Basin suggest that their formation signals the input of magma beneath the rift. If this also is the case at the C-N Rift then magma is being supplied beneath Hess Deep rift. The axis of the segment immediately east of Hess Deep rift is characterized by a shallow graben with small seamounts scattered along it, typical of segments farther to the east, and we infer that full magmatic seafloor spreading has been established here. Our results provide new information on the formation of divergent boundaries in oceanic lithosphere, and place constraints on the supply of magma to a newly developing plate boundary.

  1. Middle Stone Age starch acquisition in the Niassa Rift, Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercader, Julio; Bennett, Tim; Raja, Mussa

    2008-09-01

    The quest for direct lines of evidence for Paleolithic plant consumption during the African Middle Stone Age has led scientists to study residues and use-wear on flaked stone tools. Past work has established lithic function through multiple lines of evidence and the spatial breakdown of use-wear and microscopic traces on tool surfaces. This paper focuses on the quantitative analysis of starch assemblages and the botanical identification of grains from flake and core tools to learn about human ecology of carbohydrate use around the Niassa woodlands, in the Mozambican Rift. The processing of starchy plant parts is deduced from the occurrence of starch assemblages that presumably got attached to stone tool surfaces by actions associated with extractive or culinary activities. Specifically, we investigate starch grains from stone tools recently excavated in northern Mozambique at the site of Mikuyu; which presumably spans the middle to late Pleistocene and represents similar sites found along the Malawi/Niassa corridor that links East, Southern, and Central Africa. Starch was extracted and processed with a diverse tool kit consisting of scrapers, cores, points, flakes, and other kinds of tools. The microbotanical data suggests consumption of seeds, legumes, caryopses, piths, underground storage organs, nuts, and mesocarps from more than a dozen families. Our data suggest a great antiquity for starch use in Africa as well as an expanded diet and intensification.

  2. Block rotations in the Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, L. L.; Golombek, M. P.

    1986-01-01

    Paleomagnetic data from 13 sites of intrusive and extrusive rocks associated with the Oligocene Espinaso Formation around the Ortiz mountains, New Mexico, indicate mean magnetic directions of I = 42.1 deg and D = 337.8 deg, with a corresponding pole position of 67.9 deg N latitude and 142.3 deg E longitude. From comparison with the expected Oligocene direction, 17.8 + or - 11.3 deg of counterclockwise rotation is found, and the similar rotations for Oligocene and Pliocene age rocks suggests that motion has occurred in the past 5 m.y. Data support the previously suggested diamond-shaped crustal block extending from the San Luis basin southward to the Albuquerque basin bounded by well-defined recently active fault zones. The size of the block, the counterclockwise nature of rotation and the timing of motion are supported by geologic and structural data. The counterclockwise rotation of the block has resulted in uplift at the acute ends of the block and subsidence at the obtuse ends, and the driving mechanism may be left slip along the rift.

  3. Block rotations in the Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, L.L.; Golombek, M.P.

    1986-06-01

    Paleomagnetic data from 13 sites of intrusive and extrusive rocks associated with the Oligocene Espinaso Formation around the Ortiz mountains, New Mexico, indicate mean magnetic directions of I = 42.1 deg and D = 337.8 deg, with a corresponding pole position of 67.9 deg N latitude and 142.3 deg E longitude. From comparison with the expected Oligocene direction, 17.8 + or - 11.3 deg of counterclockwise rotation is found, and the similar rotations for Oligocene and Pliocene age rocks suggests that motion has occurred in the past 5 m.y. Data support the previously suggested diamond-shaped crustal block extending from the San Luis basin southward to the Albuquerque basin bounded by well-defined recently active fault zones. The size of the block, the counterclockwise nature of rotation and the timing of motion are supported by geologic and structural data. The counterclockwise rotation of the block has resulted in uplift at the acute ends of the block and subsidence at the obtuse ends, and the driving mechanism may be left slip along the rift. 47 references.

  4. Probable rift origin of Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tailleur, Irvin L.

    1973-01-01

    Formation of the Canada basin by post-Triassic rifting seems the most workable and logical hypothesis on the basis of available information. Speculated counterclockwise rotation of the Alaska-Chukchi continental edge best rationalizes the complex geology of northern Alaska, whereas the assumption that a single continental block was present before the Jurassic makes the best palinspastic fit for Arctic America. The Arctic Ocean is the focus of present-day spreading and probably was the focus of earlier stages of spreading in which spread of the Canada basin would have been an initial stage. Spread of the Canada basin is probable if the Atlantic formed by sea-floor spreading, because analogies between the Arctic and Atlantic edges indicate a common origin for the ocean basins. Late Cretaceous and younger deflections of the Cordillera in the Arctic and diabasic emplacements in the northern Arctic Islands may reflect later stages of spreading. Pre-Mesozoic plate tectonism may be represented by the widespread Proterozoic diabasic emplacements in the Canadian Arctic and by the Franklinian-lnnuitian tract, where the volcanogenic rocks and deformation resulted not from a classical eugeosyncline-miogeosyncline couple, but from the junction of a mid-Paleozoic continental edge and another plate on closure of a pre-Arctic Ocean.

  5. Probable rift origin of the Canada basin, Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tailleur, Irvin L.

    1973-01-01

    Formation of the Canada basin by post-Triassic rifting seems the most workable and logical hypothesis with information available. Speculated counterclockwise rotation of the Alaska-Chukchi continental edge best rationalizes the complex geology of northern Alaska, whereas a single continental block before the Jurassic makes the best palinspastic fit for Arctic America. The Arctic Ocean is the focus of present-day spreading and probably was the focus of earlier stages of spreading in which spread of the Canada basin would be an initial stage. If the Atlantic formed by seafloor spreading, spread of the Canada basin is probable because analogies between the Arctic and Atlantic edges indicate a common origin for the ocean basins. Late Cretaceous and younger deflections of the Cordillera in the Arctic and diabasic emplacements in the northern Arctic Islands may reflect later stages of spreading. Pre-Mesozoic plate tectonism may be represented by the widespread Proterozoic diabasic emplacements in the Canadian Arctic and by the Franklinian-Innuitian tract where the volcanogenic rocks and deformation resulted not from a classical eugeosyncline-miogeosyncline couple but from the junction of a mid-Paleozoic continental edge and another plate on closure of a pre-Arctic Ocean.

  6. A dynamic, climate-driven model of Rift Valley fever.

    PubMed

    Leedale, Joseph; Jones, Anne E; Caminade, Cyril; Morse, Andrew P

    2016-03-31

    Outbreaks of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in eastern Africa have previously occurred following specific rainfall dynamics and flooding events that appear to support the emergence of large numbers of mosquito vectors. As such, transmission of the virus is considered to be sensitive to environmental conditions and therefore changes in climate can impact the spatiotemporal dynamics of epizootic vulnerability. Epidemiological information describing the methods and parameters of RVF transmission and its dependence on climatic factors are used to develop a new spatio-temporal mathematical model that simulates these dynamics and can predict the impact of changes in climate. The Liverpool RVF (LRVF) model is a new dynamic, process-based model driven by climate data that provides a predictive output of geographical changes in RVF outbreak susceptibility as a result of the climate and local livestock immunity. This description of the multi-disciplinary process of model development is accessible to mathematicians, epidemiological modellers and climate scientists, uniting dynamic mathematical modelling, empirical parameterisation and state-of-the-art climate information.

  7. Climate Change Affects the East African Rift Valley Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, C. M.; Plisnier, P.; Cohen, A. S.

    2004-12-01

    Over the last 100 years, air temperatures in eastern African have been warming consistent with the global average temperature increase. This has led to warmer water temperatures in the East African Rift Valley lakes, increasing the stability of the water column. Subsequently, there has been a reduction in the upwelling of deep nutrient-rich waters that are the primary source of nutrients for most of these lakes. There were decreases in surface water N and P and increases in the Si:P ratio over the past 70 years for Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika, Edward, and Albert. The lower nutrient concentrations in the surface waters were associated with reduced algal biomass and increased water clarity. The consistent, regional-scale changes among these lakes provide strong evidence that climate warming may be having a large negative affect on these unique tropical lakes. A decrease in primary productivity of 20% has been indicated for Lake Tanganyika, which would be associated with a 30% decrease in fisheries yields. The human implications of such subtle, but progressive, environmental changes are potentially dire in this densely populated region of the world, where these large lakes are an important nutritional and economic resource.

  8. An epizootic of Rift Valley fever in Egypt in 1997.

    PubMed

    Abd el-Rahim, I H; Abd el-Hakim, U; Hussein, M

    1999-12-01

    An epizootic of Rift Valley fever (RVF) occurred in Egypt between April and August 1997. The signs among infected cattle and sheep were high fever, icterus, bloody diarrhoea and abortion. Aborted sheep foetuses and sera from the affected herds were collected in the Aswan and Assiut Provinces, Upper Egypt, for virological and serological examination. A cytopathic effect was detected in Vero cell cultures 48 h after inoculation with the foetal liver and spleen suspensions. The same suspensions caused paralysis and mortalities two to three days post intracerebral injection in mice. The isolated virus was identified using an agar gel precipitation test (AGPT) and a direct fluorescent antibody technique. Serological examination revealed that all tested sheep (57) and cattle (93) gave positive results to serological tests, using a complement fixation (CF), serum neutralisation (SN) and indirect immunofluorescence assay; while only 48 (84.2%) out of 57 sheep sera and 69 (74.2%) out of 93 cattle sera gave positive results using an AGPT. Titration of the serum samples indicated that SN is more sensitive than CF. Importation of infected ruminants, especially camels from the Sudan, is the principal source of infection. Aswan, the nearest Egyptian province to the Sudan, is the focus of RVF virus infection in Egypt. As a result of high insect populations, the epizootics of RVF have usually occurred during the summer in Egypt. Reoccurrence of epizootics from time to time indicates failure of the applied RVF vaccination programme in Egypt.

  9. Rift Valley Fever Virus Infection in Golden Syrian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Scharton, Dionna; Van Wettere, Arnaud J.; Bailey, Kevin W.; Vest, Zachary; Westover, Jonna B.; Siddharthan, Venkatraman; Gowen, Brian B.

    2015-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a formidable pathogen that causes severe disease and abortion in a variety of livestock species and a range of disease in humans that includes hemorrhagic fever, fulminant hepatitis, encephalitis and blindness. The natural transmission cycle involves mosquito vectors, but exposure can also occur through contact with infected fluids and tissues. The lack of approved antiviral therapies and vaccines for human use underlies the importance of small animal models for proof-of-concept efficacy studies. Several mouse and rat models of RVFV infection have been well characterized and provide useful systems for the study of certain aspects of pathogenesis, as well as antiviral drug and vaccine development. However, certain host-directed therapeutics may not act on mouse or rat pathways. Here, we describe the natural history of disease in golden Syrian hamsters challenged subcutaneously with the pathogenic ZH501 strain of RVFV. Peracute disease resulted in rapid lethality within 2 to 3 days of RVFV challenge. High titer viremia and substantial viral loads were observed in most tissues examined; however, histopathology and immunostaining for RVFV antigen were largely restricted to the liver. Acute hepatocellular necrosis associated with a strong presence of viral antigen in the hepatocytes indicates that fulminant hepatitis is the likely cause of mortality. Further studies to assess the susceptibility and disease progression following respiratory route exposure are warranted. The use of the hamsters to model RVFV infection is suitable for early stage antiviral drug and vaccine development studies. PMID:25607955

  10. Climate-disease connections: Rift Valley Fever in Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anyamba, A.; Linthicum, K. J.; Tucker, C. J.

    2001-01-01

    All known Rift Valley fever(RVF) outbreaks in Kenya from 1950 to 1998 followed periods of abnormally high rainfall. On an interannual scale, periods of above normal rainfall in East Africa are associated with the warm phase of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Anomalous rainfall floods mosquito-breeding habitats called dambos, which contain transovarially infected mosquito eggs. The eggs hatch Aedes mosquitoes that transmit the RVF virus preferentially to livestock and to humans as well. Analysis of historical data on RVF outbreaks and indicators of ENSO (including Pacific and Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures and the Southern Oscillation Index) indicates that more than three quarters of the RVF outbreaks have occurred during warm ENSO event periods. Mapping of ecological conditions using satellite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data show that areas where outbreaks have occurred during the satellite recording period (1981-1998) show anomalous positive departures in vegetation greenness, an indicator of above-normal precipitation. This is particularly observed in arid areas of East Africa, which are predominantly impacted by this disease. These results indicate a close association between interannual climate variability and RVF outbreaks in Kenya.

  11. The North Galactic Pole Rift and the Local Hot Bubble

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snowden, S. L.; Koutroumpa, D.; Kuntz, K. D.; Lallement, R.; Puspitarini, L.

    2015-01-01

    The North Galactic Pole Rift (NGPR) is one of the few distinct neutral hydrogen clouds at high Galactic latitudes that have well-defined distances. It is located at the edge of the Local Cavity (LC) and provides an important test case for understanding the Local Hot Bubble (LHB), the presumed location for the hot diffuse plasma responsible for much of the observed 1/4 keV emission originating in the solar neighborhood. Using data from the ROSAT All- Sky Survey and the Planck reddening map, we find the path length within the LC (LHB plus Complex of Local Interstellar Clouds) to be 98 plus or minus 27 pc, in excellent agreement with the distance to the NGPR of 98 +/- 6 pc. In addition, we examine another 14 directions that are distributed over the sky where the LC wall is apparently optically thick at 1/4 keV. We find that the data in these directions are also consistent with the LHB model and a uniform emissivity plasma filling most of the LC.

  12. Reservoir, seal, and source rock distribution in Essaouira Rift Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Ait Salem, A. )

    1994-07-01

    The Essaouira onshore basin is an important hydrocarbon generating basin, which is situated in western Morocco. There are seven oil and gas-with-condensate fields; six are from Jurassic reservoirs and one from a Triassic reservoir. As a segment of the Atlantic passive continental margin, the Essaouira basin was subjected to several post-Hercynian basin deformation phases, which resulted in distribution, in space and time, of reservoir, seal, and source rock. These basin deformations are synsedimentary infilling of major half grabens with continental red buds and evaporite associated with the rifting phase, emplacement of a thick postrifting Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary wedge during thermal subsidence, salt movements, and structural deformations in relation to the Atlas mergence. The widely extending lower Oxfordian shales are the only Jurassic shale beds penetrated and recognized as potential and mature source rocks. However, facies analysis and mapping suggested the presence of untested source rocks in Dogger marine shales and Triassic to Liassic lacustrine shales. Rocks with adequate reservoir characteristics were encountered in Triassic/Liassic fluvial sands, upper Liassic dolomites, and upper Oxfordian sandy dolomites. The seals are provided by Liassic salt for the lower reservoirs and Middle to Upper Jurassic anhydrite for the upper reservoirs. Recent exploration studies demonstrate that many prospective structure reserves remain untested.

  13. Persistence of Rift Valley fever virus in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gachohi, J.; Hansen, F.; Bett, B.; Kitala, P.

    2012-04-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFv) is a mosquito-borne pathogen of livestock, wildlife and humans that causes severe outbreaks in intervals of several years. One of the open questions is how the virus persists between outbreaks. We developed a spatially-explicit, individual-based simulation model of the RVFv transmission dynamics to investigate this question. The model, is based on livestock and mosquito population dynamics. Spatial aspects are explicitly represented by a set of grid cells that represent mosquito breeding sites. A grid cell measures 500 by 500m and the model considers a grid of 100 by 100 grid cells; the model thus operates on the regional scale of 2500km2. Livestock herds move between grid cells, and provide connectivity between the cells. The model is used to explore the spatio-temporal dynamics of RVFv persistence in absence of a wildlife reservoir in an east African semi-arid context. Specifically, the model assesses the importance of local virus persistence in mosquito breeding sites relative to global virus persistence mitigated by movement of hosts. Local persistence is determined by the length of time the virus remains in a mosquito breeding site once introduced. In the model, this is a function of the number of mosquitoes that emerge infected and their lifespan. Global persistence is determined by the level of connectivity between isolated grid cells. Our work gives insights into the ecological and epidemiological conditions under which RVFv persists. The implication for disease surveillance and management are discussed.

  14. Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vaccine Provides Multispecies Protection against Rift Valley Fever

    PubMed Central

    Warimwe, George M.; Gesharisha, Joseph; Carr, B. Veronica; Otieno, Simeon; Otingah, Kennedy; Wright, Danny; Charleston, Bryan; Okoth, Edward; Elena, Lopez-Gil; Lorenzo, Gema; Ayman, El-Behiry; Alharbi, Naif K.; Al-dubaib, Musaad A.; Brun, Alejandro; Gilbert, Sarah C.; Nene, Vishvanath; Hill, Adrian V. S.

    2016-01-01

    Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) causes recurrent outbreaks of acute life-threatening human and livestock illness in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. No licensed vaccines are currently available for humans and those widely used in livestock have major safety concerns. A ‘One Health’ vaccine development approach, in which the same vaccine is co-developed for multiple susceptible species, is an attractive strategy for RVFV. Here, we utilized a replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine platform with an established human and livestock safety profile, ChAdOx1, to develop a vaccine for use against RVFV in both livestock and humans. We show that single-dose immunization with ChAdOx1-GnGc vaccine, encoding RVFV envelope glycoproteins, elicits high-titre RVFV-neutralizing antibody and provides solid protection against RVFV challenge in the most susceptible natural target species of the virus-sheep, goats and cattle. In addition we demonstrate induction of RVFV-neutralizing antibody by ChAdOx1-GnGc vaccination in dromedary camels, further illustrating the potency of replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine platforms. Thus, ChAdOx1-GnGc warrants evaluation in human clinical trials and could potentially address the unmet human and livestock vaccine needs. PMID:26847478

  15. [Rift Valley Fever: veterinary aspects and impact for human health].

    PubMed

    Cêtre-Sossah, C; Albina, E

    2009-08-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an arboviral zoonosis affecting a wide range of animal species as well as humans. Clinical incidence in domestic ruminants is high with infection causing abortions in pregnant animals and high mortality rates in newborns. In humans, clinical disease appears in about 50% of infected individuals. Human illness is characterized by dengue-like symptoms with severe complications including encephalitis, retinitis, hemorrhagic fever and death occurring in 1 to 3% of cases. During epidemic outbreaks, transmission between animals or from animals to humans is mainly by direct contact with infected biological material. Under these conditions, mosquito transmission probably plays a greater role in maintaining the enzootic cycle and initiating epizootic and epidemic outbreaks during the periods of heavy rainfall. The last epidemic outbreak of RVF in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Sudan in 2006-2007 killed more than 4,000 ruminants and 600 humans. After confirmed diagnosis of one human case in 2007 in Comoros, an epidemiological survey was carried out in ruminant livestock in Mayotte. Results indicated that the RVF virus has been circulating on the island since 2005. In addition, serum samples collected from patients presenting dengue-like symptoms confirmed approximately 10 cases of human infection in 2007-2008. These results suggest low-level circulation of the RVF virus in Mayotte with weak impact on human and animal health. An assessment of future risk for the island is presented.

  16. Rift Valley fever epizootic in the central highlands of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Morvan, J; Rollin, P E; Laventure, S; Rakotoarivony, I; Roux, J

    1992-01-01

    Between February and April 1991, unusual numbers of bovine abortion around Antananarivo (central highlands, Madagascar) were reported by official veterinary services. Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus isolations were made from sixteen aborted foetuses and one dead calf in different foci. Using monoclonal antibodies, the isolated viruses were found to be different from the 1979 RVF strains isolated in Madagascar from mosquitoes and human laboratory infection, and closer to African RVF strains. In a bovine population--previously characterized by a negative or very low RVF antibody prevalence--a high prevalence of IgM antibodies (264/994: 26.5% positive) was revealed; the IgM prevalence in recently aborting females varied from 40 to 91%. Among 994 human sera tested by IgG-IFA (immunofluorescent antibody assay) and IgM ELISA, 8.2% and 4.5%, respectively, proved positive. A total of 11,371 mosquitoes (61% Culex antennatus) were collected in the epizootic areas and tested without any virus isolation. Extensive studies were conducted to determine the geographical extension and the impact of this epidemic on the highly susceptible livestock and human populations.

  17. Rift Valley fever on the east coast of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Morvan, J; Saluzzo, J F; Fontenille, D; Rollin, P E; Coulanges, P

    1991-01-01

    In March 1990, a Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) outbreak was suspected in the district of Fenerive on the east coast of Madagascar after an abnormally high incidence of abortions and disease in livestock. Sera from humans and cattle were tested for RVFV antibodies by immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and ELISA-IgM capture. Sera and mosquitoes collected in the same area were tested for virus isolation by tissue culture and suckling mouse intracerebral inoculation, and for antigen detection by an ELISA antigen capture assay. Among cattle from the area, RVFV antibody prevalence was 58.6% by IFA and 29.6% by ELISA-IgM. In contrast, human populations in the same area had a lower RVFV antibody prevalence, with 8.01% IFA and 5.4% IgM-positive sera. No RVFV antigen was detected and virus isolation was unsuccessful from the sera and mosquito pools tested. Different hypotheses concerning the emergence and diffusion of RVFV in this area and the occurrence of the outbreak are discussed.

  18. Rift Valley Fever: An Emerging Mosquito-Borne Disease.

    PubMed

    Linthicum, Kenneth J; Britch, Seth C; Anyamba, Assaf

    2016-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF), an emerging mosquito-borne zoonotic infectious viral disease caused by the RVF virus (RVFV) (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus), presents significant threats to global public health and agriculture in Africa and the Middle East. RVFV is listed as a select agent with significant potential for international spread and use in bioterrorism. RVFV has caused large, devastating periodic epizootics and epidemics in Africa over the past ∼60 years, with severe economic and nutritional impacts on humans from illness and livestock loss. In the past 15 years alone, RVFV caused tens of thousands of human cases, hundreds of human deaths, and more than 100,000 domestic animal deaths. Cattle, sheep, goats, and camels are particularly susceptible to RVF and serve as amplifying hosts for the virus. This review highlights recent research on RVF, focusing on vectors and their ecology, transmission dynamics, and use of environmental and climate data to predict disease outbreaks. Important directions for future research are also discussed. PMID:26982443

  19. ENAM: A community seismic experiment targeting rifting processes and post-rift evolution of the Mid Atlantic US margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Avendonk, H. J.; Magnani, M. B.; Shillington, D. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Hornbach, M. J.; Dugan, B.; Long, M. D.; Lizarralde, D.; Becel, A.; Benoit, M. H.; Harder, S. H.; Wagner, L. S.; Christeson, G. L.

    2014-12-01

    The continental margins of the eastern United States formed in the Early Jurassic after the breakup of supercontinent Pangea. The relationship between the timing of this rift episode and the occurrence of offshore magmatism, which is expressed in the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly, is still unknown. The possible influence of magmatism and existing lithospheric structure on the rifting processes along margin of the eastern U.S. was one of the motivations to conduct a large-scale community seismic experiment in the Eastern North America (ENAM) GeoPRISMS focus site. In addition, there is also a clear need for better high-resolution seismic data with shallow penetration on this margin to better understand the geological setting of submarine landslides. The ENAM community seismic experiment is a project in which a team of scientists will gather both active-source and earthquake seismic data in the vicinity of Cape Hatteras on a 500 km wide section of the margin offshore North Carolina and Virginia. The timing of data acquisition in 2014 and 2015 facilitates leveraging of other geophysical data acquisition programs such as Earthscope's Transportable Array and the USGS marine seismic investigation of the continental shelf. In April of 2014, 30 broadband ocean-bottom seismometers were deployed on the shelf, slope and abyssal plain of the study site. These instruments will record earthquakes for one year, which will help future seismic imaging of the deeper lithosphere beneath the margin. In September and October of 2014, regional marine seismic reflection and refraction data will be gathered with the seismic vessel R/V Marcus Langseth, and airgun shots will also be recorded on land to provide data coverage across the shoreline. Last, in the summer of 2015, a land explosion seismic refraction study will provide constraints on the crustal structure in the adjacent coastal plain of North Carolina and Virginia. All seismic data will be distributed to the community through IRIS

  20. Morpho-structural evolution of a volcanic island developed inside an active oceanic rift: S. Miguel Island (Terceira Rift, Azores)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibrant, A. L. R.; Hildenbrand, A.; Marques, F. O.; Weiss, B.; Boulesteix, T.; Hübscher, C.; Lüdmann, T.; Costa, A. C. G.; Catalão, J. C.

    2015-08-01

    The evolution of volcanic islands is generally marked by fast construction phases alternating with destruction by a variety of mass-wasting processes. More specifically, volcanic islands located in areas of intense regional deformation can be particularly prone to gravitational destabilisation. The island of S. Miguel (Azores) has developed during the last 1 Myr inside the active Terceira Rift, a major tectonic structure materializing the present boundary between the Eurasian and Nubian lithospheric plates. In this work, we depict the evolution of the island, based on high-resolution DEM data, stratigraphic and structural analyses, high-precision K-Ar dating on separated mineral phases, and offshore data (bathymetry and seismic profiles). The new results indicate that: (1) the oldest volcanic complex (Nordeste), composing the easternmost part of the island, was dominantly active between ca. 850 and 750 ka, and was subsequently affected by a major south-directed flank collapse. (2) Between at least 500 ka and 250 ka, the landslide depression was massively filled by a thick lava succession erupted from volcanic cones and domes distributed along the main E-W collapse scar. (3) Since 250 kyr, the western part of this succession (Furnas area) was affected by multiple vertical collapses; associated plinian eruptions produced large pyroclastic deposits, here dated at ca. 60 ka and less than 25 ka. (4) During the same period, the eastern part of the landslide scar was enlarged by retrogressive erosion, producing the large Povoação valley, which was gradually filled by sediments and young volcanic products. (5) The Fogo volcano, in the middle of S. Miguel, is here dated between ca. 270 and 17 ka, and was affected by, at least, one southwards flank collapse. (6) The Sete Cidades volcano, in the western end of the island, is here dated between ca. 91 and 13 ka, and experienced mutliple caldera collapses; a landslide to the North is also suspected from the presence of a

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Qiang, J.; McCabe, P.J.

    1998-01-01

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

  2. Influence of offset weak zones on the development of rift basins: Activation and abandonment during continental extension and breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chenin, Pauline; Beaumont, Christopher

    2013-04-01

    We use numerical modelling to investigate reactivation of inherited Offset Weak Zones (OWZ) in continental crust and Mantle Weak Zones (MWZ) to form offset rift basins during continental rifting and breakup. Offset rift basins are basins that are set off/offset from the main rift/locus of breakup. Weak zones embedded in a stiff layer are preferentially and rapidly reactivated, whereas the same zones are either ignored or slowly reactivated when embedded in pliable layers. Here stiff implies a nonlinear flow law with a high stress exponent (n > ˜ 10,000), a plastic material, and pliable means a low stress exponent (n ˜ 2-5) as in ductile, power-law creep of rocks. Whether offset rift basins form during rifting of a composite lithosphere (i.e., comprising stiff and pliable layers) depends on the competition between necking instabilities that develop at the weak zones in the stiff layers, and the coupling between the stiff and pliable layers. Stiff/cratonic lithosphere results in early localization of the deformation at the MWZ, rapid necking and breakup without developing offset rift basins. In contrast, warm pliable lithosphere develops significant offset basins and has protracted rifting because the MWZ is now embedded in a pliable layer. We also investigate the influence of OWZ dip, sedimentation, and the sensitivity of reactivation to the distance from OWZ to the MWZ, and to the size of the MWZ. A tectonic rifting styles diagram is used to show that the model results agree with natural examples.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  5. Rayleigh Wave Tomography of Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) using Earthquake and Ambient Noise Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The structure of the North American Mid-Continent Rift Zone (MCRZ) is examined using Rayleigh waves from teleseismic earthquakes and ambient seismic noise recorded by the Superior Province Rifting EarthScope Experiment (SPREE). Eighty-four broadband seismometers were deployed during 2011-2013 in Minnesota and Wisconsin, USA, and Ontario, CA, along three lines; two across the rift axis and the third along the rift axis. These stations, together with the EarthScope Transportable Array, provided excellent coverage of the MCRZ. The 1.1 Ga Mesoproterozoic failed rift consists of two arms, buried under post-rifting sedimentary formations that meet at Lake Superior. We compare two array-based tomography methods using teleseismic fundamental mode Rayleigh waves phase and amplitude measurements: the two-plane wave method (TPWM, Forsyth, 1998) and the automated surface wave phase velocity measuring system (ASWMS, Jin and Gaherty, 2015). Both array methods and the ambient noise method give relatively similar results showing low velocity zones extending along the MCRZ arms. The teleseismic Rayleigh wave results from 18 - 180 s period are combined with short period phase velocity results (period 8-30 s) obtained from ambient noise by cross correlation. Phase velocities from the methods are very similar at periods of 18-30 where results overlap; in this period range we use the average of the noise and teleseismic results. Finally the combined phase velocity curve is inverted using a Monte-Carlo inversion method at each geographic point in the model. The results show low velocities at shallow depths (5-10 km) that are the result of very deep sedimentary fill within the MCRZ. Deeper-seated low velocity regions may correspond to mafic underplating of the rift zone.

  6. Lower Crustal Seismicity, Volatiles, and Evolving Strain Fields During the Initial Stages of Cratonic Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, C.; Muirhead, J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Tiberi, C.; Roecker, S. W.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Kianji, G.; Mulibo, G. D.

    2014-12-01

    The volcanically active East African rift system in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania transects thick cratonic lithosphere, and comprises several basins characterized by deep crustal seismicity. The US-French-Tanzania-Kenya CRAFTI project aims to understand the role of magma and volatile movement during the initiation and evolution of rifting in cratonic lithosphere. Our 38-station broadband network spans all or parts of fault-bounded rift segments, enabling comparison of lithospheric structure, fault kinematics, and seismogenic layer thickness with age and proximity to the deeply rooted Archaen craton. Seismicity levels are high in all basins, but we find profound differences in seismogenic layer thickness along the length of the rift. Seismicity in the Manyara basin occurs almost exclusively within the lower crust, and in spatial clusters that have been active since 1990. In contrast, seismicity in the ~ 5 My older Magadi basin is localized in the upper crust, and the long border fault bounding the west side of the basin is seismically inactive. Between these two basins lies the Natron rift segment, which shows seismicity between ~ 20 and ~2 km depth, and high concentrations at Oldoinyo Lengai and Gelai volcanoes. Older volcanoes on the uplifted western flank (e.g., Ngorongoro) experience swarms of activity, suggesting that active magmatism and degassing are widespread. Focal mechanisms of the frequent earthquakes recorded across the array are spatially variable, and indicate a stress field strongly influenced by (1) Holocene volcanoes, (2) mechanical interactions between adjacent rift basins, and (3) a far-field ESE-WNW extensional stress regime. We explore the spatial correlation between zones of intense degassing along fault systems and seismicity, and examine the influence of high gas pressures on lower and upper crustal seismicity in this youthful cratonic rift zone.

  7. From orogenic collapse to rifting ; structures of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pubellier, M.; Chan, L. S.; Chamot Rooke, N.; Shen, W.; Ringenbach, J. C.

    2009-04-01

    The opening of the South China Sea has been a matter of debate for many years because of its internal structure, the differences between the conjugate margins and the variations of rifting and spreading directions. Although it is considered as being a back-arc basin, it is not sitting directly above a subduction zone, and the rifting process lasted for an unusually long duration. Among the specific characteristics is the early phase of rifting which took place early in place of the former Yanshanian andean-type mountain range. This stage is marked by narrow basins filled with deformed conglomerate, and initiated around 70My ago within a framework where the oblique subduction marked by igneous activity and ductile wrench faults, was replaced by orogenic collapse. The rifting stage is marked by Eocene syntectonic normal faults and occasional volcanics centres and has proceeded from NW-SE to NS extension. The NW stretching created at least two aborted basins which remained at rift stage. Extension was followed by spreading from 33 to ~20 Ma in the South China Sea. The ocean floor spreading also changed direction to NW-SE with a propagator inside the Sunda shelf from 20 to 17My ago. However the propagator opening implies that deformation is also taken by rifting around a southern wedge which in turn created strain inside the thinned crust. Another extension parallel to the margin is also observed althought the spreading was in process. The southward motion of the southern conjugate margin was later accommodated by its subduction beneath the NW Borneo wedge until completion of the Proto South China Sea subduction. Variations of rifting spreading through time and variations of structural styles are discussed in terms of boundary forces acting to the SE.

  8. How rifting and spreading center interaction created the architecture of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameselle, Alejandra L.; Ranero, César R.; Franke, Dieter; Barckhausen, Udo

    2016-04-01

    Recent advances in understanding the formation of rifted continental margins suggest a wider range of structural evolution that challenges the classical extensional models. State-of-the-art of processing techniques - including multiple attenuation by both radon filtering and wave-equation-based surface-related multiple elimination and time migration - have been used to reprocess regional multichannel seismic profiles from the NW, SW and E subbasins of the South China Sea. The resulting seismic images show the geometry and crustal architecture of the rifted margin. A range of features including post-rift and syn-rift sediments, the structure of fault-bounded basement blocks, intra-basement fault reflections, and crust-mantle boundary reflections are visible in the images. Differences in crustal thickness and its lateral variations, internal basement reflectivity, morphology of the top of the basement, faulting style, fault-block geometry, and geometry of overlying sediments permit to distinguish the continental and oceanic domains. The improved resolution of the images allows interpreting the relationship between the changes in tectonic structure and crustal thickness as deformation focused across the ocean continent boundary (COB). The structure, extension and location of the COB has been used to study the role of strain localization throughout the rift history. The clear definition of the COB and high-quality images of the crustal structure support that rifting was largely a-magmatic, but that seafloor spreading occurred abruptly after break up. The regional character of the seismic lines - crossing over the entire basin - permits to study the symmetry/asymmetry of conjugated margins, and to study the processes controlling their contrasting geometry and crustal architecture. The COB can be interpreted in seismic profiles in both conjugated margins of the subbasins. The several transects along the strike of the margins provide the variation of crustal structure

  9. Gulf of Suez-Rift basin stratigraphy: an interplay of subsidence and Eustatic sea level

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, M.; Arthur, M.A.

    1987-05-01

    The Gulf of Suez and Red Sea rift basin underwent a period of rapid subsidence from the early Miocene to the Pliocene during which time a thick (up to 4 km) series of marine evaporites accumulated within the basin. The evaporitic sequence interfingers with carbonates and clastics over structural highs within and along the margins of the basin. Evaporite deposition was also interrupted basin wide by short periods of normal marine sedimentation. Timing and paleo-oceanographic aspects of evaporite deposition within the rift is controversial. A change over of marine source waters within the basin from the Mediterranean Sea to an opening of the rift to the Indian Ocean occurred sometime between the earliest Messinian and earliest Pliocene. Preliminary data suggests that anhydrites from this evaporite sequence retain original Miocene sea water Sr/sup 87//Sr/sup 86/ values which can be compared to Neogene strontium isotope versus time curves in order to further constrain the age of the nonfossiliferous evaporite group. This, combined with currently accepted biostratigraphies for the normal marine strata, enable us to refine rift stratigraphy in order to examine basin subsidence, evaporite accumulation rates, and the correlation of rift tectonics, sedimentation, and associated paleo-oceanographic events. Initial fragmentation and subsidence propagated from the south to the north in the Gulf of Suez during the Aquitanian to Burdigalian (20-25 Ma), and mixed clastic, carbonate, and evaporitic sediments (Nukhul Formation) up to 700 m thick were deposited in isolated subbasins within the rift. This episode was followed by renewed uplift of the rift shoulders, rapid subsidence, and increased clastic influx (late Rudeis Formation) during the Burdigalian (ca. 20-17 Ma).

  10. Permo-Triassic anatexis, continental rifting and the disassembly of western Pangaea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochrane, Ryan; Spikings, Richard; Gerdes, Axel; Ulianov, Alexey; Mora, Andres; Villagómez, Diego; Putlitz, Benita; Chiaradia, Massimo

    2014-03-01

    Crustal anatectites are frequently observed along ocean-continent active margins, although their origins are disputed with interpretations varying between rift-related and collisional. We report geochemical, isotopic and geochronological data that define an ~ 1500 km long belt of S-type meta-granites along the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, which formed during 275-223 Ma. These are accompanied by amphibolitized tholeiitic basaltic dykes that yield concordant zircon U-Pb dates ranging between 240 and 223 Ma. A model is presented which places these rocks within a compressive Permian arc setting that existed during the amalgamation of westernmost Pangaea. Anatexis and mafic intrusion during 240-223 Ma are interpreted to have occurred during continental rifting, which culminated in the formation of oceanic crust and initiated the break-up of western Pangaea. Compression during 275-240 Ma generated small volumes of crustal melting. Rifting during 240-225 Ma was characterized by basaltic underplating, the intrusion of tholeiitic basalts and a peak in crustal melting. Tholeiitic intrusions during 225-216 Ma isotopically resemble depleted mantle and yield no evidence for contamination by continental crust, and we assign this period to the onset of continental drift. Dissected ophiolitic sequences in northern Colombia yield zircon U-Pb dates of 216 Ma. The Permo-Triassic margin of Ecuador and Colombia exhibits close temporal, faunal and geochemical similarities with various crustal blocks that form the basement to parts of Mexico, and thus these may represent the relict conjugate margin to NW Gondwana. The magmatic record of the early disassembly of Pangaea spans ~ 20 Ma (240-216 Ma), and the duration of rifting and rift-drift transition is similar to that documented in Cretaceous-Tertiary rift settings such as the West Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins, and the Taupo-Lau-Havre System, where rifting and continental disassembly also occurred over periods lasting ~ 20 Ma.

  11. Ordovician earliest Silurian rift tholeiites in the Acatlán Complex, southern Mexico: Evidence of rifting on the southern margin of the Rheic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keppie, J. Duncan; Dostal, Jaroslav; Miller, Brent V.; Ramos-Arias, M. A.; Morales-Gámez, Miguel; Nance, R. Damian; Murphy, J. Brendan; Ortega-Rivera, Amabel; Lee, J. W. K.; Housh, T.; Cooper, P.

    2008-12-01

    The Acatlán Complex of southern Mexico is a vestige of a Paleozoic Ocean inferred to be either the Cambro-Ordovician Iapetus and/or the Ordovician-Carboniferous Rheic oceans. Ordovician granitoids in the complex have been interpreted as either the products of dehydration melting, arc or rift magmatism, however, the geochemistry of felsic rocks is inconclusive. The geochemistry of a recently discovered, major, Ordovician-earliest Silurian mafic igneous suite associated with these granitoids is critical to defining the tectonic setting of the igneous event, and to paleogeographic reconstructions. Such data from three areas in the Acatlán Compl