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Sample records for rifting constructional volcanism

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Magmatic-tectonic evolution of a volcanic rifted margin

    SciTech Connect

    Eldholm, O. )

    1990-05-01

    Many North Atlantic margins are underlain by huge volcanic edifices near the continent-ocean boundary. A crustal hole drilled at the outer Voering Plateau during ODP (Ocean Drilling Project) Leg 104 has provided important constraints on the breakup history and the subsequent margin evolution by penetrating more than 900 m of igneous rocks and interbedded sediment below a post-early Eocene cover. The recovered basement rocks constitute two different volcanic series. The Upper Series, comprising a seaward-dipping reflector wedge, consists of transitional mid-oceanic tholeiitic lava flows and thin volcaniclastic sediments. Dacitic flows, some dikes and thicker sediments constitute the Lower Series. The margin evolved by Paleocene crustal extension, uplift and pervasive intrusion in the rift zone. Just prior to breakup, magma from shallow crustal melts produced the Lower Series. The Upper Series was constructed during an intense, rapidly waning subaerial surge following breakup in the earliest Eocene. The Upper Series covers both new oceanic crust and large areas of continental crust. The dipping wedge was formed by subsidence due to loading and thermal contraction probably amplified by a tectonic force. When the surge had abated, the injection center subsided and a normal oceanic crust was formed. A direct temporal and compositional relationship exists between the onshore North Atlantic Volcanic Province and the volcanic margins. Whereas the central transverse part of the province, near the Iceland hotspot has been active for 60 m.y., the volcanic margins reflect a 2,000-km-long transient phenomenon lasting only 3 m.y. The breakup volcanism and lack of initial subsidence are related to a regional, about 50C{degree}, increased temperature at the base of the lithosphere (hot carpet) combined with opening in previously extended crust.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Volcanic Glasses: Construction Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moskowitz, Samuel E.

    1998-01-01

    Natural glass is the product of rapidly cooled molten rock. Two natural sources of the melt are volcanic eruption and meteoritic impact. Pure glass is an amorphous aggregate. Volcanic glass is a material that could be utilized in the construction of extraterrestrial outposts. Pumice and perlite are volcanic glasses currently used in the building industry. Samples of natural volcanic glass found in the lunar regolith were returned to Earth as part of the Apollo and Luna programs. An alpha proton X-ray spectrometer onboard the Pathfinder recently examined martian rocks located in the vicinity of the lander craft. Preliminary results of chemical composition by weight of SiO2 50-55%, Al203 11-13%, K20 1-2%, Na20 2-5%, CaO 4-6%, MgO 3-7%, FeO 12-14%, S03 2-5%, and MnO <1% were given for two rocks. Parenthetically, the values for K and Mn were perhaps too high, and the analysis was based on X-ray data only. The appreciable amount of silica already found on Mars and empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that the planet once had water sufficient to rapidly cool magma imply the possibility of discovering natural glass of volcanic origin in subsequent missions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Chronology of volcanism and rift basin propagation - Rungwe volcanic province, East Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Deino, A. L.; Drake, R. E.; Tesha, A. L.

    1989-01-01

    The spatial and temporal development of along-axis segmentation in youthful continental rifts was investigated using the results of field, remote sensing, and K-Ar geochronology studies conducted in four (Rukwa, Songwe, Usangu, and Karonga) rift basins within the Rungwe volcanic province in East Africa. Results indicated that the Rukwa and Karonga border fault segments formed between 7.25 and 5 m.y. ago, the Usangu border fault segment developed between 3 and 2 m.y. ago, and subsidence along the Songwe border fault segment had occurred by 0.5 Ma. It is shown that individual basins developed diachronously, each following a similar sequence: (1) initial border fault development; (2) asymmetric basin subsidence/flank uplift and the development of monoclines opposite the border faults; and (3) continued subsidence and tilting along intrabasinal faults with flexural upwarping of the rift flanks, enhancing basinal asymmetries.

  3. 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

  4. 40Ar-39Ar Age Constraints on Volcanism and Tectonism in the Terror Rift of the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2007-01-01

    Volcanic sills and dikes inferred from seismic reflection profiles and geophysical studies of the Ross Sea are thought to be related to the rift basins in the region, and their emplacement to be coeval with extension. However, lack of precise geochronology in the Terror Rift of the Ross Sea region has left these inferred relationships poorly constrained and has hindered neotectonic studies, because of the large temporal gaps between seismic reflectors of known ages. New 40Ar/39Ar geochronology presented here for submarine volcanic rocks provides better age constraints for neotectonic interpretations within the Terror Rift. Several samples from seamounts yielded young ages between 156 ± 21 and 122 ± 26 Ka. These ages support interpretations that extension within the Terror Rift was active at least through the Pleistocene. Three evenly spaced samples from the lowermost 100 m of Franklin Island range in age from 3.28 ± 0.04 to 3.73 ± 0.05 Ma. These age determinations demonstrate that construction of a small volcanic edifice such as Franklin Island took at least several hundred thousand years, and therefore that much larger ones in the Erebus Volcanic Province are likely to have taken considerably longer than previously inferred. This warrants caution in applying a limited number of age determinations to define the absolute ages of events in the Ross Sea region

  5. 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.

  6. The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland and its relationships to volcanic deposits at Olduvai Gorge and East African Rift volcanism.

    PubMed

    Mollel, Godwin F; Swisher, Carl C

    2012-08-01

    The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland (NVH), situated adjacent and to the east of Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania, is the source of the immense quantities of lava, ignimbrite, air fall ash, and volcaniclastic debris that occur interbedded in the Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary deposits in the Laetoli and Olduvai areas. These volcanics have proven crucial to unraveling stratigraphic correlations, the age of these successions, the archaeological and paleontological remains, as well as the source materials from which the bulk of the stone tools were manufactured. The NVH towers some 2,000 m above the Olduvai and Laetoli landscapes, affecting local climate, run-off, and providing varying elevation - climate controlled ecosystem, habitats, and riparian corridors extending into the Olduvai and Laetoli lowlands. The NVH also plays a crucial role in addressing the genesis and history of East African Rift (EAR) magmatism in northern Tanzania. In this contribution, we provide age and petrochemical compositions of the major NVH centers: Lemagurut, basalt to benmorite, 2.4-2.2 Ma; Satiman, tephrite to phonolite, 4.6-3.5 Ma; Oldeani, basalt to trachyandesite, 1.6-1.5 Ma; Ngorongoro, basalt to rhyolite, 2.3-2.0 Ma; Olmoti, basalt to trachyte, 2.0-1.8 Ma; Embagai, nephelinite to phonolite, 1.2-0.6 Ma; and Engelosin, phonolite, 3-2.7 Ma. We then discuss how these correlate in time and composition with volcanics preserved at Olduvai Gorge. Finally, we place this into context with our current understanding as to the eruptive history of the NVH and relationship to East African Rift volcanism. PMID:22404967

  7. The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland and its relationships to volcanic deposits at Olduvai Gorge and East African Rift volcanism.

    PubMed

    Mollel, Godwin F; Swisher, Carl C

    2012-08-01

    The Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland (NVH), situated adjacent and to the east of Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania, is the source of the immense quantities of lava, ignimbrite, air fall ash, and volcaniclastic debris that occur interbedded in the Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary deposits in the Laetoli and Olduvai areas. These volcanics have proven crucial to unraveling stratigraphic correlations, the age of these successions, the archaeological and paleontological remains, as well as the source materials from which the bulk of the stone tools were manufactured. The NVH towers some 2,000 m above the Olduvai and Laetoli landscapes, affecting local climate, run-off, and providing varying elevation - climate controlled ecosystem, habitats, and riparian corridors extending into the Olduvai and Laetoli lowlands. The NVH also plays a crucial role in addressing the genesis and history of East African Rift (EAR) magmatism in northern Tanzania. In this contribution, we provide age and petrochemical compositions of the major NVH centers: Lemagurut, basalt to benmorite, 2.4-2.2 Ma; Satiman, tephrite to phonolite, 4.6-3.5 Ma; Oldeani, basalt to trachyandesite, 1.6-1.5 Ma; Ngorongoro, basalt to rhyolite, 2.3-2.0 Ma; Olmoti, basalt to trachyte, 2.0-1.8 Ma; Embagai, nephelinite to phonolite, 1.2-0.6 Ma; and Engelosin, phonolite, 3-2.7 Ma. We then discuss how these correlate in time and composition with volcanics preserved at Olduvai Gorge. Finally, we place this into context with our current understanding as to the eruptive history of the NVH and relationship to East African Rift volcanism.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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).

  12. Topographic and volcanic asymmetry around the Red Sea - Constraints on rift models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dixon, Timothy H.; Ivins, Erik R.; Franklin, Brenda J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper describes a model which explains the topographic and volcanic asymmetry around the Red Sea. The model involves asthenospheric upwelling beneath a lithosphere of laterally variable strength in which a weak zone (e.g., a suture or a region with quartz-bearing lower crust) may have controlled the location of rifting. In this model, Tertiary volcanism in Saudi Arabia marks the location of initial upwelling, and uplift is due to crustal thickening associated with magmatic underplating and crustal intrusion. The model predicts that the incipient crustal rift and the locus of mantle upwelling will tend to align as rifting continues and stable seafloor spreading develops, implying relative migration of the lithosphere and asthenosphere.

  13. A pulse of mid-Pleistocene rift volcanism in Ethiopia at the dawn of modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Hutchison, William; Fusillo, Raffaella; Pyle, David M.; Mather, Tamsin A.; Blundy, Jon D.; Biggs, Juliet; Yirgu, Gezahegn; Cohen, Benjamin E.; Brooker, Richard A.; Barfod, Dan N.; Calvert, Andrew T.

    2016-01-01

    The Ethiopian Rift Valley hosts the longest record of human co-existence with volcanoes on Earth, however, current understanding of the magnitude and timing of large explosive eruptions in this region is poor. Detailed records of volcanism are essential for interpreting the palaeoenvironments occupied by our hominin ancestors; and also for evaluating the volcanic hazards posed to the 10 million people currently living within this active rift zone. Here we use new geochronological evidence to suggest that a 200 km-long segment of rift experienced a major pulse of explosive volcanic activity between 320 and 170 ka. During this period, at least four distinct volcanic centres underwent large-volume (>10 km3) caldera-forming eruptions, and eruptive fluxes were elevated five times above the average eruption rate for the past 700 ka. We propose that such pulses of episodic silicic volcanism would have drastically remodelled landscapes and ecosystems occupied by early hominin populations. PMID:27754479

  14. Quantifying the morphometric variability of monogenetic cones in volcanic fields: the Virunga Volcanic Province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppe, Sam; Grosse, Pablo; Barette, Florian; Smets, Benoît; Albino, Fabien; Kervyn, François; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-04-01

    Volcanic cone fields are generally made up of tens to hundreds of monogenetic cones, sometimes related to larger polygenetic edifices, which can exhibit a wide range of morphologies and degrees of preservation. The Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) developed itself in a transfer zone which separates two rift segments (i.e. Edward and Kivu rift) within the western branch of the East-African Rift. As the result of volcanic activity related to this tectonic regime of continental extension, the VVP hosts eight large polygenetic volcanoes, surrounded by over 500 monogenetic cones and eruptive fissures, scattered over the vast VVP lava flow fields. Some cones lack any obvious geo-structural link to a specific Virunga volcano. Using recent high-resolution satellite images (SPOT, Pléiades) and a newly created 5-m-resolution digital elevation model (TanDEM-X), we have mapped and classified all monogenetic cones and eruptive fissures of the VVP. We analysed the orientation of all mapped eruptive fissures and, using the MORVOLC program, we calculated a set of morphometric parameters to highlight systematic spatial variations in size or morphometric ratios of the cones. Based upon morphological indicators, we classified the satellite cones into 4 categories: 1. Simple cones with one closed-rim crater; 2. Breached cones with one open-rim crater; 3. Complex cones with two or more interconnected craters and overlapping cones; 4. Other edifices without a distinguishable crater or cone shape (e.g. spatter mounds and levees along eruptive fissures). The results show that cones are distributed in clusters and along alignments, in some cases parallel with the regional tectonic orientations. Contrasts in the volumes of cones positioned on the rift shoulders compared to those located on the rift valley floor can possibly be attributed to contrasts in continental crust thickness. Furthermore, higher average cone slopes in the East-VVP (Bufumbira zone) and central-VVP cone clusters suggest

  15. Magma genesis of the acidic volcanism in the intra-arc rift zone of the Izu volcanic arc, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haraguchi, S.; Tokuyama, H.; Ishii, T.

    2010-12-01

    The Izu volcanic arc extends over 550 km from the Izu Peninsula, Japan, to the Nishinoshima Trough or Sofugan tectonic line. It is the northernmost segment of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc system, which is located at the eastern side of the Philippine Sea Plate. The recent magmatism of the Izu arc is bimodal and characterized by basalt and rhyolite (e.g. Tamura and Tatsumi 2002). In the southern Izu arc, volcanic front from the Aogashima to the Torishima islands is characterized by submarine calderas and acidic volcanisms. The intra-arc rifting, characterized by back-arc depressions, small volcanic knolls and ridges, is active in this region. Volcanic rocks were obtained in 1995 during a research cruise of the R/V MOANA WAVE (Hawaii University, cruise MW9507). Geochemical variation of volcanic rocks and magma genesis was studied by Hochstaedter et al. (2000, 2001), Machida et al (2008), etc. These studies focused magma and mantle dynamics of basaltic volcanism in the wedge mantle. Acidic volcanic rocks were also dredged during the curies MW9507. However, studies of these acidic volcanics were rare. Herein, we present petrographical and chemical analyses of these acidic rocks, and compare these results with those of other acidic rocks in the Izu arc and lab experiments, and propose a model of magma genesis in a context of acidic volcanism. Dredge sites by the cruise MW9507 are 120, and about 50 sites are in the rift zone. Recovered rocks are dominated by the bimodal assemblage of basalt-basaltic andesite and dacite-rhyolite. The most abundant phase is olivine basalt, less than 50 wt% SiO2. Andesites are minor in volume and compositional gap from 56 to 65 wt% SiO2 exists. The across-arc variation of the HFSE contents and ratios, such as Zr/Y and Nb/Zr of rhyolites exhibit depleted in the volcanic front side and enriched in reararc side. This characteristic is similar to basaltic volcanism pointed out by Hochstaedter et al (2000). The petrographical features of rhyolites

  16. Deriving spatial patterns from a novel database of volcanic rock geochemistry in the Virunga Volcanic Province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppe, Sam; Barette, Florian; Smets, Benoît; Benbakkar, Mhammed; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-04-01

    The Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) is situated within the western branch of the East-African Rift. The geochemistry and petrology of its' volcanic products has been studied extensively in a fragmented manner. They represent a unique collection of silica-undersaturated, ultra-alkaline and ultra-potassic compositions, displaying marked geochemical variations over the area occupied by the VVP. We present a novel spatially-explicit database of existing whole-rock geochemical analyses of the VVP volcanics, compiled from international publications, (post-)colonial scientific reports and PhD theses. In the database, a total of 703 geochemical analyses of whole-rock samples collected from the 1950s until recently have been characterised with a geographical location, eruption source location, analytical results and uncertainty estimates for each of these categories. Comparative box plots and Kruskal-Wallis H tests on subsets of analyses with contrasting ages or analytical methods suggest that the overall database accuracy is consistent. We demonstrate how statistical techniques such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and subsequent cluster analysis allow the identification of clusters of samples with similar major-element compositions. The spatial patterns represented by the contrasting clusters show that both the historically active volcanoes represent compositional clusters which can be identified based on their contrasted silica and alkali contents. Furthermore, two sample clusters are interpreted to represent the most primitive, deep magma source within the VVP, different from the shallow magma reservoirs that feed the eight dominant large volcanoes. The samples from these two clusters systematically originate from locations which 1. are distal compared to the eight large volcanoes and 2. mostly coincide with the surface expressions of rift faults or NE-SW-oriented inherited Precambrian structures which were reactivated during rifting. The lava from the Mugogo

  17. Hot Spot Induced Cenozoic Volcanism in the Upper Rajang Valley, Sarawak - Is Borneo Rifting?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taib, N.

    2010-12-01

    The Upper Rajang Valley covers a large area in the northern interior of the island of Borneo, in the Malaysian state of Sarawak . It is underlain by the Cretaceous to Late Eocene deep to shallow marine sediments of the Rajang Group. Within this area are several Cenozoic volcanic edifices, which to date have been sparsely studied. Two distinct episodes of volcanism are recognized - the first, dated early Eocene, consists of K-rich basalts, and is represented by the Bukit Mersing volcanics, which were erupted conformably onto deep water turbidites of the Rajang Group. The second, far more extensive, is dated Pliocene to Quaternary, and is bimodal, consisting mainly of early dacite and rhyodacite tuffs, with a smaller amount of later basalt, forming several volcanic plateaus and massifs (Hose Mountains, Usun Apau, Linau-Balui, Nieuwenhuis Mountains and others). They lie unconformably over pre-Miocene sediments, the Linau-Balui basalts having been erupted onto Quaternary river terraces. Mantle-normalized REE and incompatible trace element spider plots reveal that the Bukit Mersing basalts have geochemical affinity with Oceanic Island Basalts (OIB) and rift basalts, being enriched in LREEs and Most Incompatible Elements, and no Eu anomaly. Preliminary trace element data for several basalt samples from Usun Apau also show Oceanic Island/Rift affinity. Bimodal volcanism is most often associated with rift environments. Efforts are being made to radiometrically date the volcanics, in part to determine the possibility of future eruptions. The Upper Rajang Valley is remote, covered in tropical rainforest and is very sparsely populated. At this time, there is no information concerning signs of imminent volcanism, such as hot springs and microseismicity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saemundsson, K.

    2006-12-01

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

  19. Volcanics and structure of the famous narrowgate rift: Evidence for cyclic evolution: AMAR 1

    SciTech Connect

    Crane, K.; Ballard, R.D.

    1981-06-10

    A near-bottom photographic survey on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from the FAMOUS region south to Transform B reveals structural and volcanologic evidence for an alternating widening and narrowing rift valley. Extension wedges appear to be propagating south from Transform A and north from Transform B. These merge at Mt. Mars, where the rift valley is narrowest and shallowest (Narrowgate), giving the valley a symmetrical hourglass shape. Three major volcanic en echelon lineaments trend N10 /sup 0/E, 10/sup 0/ oblique to the strike of the inner walls. Faulting and fissuring are antisymmetrical across the rift valley in contrast to the major extension. This contrasting antisymmetry reflects the surficial distribution of stress across crust of varying strengths, whereas the large-scale wedge phenomenon determines the periodicity of transition from a narrow valley to a wide valley. Using vector analysis, the extension wedges are propagating at about 9 cm/yr toward each other. At this rate a narrow rift valley will be fully transformed into wide rift in 0.64 m.y.

  20. Conjugate volcanic rifted margins, spreading and micro-continent: Lessons from the Norwegian-Greenland Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gernigon, L.; Blischke, A.; Nasuti, A.; Sand, M.

    2014-12-01

    We have acquired and processed new aeromagnetic data that covers the entire Norway Basin oceanic spreading system located between the Møre volcanic rifted margin and its (intermediate) conjugate system, the Jan Mayen microcontinent (JMMC). The new compilation allows us to revisit its entire structure and spreading evolution from the Early Eocene breakup to the Late Oligocene abortion of the Aegir Ridge. We here discuss the dynamics of conjugate volcanic (rifted) margin formation and reconstruct the subsequent spreading evolution of the Norway Basin until its abortion. We have estimated a new set of Euler poles of rotation for the Norway Basin derived from more than 88,000 km of new magnetic profiles. The new compilation confirms that a fan-shaped spreading evolution of the Norway Basin was particularly active before the cessation of seafloor spreading and abortion of the Aegir Ridge. The Norway Basin shows a more complex system of micro-plates and asymmetric segments locally affected by episodic ridge jumps. The new observations have implications for the syn- and post-breakup stratigraphic and rifted-margin tectonic development of the JMMC and its conjugate margins. In particular, an important Mid-Eocene geodynamic event at around magnetic chron C21r is recognized in the Norway Basin. This event coincides with the onset of diking and rifting between the proto-JMMC and the East Greenland margin, leading to a second phase of breakup in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea ~26 My later in the Oligocene. Restored in its pre-breakup configuration, the new surveys also allow us to discuss further the tectonic and crustal evolution of the conjugate volcanic rifted margins and associated transform and oblique segments. The applicability of magma-poor concepts, off Norway, for example, remains questionable for us. The significant amount of breakup magmatism, the huge amount of pre-breakup sag sedimentation and the presence of thinned and preserved continental crust without the

  1. Geochemical and 40Ar/39Ar constraints on the evolution of volcanism in the Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catalano, Joseph P.

    The tectonic mechanisms producing Pliocene to active volcanism in eastern Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been debated for decades. In order to assess mechanisms that produce volcanism in the Woodlark Rift, we evaluate the evolution of volcanism in eastern PNG using 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology and whole rock geochemistry. Active volcanism in southeastern Papua New Guinea occurs on the Papuan Peninsula (Mt. Lamington, Mt. Victory and Waiwa), in the Woodlark Rift (Dobu Island, SE Goodenough Island, and Western Fergusson Island), and in the Woodlark Basin. In the Woodlark Basin, seafloor spreading is active and decompression melting of the upper mantle is producing basaltic magmatism. However, the cause of Pliocene and younger volcanism in the Woodlark Rift is controversial. Two hypotheses for the tectonic setting have been proposed to explain Pliocene and younger volcanism in the Woodlark Rift: (1) southward subduction of Solomon Sea lithosphere beneath eastern PNG at the Trobriand Tough and (2) decompression melting of mantle, previously modified by subduction, as the lithosphere undergoes extension associated with the opening of the Woodlark Basin. A comparison of 40Ar/39Ar ages with high field strength element (HFSE) concentrations in primary magmas indicates that HFSE concentrations correlate with age in the Woodlark rift. These data support the hypothesis that Pliocene to active volcanism in the Woodlark Rise and D'Entrecasteaux Islands results from decompression melting of a relict mantle wedge. The subduction zone geochemical signatures (negative HFSE anomalies) in Woodlark Rift lavas younger than 4 m.y. are a relict from older subduction beneath eastern Papua, likely in the middle Miocene. As the lithosphere is extended ahead of the tip of the westward propagating seafloor spreading center in the Woodlark Basin, the composition of volcanism is inherited from prior arc magmatism (via flux melting) and through time evolves toward magmatism associated with a rifting

  2. New insights into volcanism and tectonics in the Red Sea Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Zwan, Froukje M.; Augustin, Nico; Devey, Colin W.; Bantan, Rashad; Kwasnitschka, Tom

    2013-04-01

    The Red Sea is one of the few places on Earth where rifting and splitting of a continent by the formation of an ocean basin is presently occurring. Continental rifting takes place in the northernmost Red Sea and ocean floor is continuously created from at least 23°N to the vicinity of the strait of Bab al-Mandab in the south. Here we present a unique collection of recent continuous multibeam bathymetric datasets with a spatial acoustic resolution of 15-30 m from the Thetis Deep at 23°N to the RSR at 16.5°N together with new volcanic sampling over the Red Sea Rift (RSR). This enables us to study in detail the bathymetry of volcanic structures formed during the creation of this young ocean and the relationship between extension and volcanism allows us to make an extensive interpretation of the structural, tectonic, magmatic and sedimentary evolution of the RSR. Even though the central graben of the RSR is widely covered by sediments and Miocene evaporites north of 20°N (Augustin et al. 2012), the open parts of the rift valley show a wide range of volcanic activity and tectonic features over 700 km of mapped ridge axis. Numerous volcanoes (flat top volcanoes, submarine equivalents of Venusian pancake domes and lava shields) and ridges of hummocky volcanics are scattered all along the RSR. In addition the Red Sea Rift displays typical features of a slow spreading ridge where the slowest spreading, northern section of the Red Sea is strongly tectonically dominated with distinct basins and a strong horst and graben structure with locally very large volcanic edifices. The largest submarine volcano yet observed in the RSR is the Hatiba Mons volcano, previously not recognized as a volcanic edifice. In the south, where the spreading rates are greatest, large basins are not present and instead axial highs are observed as the result of higher recent volcanic activity. The geochemistry of basalts from sampled volcanoes display MORB signatures with no sign of continental

  3. What the volcanism of the East African Rift tells us on its evolution and dynamics: a reappraisal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michon, Laurent

    2015-04-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is one of the most studied tectonic structures on Earth. Classically, it is described as extending from Afar in the North to the Malawi rift in the South, along the eastern and western branches, respectively. A widely accepted consensus also exists on two main points: 1- the rift initiated first with plume emplacement below the northern part of the eastern branch and 2- extension and volcanism subsequently migrated southward along the western branch (e.g., Ebinger, 1989). However, an increasing amount of new geochronological data on the volcanic activity in the southern part of the East African Rift tends to weaken these interpretations and imposes a reassessment of the rift dynamics. The volcanic activity being one of the main characteristics of this rift, I use it here to determine the lateral extension of the rift system and to assess the rift activity through times. First, the volcanism unambiguously indicates that the rift is not limited to the African continent but can be traced in the Mozambique Channel and in Madagascar where it is closely related to active tectonics (graben and transfer faults) initiated since at least the Miocene. Moreover, the synthesis of more than 800 published geochronological data of volcanic products distributed over the overal East African Rift allows the distinction of two parts. The first part, the Northern EAR, corresponds to the sole eastern branch, which is characterized by volcanic plateaus resulting from huge magma flux during three main periods (32-28, 18-12, 6-0 Ma). Provinces of the second part, the Southern EAR (the western branch, the Mozambique Channel and Madagascar), share rift-related scattered volcanic centres characterized by coeval periods of activity since the Oligocene (28-24, 20-16 and 12-0 Ma). This synthesis highlights the lack of southward migration of the volcanism during the evolution of the East African Rift and instead reveals the almost synchronous development of the

  4. Volcanic episodicity and a non-steady state rift valley along northeast Pacific Spreading Centers: Evidence from Sea MARCI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    appel, Ellen S.; Ryan, William B. F.

    1986-12-01

    Sea MARCI side-looking sonar images and Sea Beam bathymetry along a 400-km stretch of the Juan de Fuca Ridge crest provide evidence that excessive extrusive volcanism periodically builds a crestal ridge along the axis of seafloor spreading. An elongate summit depression (ESD), or rift valley, is commonly observed in the spine of this crestal ridge. The crestal ridge volcanic landform has a distinctive shape that is recognized in bathymetric contours both along the spreading axis and at least up to 30 km away from the axis. The landform has a plan-form shape that resembles a side view of an archer's bow with the long dimension of the bow form parallel to the strike of the ridge. In cross section, the bow form is flat on top and has steep flanks. These bow-form shapes can be explained by magma that rises into the crust at a discrete center and flows laterally into belts of ridge-parallel diskes, similar to Icelandic fissure eruptions. Both the variable dimensions of the ESD along axis of the Juan de Fuca Ridge and the relationship among volcanic flow morphologies within and beyond the ESD suggest the four different segments of the Juan de Fuca Ridge presented in detail here display different stages in a cycle of oceanic crust accretion. This cycle includes episodes in which there is (1) extrusive volcanic construction which widen the crestal ridge prior to the collapse of the summit depression, (2) collapse within the summit region of the crestal ridge to form an ESD during a phase of volcanic inactivity, and (3) renewed magmatism in the ESD as its floor widens by extension and brittle fracture of the upper crust. This episodic model implies that the width of the young seafloor affected by volcanic extrusion or dominated by tectonic stretching varies through time.

  5. Volcanic Episodicity and a Non-Steady State Rift Valley Along Northeast Pacific Spreading Centers: Evidence From Sea MARC I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kappel, Ellen S.; Ryan, William B. F.

    1986-12-01

    Sea MARC I side-looking sonar images and Sea Beam bathymetry along a 400-km stretch of the Juan de Fuca Ridge crest provide evidence that excessive extrusive volcanism periodically builds a crestal ridge along the axis of seafloor spreading. An elongate summit depression (ESD), or rift valley, is commonly observed in the spine of this crestal ridge. The crestal ridge volcanic landform has a distinctive shape that is recognized in bathymetric contours both along the spreading axis and at least up to 30 km away from the axis. The landform has a plan-form shape that resembles a side view of an archer's bow with the long dimension of the bow form parallel to the strike of the ridge. In cross section, the bow form is flat on top and has steep flanks. These bow-form shapes can be explained by magma that rises into the crust at a discrete center and flows laterally into belts of ridge-parallel dikes, similar to Icelandic fissure eruptions. Both the variable dimensions of the ESD along axis of the Juan de Fuca Ridge and the relationship among volcanic flow morphologies within and beyond the ESD suggest the four different segments of the Juan de Fuca Ridge presented in detail here display different stages in a cycle of oceanic crust accretion. This cycle includes episodes in which there is (1) extrusive volcanic construction which widen the crestal ridge prior to the collapse of the summit depression, (2) collapse within the summit region of the crestal ridge to form an ESD during a phase of volcanic inactivity, and (3) renewed magmatism in the ESD as its floor widens by extension and brittle fracture of the upper crust. This episodic model implies that the width of the young seafloor affected by volcanic extrusion or dominated by tectonic stretching varies through time.

  6. 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

  7. Age of volcanism and rifting in the Burji-Soyoma area, Amaro Horst, southern Main Ethiopian Rift: geo- and biochronologic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, G.; Yemane, T.; Suwa, G.; White, T.; Asfaw, B.

    Late Eocene basalts capping late Mesozoic or early Tertiary basal sandstone are present in the Amaro Horst within southern sector of the Main Ethiopian Rift. This basaltic unit is time correlative to flows already reported from southwestern Ethiopia. The discovery of these lavas within the rift system proves that the oldest volcanic units of the Ethiopian volcanic province are not confined to the NW Plateau, west of the Main Ethiopian Rift as was generally believed. At the same time, the widely held notion of rift-ward migration of volcanism from the plateau is not supported by the occurrence of this Late Eocene basalt within the uplifted Amaro Horst. The Late Eocene basalt is blanketed by Early Oligocene basalt and silicic flows. Geochemical characteristics indicate that the volcanic succession consists of Late Eocene transitional tholeiitic basalt, Oligocene and Mid-Miocene hawaiites, and Mid-Miocene mildly alkaline basalt flows. The lower (Late Eocene and Early Oligocene) and upper (Mid-Miocene) basaltic sequences are separated by sedimentary strata deposited in a lacustrine environment that contains Early to Mid-Miocene fossil fauna and flora. Although the botanical study of the flora was not attempted, the Burji faunal remains appear to represent a primitive species of Choerolophodont mastodont. Biochronological evidence suggests that the proboscidean would be in the time range of 15-17 Ma. The presence of the fossil-bearing sedimentary strata suggests that a rift-related basin developed in Early to Mid-Miocene contemporaneous with the volcanic eruptions. The confinement of the Mid-Miocene basaltic units to the Amaro Horst suggests that rift-related subsidence in the southern sector of the Main Ethiopian Rift probably started in Early Miocene or Late Oligocene time, coincident with development of the sedimentary basin. The correlation of lavas of tholeiitic composition to intense tectonic activity in northcentral Ethiopia and northern Kenya implies that the

  8. Oligocene basaltic volcanism of the northern Rio Grande Rift: San Luis Hills, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thompson, R.A.; Johnson, C.M.; Mehnert, H.H.

    1991-01-01

    The inception of the Rio Grande Rift in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado was accompanied by voluminous mafic volcanism preserved in part as erosional remnants on an intrarift horst within the current axial rift graben of the San Luis Valley. Major and trace element constraints support a petrogenetic model of fractionation plus lower crustal assimilation for petrologic suites within the San Luis Hills rocks, although the model cannot relate lavas for the entire series to a common parent. Most mafic lavas of the San Luis Hills were evolved (Mg # <60) and contaminated by LREE-enriched silicic partial melts of granulitic lower crust depleted in Rb, Th, and U. However, relatively noncontaminated lavas can be identified and indicate at least two mantle source regions were involved. -from Authors

  9. Formation of the volcanic rifted margin off Argentina/Uruguay, South Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, D.; Reichert, C.; Ladage, S.; Schnabel, M.; Schreckenberger, B.; Neben, S.; Hinz, K.

    2009-04-01

    The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Germany has investigated the passive continental margins offshore Argentina and Uruguay since the early 90ies. Numerous marine geophysical surveys have meanwhile established a databasis of more than 25.000 km of regional multi-channel reflection seismic lines, accompanied with magnetic and gravity profiles. These data document that the Early Cretaceous South Atlantic continental break-up and initial sea-floor spreading were accompanied by large-scale, transient volcanism emplacing voluminous extrusives, manifested in the seismic data by huge wedges of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs). These deeply buried and 60-120 km wide SDRs were emplaced episodically as suggested by at least three superimposed SDRS units. Distinct along-margin variations in the architecture, volume, and width of the SDRs wedges correlate with large scale margin segmentation. We identify at least four domains bounded by the Falkland Fracture Zone/Falkland Transfer, the Colorado Transfer, the Ventana Transfer and the Salado Transfer. The individual transfer zones may have acted as barriers for propagating rifts during the SDR emplacement phase, selectively directing rift segments in left stepping patterns along the western South Atlantic margin. The rift segments are offset systematically in a left stepping pattern along the western South Atlantic margin. Albeit we found extensive variations in the architecture, style and extent of the seaward dipping reflector sequences a general trend is that the largest volumes are emplaced close to the proposed transfer zones and the width of the SDRs wedges decreases northward within the individual margin segments. The different volcano-tectonic architectures of the margin segments and the distribution of the extruded magmas indicates that the emplacement of the volcanic material was controlled by the tectonic setting and the pre-rift lithosphere configuration within individual margin

  10. Evolution of the East African rift: Drip magmatism, lithospheric thinning and mafic volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furman, Tanya; Nelson, Wendy R.; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.

    2016-07-01

    The origin of the Ethiopian-Yemeni Oligocene flood basalt province is widely interpreted as representing mafic volcanism associated with the Afar mantle plume head, with minor contributions from the lithospheric mantle. We reinterpret the geochemical compositions of primitive Oligocene basalts and picrites as requiring a far more significant contribution from the metasomatized subcontinental lithospheric mantle than has been recognized previously. This region displays the fingerprints of mantle plume and lithospheric drip magmatism as predicted from numerical models. Metasomatized mantle lithosphere is not dynamically stable, and heating above the upwelling Afar plume caused metasomatized lithosphere with a significant pyroxenite component to drip into the asthenosphere and melt. This process generated the HT2 lavas observed today in restricted portions of Ethiopia and Yemen now separated by the Red Sea, suggesting a fundamental link between drip magmatism and the onset of rifting. Coeval HT1 and LT lavas, in contrast, were not generated by drip melting but instead originated from shallower, dominantly anhydrous peridotite. Looking more broadly across the East African Rift System in time and space, geochemical data support small volume volcanic events in Turkana (N. Kenya), Chyulu Hills (S. Kenya) and the Virunga province (Western Rift) to be derived ultimately from drip melting. The removal of the gravitationally unstable, metasomatized portion of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle via dripping is correlated in each case with periods of rapid uplift. The combined influence of thermo-mechanically thinned lithosphere and the Afar plume together thus controlled the locus of continental rift initiation between Africa and Arabia and provide dynamic support for the Ethiopian plateau.

  11. Spatial and temporal variations of diffuse CO_{2} degassing at the N-S volcanic rift-zone of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) during 2002-2015 period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso, Mar; Ingman, Dylan; Alexander, Scott; Barrancos, José; Rodríguez, Fátima; Melián, Gladys; Pérez, Nemesio M.

    2016-04-01

    Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and, together with Gran Canaria Island, is the only one with a central volcanic complex that started to grow at about 3.5 Ma. Nowadays the central complex is formed by Las Cañadas caldera, a volcanic depression measuring 16×9 km that resulted from multiple vertical collapses and was partially filled by post-caldera volcanic products. Up to 297 mafic monogenetic cones have been recognized on Tenerife, and they represent the most common eruptive activity occurring on the island during the last 1 Ma (Dóniz et al., 2008). Most of the monogenetic cones are aligned following a triple junction-shaped rift system, as result of inflation produced by the concentration of emission vents and dykes in bands at 120o to one another as a result of minimum stress fracturing of the crust by a mantle upwelling. The main structural characteristic of the southern volcanic rift (N-S) of the island is an apparent absence of a distinct ridge, and a fan shaped distribution of monogenetic cones. Four main volcanic successions in the southern volcanic rift zone of Tenerife, temporally separated by longer periods (˜70 - 250 ka) without volcanic activity, have been identified (Kröchert and Buchner, 2008). Since there are currently no visible gas emissions at the N-S rift, diffuse degassing surveys have become an important geochemical tool for the surveillance of this volcanic system. We report here the last results of diffuse CO2 efflux survey at the N-S rift of Tenerife, performed using the accumulation chamber method in the summer period of 2015. The objectives of the surveys were: (i) to constrain the total CO2 output from the studied area and (ii) to evaluate occasional CO2 efflux surveys as a volcanic surveillance tool for the N-S rift of Tenerife. Soil CO2 efflux values ranged from non-detectable up to 31.7 g m-2 d-1. A spatial distribution map, constructed following the sequential Gaussian simulation (sGs) procedure, did not show an

  12. Spatial and temporal variations of diffuse CO_{2} degassing at the N-S volcanic rift-zone of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) during 2002-2015 period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso, Mar; Ingman, Dylan; Alexander, Scott; Barrancos, José; Rodríguez, Fátima; Melián, Gladys; Pérez, Nemesio M.

    2016-04-01

    Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and, together with Gran Canaria Island, is the only one with a central volcanic complex that started to grow at about 3.5 Ma. Nowadays the central complex is formed by Las Cañadas caldera, a volcanic depression measuring 16×9 km that resulted from multiple vertical collapses and was partially filled by post-caldera volcanic products. Up to 297 mafic monogenetic cones have been recognized on Tenerife, and they represent the most common eruptive activity occurring on the island during the last 1 Ma (Dóniz et al., 2008). Most of the monogenetic cones are aligned following a triple junction-shaped rift system, as result of inflation produced by the concentration of emission vents and dykes in bands at 120o to one another as a result of minimum stress fracturing of the crust by a mantle upwelling. The main structural characteristic of the southern volcanic rift (N-S) of the island is an apparent absence of a distinct ridge, and a fan shaped distribution of monogenetic cones. Four main volcanic successions in the southern volcanic rift zone of Tenerife, temporally separated by longer periods (˜70 - 250 ka) without volcanic activity, have been identified (Kröchert and Buchner, 2008). Since there are currently no visible gas emissions at the N-S rift, diffuse degassing surveys have become an important geochemical tool for the surveillance of this volcanic system. We report here the last results of diffuse CO2 efflux survey at the N-S rift of Tenerife, performed using the accumulation chamber method in the summer period of 2015. The objectives of the surveys were: (i) to constrain the total CO2 output from the studied area and (ii) to evaluate occasional CO2 efflux surveys as a volcanic surveillance tool for the N-S rift of Tenerife. Soil CO2 efflux values ranged from non-detectable up to 31.7 g m‑2 d‑1. A spatial distribution map, constructed following the sequential Gaussian simulation (sGs) procedure, did not show an

  13. 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

  14. Development of The Argentine Continental Margin: Rift Basins and Volcanic Episodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neben, S.; Franke, D.; Hinz, K.; Meyer, H.; Roeser, H.; Schreckenberger, B.

    With the objective to contribute to a better understanding of the processes of rifting and magmatism/volcanism during the Early Cretaceous break-up of Gondwana, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) acquired 12,000 km of MCS data and two wide-angle reflection/refraction lines on the Argentine continen- tal margin between 38S and 44S in 1998/1999. Together with already existing data sets, we know have 22,000 km of MCS data available. The seismic data document the presence of a narrow, north-west striking half-graben system beneath the present upper slope. This buried half-graben system developed during the final stage of rifting in Early Cretaceous time, whereas the east-west trending Colorado-Basin probably formed earlier. However, this wide sedimentary basin was superimposed and reacti- vated by the rifting process that led to the opening of the South Atlantic. Continental break-up and initial sea-floor spreading were accompanied by large-scale magmatism and volcanism. This is manifested in the seismic data by a huge wedge of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRS), and a distinct high-velocity (average value 7.3 km/s) lower crustal body beneath the SDRS. Extrapolating DSDP/ODP-drilling results from other volcanic margins, especially in the North Atlantic, we infer that the SDRS consist of tholeitic basalts. The emplacement of the deeply buried, 60-120km wide SDRS was episodic documented by at least three superimposed SDRS units. From our dense grid of new magnetic data we infer further that the emplacement of the volcanic units was diachronous (older units in the south and younger units in the north). The presence of the volcanic edifices at the continental margin of Argentine is related to the activity of the Tristan da Cunha hot spot which led to the emplacement of the Parana-Etendeka Flood basalts on South America and South Africa and to the Rio-Grande-Rise/Walvis- Ridge complex. The drift deposits, locally more than 6,000m thick, and

  15. 3D conductivity image of a young continental rift: Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heise, W.; Caldwell, T. G.; Bibby, H. M.; Bennie, S. L.

    2009-04-01

    The Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ), in the North Island, New Zealand is a continental back arc rift associated with the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Australian Plate and is characterised by the eruption of large volumes of rhyolitic magma during the last 1.6 Ma and an exceptionally high present-day heat flow. Data from 220 magnetotelluric soundings covering the central (rhyolitic) part of the TVZ were analysed using 3D inverse resistivity modelling and phase tensor visualisation techniques. Modelling results compare well with the thickness of conductive volcaniclastic material in filling the rift basin and calderas and expected from observed gravity anomalies. Phase tensor ellipticity correlates well with the resistivity gradient in the 3D inversion model showing how the phase data control the inversion and allowing identification of which structures are, or are not, resolved by the data. The inverse modelling results show a zone of high conductivity in the lower crust and upper-mantle along the central rift-axis that correlates with a zone of high phase observed at long periods. An unusual feature of the MT data at periods of 3-30s is the large phase tensor skew angle values that coincide with the margins of a localized gravity high in the centre of the survey area. This feature appears to be caused by the interaction of a thick near surface layer of high conductive volcaniclastic material with conductive structures at greater depth.

  16. Mean age of rifting and volcanism on Venus deduced from impact crater densities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Maribeth; Suppe, John

    1994-12-01

    UNLIKE the extensively cratered highlands of the Moon and Mars, the surface of Venus does not preserve a record of heavy bombard-ment from the early history of the Solar System1-3. Those craters that are found on Venus appear to be statistically indistinguishable from a random spatial population and rarely show modification by folds, faults and lava flows1-3. Although the volcanic and tec-tonic history of Venus is still much debated2-5, there is mounting evidence for near-global resurfacing ˜300-500 Myr ago1,2,6. Moreover, it has recently been noted that the density of impact craters on large volcanic structures is less than the average crater density of the planet, suggestive of significant activity after the resurfacing event7. It is not clear, however, whether these features represent late remnants of the global event or continuing volcanism and tectonism of a still active planet. To address this question, we have used the regional variations in crater density to date volcan-oes, rifts and coronae which, based on stratigraphic evidence, clearly post-date the main resurfacing event8-11. The calculated mean ages of 70-125 Myr exclude the possibility that the majority of these features represent the final stages of the global event.

  17. Creating global comparative analyses of tectonic rifts, monogenetic volcanism and inverted relief

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wyk de Vries, Benjamin

    2016-04-01

    I have been all around the world, and to other planets and have travelled from the present to the Archaean and back to seek out the most significant tectonic rifts, monogenetic volcanoes and examples of inverted relief. I have done this to provide a broad foundation of the comparative analysis for the Chaîne des Puys - Limagne fault nomination to UNESCO world Heritage. This would have been an impossible task, if not for the cooperation of the scientific community and for Google Earth, Google Maps and academic search engines. In preparing global comparisons of geological features, these quite recently developed tools provide a powerful way to find and describe geological features. The ability to do scientific crowd sourcing, rapidly discussing with colleagues about features, allows large numbers of areas to be checked and the open GIS tools (such as Google Earth) allow a standardised description. Search engines also allow the literature on areas to be checked and compared. I will present a comparative study of rifts of the world, monogenetic volcanic field and inverted relief, integrated to analyse the full geological system represented by the Chaîne des Puys - Limagne fault. The analysis confirms that the site is an exceptional example of the first steps of continental drift in a mountain rift setting, and that this is necessarily seen through the combined landscape of tectonic, volcanic and geomorphic features. The analysis goes further to deepen the understanding of geological systems and stresses the need for more study on geological heritage using such a global and broad systems approach.

  18. Volcanic activities in the Southern part of East African rift initiation: Melilitites and nephelinites from the Manyara Basin (North Tanzania rift axis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudouin, Celine; Parat, Fleurice; Tiberi, Christel; Gautier, Stéphanie; Peyrat, Sophie

    2016-04-01

    The East African Rift exposes different stages of plate boundary extension, from the initiation of the rift (North (N) Tanzania) to oceanic accretion (Afar). The N Tanzania rift-axis (north-south (S) trend) is divided into 2 different volcanic and seismic activities: (1) the Natron basin (N) with shallow seismicity and intense volcanism and (2) the Manyara basin (S) with deep crustal earthquakes and sparse volcanism. The Natron basin is characterized by extinct volcanoes (2 Ma-0.75 Ma) and active volcano (Oldoinyo Lengai) and a link between seismicity and volcanism has been observed during the Oldoinyo Lengai crisis in 2007. In the S part of the N Tanzanian rift, volcanoes erupted in the Manyara basin between 0.4 and 0.9 Ma. In this study, we used geochemical signature of magmas and deep fluids that percolate into the lithosphere beneath Manyara basin, to define the compositions of magmas and fluids at depth beneath the S part of the N Tanzania rift, compare to the Natron basin and place constrain on the volcanic and seismic activities. The Manyara basin has distinct volcanic activities with mafic magmas as melilitites (Labait) and Mg-nephelinites (carbonatite, Kwaraha), and more differentiated magmas as Mg-poor nephelinites (Hanang). Melilitites and Mg-nephelinites are primary magmas with olivine, clinopyroxene (cpx), and phlogopite recording high-pressure crystallization environment, (melilitites >4 GPa and Mg-nephelinites>1 GPa) with high volatile contents (whole rock: 0.7-4.6 wt% CO2, 0.1-0.3 wt% F and 0.1 wt% Cl). FTIR analyses of olivine constrained the water content of Labait and Kwaraha magmas at 0.1 and 0.4 wt% H2O, respectively. Geochemical modelling suggests that mafic magmas result from a low degree of partial melting (1-2%) of a peridotitic source with garnet and phlogopite (high Tb/Yb (>0.6) and Rb/Sr (0.03-0.12) ratio). Mg-poor nephelinites from Hanang volcano crystallized cpx, Ti-garnet, and nepheline as phenocrysts. Magmas result from fractional

  19. Receiver function imaging of the onset of melting, implications for volcanism beneath the Afar Rift in contrast to hotspot environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rychert, C. A.; Harmon, N.; Hammond, J. O.; Laske, G.; Kendall, J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Shearer, P. M.; Bastow, I. D.; Keir, D.; Ayele, A.; Belachew, M.; Stuart, G. W.

    2012-12-01

    Heating, melting, and stretching destroy continents at volcanic rifts. Mantle plumes are often invoked to thermally weaken the continental lithosphere and accommodate rifting through the influx of magma. However the relative effects of mechanical stretching vs. melt infiltration and weakening are not well quantified during the evolution of rifting. S-to-p (Sp) imaging beneath the Afar Rift and hotspot regions such as Hawaii provides additional constraints. We use data from the Ethiopia/Kenya Broadband Seismic Experiment (EKBSE), the Ethiopia Afar Geophysical Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE), a new UK/US led deployment of 46 stations in the Afar depression and surrounding area, and the PLUME experiment. We use two methodologies to investigate structure and locate robust features: 1) binning by conversion point and then simultaneous deconvolution in the frequency domain, and 2) extended multitaper followed by migration and stacking. We image a lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary at ~75 km beneath the flank of the Afar Rift vs. its complete absence beneath the rift, where the mantle lithosphere has been totally destroyed. Instead a strong velocity increase with depth at ~75 km depth matches geodynamic model predictions for a drop in melt percentage at the onset of decompression melting. The shallow depth of the onset of melting is consistent with a mantle potential temperature = 1350 - 1400°C, i.e., typical for adiabatic decompression melting. Therefore although a plume initially destroyed the mantle lithosphere, its influence directly beneath Afar today is minimal. Volcanism continues via adiabatic decompression melting assisted by strong melt buoyancy effects. This contrasts with a similar feature at much deeper depth, ~150 km, just west of Hawaii, where a deep thermal plume is hypothesized to impinge on the lithosphere. Improved high resolution imaging of rifting, ridges, and hotspots in a variety of stages and tectonic settings will increase constraints on the

  20. The Cenozoic volcanism in the Kivu rift: Assessment of the tectonic setting, geochemistry, and geochronology of the volcanic activity in the South-Kivu and Virunga regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pouclet, A.; Bellon, H.; Bram, K.

    2016-09-01

    The Kivu rift is part of the western branch of the East African Rift system. From Lake Tanganyika to Lake Albert, the Kivu rift is set in a succession of Precambrian zones of weakness trending NW-SE, NNE-SSW and NE-SW. At the NW to NNE turn of the rift direction in the Lake Kivu area, the inherited faults are crosscut by newly born N-S fractures which developed during the late Cenozoic rifting and controlled the volcanic activity. From Lake Kivu to Lake Edward, the N-S faults show a right-lateral en echelon pattern. Development of tension gashes in the Virunga area indicates a clockwise rotation of the constraint linked to dextral oblique motion of crustal blocks. The extensional direction was W-E in the Mio-Pliocene and ENE-WSW in the Pleistocene to present time. The volcanic rocks are assigned to three groups: (1) tholeiites and sodic alkali basalts in the South-Kivu, (2) sodic basalts and nephelinites in the northern Lake Kivu and western Virunga, and (3) potassic basanites and potassic nephelinites in the Virunga area. South-Kivu magmas were generated by melting of spinel + garnet lherzolite from two sources: an enriched lithospheric source and a less enriched mixed lithospheric and asthenospheric source. The latter source was implied in the genesis of the tholeiitic lavas at the beginning of the South-Kivu tectono-volcanic activity, in relationships with asthenosphere upwelling. The ensuing outpouring of alkaline basaltic lavas from the lithospheric source attests for the abortion of the asthenospheric contribution and a change of the rifting process. The sodic nephelinites of the northern Lake Kivu originated from low partial melting of garnet peridotite of the sub-continental mantle due to pressure release during swell initiation. The Virunga potassic magmas resulted from the melting of garnet peridotite with an increasing degree of melting from nephelinite to basanite. They originated from a lithospheric source enriched in both K and Rb, suggesting the

  1. Diffuse CO2 emission from the NE volcanic rift-zone of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain): a 15 years geochemical monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padilla, Germán; Alonso, Mar; Shoemaker, Trevor; Loisel, Ariane; Padrón, Eleazar; Hernández, Pedro A.; Pérez, Nemesio M.

    2016-04-01

    The North East Rift (NER) volcanic zone of Tenerife Island is one of the three volcanic rift-zones of the island (210 km2). The most recent eruptive activity along the NER volcanic zone took place in the 1704-1705 period with the volcanic eruptions of Siete Fuentes, Fasnia and Arafo volcanoes. The aim of this study was to report the results of a soil CO2 efflux survey undertaken in June 2015, with approximately 580 measuring sites. In-situ measurements of CO2 efflux from the surface environment of NER volcanic zone were performed by means of a portable non-dispersive infrared spectrophotometer (NDIR) model LICOR Li800 following the accumulation chamber method. To quantify the total CO2 emission from NER volcanic zone, soil CO2 efflux contour maps were constructed using sequential Gaussian simulation (sGs) as interpolation method. The total diffuse CO2 emission rate was estimated in 1209 t d‑1, with CO2 efflux values ranging from non-detectable (˜0.5 g m‑2 d‑1) up to 123 g m‑2 d‑1, with an average value of 5.9 g m‑2 d‑1. If we compare these results with those obtained in previous surveys developed in a yearly basis, they reveal slightly variations from 2006 to 2015, with to pulses in the CO2 emission observed in 2007 and 2014. The main temporal variation in the total CO2 output does not seem to be masked by external variations. First peak precedes the anomalous seismicity registered in and around Tenerife Island between 2009 and 2011, suggesting stress-strain changes at depth as a possible cause for the observed changes in the total output of diffuse CO2 emission. Second peak could be related with futures changes in the seismicity. This study demonstrates the importance of performing soil CO2 efflux surveys as an effective surveillance volcanic tool.

  2. Post-rift volcanic structures of the Pernambuco Plateau, northeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buarque, Bruno V.; Barbosa, José A.; Magalhães, José R. G.; Cruz Oliveira, Jefferson T.; Filho, Osvaldo J. Correia

    2016-10-01

    The Pernambuco marginal basin is located on the eastern continental margin of northeastern Brazil, covers an area of 20,800 km2, and represents one of the most prominent frontiers for deep water oil and gas exploration off the Brazilian coast. The onshore region of this basin was highly affected by extrusive and intrusive magmatism during the Upper Albian, and the relation of that event with the volcanic structures observed in the offshore sector has not been thoroughly characterized to date. This study aims to characterize the major extrusive and intrusive volcanic structures of the offshore portion of this basin, which is dominated by the Pernambuco Plateau, and its stratigraphic relations. A set of 143 2D multichannel seismic sections that cover the Pernambuco Plateau region are used to interpret the major tectono-stratigraphic sequences and describe the distribution of volcanoes, sills, vent complexes and related volcaniclastic sequences. The interpretations are supported by aeromagnetic and gravimetric geophysical surveys. Volcanoes are classified into two groups that differ in terms of their morphology: shield-like structures and cone-shaped volcanic structures. Sill intrusions are mainly identified beneath the volcanic structures and are characterized by high-amplitude reflectors with short extensions and abrupt terminations. Volcaniclastic sequences are found adjacent to the volcanoes and are characterized by high-amplitude, disrupted reflections with local chaotic configurations. Vent complexes are classified on the basis of their morphologies as either eye-shaped or crater-shaped. The volcanic features identified within the available seismic dataset are concentrated in two main areas: in the centre of the plateau and near its northeastern border. These two regions are host basement outer highs and are surrounded by hyper-extended continental crust, which forms the plateau itself. The extrusive and intrusive features described in the offshore region were

  3. Post-collisional and intraplate Cenozoic volcanism in the rifted Apennines/Adriatic domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianchini, G.; Beccaluva, L.; Siena, F.

    2008-02-01

    The distinctive tectono-magmatic characteristics of rift volcanism in the Apennines/Adria domains are discussed focussing attention on the nature of mantle sources, stress regimes, and conditions of magma generation. Post-collisional intensive lithospheric rifting and tectonic collapse of the Apennines generate large amounts of Pliocene-Quaternary orogenic magmas which overlie a nearly vertical subducted slab along the peri-Tyrrhenian border. This magmatism includes the Roman Magmatic Province sensu lato (RMP-s.l.) and the Internal Apennines Volcanism (IAV), and consists of high-K calcalkaline, potassic (shoshonitic) and ultrapotassic (leucitites, leucite basanite and minor lamproites and kamafugites) products. Integrated petrological and geochemical studies of these rocks (and associated mantle xenoliths) indicate that most of them could have been generated by a restricted partial melting range ( F ≤ 5-10%) of extremely inhomogeneous phlogopite-veined lithospheric mantle sources, resulting from subduction related K-metasomatic processes. Moreover, the presence of both intermediate anorogenic and subduction related geochemical features in Mt. Vulture magmas support the existence of a slab window beneath the central-southern Apennines, which could have allowed inflow of subduction components to intraplate mantle sources. This slab discontinuity may mark the transition between the already collisioned Adriatic and the still subducting Ionian lithospheric slabs. By contrast, the Paleogene intraplate magmatism of the Adriatic foreland (i.e., the Veneto Province (VVP) and the minor Mt. Queglia and Pietre Nere magmatic bodies) is characterized by small volumes of basic magmas, varying from tholeiitic to strongly Na-alkaline in composition. This magmatism appears to be related to a limited extensional regime typical of the low volcanicity rifts. Petrogenetic modelling of the intraplate Adriatic foreland magmas indicates that their composition is remarkably depth

  4. Arc-rift transition volcanism in the Volcanic Hills, Jacumba and Coyote Mountains, San Diego and Imperial Counties, california

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisch, Gregory Zane

    Neogene volcanism associated with the subduction of the Farallon-Pacific spreading center and the transition from a subduction zone to a rift zone has been studied extensively in Baja, California, Mexico. One of the main goals of these studies was to find a geochemical correlation with slab windows that may have formed during that complicated transition. While workers have been able to find distinct geochemical signatures in samples from Baja California, none have shown statistically significant correlation with samples from southern California that are thought to be related to the same arc-rift transition events. All of the basaltic samples from this study of southern California rocks have prominent Nb depletions typical of island-arc subduction-related volcanism, in contrast to the chemistry of Baja California volcanics that have trace element patterns typical of synrift related volcanism. The work done by previous investigators has been additionally complicated due to each investigator's choice of important ratios or patterns, which bears little, if any, correlation with work done by others working in the same area. For example, Martin-Barajas et al. (1995) use K/Rb ratios in their study of the Puertocitos Volcanic Province, while Castillo (2008) argues that Sr/Y vs. Y is a better indicator of petrogenetic processes. Little petrologic work has been done on Neogene volcanic rocks in the Imperial Valley and eastern San Diego County region of Southern California. This thesis combines new research with that of previous workers and attempts to establish a better understanding of the processes involved with the transition volcanism. Prior work documents significant differences in the geochemistry between some of these areas, especially those in close proximity to each other (e.g. the Volcanic Hills and Coyote Mountains). These differences were thought to be largely the result different magmatic sources. The potential of finding two differing magma types in close

  5. Reef growth and volcanism on the submarine southwest rift zone of Mauna Loa, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, J.G.; Normark, W.R.; Szabo, B. J.

    1990-01-01

    A marine sampling program, utilizing the PISCES-5 submersible operated by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (NOAA), has confirmed the presence of a major submerged coral reef offshore from Ka Lae (South Point), Hawaii. The top of the reef is now 150-160 m below sea level. Radiocarbon and Useries dating indicates that it drowned about 13.9 ka by the combined effects of island subsidence (2.5 mm/year) and the rapid rise of sea level at the end of the last glaciation so that the relative submergence rate of more than 10 mm/year exceeded the upward growth rate of the reef. The submerged reef caps the offshore part of the southwest rift-zone ridge of Mauna Loa, which has apparently undergone little volcanic activity offshore since 170 ka, and possibly since 270 ka. This fact suggests that rift zone activity is becoming increasingly restricted toward the upper part of the volcano, a condition possibly heralding the end of the shield-building stage. ?? 1990 Springer-Verlag.

  6. Oligocene basaltic volcanism of the Northern Rio Grande Rift: San Luis Hills, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Ren A.; Johnson, Clark M.; Mehnert, Harald H.

    1991-07-01

    The inception of the Rio Grande rift in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado was accompanied by voluminous mafic volcanism preserved in part as erosional remnants on an intrarift horst within the current axial rift graben of the San Luis Valley. Oligocene (˜26 Ma) volcanic rocks of the Hinsdale Formation at San Luis Hills range from 49 to 57 wt % SiO2 and include nepheline and hypersthene normative lavas. A mildly alkalic series consisting of trachybasalt, basaltic trachyandesite, and trachyandesite is volumetrically dominant, olivine tholeiites are subordinate, and xenocrystic trachyandesites containing abundant quartz and plagioclase xenocrysts occur only locally. Relative to the San Luis Hills olivine tholeiites which have La/Smn ˜ 2, the more alkaline series are enriched in light rare earth elements (LREE) and have La/Sm ratios that increase in the trachybasalt-basaltic trachyandesite suite (La/Smn ˜ 3) to xenocrystic trachyandesites that are the most LREE enriched (La/Smn ˜ 4). Chondrite-normalized, trace element patterns for the lavas in the San Luis Hills are similar in shape within the mildly alkaline to transitional series; they have characteristic Nb and Ta depletions and high K and Th relative to Ta, Nb, and LREE. Major and trace element constraints support a petrogenetic model of fractionation plus lower crustal assimilation for petrologic suites within the San Luis Hills rocks, although the model cannot relate lavas for the entire series to a common parent. Most mafic lavas of the San Luis Hills were evolved (Mg # <60) and contaminated by LREE-enriched silicic partial melts of granulitic lower crust depleted in Rb, Th, and U. Pb isotopes are the most sensitive indicators of crustal contamination, whereas shifts in Nd and Sr isotope ratios are associated with large amounts of assimilation. However, relatively noncontaminated lavas can be identified and indicate at least two mantle source regions were involved.

  7. Andesite petrogenesis in a hybrid arc-rift setting: the Western Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez-Tuena, A.; Vázquez-Duarte, A.; Díaz-Bravo, B.; Mori, L.

    2011-12-01

    The western sector of the Mexican subduction zone is characterized by the steep subduction of one of the youngest slabs on the planet (Rivera plate), and by the existence of a continental rift at ~230 km to the north from the trench (the so-called Tepic-Zacoalco rift, TZR), under which the subducted slab is either extremely deep or even absent (>250 km). The volcanic front is located at ~170 km from the trench and contains abundant potassic-alkaline lamprophyres with strong subduction (Ba/Ta= 1600-6000) and garnet signatures (Gd/Yb= 2-8), that have been recently interpreted as influenced by deep K2O-rich slab melts or supercritical fluids (Gómez-Tuena et al., 2011, GCA). In contrast, the most mafic rocks within the TZR are high-Nb, intraplate-like basalts that appear to derive from low extents of melting of a dryer (Ba/Ta= 800-60) and shallower (Gd/Yb= 2-2.5) mantle source. Even though a simple transition from an arc environment to an extensional tectonic regime is apparent when only the most primitive volcanic rocks are taken into account, the scenario becomes more complicated since at least five stratovolcanoes have been erupting typical arc andesites within the TZR over the last million years (San Juan, Sanganguey, Tepetiltic, Ceboruco and Tequila). Surprisingly, true calc-alkaline basalts that could be parental to andesites have not been found, indicating that andesites may have a direct mantle origin. Indeed, mayor and trace element compositions of volcanic rocks from western Mexico arrange in discrete suites with linear trends that are indicative of mixing, but they form sub-parallel arrays that do not converge to a common primitive basaltic melt, and often follow diverging trends in trace element-ratio plots. Melt-crust interactions likely occurred during magma ascent, since the volcanic rocks frequently include xenoliths and disequilibrium textures, but correlations among isotopic compositions and indexes of fractionation are not clearly observed in the

  8. Monitoring the NW volcanic rift-zone of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain: sixteen years of diffuse CO_{2} degassing surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, Fátima; Halliwell, Simon; Butters, Damaris; Padilla, Germán; Padrón, Eleazar; Hernández, Pedro A.; Pérez, Nemesio M.

    2016-04-01

    Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and, together with Gran Canaria, is the only one that has developed a central volcanic complex characterized by the eruption of differentiated magmas. At present, one of the most active volcanic structures in Tenerife is the North-West Rift-Zone (NWRZ), which has hosted two historical eruptions: Arenas Negras in 1706 and Chinyero in 1909. Since the year 2000, 47 soil CO2 efflux surveys have been undertaken at the NWRZ of Tenerife Island to evaluate the temporal and spatial variations of CO2 efflux and their relationships with the volcanic-seismic activity. We report herein the last results of diffuse CO2 efflux survey at the NWRZ carried out in July 2015 to constrain the total CO2 output from the studied area. Measurements were performed in accordance with the accumulation chamber method. Spatial distribution maps were constructed following the sequential Gaussian simulation (sGs) procedure. During 2015 survey, soil CO2 efflux values ranged from non-detectable up to 103 g m‑2 d‑1. The total diffuse CO2 output released to atmosphere was estimated at 403 ± 17 t d‑1, values higher than the background CO2 emission estimated on 143 t d‑1. For all campaigns, soil CO2 efflux values ranged from non-detectable up to 141 g m‑2 d‑1, with the highest values measured in May 2005. Total CO2 output from the studied area ranged between 52 and 867 t d‑1. Temporal variations in the total CO2 output showed a temporal correlation with the onsets of seismic activity, supporting unrest of the volcanic system, as is also suggested by anomalous seismic activity recorded in the area during April 22-29, 2004. Spatial distribution of soil CO2 efflux values also showed changes in magnitude and amplitude, with higher CO2 efflux values located along a trending WNW-ESE area. Subsurface magma movement is proposed as a cause for the observed changes in the total output of diffuse CO2 emission, as well as for the spatial distribution of

  9. Contrasting magma types and steady-state, volume-predictable, basaltic volcanism along the Great Rift, Idaho.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuntz, M.A.; Champion, D.E.; Spiker, E. C.; Lefebvre, R.H.

    1986-01-01

    The Great Rift is an 85 km-long, 2-8 km-wide volcanic rift zone in the Snake River Plain, Idaho. Three basaltic lava fields, latest Pleistocene to Holocene, are located along the Great Rift: Craters of the Moon, Kings Bowl and Wapi. Craters of the Moon is the largest, covering 1600 km2 and containing approx 30 km3 of lava flows and pyroclastics. Field, radiocarbon and palaeomagnetic data show that this lava field formed in eight eruptive periods, each lasted several hundred years with a recurrence interval of several hundred to approx 3000 yr. The first eruption began approx 15 000 yr B.P. and the last ended at approx 2100 yr B.P. The other two lava fields formed approx 2250 yr B.P. Three magma types fed flows along the Great Rift. A contaminated and a fractionated type were erupted at the Craters of the Moon lava field. The third, little-fractionated Snake River Plain magma-type was erupted at the other two lava fields. The Craters of the Moon segment of the Great Rift has experienced quasi-steady state, volume-predictable volcanism for the last 15 000 yr. Based on this, about 5-6 km3 of lava will be erupted within the next 1000 yr.-L.C.H.

  10. Late Cretaceous intraplate silicic volcanism in the Lake Chad region: incipient continental rift volcanism vs. Cameroon Line volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shellnutt, G.; Lee, T. Y.; Torng, P. K.; Yang, C. C.

    2015-12-01

    The crustal evolution of west-central Africa during the Cretaceous was directly related to plate motion associated with the opening of the central Atlantic Ocean. Late Cretaceous (~66 Ma) to recent magmatism related to the Cameroon Line stretches from Northern Cameroon (i.e. Golda Zuelva) to the Gulf of Guinea (i.e. Pagalu) and is considered to be due to mantle-crust interaction. The volcanic rocks at Hadjer el Khamis, west-central Chad, are considered to be amongst the oldest volcanic rocks of the Cameroon Line but their relationship is uncertain because they erupted during a period of a regional extension associated with the opening of the Late Cretaceous (~75 Ma) Termit basin. The silicic volcanic rocks can be divided into a peraluminous group and a peralkaline group with both rock types having similar chemical characteristics as within-plate granitoids. In situ U/Pb zircon dating yielded a mean 206Pb/238U age of 74.4 ± 1.3 Ma and indicates the rocks erupted ~10 million years before the next oldest eruption attributed to the Cameroon Line. The Sr isotopes (i.e. ISr = 0.7050 to 0.7143) show a wide range but the Nd isotopes (i.e. 143Nd/144Ndi = 0.51268 to 0.51271) are more uniform and indicate that the rocks were derived from a moderately depleted mantle source. Major and trace elemental modeling show that the silicic rocks likely formed by shallow fractionation of a mafic parental magma where the peraluminous rocks experienced crustal contamination and the peralkaline rocks did not. The silicic rocks are more isotopically similar to Late Cretaceous basalts in the Doba and Bongor basins (i.e. ISr = 0.7040 to 0.7060; 143Nd/144Ndi = 0.51267 to 0.51277) of southern Chad than to rocks of the Cameroon Line (i.e. ISr = 0.7026 to 0.7038; 143Nd/144Ndi = 0.51270 to 0.51300). Given the age and isotopic compositions, it is likely that the silicic volcanic rocks of the Lake Chad area are related to Late Cretaceous extensional tectonics rather than to Cameroon Line magmatism.

  11. Rift propagation at craton margin.: Distribution of faulting and volcanism in the North Tanzanian Divergence (East Africa) during Neogene times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, B.; Nonnotte, P.; Rolet, J.; Benoit, M.; Guillou, H.; Mousseau-Nonnotte, M.; Albaric, J.; Deverchère, J.

    2008-02-01

    A revised kinematic model is proposed for the Neogene tectono-magmatic development of the North Tanzanian Divergence where the axial valley in S Kenya splits southwards into a wide diverging pattern of block faulting in association with the disappearance of volcanism. Propagation of rifting along the S Kenya proto-rift during the last 8 Ma is first assumed to have operated by linkage of discrete magmatic cells as far S as the Ngorongoro-Kilimanjaro transverse volcanic belt that follows the margin of cratonic blocks in N Tanzania. Strain is believed to have nucleated throughout the thermally-weakened lithosphere in the transverse volcanic belt that might have later linked the S Kenya and N Tanzania rift segments with marked structural changes along-strike. The North Tanzanian Divergence is now regarded as a two-armed rift pattern involving: (1) a wide domain of tilted fault blocks to the W (Mbulu) that encompasses the Eyasi and Manyara fault systems, in direct continuation with the Natron northern trough. The reactivation of basement fabrics in the cold and intact Precambrian lithosphere in the Mbulu domain resulted in an oblique rift pattern that contrasts with the orthogonal extension that prevailed in the Magadi-Natron trough above a more attenuated lithosphere. (2) To the E, the Pangani horst-like range is thought to be a younger (< 1 Ma) structure that formed in response to the relocation of extension S of the Kilimanjaro magmatic center. A significant contrast in the mechanical behaviour of the stretched lithosphere in the North Tanzanian diverging rift is assumed to have occurred on both sides of the Masai cratonic block with a mid-crustal decoupling level to the W where asymmetrical fault-basin patterns are dominant (Magadi-Natron and Mbulu), whereas a component of dynamical uplift is suspected to have caused the topographic elevation of the Pangani range in relation with possible far-travelled mantle melts produced at depth further N.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Németh, Károly; Cronin, Shane J.

    2009-03-01

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

  14. Recent and Hazardous Volcanic Activity Along the NW Rift Zone of Piton De La Fournaise Volcano, La Réunion Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walther, G.; Frese, I.; Di Muro, A.; Kueppers, U.; Michon, L.; Metrich, N.

    2014-12-01

    Shield volcanoes are a common feature of basaltic volcanism. Their volcanic activity is often confined to a summit crater area and rift systems, both characterized by constructive (scoria and cinder cones; lava flows) and destructive (pit craters; caldera collapse) phenomena. Piton de la Fournaise (PdF) shield volcano (La Réunion Island, Indian Ocean) is an ideal place to study these differences in eruptive behaviour. Besides the frequent eruptions in the central Enclos Fouqué caldera, hundreds of eruptive vents opened along three main rift zones cutting the edifice during the last 50 kyrs. Two short rift zones are characterized by weak seismicity and lateral magma transport at shallow depth (above sea level). Here we focus on the third and largest rift zone (15km wide, 20 km long), which extends in a north-westerly direction between PdF and nearby Piton des Neiges volcanic complex. It is typified by deep seismicity (up to 30 km), emitting mostly primitive magmas, testifying of high fluid pressures (up to 5 kbar) and large-volume eruptions. We present new field data (including stratigraphic logs, a geological map of the area, C-14 dating and geochemical analyses of the eruption products) on one of the youngest (~6kyrs) and largest lava field (Trous Blancs eruption). It extends for 24km from a height of 1800 m asl, passing Le Tampon and Saint Pierre cities, until reaching the coast. The source area of this huge lava flow has been identified in an alignment of four previously unidentified pit craters. The eruption initiated with intense fountaining activity, producing a m-thick bed of loose black scoria, which becomes densely welded in its upper part; followed by an alternation of volume rich lava effusions and strombolian activity, resulting in the emplacement of meter-thick, massive units of olivine-basalt alternating with coarse scoria beds in the proximal area. Activity ended with the emplacement of a dm-thick bed of glassy, dense scoria and a stratified lithic

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

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Alexei V; Demonterova, Elena I

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Off-axis magmatism along a subaerial back-arc rift: Observations from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Hamling, Ian J; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrun; Bannister, Stephen; Palmer, Neville

    2016-06-01

    Continental rifting and seafloor spreading play a fundamental role in the generation of new crust. However, the distribution of magma and its relationship with tectonics and volcanism remain poorly understood, particularly in back-arc settings. We show evidence for a large, long-lived, off-axis magmatic intrusion located on the margin of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. Geodetic data acquired since the 1950s show evidence for uplift outside of the region of active extension, consistent with the inflation of a magmatic body at a depth of ~9.5 km. Satellite radar interferometry and Global Positioning System data suggest that there was an increase in the inflation rate from 2003 to 2011, which correlates with intense earthquake activity in the region. Our results suggest that the continued growth of a large magmatic body may represent the birth of a new magma chamber on the margins of a back-arc rift system. PMID:27386580

  17. Off-axis magmatism along a subaerial back-arc rift: Observations from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Hamling, Ian J.; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrun; Bannister, Stephen; Palmer, Neville

    2016-01-01

    Continental rifting and seafloor spreading play a fundamental role in the generation of new crust. However, the distribution of magma and its relationship with tectonics and volcanism remain poorly understood, particularly in back-arc settings. We show evidence for a large, long-lived, off-axis magmatic intrusion located on the margin of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. Geodetic data acquired since the 1950s show evidence for uplift outside of the region of active extension, consistent with the inflation of a magmatic body at a depth of ~9.5 km. Satellite radar interferometry and Global Positioning System data suggest that there was an increase in the inflation rate from 2003 to 2011, which correlates with intense earthquake activity in the region. Our results suggest that the continued growth of a large magmatic body may represent the birth of a new magma chamber on the margins of a back-arc rift system. PMID:27386580

  18. Off-axis magmatism along a subaerial back-arc rift: Observations from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Hamling, Ian J; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrun; Bannister, Stephen; Palmer, Neville

    2016-06-01

    Continental rifting and seafloor spreading play a fundamental role in the generation of new crust. However, the distribution of magma and its relationship with tectonics and volcanism remain poorly understood, particularly in back-arc settings. We show evidence for a large, long-lived, off-axis magmatic intrusion located on the margin of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. Geodetic data acquired since the 1950s show evidence for uplift outside of the region of active extension, consistent with the inflation of a magmatic body at a depth of ~9.5 km. Satellite radar interferometry and Global Positioning System data suggest that there was an increase in the inflation rate from 2003 to 2011, which correlates with intense earthquake activity in the region. Our results suggest that the continued growth of a large magmatic body may represent the birth of a new magma chamber on the margins of a back-arc rift system.

  19. Geology and the origin of trachytes and pantellerites from the Eburru volcanic field, Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velador, J. M.; Omenda, P. A.; Anthony, E. Y.

    2002-12-01

    The Eburru volcanic field is located in the Kenya Rift, where it is part of the very young axial volcanic activity. The Eburru field belongs to the complex of volcanoes -- Menegai, Eburru, Olkaria, Longonot, and Suswa -- that are centered on the Kenya Dome. All of these volcanoes are prime targets for geothermal energy, with Kenya's one geothermal plant at Olkaria.. Correlation with dated volcanism implies that the activity at Eburru is at most approximately 500,000 years. The surfaces preserved on the youngest flows suggest that they erupted within the last 1,000 years. Mapping indicates that the volcanic field is divided into an older western section, composed of pantellerites (Er1) and overlying, faulted trachytes (Et1), and a younger eastern section. The eastern section has a mapable ring structure, and is composed of trachytes (Et2) and pantellerites (Er2). Some of these flows may be contemporaneous, but the final phase of eruption is exclusively pantellerite. We have chemical data for all units except the older pantellerites. The data indicate that the trachytes and rhyolites are both pantelleritic in terms of their alumina and iron contents. This is in contradistinction to the rhyolites immediately adjacent at Olkaria, which are comenditic. Concentrations for all elements are highly elevated, except for Ba, Sr, K, P, and Ti that show deep negative anomalies. The relationship between the trachytes (Et2) and pantellerites (Er2) is one in which the pantellerites consistently have the highest concentrations in all elements, including those with negative anomalies. Correlation coefficients for pairs such as Zr and Rb support the field evidence for the western Et1 trachytes being a separate magmatic event from the Et2 and Er2 units of the eastern field. Sanidine is the principal phenocrystic phase in these rocks, and thus the elevated Sr and Ba in the pantellerites preclude simple crystal fractionation to derive pantellerite from trachyte. Bailey and Macdonald

  20. Volcanic history of the Colorado River extensional corridor: Active or passive rifting

    SciTech Connect

    Howard, K.A. )

    1993-04-01

    Magmatism and extension began nearly simultaneously in the Colorado River extensional corridor (CREC) between 34 and 35[degree] N. Initial eruptions of basanite at 23--19.5 Ma were low-volume but spanned a region now twice as wide as the 100-km-wide corridor. Extensional tilting of this age was local. A large flux of calc-alkaline basalt, andesite, dacite, and rhyolite was erupted at 22--18.5 Ma. They accumulated to average thicknesses of [approximately]1 km in the early CREC basin, and were accompanied by extensional tilting. Dike swarms, necks, and plutons represent intrusive equivalents. Plutons concentrate in the central belt of metamorphic core complexes, the most highly extended areas. Massive eruption at 18.5 Ma of the rhyolitic Peach Springs Tuff marked an ensuing lowered rate of volcanic output, a change to bimodal volcanism, much tilting and extension, and deposition of thick (to [approximately]2 km) synextensional clastic sediments 18--14 Ms. By 14--12 Ma, extensional tilting had largely ceased, and eruptions were sparse and basaltic only, as they have been since. Basalt compositions reveal changing patterns of trace-element composition that bear on sources. The early basanites have OIB-like compositions on spidergram plots, suggesting origin from the asthenosphere as would be expected from initiation of rifting driven by hot mantle upwelling. Basalts 20--12 Ma show low concentrations of Nb and Ta as in subduction-related arc magmas. Post-extensional basalts erupted 15--10 Ma exhibit a transition back toward primitive compositions seen in Quaternary alkalic basalts.

  1. Submarine explosive volcanism in the southeastern Terceira Rift/São Miguel region (Azores)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiß, B. J.; Hübscher, C.; Wolf, D.; Lüdmann, T.

    2015-09-01

    Morphologic studies with sonar data and in situ observations of modern eruptions have revealed some information suggesting how submarine volcanic cones develop, but the information only addresses the modern surfaces of these features. Here, we describe a study combining morphological data with high-resolution seismic reflection data collected over cones within the southeastern Terceira Rift - a succession of deep basins, volcanic bathymetric highs and islands (e.g. São Miguel) representing the westernmost part of the Eurasian-Nubian plate boundary. The cones (252) are distributed in depths down to 3200 m and exhibit an average diameter of 743 m, an average slope of 20° and heights mainly between 50 and 200 m. The cones are here classified into three different categories by physiographic or tectonic setting (we find no particular morphometric differences in cone shapes between these areas). First, numerous cones located at the submarine flanks of São Miguel's Sete Cidades and Fogo Volcano are considered to be parasitic structures. Second, in the southeast of the island, they form a superstructure possibly reflecting an early submarine stadium of a posterior subaerial stratovolcano. Third, some cones are controlled by faults, mostly in a graben system southwest of the island. High-resolution multichannel seismic data indicates that the graben cones evolved synchronously with the graben formation. Bottom currents then probably removed the surficial fine grain-size fraction, leaving rough surface textures of the cones, which backscatter sonar signals strongly in the data recorded here. However, a young cone investigated in detail is characterized by a smooth surface, a marked increase of internal stratification with increasing distance from the summit and upwards concave flanks. Others exhibit central craters, suggesting an explosive than an effusive evolution of these structures. The morphological characteristics of these submarine cones show that they have similar

  2. A quantitative geomorphological approach to constraining the volcanic and tectonic evolution of the active Dabbahu rift segment, Afar, Ethiopia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, Sarah; Pik, Raphaël; Burnard, Peter; Vye-Brown, Charlotte; Blard, Pierre-Henri; France, Lydéric; Dumont, Stéphanie; Grandin, Raphaël; Schimmelpfennig, Irene; Benedetti, Lucilla; Ayalew, Dereje; Yirgu, Gezahegn

    2013-04-01

    In the Afar depression (Ethiopia), extension is organised along rift segments that morphologically resemble oceanic rifts. Segmentation results from interactions between dyke injection and volcanism, as observed during the well-documented 2005 rifting event on the Dabbahu rift segment. This tectono-volcanic crisis was observed in detail via remote sensing techniques, providing invaluable information on the present-day tectonic - magmatic interplay during a sequence of dyke intrusions. However, lack of data remains on timescales of 1 to 100 kyr, the period over which the main morphology of the 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. We use cosmogenic nuclides (3He and 36Cl) to determine the ages of young (<100 kyr) lava flows and to date the initiation and movement of fault scarps, which cut the lavas. Where possible, we analysed vertical profiles along fault scarps, in an attempt to distinguish individual tectonic events that offset the scarp, estimate their amplitudes and date the recurrence intervals. These geochronological constraints, combined with major & trace element compositions, field mapping and digital mapping (Landsat, ASTER and SPOT imagery), provide valuable insights on the magmatic and tectonic history of the segment. The results show that over the last 100 ka, the northern part of the Dabbahu segment was supplied by at least two different magma reservoirs, which can be identified from their distinctive chemistries. The main reservoir is located beneath Dabbahu volcano at the northern tip of the rift segment, and has been supplied with magma for at least 72 ka. The second reservoir is located further south on the rift axis and corresponds to the current mid-segment magma chamber, which was responsible for the 2005 rifting episode. Two magmatic cycles linked to the Dabbahu magma chamber were recorded, lasting 20-30 kyr

  3. REE partitioning between apatite and melt in a peralkaline volcanic suite, Kenya Rift Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Macdonald, R.; Baginski, B.; Belkin, H.E.; Dzierzanowski, P.; Jezak, L.

    2009-01-01

    Electron microprobe analyses are presented for fluorapatite phenocrysts from a benmoreite-peralkaline rhyolite volcanic suite from the Kenya Rift Valley. The rocks have previously been well characterized petrographically and their crystallization conditions are reasonably well known. The REE contents in the M site increase towards the rhyolites, with a maximum britholite component of ~35 mol.%. Chondrite-normalized REE patterns are rather flat between La and Sm and then decrease towards Yb. Sodium and Fe occupy up to 1% and 4%, respectively, of the M site. The major coupled substitution is REE3+ + Si4+ ??? Ca2+ + P5+. The substitution REE3+ + Na+ ??? 2Ca2+ has been of minor importance. The relatively large Fe contents were perhaps facilitated by the low fo2 conditions of crystallization. Zoning is ubiquitous and resulted from both fractional crystallization and magma mixing. Apatites in some rhyolites are relatively Y-depleted, perhaps reflecting crystallization from melts which had precipitated zircon. Mineral/glass (melt) ratios for two rhyolites are unusually high, with maxima at Sm (762, 1123). ?? 2008 The Mineralogical Society.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

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

  5. The last ~1 million years of carbonatite volcanism in northern Tanzania; last gasp of a decaying rift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A.

    2003-04-01

    Continued monitoring of volcanic activity at Oldoinyo Lengai for the last ~35 years suggests that this central volcano has become a highly evolved low temperature/low volume carbonatite-nephelinite system. The sustained intermingling of silicate and carbonatitic eruptions for most of this volcano's history contrasts sharply with the two-stage sequential development of neighbouring Kerimasi (nephelinite then carbonatite). The footprint of the older Kerimasi volcano is effected by active faulting of earlier flood lavas along the west rift wall. The mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry of both volcanos generally conform with the LeBas model of carbonatite-nephelinite volcanism for the eastern arm of the EAR. However, their overall differences in bulk chemistry suggest that their ~15 km horizontal separation at the surface, reflects compositional heterogeneity of the mantle source over a similar length scale. This is consistent with primary melt segregation at relatively shallow mantle depths, and crustal delivery along pipe-like conduits with minimal lateral transport. The surrounding rift valley floor is pock-marked with numerous small volcanic structures, such as tuff cones, craters and minor lava flows. The ages of these minor volcanos are bracketed by the two larger central volcanos, and also contain both carbonatite and alkaline silicate magmas; they extend the compositional range and suggest deeper sources for periodic small volume primary melilitite magmas. Their xenolith populations are consistent with an extended history of metasomatised mantle peridotites characterised by increasing amphibole, mica, and clinopyroxene at the expense of orthopyroxene. Megacrysts and cumulate-textured xenoliths are also consistent with repeated occupation of vertical conduits and local sidewall crystallisation at depths close to the Moho. Overall, the recent volcanic activity represents highly evolved small volume batches of mantle melts with high carbonate and CO2, and

  6. Constructing event trees for volcanic crises

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newhall, C.; Hoblitt, R.

    2002-01-01

    Event trees are useful frameworks for discussing probabilities of possible outcomes of volcanic unrest. Each branch of the tree leads from a necessary prior event to a more specific outcome, e.g., from an eruption to a pyroclastic flow. Where volcanic processes are poorly understood, probability estimates might be purely empirical - utilizing observations of past and current activity and an assumption that the future will mimic the past or follow a present trend. If processes are better understood, probabilities might be estimated from a theoritical model, either subjectively or by numerical simulations. Use of Bayes' theorem aids in the estimation of how fresh unrest raises (or lowers) the probabilities of eruptions. Use of event trees during volcanic crises can help volcanologists to critically review their analysis of hazard, and help officials and individuals to compare volcanic risks with more familiar risks. Trees also emphasize the inherently probabilistic nature of volcano forecasts, with multiple possible outcomes.

  7. Basaltic volcanism, mantle plumes, and the mechanics of rifting: The Paraná flood basalt province of South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harry, Dennis L.; Sawyer, Dale S.

    1992-03-01

    Dynamic modeling of continental extension between South America and Africa shows that the mechanics of rifting played an important role in determining the pattern of volcanism within the Paraná and Etendeka flood-basalt provinces on the Brazilian and Namibian margins. The key feature of the model is the development of a horizontal pressure gradient in the lower crust during the early stages of extension, which provided a mechanism for transporting magma generated beneath the incipient sea-floor spreading axis into the Paraná province, 100-200 km distant. The horizontal pressure gradient developed as a consequence of the dynamic interaction of preexisting weaknesses in the middle crust and upper mantle during rifting. The model accounts for the large quantity of basalt, the asymmetric distribution of basalt on the conjugate margins, and the northward migration of the eruptive center with time. The rapidity of magma genesis is in agreement with models of decompression melting during rifting. The model indicates that although elevated asthenosphere temperatures associated with the Tristan plume account for the volume of melt generated, the mechanics of rifting control the location and style of emplacement. The model suggests that extension in the region began ca. 150-155 Ma, and lasted about 25 m.y.

  8. Topography of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary below the Upper Rhine Graben Rift and the volcanic Eifel region, Central Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seiberlich, C. K. A.; Ritter, J. R. R.; Wawerzinek, B.

    2013-09-01

    We study the crust-mantle and lithosphere-asthenosphere boundaries (Moho and LAB) in Central Europe, specifically below the Upper Rhine Graben (URG) rift, the Eifel volcanic region and their surrounding areas. Teleseismic recordings at permanent and mobile stations are analysed to search for shear (S) wave to compressional (P) wave converted phases. After a special processing these phases are identified in shear wave receiver functions (S-RFs). Conversions from the Moho at 2.9-3.3 s arrival time are the clearest signals in the S-RFs and indicate a relatively flat Moho at 27-30 km depth. A negative polarity conversion signal at 7-9 s arrival time can be explained with a low shear wave velocity zone (LVsZ) in the upper mantle. We use forward S-RF waveform modelling and Monte-Carlo techniques to determine shear wave velocity (vs)-depth (z) profiles which explain the observed S-RF and which outline variations of the lithospheric thickness in the study region. Across the URG rift and its surrounding mountain ranges (Black Forest, Odenwald etc.) the LAB is at a depth of about 60 ± 5 km. This depth is found for the rift itself as well as for the rift shoulders. Southeast and southwest of the URG, in the regions of the Swabian Alb and Vosges Mountains, the LAB dips to about 78 ± 5 km depth. In the volcanic Eifel region the LAB is at a much shallower depth of just 41 ± 5 km. There an upwelling mantle plume thermally eroded the lower lithosphere. The reduction of vs is about 2%-4% in the upper asthenosphere compared to the lower lithosphere. This vs contrast may be explained with a low portion of partial melt or hydrous minerals in the asthenosphere.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Geomorphometric reconstruction of post-eruptive surfaces of the Virunga Volcanic Province (East African Rift), constraint of erosion ratio and relative chronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahitte, Pierre; Poppe, Sam; Kervyn, Matthieu

    2016-04-01

    Quaternary volcanic landforms result from a complex evolution, involving volcanic constructional events and destructive ones by collapses and long-term erosion. Quantification, by morphometric approaches, of the evolution through time of the volcano shape allows the estimation of relative ages between volcanoes sharing the same climate and eruptive conditions. We apply such method to six volcanoes of the Virunga Volcanic Province in the western branch of the East African Rift Valley that still has rare geochronological constraints. As they have comparable sizes, volcanic history and erupted products, these edifices may have undergone comparable conditions of erosion which justify the deduction of relative chronology from their erosion pattern. Our GIS-based geomorphometric approach, the SHAPEVOLC algorithm, quantifies erupted or dismantled volumes by numerically modeling topographies resulting from the eruptive construction of each volcano. Constraining points are selected by analyses of morphometric properties of each cell of the current DEM, as the loci where the altitude is still representative of the un-eroded volcanic surfaces. A primary elevation surface is firstly adjusted to these constraining points by modeling a first-order pseudo-radial surface defined by: 1. the curve best fitting the concave-upwards volcano profile; 2. the location and elevation of the volcano summit; and 3. the possible eccentricity and azimuth parameters that allow to stretch and contract contours to adjust the shape of the model to the elliptically-shaped surface of the volcano. A second-order surface is next computed by local adjustment of the first-order surface to the constraining points to obtain the definitive primary elevation surface of the considered volcanic construct. Amount of erosion is obtained by summing the difference in elevation between reconstructed surfaces and current ones that allows to establish relative ages of volcanoes. For the 6 studied Virunga volcanoes

  11. Wide Angle Converted Shear Wave Analysis of North Atlantic Volcanic Rifted Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    High-quality, wide-angle, ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) data have been acquired with a low frequency (9 Hz) seismic source across the Faroes and Hatton Bank volcanic rifted continental margins in the North Atlantic. In these regions thick Tertiary flood basalt sequences provide a challenge to deep seismic imaging. S-wave arrivals, which are dominantly converted from P- to S-waves at the sediment-top basalt interface, were recorded at 170 4-component OBS locations. Variation in the conversion efficiency was observed along the profiles. Tomographic inversion of over 70,000 converted S-wave crustal diving waves and Moho reflections was performed to produce S-wave velocity models and hence, when combined with pre-existing P-wave velocity models, a measure of the Vp/Vs ratio structure of the crust. Resolution testing shows the structure of the oceanic crust and continent-ocean transition is generally well resolved on both profiles. Lateral and vertical changes in Vp/Vs resolves changing crustal composition within, and between, oceanic and continental crust, including regions in the lower crust at the continent-ocean transition with high P-wave velocities of up to 7.5 km/s and low Vp/Vs ratios of ~ 1.75 associated with intense high-temperature intrusion at the time of break-up. Vp/Vs ratios of 1.75-1.80 at the base of the thickened oceanic crust are also lower than generally reported in normal oceanic crust. The P-wave travel-time tomography revealed a low velocity zone (LVZ) beneath the basalt on the Faroes margin and additional constraint on the Vp/Vs of the LVZ beneath the Fugloy Ridge has been gained by analysing the relative travel-time delays between basalt and basement refractions for P- and S-waves. This approach is less subject to the velocity-depth ambiguity associated with velocity inversions than is the determination of P- or S- wave velocity alone. Comparison of the calculated Vp/Vs ratio and P-wave velocity with measurements from relevant lithologies

  12. Structural controls on the spatial distribution and geochemical composition of volcanism in a continental rift zone; an example from Owens Valley, eastern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haproff, P. J.; Yin, A.

    2014-12-01

    Bimodal volcanism is common in continental rift zones. Structural controls to the emplacement and compositions of magmas, however, are not well understood. To address this issue, we examine the location, age, and geochemistry of active volcanic centers, and geometry and kinematics of rift-related faults across the active transtensional Owens Valley rift zone. Building on existing studies, we postulate that the spatial distribution and geochemical composition of volcanism are controlled by motion along rift-bounding fault systems. Along-strike variation in fault geometry and characteristics of active volcanism allow us to divide Owens Valley into three segments: southern, northern, and central. The southern segment of Owens Valley is a simple shear, asymmetric rift bounded to the west by the east-dipping Sierra Nevada frontal fault (SNFF). Active vents of Coso volcanic field are distributed along the eastern rift shoulder and characterized by the eruption of bimodal lavas. The SNFF within this segment is low-angle and penetrates through the lithosphere and into the ductile asthenosphere, allowing for mantle-derived magma to migrate across the weakest part of the fault zone beneath the eastern rift shoulder. Magma thermally weakens wall rocks and eventually stalls in the crust where the melt develops a greater felsic component prior to eruption. The northern segment of Owens Valley displays similar structural geometry, as the west-dipping White Mountains fault (WMF) is listric at depth and offsets the crust and mantle lithosphere, allowing for vertical transport of magma and reservoir emplacement within the crust. Bimodal lavas periodically erupted in the Long Valley Caldera region along the western rift shoulder. The central segment of Owens Valley is a pure shear, symmetric graben generated by motion along the SNFF and WMF. The subvertical, right-slip Owens Valley fault (OVF) strikes along the axis of the valley and penetrates through the lithosphere into the

  13. Evaluation of the ongoing rifting and subduction processes in the geochemistry of magmas from the western part of the Mexican Volcanic Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, Surendra P.; Pandarinath, Kailasa; Rivera-Gómez, M. Abdelaly

    2016-03-01

    A compilation of new and published geochemical data for 1512 samples of volcanic rocks from the western part of the Mexican Volcanic Belt was first subdivided according to the age group (136 samples of Miocene and 1376 samples of Pliocene-Holocene). Rocks of the younger group were then subdivided as Rift (1014 samples from the triple-rift system) and No Rift (362 samples outside of the triple-rift system) or Near Trench (937 samples) and Far Trench (439 samples) magmas. These subdivisions were considered separately as basic, intermediate, and acid magmatic rocks. The application of the conventional and multidimensional techniques confirmed the great tectonic and geochemical complexity of this region. The presence of oceanic-type basalts suggested to result from a mantle plume was not confirmed from the tectonomagmatic multidimensional diagrams. The Miocene rocks, which are present at the surface far from the Middle-America Trench, showed a likely continental rift setting in most diagrams for basic rocks and a continental arc setting for intermediate rocks. These differences can be explained in terms of the petrogenetic origin of the magmas. Unlike the current thinking, the triple-rift system seems to have influenced the chemistry of Pliocene-Holocene basic rocks, which indicated a continental rift setting. The Pliocene-Holocene intermediate and acid rocks, however, did not show such an influence. The Pliocene-Holocene basic rocks indicated a continental rift setting, irrespective of the Near Trench and Far Trench subdivision because numerous Near Trench rocks also lie in the triple-rift and graben systems. However, the intermediate rocks having a crustal component in their genesis indicated a continental arc (Near Trench) or a transitional arc to within-plate setting (Far Trench). The acid rocks having a crustal component also suggested a continental arc (Near Trench) or a transitional setting (Far Trench). The application of the tectonomagmatic multidimensional

  14. Convective thinning of the lithosphere: A mechanism for rifting and mid-plate volcanism on Earth, Venus, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spohn, T.; Schubert, G.

    1982-01-01

    Thinning of the Earth's lithosphere by heat advected to its base is a possible mechanism for continental rifting and continental and oceanic mid-plate volcanism. It might also account for continental rifting-like processes and volcanism on Venus and Mars. Earth's continental lithosphere can be thinned to the crust in a few tens of million years by heat advected at a rate of 5 to 10 times the normal basal heat flux. This much heat is easily carried to the lithosphere by mantle plumes. The continent is not required to rest over the mantle hot spot but may move at tens of millimeters per year. Because of the constant level of crustal radioactive heat production, the ratio of the final to the initial surface heat flow increases much less than the ratio of the final to initial basal heat flow. For large increases in asthenospheric heat flow, the lithosphere is almost thinned to the crust before any significant change in surface heat flow occurs. Uplift due to thermal expansion upon thinning is a few kilometers. The oceanic lithosphere can be thinned to the crust in less than 10 million years if the heat advection is at a rate around 5 or more times the basal heat flow into 100 Ma old lithosphere. Uplift upon thinning can compensate the subsidence of spreading and cooling lithosphere.

  15. Volcanic or Fluvial Channels on Ascraeus Mons: Focus on the Source Area of Sinuous Channels on the Southeast Rift Apron

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Signorella, Julia D.; deWet, A.; Bleacher, J. E.; Collins, A.; Schierl, Z. P.; Schwans, B.

    2012-01-01

    Deciphering the Mars water history is important to understanding the planet's geological evolution and whether it could have sustained life. Channel features on Mars, such as the features documented in Kasei Valles, are generally accepted as evidence for water flowing over the Mars surface in the past [1]. However, not all channels are the product of fluvial processes and many can be interpreted as having a volcanic origin [2]. This research involves studying channel features on the flanks of the Ascraeus Mons volcano, which is a part of the Tharsis province. Numerous sinuous channels exist on the rift apron of Ascraeus Mons and they have been interpreted as either fluvial [3] or volcanic [4,5]. The channels originate from pits and linear depressions and extend for many 100 s of km downslope. Mapping the proximal to distal morphology of the complete channel and determining its relationship with other features on the apron provides evidence for the processes of formation and their relative temporal relationships. This study focused on sinuous channels located on the south-east part of the Ascraeus rift apron (Fig. 1). Observations of possible analogous features on Hawaii are used to provide insights into the processes of formation of the Mars features.

  16. Fracturing and earthquake activity within the Prestahnúkur fissure swarm in the Western Volcanic Rift Zone of Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjartardóttir, Ásta Rut; Hjaltadóttir, Sigurlaug; Einarsson, Páll; Vogfjörd, Kristín.; Muñoz-Cobo Belart, Joaquín.

    2015-12-01

    The Prestahnúkur fissure swarm is located within the ultraslowly spreading Western Volcanic Zone in Iceland. The fissure swarm is characterized by normal faults, open fractures, and evidence of subglacial fissure eruptions (tindars). In this study, fractures and faults within the Prestahnúkur fissure swarm were mapped in detail from aerial photographs to determine the extent and activity of the fissure swarm. Earthquakes during the last ~23 years were relocated to map the subsurface fault planes that they delineate. The Prestahnúkur fissure swarm is 40-80 km long and up to ~20 km wide. Most of the areas of the fissure swarm have been glacially eroded, although a part of it is covered by postglacial lava flows. The fissure swarm includes numerous faults with tens of meters vertical offset within the older glacially eroded part, whereas open fractures are found within postglacial lava flows. Comparison of relocated earthquakes and surface fractures indicates that some of the surface fractures have been activated at depth during the last ~23 years, although no dike intrusions have been ongoing. The existence of tindars nevertheless indicates that dike intrusions and rifting events do occur within the Prestahnúkur fissure swarm. The low-fracture density within postglacial lava flows and low density of postglacial eruptive fissures indicate that rifting episodes occur less often than in the faster spreading Northern Volcanic Zone.

  17. Catastrophic volcanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lipman, Peter W.

    1988-01-01

    Since primitive times, catastrophes due to volcanic activity have been vivid in the mind of man, who knew that his activities in many parts of the world were threatened by lava flows, mudflows, and ash falls. Within the present century, increasingly complex interactions between volcanism and the environment, on scales not previously experienced historically, have been detected or suspected from geologic observations. These include enormous hot pyroclastic flows associated with collapse at source calderas and fed by eruption columns that reached the stratosphere, relations between huge flood basalt eruptions at hotspots and the rifting of continents, devastating laterally-directed volcanic blasts and pyroclastic surges, great volcanic-generated tsunamis, climate modification from volcanic release of ash and sulfur aerosols into the upper atmosphere, modification of ocean circulation by volcanic constructs and attendent climatic implications, global pulsations in intensity of volcanic activity, and perhaps triggering of some intense terrestrial volcanism by planetary impacts. Complex feedback between volcanic activity and additional seemingly unrelated terrestrial processes likely remains unrecognized. Only recently has it become possible to begin to evaluate the degree to which such large-scale volcanic processes may have been important in triggering or modulating the tempo of faunal extinctions and other evolutionary events. In this overview, such processes are examined from the viewpoint of a field volcanologist, rather than as a previous participant in controversies concerning the interrelations between extinctions, impacts, and volcanism.

  18. Uplift, rifting and related geomorphological evolution of the Ethiopian volcanic province: what do we really know ? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pik, R.; Ayalew, D.; Yirgu, G.

    2010-12-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is particularly famous because sediments trapped in some of the rift depressions have recorded a major piece of the late Cenozoic mammalian and hominin evolution, as well as associated proxies of climate and environmental changes. The present day landscape along the EARS is spectacular and characterized by axial rift valleys surrounded by variously extended volcanic highlands often culminating at altitude > 3000 m. The morphological development of this unique tectonic and magmatic environment has been increasingly debated these last years and attributed either to (1) the direct and indirect consequences of mantle plume impingement, or to (2) the tectonic and flexural consequences of extensional motion. More than a simple difference in the processes implicated in the genesis of the geomorpholigical characteristics, these two models are opposed by the timing of the topography creation: i.e. early - during the Oligo-Miocene - or late - concomitant with Mio-Pliocene transition and climatic evolution ? In the EARS, the Northern Ethiopian plateau and the associated Afar margin represent an ideal case study to investigate the interplay between uplift and rifting. This margin developed in the heart of the Afar mantle plume related volcanic province and is presently separating the Afar depression from the Ethiopian Highlands with an impressive altitudinal gradient (more than 3000 m in less than 50 km). We review published and present new structural and quantitative data in order to constrain the morpho-tectonic evolution of this system. Based on the following observations we argue that this topographical passive margin started to develop during Miocene times from the top of an already uplifted dome : (1) uplift of the main plateau is broadly distributed with a convex shape, and its maximum does not correspond to the margins location, (2) this "off-rift" maximum is to the contrary located on top of a mantle anomaly revealed by tomography

  19. Oceanic rift propagation - a cause of crustal underplating and seamount volcanism

    SciTech Connect

    Calvert, A.J.; Hasselgren, E.A.; Clowes, R.M. )

    1990-09-01

    We present the first seismic reflection data across a pseudofault zone, the trace of a propagating rift away from a spreading axis. Strong reflections from the crust-mantle transition are discontinuous across the pseudofault. Deeper reflections, which originate near the base of the crust formed at the propagator tip, dip beneath the older oceanic crust and become subhorizontal. They are interpreted to represent the lower limit of an underplated subcrustal plutonic complex. An anomalously smooth basement surface indicative of massive lava flows and a 1200-m-high seamount are above the underplated zone. The sill complex extends tens of kilometres ahead of, and off-axis from, the former location of the propagating rift, indicating that the magmatic supply to the propagator tip was unusually vigorous. Other seamounts in the northeast Pacific lie close to pseudofaults and may have formed as a result of rift propagation.

  20. Inferno Chasm Rift Zone, Idaho: A Terrestrial Analog for Plains-style Volcanism in Southeastern Mare Serenitatis on the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garry, W. B.; Hughes, S. S.; Kobs-Nawotniak, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    Volcanic features aligned along a linear graben in southeastern Mare Serenitatis (19°N, 27.5°E) on the Moon resemble a series of effusive basaltic landforms erupted along the Inferno Chasm rift zone within Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (COTM), Idaho (42°58'00"N, 113°11'25"W). This region in Idaho is the type-locale for terrestrial plains-style volcanism. Examples of lunar plains-style volcanism have previously been described within Orientale Basin at Lacus Veris and Lacus Autumni, but this eruption style has not been used to describe the site in Mare Serenitatis. The SSERVI FINESSE team (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) has documented the features along Inferno Chasm rift using a LiDAR, Differential Global Positioning Systems, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to compare with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow-Angle Camera images and digital terrain models. The region in southeastern Mare Serenitatis provides one of the best concentrations of features representative of lunar plains-style volcanism. On the Moon, these features include a cone (Osiris), a flat-topped dome, a rille-like channel (Isis), a vent, and a possible perched lava pond. In Idaho, the analog features include a dome (Grand View Crater), a rille-like channel (Inferno Chasm), vents (Cottrells Blowout, Horse Butte), and a perched lava pond (Papadakis). Both the scale and morphology of the features on the Moon are similar to the features in Idaho. For example, the channel in Isis is ~3 km long, 283 m-wide, and 25 m deep compared to Inferno Chasm which is ~1.7 km long, 100 m wide, and 20 m deep. The slope of the channel in Isis is -1.2°, while the channel in Inferno Chasm has a slope of -0.33°. The alignment of landforms on the Moon and Idaho are both consistent with dike emplacement. Observations of the flow stratigraphy for features in Idaho will inform the potential eruption conditions of the individual features on the Moon.

  1. Observational constraints and models for conjugate North Atlantic volcanic rifted margins formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, R. S.; Faleide, J. I.; Planke, S.

    2009-12-01

    The amount of breakup-related magmatism in the northeast Atlantic cannot be explained by passive decompression melting of sub-lithospheric mantle with a normal potential temperature. Three competing end-member hypotheses are proposed for the formation of this excess magmatic activity: 1) excess magmatism results from elevated mantle potential temperatures associated with mantle plume processes, 2) rifting induced small scale convection at the base of the lithosphere enhances the flux of material through the melt window during rifting and mid-oceanic ridge spreading, and 3) mantle heterogeneities with lower melt temperatures of the melt source may produce larger than expected magmatic productivity. We review observations and present forward numerical models of passive margin formation including melt production. Key characteristics that require explanation include: 1) igneous crustal thickness versus mean igneous seismic velocity relationships for magmatic underplated bodies on the Norwegian-Greenland conjugate margins that indicate a cooling trend and seismic velocities that point to a moderate or non-existent mantle thermal anomaly during and after breakup; 2) rapid along margin variations in the observed igneous crustal thickness that suggest a local lithospheric control on melt productivity; 3) significant asymmetries in melt production existing between the Norwegian-Greenland conjugate margins; 4) post rift magmatic activity 30 my after breakup with igneous seismic velocity indicating normal mantle temperature; 5) anomalous low magmatic productivity in the oceanic Norway basin following moderate excess productivity that suggests anomalous low mantle temperatures following breakup, 6) anomalous mantle lithosphere thinning in the distal margin in the late syn-rift, 7) uplift and erosion of highly thinned crustal blocks in the distal margin. Forward numerical models of passive margin formation and melt productivity suggest the following key controls: 1) rifting

  2. The Age of Parana Flood Volcanism, Rifting of Gondwanaland, and the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renne, Paul R.; Ernesto, Marcia; Pacca, Igor G.; Coe, Robert S.; Glen, Jonathon M.; Prevot, Michel; Perrin, Mireille

    1992-11-01

    The Parana-Etendeka flood volcanic event produced ~1.5 x 10^6 cubic kilometers of volcanic rocks, ranging from basalts to rhyolites, before the separation of South America and Africa during the Cretaceous period. New 40Ar/39Ar data combined with earlier paleomagnetic results indicate that Parana flood volcanism in southern Brazil began at 133 ± 1 million years ago and lasted less than 1 million years. The implied mean eruption rate on the order of 1.5 cubic kilometers per year is consistent with a mantle plume origin for the event and is comparable to eruption rates determined for other well-documented continental flood volcanic events. Parana flood volcanism occurred before the initiation of sea floor spreading in the South Atlantic and was probably precipitated by uplift and weakening of the lithosphere by the Tristan da Cunha plume. The Parana event postdates most current estimates for the age of the faunal mass extinction associated with the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary.

  3. The age of parana flood volcanism, rifting of gondwanaland, and the jurassic-cretaceous boundary.

    PubMed

    Renne, P R; Ernesto, M; Pacca, I G; Coe, R S; Glen, J M; Prévot, M; Perrin, M

    1992-11-01

    The Paraná-Etendeka flood volcanic event produced approximately 1.5 x 10(6) cubic kilometers of volcanic rocks, ranging from basalts to rhyolites, before the separation of South America and Africa during the Cretaceous period. New (40)Ar/(39)Ar data combined with earlier paleomagnetic results indicate that Paraná flood volcanism in southern Brazil began at 133 +/- 1 million years ago and lasted less than 1 million years. The implied mean eruption rate on the order of 1.5 cubic kilometers per year is consistent with a mantle plume origin for the event and is comparable to eruption rates determined for other well-documented continental flood volcanic events. Paraná flood volcanism occurred before the initiation of sea floor spreading in the South Atlantic and was probably precipitated by uplift and weakening of the lithosphere by the Tristan da Cunha plume. The Parana event postdates most current estimates for the age of the faunal mass extinction associated with the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary. PMID:17794593

  4. The age of parana flood volcanism, rifting of gondwanaland, and the jurassic-cretaceous boundary.

    PubMed

    Renne, P R; Ernesto, M; Pacca, I G; Coe, R S; Glen, J M; Prévot, M; Perrin, M

    1992-11-01

    The Paraná-Etendeka flood volcanic event produced approximately 1.5 x 10(6) cubic kilometers of volcanic rocks, ranging from basalts to rhyolites, before the separation of South America and Africa during the Cretaceous period. New (40)Ar/(39)Ar data combined with earlier paleomagnetic results indicate that Paraná flood volcanism in southern Brazil began at 133 +/- 1 million years ago and lasted less than 1 million years. The implied mean eruption rate on the order of 1.5 cubic kilometers per year is consistent with a mantle plume origin for the event and is comparable to eruption rates determined for other well-documented continental flood volcanic events. Paraná flood volcanism occurred before the initiation of sea floor spreading in the South Atlantic and was probably precipitated by uplift and weakening of the lithosphere by the Tristan da Cunha plume. The Parana event postdates most current estimates for the age of the faunal mass extinction associated with the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  6. A volcanic province near the western termination of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone at the rifted margin, offshore northeast Newfoundland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keen, C. E.; Dafoe, L. T.; Dickie, K.

    2014-06-01

    A mid-Cretaceous to Late Cretaceous volcanic province, named here the Charlie-Gibbs Volcanic Province, is described near the western termination of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, against the rifted continental margin northeast of Newfoundland. We used seismic data to map 14 volcanic seamounts, now buried below younger sediments. They rise 0.7 to 2 s two-way time (twt) above the surrounding basement level and are about 8-30 km wide. Some are conical while others are more flat-topped. Underlying igneous units resembling flows and sills are also observed. Based on magnetic modeling of the large positive magnetic anomalies associated with the seamounts, the total thickness of igneous rocks can locally reach about 8 km. This magmatism occurred in the vicinity of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone and extends about 150 km to the north along the rifted continental margin. The volcanic province also forms the northern boundary of the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Orphan Basin, along a major transform margin there. Truncation of rift-related structures which extend to deep crustal levels is observed at the transform, along trends similar to those of prerift Appalachian terrane boundaries on the adjacent shelf. This suggests the existence of a preexisting weak zone in the continental lithosphere within which a complex strike-slip fault system developed and may have controlled the location of final continental breakup between the Rockall and North American plates in the Late Cretaceous.

  7. Volcanic geology and eruption frequency, lower east rift zone of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, R.B.

    1992-01-01

    Detailed geologic mapping and radiocarbon dating of tholeiitic basalts covering about 275 km2 on the lower east rift zone (LERZ) and adjoining flanks of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, show that at least 112 separate eruptions have occurred during the past 2360 years. Eruptive products include spatter ramparts and cones, a shield, two extensive lithic-rich tuff deposits, aa and pahoehoe flows, and three littoral cones. Areal coverage, number of eruptions and average dormant interval estimates in years for the five age groups assigned are: (I) historic, i.e. A D 1790 and younger: 25%, 5, 42.75; (II) 200-400 years old: 50%, 15, 14.3: (III) 400-750 years old: 20%, 54, 6.6; (IV) 750-1500 years old: 5%, 37, 20.8; (V) 1500-3000 years old: <1%, 1, unknown. At least 4.5-6 km3 of tholeiitic basalt have been erupted from the LERZ during the past 1500 years. Estimated volumes of the exposed products of individual eruptions range from a few tens of cubic meters for older units in small kipukas to as much as 0.4 km3 for the heiheiahulu shield. The average dormant interval has been about 13.6 years during the past 1500 years. The most recent eruption occurred in 1961, and the area may be overdue for its next eruption. However, eruptive activity will not resume on the LERZ until either the dike feeding the current eruption on the middle east rift zone extends farther down rift, or a new dike, unrelated to the current eruption, extends into the LERZ. ?? 1992 Springer-Verlag.

  8. Fault-controlled lithospheric detachment of the volcanic southern South Atlantic rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Katharina; Tanner, David C.; Franke, Dieter; Krawczyk, Charlotte M.

    2016-03-01

    We present structural models of two exemplary conjugate seismic lines of the southernmost South Atlantic margins to examine their initial evolution, especially the seaward-dipping reflectors (SDRs). Modeling illustrates the different structure and inclination angles of the SDRs, which therefore require different subsidence histories. Since typical symmetrical subsidence models are not applicable, we suggest a model with a westward-dipping detachment fault that offsets the SDRs on the South American margin and we speculate on passively subsided SDRs on the South African margin. We propose a simple-shear rifting mechanism to explain the initial break-up of the South Atlantic.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  10. Distribution of fault activity in the early stages of continental breakup: an analysis of faults and volcanic products of the Natron Basin, East African Rift, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muirhead, J. D.; Kattenhorn, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Recent magmatic-tectonic crises in Ethiopia (e.g. 2005 Dabbahu rifting episode, Afar) have informed our understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of strain in magmatic rifts transitioning to sea-floor spreading. However, the evolving contributions of magmatic and tectonic processes during the initial stages of rifting, is a subject of ongoing debate. The <5 Ma northern Tanzania and southern Kenya sectors of the East Africa Rift provide ideal locations to address this problem. We present preliminary findings from an investigation of fault structures utilizing aerial photography and satellite imagery of the ~35 km wide Natron rift-basin in northern Tanzania. Broad-scale structural mapping will be supplemented by field observations and 40Ar-39Ar dating of lava flows cut by faults to address three major aspects of magma-assisted rifting: (1) the relative timing of activity between the border fault and smaller faults distributed across the width of the rift; (2) time-averaged slip rates along rift-zone faults; and (3) the spatial distribution of faults and volcanic products, and their relative contributions to strain accommodation. Preliminary field observations suggest that the ~500 m high border fault system along the western edge of the Natron basin is either inactive or has experienced a reduced slip rate and higher recurrence interval between surface-breaking events, as evidence by a lack of recent surface-rupture along the main fault escarpments. An exception is an isolated, ~2 km-long segment of the Natron border fault, which is located in close proximity (< 5km) to the active Oldoinyo Lengai volcano. Here, ~10 m of seemingly recent throw is observed in volcaniclastic deposits. The proximity of the fault segment to Oldoinyo Lengai volcano and the localized distribution of fault-slip are consistent with magma-assisted faulting. Faults observed within the Natron basin and on the flanks of Gelai volcano, located on the eastern side of the rift, have

  11. Origin of metaluminous and alkaline volcanic rocks of the Latir volcanic field, northern Rio Grande rift, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, C.M.; Lipman, P.W.

    1988-01-01

    Volcanic rocks of the Latir volcanic field evolved in an open system by crystal fractionation, magma mixing, and crustal assimilation. Early high-SiO2 rhyolites (28.5 Ma) fractionated from intermediate compositionmagmas that did not reach the surface. Most precaldera lavas have intermediate-compositions, from olivine basaltic-andesite (53% SiO2) to quartz latite (67% SiO2). The precaldera intermediate-composition lavas have anomalously high Ni and MgO contents and reversely zoned hornblende and augite phenocrysts, indicating mixing between primitive basalts and fractionated magmas. Isotopic data indicate that all of the intermediate-composition rocks studied contain large crustal components, although xenocrysts are found only in one unit. Inception of alkaline magmatism (alkalic dacite to high-SiO2 peralkaline rhyolite) correlates with, initiation of regional extension approximately 26 Ma ago. The Questa caldera formed 26.5 Ma ago upon eruption of the >500 km3 high-SiO2 peralkaline Amalia Tuff. Phenocryst compositions preserved in the cogenetic peralkaline granite suggest that the Amalia Tuff magma initially formed from a trace element-enriched, high-alkali metaluminous magma; isotopic data suggest that the parental magmas contain a large crustal component. Degassing of water- and halogen-rich alkali basalts may have provided sufficient volatile transport of alkalis and other elements into the overlying silicic magma chamber to drive the Amalia Tuff magma to peralkaline compositions. Trace element variations within the Amalia Tuff itself may be explained solely by 75% crystal fractionation of the observed phenocrysts. Crystal settling, however, is inconsistent with mineralogical variations in the tuff, and crystallization is thought to have occurred at a level below that tapped by the eruption. Spatially associated Miocene (15-11 Ma) lavas did not assimilate large amounts of crust or mix with primitive basaltic magmas. Both mixing and crustal assimilation processes

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Rift-related volcanism and karst geohydrology of the southern Ozark Dome

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrison, Richard W.; Weary, David J.; Orndorff, Randall C.; Repetski, John E.; Pierce, Herbert A.; Lowell, Gary R.; Evans, Kevin R.; Aber, James S.

    2010-01-01

    This field trip examines the geology and geohydrology of a dissected part of the Salem Plateau in the Ozark Plateaus province of south-central Missouri. Rocks exposed in this area include karstified, flat-lying, lower Paleozoic carbonate platform rocks deposited on Mesoproterozoic basement. The latter is exposed as an uplift located about 40 mi southwest of the St. Francois Mountains and form the core of the Ozark dome. On day 1, participants will examine and explore major karst features developed in Paleozoic carbonate strata on the Current River; this will include Devil's Well and Round Spring Cavern as well as Montauk, Round, Alley, and Big Springs. The average discharge of the latter is 276 × 106 gpd and is rated in the top 20 springs in the world. Another, Alley Spring, is equally spectacular with an average discharge of 81 × 106 gpd. Both are major contributors to the Current and Eleven Point River drainage system which includes about 50 Mesoproterozoic volcanic knobs and two granite outcrops. These knobs are mainly caldera-erupted ignimbrites with a total thickness of 7–8 km. They are overlain by post-collapse lavas and intruded by domes dated at 1470 Ma. Volcaniclastic sediment and air-fall lapilli tuff are widely distributed along this synvolcanic unconformity. On day 2, the group will examine the most important volcanic features and the southernmost granite exposure in Missouri. The trip concludes with a discussion of the Missouri Gravity Low, the Eminence caldera, and the volcanic history of southern Missouri as well as a discussion of geologic controls on regional groundwater flow through this part of the Ozark aquifer.

  14. Stable isotope analyses of the peralkaline volcanics Gregory Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Black, S.; Macdonald, R.; Fallick, A. E.; Kelly, M.

    1993-01-01

    Delta O-18 analyses of the Naivasha rhyolites, basalts, Menengai trachytes and the Yatta phonolite are presented together with D/H analyses of the Naivasha rhyolites. Delta O-18 results vary from 5.7 to 8.9 per mill which is within the reported range of delta O-18 analyses for continental volcanics. Closure temperatures calulated from the basalts and rhyolites show equilibration to be at magmatic temperatures. D/H values range from -40 to -148 per mill indicating that the rhyolites have undergone large scale degasssing.

  15. Midcontinent rift volcanism in the Lake Superior region: Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic evidence for a mantle plume origin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicholson, S.W.; Shirey, S.B.

    1990-01-01

    Between 1091 and 1098 Ma, most of a 15- to 20-km thickness of dominantly tholeiitic basalt erupted in the Midcontinent Rift System of the Lake Superior region, North America. The Portage Lake Volcanics in Michigan, which are the younget MRS flood basalts, fall into distinctly high- and low-TiO2 types having different liquid lines of descent. Incompatible trace elements in both types of tholeiites are enriched compared to depleted or primitive mantle and both basalt types are isotopically indistinguishable. The isotopic enrichment of the MRS source compared to depleted mantle is striking and must have occurred at least 700 m.y. before 1100 Ma. There are two likely sources for such magmatism: subcontinental lithospheric mantle enriched during the early Proterozoic or enriched mantle derived from an upwelling plume. Decompression melting of an upwelling enriched mantle plume in a region of lithosphere thinned by extension could have successfully generated the enormous volume (850 ?? 103 km3) of relatively homogeneous magma in a restricted time interval. -from Authors

  16. Marine seismic refraction data indicate Mesozoic syn-rift volcanism and seafloor-spreading in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eddy, Drew; van Avendonk, Harm; Christeson, Gail; Norton, Ian; Karner, Garry; Johnson, Chris; Kneller, Erik; Snedden, John

    2013-04-01

    The Gulf of Mexico is a small ocean basin that formed by continental rifting and seafloor-spreading between North America and the Yucatan Block during the Jurassic to early Cretaceous. The lack of good, deeply-penetrating geophysical data in the Gulf of Mexico has precluded prior reconstructions of the timing and location of the transition from rifting to seafloor-spreading, as well as the degree to which magmatism influenced these geological processes. To illuminate the deep structure of this enigmatic region, we acquired four marine seismic refraction profiles in the northern Gulf of Mexico from the shelf to deep water as part of the Fall 2010 Gulf of Mexico Basin Opening (GUMBO) project. Here, we present the data and resulting seismic velocity structures of two GUMBO profiles in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. GUMBO Line 1 extends ~330 km offshore south Texas from Matagorda Island across Alaminos Canyon to the central Gulf. GUMBO Line 2 extends ~400 km from the shelf offshore western Louisiana across the Sigsbee Escarpment. On both lines, ocean-bottom seismometers at 10-km spacing recorded 150m-spaced airgun shots over offsets up to 80 km. We use travel times from these long-offset reflections and refractions to image seismic velocities in the sediments, crystalline crust, and upper mantle using a tomographic inversion. On average, seismic velocities increase with depth from 2 km/s near the seafloor to 5 km/s near the interpreted base of salt. On both profiles we observe a large amount of lateral heterogeneity in the sediments due to salt tectonics. The deeper seismic velocity structure along GUMBO Line 1 also exhibits substantial lateral heterogeneity (4.5 km/s to 7 km/s) that may be consistent with crystallization of thin, ultraslow-spreading oceanic crust alternating with emplacement of exhumed mantle lithosphere. If the basement here is indeed oceanic, the prominent magnetic anomaly along the Texas coastline may represent the expression of synrift volcanism

  17. Crustal structure of the rifted volcanic margins and uplifted plateau of Western Yemen from receiver function analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Tiberi, Christel; Leroy, Sylvie; Stuart, Graham; Keir, Derek; Sholan, Jamal; Khanbari, Khaled; Al-Ganad, Ismeal; Basuyau, Clemence

    2013-04-01

    We analyse P-wave receiver functions across the western Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea continental margins in Western Yemen to constrain crustal thickness, internal crustal structure, and bulk seismic velocity characteristics in order to address the role of magmatism, faulting and mechanical crustal thinning during continental breakup. We analyse teleseismic data from 21 stations forming the temporary Young Conjugate Margins Laboratory (YOCMAL) network together with GFZ and Yemeni permanent stations. Analysis of computed receiver functions shows that (1) the thickness of unextended crust on the Yemen plateau is ~35 km; (2) this thins to ~22 km in coastal areas and reaches less than 14 km on the Red Sea coast, where presence of a high velocity lower crust (HVLC) is evident. The average Vp/Vs ratio for the western Yemen Plateau is 1.79, increasing to ~1.92 near the Red Sea coast and decreasing to 1.68 for those stations located on or near the granitic rocks. Thinning of the crust, and by inference extension, occurs over a ~130 km wide transition zone from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts to the edges of the Yemen plateau. Thinning of continental crust is particularly localized in a <30-km-wide zone near the coastline, spatially co-incident with addition of magmatic underplate to the lower crust, above which at the surface we observe the presence of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs)_and thickened Oligo-Miocene syn-rift basaltic flows. Our results strongly suggest the presence of high velocity mafic intrusions in the lower crust, which are likely either synrift magmatic intrusion into continental lower-crust or alternatively depleted upper mantle underplated to the base of the crust during the eruption of the SDRs. Our results also point toward a regional breakup history in which the onset of rifting was synchronous along the western Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea volcanic margins followed by a second phase of extension along the Red Sea margin.

  18. Crustal structure of the rifted volcanic margins and uplifted plateau of Western Yemen from receiver function analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Tiberi, Christel; Leroy, Sylvie; Stuart, Graham W.; Keir, Derek; Sholan, Jamal; Khanbari, Khaled; Al-Ganad, Ismael; Basuyau, Clémence

    2013-06-01

    We analyse P-wave receiver functions across the western Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea continental margins in Western Yemen to constrain crustal thickness, internal crustal structure and the bulk seismic velocity characteristics in order to address the role of magmatism, faulting and mechanical crustal thinning during continental breakup. We analyse teleseismic data from 21 stations forming the temporary Young Conjugate Margins Laboratory (YOCMAL) network together with GFZ and Yemeni permanent stations. Analysis of computed receiver functions shows that (1) the thickness of unextended crust on the Yemen plateau is ˜35 km; (2) this thins to ˜22 km in coastal areas and reaches less than 14 km on the Red Sea coast, where presence of a high-velocity lower crust is evident. The average Vp/Vs ratio for the western Yemen Plateau is 1.79, increasing to ˜1.92 near the Red Sea coast and decreasing to 1.68 for those stations located on or near the granitic rocks. Thinning of the crust, and by inference extension, occurs over a ˜130-km-wide transition zone from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts to the edges of the Yemen plateau. Thinning of continental crust is particularly localized in a <30-km-wide zone near the coastline, spatially co-incident with addition of magmatic underplate to the lower crust, above which on the surface we observe the presence of seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs) and thickened Oligo-Miocene syn-rift basaltic flows. Our results strongly suggest the presence of high-velocity mafic intrusions in the lower crust, which are likely either synrift magmatic intrusion into continental lower crust or alternatively depleted upper mantle underplated to the base of the crust during the eruption of the SDRs. Our results also point towards a regional breakup history in which the onset of rifting was synchronous along the western Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea volcanic margins followed by a second phase of extension along the Red Sea margin.

  19. Extensive felsic lavas and rheoignimbrites in the Keweenawan Midcontinent Rift plateau volcanics, Minnesota: petrographic and field recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, John C.; Fitz, Thomas J.

    1993-01-01

    The ≈8-km-thick sequence of plateau lavas (North Shore Volcanic Group) in northeastern Minnesota that was erupted during the formation of the 1.1 Ga Midcontinent Rift System includes an unusually large proportion (10-25%) of felsic flows (rhyolites and icelandites). Individual flows are now recognized with estimated volumes up to 600 km 3 and lateral extents up to 40 km; some were probably originally much broader. Many are anomalously large compared to most silicic lava flows. Primary structures and textures of these essentially unmetamorphosed rocks indicate eruptive style for most of these large flows. In particular, the features of the basal meter or so and uppermost several meters show that some flows were emplaced as fluid lavas, and others as strongly rheomorphic tuffs. It may be essential in interpreting the origin of felsic flows elsewhere to examine petrographically the lowermost few decimeters and the top, where the only evidence (poorly to strongly welded shards) may exist of the pyroclastic origin of a large, otherwise lava-like flow. Interior textures of these crystalline flows provide evidence of high-temperature eruption, especially in the form of abundant paramorphs of magmatic tridymite in the groundmass, commonly arranged in a pilotaxitic flow structure. Based on structures, textures, field relations, and geochemistry, We conclude that (a) all the icelandites and some rhyolites were emplaced as large, moderately to very fluid lava flows that spread widely while crystallizing tridymite; and that (b) some large rhyolites, which are only sparsely phyric, were emplaced as pyroclastic flows subsequently remobilized as rheoignimbrites. The mode of emplacement of one of the largest aphyric flows remains enigmatic. Vent areas or characteristics are unknown. The low apparent viscosity of the erupted magmas is probably attributable to compositional factors (F content, high Fe 2+) as well as to high temperatures and eruption rates. Estimated temperatures

  20. Constraints from sill intrusions and their deeper source magma chambers (seismic high velocity bodies) on the origins of volcanic rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohrman, M.

    2015-12-01

    Volcanic rifted margins are characterized by massive igneous activity originating from the rift margin, characterized by seaward dipping reflectors. These consist of basalt flows and associated magmatic products, from deep magma chambers imaged on seismic data as High Velocity Bodies (HVB) with seismic velocities between 7 and 7.5 km/s. The relationship between rifting and decompression melting have been well quantified, using the HVB's as constraints on magmatic production to match extension models. Crucial in this approach are the relationship between extension and mantle plumes, with HVB's generated by mantle plumes often indicative of velocities between 7.5 - 7.8 km/s. Here I address information that can be obtained from sill complexes in sedimentary basins associated with rifting, representing the earliest phase of magmatism. I use a simple crustal scale hydrostatic model for dikes while incorporating the presence of sills by calculating magmatic overpressures from differences in pressure gradients. It transpires that the presence of sills as observed on seismic reflection and outcrop data, can be predicted. Modelling further suggests that the source of these sill complexes are large magma chambers at or near the Moho, and equate to HVB's observed on seismic data. Utilizing simple mass balance calculations, the ratio of cumulate thickness (from HVB thickness) and expelled melt (from accumulated sill thicknesses) can be related to MgO content in expelled liquids, primary magma and cumulates. Higher MgO content translates in higher seismic velocities. Thus, HVB velocity can subsequently be used to discriminate between mantle plume, or shallow rift related melting. The theory is applied to various basins bordering the northern North Atlantic (Vøring Basin, Jameson Land Basin and Rockall Basin) and South Atlantic rifts (Namibia), associated with the Paleocene/Eocene Iceland mantle plume and the Early Cretaceous Tristan da Cunha mantle plume magmatism respectively.

  1. Middle Cambrian rift-related volcanism in the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica: tectonic implications for the palaeo-Pacific margin of Gondwana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curtis, Michael L.; Leat, Philip T.; Riley, Teal R.; Storey, Bryan C.; Millar, Ian L.; Randall, Darren E.

    1999-04-01

    The Ellsworth Mountains of West Antarctica represent part of a displaced terrane once situated along the palaeo-Pacific margin of Gondwana, prior to supercontinent break-up, adjacent to South Africa and the Weddell Sea coast of East Antarctica. Middle Cambrian sedimentary rocks of the southern Ellsworth Mountains host locally thick volcanic and subvolcanic rocks forming five igneous centres. Geochemically, most of the igneous samples are mafic, with a subordinate suite of evolved types. The mafic suite is geochemically varied, ranging from MORB (mid-ocean ridge basalt)-like compositions to shoshonitic and lamprophyric (e.g. La N/Yb N = 0.95 to 15.2), with ɛNd i values ranging from +5.2 to -2.0, correlating with Ti/Y. They are interpreted as representing melts derived from more than one mantle source, with the MORB-like rocks being derived from a depleted mantle source, and the more enriched compositions representing partial melting of lithospheric mantle. Silicic rocks contain melt contributions from Late Proterozoic crust, which is inferred to form the basement of the Ellsworth Mountains. We interpret these igneous rocks as having been formed in a continental rift environment, with MORB-like basalts erupted near the rift axis, and melts from lithospheric mantle emplaced on the rift shoulder. Such an interpretation is consistent with the sedimentary host-rock palaeogeography and contemporaneous structures. This Middle Cambrian rift event is correlated spatially and temporally with rift-related sedimentary rocks in South Africa. It is currently unclear what rifted off the southern African-Weddell Sea sector of the Gondwana palaeo-Pacific margin at that time.

  2. Rifting and volcanism on the ocean floor from high resolution bathymetry and sonar backscatter data

    SciTech Connect

    Arvidson, R.E.; Edwards, M.; Batiza, R.

    1985-01-01

    The authors have recently compiled a global shaded relief map that has roughly 10 x 10 km spatial resolution, using 4 separate digital data sets. This global data set delineates many longer wavelength features such as trenches, ridges, and topographic swells related to hot spots. The map also provides a regional bathymetric context for interpreting, for example, the new multichannel SEABEAM bathymetric data, which have lateral resolutions of several hundred meters and a vertical resolution measured in meters. They have processed a number of SEABEAM data sets acquired for seamounts, overlapping spreading centers, and propagating fractures. Contour maps cannot readily display all the bathymetric detail in these data. Thus, the 16 channel data were converted to shaded-relief images and color composites to preserve and meaningfully display the bathymetric details. SEAMARC sonar backscatter images, where available, were geometrically registered to the SEABWAM data for direct comparison of sonar reflectivity and roughness with depth and slope. The processed data are now being analyzed as part of tectonic and volcanic studies at a half dozen institutions. The project clearly demonstrates the synergistic effects to be gained by crossing disciplines when similar approaches can be used to advantage.

  3. Midcontinent rift volcanism in the Lake Superior region: Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic evidence for a mantle plume origin

    SciTech Connect

    Nicholson, S.W. Univ. of Minnesota, MN ); Shirey, S.B. )

    1990-07-10

    Between 1091 and 1098 Ma, most of a 15- to 20-km thickness of dominantly tholeiitic basalt erupted in the Midcontinent Rift System of the Lake Superior region, North American. The Portage Lake Volcanics in Michigan, which are the youngest MRS flood basalts, fall into distinctly high- and low-TiO{sub 2} types having different liquid lines of descent. Incompatible trace elements in both types of tholeiites are enriched compared to depleted or primitive mantle (La/Yb = 4.3-5.3; Th/Ta = 2.12-2.16; Zr/Y = 4.3-4.4), and both basalt types are isotopically indistinguishable. Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions of the Portage Lake tholeiites have {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr{sub i} {approx}0.7038, {epsilon}{sub Nd(1095 Ma)} {approx}0 {plus minus} 2, and {mu}{sub 1} {approx}8.2. Model ages with respect to a depleted mantle source (T{sub DM}) average about 1950-2100 Ma. Portage Lake rhyolits fall into two groups. Type I rhyolites have Nd and Pb isotopic characteristics ({epsilon}{sub Nd(1095 Ma)} {approx}0 to {minus}4.7; {mu}{sub 1} {approx}8.2-7.8) consistent with contamination of tholeiitic rocks by 5-10% Archean crust. The one type II rhyolite analyzed has Nd and Pb isotopic compositions ({epsilon}{sub Nd(1095 Ma)} {approx}{minus}13 to {minus}16; {mu}{sub 1} {approx}7.6-7.7) which are consistent with partial melting of Archean crust. Early Proterozoic crust was not a major contaminant of MRS rocks in the Lake Superior region. Most reported Nd and Pb isotopic compositions of MRS tholeiites from the main stage of volcanism in the Lake Superior region and of the Duluth Complex are comparable to the Nd and Pb isotopic data for Portage lake tholeiites. The isotopic enrichment of the MRS source compared to depleted mantle is striking and must have occurred at least 700 m.y. before 1100 Ma.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Alkalic (ocean-island basalt type) and calc-alkalic volcanism in the Mexican volcanic belt: A case for plume-related magmatism and propagating rifting at an active margin?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Márquez, Alvaro; Oyarzun, Roberto; Doblas, Miguel; Verma, Surendra P.

    1999-01-01

    The Mexican volcanic belt has been traditionally regarded as a classic case of subduction-related calc-alkalic volcanism. However, a series of geologic, geophysical, and petrological arguments makes this simple relationship doubtful. A seismic gap beneath the belt, a large-scale mantle anomaly, a graben triple-junction domain, and the presence of volumetrically important oceanic-island basalt (OIB) volcanism throughout the belt suggest a more complex tectonic scenario involving plume- and subduction-related processes. We here propose a model involving the development of a propagating rift opening from west to east in response to plume activity. The process started in Miocene time within the western sector of the belt (Guadalajara) and gave rise to a graben triple junction and OIB-type and calc-alkalic volcanism. Extension and volcanism proceeded to the east, giving rise to progressively younger ages for the initiation of OIB-type volcanism: (1) Miocene in the west (e.g., Guadalajara), (2) Pliocene in the central zone (e.g., Michoacán-Guanajuato), and (3) Quaternary farther east (e.g., Chichinautzin). Geochemical evidence suggests that part of the modern calc-alkalic volcanism (e.g., Chichinautzin) may be derived from magma mixing between the OIB mafic magmas and silicic, crust-derived magmas. However, we do not preclude some influence of the subducting slab in the generation of other (e.g., Jorullo) calc-alkalic volcanic rocks. Our model suggests a currently unrooted upper plume attached to the subcontinental lithosphere, which defines a hot zone beneath the Mexican volcanic belt.

  6. Timing of volcanism and initiation of rifting in Omo-Turkana Depression, Southwestern Ethiopia: Evidence from Paleomagnetism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erbello, A.; Kidane, T.; Brown, F.

    2013-12-01

    Abstract This Paleomagnetic study was carried out on thin widely spread lava flows of Gombe Group basalts from the lower Omo Valley in southwestern Ethiopia. The objective of the study is to integrate paleomagnetic results with previous geochronological data to know timing of volcanism and to infer the time for which the present architecture of the basin was attained. 80 oriented core samples were taken from nine sites in two field trips. Rock magnetic, petrology and paleomagnetic studies were done in the laboratory of Earth Sciences at Addis Ababa University. Pilot specimens were subjected to alternating field (AF) and thermal (TH) demagnetization and acquisition experiments. The Natural Remanent Magnetization (NRM) direction comprises two vector components in most samples. The first component of magnetization was easily erased at 5 to 25mT AF demagnetization and 120°C to 250°C TH demagnetization. A step wise increasing application of magnetic field to selected specimens revealed a saturation magnetization at about 300°C. The magnetization curve results from the acquisition experiment together with TH demagnetization of the same specimens and AF demagnetization results indicates that titanomagnetite is the dominant magnetic carrier. About 50% of magnetization is removed between Temperature ranges of 2500C and 4300C suggesting pseudo single domains as a primary carrier of magnetic remanence. From a total of nine sites, six sites show reversed polarity and two sites show normal polarity. One site has been removed because of samples from that site may have been affected by lightning. The normal and reversed polarities are 1800 apart thus they are antipodal to one another. The overall mean direction for 6 sites of reversed polarity is (DS=186.1, IS=-1.9,KS=38.8, α95=10.9) where as the two sites with normal polarity yield (DS=348.4, IS=4.6, K=378.9, α95=12.9).By using the available upper age control of Moiti tuff (3.98Ma) and Naibar tuff (4.02 Ma) which have never

  7. Geochemical and Nd isotopic study of Palaeozoic bimodal volcanics in Hainan Island, South China—Implications for rifting tectonics and mantle reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Zhong; Zhao, Jian-Xin; McCulloch, Malcolm T.

    1992-12-01

    Geochemical and SmNd isotopic results are presented for Carboniferous bimodal metavolcanics from the central part of the Hainan Island, south China. The volcanics are composed of both tholeiites and quartz rhyolites, which are interbedded with clastic metasediments. This volcanic sequence hosts the Shilu FeCoCu Deposit, the richest iron deposit in China. Study of the volcanics is thus important for understanding of both the geochemistry of the subcontinental mantle and the genesis of the Shilu Deposit. Tholeiite samples display large geochemical variations but remarkably uniform Nd isotopic signatures. Overall, at comparable MgO level, tholeiites from the western portion of the volcanic belt have lower TiO 2 and P 2O 5, and higher {Al2O 3}/{TiO2} and {CaO}/{TiO 2} ratios than those from the eastern portion. A tholeiite sample taken from the Junying area, western portion of the volcanic belt has characteristics of N-type mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) in having a LREE-depleted pattern, positive ɛNd( T) value (+6.8), as well as relatively high {Zr}/{Nb} (25), {Y}/{Nb} (10) and low {Zr}/{Y} (2.4), {La}/{Nb} (0.81) ratios. On the other hand, tholeiites occurring in the eastern portion of the volcanic belt are relatively enriched in LIL, HFS and LRE elements. Geochemical features, such as positive Nb anomalies on spiderdiagram and generally high {Zr}/{Y} ratios, indicate that these rocks are analogous to oceanic island tholeiites (OIT) or initial rifting tholeiites (IRT). However, least contaminated tholeiites in the eastern portion have limited ranges of relatively low {La}/{Nb} ratios (0.82-1.03) and high ɛNd( T) values (+4.2˜+7.6), which are similar to the MORB-type tholeiites in the western portion. The above geochemical features can be best explained in terms of different degrees of partial melting of an isotopically similar depleted source(s). The OIT-like tholeiites from the eastern portion were derived by lower degree partial melting, whilst the N

  8. The occurrence of a complete continental rift type of volcanic rocks suite along the Yerer-Tullu Wellel Volcano Tectonic Lineament, Central Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abebe Adhana, Tsegaye

    2014-11-01

    The Yerer-Tullu Wellel Volcano-tectonic Lineament (YTVL) is an E-W trending fault system or aborted rift that intercepts the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) at Debre Zeyt (Bishoftu)/Yerer, in the eastern periphery of Addis Ababa. The structure is in correspondence with the westward extension of the southern margin of the Gulf of Aden rift. The YTVL extends for more than 500 km with a very clear northern fault margin, between Addis Ababa and Ambo known as the “Ambo Fault”. The southern margin is indicated by an E-W trending segmented lineaments at the latitude of about N 8°30‧, the Bedele-Metu being the most clear segment. In between these limits there are several evolved central volcanoes and cinder cones. The central volcanoes range in age from 12 to 7 Ma in the western most (Tullu Wellel) and gradually the upper limit get younger towards East to less than 1 Ma in the Wenchi and Debre Zeyt (Bishoftu) areas. These volcanic products cover the whole spectrum of a continental rift volcanic rocks suite: (1) in the eastern zone (Yerer-Bishoftu) the suite is silica over-saturated, ranging in composition from transitional basalt to peralkaline rhyolite, (2) moving westwards, between Wechacha and Wenchi, the rocks suite is silica saturated ranging in composition from alkali basalt to trachyte, (3) further West between Ijaji-Konchi and Nekemt the rocks suite is silica under-saturated ranging in composition from basanite to phonolite. Crossing the Dedessa lineament, the Tullu Wellel rocks appear to be silica saturated. Within a single suite fractional crystallization is the predominant evolutional process even in the silica over-saturated suite. The westwards progressive silica under-saturation and increase in alkalinity (except for the Tullu Wellel volcanic centers) is interpreted by the gradual deepening of an anomalous mantle where partial fusion took place. Therefore, as distance increases from the MER junction to the West, the amount of melt on the upper mantle was

  9. 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology, Isotope Geochemistry (Sr, Nd, Pb), and petrology of alkaline lavas near Yampa, Colorado: migration of alkaline volcanism and evolution of the northern Rio Grande rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cosca, Michael A.; Thompson, Ren A.; Lee, John P.; Turner, Kenzie J.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Premo, Wayne R.

    2014-01-01

    Volcanic rocks near Yampa, Colorado (USA), represent one of several small late Miocene to Quaternary alkaline volcanic fields along the northeast margin of the Colorado Plateau. Basanite, trachybasalt, and basalt collected from six sites within the Yampa volcanic field were investigated to assess correlations with late Cenozoic extension and Rio Grande rifting. In this paper we report major and trace element rock and mineral compositions and Ar, Sr, Nd, and Pb isotope data for these volcanic rocks. High-precision 40Ar/39Ar geochronology indicates westward migration of volcanism within the Yampa volcanic field between 6 and 4.5 Ma, and the Sr, Nd, and Pb isotope values are consistent with a primary source in the Proterozoic subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Relict olivine phenocrysts have Mg- and Ni-rich cores, whereas unmelted clinopyroxene cores are Na and Si enriched with finely banded Ca-, Mg-, Al-, and Ti-enriched rims, thus tracing their crystallization history from a lithospheric mantle source region to one in contact with melt prior to eruption. A regional synthesis of Neogene and younger volcanism within the Rio Grande rift corridor, from northern New Mexico to southern Wyoming, supports a systematic overall southwest migration of alkaline volcanism. We interpret this Neogene to Quaternary migration of volcanism toward the northeast margin of the Colorado Plateau to record passage of melt through subvertical zones within the lithosphere weakened by late Cenozoic extension. If the locus of Quaternary alkaline magmatism defines the current location of the Rio Grande rift, it includes the Leucite Hills, Wyoming. We suggest that alkaline volcanism in the incipient northern Rio Grande rift, north of Leadville, Colorado, represents melting of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle in response to transient infiltration of asthenospheric mantle into deep, subvertical zones of dilational crustal weakness developed during late Cenozoic extension that have been

  10. Syn-rift volcanism and seafloor-spreading in the northern Gulf of Mexico: results from the GUMBO marine seismic refraction project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eddy, D. R.; Van Avendonk, H. J.; Christeson, G. L.; Norton, I. O.; Karner, G. D.; Kneller, E. A.; Johnson, C. A.; Snedden, J.

    2013-12-01

    Continental rifting and seafloor-spreading between North America and the Yucatán Block during the Jurassic to early Cretaceous formed the small ocean basin known today as the Gulf of Mexico. The lack of deeply-penetrating geophysical data in the Gulf of Mexico limited early reconstructions of the timing and location of the rift-to-drift transition, particularly with respect to the influence of magmatism on the breakup of continental crust and the onset of seafloor-spreading. To better understand the deep structure of this economically important basin, we acquired four marine seismic refraction profiles in the northern Gulf of Mexico from the shelf to deep water as part of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Basin Opening project (GUMBO). We use travel times from long-offset reflections and refractions to image compressional seismic velocities in the sediments, crystalline crust, and upper mantle using an iterative tomographic inversion. GUMBO Line 3 extends from offshore Alabama through the De Soto Canyon towards the central Gulf of Mexico. We interpret velocities >5.0 km/s in the sediment layer landward of the Florida Escarpment as a Lower Cretaceous carbonate platform. Crystalline crust with velocities between 5.5-7.5 km/s thins significantly from 23 km to 7 km across a narrow necking zone. A deep, localized region of anomalously high seismic velocities (>7.5 km/s) at the base of crystalline crust exceeds those of continental lower crust in the eastern US. We interpret this section of GUMBO 3 to represent mafic under-plating and/or infiltration of asthenospheric melts, common at volcanic rifted margins. The seaward end of GUMBO 3 has seismic velocities consistent with mafic ocean crust produced by normal seafloor-spreading (6.0-7.5 km/s); this observation is supported by a consistent crustal thickness of ~7 km and minimal lateral heterogeneities in velocity structure. GUMBO Line 2 extends from offshore Louisiana southward across the Sigsbee Escarpment. We find a massive

  11. Volcanic rocks and processes of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rift valley near 36 ° 49′ N

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hekinian, R.; Moore, J.G.; Bryan, W.B.

    1976-01-01

    The above relations indicate that the diverse lava types were erupted from a shallow, zoned magma chamber from fissures distributed over the width of the inner rift valley and elongate parallel to it. Differentiation was accomplished by cooling and crystallization of plagioclase, olivine, and clinopyroxene toward the margins of the chamber. The centrally located hills were built by the piling up of frequent eruption of mainly primitive lavas which also are the youngest flows. In contrast smaller and less frequent eruptions of more differentiated lavas were exposed on both sides of the rift valley axis.

  12. Barremian rift-related turbidites and alkaline volcanism in southern Mexico and their role in the opening of the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza-Rosales, Claudia C.; Centeno-García, Elena; Silva-Romo, Gilberto; Campos-Madrigal, Emiliano; Bernal, Juan Pablo

    2010-07-01

    The Chivillas Formation is the easternmost record of Mesozoic marine volcanism in Mexico. It consists of thick intervals of pillow lavas interbedded with siliciclastic turbidites, and debrites, containing clasts derived from metamorphic, sedimentary and volcanic sources. Clast composition and detrital zircon geochronology indicate a continental provenance, with sources located south of the studied rocks. Detrital zircon ages range from 1573 ± 60 to 125 ± 1.6 Ma. The probability curves have peaks at 124 to 130 Ma (mean 126 Ma); 188 Ma and 921-1236 Ma (the latter with peaks at ˜ 1022 and ˜ 1157 Ma). Subordinate peaks at 277, 419 and 535 Ma are also present. We interpret the youngest zircon population ˜ 126 Ma (Barremian), as the maximum depositional age. Other peaks suggest Grenvillian-type basement and Permo-Triassic arc sources. Late Jurassic detrital zircons were probably derived from the Sierra de Juárez Mylonitic belt. Pillow lavas are mostly alkaline basalts, with SiO 2 46%-53%, and alkali oxide (K 2O + Na 2O) 5-8 wt.%; all samples have low-TiO 2 (< 1.6 wt.%) and low V (180-242 ppm), with Ti/V between 30 and 50. 206Pb/ 204Pb isotopic ratios are 18.6-20.5, and 208Pb/ 204Pb are 38.4-40.3, within OIB and MORB ranges. Initial ɛNd(126) are 0.3 to 4.1, and TDM are 632-1520 Ma. Lava compositions are similar to alkaline basalts along the margins of the Atlantic Ocean, particularly to basalts from the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), and to the Cretaceous Peri-Atlantic Alkaline Pulse (PAAP). Volcano-sedimentary rocks from Chivillas Formation probably formed in a subsiding marine rift basin, at a ridge-transform intersection. This basin received sediments transported throughout longitudinal canyons along the major Jurassic-Cretaceous strike-slip fault. In this model, extension of the rift basin was controlled by right-lateral displacement of the strike-slip fault, which acted as a transform fault at this time. This rift is interpreted as a segment of the

  13. Stratified tephra records from lake sediment archives: Holocene eruptions of the Virunga Volcanic Province, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, Christine; Scholz, Christopher; Poppe, Sam; Schmid, Martin; Ross, Kelly Ann

    2016-04-01

    Lake sediments preserve rare stratified records of explosive volcanism, often with accompanying chronological controls or climatostratigraphic detail. In proximal areas where outcrop stratigraphies are complex, exposures isolated and sediments frequently eroded, the lacustrine archive provides a means to check the order of events and identify additional eruptions not preserved on land. The visible volcanic ash (tephra) record within lake sediments may be limited by eruption volume, distance from source and high sedimentation rates. A more complete eruption history can be detected through the study of non-visible tephra layers. Such "cryptotephra" records may be revealed through non-destructive core-scanning methods, such as XRF-scanning or magnetic susceptibility measurements, or by more thorough laboratory processes and microscopic analysis. Compositional analysis of tephra glass shards using WDS-EPMA and LA-ICP-MS provide a means to provenance eruptions, to cross-correlate between multiple sediment cores, and to establish connections between the lacustrine record and proximal outcrops. Here we present the results of such a "tephrostratigraphic" approach applied to the Holocene volcanic record of the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP). More than 10 explosive volcanic eruptions, attributed to multiple volcanic centres, are evidenced over the last 12,000 years. This unique insight into the frequency of explosive eruptions from the VVP, demonstrates the potential of visible and cryptotephra investigations in lacustrine sediment archives as a means of studying past, present and future volcanic hazards.

  14. Mastritherium (Artiodactyla, Anthracotheriidae) from Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia; an earliest Miocene age for continental rift-valley volcanic deposits of the Red Sea margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madden, Gary T.; Schmidt, Dwight Lyman; Whitmore, Frank C.

    1983-01-01

    A lower jaw fragment with its last molar (M/3) from the Baid formation in Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia, represents the first recorded occurrence in the Arabian Peninsula of an anthracotheriid artiodactyl (hippo-like, even-toed ungulate). This fossil is identified as a primitive species of Masritherium, a North and East African genus restricted, previously to the later early Miocene. This identification indicates that the age of the Baid formation, long problematical, is early Miocene and, moreover, shows that the age of the fossil site is earliest Miocene (from 25 to 21Ma). The Wadi Sabya anthracothere is the first species of fossil mammal recorded from western Saudi Arabia, and more important, it indicates an early Miocene age for the volcanic deposits of a continental rift-valley that preceded the initial sea-floor spreading of the Red Sea.

  15. Spatial and Temporal Evolution of Eruptive Activity in a Youthful Extensional Setting: the Case of the Nyamulagira Volcanic Field, Western Branch of the East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smets, B.; Kervyn, M.; d'Oreye, N.; Kervyn, F.

    2014-12-01

    Nyamulagira is the westernmost volcano of the Virunga volcanic province, in the western branch of the East African Rift. This shield volcano is one of the most active African volcanoes with one eruption every 1-4 year(s). Nyamulagira's eruptions usually occur along the flanks of the main edifice and in the lava plain, producing pyroclastic cone(s) and 10-20 km-long lava flows. Between 1913 and 1938, the activity was however restricted to the summit caldera, where lava fountains progressively gave birth to a lava lake, which disappeared in 1938 during the partial collapse of the summit caldera and the onset of a 2.5 years-long flank eruption. The location of flank eruptions and the orientation of the eruptive fissures are strongly influenced by the edifice loading, and by the NNW-SSE fracture network that crosses the main edifice and link it to the neighboring Nyiragongo volcano. But rift fault can also influence fissure orientations and cone alignments, especially for distal events. The flank eruptions typically have similar characteristics, lasting few days to few weeks, with an average of 20-30 days. Less frequently, flank eruptions can be larger and more complex, lasting several months and/or emitting much larger volumes of lava. By combining historical and recent observations, we suggest that magma overpressure at shallow depth is the main cause of flank events. Major eruptions seem to be related to a deeper source able to trigger large magma injections through deep structures, such as rift faults. Since April 2012, the activity of Nyamulagira is restricted to the summit caldera, with continuous and intense gas emissions and, since mid-2014, by lava fountains. This change in eruptive behavior, if it persists, may leads to the emergence of a new lava lake and may significantly decreases the frequency of flank events

  16. Volcanic constructs on Ganymede and Enceladus: Topographic evidence from stereo images and photoclinometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, Paul M.; Moore, Jeffrey M.

    1995-09-01

    The morphology of volcanic features on Ganymede differs significantly from that on the terrestrial planets. Few if any major volcanic landforms, such as thick flows or shield volcanoes, have been identified to date. Using new stereo Voyager images, we have searched Ganymede for relief-generating volcanic constructs. We observed seven major types of volcanic structures, including several not previously recognized. The oldest are broad flat-topped domes partially filling many older craters in dark terrain. Similar domes occur on Enceladus. Together with smooth dark deposits, these domes indicate that the volcanic history of the dark terrain is complex. Bright terrain covers vast areas, although the style of emplacement remains unclear. Smooth bright materials embay and flood older terrains, and may have been emplaced as low-viscosity fluids. Associated with smooth bright material are a number of scalloped-shaped, semi-enclosed scarps that cut into preexisting terrain. In planform these structures resemble terrestrial calderas. The youngest volcanic materials identified are a series of small flows that may have flooded the floor of the multiring impact structure Gilgamesh, forming a broad dome. The identification of volcanic constructs up to 1 km thick is the first evidence for extrusion of moderate-to-high viscosity material on Ganymede. Viscosity and yield strength estimates for these materials span several orders of magnitude, indicating that volcanic materials on Ganymede have a range of compositions and/or were extruded under a wide range of conditions and/or eruptive styles.

  17. Volcanic Constructs on Ganymede and Enceladus: Topographic Evidence from Stereo Images and Photoclinometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, Paul M.; Moore, Jeffrey M.

    1995-01-01

    The morphology of volcanic features on Ganymede differs significantly from that on the terrestrial planets. Few if any major volcanic landforms, such as thick flows or shield volcanoes, have been identified to date. Using new stereo Voyager images, we have searched Ganymede for relief-generating volcanic constructs. We observed seven major types of volcanic structures, including several not previously recognized. The oldest are broad flat-topped domes partially filling many older craters in dark terrain. Similar domes occur on Enceladus. Together with smooth dark deposits, these domes indicate that the volcanic history of the dark terrain is complex. Bright terrain covers vast areas, although the style of emplacement remains unclear. Smooth bright materials embay and flood older terrains, and may have been emplaced as low- viscosity fluids. Associated with smooth bright material are a number of scalloped-shaped, semi- enclosed scarps that cut into preexisting terrain. In planform these structures resemble terrestrial calderas. The youngest volcanic materials identified are a series of small flows that may have flooded the floor of the multiring impact structure Gilgamesh, forming a broad dome, The identification of volcanic constructs up to I km thick is the first evidence for extrusion of moderate-to-high viscosity material on Ganymede. Viscosity and yield strength estimates for these materials span several orders of magnitude, indicating that volcanic materials on Ganymede have a range of compositions and/or were extruded under a wide range of conditions and/or eruptive styles.

  18. Geology of the Uranius Group Volcanic Constructs: Uranius Patera, Ceraunius Tholus, and Uranius Tholus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Plescia, J.B.

    2000-01-01

    Uranius Patera, Ceraunius Tholus, and Uranius Tholus (three small constructs in the northeast Tharsis region) date to the Late Hesperian Epoch and define the earliest phases of constructional volcanism in the Tharsis province. All three volcanoes are interpreted as shields, built by effusive eruptions of low-viscosity lavas, presumably basalt. Ceraunius Tholus and Uranius Tholus also record pyroclastic volcanism in the form of mantling deposits on their flanks; Uranius Patera either did not experience pyroclastic volcanism or the deposits were subsequently buried by later effusive eruptions. Troughs observed on the flanks of Ceraunius Tholus and Uranius Tholus are interpreted to have been formed by fluvial surface runoff. These constructs are coeval with other small edifices in western Tharsis province and are coeval with plains volcanism in the southern Tharsis, Syria, and Sinai regions. ?? 2000 Academic Press.

  19. The Chaîne des Puys and Limagne Fault World Heritage project: a global partnership for raising the profile of monogenetic volcanism and rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olive-Garcia, C.

    2013-12-01

    The present Chaîne des Puys and Limagne Fault World Heritage project represents a global partnership for raising the profile of monogenetic volcanism and rifting. From the 19th Century the Chaîne des Puys and Limagne Fault have been at the centre of discussion about the nature of volcanoes, and the origin of rifts. Part of this interest was due to the action of landowners and government agents such as Montlosier and Desmarest (who first realised that the chain were volcanoes), and national leaders such as Napoleon I, who was instrumental in the visit of Humphrey Davey and Michael Farady in 1805. The chain features largely in Scrope's 'Considerations on v olcanoes' 1825, and of Bonney's 'Volcanoes their structure and significance' of 1899. The fault escarpment is discussed at length by Lyell in Principles of Geology (1830), although they did not recognise it yet as a rift. The area has seen the development of a modern scientific-government-private partnership in geoscience research and education that has developed in parallel with the growth of a earth science centre of excellence, now the Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans. In addition, local owners and users have taken an important part in the development of this partnership to help create a sustainable management of the area. Partnerships have been developed with other sites around the world to share best practice, especially in managing inhabited natural sites. For over 30 years the area has been part of the evolving Auvergne Region Natural Volcano Park, for five years the central Puy de Dôme is a 'Grande site de France', equivalent to a national monument. Educational attractions grew up first as private - scientific partnerships (e.g. Lemptégy, Volvic, Maison de la Pierre) and then with greater public input like Vulcania and the Puy de Dome. The channelling of visitors has been accomplished by improved access by bus, and a new cog-railway up the Puy de Dôme. I present an overview of the UNESCO project, and show

  20. Temporal Geochemical Variations in Glass and Minerals from Early Oligocene to Miocene Volcanic Sediments, DSDP Site 296, Kyushu Palau Ridge: Is There a Geochemical Signal for Arc Rifting?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickey-Vargas, R.; Samajpati, E.

    2015-12-01

    Volcaniclastic sediments and sedimentary rocks from DSDP Site 296, located within a basin at the crest of the northern Kyushu Palau ridge (KPR), record the latter part of the first stage of Izu Bonin Mariana (IBM) arc evolution, up to the cessation of volcanism caused by arc rifting and opening of the Shikoku basin. The lower section consists of early to late Oligocene coarse volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks, and is overlain by late Oligocene to Pleistocene nannofossil chalks and oozes with volcanic sand and ash-rich layers. We have studied the chemical composition of pyroxene, feldspar and glass grains separated from the coarse volcaniclastic rocks at depths from 435 to 1082 meters below sea floor, and of glass shards in layers in the overlying sediments of late Oligocene to early Miocene age. Overall, pyroxene and feldspar compositions show little systematic variation with depth in the core, although for pyroxene, highest En and highest Al2O3 contents are found in the interval from 600-900 meters bsf. An contents in feldspars show a bimodal distribution throughout the core, with most values > 90 or in the range 60-70, with more abundant intermediate compositions in the 600-900 meter interval. Compositions of glass shards vary widely, from basalt to rhyolite, and from low K, light rare earth (LREE)-depleted to high K, strongly LREE-enriched character, without systematic variation with depth in the core. However, all cores sampled from early Oligocene to early Miocene contain relatively low K basalt and basaltic andesite glass. Like the pyroxenes, a wider range of compositions is found in glass from the 600 to 900 mbsf interval. The Site 296 sequence overlaps in age with the uppermost sedimentary section of recently drilled IODP Site 1438, located 230 km to the southwest in the Amami Sankaku basin, thus the two sites may contain volcanic debris shed from contemporaneous sections of the KPR.

  1. Evidence From Adakitic Rocks For Lithosphere Recycling At The U.S. East Coast Volcanic Rifted Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, R.; Van Wijk, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    Magmatism at magmatic rifted margins is dominated by asthenospheric melts generated during decompression melting from the upwelling asthenosphere. However reported magma compositions are diverse, giving clues about additional processes during rifting and continental rupture. We report here on adakites from the U.S. East Coast that are related to breakup of the North Atlantic. The sampled adakites are bi-modal, and show a clear high-Si and low-Si major and trace element chemistry. During the closure of the proto-Atlantic and its related back-arc basins, the Appalachian lithosphere sampled an ophiolitic mélange within major sutures. Subsequent metamorphic events in the Blue Ridge province of the U.S. East Coast increased the rock density of the ophiolites (eclogite) and partly hydrated these mafic to ultramafic rocks. Such a preconditioned lithosphere will likely develop gravitational instabilities at the asthenosphere-lithosphere boundary during rifting. We use geodynamic models to show when gravitational instabilities form below the East Coast margin, and how they eventually delaminate mantle lithosphere and lower crust material. After foundering, the delaminated lithosphere undergoes metamorphism, heats up, and interacts with fluids and melts in the surrounding convecting mantle. Partial melting of this metamorphic lithology produces high-Si adakitic melts. These melts percolated upwards through the mantle and were partially injected into the Valley and Ridge province. Where melt-to-peridotite (asthenosphere) ratios were small, the melts and fluids leaving the sinking lithospheric block became fixed within the peridotites. Geochemical modeling suggests, that 5 to 10% melting degrees of such a metasomatically overprinted and fertile asthenosphere produced the low-Si adakitic rocks of the Virginia adakites.

  2. 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

  3. Mylitta Fluctus, Venus - Rift-related, centralized volcanism and the emplacement of large-volume flow units

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Kari M.; Guest, John E.; Head, James W.; Lancaster, Michael G.

    1992-01-01

    The flow morphology, stratigraphy, and evoluton of Mylitta Fluctus, a massive lava flow field on Venus, is characterized, and the link between its origin and the local tectonics is examined. The regional setting of the flow field is reviewed. A model for the stratigraphy and emplacement history of Mylitta is developed, flow morphology is discussed, and some preliminary estimates of effusion rates and eruption durations that may have characterized its emplacement are presented. The origin of Mylitta is discussed in relation to local rifting and possible hotspot activity, and the emplacement of Mylitta is compared to the origin of terrestrial flood basalts.

  4. 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.

  5. Fluoride enrichment mechanism and geospatial distribution in the volcanic aquifers of the Middle Awash basin, Northern Main Ethiopian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furi, Wakgari; Razack, Moumtaz; Abiye, Tamiru Alemayehu; Ayenew, Tenalem; Legesse, Dagnachew

    2011-07-01

    Considering the anomalous concentration of fluoride in the ground waters of the Middle Awash basin, a comprehensive survey of the enrichment mechanism as well as its association with common hydrochemical variables was conducted using multivariate statistical methods, Hierarchal Cluster Analysis (HCA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The HCA results indicate a marked heterogeneous spatial distribution of the fluoride concentration, the magnitude of which varies more gradually in the SSW-NNE direction along the Wonji Fault Belt (WFB) than it does in the E-W direction away from this belt. This is strongly associated with the geothermal anomaly that is prominent in the basin interior area. Furthermore, the PCA results show that the magnitude of the fluoride concentration is higher in the groundwater derived from non-calcium bearing aquifers, which are widely distributed in the rift floor. Hydrochemical processes involving a cation exchange reaction cause a systematic Ca 2+ removal from solution from highland towards the rift floor. This geochemical reaction enhances the fluoride enrichment of groundwater along the same flow direction. In this regard, the geothermal belt of the basin interior area is a hydrogeological block marked by high loads of fluoride whereas the plateau areas are low-fluoride zones. The geospatial distribution of fluoride at the basin scale was estimated using the kriging procedure. Appropriate discrimination between local and regional aquifers is important in order to secure low-fluoride water supply for the community in the basin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Young-Rok; Ripley, Edward M.

    1999-06-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    ) is oriented nearly perpendicular to the rifts of adjacent Kilauea rather than parallel to them. We conclude that the effect of spreading and buttressing on large volcanic edifices may diverge laterally, where rifting between two edifices is (i) perpendicular to their line of contact if edifice overlap is minor developed, but (ii) parallel to this line if one volcano is only an attached part of a larger edifice. Once formed, these rifts stabilize themselves by alternating constructive and destructive processes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Recent eruptive episodes of the Rungwe volcanic field (Tanzania) recorded in lacustrine sediments of the Northern malawi rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, T. M.; Henney, P. J.; Owen, R. B.

    1993-07-01

    Discrete ash horizons in Holocene sediments from northern Lake Malawi provide evidence of six eruptive episodes within the nearby Rungwe Volcanic Field between c.9000-360 BP. Rare earth element (REE) analyses show the ash layers to be strongly enriched in La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Tb, Dy, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu, with low Eu/Eu∗ and high La N/Sm N values, relative to the surrounding muds. Mixing calculations suggest possible affinities between the Rungwe ash emissions and silicic volcanics from other important Quaternary centres (e.g. Naivasha) with respect to HREE geochemistry. The LREE spectra are less comparable and may indicate a less fractionated ash assemblage for Rungwe Field. In the absence of clear in situ evidence regarding the timing and frequency of Holocene eruptions at Rungwe, the Lake Malawi sediments may prove a valuable reconstructive tool. However, the direction and extent of ash dispersal is strongly controlled by wind/climatic factors and the retention of a complete record at any single location is unlikely.

  14. Volcanic rocks and subglacial volcanism beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the West Antarctic Rift System, (WAIS) from aeromagnetic and radar ice sounding - Thiel Subglacial Volcano as possible source of the ash layer in the WAISCORE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrendt, J. C.

    2012-12-01

    Radar ice sounding and aeromagnetic surveys reported over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) have been interpreted as evidence of subglacial volcanic eruptions over a very extensive area (>500,000 km2 ) of the volcanically active West Antarctic rift system interpreted as caused by subglacial volcanic rocks. Several active volcanoes have shown evidence of eruption through the WAIS and several other active volcanoes are present beneath the WAIS reported from radar and aeromagnetic data. Five-kilometer spaced coincident aeromagnetic and radar ice sounding surveys since 1990 provide three dimensional characterization of the magnetic field and bed topography beneath the ice sheet. These 5-50-km-width, semicircular magnetic anomalies range from 100->1000 nT as observed ~1 km over the 2-3 km thick ice have been interpreted as evidence of subglacial eruptions. Comparison of a carefully selected subset of ~400 of the >1000 high-amplitude anomalies in the CWA survey having topographic expression at the glacier bed, showed >80% had less than 200-m relief. About 18 high-amplitude subglacial magnetic sources also have high topography and bed relief (>600 m) interpreted as subaerially erupted volcanic peaks when the WAIS was absent, whose competent lava flows protected their edifices from erosion. All of these would have high elevation above sea-level, were the ice removed and glacial rebound to have occurred. Nine of these subaerially erupted volcanoes are concentrated in the WAIS divide area. Behrendt et al., 1998 interpreted a circular ring of positive magnetic anomalies overlying the WAIS divide as caused by a volcanic caldera. The area is characterized by high elevation bed topography. The negative regional magnetic anomaly surrounding the caldera anomalies was interpreted as the result of a shallow Curie isotherm. High heat flow inferred from temperature logging in the WAISCORE (G. Clow 2012, personal communication; Conway, 2011) and a prominent volcanic ash layer in the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Mafic dike swarms in the South Shetland Islands volcanic arc: Unravelling multiepisodic magmatism related to subduction and continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willan, Robert C. R.; Kelley, Simon P.

    1999-10-01

    Eight groups of mafic dikes and related high-level stocks cut Triassic accretionary complex and Mesozoic magmatic arc formations on Livingston Island. Some are affected by silicic/sericitic alteration, related to Cretaceous hydrothermal activity, and propylitic/epidosite alteration, analogous to that in ocean floor sheeted dikes. Alteration was accompanied by major and trace element metasomatism. Ar-Ar analysis of the freshest rocks indicates five intrusive events, some of which are unexpectedly young. Groups 1-3 were intruded in the mid to late Cretaceous (˜108-74 Ma) and were coeval with the calc-alkaline arc. Between 70 and 50 Ma, relatively rapid and oblique plate convergence led to strike-slip tectonism and a pause in magmatism. At ˜52 Ma, orthogonal, slow convergence resulted in extensional faulting and emplacement of calc-alkaline (group 2) and primitive tholeiitic dikes (groups 4-6) between 51 and 45 Ma. Extension of Antarctic Peninsula-southern South American crust culminated in emplacement of mafic to intermediate, medium-grained plutons and group C porphyries between 44 and 36 Ma. Localized hydrothermal flow along fault zones resulted in partial to complete argon loss from nearby Cretaceous lavas and Ar-Ar reset ages of ˜40 Ma in mid-Cretaceous hydrothermal K-feldspar. Primitive olivine basalts (group D) and epithermal carbonate veins (31-29 Ma) were emplaced during along-arc extension accompanying the opening of Drake Passage and Powell Basin. Excess argon occurs in two forms: strongly held in melt? inclusions in the primitive tholeiites and weakly held in some secondary alteration. There is no radiometric evidence, in the area studied, for magmatism related to late Cenozoic subduction, nor to the Pleistocene-Recent opening of the back arc Bransfield rift.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. Question of Ages of Cenozoic Volcanic Centers Inferred Beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) in the West Antarctic Rift System (WR) from Coincident Aeromagnetic and Radar Ice Sounding Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrendt, J. C.; Finn, C. A.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2007-12-01

    The recently acquired radar ice sounding surveys (Holt, et al., 2006) extending the 1990s Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey to the Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea coasts allows us to revise a thought experiment reported by Behrendt et al., 1991 from very limited bed elevation data. Were the ice of the WAIS flowing through the WR to be compressed to the density of crustal rock, almost all of the area beneath the WAIS would be at or above sea level, much >1 km elevation. There are only about 10-20% of the very deep areas (such as the Bentley subglacial trench and the Byrd Subglacial Basin) filled with 3-4-km thick ice that would be well below sea level. The age of the 5-7-km high rift shoulder bounding the asymmetric WR from northern Victoria Land through the Horlick Mountains (where it diverges from the Transantarctic Mountains) to the Ellsworth Mountains has been reported as old as Cretaceous. Volcanic exposures associated with the West Antarctic rift system in the present WAIS area extend at least to 34 Ma and the West Antarctic ice sheet has flowed through the rift possibly as far back in time as 25 Ma. Active volcanism has been reported for the WR at only a few widely scattered locations, so speculations about present volcanic activity beneath the WAIS are quite uncertain, and it is probably quite rare. The Central West Antarctic aeromagnetic and radar ice sounding survey carried out in the 1990s revealed about 1000 "volcanic centers" characterized by 100-1000 nT shallow source magnetic anomalies, at least 400 of which have associated bed topography. About 80% of these show relief <200 m and have been interpreted as smoothed off as they were erupted (injected) into the moving WAIS. Several kilometer-thick highly magnetic sources are required to fit these anomalies requiring high remanent magnetizations in the present field direction. We interpreted these sources as subvolcanic intrusions which must be younger than about 100 Ma because the

  20. 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).

  1. There's more than one way to build a caldera magma chamber: Evidence from volcanic-plutonic relationships at three faulted Rio-Grande-rift calderas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmerer, M. J.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2011-12-01

    The temporal and chemical relationships of volcanic and plutonic rocks of the Questa (NM), Mt. Aetna (CO), and Organ caldera (NM) complexes were investigated to establish the origin of these silicic magmas. Rio Grande Rift faulting at these systems has exposed both intracaldera sequences and subvolcanic plutons. Ar/Ar and U/Pb ages reveal the timing of volcanic activity and pluton emplacement and cooling. We observe a link between ignimbrite zoning patterns and the temporal-chemical relationship of volcanic and plutonic rocks. The Questa caldera erupted the high-SiO2 peralkaline Amalia Tuff (AT) at 25.4 Ma. Volumetrically minor phases of two resurgent plutons and a ring dike are compositionally similar to the AT. The age of the ring dike (25.4 Ma) is indistinguishable to AT, suggesting that the peralkaline intrusions are nonerupted AT. The remaining pluton ages are 100 ka to 6.1 Ma younger than AT and are too young to be the AT residual crystal mush. The Mt. Princeton batholith and nested Mt. Aetna caldera are interpreted to be the sources for the 37.3 Ma, low-SiO2 rhyolitic Wall Mountain Tuff (WMT) and the 34.3 Ma, dacitic Badger Creek Tuff (BCT). U/Pb and Ar/Ar ages of Mt. Princeton batholith (36.5 to 35.1 Ma) indicate that it was emplaced and rapidly cooled during the interval between the WMT and BCT eruptions, and that any WMT age intrusions are now eroded. During the eruption of the BCT, the fully crystallized Mt. Princeton batholith collapsed into the Mt. Aetna caldera. Intrusions along the margins of the Mt. Aetna caldera are compositionally identical the BCT and contain zircons 100 to 500 ka older than the tuff, suggesting that the BCT magma chamber was incrementally emplaced prior to caldera eruption. The Organ caldera complex erupted three ignimbrites: a basal high-silica 36.5 Ma rhyolite, a middle intermediate-silica 36.2 Ma rhyolite, and an upper 36.0 Ma low-silica rhyolite. The intracaldera sequence is intruded by the Organ Needle pluton. U/Pb zircon

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-05-01

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

  6. Evidence of a Volcanic Rifted Margin: A Velocity Model for the Gulf of Mexico Basin Opening Seismic Refraction Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, Mark; Van Avendonk, Harm; Christeson, Gail

    2013-04-01

    The Gulf of Mexico Basin Opening marine seismic refraction project (GUMBO) is a study of the lithological composition and structural evolution of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) that uses Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) data from four transects in the Northern GoM. Our analysis focuses specifically on line 4, the easternmost transect which extends over ~500 km from the continental shelf near Gainesville across the Florida Escarpment to the deep water GoM. Shear-wave first arrivals are picked from eleven out of the 39 OBS shot records in order to perform a tomographic inversion. The resulting shear-wave velocity model is used in conjunction with a previously constructed P-wave model to plot Vs as a function of Vp. We compare the Vp-Vs relationship with empirical velocities from the literature for the purpose of constraining lithological composition along GUMBO Line 4, and we make an interpretation of the structural evolution of the eastern GoM. The crust landward of the Florida Escarpment appears from our comparison with external data to be normal continental crust. Velocities plot within ~100 -200 m/s from compilations of seismic velocities (Vp = 6.2 - 7.0 km/sec; Vs = 3.8 - 4.0 km/sec) of felsic crystalline basement. Seaward of the escarpment, velocities in the oceanic crust are anomalously high (Vp = 6.5 - 7 km/sec; Vs = 4.0 - 4.6 km/sec). A possible explanation for this is that early-Jurassic basaltic sheet flows formed subaerially, reducing the vesicularity found in basalts that have cooled rapidly underwater. An increased magnesium and iron content could also account for these high velocities, and would suggest that the oceanic crust formed at higher mantle potential temperatures than previously thought. Geometrically, the transition from thick to thin crust near the Florida Escarpment on GUMBO line 4 is relatively narrow, which may be explained by rapid continental breakup with little stretching of continental crust. Alternatively, this margin may also have

  7. Sulfide and silicate melt inclusions in the D. João de Castro Volcanic Seamount, a hydrothermally active area on the Terceira Rift, Azores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, A. F. A.; Scott, S. D.; Madureira, P.; Rosa, C. J. P.; Lourenço, N.; Conceição, P.; TerRiftic Team

    2012-04-01

    The Azores plateau is a bathymetric high located in the North Atlantic encompassing a triple junction where the American, Eurasia and African plates meet. The Terceira Rift (TR), within the plateau, defines the Eurasia/African plate boundary and corresponds to a 550 Km long, ESE trending line of volcanic islands and seamounts (e.g. D. João de Castro - DJC) alternating with deep basins (e.g. Hirondelle - HIR) [1, 2]. Fresh basalts from the TR, in particular the DJC and HIR areas, were sampled from 2007 to 2009 [EMEPC 2007/2008/2009 cruises]. The team is now studying their melt inclusions [MI] in order to understand processes of magma evolution and mixing as well as the behavior of trace metals and volatiles in the pre-erupted magmas. Petrographic observations indicate that in DJC and HIR, basalts are porphyritic, vesicular, with a microcrystalline groundmass composed mostly of plagioclase laths ± olivine ± clinopyroxene ± skeletal Fe-Ti oxides ± glass. Phenocrysts are subhedral to euhedral with corroded rims. Clinopyroxene (aluminian diopside) is the main phenocryst phase, followed by olivine (Fo83 - DJC; Fo80 - HIR) and minor plagioclase (often as microphenocrysts). Incompatible trace elements in groundmass, glass, and exposed MI in clinopyroxene depict enriched patterns above the OIB field. REE patterns are similar in the groundmass and glass from DJC and HIR. Exposed MI from HIR depicts less enriched REE patterns than the groundmass, whilst DJC MI show similar REE patterns to the groundmass. MI were found in most mineral phases studied. They are distributed randomly (azonal) and appear glassy, partially devitrified or completely opaque with one or more vapor bubbles. Glassy to devitrified MI may show interpenetrating arrays of mineral phases, skeletal Fe-Ti oxides, and included euhedral Cr-spinel. Sulfide globules are common in clinopyroxene-hosted MI and are dispersed within the groundmass. Globules are small, less than 10 μm, and contain distinct mineral

  8. 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.

  9. Shallow-source aeromagnetic anomalies observed over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet compared with coincident bed topography from radar ice sounding - New evidence for glacial "removal" of subglacially erupted late Cenozoic rift-related volcanic edifices

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Blankenship, D.D.; Morse, D.L.; Bell, R.E.

    2004-01-01

    Aeromagnetic and radar ice sounding results from the 1991-1997 Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey over part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and subglacial area of the volcanically active West Antarctic rift system have enabled detailed examination of specific anomaly sources. These anomalies, previously interpreted as caused by late Cenozoic subglacial volcanic centers, are compared to newly available glacial bed-elevation data from the radar ice sounding compilation of the entire area of the aeromagnetic survey to test this hypothesis in detail. We examined about 1000 shallow-source magnetic anomalies for bedrock topographic expression. Using very conservative criteria, we found over 400 specific anomalies which correlate with bed topography directly beneath each anomaly. We interpret these anomalies as indicative of the relative abundance of volcanic anomalies having shallow magnetic sources. Of course, deeper source magnetic anomalies are present, but these have longer wavelengths, lower gradients and mostly lower amplitudes from those caused by the highly magnetic late Cenozoic volcanic centers. The great bulk of these >400 (40-1200-nT) anomaly sources at the base of the ice have low bed relief (60-600 m, with about 80%10 million years ago. Eighteen of the anomalies examined, about half concentrated in the area of the WAIS divide, have high-topographic expression (as great as 400 m above sea level) and high bed relief (up to 1500 m). All of these high-topography anomaly sources at the base of the ice would isostatically rebound to elevations above sea level were the ice removed. We interpret these 18 anomaly sources as evidence of subaerial eruption of volcanoes whose topography was protected from erosion by competent volcanic flows similar to prominent volcanic peaks that are exposed above the surface of the WAIS. Further, we infer these volcanoes as possibly erupted at a time when the WAIS was absent. In contrast, at the other extreme

  10. The Timing of Early Magmatism and Extension in the Southern East African Rift: Tracking Geochemical Source Variability with 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology at the Rungwe Volcanic Province, SW Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mesko, G. T.; Class, C.; Maqway, M. D.; Boniface, N.; Manya, S.; Hemming, S. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Rungwe Volcanic Province is the southernmost expression of volcanism in the East African Rift System. Rungwe magmatism is focused in a transfer zone between two weakly extended rift segments, unlike more developed rifts where magmatism occurs along segment axes (e.g. mid-ocean ridges). Rungwe was selected as the site of the multinational SEGMeNT project, an integrated geophysical, geochronological and geochemical study to determine the role of magmatism during early stage continental rifting. Argon geochronology is underway for an extensive collection of Rungwe volcanic rocks to date the eruptive sequence with emphasis on the oldest events. The age and location of the earliest events remains contested, but is critical to evaluating the relationship between magmatism and extension. Dated samples are further analyzed to model the geochemistry and isotopic signature of each melt's source and define it as lithospheric, asthenospheric, or plume. Given the goals, the geochronology focuses on mafic lavas most likely to preserve the geochemical signature of the mantle source. Groundmass was prepared and analyzed at the LDEO AGES lab. Twelve preliminary dates yield ages from 8.5 to 5.7Ma, consistent with prior results, supporting an eruptive episode concurrent with tectonic activity on the Malawi and Rukwa border faults (Ebinger et al., JGR 1989; 1993). Three additional samples yield ages from 18.51 to 17.6 Ma, consistent with the 18.6 ±1.0 Ma age obtained by Rasskazov et al. (Russ. Geology & Geophys. 2003). This eruptive episode is spatially limited to phonolite domes in the Usangu Basin and a mafic lava flow on the uplifted Mbeya Block. These eruptions predate the current tectonic extensional structure, suggesting magmatism predates extension, or that the two are not highly interdependent. No Rungwe samples dated yet can be the source of the of 26Ma carbonatitic tuffs in the nearby Songwe River Basin sequence (Roberts et al., Nature Geoscience 2012). Isochron ages

  11. 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.

  12. Constructing the volcanic architecture of Kalkarindji, an ancient flood basalt province, using a multidisciplinary approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, P.; Widdowson, M.; Kelley, S. P.; Mac Niocaill, C.; Murphy, D. T.

    2014-12-01

    The Kalkarindji Continental Flood Basalt Province (CFBP) is the oldest igneous province in the Phanerozoic. Erupted in the mid-Cambrian (505-510 Ma) [1], it is estimated volumes of lava up to 1.5 x 105 km3could have been erupted, making this similar in size to the better known Columbia River Basalts, USA. Relatively little is known about the province, due in part to its remote location, though large swathes remain well preserved (c. 50,000 km2). This study, based on rigorous field investigations, utilises 4 different analytical techniques to construct a volcanic architecture for the Kalkarindji basalts, drawing together these complimentary datasets to generate a series of detailed stratigraphies from around the province. Mineralogy and petrography form the basis while geochemical data aides in defining lava flow stratigraphies and distinguishing individual flow packages in disparate locations around the province. 40Ar/39Ar dating of key stratigraphic marker horizons support stratigraphical correlation across the province whilst the use of palaeomagnetism and magnetostratigraphy has allowed for correlation on a broader scale. Indications from this study point towards an unusual eruption among CFBPs in the Phanerozoic; a lack of tumescence, immediate subsidence of the lava pile following cessation of eruption; and, in the main sub-province, we map a simple volcanic structure thinning to the east from a single source. 1. L. M. Glass, D. Phillips, (2006). Geology. 34, 461-464.

  13. Volcanism in Eastern Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cauthen, Clay; Coombs, Cassandra R.

    1996-01-01

    In 1891, the Virunga Mountains of Eastern Zaire were first acknowledged as volcanoes, and since then, the Virunga Mountain chain has demonstrated its potentially violent volcanic nature. The Virunga Mountains lie across the Eastern African Rift in an E-W direction located north of Lake Kivu. Mt. Nyamuragira and Mt. Nyiragongo present the most hazard of the eight mountains making up Virunga volcanic field, with the most recent activity during the 1970-90's. In 1977, after almost eighty years of moderate activity and periods of quiescence, Mt. Nyamuragira became highly active with lava flows that extruded from fissures on flanks circumscribing the volcano. The flows destroyed vast areas of vegetation and Zairian National Park areas, but no casualties were reported. Mt. Nyiragongo exhibited the same type volcanic activity, in association with regional tectonics that effected Mt. Nyamuragira, with variations of lava lake levels, lava fountains, and lava flows that resided in Lake Kivu. Mt. Nyiragongo, recently named a Decade volcano, presents both a direct and an indirect hazard to the inhabitants and properties located near the volcano. The Virunga volcanoes pose four major threats: volcanic eruptions, lava flows, toxic gas emission (CH4 and CO2), and earthquakes. Thus, the volcanoes of the Eastern African volcanic field emanate harm to the surrounding area by the forecast of volcanic eruptions. During the JSC Summer Fellowship program, we will acquire and collate remote sensing, photographic (Space Shuttle images), topographic and field data. In addition, maps of the extent and morphology(ies) of the features will be constructed using digital image information. The database generated will serve to create a Geographic Information System for easy access of information of the Eastem African volcanic field. The analysis of volcanism in Eastern Africa will permit a comparison for those areas from which we have field data. Results from this summer's work will permit

  14. Lake-level rise in the late Pleistocene and active subaquatic volcanism since the Holocene in Lake Kivu, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Kelly Ann; Smets, Benoît; De Batist, Marc; Hilbe, Michael; Schmid, Martin; Anselmetti, Flavio S.

    2014-09-01

    The history of Lake Kivu is strongly linked to the activity of the Virunga volcanoes. Subaerial and subaquatic volcanoes, in addition to lake-level changes, shape the subaquatic morphologic and structural features in Lake Kivu's Main Basin. Previous studies revealed that volcanic eruptions blocked the former outlet of the lake to the north in the late Pleistocene, leading to a substantial rise in the lake level and subsequently the present-day thermohaline stratification. Additional studies have speculated that volcanic and seismic activities threaten to trigger a catastrophic release of the large amount of gases dissolved in the lake. The current study presents a bathymetric mapping and seismic profiling survey that covers the volcanically active area of the Main Basin at a resolution that is unprecedented for Lake Kivu. New geomorphologic features identified on the lake floor can accurately describe related lake-floor processes for the first time. The late Pleistocene lowstand is observed at 425 m depth, and volcanic cones, tuff rings, and lava flows observed above this level indicate both subaerial and subaquatic volcanic activities during the Holocene. The geomorphologic analysis yields new implications on the geologic processes that have shaped Lake Kivu's basin, and the presence of young volcanic features can be linked to the possibility of a lake overturn.

  15. Crustal-scale recycling in caldera complexes and rift zones along the Yellowstone hotspot track: O and Hf isotopic evidence in diverse zircons from voluminous rhyolites of the Picabo volcanic field, Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drew, Dana L.; Bindeman, Ilya N.; Watts, Kathryn E.; Schmitt, Axel K.; Fu, Bin; McCurry, Michael

    2013-01-01

    followed by rapid batch assembly prior to eruption. However, due to the greater abundance of low-δ18O rhyolites at Picabo, the eruptive framework may reflect an intertwined history of caldera collapse and coeval Basin and Range rifting and hydrothermal alteration. We speculate that the source rocks with pre-existing low-δ18O alteration may be related to: (1) deeply buried and unexposed older deposits of Picabo-age or Twin Falls-age low-δ18O volcanics; and/or (2) regionally-abundant late Eocene Challis volcanics, which were hydrothermally altered near the surface prior to or during peak Picabo magmatism. Basin and Range extension, specifically the formation of metamorphic core complexes exposed in the region, could have facilitated the generation of low-δ18O magmas by exhuming heated rocks and creating the large water-rock ratios necessary for shallow hydrothermal alteration of tectonically (rift zones) and volcanically (calderas) buried volcanic rocks. These interpretations highlight the major processes by which supereruptive volumes of magma are generated in the SRP, mechanisms applicable to producing rhyolites worldwide that are facilitated by plume driven volcanism and extensional tectonics.

  16. Mars: Volcanism in the Valles Marineris overlooked

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lucchitta, B. K.

    1988-01-01

    Do volcanic rocks exist in the Valles Marineris. This question is pertinent because the Valles Marineris are gigantic grabens, rivaling rift valleys on earth in size and depth. The Valles Marineris were interpreted as extensional tectonic structures, perhaps incipient rifts. On earth, rift valleys commonly contain volcanic deposits. On Mars, deposits inside the Valles Marineris grabens do not have the morphologic signature of such easily identified volcanic features as shield volcanoes or lava flows. Therefore, many researchers have not recognized the deposits inside the Valles Marineris as volcanic. Is Mars, then, different from earth in having formed riftlike grabens unaccompanied by volcanism. Overall, results from the study suggest that volcanism was present in the Valles Marineris; the volcanism was explosive in places; some volcanism was more felsic than that generally assumed elsewhere; and the younger sequence of interior beds was emplaced so late in Martian history that the planet may be considered to be still volcanically active.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. A volcanic district between the Hoggar uplift and the Tenere Rifts: Volcanology, geochemistry and age of the In-Ezzane lavas (Algerian Sahara)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yahiaoui, Rachid; Dautria, Jean-Marie; Alard, Olivier; Bosch, Delphine; Azzouni-Sekkal, Abla; Bodinier, Jean-Louis

    2014-04-01

    The In-Ezzane volcanic district (EZD), located at the triple junction of Algeria, Niger and Libya belongs to the Eastern Hoggar, covers 350 km2 and includes 9 volcanic edifices that are probably aligned along NW-SE faults, parallel to the Tafassasset valley. The low volume (0.7 and 1 km3) of emitted lavas, the similar morphology of the monogenic cones and the lack of differentiated rocks indicate that the volcanic activity of the EZD was restricted in time and volume. The new K-Ar age (i.e. 2.86 ± 0.07 Ma) indicates that the EZD is contemporaneous with the last alkali volcanism paroxysm in Hoggar and with the nearby Libyan volcanics. The EZD alkali basalts (mainly basanite) show a remarkable homogeneous compositions both in major elements (44.8 ⩽ SiO2 ⩽ 45.8 wt.%; 5.2 ⩽ (Na2O + K2O) ⩽ 6.2 wt.%), trace elements (4.3 ⩽ Th ⩽ 5.5 ppm; 34.7 ⩽ La ⩽ 44.7 ppm; 16.1 < La/Yb(N) < 21.6) and radiogenic isotopes (0.70285 < 87Sr/86Sr < 0.70303; 0.51298 < 143Nd/144Nd < 0.51301; (19.212 < 206Pb/204Pb < 19.340, 15.589 < 207Pb/204Pb < 15.602 and 38.834 < 208Pb/204Pb < 38.903). Relative to the Hoggar alkaly basalts the EZD basalts appear systematically impoverished in incompatible elements and show a depleted signature both in Sr and Nd isotopes (almost MORB-like). The Pb isotopes are relatively enriched and intermediate between tholeiites and alkali basalts of the Hoggar. This unusual geochemical signature, is uneasy to reconcile with the known characteristics of the Hoggar swell, and would rather fingerprint a circum cratonic mantle lying beneath the west border of the Murzuq craton (Libya).

  1. Relative roles of rifting tectonics and magma ascent processes: Inferences from geophysical, structural, volcanological, and geochemical data for the Neapolitan volcanic region (southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piochi, Monica; Bruno, Pier Paolo; de Astis, Gianfilippo

    2005-07-01

    The Neapolitan volcanic region is located within the graben structure of the Campanian Plain (CP), which developed between the western sector of the Appenine Chain and the eastern margin of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Two volcanic areas, spaced less than 10 km apart, are situated within the CP: the Somma-Vesuvius Volcano (SVV) and the Phlegraean Volcanic District (PVD). SVV is a typical stratovolcano, whereas PVD, including Campi Flegrei, Procida, and Ischia, is composed mostly of monogenetic centers. This contrast is due to different magma supply systems: a widespread fissure-type system beneath the PVD and a central-type magma supply system for the SVV. Volcanological, geophysical, and geochemical data show that magma viscosity, magma supply rate, and depth of magma storage are comparable at PVD and SVV, whereas different structural arrangements characterize the two areas. On the basis of geophysical data and magma geochemistry, an oblique-extensional tectonic regime is proposed within the PVD, whereas in the SVV area a compressive stress regime dominates over extension. Geophysical data suggest that the area with the maximum deformation rate extends between the EW-running 41st parallel and the NE-running Magnaghi-Sebeto fault systems. The PVD extensional area is a consequence of the Tyrrhenian Sea opening and is decoupled from the surrounding areas (Roccamonfina and Somma-Vesuvius) which are still dominated by Adriatic slab dynamics. Spatially, we argue that the contribution of the asthenospheric wedge become much less important from W-NW to E-SE in the CP. The development of the two styles of volcanism in the CP reflects the different tectonic regimes acting in the area.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Role of mass wasting processes in the modification of oceanic rift valley morphology

    SciTech Connect

    Keith, D.J.; Fox, P.J.; Karson, J. A.

    1985-01-01

    During the last eight years field investigations using the high resolution capabilities of submersibles and deep-towed cameras have been conducted along the rift valley of the Mid-Cayman Rise, the western and eastern intersections of the Kane Transform Fault and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the eastern intersection of the Oceanographer Transform Fault. These 3 sites are representative of the range of tectonic environments which are characteristic of slowly accreting plate boundaries. Photographic and observational data collected from within these natural laboratories reveal important geomorphic information concerning the temporal and spatial evolution of volcanic constructional and fault-bounded terrain in response to mass wasting processes. The results of this investigation indicate that sedimentary processes significantly influence the development of oceanic lithosphere soon after its creation and continues to do so with increasing geologic age out to approximately 2 m.y. The data indicate that the rift valley floor distal from transform faults is dominated by a hummocky, volcanic morphology that is rapidly degraded by hyaloclastic mass wasting activity. With the evolution of the rift walls into the rift mountains, photographic data indicates that the processes associated with dislodgement and gravitational transport do not cease to operate but work much more infrequently relative to the tectonically active lower slopes.

  10. 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.

  11. Complex interaction between Strombolian and phreatomagmatic eruptions in the Quaternary monogenetic volcanism of the Catalan Volcanic Zone (NE of Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martí, Joan; Planagumà, Llorenç; Geyer, Adelina; Canal, Esther; Pedrazzi, Dario

    2011-04-01

    The Catalan Volcanic Zone (CVZ), at the NE of the Iberian peninsula, is one of the Quaternary alkaline volcanic provinces of the European rifts system. The CVZ has been active during the last 12 Ma. Despite the fact that this volcanism is significant in extension and volume, and that eruptions have also occurred in Holocene times, it is mostly unknown compared to the contemporaneous alkaline volcanism in other parts of Western and Central Europe. Volcanism younger than 0.5 Ma is mostly concentrated in an area of about 100 km 2 located between the main cities of Olot and Girona. This basaltic volcanic field comprises more than 50 monogenetic cones including scoria cones, lava flows, tuff rings, and maars. Magmatic eruptions range from Hawaiian to violent Strombolian. Phreatomagmatism is also common and has contributed to the construction of more than a half of these volcanic edifices, frequently associated with the Strombolian activity but also independently, giving rise to a large variety of eruptive sequences. We describe the main characteristics of this volcanism and analyse in particular the successions of deposits that form some of these volcanoes and discuss the potential causes of such a wide diversity of eruptive sequences. We find that the main cause of such complex eruptive behaviour resides in the stratigraphic, structural and hydrogeological characteristics of the substrate above which the volcanoes were emplaced, rather than on the compositional characteristics of the erupting magma, as they do not show significant variations among the different volcanoes studied.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corti, Giacomo

    2009-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Extreme U-Th disequilibrium in rift-related basalts, rhyolites and granophyric granite and the timescale of rhyolite generation, intrusion and crystallization at Alid volcanic center, Eritrea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lowenstern, J. B.; Charlier, B.L.A.; Clynne, M.A.; Wooden, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    Rhyolite pumices and co-erupted granophyric (granite) xenoliths yield evidence for rapid magma generation and crystallization prior to their eruption at 15.2 ?? 2.9 ka at the Alid volcanic center in the Danikil Depression, Eritrea. Whole-rock U and Th isotopic analyses show 230 Th excesses up to 50% in basalts <10 000 years old from the surrounding Oss lava fields. The 15 ka rhyolites also have 30-40% 230Th excesses. Similarity in U-Th disequilibrium, and in Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic values, implies that the rhyolites are mostly differentiated from the local basaltic magma. Given the (230 Th/232Th) ratio of the young basalts, and presumably the underlying mantle, the (230Th/232Th) ratio of the rhyolites upon eruption could be generated by in situ decay in about 50 000 years. Limited (???5%) assimilation of old crust would hasten the lowering of (230Th/232Th) and allow the process to take place in as little as 30 000 years. Final crystallization of the Alid granophyre occurred rapidly and at shallow depths at ???20-25 ka, as confirmed by analyses of mineral separates and ion microprobe data on individual zircons. Evidently, 30 000-50 000 years were required for extraction of basalt from its mantle source region, subsequent crystallization and melt extraction to form silicic magmas, and final crystallization of the shallow intrusion. The granophyre was then ejected during eruption of the comagmatic rhyolites. ?? 2006 Oxford University Press.

  17. Geochemical characteristics and petrogenesis of phonolites and trachytic rocks from the České Středohoří Volcanic Complex, the Ohře Rift, Bohemian Massif

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackerman, Lukáš; Ulrych, Jaromír; Řanda, Zdeněk; Erban, Vojtěch; Hegner, Ernst; Magna, Tomáš; Balogh, Kadosa; Frána, Jaroslav; Lang, Miloš; Novák, Jiří K.

    2015-05-01

    Trachyandesites, trachytes and phonolites represent the most evolved rock types within the České Středohoří Volcanic Complex (CSVC) in the Ohře/Eger Rift. The K-Ar ages of the suite range from ~ 33.8 to ~ 25.8 Ma. Major and trace element variation in the basanite - trachybasalt - trachyandesite series can be explained by several stages of modification of parental magmas by assimilation-fractional crystallization (AFC) involving fractionation of olivine, clinopyroxene, apatite, amphibole and Ti-oxide and bulk continental crust (BCC) as an assimilate. Relative to plausible basanitic starting compositions, the trachytes are moderately depleted in Sr, exhibit more pronounced depletions in P and Ti and some of them also show mild MREE depletion. Such composition requires variable amphibole, clinopyroxene, plagioclase ± apatite, titanite and/or Ti-magnetite fractionation and BCC assimilation. Two types of phonolites (type A and B phonolite) can be distinguished on the basis of overall REE patterns, Gd/Gd* ratios and Ba and Sr contents. Type B phonolites are depleted in Ba, Sr and MREE as a result of extensive alkali feldspar, plagioclase and amphibole fractionation. Modelling of trace element distributions implies basanitic magmas as the most likely parental composition of the basanite - trachybasalt - trachyandesite - trachyte - phonolite suite formed through magmatic differentiation. The Sr-Nd isotopic compositions in the samples can be explained with the assimilation of continental crust by such parental magmas. The highly radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr found in some phonolites are contrasted by uniform Nd isotopic signature; this feature may be explained by contamination and/or overprint of source magmas by Na-Rb-rich material with radiogenic Sr signature formed due to high-Rb (> 200 ppm) character of these melts/fluids. The nature of such contaminant is further evidenced by elevated Li (and Cs in some cases) abundances in type B phonolites although at least two

  18. Dynamic magmatic processes at a continental rift caldera, observed using satellite geodesy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, Ryan; Biggs, Juliet; Birhanu, Yelebe; Wilks, Matt; Gottsmann, Jo; Kendall, Mike; Lewi, Elias

    2016-04-01

    Large silicic calderas are a key feature of developing continental rifts, such as the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), and are often observed to be deforming. Corbetti is one such example of a Holocene caldera in the MER that is undergoing deformation. However, the cause of the unrest, and the relationship to rift processes such as magma storage, transport and extension remain poorly understood. To investigate, we use InSAR (ascending and descending Cosmo-SkyMed data) and continuous GPS to observe the temporal and spatial evolution of sustained uplift at the Corbetti Caldera. Within the caldera, which was thought to have formed ~200 ka, there is evidence for numerous periods of resurgent volcanism in the form of plinian eruptions as well as effusive obsidian flows. How the sources of these varying styles of volcanism are reconciled at depth and in time is currently poorly constrained. Previous research has shown that pre-rift structures have a significant influence on the strain field, and hence on the magmatic and hydrothermal processes which drive it. The Cosmo-SkyMed data used in this study was specifically chosen such that each ascending image has a corresponding descending image acquired as contemporaneously as possible. This is necessary, given the rate of uplift, so as to reduce the number of assumptions when constructing time-series from multiple look directions, and when incorporating GPS data. We decompose the ascending and descending line-of-site deformation signals into vertical and east-west components and use finite source modeling to constrain the depth and geometry of the source of deformation. These results are then compared to available seismic, dynamic microgravity and magnetotelluric data to better understand this system, and how it is related to the volcanic hazard and local geothermal resources.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Submarine record of volcanic island construction and collapse in the Lesser Antilles arc: First scientific drilling of submarine volcanic island landslides by IODP Expedition 340

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Friant, A.; Ishizuka, O.; Boudon, G.; Palmer, M. R.; Talling, P. J.; Villemant, B.; Adachi, T.; Aljahdali, M.; Breitkreuz, C.; Brunet, M.; Caron, B.; Coussens, M.; Deplus, C.; Endo, D.; Feuillet, N.; Fraas, A. J.; Fujinawa, A.; Hart, M. B.; Hatfield, R. G.; Hornbach, M.; Jutzeler, M.; Kataoka, K. S.; Komorowski, J.-C.; Lebas, E.; Lafuerza, S.; Maeno, F.; Manga, M.; Martínez-Colón, M.; McCanta, M.; Morgan, S.; Saito, T.; Slagle, A.; Sparks, S.; Stinton, A.; Stroncik, N.; Subramanyam, K. S. V.; Tamura, Y.; Trofimovs, J.; Voight, B.; Wall-Palmer, D.; Wang, F.; Watt, S. F. L.

    2015-02-01

    IODP Expedition 340 successfully drilled a series of sites offshore Montserrat, Martinique and Dominica in the Lesser Antilles from March to April 2012. These are among the few drill sites gathered around volcanic islands, and the first scientific drilling of large and likely tsunamigenic volcanic island-arc landslide deposits. These cores provide evidence and tests of previous hypotheses for the composition and origin of those deposits. Sites U1394, U1399, and U1400 that penetrated landslide deposits recovered exclusively seafloor sediment, comprising mainly turbidites and hemipelagic deposits, and lacked debris avalanche deposits. This supports the concepts that i/ volcanic debris avalanches tend to stop at the slope break, and ii/ widespread and voluminous failures of preexisting low-gradient seafloor sediment can be triggered by initial emplacement of material from the volcano. Offshore Martinique (U1399 and 1400), the landslide deposits comprised blocks of parallel strata that were tilted or microfaulted, sometimes separated by intervals of homogenized sediment (intense shearing), while Site U1394 offshore Montserrat penetrated a flat-lying block of intact strata. The most likely mechanism for generating these large-scale seafloor sediment failures appears to be propagation of a decollement from proximal areas loaded and incised by a volcanic debris avalanche. These results have implications for the magnitude of tsunami generation. Under some conditions, volcanic island landslide deposits composed of mainly seafloor sediment will tend to form smaller magnitude tsunamis than equivalent volumes of subaerial block-rich mass flows rapidly entering water. Expedition 340 also successfully drilled sites to access the undisturbed record of eruption fallout layers intercalated with marine sediment which provide an outstanding high-resolution data set to analyze eruption and landslides cycles, improve understanding of magmatic evolution as well as offshore sedimentation

  5. 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.

  6. The Boring Volcanic Field of the Portland-Vancouver area, Oregon and Washington: tectonically anomalous forearc volcanism in an urban setting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Evarts, Russell C.; Conrey, Richard M.; Fleck, Robert J.; Hagstrum, Jonathan T.; O'Connor, Jim; Dorsey, Rebecca; Madin, Ian P.

    2009-01-01

    More than 80 small volcanoes are scattered throughout the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area of northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington. These volcanoes constitute the Boring Volcanic Field, which is centered in the Neogene Portland Basin and merges to the east with coeval volcanic centers of the High Cascade volcanic arc. Although the character of volcanic activity is typical of many monogenetic volcanic fields, its tectonic setting is not, being located in the forearc of the Cascadia subduction system well trenchward of the volcanic-arc axis. The history and petrology of this anomalous volcanic field have been elucidated by a comprehensive program of geologic mapping, geochemistry, 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, and paleomag-netic studies. Volcanism began at 2.6 Ma with eruption of low-K tholeiite and related lavas in the southern part of the Portland Basin. At 1.6 Ma, following a hiatus of ~0.8 m.y., similar lavas erupted a few kilometers to the north, after which volcanism became widely dispersed, compositionally variable, and more or less continuous, with an average recurrence interval of 15,000 yr. The youngest centers, 50–130 ka, are found in the northern part of the field. Boring centers are generally monogenetic and mafic but a few larger edifices, ranging from basalt to low-SiO2 andesite, were also constructed. Low-K to high-K calc-alkaline compositions similar to those of the nearby volcanic arc dominate the field, but many centers erupted magmas that exhibit little influence of fluids derived from the subducting slab. The timing and compositional characteristics of Boring volcanism suggest a genetic relationship with late Neogene intra-arc rifting.

  7. 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

  8. Kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift and Absolute motion of Africa and Somalia Plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The Ethiopian Rift (ER), in the northern part of East African Rift System (EARS), forms a boundary zone accommodating differential motion between Africa and Somalia Plates. Its orientation was influenced by the inherited Pan-African collisional system and related lithospheric fabric. We present the kinematics of ER derived from compilation of geodetic velocities, focal mechanism inversions, structural data analysis, and construction of geological profiles. GPS velocity field shows a systematic eastward magnitude increase in NE direction in the central ER. In the same region, incremental extensional strain axes recorded by earthquake focal mechanism and fault slip inversion show ≈N1000E orientation. This deviation between GPS velocity trajectories and orientation of incremental extensional strain is developed due to left lateral transtensional deformation. This interpretation is consistent with the en-échelon pattern of tensional and transtensional faults, the distribution of the volcanic centers, and the asymmetry of the rift itself. Small amount of vertical axis blocks rotation, sinistral strike slip faults and dyke intrusions in the rift accommodate the transtensional deformation. We analyzed the kinematics of ER relative to Deep and Shallow Hot Spot Reference Frames (HSRF). Comparison between the two reference frames shows different kinematics in ER and also Africa and Somalia plate motion both in magnitude and direction. Plate spreading direction in shallow HSRF (i.e. the source of the plumes locates in the asthenosphere) and the trend of ER deviate by about 27°. Shearing and extension across the plate boundary zone contribute both to the style of deformation and overall kinematics in the rift. We conclude that the observed long wavelength kinematics and tectonics are consequences of faster SW ward motion of Africa than Somalia in the shallow HSRF. This reference frame seems more consistent with the geophysical and geological constraints in the Rift. The

  9. Paleomagnetic Study of a Sub-Aerial Volcanic Ridge (S. Jorge Island -Azores Archipelago). Implications on the Island Construction and the Cobb Mountain Event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, P. F.; Henry, B.; Hildenbrand, A.; Madureira, P.; Marques, F. O.; Cruz, I.

    2009-05-01

    The Azores Archipelago is located in the North-Atlantic Ocean, near the triple junction between the American, the Eurasian and the Nubian lithospheric plates. It comprises nine active volcanic islands which have developed on the eastern and western flanks of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). The area is affected by active faults responsible for recurrent high-magnitude earthquakes. Present-day regional stress field yields the preferential construction of the islands parallel to the WNW-ESE structural direction. S. Jorge Island, especially, has a peculiar shape, resembling a ridge-like volcanic edifice highly elongated along the WNW-ESE direction. The eruptive system is cut by numerous faults and dykes dominantly parallel to the main axis of the island, except in the eastern area where they trend along the NNW-SSE direction. From geochronological and geochemical studies, Hildenbrand et al. (2008) have recently shown that the sub-aerial development of the S. Jorge ridge encompassed the last 1.3 Myr and was overall characterized by a progressive migration of the volcanic construction towards the west. The present work has two main objectives: i) to bring new insights regarding the spatial-temporal construction of the island and ii) to achieve a paleomagnetic characterization of the first stages of the Cobb Mountain Event. To reach such objectives, paleomagnetic and rock magnetic studies from 42 lava flows and 17 dykes from the various sectors of S. Jorge were carried out. Standard progressive alternating and thermal demagnetization procedures display similar results, mainly defining accurate Virtual Geomagnetic Poles (VGP) for each lava flow and dyke. Our new paleomagnetic data show that: (i) the secular variation is not perfectly averaged, though agreeing with the G model proposed by MacFadden et al. (1991). This result is interpreted as indicating volcanic events that occurred massively during distinct and brief periods; ii) The VGP records of the old S. Jorge volcanic

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Modeled Aeromagnetic Anomalies, Controlled By Radar Ice Sounding, As Evidence for Subglacial Volcanic Activity in the West Antarctic Rift System (WR) Beneath the Area of the Divide of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrendt, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    The Thwaites and Pine Island ice shelves, buttressing the WAIS, have passed the turning point as they are eaten away by warmer ocean waters (Joghin et al., 2014; Rignot et al., 2014). There is an increasing evidence (aeromagnetic, radar ice-sounding, high heat flow, subglacial volcanic seismicity, and several exposed and subglacial active volcanoes), for volcanic activity in the WR beneath the WAIS, which flows through it. The 5-km, orthogonally line spaced, central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey defined >400 high amplitude volcanic magnetic anomalies correlated with glacial bed topography. Modeled anomalies defined magnetic properties; interpreted volcanic edifices were mostly removed by the moving ice into which they were erupted. Very high apparent susceptibility contrasts (.001->.3 SI) are typical of measured properties from volcanic exposures in the WAIS area. About 90% of the magnetic sources have normal magnetization in the present field direction. Two explanations as to why the anomalies are not approximately 50% negative: (1) Volcanic activity resulting in these anomalies occurred in a predominantly normal field (unlikely). (2) Sources are a combination of induced and remanent magnetization resulting in anomalies of low amplitude (induced cancels remanent) and are not recognized because they are <100 nT (most probable). About 18 high relief, (~600-2000 m) "volcanic centers" beneath the WAIS surface, probably were erupted subaerially when the WAIS was absent; nine of these are in the general area beneath the divide of the WAIS. A 70-km wide, ring of interpreted subglacial volcanic rocks may define a volcanic caldera underlying thedivide (Behrendt et al., 1998). A 2 km-high subaerially erupted volcano (subglacial Mt Thiel, ~78o30'S, 111oW) ~ 100 km north of the WAISCORE, could be the source an ash layer observed in the core. Models by Tulaczyk and Hossainzadeh (2011) indicate >4mm/yr basal melting beneath the WAIS, supportive of high heat flow

  20. Eruptive modes and hiatus of volcanism at West Mata seamount, NE Lau basin: 1996-2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Embley, Robert W.; Merle, Susan G.; Baker, Edward T.; Rubin, Kenneth H.; Lupton, John E.; Resing, Joseph A.; Dziak, Robert P.; Lilley, Marvin D.; Chadwick, William W.; Shank, T.; Greene, Ron; Walker, Sharon L.; Haxel, Joseph; Olson, Eric; Baumberger, Tamara

    2014-10-01

    present multiple lines of evidence for years to decade-long changes in the location and character of volcanic activity at West Mata seamount in the NE Lau basin over a 16 year period, and a hiatus in summit eruptions from early 2011 to at least September 2012. Boninite lava and pyroclasts were observed erupting from its summit in 2009, and hydroacoustic data from a succession of hydrophones moored nearby show near-continuous eruptive activity from January 2009 to early 2011. Successive differencing of seven multibeam bathymetric surveys of the volcano made in the 1996-2012 period reveals a pattern of extended constructional volcanism on the summit and northwest flank punctuated by eruptions along the volcano's WSW rift zone (WSWRZ). Away from the summit, the volumetrically largest eruption during the observational period occurred between May 2010 and November 2011 at ˜2920 m depth near the base of the WSWRZ. The (nearly) equally long ENE rift zone did not experience any volcanic activity during the 1996-2012 period. The cessation of summit volcanism recorded on the moored hydrophone was accompanied or followed by the formation of a small summit crater and a landslide on the eastern flank. Water column sensors, analysis of gas samples in the overlying hydrothermal plume and dives with a remotely operated vehicle in September 2012 confirmed that the summit eruption had ceased. Based on the historical eruption rates calculated using the bathymetric differencing technique, the volcano could be as young as several thousand years.

  1. Volcanic Gas

    MedlinePlus

    ... Hazards Tephra/Ash Lava Flows Lahars Volcanic Gas Climate Change Pyroclastic Flows Volcanic Landslides Preparedness Volcano Hazard Zones ... Please see our discussion of volcanic gases and climate change for additional information. Hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) is ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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. \

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

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

  4. The evolution of lithosphere deformation due to infiltration of asthenosphere melt into a lithosphere with inherited weakness: insight from 2D numerical models of continental rifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havlin, C.; Parmentier, E.; Hirth, G.

    2013-12-01

    Melt formed in the asthenosphere affects lithosphere evolution through its accumulation and subsequent infiltration and heating of the lithosphere. Magmatic weakening of the lithosphere has received particular attention in the context of continental rifting because homogeneous continental lithosphere is too strong to rift under available tectonic forces without a weakening mechanism. But the observation that rifting generally initiates in heterogeneous continental mobile belts suggests that rift zones develop in lithosphere with some inherited compositional weakness, obscuring the importance of magmatic weakening. To test the relative roles of magmatic and compositional weakening, we construct a 2D numerical model that includes both effects. We treat the lithosphere and asthenosphere as separate, but coupled, domains. The lithosphere deforms via a composite brittle-ductile rheology with a strain rate that varies horizontally but is independent of depth. We apply an extensional force that is constant throughout the lithosphere, causing thinned or weakened regions of the lithosphere to extend at higher strain rate. We treat the asthenosphere as a viscous and partially molten and solve the 2D conservation equations for mass, momentum and energy for both the solid and melt phases. Melting and freezing are treated using a hydrated peridotite solidus. Solid velocities in the asthenosphere are calculated using the solid velocities from the lithosphere base as boundary conditions. The asthenosphere and lithosphere are coupled through magma infiltration and subsequent lithosphere heating. Melt fractions accumulating above an imposed critical melt fraction are extracted and emplaced within a few kms of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary, where it freezes, releasing latent heat. We test scenarios with a fixed critical melt fraction as well as a variable critical melt fraction determined by our previously published parametrization of dike propagation [Havlin et al., EPSL

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Magmatic history of Red Sea rifting: perspective from the central Saudi Arabian coastal plain.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pallister, J.S.

    1987-01-01

    An early stage of magmatism related to Red Sea rifting is recorded by a Tertiary dyke complex and comagmatic volcanic rocks exposed on the central Saudi Arabian coastal plain. Field relations and new K/Ar dates indicate episodic magmatism from approx 30 m.y. to the present day and rift-related magmatism as early as 50 m.y. Localized volcanism and sheeted dyke injection ceased at approx 20 m.y. and were replaced by the intrusion of thick gabbro dykes, marking the onset of sea-floor spreading in the central Red Sea. Differences in the depths and dynamics of mantle-melt extraction and transport may account for the transition from mixed alkaline-subalkaline bimodal magmatism of the pre-20 m.y. rift basin to exclusively subalkaline (tholeiitic) magmatism of the Red Sea spreading axis and the alkali basalt volcanism inland.-L.C.H.

  14. The Midcontinent rift in the Lake Superior region with emphasis on its geodynamic evolution

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.

    1992-01-01

    The Midcontinent rift is a Middle Proterozoic continental rift which records about 15 m.y. of extension, subsidence, and voluminous volcanism in the period 1109-1094 Ma in the central part of North America. During that time the crust was nearly totally separated and as much as 25 km of subaerial basalts accumulated in a deep central depression. Following extension and volcanism, a longer period of subsidence resulted in development of a post-rift sedimentary basin in which as much a 8 km of fluvial and lacustrine clastic rocks were deposited. Partial inversion of the central depression occurred about 30-50 m.y. after extension to produce the current configuration of a central horst, composed mostly of thick volcanic accumulations, between shallower flanking basins. ?? 1992.

  15. 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.

  16. Atla Regio, Venus: Geology and origin of a major equatorial volcanic rise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Senske, D. A.; Head, James W., III

    1992-01-01

    Regional volcanic rises form a major part of the highlands in the equatorial region of Venus. These broad domical uplands, 1000 to 3000 km across, contain centers of volcanism forming large edifices and are associated with extension and rifting. Two classes of rises are observed: (1) those that are dominated by tectonism, acting as major centers for converging rifts such as Beta Regio and Alta Regio, and are termed tectonic junctions; and (2) those forming uplands characterized primarily by large-scale volcanism forming edifices. Western Eistla Regio and Bell Regio, where zones of extension and rifting are less developed. Within this second class of features the edifices are typically found at the end of a single rift, or are associated with a linear belt of deformation. We examine the geologic characteristics of the tectonic junction at Alta Regio, concentrating on documenting the styles of volcanism and assessing mechanisms for the formation of regional topography.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The roles of fractional crystallization, magma mixing, crystal mush remobilization and volatile-melt interactions in the genesis of a young basalt-peralkaline rhyolite suite, the greater Olkaria volcanic complex, Kenya Rift valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Macdonald, R.; Belkin, H.E.; Fitton, J.G.; Rogers, N.W.; Nejbert, K.; Tindle, A.G.; Marshall, A.S.

    2008-01-01

    The Greater Olkaria Volcanic Complex is a young (???20 ka) multi-centred lava and dome field dominated by the eruption of peralkaline rhyolites. Basaltic and trachytic magmas have been erupted peripherally to the complex and also form, with mugearites and benmoreites, an extensive suite of magmatic inclusions in the rhyolites. The eruptive rocks commonly represent mixed magmas and the magmatic inclusions are themselves two-, three- or four-component mixes. All rock types may carry xenocrysts of alkali feldspar, and less commonly plagioclase, derived from magma mixing and by remobilization of crystal mushes and/or plutonic rocks. Xenoliths in the range gabbro-syenite are common in the lavas and magmatic inclusions, the more salic varieties sometimes containing silicic glass representing partial melts and ranging in composition from anorthite ?? corundum- to acmite-normative. The peralkaline varieties are broadly similar, in major element terms, to the eruptive peralkaline rhyolites. The basalt-trachyte suite formed by a combination of fractional crystallization, magma mixing and resorption of earlier-formed crystals. Matrix glass in metaluminous trachytes has a peralkaline rhyolitic composition, indicating that the eruptive rhyolites may have formed by fractional crystallization of trachyte. Anomalous trace element enrichments (e.g. ??? 2000 ppm Y in a benmoreite) and negative Ce anomalies may have resulted from various Na- and K-enriched fluids evolving from melts of intermediate composition and either being lost from the system or enriched in other parts of the reservoirs. A small group of nepheline-normative, usually peralkaline, magmatic inclusions was formed by fluid transfer between peralkaline rhyolitic and benmoreitic magmas. The plumbing system of the complex consists of several independent reservoirs and conduits, repeatedly recharged by batches of mafic magma, with ubiquitous magma mixing. ?? The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press. All

  5. 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.

  6. Five million years of compositionally diverse, episodic volcanism: Construction of Davidson Seamount atop an abandoned spreading center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clague, D. A.; Paduan, J. B.; Duncan, R. A.; Huard, J. J.; Davis, A. S.; Castillo, P. R.; Lonsdale, P.; Devogelaere, A.

    2009-12-01

    Davidson Seamount, a volcano located about 80 km off the central California coast, has a volume of ˜320 km3 and consists of a series of parallel ridges serrated with steep cones. Davidson was sampled and its morphology observed during 27 ROV Tiburon dives. During those dives, 286 samples of lava, volcaniclastite, and erratics from the continental margin were collected, with additional samples from one ROV-collected push core and four gravity cores. We report glass compositions for 99 samples and 40Ar-39Ar incremental heating age data for 20 of the samples. The glass analyses are of hawaiite (62%), mugearite (13%), alkalic basalt (9%), and tephrite (8%), with minor transitional basalt (2%), benmoreite (2%), and trachyandesite (2%). The lithologies are irregularly distributed in space and time. The volcano erupted onto crust inferred to be 20 Ma from seafloor magnetic anomalies. Ages of the lavas range from 9.8 to 14.8 Ma. The oldest rocks are from the central ridge, and the youngest are from the flanks and southern end of the edifice. The compositions of the 18 reliably dated volcanic cones vary with age such that the oldest lavas are the most fractionated. The melts lost 65% to nearly 95% of their initial S because of bubble loss during vesiculation, and the shallowest samples have S contents similar to lava erupted subaerially in Hawaii. Despite this similarity in S contents, there is scant other evidence to suggest that Davidson was ever an island. The numerous small cones of disparate chemistry and the long eruptive period suggest episodic growth of the volcano over at least 5 Myr and perhaps as long as 10 Myr if it began to grow when the spreading ridge was abandoned.

  7. Aeromagnetic evidence for a major strike-slip fault zone along the boundary between the Weddell Sea Rift and East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, T. A.; Ferraccioli, F.; Ross, N.; Siegert, M. J.; Corr, H.; Leat, P. T.; Bingham, R. G.; Rippin, D. M.; le Brocq, A.

    2012-04-01

    The >500 km wide Weddell Sea Rift was a major focus for Jurassic extension and magmatism during the early stages of Gondwana break-up, and underlies the Weddell Sea Embayment, which separates East Antarctica from a collage of crustal blocks in West Antarctica. Here we present new aeromagnetic data combined with airborne radar and gravity data collected during the 2010-11 field season over the Institute and Moeller ice stream in West Antarctica. Our interpretations identify the major tectonic boundaries between the Weddell Sea Rift, the Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains block and East Antarctica. Digitally enhanced aeromagnetic data and gravity anomalies indicate the extent of Proterozoic basement, Middle Cambrian rift-related volcanic rocks, Jurassic granites, and post Jurassic sedimentary infill. Two new joint magnetic and gravity models were constructed, constrained by 2D and 3D magnetic depth-to-source estimates to assess the extent of Proterozoic basement and the thickness of major Jurassic intrusions and post-Jurassic sedimentary infill. The Jurassic granites are modelled as 5-8 km thick and emplaced at the transition between the thicker crust of the Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains block and the thinner crust of the Weddell Sea Rift, and within the Pagano Fault Zone, a newly identified ~75 km wide left-lateral strike-slip fault system that we interpret as a major tectonic boundary between East and West Antarctica. We also suggest a possible analogy between the Pagano Fault Zone and the Dead Sea transform. In this scenario the Jurassic Pagano Fault Zone is the kinematic link between extension in the Weddell Sea Rift and convergence across the Pacific margin of West Antarctica, as the Dead Sea transform links Red Sea extension to compression within the Zagros Mountains.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.

    1999-01-01

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

  9. Volcanic hazards on the Island of Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mullineaux, Donal Ray; Peterson, Donald W.

    1974-01-01

    Volcanic hazards on the Island of Hawaii have been determined to be chiefly products of eruptions: lava flows, falling fragments, gases, and particle-and-gas clouds. Falling fragments and particle-and-gas clouds can be substantial hazards to life, but they are relatively rare. Lava flows are the chief hazard to property; they are frequent and cover broad areas. Rupture, subsidence, earthquakes, and sea waves (tsunamis) caused by eruptions are minor hazards; those same events caused by large-scale crustal movements, however, are major hazards to both life and property. Volcanic hazards are greatest on Mauna Loa and Kilauea, and the risk is highest along the rift zones of those volcanoes. The hazards are progressively less severe on Hualalai, Mauna Kea, and Kohala volcanoes. Some risk from earthquakes extends across the entire island, and the risk from tsunamis is high all along the coast. The island has been divided into geographic zones of different relative risk for each volcanic hazard, and for all those hazards combined. Each zone is assigned a relative risk for that area as a whole; the degree of risk varies within the zones, however, and in some of them the risk decreases gradationally across the entire zone. Moreover, the risk in one zone may be locally as great or greater than that at some points in the zone of next higher overall risk. Nevertheless, the zones can be highly useful for land-use planning. Planning decisions to which the report is particularly applicable include the selection of kinds of structures and kinds of land use that are appropriate for the severity and types of hazards present. For example, construction of buildings that can resist a lava flow is generally not feasible, but it is both feasible and desirable to build structures that can resist falling rock fragments, earthquakes, and tsunamis in areas where risk from those hazards is relatively high. The report can also be used to select sites where overall risk is relatively low, to

  10. 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.

  11. Volcanic mesocyclones.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Pinaki; Gioia, Gustavo; Kieffer, Susan W

    2009-03-26

    A strong volcanic plume consists of a vertical column of hot gases and dust topped with a horizontal 'umbrella'. The column rises, buoyed by entrained and heated ambient air, reaches the neutral-buoyancy level, then spreads radially to form the umbrella. In classical models of strong volcanic plumes, the plume is assumed to remain always axisymmetric and non-rotating. Here we show that the updraught of the rising column induces a hydrodynamic effect not addressed to date-a 'volcanic mesocyclone'. This volcanic mesocyclone sets the entire plume rotating about its axis, as confirmed by an unprecedented analysis of satellite images from the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Destabilized by the rotation, the umbrella loses axial symmetry and becomes lobate in plan view, in accord with satellite records of recent eruptions on Mounts Pinatubo, Manam, Reventador, Okmok, Chaiten and Ruang. The volcanic mesocyclone spawns waterspouts or dust devils, as seen in numerous eruptions, and groups the electric charges about the plume to form the 'lightning sheath' that was so prominent in the recent eruption of Mount Chaiten. The concept of a volcanic mesocyclone provides a unified explanation for a disparate set of poorly understood phenomena in strong volcanic plumes. PMID:19325632

  12. Analogies Between the East African Rift Around the Tanzania Craton and the Southwest Indian Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesi, L. G.

    2013-12-01

    Continental rifts and oceanic spreading centers both accommodate plate divergence but their morphologies are often quite different. Yet, ultraslow spreading centers, especially the Southwest Indian ridge at the 9 to 16°E area (SWIR), present good analogies for the East African Rift (EAR), including localized volcanism, avolcanic segments, and a continuous but not straight rift axis. The archetypal oceanic spreading center features transform offsets. Volcanism is continuous along the ridge axis and is most vigorous at the center of spreading segments. By contrast, continental rifts do not feature transform offsets. The orientation of the rift can change along strike. Several rift segments are purely tectonic, with relatively isolated volcanic centers. The EAR around the Tanzania Craton clearly shows this kind of morphology. Ultraslow spreading centers share many of these features. The SWIR, in particular, displays dramatic changes in orientation, with volcanism localized at the junction between segments of different obliquity. Melt production and transport are controlled by the effective spreading rate, a combination of plate divergence velocity and rift obliquity. Ultraslow spreading center all have an effective spreading rate less than 13 mm/yr. At that speed the thickness of the thermal boundary layer is similar to the depth from which magma can be effectively extracted, opening the possibility for long-distance transport of magma along axis without extraction. Volcanic centers correspond to the location where the magma transport system first encounters a tectonically damaged zone that enables extraction to the surface. The effective velocity of the EAR in the Kenya dome is less than 4mm/yr firmly on par with ultraslow ridges. In fact, to generate magma by mantle upwelling at such a slow opening rate requires a higher mantle temperature or fertility than in the oceanic domain. Both opening rate and effective velocity increase northward along the Eastern branch

  13. 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.

  14. Planetary Volcanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antonenko, I.; Head, J. W.; Pieters, C. W.

    1998-01-01

    The final report consists of 10 journal articles concerning Planetary Volcanism. The articles discuss the following topics: (1) lunar stratigraphy; (2) cryptomare thickness measurements; (3) spherical harmonic spectra; (4) late stage activity of volcanoes on Venus; (5) stresses and calderas on Mars; (6) magma reservoir failure; (7) lunar mare basalt volcanism; (8) impact and volcanic glasses in the 79001/2 Core; (9) geology of the lunar regional dark mantle deposits; and (10) factors controlling the depths and sizes of magma reservoirs in Martian volcanoes.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A numerical and analogue study of dike ascent in asymmetric continental rift zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schierjott, Jana; Maccaferri, Francesco; Keir, Derek; Kemna, Andreas; Rivalta, Eleonora

    2015-04-01

    In continental rift zones, tectonic extension is responsible for the creation of deep topographic depressions bordered 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 introducing asymmetry of various degrees into the models has a huge impact on the modeled location of the surface volcanic activity. In particular, varying model parameters such as the half-graben width and depth and the degree of asymmetry leads to numerous different scenarios, including one-sided volcanic activity when the degree of asymmetry is very high and the half-graben is not too deep. For wider or deeper half-grabens and moderate asymmetry a larger proportion of the magma tends to become arrested as horizontal intrusions at depth.

  18. 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.

  19. Volcanic hazards of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory and adjacent areas

    SciTech Connect

    Hackett, W.R.; Smith, R.P.

    1994-12-01

    Potential volcanic hazards are assessed, and hazard zone maps are developed for the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and adjacent areas. The basis of the hazards assessment and mapping is the past volcanic history of the INEL region, and the apparent similarity of INEL volcanism with equivalent, well-studied phenomena in other regions of active volcanism, particularly Hawaii and Iceland. The most significant hazards to INEL facilities are associated with basaltic volcanism, chiefly lava flows, which move slowly and mainly threaten property by inundation or burning. Related hazards are volcanic gases and tephra, and ground disturbance associated with the ascent of magma under the volcanic zones. Several volcanic zones are identified in the INEL area. These zones contain most of the volcanic vents and fissures of the region and are inferred to be the most probable sites of future INEL volcanism. Volcanic-recurrence estimates are given for each of the volcanic zones based on geochronology of the lavas, together with the results of field and petrographic investigations concerning the cogenetic relationships of INEL volcanic deposits and associated magma intrusion. Annual probabilities of basaltic volcanism within the INEL volcanic zones range from 6.2 {times} 10{sup {minus}5} per year (average 16,000-year interval between eruptions) for the axial volcanic zone near the southern INEL boundary and the Arco volcanic-rift zone near the western INEL boundary, to 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}5} per year (average 100,000-year interval between eruptions) for the Howe-East Butte volcanic rift zone, a geologically old and poorly defined feature of the central portion of INEL. Three volcanic hazard zone maps are developed for the INEL area: lava flow hazard zones, a tephra (volcanic ash) and gas hazard zone, and a ground-deformation hazard zone. The maps are useful in land-use planning, site selection, and safety analysis.

  20. 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

  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. 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. 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

  4. Influence of successive phases of volcanic construction and erosion on Mayotte Island's hydrogeological functioning as determined from a helicopter-borne resistivity survey correlated with borehole geological and permeability data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vittecoq, B.; Deparis, J.; Violette, S.; Jaouën, T.; Lacquement, F.

    2014-02-01

    The purpose of this study is to show how a multidisciplinary approach that combines geophysics, geology and hydrogeology has made it possible to: (a) significantly improve our understanding of the hydrogeological regime of the volcanic island of Mayotte, and (b) provide a new set of geophysical measurement calibration data. In 2010 a helicopter-borne geophysical survey (SkyTEM) was flown over the entire island (374 km2) with a measurement density hitherto unheard of in a volcanic environment. In addition, a database was compiled containing the geological logs of 55 boreholes. 52 of these boreholes have hydrogeological information like aquifer position and piezometric level. 21 of the boreholes have transmissivity values. Correlations were made between the inverted resistivities as obtained from the helicopter-borne TDEM profiles and the nature, age and hydrodynamic properties of the formations as obtained from the borehole data. Five hydrogeological units were mapped. These are characterized by an alternation between phases of dominant volcanic construction, with the emplacement of basaltic lavas, phonolite massifs and pyroclastic deposits, and phases of dominant erosion with the deposition of volcaniclastic material (colluvium, breccias, basaltic lavas and phonolite blocks and all materials resulting from slope slides) along the slopes and in the topographic depressions. It has also been possible to assign resistivity and permeability ranges to four of these units. Ranges that are also dependent on the age of the deposits: the younger the formation is, the greater its resistivity and the higher its permeability. The hydrogeological regime is marked by the phases of volcanic construction and erosion that succeeded one another during the geological history of Mayotte over the last 10 Ma. A conceptual model adapted to the specific geological context of this island, and differing from the Canarian and Hawaiian models, is also put forward. This model is marked by the

  5. Age of the Jacobsville Sandstone and Implications for the Evolution of the Midcontinent Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, C. A.; Kley, J.; Stein, S. A.; Craddock, J. P.; Malone, D. H.

    2015-12-01

    Although the Midcontinent Rift (MCR) had been thought to have formed by isolated midplate volcanism and failed due to Grenville compression, a more plausible scenario is that it formed as part of the rifting of Amazonia from Laurentia and became inactive once seafloor spreading was established. 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 MCR thus has the geometry of a rift but a LIP's magma volume. A crucial constraint on the evolution of the MCR comes from the roughly flat-lying Jacobsville sandstone, Bayfield group, and other equivalent sediments (JBE) that overlie the dipping volcanics and sediments deposited in the MCR basin. The MCR's "failure" - the ending of volcanism and extension and thus its failure to develop into a new ocean basin - has been attributed to compression during the Grenville orogeny, the series of collisions that assembled Amazonia and other continents into the supercontinent of Rodinia from ~1.3 Ga - ~0.95 Ga. The JBE's age is poorly constrained, with proposed ages ranging from ~1100 - ~542 Ma. Many analyses assume that the JBE are either post-rift sediments deposited in the thermal subsidence stage or syntectonic strata associated with the inversion of the rift. In this view, deformation of the JBE by reverse faults including the Keweenaw and Douglas faults occurred at ~1.060 Ga, reflecting Grenville compression ending the MCR's evolution. However, paleomagnetic, structural, compositional, and detrital zircon data suggest that these units are much younger than previously thought, so much of the deformation thought to have occurred at ~1.06 Ga is likely much younger. Recent new zircon data for the Jacobsville collected in summer 2015 should help resolve this question.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-16

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The distribution and hydrogeological controls of fluoride in the groundwater of central Ethiopian rift and adjacent highlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayenew, Tenalem

    2008-05-01

    Occurrence of fluoride (F) in groundwater has drawn worldwide attention, since it has considerable impact on human health. In Ethiopia high concentrations of F in groundwaters used for community water supply have resulted in extensive dental and skeletal fluorosis. As a part of a broader study, the distribution of F in groundwater has been investigated, and compared with bedrock geology and pertinent hydrochemical variables. The result indicates extreme spatial variations. High F concentration is often associated with active and sub-active regional thermal fields and acidic volcanics within high temperature rift floor. Variations in F can also be related to changes in calcium concentration resulting from dissolution of calcium minerals and mixing with waters of different chemical composition originated from variable hydrogeological environment across the rift valley. The concentration of F dramatically declines from the rift towards the highlands with the exception of scattered points associated with thermal springs confined in local volcanic centers. There are also interactions of F-rich alkaline lakes and the surrounding groundwater. Meteoric waters recharging volcanic aquifers become enriched with respect to F along the groundwater flow path from highland recharge areas to rift discharge areas. Locally wells drilled along large rift faults acting as conduits of fresh highland waters show relatively lower F. These areas are likely to be possible sources of better quality waters within the rift. The result of this study has important implications on site selection for water well drilling.

  16. 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.

  17. The role of rifting in the generation of melt: Implications for the origin and evolution of the Lada Terra-Lavinia Planitia region of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Magee, Kari P.; Head, James W.

    1995-01-01

    A rift over 6000 km in total length runs along the border of Lada Terra, a highland in the southern hemisphere of Venus, and Lavinia Planitia, a basin that has been interpreted as a site of early-stage mantle downwelling. Along the length of the rift are a number of volcanic centers of widely varying morphology and volcanic output. These include coronae, radially fractured domes, and large flow fields similar in scale to terrestrial flood basalts. We develop a model for the origin of extension related to passive rifting in response to stresses created by the adjacent downwelling. Volcanism and extension at other rifts on Venus, such as Devana Chasma, have been attributed to deep-seated mantle plume activity. In contrast, we interpret the origin of extension and volcanism along the Lada rift to be linked to upwelling and decompression melting of mantle material due to rifting and, possibly, to counterflow associated with downwelling. Extension occurred generally prior to the formation of volcanic centers and the eruption of large-scale flow fields, although most of the volcanic centers have been fractured by continued extension along the rift. Current debate over the formation of terrestrial flood basalts centers on the necessity of preexisting extension and stretched and thinned lithosphere to produce enhanced decompression melting within a large plume head or mantle thermal anomaly. Our studies of large-scale flow fields associated with the Lada rift and coronae on Venus indicate that extension is a prerequisite for the formation of the majority of large-scale flow units on Venus.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Closer look at lunar volcanism

    SciTech Connect

    Vaniman, D.T.; Heiken, G.; Taylor, G.J.

    1984-01-01

    Although the American Apollo and Soviet Luna missions concentrated on mare basalt samples, major questions remain about lunar volcanism. Lunar field work will be indispensable for resolving the scientific questions about ages, compositions, and eruption processes of lunar volcanism. From a utilitarian standpoint, a better knowledge of lunar volcanism will also yield profitable returns in lunar base construction (e.g., exploitation of rille or lava-tube structures) and in access to materials such as volatile elements, pure glass, or ilmenite for lunar industry.

  1. Extensive and Diverse Submarine Volcanism and Hydrothermal Activity in the NE Lau Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Embley, R. W.; Merle, S. G.; Lupton, J. E.; Resing, J.; Baker, E. T.; Lilley, M. D.; Arculus, R. J.; Crowhurst, P. V.

    2009-12-01

    The northeast Lau basin, the NE “corner” of the Tonga subduction zone, has an unusual concentration of young submarine volcanism and hydrothermal activity. The area is bounded on the west by overlapping spreading centers opening at rates up to 120 mm/yr, on the north by the E-W trending Tonga trench and on the east by the Tofua arc front. From the south, the Fonualei rift spreading center (FRSC) overlaps with the southern rift of The Mangatolo triple junction spreading center (MTJSC). The northern arm of the MTJSC overlaps with the northeast Lau spreading center (NELSC). Surveys of the area with an EM300 sonar system in November 2008 show high backscatter over the 10-20 km wide neovolcanic zones of the FRSC, MTJSC and NELSC. High backscatter is also associated with: (1) a 10-km diameter, hydrothermally active, volcanic caldera/cone (Volcano “O”) lying between the NELSC and the northern Tofua arc front; (2) a rift zone extending north from volcano “O” and intersecting the NELSC near the Tonga trench; and (3) a series of volcanoes constructed along SW-NE trending crustal tears in the northernmost backarc near the east-west portion of the Tonga Trench. Two eruptions were detected in November 2008 during hydrothermal plume surveys of the area. Subsequent dives with the remotely operated vehicle Jason 2 in May 2009 revealed that the southern NELSC eruption was a short-lived, primarily effusive eruption. The second eruption was detected on the summit of the largest SW-NE trending volcano (West Mata) and was ongoing when Jason 2 arrived on site more than 6 months later. It was producing both pillow lavas and abundant volcaniclastic debris streams that have a characteristic appearance on the sonar backscatter map. There is also an unusual series of lava flows emanating from ridges and scarps between Volcano “O” and West Mata. These flows contain drained-out lava ponds up to 2 km in diameter. The apparent high level of volcanic activity in the NE Lau basin

  2. Exposed guyot from the afar rift, ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bonatti, E; Tazieff, H

    1970-05-29

    A series of originally submarine volcanoes has been found in the Afar Depression. Some of the volcanic structures are morphologically similar to oceanic guyots. One of them consists of strata of finely fragmented and pulverized basaltic glass. The fragmentation of the lava is probably the result of stream explosions taking place during the submarine eruption. The flat top of this guyot is considered to be a constructional feature; by analogy, it is suggested that not all oceanic guyots are necessarily the result of wave truncation of former volcanic islands.

  3. Exposed guyot from the afar rift, ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bonatti, E; Tazieff, H

    1970-05-29

    A series of originally submarine volcanoes has been found in the Afar Depression. Some of the volcanic structures are morphologically similar to oceanic guyots. One of them consists of strata of finely fragmented and pulverized basaltic glass. The fragmentation of the lava is probably the result of stream explosions taking place during the submarine eruption. The flat top of this guyot is considered to be a constructional feature; by analogy, it is suggested that not all oceanic guyots are necessarily the result of wave truncation of former volcanic islands. PMID:17833451

  4. 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

  5. Volcanic evolution of the South Sandwich volcanic arc, South Atlantic, from multibeam bathymetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leat, Philip T.; Day, Simon J.; Tate, Alex J.; Martin, Tara J.; Owen, Matthew J.; Tappin, David R.

    2013-09-01

    New multibeam bathymetry data are presented for the South Sandwich intra-oceanic arc which occupies the small Sandwich plate in the South Atlantic, and is widely considered to be a simple end-member in the range of intra-oceanic arc types. The images show for the first time the distribution of submarine volcanic, tectonic and erosional-depositional features along the whole length of the 540 km long volcanic arc, allowing systematic investigation of along-arc variations. The data confirm that the volcanic arc has a simple structure composed of large volcanoes which form a well-defined volcanic front, but with three parallel cross-cutting seamount chains extending 38-60 km from near the volcanic front into the rear-arc. There is no evidence for intra-arc rifting or extinct volcanic lines. Topographic evidence for faulting is generally absent, except near the northern and southern plate boundaries. Most of the volcanic arc appears to be built on ocean crust formed at the associated back-arc spreading centre, as previously proposed from magnetic data, but the southern part of the arc appears to be underlain by older arc or continental crust whose west-facing rifted margin facing the back-arc basin is defined by the new bathymetry. The new survey shows nine main volcanic edifices along the volcanic front and ca. 20 main seamounts. The main volcanoes form largely glaciated islands with summits 3.0-3.5 km above base levels which are 2500-3000 m deep in the north and shallower at 2000-2500 m deep in the south. Some of the component seamounts are interpreted to have been active since the last glacial maximum, and so are approximately contemporaneous with the volcanic front volcanism. Seven calderas, all either submarine or ice-filled, have been identified: Adventure volcano, a newly discovered submarine volcanic front caldera volcano is described for the first time. All but one of the calderas are situated on summits of large volcanoes in the southern part of the arc, and

  6. 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

  7. The lifecycle of caldera-forming volcanoes in the Main Ethiopian Rift: insights from Aluto volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mather, T. A.; Hutchison, W.; Yirgu, G.; Biggs, J.; Cohen, B. E.; Barfod, D. N.; Lewi, E.; Pyle, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    The silicic peralkaline volcanoes of the East African Rift are some of the least studied and yet potentially most dangerous volcanoes in the world. We present the first detailed account of the eruptive history of Aluto, a restless silicic volcano located in the Main Ethiopian Rift, using new constraints from fieldwork, remote sensing, 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and geochemistry. Prior to the growth of the Aluto volcanic complex (before 500 ka) the region was characterized by a significant period of fault development and mafic fissure eruptions. The earliest volcanism at Aluto built up a trachytic complex over 8 km in diameter. Aluto then underwent large-volume ignimbrite eruptions at ca. 300 ka developing a ~42 km2 collapse structure. After a hiatus of ~250 kyr, a phase of post-caldera volcanism began. Since ca. 60 ka, highly-evolved peralkaline rhyolite lavas, ignimbrites and pumice fall deposits have erupted from vents across the complex. The age of the youngest volcanism is not well known. Geochemical modelling is consistent with rhyolite genesis from protracted fractionation (>80 %) of typical 'rift basalt'. Based on the field stratigraphy and the number, style and volume of recent eruptions we suggest that silicic eruptions occur at an average rate of 1 per 1000 years, and that future eruptions of Aluto will involve explosive emplacement of localised pumice cones and effusive obsidian coulees of volumes between 1-100 × 106 m3. Comparisons with other caldera volcanoes in this section of the rift suggest that there may be parallels between Aluto's behaviour and that of other volcanic centres, both in terms of the volcanic 'lifecycle', and broad timings of caldera collapse events.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Interactions between climatic forcing of lake level change, tectonics and volcanism in the Rungwe Volcanic Province, SW Highlands of Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvaux, D.; Williamson, D.

    2009-04-01

    The Rungwe Volcanic Province extends between the Rukwa and Nyasa (Malawi) rift lakes, which both experimented marked water level fluctuations (several hundred meters in altitude) during the last 40 ka. The infilling of water reservoirs whether artificial or natural, is known to be able to trigger earthquakes and volcanism (Ambraseys and Sarma, 1968). In the Southwestern Highlands of Tanzania and most especially in the Rungwe Volcanic Province where the western and eastern branches of the East African Rift System meet, a similar link is likely highlighted. Compilation of available data supplemented by new observations allows investigating the time relations between (1) climatically induced, rapid water level fluctuations in the surrounding rift lakes, (2) tectonic activation of the fault systems that extend from the lacustrine depressions to the volcanic area, and (3) deposition of tephra layers in soils and sediments. The latter are considered to reflect the frequency and/or magnitude of explosive eruptions in the Rungwe massif. According to these data, a connexion is suggested between the great lakes level change, tectonics, and volcanic activity for the last glacial - interglacial transition (14 - 11.5 cal. ka BP), and possibly also during the Holocene.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Tectonic evolution and volcanism of Okinawa Trough

    SciTech Connect

    Sibuet, J.C.; Letouzey, J.; Marsset, B.; Davagnier, M.; Foucher, J.P.; Bougault, H.; Dosso, L.; Maury, R.; Joron, J.L.

    1986-07-01

    The Okinawa Trough is a back-arc basin formed by extension of the east China continental lithosphere behind the Ryukyu Trench system. The age of marine deposits drilled in the northern Okinawa Trough indicates a Miocene age for the splitting of the volcanic arc and the first tensional movements. The POP 1 cruise of the R/V Jean-Charcot (September-October 1984) provided new evidence concerning the two main periods of extension as recognized by Kimura (Marine and Petroleum Geology, 1985). Tilted fault blocks in the northern Okinawa Trough trend north 40/sup 0/-60/sup 0/ and belong to the early Pleistocene phase (2-0.5 Ma). The present-day phase is characterized over the entire basin by normal faults oriented 80/sup 0/N in the north and 90/sup 0/N in the south. In the southern Okinawa Trough, most of the deformation occurs along linear, subparallel, en echelon depressions intruded by volcanic ridges associated with positive magnetic anomalies. The system of volcanic ridges ends northeast of Okinawa Island in a series of parallel volcanic ridges named the VAMP (Volcanic arc-rift migration processes) area, which merges into an active volcanic chain extending north to Japan. Chemical analyses of the vesicular basalts dredged on the back-arc basin display flat to enriched rare-earth patterns. The niobium-tantalum negative anomalies reflect a subduction signature. A good positive correlation between strontium isotopic compositions and concentrations suggests a contamination effect.

  18. 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).

  19. Volcanic gas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGee, Kenneth A.; Gerlach, Terrance M.

    1995-01-01

    In Roman mythology, Vulcan, the god of fire, was said to have made tools and weapons for the other gods in his workshop at Olympus. Throughout history, volcanoes have frequently been identified with Vulcan and other mythological figures. Scientists now know that the “smoke" from volcanoes, once attributed by poets to be from Vulcan’s forge, is actually volcanic gas naturally released from both active and many inactive volcanoes. The molten rock, or magma, that lies beneath volcanoes and fuels eruptions, contains abundant gases that are released to the surface before, during, and after eruptions. These gases range from relatively benign low-temperature steam to thick hot clouds of choking sulfurous fume jetting from the earth. Water vapor is typically the most abundant volcanic gas, followed by carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Other volcanic gases are hydrogen sulfide, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrofluoric acid, and other trace gases and volatile metals. The concentrations of these gas species can vary considerably from one volcano to the next.

  20. Red-Sea rift magmatism near Al Lith, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pallister, J.S.

    1986-01-01

    A model of poly-baric mantle-melt derivation, producing several alkalinesubalkaline cycles, best explains magmatism in the Red Sea region. Differences in the depths and dynamics of mantle-melt extraction and transport brought about through changes in crust and mantle structure as the rift and paar developed may account for the transition from mixed alkaline-subalkaline bimodal magmatism of the pre-20 Ma rift basin to exclusively subalkaline (tholeiitic) magmatism at the Red Sea spreading axis and to predominantly alkali basalt volcanism within the Arabian Shield.

  1. 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

  2. [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.

  3. Left-lateral transtension along the Ethiopian Rift and constrains on the mantle-reference plate motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muluneh, Ameha A.; Cuffaro, Marco; Doglioni, Carlo

    2014-09-01

    We present the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift, in the northern part of East African Rift System, derived from compilation of geodetic velocities, focal mechanism inversions, structural data analysis and geological profiles. In the central Ethiopian Rift, the GPS velocity field shows a systematic magnitude increase in ENE direction, and the incremental extensional strain axes recorded by earthquake focal mechanisms and fault slip inversion show ≈ N100°E orientation. This deviation between direction of GPS velocity vectors and orientation of incremental extensional strain is developed due to left lateral transtensional deformation along the NE-SW trending segment of the rift. This interpretation is consistent with the en-échelon pattern of tensional and transtensional faults, plus the distribution of the volcanic centers, and the asymmetry of the rift itself. We analyzed the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift also relative to the mantle comparing the results in the deep and shallow hotspot reference frames. While the oblique orientation of the rift was controlled by the pre-existing lithospheric fabric, the two reference frames predict different kinematics of Africa and Somalia plates along the rift itself, both in magnitude and direction, and with respect to the mantle. However, the observed kinematics and tectonics along the rift are more consistent with a faster WSW-ward motion of Africa than Somalia observed in the shallow hotspot framework. The faster WSW motion of Africa with respect to Somalia plate is inferred to be due to the lower viscosity in the top asthenosphere (LVZ-low-velocity zone) beneath Africa. These findings have significant implication for the evolution of continental rifting in transtensional settings and provide evidence for the kinematics of the Ethiopian Rift in the context of the Africa-Somalia plate interaction in the mantle reference frame.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. Eruptive Productivity of the Ceboruco-San Pedro Volcanic Field, Nayarit, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, H. M.; Lange, R. A.; Hall, C. M.; Delgado-Granados, H.

    2002-12-01

    High-precision 40Ar/39Ar geochronology coupled with GIS spatial analysis provides constraints on magma eruption rates over the past 1 Myr of the Ceboruco-San Pedro volcanic field (1870 km2), located in the Tepic-Zacoalco rift in western Mexico. The volcanic field is part of the Trans Mexican Volcanic arc and is dominated by the andesitic-dacitic stratocone of Volcan Ceboruco and includes peripheral fissure-fed flows, domes, and monogenetic cinder cones. The ages of these volcanic features were determined using 40Ar/39Ar laser step-heating techniques on groundmass or mineral separates, with 78% of the 52 analyses yielding plateau ages with a 2 sigma error < 50 kyrs. The volumes were determined using high resolution (1:50,000) digital elevation models, orthophotos, and GIS software, which allowed for the delineation of individual volcanic features, reconstruction of the pre-eruptive topography, and volume calculations by linear interpolation. The relative proportions of the 80 km3 erupted over the past 1 Myr are 14.5% basaltic andesite, 64.5% andesite, 20% dacite, and 1% rhyolite, demonstrating the dominance of intermediate magma types (in terms of silica content). Overall, there appears to be no systematic progression in the eruption of different magma types (e.g., basalt, andesite, dacite, etc.) with time. However, more than 75% of the total volume of lava within the Ceboruco-San Pedro volcanic field erupted in the last 100 kyrs. This reflects the youthfulness of Volcan Ceboruco, which was constructed during the last 50 kyrs and has a present day volume of 50 +/- 2.5 km3, accounting for 81% of the andesite and 50% of the dacite within the volcanic field. Eleven cinder cones, ranging from the Holocene to 0.37 Ma, display a narrow compositional range, with 52-58 wt% SiO2, 3-5.5 wt% MgO, and relatively high TiO2 concentrations (0.9-1.8 wt%). The total volume of the cinder cones is 0.83 km3. No lavas with < 51 wt% SiO2 have erupted in the past 1 Myr. Peripheral

  13. 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.

  14. Volcanic Catastrophes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eichelberger, J. C.

    2003-12-01

    The big news from 20th century geophysics may not be plate tectonics but rather the surprise return of catastrophism, following its apparent 19th century defeat to uniformitarianism. Divine miracles and plagues had yielded to the logic of integrating observations of everyday change over time. Yet the brilliant interpretation of the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary iridium anomaly introduced an empirically based catastrophism. Undoubtedly, decades of contemplating our own nuclear self-destruction played a role in this. Concepts of nuclear winter, volcanic winter, and meteor impact winter are closely allied. And once the veil of threat of all-out nuclear exchange began to lift, we could begin to imagine slower routes to destruction as "global change". As a way to end our world, fire is a good one. Three-dimensional magma chambers do not have as severe a magnitude limitation as essentially two-dimensional faults. Thus, while we have experienced earthquakes that are as big as they get, we have not experienced volcanic eruptions nearly as great as those preserved in the geologic record. The range extends to events almost three orders of magnitude greater than any eruptions of the 20th century. Such a calamity now would at the very least bring society to a temporary halt globally, and cause death and destruction on a continental scale. At maximum, there is the possibility of hindering photosynthesis and threatening life more generally. It has even been speculated that the relative genetic homogeneity of humankind derives from an evolutionary "bottleneck" from near-extinction in a volcanic cataclysm. This is somewhat more palatable to contemplate than a return to a form of Original Sin, in which we arrived at homogeneity by a sort of "ethnic cleansing". Lacking a written record of truly great eruptions, our sense of human impact must necessarily be aided by archeological and anthropological investigations. For example, there is much to be learned about the influence of

  15. 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.

  16. Tectonic versus volcanic origin of the summit depression at Medicine Lake Volcano, California

    SciTech Connect

    Mark Leon Gwynn

    2010-05-01

    Medicine Lake Volcano is a Quaternary shield volcano located in a tectonically complex and active zone at the transition between the Basin and Range Province and the Cascade Range of the Pacific Province. The volcano is topped by a 7x12 km elliptical depression surrounded by a discontinuous constructional ring of basaltic to rhyolitic lava flows. This thesis explores the possibility that the depression may have formed due to regional extension (rift basin) or dextral shear (pull-apart basin) rather than through caldera collapse and examines the relationship between regional tectonics and localized volcanism. Existing data consisting of temperature and magnetotelluric surveys, alteration mineral studies, and core logging were compiled and supplemented with additional core logging, field observations, and fault striae studies in paleomagnetically oriented core samples. These results were then synthesized with regional fault data from existing maps and databases. Faulting patterns near the caldera, extension directions derived from fault striae P and T axes, and three-dimensional temperature and alteration mineral models are consistent with slip across arcuate ring faults related to magma chamber deflation during flank eruptions and/or a pyroclastic eruption at about 180 ka. These results are not consistent with a rift or pull-apart basin. Limited subsidence can be attributed to the relatively small volume of ash-flow tuff released by the only known major pyroclastic eruption and is inconsistent with the observed topographic relief. The additional relief can be explained by constructional volcanism. Striae from unoriented and oriented core, augmented by striae measurements in outcrop suggest that Walker Lane dextral shear, which can be reasonably projected from the southeast, has probably propagated into the Medicine Lake area. Most volcanic vents across Medicine Lake Volcano strike north-south, suggesting they are controlled by crustal weakness related to Basin and

  17. TECTONIC VERSUS VOLCANIC ORIGIN OF THE SUMMIT DEPRESSION AT MEDICINE LAKE VOLCANO, CALIFORNIA

    SciTech Connect

    Mark Leon Gwynn

    2010-05-01

    Medicine Lake Volcano is a Quaternary shield volcano located in a tectonically complex and active zone at the transition between the Basin and Range Province and the Cascade Range of the Pacific Province. The volcano is topped by a 7x12 km elliptical depression surrounded by a discontinuous constructional ring of basaltic to rhyolitic lava flows. This thesis explores the possibility that the depression may have formed due to regional extension (rift basin) or dextral shear (pull-apart basin) rather than through caldera collapse and examines the relationship between regional tectonics and localized volcanism. Existing data consisting of temperature and magnetotelluric surveys, alteration mineral studies, and core logging were compiled and supplemented with additional core logging, field observations, and fault striae studies in paleomagnetically oriented core samples. These results were then synthesized with regional fault data from existing maps and databases. Faulting patterns near the caldera, extension directions derived from fault striae P and T axes, and three-dimensional temperature and alteration mineral models are consistent with slip across arcuate ring faults related to magma chamber deflation during flank eruptions and/or a pyroclastic eruption at about 180 ka. These results are not consistent with a rift or pull-apart basin. Limited subsidence can be attributed to the relatively small volume of ash-flow tuff released by the only known major pyroclastic eruption and is inconsistent with the observed topographic relief. The additional relief can be explained by constructional volcanism. Striae from unoriented and oriented core, augmented by striae measurements in outcrop suggest that Walker Lane dextral shear, which can be reasonably projected from the southeast, has probably propagated into the Medicine Lake area. Most volcanic vents across Medicine Lake Volcano strike north-south, suggesting they are controlled by crustal weakness related to Basin and

  18. Venus volcanism

    SciTech Connect

    Head, J.W.

    1985-01-01

    Eruption styles and processes on the planets are known to be strongly influenced by such factors as gravity, temperature, and atmospheric characteristics. The ascent and eruption of magma on Venus in the current Venus environment must take into account the influence of the extreme surface temperatures (650-750 K) and pressures (40-100 bars) on these processes. Conditions on Venus will reduce the subsurface exsolution of volatiles and lead to a reduction of the possible range of explosive interactions with the atmosphere. Pyroclastic eruptions will be severely inhibited and continuous magma disruption by gas bubble growth may not occur at all unless the exsolved magma volatile content exceeds several weight percent. Recent US and USSR spacecraft missions and Earth-based radar observations are beginning to provide a view of the range of Venus volcanic features, including domes, cones, calderas, shields, and flows. The nature of many lava flows suggests that numerous eruptions have effusion rates exceeding common terrestrial rates and lying more in the range inferred for lunar basaltic flood eruptions (10/sup 4/-10/sup 5/m/sup 3//s). Shield volcanoes are often wide but are low (<2 km elevation) relative to those on Mars and the Earth. Volcano height depends in part on the depth of origin of the magma and the density contrast between the lava and the rocks between the source and the surface, both of which may be different on Venus. Correlations between volcanic style and tectonic structure are emerging.

  19. 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.

  20. 77 FR 68783 - Prospective Grant of Co-Exclusive License: Veterinary Vaccines for Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-16

    ...: Veterinary Vaccines for Rift Valley Fever Virus AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC...-exclusive license in Africa, in the field of use of veterinary vaccines, to practice the inventions listed... attenuated vaccine constructs that contain complete deletions of critical virulence factors of Rift...

  1. Volcanic features of Io

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, M.H.; Masursky, H.; Strom, R.G.; Terrile, R.J.

    1979-01-01

    Volcanic activity is apparently higher on Io than on any other body in the Solar System. Its volcanic landforms can be compared with features on Earth to indicate the type of volcanism present on Io. ?? 1979 Nature Publishing Group.

  2. Transition from a localized to wide deformation along Eastern branch of Central East African Rift: Insights from 3D numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leroy, S. D.; Koptev, A.; Burov, E. B.; Calais, E.; Gerya, T.

    2015-12-01

    The Central East African Rift (CEAR) bifurcates in two branches (eastern, magma-rich and western, magma-poor) surrounding strong Tanzanian craton. Intensive magmatism and continental flood basalts are largely present in many of the eastern rift segments, but other segments, first of all the western branch, exhibit very small volcanic activity. The Eastern rift is characterized by southward progression of the onset of volcanism, the extensional features and topographic expression of the rift vary significantly north-southward: in northern Kenya the 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 the deformation widens again in the so-called Tanzania divergence zone. Widening of the Eastern branch within its southern part is associated with the impingement of the southward-propagating rift on the strong Masai block situated to east of the Tanzanian craton. To understand the mechanisms behind this complex deformation distribution, we implemented a 3Dl ultra-high resolution visco-plastic thermo-mechanical numerical model accounting for thermo-rheological structure of the lithosphere and hence captures essential features of the CEAR. The preferred model has a plume seeded slightly to the northeast of the craton center, consistent with seismic tomography, and produces surface strain distribution that is in good agreement with observed variation of deformation zone width along eastern side of Tanzanian craton: localized above bulk of mantle material deflected by cratonic keel narrow high strain zone (Kenia Rift) is replaced by wide distributed deformations within areas situated to north (northern Kenya, Turkana Rift) and to south (Tanzania divergence, Masai block) of it. These results demonstrate significant differences in the impact of the rheological profile on rifting style in case of dominant active rifting compared to dominant passive rifting. Narrow rifting, conventionally attributed to

  3. 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.

  4. Magnetic characteristics of fracture zones and constraints on the subsurface structure of the Colima Volcanic Complex, western Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Loera, H.; Fucugauchi, J. U.; Alva-Valdivia, L. M.

    2013-05-01

    Detailed magnetic anomaly surveys over the central and southern sector of the Colima rift, western Mexico, are used to investigate the subsurface structure and faults and/or fractures in the volcanic terrains formed by activity in the Colima volcanic complex (CVC). The CVC is located within the large north-south Colima rift in western Mexico. The Colima rift is a major active tectonic structure, trending perpendicular to the Middle America Trench and related to subduction of the Rivera and Cocos plates. Volcanic activity in the CVC has migrated southward toward the trench. Analyses of faults and recent deformation in the CVC and Colima rift are of major interest in volcano-tectonic studies and for hazard assessment. Structural analyses and fault mapping, however, are diffi cult because young volcanic and pyroclastic rocks obscure structural features and stratigraphy. Most of the southern Colima rift is covered by volcanic avalanches and volcaniclastic units, which have resulted in resurfacing of the volcanic terrains. Here we show that magnetic anomalies permit identifi cation of faults and mapping of volcano- sedimentary and volcanic units. Total magnetic fi eld measurements spaced every 0.5 km along 8 profi les, with an overall length of 284.5 km and covering the CVC sector of the Colima rift, have been obtained. We recognize fractures and fault zones of local and regional character from their characteristic magnetic anomaly response. Large mapped structures include the north-south Montitlan, northeast-southwest La Lumbre, and east-west La Escondida faults, which can be traced across the area from the magnetic profiles. Fault magnetic anomalies are modeled by lateral contrasts in terms of step models assuming thin dipping elongated zones along the fault planes. The study shows that faults in the CVC volcanic terrain can be investigated by magnetic surveying.

  5. 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

  6. Temporal evolution of a post-Rodinian rift inverted during the formation of the Kaoko Belt in NW Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konopásek, Jiří; Sláma, Jiří

    2016-04-01

    The Neoproterozoic Kaoko Belt in NW Namibia is built of two major tectonic units. The eastern part of the belt is represented by the Congo Craton basement covered by a (meta)sedimentary succession with an estimated span of sedimentation between c. 800 and 550 Ma. The western part is represented by the Coastal Terrane, a volcanosedimentary unit without exposed pre-Neoproterozoic basement migmatized during early period of the Kaoko Belt evolution at c. 650 Ma. The clastic (meta)sedimentary successions of both tectonic units bear layers of metamorphosed volcanic rocks. U-Pb SIMS zircon dating of these volcanics, as well as the LA-ICP-MS dating of detrital zircons from the surrounding clastic lithologies alow reconstruction of the dynamics and time span of the rifting preceding the formation of the Kaoko Belt. The Coastal Terrane volcanics present in the lower part of the succession were dated at 818 ± 3 - 784 ± 4 Ma and surrounding metasediments show detrital zircon populations derived from the Congo Craton basement. The upper part of the succession shows detrital zircons dominated by a population with ages similar to those of the underlying volcanics. The syn-sedimentary volcanics in the lower part of the succession covering the Congo Craton gave ages between 739 ± 5 and 708 ± 3 Ma, and accompanying metasediments contain detrital zircons with ages known from the underlying basement. The upper part of the craton cover contains significant proportion of detrital zircons with ages of c. 650 Ma representing eroded Costal Terrane after its migmatization and uplift during early period of the Kaoko Belt compressional evolution. We interpret the Coastal Terrane as a central part of the post-Rodinian rift developed along the western edge of the Congo Craton with the oldest record of sedimentation and volcanism at c. 820 Ma. The Congo Craton margin is interpreted as a rift shoulder that records the rifting-related sedimentation and volcanism at c. 740 Ma and beyond

  7. Relationships between Kuroko volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits, felsic volcanism, and island arc development in the northeast Honshu arc, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Ryoichi; Yoshida, Takeyoshi

    2011-07-01

    The northeast (NE) Honshu arc was formed by three major volcano-tectonic events resulting from Late Cenozoic orogenic movement: continental margin volcanism (before 21 Ma), seafloor basaltic lava flows and subsequent bimodal volcanism accompanied by back-arc rifting (21 to 14 Ma), and felsic volcanism related to island arc uplift (12 to 2 Ma). Eight petrotectonic domains, parallel to the NE Honshu arc, were formed as a result of the eastward migration of volcanic activity with time. Major Kuroko volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits are located within the eastern marginal rift zone (Kuroko rift) that formed in the final period of back-arc rifting (16 to 14 Ma). Volcanic activity in the NE Honshu arc is divided into six volcanic stages. The eruption volumes of volcanic rocks have gradually decreased from 4,600 km3 (per 1 my for a 200-km-long section along the arc) of basaltic lava flows in the back-arc spreading stage to 1,000-2,000 km3 of bimodal hyaloclastites in the back-arc rift stage, and about 200 km3 of felsic pumice eruptions in the island arc stage. The Kuroko VMS deposits were formed at the time of abrupt decrease in the eruption volume and change in the mode of occurrence of the volcanic rocks during the final period of back-arc rifting. In the area of the Kuroko rift, felsic volcanism changed from aphyric or weakly plagioclase phyric (before 14 Ma), to quartz and plagioclase phyric with minor clinopyroxene (12 to 8 Ma), to hornblende phyric (after 8 Ma), and hornblende and biotite phyric (after 4 Ma). The Kuroko VMS deposits are closely related to the aphyric rhyolitic activity before 14 Ma. The rhyolite was generated at a relatively high temperature from a highly differentiated part of felsic magma seated at a relatively great depth and contains higher Nb, Ce, and Y contents than the post-Kuroko felsic volcanism. The Kuroko VMS deposits were formed within a specific tectonic setting, at a specific period, and associated with a particular volcanism

  8. Episodic rifting of phanerozoic rocks in the victoria land basin, Western ross sea, antarctica.

    PubMed

    Cooper, A K; Davey, F J

    1985-09-13

    Multichannel seismic-reflection data show that the Victoria Land-basin, unlike other sedimentary basins in the Ross Sea, includes a rift-depression 15 to 25 kilometers wide that parallels the Transantarctic Mountains and contains up to 12 kilometers of possible Paleozoic to Holocene age sedimentary rocks. An unconformity separates the previously identified Cenozoic sedimentary section from the underlying strata of possible Mesozoic and Paleozoic age. Late Cenozoic volcanic rocks intrude into the entire section along the eastern flank of the basin. The Victoria Land basin is probably part of a more extensive rift system that has been active episodically since Paleozoic time. Inferred rifting and basin subsidence during Mesozoic and Cenozoic time may be associated with regional crustal extension and uplift of the nearby Transantarctic Mountains.

  9. Lithological Influences on Occurrence of High-Fluoride Waters in The Central Kenya Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olaka, L. A.; Musolff, A.; Mulch, A.; Olago, D.; Odada, E. O.

    2013-12-01

    Within the East African rift, groundwater recharge results from the complex interplay of geology, land cover, geomorphology, climate and on going volcano-tectonic processes across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. The interrelationships between these factors create complex patterns of water availability, reliability and quality. The hydrochemical evolution of the waters is further complex due to the different climatic regimes and geothermal processes going on in this area. High fluoridic waters within the rift have been reported by few studies, while dental fluorosis is high among the inhabitants of the rift. The natural sources of fluoride in waters can be from weathering of fluorine bearing minerals in rocks, volcanic or fumarolic activities. Fluoride concentration in water depends on a number of factors including pH, temperature, time of water-rock formation contact and geochemical processes. Knowledge of the sources and dispersion of fluoride in both surface and groundwaters within the central Kenya rift and seasonal variations between wet and dry seasons is still poor. The Central Kenya rift is marked by active tectonics, volcanic activity and fumarolic activity, the rocks are majorly volcanics: rhyolites, tuffs, basalts, phonolites, ashes and agglomerates some are highly fractured. Major NW-SE faults bound the rift escarpment while the rift floor is marked by N-S striking faults We combine petrographic, hydrochemistry and structural information to determine the sources and enrichment pathways of high fluoridic waters within the Naivasha catchment. A total of 120 water samples for both the dry season (January-February2012) and after wet season (June-July 2013) from springs, rivers, lakes, hand dug wells, fumaroles and boreholes within the Naivasha catchment are collected and analysed for fluoride, physicochemical parameters and stable isotopes (δ2 H, δ18 O) in order to determine the origin and evolution of the waters. Additionally, 30 soil and

  10. Preliminary results on crust and upper mantle structure in the Rungwe Volcanic Province, Tanzania from the SEGMeNT project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kachingwe, M.; Nyblade, A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Shillington, D. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Mulibo, G. D.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Kamihanda, G.

    2014-12-01

    While well-developed magmatic and tectonic segmentation is observed in late-stage rifts, little is known about the controls on the initiation and development of magmatism and segmentation in young rifts. The Lake Malawi/Nyasa region in the East African Rift System (EARS) is a region of early rifting that exhibits tectonic segmentation and little volcanism. The only magmatism in this region occurs in an accommodation zone between segments at the northern end of the lake, in the Rungwe Volcanic Province, rather than in the segment center as observed in mid-ocean ridges and late-stage rifts. This phenomenon is also observed elsewhere in EARS and in other young rifts, but the origin and distribution of magma at depth and its role in extension and segmentation is unknown. In the initial phase of the SEGMeNT project, 14 broadband seismometers were deployed in the Rungwe Volcanic Province during August 2013. Data from teleseismic events recorded on these stations, in combination with data from previous seismic networks deployed in southern Tanzania, are being used to develop preliminary models of crust and upper mantle structure for elucidating the role of magmatism in early-stage rifting. Crustal structure is being investigated using H-k stacking of receiver functions and upper mantle structure is being modeled tomographically using P and S arrival times.

  11. Structure and evolution of a magmatic rift segment close to continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, Sarah; Pik, Raphaël; Burnard, Peter; Stab, Martin; Vye-Brown, Charlotte; France, Lyderic

    2014-05-01

    The continental-oceanic transition (OCT) at volcanic margins is often associated with large volcanic provinces and with specific tecto/volcanic structures, notably seaward dipping reflectors (SDRs), of which the origin and processes of formation are still debated. The Afar province corresponds to the very last observable stages of continental rifting before breakup. Interestingly, in this area where the continental crust remains ~20 km thick, magmatism and tectonic activity are already clearly expressed in well-individualised rift segments, presenting the morphological characteristics of mature oceanic ridges. The Afar region therefore represents an ideal natural laboratory to study the processes responsible for maintaining magmatic accretion and their links with the distribution of deformation in a pre-breakup context. We have focussed on the Dabbahu segment that experienced a diking event in 2005 that has been studied in detail. The subsequent tectono-volcanic crisis that lasted 5 years, has provided invaluable information on the mechanisms controlling dyke intrusion, the main process responsible for extension at the scale of a single rifting event. Our investigations focussed on the 1 to 100 kyrs timescales - a key period over which the main morphology of a rift/ridge segment is acquired, but which currently lacks chronological constraints. In order to bridge this gap in temporal evolution, our multidisciplinary approach combines surface exposure dating (3He and 36Cl) of lavas and fault scarps with major & trace element compositions and field/remote sensing mapping of the Dabbahu rift. Our results show that accretion is maintained by individual magmatic chambers, distributed along the active rift segment. There, we have identified magmatic cycles of 30-40 kyrs duration during which the magmas progressively differentiate, until the magmatic centre is abandoned. These cycles exert a strong control on the building of topography: the tectonic activity is subdued

  12. Brittle deformation within the eastern North American volcanic margin: Paleostress inversion of faults in the Hartford basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, J.; Crespi, J. M.; Ostebo, D.; Weingart, M.

    2014-12-01

    The Hartford basin is an early Mesozoic, fault-bounded half-graben that formed during the breakup of Pangea. Along with other eastern North American rift basins, it has incurred significant post-rift deformation. Previous authors have identified three phases of deformation in the Hartford basin: WNW-ESE extension (rifting), NNE-SSW shortening (basin-parallel inversion), and E-W shortening (consistent with the current state of stress on the eastern North American margin). More recent work from other rift basins suggests a fourth phase of deformation possibly associated with massive volcanic activity shortly after cessation of rifting. Paleostress directions inferred from CAMP dike orientations and large-scale compressive structures in the southern rift basins reflect a NW-SE shortening phase that is seemingly absent from the Hartford, Newark, and Fundy basins of the central segment. If this compressional phase is consistent along volcanic passive margins, it should be recorded in the synrift deposits of the central basins. Our preliminary dataset shows a significant number of faults that are inconsistent with the previous three-phase model of WNW-ESE rifting, NNE-SSW compression, and E-W compression. A paleostress inversion of these incompatible faults reveals a distinct conjugate pattern of strike-slip faults that are indicative of NW-SE compression. This phase is consistent with the basin inversion seen in the southern rift basins. The presence of a NW-SE compressional stage is also consistent with the hypothesis that depicts massive volcanic upwelling that acts to shorten the upper crust after rifting. If this model is consistent along the eastern North American margin, it is likely applicable to volcanic margins around the world.

  13. Crustal velocity structure across the Main Ethiopian Rift: results from two-dimensional wide-angle seismic modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackenzie, G. D.; Thybo, H.; Maguire, P. K. H.

    2005-09-01

    We present the results of velocity modelling of a recently acquired wide-angle seismic reflection/refraction profile across the Main Ethiopian Rift. The models show a continental type of crust with significant asymmetry between the two sides of the rift. A 2- to 5-km-thick layer of sedimentary and volcanic sequences is modelled across the entire region. This is underlain by a 40- to 45-km-thick crust with a c. 15-km-thick high-velocity lowest crustal layer beneath the western plateau. This layer is absent from the eastern side, where the crust is 35 km thick beneath the sediments. We interpret this layer as underplated material associated with the Oligocene flood basalts of the region with possible subsequent addition by recent magmatic events. Slight crustal thinning is observed beneath the rift, where Pn velocities indicate the presence of hot mantle rocks containing partial melt. Beneath the rift axis, the velocities of the upper crustal layers are 5-10 per cent higher than outside the rift, which we interpret as resulting from mafic intrusions that can be associated with magmatic centres observed in the rift valley. Variations in seismic reflectivity suggest the presence of layering in the lower crust beneath the rift, possibly indicating the presence of sills, as well as some layering in the proposed underplated body.

  14. 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

  15. Diachronism in the late Neoproterozoic-Cambrian arc-rift transition of North Gondwana: A comparison of Morocco and the Iberian Ossa-Morena Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvaro, J. Javier; Bellido, Félix; Gasquet, Dominique; Pereira, M. Francisco; Quesada, Cecilio; Sánchez-García, Teresa

    2014-10-01

    In the northwestern border of the West African craton (North Gondwana), a transition from late Neoproterozoic subduction/collision to Cambrian rift processes was recorded in the Anti-Atlas (Morocco) and in the Ossa-Morena Zone (Iberia). Cambrian rifting affected both Pan-African and Cadomian basements in a stepwise and diachronous way. Subsequently, both areas evolved into a syn-rift margin episodically punctuated by uplift and tilting that precluded Furongian sedimentation. A comparison of sedimentary, volcanic and geodynamic evolution is made in the late Neoproterozoic (Pan-African and Cadomian) belts and Cambrian rifts trying to solve the apparent diachronous (SW-NE-trending) propagation of an early Palaeozoic rifting regime that finally led to the opening of the Rheic Ocean.

  16. 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.

  17. Geology and palaeontology of the Late Miocene Middle Awash valley, Afar rift, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    WoldeGabriel, G; Haile-Selassie, Y; Renne, P R; Hart, W K; Ambrose, S H; Asfaw, B; Heiken, G; White, T

    2001-07-12

    The Middle Awash study area of Ethiopia's Afar rift has yielded abundant vertebrate fossils (approximately 10,000), including several hominid taxa. The study area contains a long sedimentary record spanning Late Miocene (5.3-11.2 Myr ago) to Holocene times. Exposed in a unique tectonic and volcanic transition zone between the main Ethiopian rift (MER) and the Afar rift, sediments along the western Afar rift margin in the Middle Awash provide a unique window on the Late Miocene of Ethiopia. These deposits have now yielded the earliest hominids, described in an accompanying paper and dated here to between 5.54 and 5.77 Myr. These geological and palaeobiological data from the Middle Awash provide fresh perspectives on hominid origins and early evolution. Here we show that these earliest hominids derive from relatively wet and wooded environments that were modulated by tectonic, volcanic, climatic and geomorphic processes. A similar wooded habitat also has been suggested for the 6.0 Myr hominoid fossils recently recovered from Lukeino, Kenya. These findings require fundamental reassessment of models that invoke a significant role for global climatic change and/or savannah habitat in the origin of hominids. PMID:11449271

  18. 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; Ren, Yong; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Keir, Derek; Stuart, Graham W.; Rolandone, Frédérique; Khanbari, Khaled; Hammond, James O. S.; Kendall, J. Michael; Doubre, Cécile; Ganad, Ismail Al

    2015-04-01

    During the breakup of continent in the presence of magma, strain is commonly assumed to initially occur by border faulting, and progressively migrate in space and time towards axial magma intrusion. 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 upper crust beneath the axial volcanic systems, but also both upper and lower crust beneath rift flanks where ongoing volcanism and hydrothermal activity occurs at the surface. The results show that 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. Since ongoing flank magmatism during breakup impacts the thermal evolution of the lithosphere, it has implications for the subsidence history of the rift.

  19. Intrusion of Oceanic-type Basaltic Melts Precedes Continental Break up in the Red Sea Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonatti, Enrico; Ligi, Marco; Ronca, Sara; Seyler, Monique; Bosworth, William; Cipriani, Anna

    2013-04-01

    The role of magmatism in continental rifting and break up and in the birth of a new ocean are not well understood. Continental break up can take place with intense and voluminous volcanism, as in the Southern Red Sea/Afar Rift, or in a relatively amagmatic mode, as in the Mesozoic Iberian Atlantic rift. Studies of gabbros from the Brothers and Zabargad islands suggest that continental break up in the northern Red Sea, a relatively non-volcanic rift, is preceded by intrusion of oceanic-type basaltic melts that crystallize at progressively shallower crustal depths as rifting progresses towards continental break-up. A seismic reflection profile running across the central part of the southern Thetis basin, shows a ~5 km wide reflector ~1.25 s below the axial neovolcanic zone. We interpret it as marking the roof of a magma chamber or melt lens, similar to those identified below several mid-ocean ridges. Assuming a 4.5 km/s acoustic velocity for the upper oceanic crust at Thetis, this reflector is ~3.5 km below the seafloor. The presence of a few kilometers deep subrift magma chamber soon after the initiation of oceanic spreading implies the crystallization of lower oceanic crust intrusives as a last step in a sequence of basaltic melt intrusion from pre-oceanic continental rifting to oceanic spreading. Thus, oceanic crust accretion in the Red Sea rift starts at depth before continental break up, emplacement of oceanic basalt at the sea floor, and development of Vine-Matthews magnetic anomalies, pointing to a rift model, where the lower continental lithosphere has been replaced by upwelling asthenosphere before continental rupturing. This model would imply depth-dependent extension due to decoupling between the upper and lower lithosphere with mantle-lithosphere-necking breakup before crustal-necking breakup. This mode of initial oceanic crust accretion may have been common in Mesozoic Atlantic-type rifts, in addition to wider, amagmatic, Iberian-type continent

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Young volcanic deposits in the Valles Marineris, Mars?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lucchitta, B.K.

    1990-01-01

    A study of the interior deposits of the central Valles Marineris has led to the discovery of a sequence of deposits that cover the chasma floors and range in thickness from that of thin dust to several kilometers. The emplacement of the deposits was the last major event in the history of the Valles Marineris, following deposition of older layered interior beds, warping, faulting, erosion, and landslide emplacement. The young deposits are of three major types: (1) dark patches typically occurring along faults; (2) light-colored deposits locally associated with craters; and (3) rugged, mottled deposits with, in places, light-colored lobate fronts. These young materials may be of volcanic origin, as suggested by the low albedo and spectrally gray colors of some, their association with faults and possible volcanic craters and calderas, and their embayment relations and lobate margins. No other mechanism explains all the observed features and relations as well as volcanism. If these deposits are volcanic, implications are that (1) volcanism was associated with rifting in the Valles Marineris, (2) the volcanism was explosive in places, and (3) the volcanism may be as young as the late Tharsis volcanism and, locally, may well be recent. ?? 1990.

  4. How Volcanism Controls Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, P. L.

    2013-12-01

    km decrease in tropopause height. Changes in the rates and types of volcanism have been the primary cause of climate change throughout geologic time. Large explosive volcanoes erupting as frequently as once per decade increment the world into ice ages. Extensive, effusive basaltic volcanism warms the world out of ice ages. Twelve of the 13 dated basaltic table mountains in Iceland experienced their final eruptive phase during the last deglaciation when deposits of sulfate and volcanic ash fell over Greenland at their highest rates. Massive flood basalts are typically accompanied by extreme warming, ozone depletion, and major mass extinctions. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum occurred when subaerial extrusion of basalts related to the opening of the Greenland-Norwegian Sea suddenly increased to rates greater than 3000 cubic km per km of rift per million years. Dansgaard-Oeschger sudden warming events are contemporaneous with increased volcanism especially in Iceland and last longer when that volcanism lasts longer. Sudden influxes of fresh water often observed in the North Atlantic during these events are most likely caused by extensive sub-glacial volcanism. The Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, major droughts, and many sudden changes in human civilization began with substantial increases in volcanism. Extensive submarine volcanism does not affect climate directly but is linked with increases in ocean acidity and anoxic events.

  5. Late Precambrian rifting in the geological history of the western slope of the South Urals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, S. G.

    2008-03-01

    The rift-related geodynamic setting of the Late Precambrian geological evolution on the western slope of the South Urals is reconstructed on the basis of localization of lithotectonic complexes of this age, their formation conditions, and the geochemistry of rocks. The Early Riphean stage comprises accumulation of coarse-clastic rocks intercalating with alkaline volcanic rocks of the Navysh Complex, which is a constituent of the Ai Formation, and emplacement of doleritic and picritic intrusions of the Shuida Complex and melanocratic dolerite and gabbrodolerite of the Yusha Complex. The Middle Riphean stage is characterized by wide-spread coarse-clastic terrigenous rocks of the Mashak Formation that intercalate with volcanic rocks of the bimodal basalt-rhyolite association, the Berdyaush pluton of rapakivi granite, the Kusa-Kopan layered intrusive complex, the Lapyshta Complex of dolerites and picrites, and numerous occurrences of gabbrodolerites. The terrigenous rocks of the Vendian stage include conglomerate, gravelstone, and sandstone of the Asha Group, while igneous rocks comprise alkaline volcanics of the Arsha Complex, alkali gabbroids of the Miseli Complex, and melanocratic syenite of the Avashla Complex. The geological evolution of the region is distinguished by local (failed or aborted) rifting. The occurrence of lithotectonic complexes is controlled by dynamic conditions of rifting. A certain inheritance in the evolution may be traced for the Early and Middle Riphean and partly for the Late Riphean and Vendian.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rychert, Catherine A.; Harmon, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Inland extent of the Weddell Sea Rift imaged by new aerogeophysical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Tom A.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Ross, Neil; Corr, Hugh F. J.; Leat, Philip T.; Bingham, Rob G.; Rippin, David M.; le Brocq, Anne; Siegert, Martin J.

    2013-02-01

    The Weddell Sea Rift was a major focus for Jurassic extension and magmatism during the early stages of Gondwana break-up and underlies the Weddell Sea Embayment, which separates East Antarctica from a collage of crustal blocks in West Antarctica. Newly-collected aerogeophysical data over the catchments of Institute and Möller ice streams reveal the inland extent of the Weddell Sea Rift against the Ellsworth-Whitmore block and a hitherto unknown major left-lateral strike slip boundary between East and West Antarctica. Aeromagnetic and gravity anomalies define the regional subglacial extent of Proterozoic basement, Middle Cambrian rift-related volcanic rocks, Jurassic intrusions and sedimentary rocks of inferred post-Jurassic age. 2D and 3D magnetic depth-to-source estimates were used to help constrain joint magnetic and gravity models for the region. The models reveal that Proterozoic crust similar to that exposed at Haag Nunataks, extends southeast of the Ellsworth Mountains to the margin of the Coastal Basins. Thick granitic Jurassic intrusions are modelled at the transition between the Ellsworth-Whitmore block and the thinner crust of the Weddell Sea Rift and within the Pagano Shear Zone. The crust beneath the inland extension of the Weddell Sea Rift is modelled as being either ~ 4 km thinner compared to the adjacent Ellsworth-Whitmore block or as underlain by an up to 8 km thick mafic underplate.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ojakangas, R.W.

    1986-05-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Lower Crustal Seismicity, Volatiles, and Evolving Strain Fields During the Initial Stages of Cratonic Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, C.; Muirhead, J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Tiberi, C.; Roecker, S. W.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Kianji, G.; Mulibo, G. D.

    2014-12-01

    The volcanically active East African rift system in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania transects thick cratonic lithosphere, and comprises several basins characterized by deep crustal seismicity. The US-French-Tanzania-Kenya CRAFTI project aims to understand the role of magma and volatile movement during the initiation and evolution of rifting in cratonic lithosphere. Our 38-station broadband network spans all or parts of fault-bounded rift segments, enabling comparison of lithospheric structure, fault kinematics, and seismogenic layer thickness with age and proximity to the deeply rooted Archaen craton. Seismicity levels are high in all basins, but we find profound differences in seismogenic layer thickness along the length of the rift. Seismicity in the Manyara basin occurs almost exclusively within the lower crust, and in spatial clusters that have been active since 1990. In contrast, seismicity in the ~ 5 My older Magadi basin is localized in the upper crust, and the long border fault bounding the west side of the basin is seismically inactive. Between these two basins lies the Natron rift segment, which shows seismicity between ~ 20 and ~2 km depth, and high concentrations at Oldoinyo Lengai and Gelai volcanoes. Older volcanoes on the uplifted western flank (e.g., Ngorongoro) experience swarms of activity, suggesting that active magmatism and degassing are widespread. Focal mechanisms of the frequent earthquakes recorded across the array are spatially variable, and indicate a stress field strongly influenced by (1) Holocene volcanoes, (2) mechanical interactions between adjacent rift basins, and (3) a far-field ESE-WNW extensional stress regime. We explore the spatial correlation between zones of intense degassing along fault systems and seismicity, and examine the influence of high gas pressures on lower and upper crustal seismicity in this youthful cratonic rift zone.

  11. 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.

  12. 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].

  13. Volcanic hazard management in dispersed volcanism areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marrero, Jose Manuel; Garcia, Alicia; Ortiz, Ramon

    2014-05-01

    Traditional volcanic hazard methodologies were developed mainly to deal with the big stratovolcanoes. In such type of volcanoes, the hazard map is an important tool for decision-makers not only during a volcanic crisis but also for territorial planning. According to the past and recent eruptions of a volcano, all possible volcanic hazards are modelled and included in the hazard map. Combining the hazard map with the Event Tree the impact area can be zoned and defining the likely eruptive scenarios that will be used during a real volcanic crisis. But in areas of disperse volcanism is very complex to apply the same volcanic hazard methodologies. The event tree do not take into account unknown vents, because the spatial concepts included in it are only related with the distance reached by volcanic hazards. The volcanic hazard simulation is also difficult because the vent scatter modifies the results. The volcanic susceptibility try to solve this problem, calculating the most likely areas to have an eruption, but the differences between low and large values obtained are often very small. In these conditions the traditional hazard map effectiveness could be questioned, making necessary a change in the concept of hazard map. Instead to delimit the potential impact areas, the hazard map should show the expected behaviour of the volcanic activity and how the differences in the landscape and internal geo-structures could condition such behaviour. This approach has been carried out in La Palma (Canary Islands), combining the concept of long-term hazard map with the short-term volcanic scenario to show the expected volcanic activity behaviour. The objective is the decision-makers understand how a volcanic crisis could be and what kind of mitigation measurement and strategy could be used.

  14. Upper mantle P-wave velocity structure beneath northern Lake Malawi and the Rungwe Volcanic Province, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grijalva, A. N.; Kachingwe, M.; Nyblade, A.; Shillington, D. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Ebinger, C. J.; Accardo, N. J.; O'Donnell, J. P.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Mulibo, G. D.; Ferdinand, R.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Mphepo, F.

    2015-12-01

    A recent deployment of 55 broadband seismic stations around the northern Lake Malawi rift as part of the SEGMeNT project have provided a new dataset for imaging crustal and upper mantle structure beneath the Rungwe volcanic center and northern most segment of the Lake Malawi Rift. The goal of our study is to characterize the upper mantle velocity structure and determine to what extent the rifting has been influenced by magmatism. P relative arrival time residuals have been obtained for 115 teleseismic events with magnitudes > 5 in the 30 - 90 degree distance range. They are being tomographically inverted, together with travel time residuals from previous deployments for a 3-D velocity model of the upper mantle. Preliminary results indicate a low wave speed anomaly in the uppermost mantle beneath the Rungwe volcanics. Future results will determine if this anomaly exists under the northern Lake Malawi rift.

  15. Volcanic outcrops of southeast Ethiopia and the Ogaden Dyke Swarm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mège, Daniel; Purcell, Peter; Jourdan, Fred; Pochat, Stéphane

    2013-04-01

    A new map of Tertiary volcanics occurrences in the Ogaden region of southeast Ethiopia and adjacent areas of Somalia has been prepared. Outcrop areas, mapped using satellite images and helicopter-­-supported field work in 2008, are more widespread than previously recognized, while magnetic and drill data reveal the vast subsurface extent of the magmatism. Several spectacular 'meandering' outcrops, over 100 km long, are undoubtedly exhumed canyon-­-filling flows and magnetic data show that many other apparently isolated outcrops are actually part of similar flows, the bulk of which are now subsurface. Age dating and well intersections show several volcanic episodes, with the major outpouring occurring across a broad peneplain in the Oligocene. Geological and aeromagnetic mapping, and 40Ar/39Ar age dating, reveal a dyke swarm extending SSE from the southern Afar margin more than 600 km across the Somali Plate, and coeval with dyke injection in the Red Sea rift at ~25 Ma. The Ogaden Dyke Swarm, which occurs in an area historically considered remote from the impact of the Afro-­-Arabian rifting and volcanism, appears associated with the Marda Fault and marks a zone of crustal dilation along the Red Sea trend across the Horn of Africa. Contemporaneous rifts, also trending WNW/ESE and over 120 km long, occur in NE Somalia, confirming the predominantly NE/SW-­-directed crustal stress regime in the Ogaden and adjacent region at this time.

  16. Tempe Fossae, Mars: A planetary analogon to a terrestrial continental rift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauber, Ernst; Kronberg, Peter

    2001-09-01

    Tempe Terra, the northeastern part of the Tharsis Region on Mars, is characterized by several extensional structures differing in style and age. The Tempe Fossae, a particularly well-developed system of graben striking N45°E, have been studied for the first time in detail on the basis of Viking Orbiter imagery and Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) topographic data. The graben system appears to be unique in the whole region because of its extent, the remarkable width and depth of the graben, the varying graben pattern, and the associated volcanism. Single graben can be up to 35 km wide and 120 km long, while their depth can reach nearly 3000 m. They typically show an asymmetric architecture, often in halfgraben or step fault style. The graben system widens and changes its style along strike from NE to SW from a single, very deep, and narrow graben to a complex set of several shallower, sinuous graben and halfgraben. Crustal extension was measured in the northeastern part from the observable throw and amounts to 2.5-3.1 km. Volcanic structures can be found at several locations along the graben. In the SW the graben system seems to be connected with the Tempe Terra volcanic province marked by flood basalts and plains volcanism. Craters were counted on volcanic units unaffected by extensional tectonics. Crater statistics indicate an absolute crater model age for the upper end of the extensional deformation of ~3.5 Ga. The dimensions and the characteristics of the mapped graben system resemble those of terrestrial continental rifts, and a comparison between them and the Kenya Rift reveals striking similarities. Therefore the Tempe Fossae are interpreted as a Martian analog to a continental rift associated with an underlying mantle plume. This hypothesis seems to be supported by recent geophysical models based on topography and gravity data from Mars Global Surveyor which indicate regional uplift for Tempe Terra.

  17. Rifting of the Izu-Bonin arc in the Quaternary and Mid-Oligocene

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, B. )

    1990-06-01

    Eruption of middle Eocene-lower Oligocene boninites and island arc tholeiites created the 200 km wide Izu-Bonin arc massif following the initiation of subduction {approximately}50 Ma. Mid-Oligocene rifting formed a 40-70 km wide forearc basin between the Eocene outer-arc high and the Eo-Oligocene arc (now the frontal arc high), with maximum extension at the latitudes of the Bonin Ridge and Trough. The Oligocene forearc basin was rapidly (100-300 m/m.y.) filled with turbidite and debris flow deposits produced by concurrent volcanism and erosion of the surrounding highs. Contemporaneous stretching in the backarc region produced dominantly east-dipping, NNE-trending, normal faults and culminated in backarc spreading in the Shikoku basin (25-15 Ma), isolating the Palau-Kyushu remnant arc. The forearc and remnant arc sediments record a dearth of volcanogenic input between 23 and 17 Ma; evidence that an arc volcanic minimum accompanied backarc spreading. The middle Miocene to Recent volcanic front formed 0(S)-50(N) km west of the Oligocene arc and has loaded and flexed the forearc. Further west, chains of submarine volcanoes erupted along the extension of Shikoku basin fracture zones. Basaltic sills were emplaced in the forearc. Explosive volcanism from rhyolitic calderas has increased dramatically since the late Pliocene, especially in the last 0.2 Ma. Since {approximately}2 Ma the arc has been stretched again, producing rapidly subsiding (300-2,250 m/m.y.) graben, immediately west of the volcanic front, which are segmented along strike by oblique transfer zones. The Sumisu Rift is partially filled with (<1.5 Ma) volcaniclastic turbidites and hemipelagic sediments and is intruded by backarc basin basalts. About 1 km of syn-rift uplift of the arc margin footwall has produced an unconformity, beneath surficial pumice, that extends back to pumiceous sediments >2.35 Ma.

  18. Back-arc rifting at a continental margin: A case study from the Okinawa trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, R.; Kaiho, Y.; Takahashi, T.; Nakanishi, A.; Fujie, G.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.

    2014-12-01

    The Okinawa trough, a back-arc basin formed behind the Ryukyu arc-trench system, southwest Japan, represents an active rifting zone associated with extension of the continental lithosphere. The basin is located at the southeastern margin of the Eurasian plate and characterized by axial rift valleys with over 1.0 km depth and ~100 km width. Previous studies suggest that the early rifting phase started late Miocene and crustal extension is currently active at a full rate of 30 to 50 mm/yr. Within the basin, numerous active hydrothermal vents are observed, suggesting that the crustal rifting enhances melt/heat transfer from the deep mantle up to the seafloor. However, internal structure beneath the back-arc basin and its relation to the rifting system are little documented. Complex regional tectonic setting, such as active collision in Taiwan to the west, oblique subduction of the Philippine Sea slab, and changing spreading rate along the rift axis, may also have significant influences on the thermal structure and flow within the mantle wedge, but their relative roles in controlling the rifting mode and magmatic supply are still poorly understood. As a step toward filling this gap in knowledge, we started a new 7-year project that consists of four two-dimensional active-source seismic experiments and extensive passive-source seismic observations along the Ryukyu arc. In 2013, active-source seismic data were collected on the first line that crosses the southernmost part of the Ryukyu arc-trench and Okinawa trough at 124-125°E. For refraction/wide-angle reflection analyses, a total of 60 ocean bottom seismographs were deployed with approximately 6 km spacing on a ~390-km-long profile. On the same line, multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiling was also carried out. Seismic velocity models obtained by first arrival tomography show that beneath the volcanic arc a thick layer (~10 km) of the middle crust with Vp = 6.0-6.8 km/s is developed, a typical feature in the

  19. Geologic evolution of the Jemez Mountains and their potential for future volcanic activity

    SciTech Connect

    Burton, B.W.

    1982-01-01

    Geophysical and geochemical data and the geologic history of the Rio Grande rift and the vicinity of the Jemez Mountains are summarized to determine the probability of future volcanic activity in the Los Alamos, New Mexico area. The apparent cyclic nature of volcanism in the Jemez Mountains may be related to intermittent thermal inputs into the volcanic system beneath the region. The Jemez lineament, an alignment of late Cenozoic volcanic centers that crosses the rift near Los Alamos, has played an important role in the volcanic evolution of the Jemez Mountains. Geophysical data suggest that there is no active shallow magma body beneath the Valles caldera, though magma probably exists at about 15 km beneath this portion of the rift. The rate of volcanism in the Jemez Mountains during the last 10 million years has been 5 x 10/sup -9//km/sup 2//y. Lava or ash flows overriding Laboratory radioactive waste disposal sites would have little potential to release radionuclides to the environment. The probability of a new volcano intruding close enough to a radioactive waste disposal site to effect radionuclide release is 2 x 10/sup -7//y.

  20. Making room for magma beneath the Jemez Mountains volcanic field: implications for chemical diversity and caldera formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunstad, K. A.; Wolff, J. A.; Watkinson, A.; Gardner, J. N.

    2006-12-01

    The Miocene-Quaternary Jemez Mountains volcanic field (JMVF), the site of the Valles caldera, lies at the intersection of the Jemez lineament, which marks the site of a Proterozoic suture zone, and the Cenozoic Rio Grande rift. The JMVF has a history of volcanism reaching back more than 20 Myr prior to the caldera-forming eruption of the Bandelier Tuff, involving magma compositions ranging from nephelinite to high-silica rhyolite. This longevity of volcanism, despite significant westward movement of the North American continent, indicates that the controls on the location of the JMVF volcanism reside within the lithosphere. The geochemical evolution of continental magmatic systems must be considered in the light of the "space problem" of crustal magma chambers. Significantly, the present geometry of seismic attenuation zones beneath the JMVF may be predicted on the basis of tectonic patterns that existed during the initiation of the volcanic field in the mid-Miocene. We integrate regional structural, tectonic and geophysical data to construct a model for the emplacement and chemical diversification of magmas erupted throughout the history of the JMVF. In addition, we use this approach to develop a new model for the Valles caldera. Reactivation of Laramide thrust faults and transtensional movement on the Jemez lineament during rift-related extension produce low-pressure zones at bends in shear zones were magma could be emplaced. The bends in the shear zones are located at structural triple points representing rheologically stronger and weaker material. The existence of this rheologic variability produces an asymmetry during simple shear deformation in which the stronger material is displaced towards the weaker along one boundary and visa versa along the other. This process creates fragile dilational, low-pressure zones into which magma can be emplaced. Magma chamber shape was controlled by syn-magmatic opening of a tensional-shear fracture or fracture network

  1. Early evolution of the southern margin of the Neuquén Basin, Argentina: Tectono-stratigraphic implications for rift evolution and exploration of hydrocarbon plays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Elia, Leandro; Bilmes, Andrés; Franzese, Juan R.; Veiga, Gonzalo D.; Hernández, Mariano; Muravchik, Martín

    2015-12-01

    Long-lived rift basins are characterized by a complex structural and tectonic evolution. They present significant lateral and vertical stratigraphic variations that determine diverse basin-patterns at different timing, scale and location. These issues cause difficulties to establish facies models, correlations and stratal stacking patterns of the fault-related stratigraphy, specially when exploration of hydrocarbon plays proceeds on the subsurface of a basin. The present case study corresponds to the rift-successions of the Neuquén Basin. This basin formed in response to continental extension that took place at the western margin of Gondwana during the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic. A tectono-stratigraphic analysis of the initial successions of the southern part of the Neuquén Basin was carried out. Three syn-rift sequences were determined. These syn-rift sequences were located in different extensional depocentres during the rifting phases. The specific periods of rifting show distinctly different structural and stratigraphic styles: from non-volcanic to volcanic successions and/or from continental to marine sedimentation. The results were compared with surface and subsurface interpretations performed for other depocentres of the basin, devising an integrated rifting scheme for the whole basin. The more accepted tectono-stratigraphic scheme that assumes the deposits of the first marine transgression (Cuyo Cycle) as indicative of the onset of a post-rift phase is reconsidered. In the southern part of the basin, the marine deposits (lower Cuyo Cycle) were integrated into the syn-rift phase, implying the existence of different tectonic signatures for Cuyo Cycle along the basin. The rift climax becomes younger from north to south along the basin. The post-rift initiation followed the diachronic ending of the main syn-rift phase throughout the Neuquén Basin. Thus, initiation of the post-rift stage started in the north and proceeded towards the south, constituting a

  2. 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

  3. Thermo-rheological aspects of crustal evolution during continental breakup and melt intrusion: The Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavecchia, Alessio; Beekman, Fred; Clark, Stuart R.; Cloetingh, Sierd A. P. L.

    2016-08-01

    The Cenozoic-Quaternary Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) is characterized by extended magmatic activity. Although magmatism has been recognized as a key element in the process of continental breakup, the interaction between melts and intruded lithosphere is still poorly understood. We have performed a 2D thermo-rheological modeling study of continental crust incorporating rheological variations due to melt intrusion-related thermal perturbation. The model is calibrated based on the characteristics of lithologies occurring in the MER and its extensional history, and includes the effect of metamorphism and anatexis on crustal strength and rheological features. During Miocene early rift phases strain in the MER was mainly accommodated through rift border faults, whereas Pliocene-to-recent extension history is characterized by magma assisted rifting with most strain accommodated across magmatic segments in the rift axis. Consequently, very little strain is distributed in the old Pan-African to Paleogene crust during Pliocene to Holocene times. The magmatic activity along the rift axis created ≈ 20 km thick magmatic segments, with growth rate estimated to range from ≈ 3.5 mm yr- 1 to ≈ 6 mm yr- 1. Our model suggests that the strain transfer from Miocene rift border faults to magmatic segments was favored by a moderate increase in crustal strength, due to prograde metamorphism subsequent to the melt-induced thermal perturbation. Under such conditions, crustal stretching may not constitute an effective extension mechanism, thus strain may be preferentially accommodated by melt injection along hot, partially molten magmatic segments. Anatexis has been detected in our simulations, with melt fractions sufficient to break-up the crust solid framework and migrate. This determines local variations of rheological behavior and may induce seismicity. However, resulting melt percentages are not sufficient to induce widespread, crust-derived volcanic activity. Subsequently, volcanism

  4. 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

  5. The Effect of Crustal Strength on Volcanism During Continental Breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armitage, J. J.; Petersen, K. D.; Perez-Gussinye, M.; Collier, J.; Pik, R.

    2015-12-01

    Segmentation is a fundamental property of rifted margins which is thought to be inherited from pre-breakup lithospheric structure. The volume of melt emplaced during rifting typically varies across these segments. Notable examples are the Gulf of California, break-up in the South Atlantic, and the Afar depression. For example in Afar there is a clear north south transition from break-up in the Erta Ale segment, where there is localised young (<1 Ma) volcanism, to the Dabbahu segment where there is the 4-1 Ma Stratoid volcanic series and distributed faulting. Along the Namibian and conjugate Argentinian margin there is evidence that surface area of seaward dipping reflectors change across segments. Such lateral changes in volcanism over a relatively short spatial scale are hard to explain by change in mantle temperature. We will demonstrate that crustal strength places a crucial control on the volume and composition of melt generated during break-up. We have compared models of extension with a weaker and strong lower crust based on observed rock rheologies. Melt composition and volume is found to be a function of the lower crustal rheology as it effects the shape of the melt zone during extension. By comparing a suite models we find that Afar volcanism can be matched by models with both a weak or strong lower crust. If however the crust is weaker then the equivalent volume and composition is created with less crustal thinning but over a greater period of time. The difference in time required to generate significant volcanic rock may explain the change in surface area of sub-areal volcanism in both Afar, where there is a transition of strong to weak crust from Erta Ale to Dabbahu, and off-shore Namibia. Lateral variation in volcanism between segments may therefore be fundamentally controlled by the crust.

  6. Patterns of intraplate volcanism controlled by asthenospheric shear

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, Clinton P.; Bianco, Todd A.; Smith, Eugene I.; Wessel, Paul

    2011-05-01

    Most of Earth's volcanism occurs at plate boundaries, in association with subduction or rifting. A few high-volume volcanic fields are observed both at plate boundaries and within plates, fed by plumes upwelling from the deep mantle. The remaining volcanism is observed away from plate boundaries. It is typically basaltic, effusive and low volume, occurring within continental interiors or creating seamounts on the ocean floor. This intraplate volcanism has been attributed to various localized processes such as cracking of the lithosphere, small-scale convection in the mantle beneath the lithosphere or shear-induced melting of low-viscosity pockets of asthenospheric mantle that have become embedded along the base of the lithosphere. Here we compare the locations of observed intraplate volcanism with global patterns of mantle flow from a numerical model. We find a correlation between recent continental and oceanic intraplate volcanism and areas of the asthenosphere that are experiencing rapid shear due to mantle convection. We detect particularly high correlations in the interior of the continents of western North America, eastern Australia, southern Europe and Antarctica, as well as west of the East Pacific Rise in the Pacific Ocean. We conclude that intraplate volcanism associated with mantle convection is best explained by melting caused by shear flow within the asthenosphere, whereas other localized processes are less important.

  7. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

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

  9. Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

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

  10. Recent Rifting Events in the Southern Red Sea and Regional Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruch, J.; Xu, W.; Jonsson, S.

    2014-12-01

    During the last decades, several rifting events on land have been observed along divergent plate boundaries, separating plates up to several meters in a few weeks. These events are typically accompanied by short-term seismic swarms (<15 days) and normal faulting, and are in some cases followed by eruptions as well. These on land rifting events represent, however, a very limited portion (< 2%) of global intrusions that take place in most cases along mid-ocean ridge systems. Here we focus on the southern Red Sea area, which is a part of the triple junction separating the Nubian, Somalian and Arabian plates where several earthquake swarms were recorded from 2000 to 2014. In three cases, these swarms were followed by eruptions within a year, at Jebel at Tair (2007) and in the Zubair Archipelago (40 km south) were two new volcanic islands developed in 2011 and 2013. Without the surface eruptions, these intrusive events may have remained unnoticed. Together the surface evidence of volcanic activity and recorded seismic swarms during the past two decades allow for a better definition of the overall magmatic activity in the southern Red Sea. We further discuss the possibility that Zubair, which is an emerged portion of a shallow 20 km-long by 5 km-wide NNW-SSE oriented platform, may be the surface expression of an active spreading center, comparable in size with other on land spreading centers. The recent concentration of activity at Zubair developed in a context of high regional magmatic and tectonic activity, including the rifting episode at Dabbahu (2005-2011), the rifting event in the Gulf of Aden (2010-2011) and the 2011 Nabro volcano eruption. Preliminary analysis of regional structural features and volcano lineaments suggest distinct intrusion paths and faulting running parallel to the three main active rift zone axes, and also along a dominant NE-SW oriented preexisting regional fault zones affecting the entire triple junction area.

  11. Magmatic cycles pace tectonic and morphological expression of rifting (Afar depression, Ethiopia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynski, S.; Pik, R.; Burnard, P.; Dumont, S.; Grandin, R.; Williams, A.; Blard, P.-H.; Schimmelpfennig, I.; Vye-Brown, C.; France, L.; Ayalew, D.; Benedetti, L.; Yirgu, G.

    2016-07-01

    The existence of narrow axial volcanic zones of mid-oceanic ridges testifies of the underlying concentration of both melt distribution and tectonic strain. As a result of repeated diking and faulting, axial volcanic zones therefore represent a spectacular topographic expression of plate divergence. However, the submarine location of oceanic ridges makes it difficult to constrain the interplay between tectonic and magmatic processes in time and space. In this study, we use the Dabbahu-Manda Hararo (DMH) magmatic rift segment (Afar, Ethiopia) to provide quantitative constraints on the response of tectonic processes to variations in magma supply at divergent plate boundaries. The DMH magmatic rift segment is considered an analogue of an oceanic ridge, exhibiting a fault pattern, extension rate and topographic relief comparable to intermediate- to slow-spreading ridges. Here, we focus on the northern and central parts of DMH rift, where we present quantitative slip rates for the past 40 kyr for major and minor normal fault scarps in the vicinity of a recent (September 2005) dike intrusion. The data obtained show that the axial valley topography has been created by enhanced slip rates that occurred during periods of limited volcanism, suggestive of reduced magmatic activity, probably in association with changes in strain distribution in the crust. Our results indicate that the development of the axial valley topography has been regulated by the lifetimes of the magma reservoirs and their spatial distribution along the segment, and thus to the magmatic cycles of replenishment/differentiation (<100 kyr). Our findings are also consistent with magma-induced deformation in magma-rich rift segments. The record of two tectonic events of metric vertical amplitude on the fault that accommodated the most part of surface displacement during the 2005 dike intrusion suggests that the latter type of intrusion occurs roughly every 10 kyr in the northern part of the DMH segment.

  12. Lake-groundwater relationships and fluid-rock interaction in the East African Rift Valley: isotopic evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darling, W. George; Gizaw, Berhanu; Arusei, Musa K.

    1996-05-01

    The assessment of water resources in the Rift Valley environment is important for population, agriculture and energy-related issues and depends on a good understanding of the relationship between freshwater lakes and regional groundwater. This can be hampered by the amount of fluid-rock interaction which occurs throughout the rift, obscuring original hydrochemical signatures. However, O and H stable isotope ratios can be used as tracers of infiltration over sometimes considerable distances, while showing that the volcanic edifices of the rift floor have varying effects on groundwater flow patterns. Specific cases from Kenya and Ethiopia are considered, including Lakes Naivasha, Baringo, Awasa and Zwai. In addition to their physical tracing role, stable isotopes can reveal information about processes of fluid-rock interaction. The general lack of O isotope shifting in rift hydrothermal systems suggests a high water:rock ratio, with the implication that these systems are mature. Carbon isotope studies on the predominantly bicarbonate waters of the rift show how they evolve from dilute meteoric recharge to highly alkaline waters, via the widespread silicate hydrolysis promoted by the flux of mantle carbon dioxide which occurs in most parts of the rift. There appears to be only minor differences in the C cycle between Kenya and Ethiopia.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macgregor, Duncan

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Reappraisal of the relationship between the northern Nevada rift and Miocene extension in the northern Basin and Range Province

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Colgan, Joseph P.

    2013-01-01

    The northern Nevada rift is a prominent mafic dike swarm and magnetic anomaly in north-central Nevada inferred to record the Middle Miocene (16.5-15.0 Ma) extension direction in the northern Basin and Range province in the western United States. From the 245°-250° rift direction, Basin and Range extension is inferred to have shifted 45° clockwise to a modern direction of 290°-300° during the late Miocene. The region surrounding the northern Nevada rift was actively extending while the rift formed, and these domains are all characterized by extension oriented 280°-300°. This direction is distinctly different from the rift direction and nearly identical to the modern Basin and Range direction. Although the rate, structural style, and distribution of Basin and Range extension appear to have undergone a significant change in the late Miocene (ca. 10 Ma), the overall spreading direction does not. Middle Miocene extension was directed perpendicular to the axis of the thickest crust formed during Mesozoic shortening and this orientation may reflect gravitational collapse of this thick crust. Orientation of northern Nevada rift dikes may reflect a short-lived regional stress field related to the onset of Yellowstone hotspot volcanism.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    A backarc inner rift is formed after a major opening of backarc basin near a volcanic front away from the spreading center of a major backarc basin. An obvious example is the inner rift along the Izu-Bonin arc. Similar inner rift zones have been developed along the Sea of Japan coast of Honshu island, Japan. NE and SW Japan arcs experienced strong shortening after the Miocene backarc rifting. The amount of shortening shows its maximum along the backarc inner rifts, forming a fold-and-thrust of thick post-rift sediments over all the structure of backarc. The rift structure has been investigated by onshore-offshore deep seismic reflection/wide-angle reflection surveys. We got continuous onshore-offshore image using ocean bottom cable and collected offshore seismic reflection data using two ships to obtain large offset data in the difficult area for towing a long streamer cable. The velocity structure beneath the rift basin was deduced by refraction tomography in the upper curst and earthquake tomography in the deeper part. It demonstrates larger P-wave velocity in upper mantle and lower crust, suggesting a large amount of mafic intrusion and thinning of upper continental crust. The deeper seismicity in the lower crust beneath the rift basin accords well to the mafic intrusive rocks. Syn-rift volcanism was bimodal, comprising a reflective unit of mafic rocks around the rift axis and a non-reflective unit of felsic rocks near the margins of the basins. Once rifting ended, thermal subsidence, and subsequently, mechanical subsidence related to the onset of the compressional 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, characterized by thin-skin style of deformation. The syn-rift mafic intrusion in the crust forms convex shape and the boundary between pre-rift crust and mafic intrusive shows outward dipping surface. Due to the post rift

  16. Ambient Noise Surface Wave Tomography of the volcanic systems of eastern Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, R. G.; Priestley, K. F.; White, R. S.

    2015-12-01

    The Vatnajökull region of central-east Iceland lies above the head of the Iceland mantle plume where the crust is thickest due to enhanced melt supply. As a result the region contains a high density of volcanic rift systems, with six large subglacial central volcanoes. Due to the ice cover, the geological structure of the area and the location of past eruptions are poorly known. Imaging of the crustal velocity heterogeneities beneath the ice sheet aims to reveal much in terms of the structure of these volcanic plumbing systems. Mapping of significant velocity changes through time may also be indicative of movement of melt around the central volcanoes; one of which (Bárðarbunga) experienced a major rifting event in August 2014 (Sigmundsson et al. Nature 2015, Green et al. Nature Geosci. 2015). We present results from tomographic imaging of the volcanic systems in the region, using continuous data from a local broadband seismic network in central-east Iceland which provides excellent ray path coverage of the volcanic systems. This is supplemented by data from the HOTSPOT and ICEMELT experiments and the permanent monitoring stations of the Icelandic Meteorological Office. We process the continuous data following Benson et al. 2007 and automatic frequency-time analysis (FTAN) routines are used to extract more than 9000 dispersion measurements. We then generate Rayleigh wave group velocity maps which we present here. We find low velocity regions beneath the Vatnajökull icecap which are bounded by the surface expression of the volcanic rift systems. The lower velocities also extend north-west to the volcanic system under the Hofsjökull ice cap, and northwards towards Askja and the volcanic systems of the northern volcanic zone. We also produce locations and focal mechanisms of earthquakes caused by magmatic and hydrothermal activity to correlate structure with the activity of the volcanic systems.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Volcanic morphology of West Mata Volcano, NE Lau Basin, based on high-resolution bathymetry and depth changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clague, David A.; Paduan, Jennifer B.; Caress, David W.; Thomas, Hans; Chadwick, William W., Jr.; Merle, Susan G.

    2011-11-01

    High-resolution (1.5 m) mapping from the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) D. Allan B. of West Mata Volcano in the northern Lau Basin is used to identify the processes that construct and modify the volcano. The surface consists largely of volcaniclastic debris that forms smooth slopes to the NW and SE, with smaller lava flows forming gently sloping plateaus concentrated along the ENE and WSW rift zones, and more elongate flows radiating from the summit. Two active volcanic vents, Prometheus and Hades, are located ˜50 and ˜150 m WSW of the 1159 m summit, respectively, and are slightly NW of the ridgeline so the most abundant clastic deposits are emplaced on the NW flank. This eruptive activity and the location of vents appears to have been persistent for more than a decade, based on comparison of ship-based bathymetric surveys in 1996 and 2008-2010, which show positive depth changes up to 96 m on the summit and north flank of the volcano. The widespread distribution of clastic deposits downslope from the rift zones, as well as from the current vents, suggests that pyroclastic activity occurs at least as deep as 2200 m. The similar morphology of additional nearby volcanoes suggests that they too have abundant pyroclastic deposits.

  1. Supervolcanoes within an ancient volcanic province in Arabia Terra, Mars.

    PubMed

    Michalski, Joseph R; Bleacher, Jacob E

    2013-10-01

    Several irregularly shaped craters located within Arabia Terra, Mars, represent a new type of highland volcanic construct and together constitute a previously unrecognized Martian igneous province. Similar to terrestrial supervolcanoes, these low-relief paterae possess a range of geomorphic features related to structural collapse, effusive volcanism and explosive eruptions. Extruded lavas contributed to the formation of enigmatic highland ridged plains in Arabia Terra. Outgassed sulphur and erupted fine-grained pyroclastics from these calderas probably fed the formation of altered, layered sedimentary rocks and fretted terrain found throughout the equatorial region. The discovery of a new type of volcanic construct in the Arabia volcanic province fundamentally changes the picture of ancient volcanism and climate evolution on Mars. Other eroded topographic basins in the ancient Martian highlands that have been dismissed as degraded impact craters should be reconsidered as possible volcanic constructs formed in an early phase of widespread, disseminated magmatism on Mars.

  2. Supervolcanoes within an ancient volcanic province in Arabia Terra, Mars.

    PubMed

    Michalski, Joseph R; Bleacher, Jacob E

    2013-10-01

    Several irregularly shaped craters located within Arabia Terra, Mars, represent a new type of highland volcanic construct and together constitute a previously unrecognized Martian igneous province. Similar to terrestrial supervolcanoes, these low-relief paterae possess a range of geomorphic features related to structural collapse, effusive volcanism and explosive eruptions. Extruded lavas contributed to the formation of enigmatic highland ridged plains in Arabia Terra. Outgassed sulphur and erupted fine-grained pyroclastics from these calderas probably fed the formation of altered, layered sedimentary rocks and fretted terrain found throughout the equatorial region. The discovery of a new type of volcanic construct in the Arabia volcanic province fundamentally changes the picture of ancient volcanism and climate evolution on Mars. Other eroded topographic basins in the ancient Martian highlands that have been dismissed as degraded impact craters should be reconsidered as possible volcanic constructs formed in an early phase of widespread, disseminated magmatism on Mars. PMID:24091975

  3. Supervolcanoes Within an Ancient Volcanic Province in Arabia Terra, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michalski, Joseph. R.; Bleacher, Jacob E.

    2014-01-01

    Several irregularly shaped craters located within Arabia Terra, Mars represent a new type of highland volcanic construct and together constitute a previously unrecognized martian igneous province. Similar to terrestrial supervolcanoes, these low-relief paterae display a range of geomorphic features related to structural collapse, effusive volcanism, and explosive eruptions. Extruded lavas contributed to the formation of enigmatic highland ridged plains in Arabia Terra. Outgassed sulfur and erupted fine-grained pyroclastics from these calderas likely fed the formation of altered, layered sedimentary rocks and fretted terrain found throughout the equatorial region. Discovery of a new type of volcanic construct in the Arabia volcanic province fundamentally changes the picture of ancient volcanism and climate evolution on Mars. Other eroded topographic basins in the ancient Martian highlands that have been dismissed as degraded impact craters should be reconsidered as possible volcanic constructs formed in an early phase of widespread, disseminated magmatism on Mars.

  4. 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.

  5. The lateral extent of volcanic interactions during unrest and eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biggs, Juliet; Robertson, Elspeth; Cashman, Katharine

    2016-04-01

    Volcanic eruptions often occur simultaneously or tap multiple magma reservoirs. Such lateral interactions between magmatic systems are attributed to stress changes or hydraulic connections but the precise conditions under which coupled eruptions occur have yet to be quantified. Here we use interferometric synthetic aperture radar satellite data to analyse the surface deformation generated by volcanic unrest in the Kenyan Rift. We identify several magma sources located at depths of 2-5 km importantly, sources that are spaced less than about 10 km apart interact, whereas those spaced more than about 25 km apart do not. However, volcanoes up to 25 km apart have interacted in the geologic past. Thus, volcanic coupling is not simply controlled by the distance between the magma reservoirs. We then consider different tectonic settings globally, including intraplate volcanoes such as Hawaii and Yellowstone, arc volcanism in Alaska and Chile, and other rift settings, such as New Zealand, Iceland and Afar. We find that the most closely spaced magmatic interactions are controlled by the extent of a shallow crystal mush layer, stress changes can couple large eruptions over distances of about 20-40 km, and only large dyke intrusions or subduction earthquakes could generate coupled eruptions over distances of about 50-100 km.

  6. Volcanic unrest in Kenya: geological history from a satellite perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, E.; Biggs, J.; Edmonds, M.; Vye-Brown, C.

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) system is a 5,000 km long series of fault bounded depressions that run from Djibouti to Mozambique. In the Kenyan Rift, fourteen Quaternary volcanoes lie along the central rift axis. These volcanoes are principally composed of trachyte pyroclastics and trachyte and basaltic lavas forming low-angle multi-vent edifices. Between 1997 and 2008, geodetic activity has been observed at five Kenyan volcanoes, all of which have undergone periods of caldera collapse and explosive activity. We present a remote-sensing study to investigate the temporal and spatial development of volcanic activity at Longonot volcano. High-resolution mapping using ArcGIS and an immersive 3D visualisation suite (GeovisionaryTM) has been used with imagery derived from ASTER, SPOT5 and GDEM data to identify boundaries of eruptive units and establish relative age in order to add further detail to Longonot's recent eruptive history. Mapping of the deposits at Longonot is key to understand the recent geological history and forms the basis for future volcanic hazard research to inform risk assessments and mitigation programs in Kenya. Calderas at Kenyan volcanoes are elliptical in plan view and we use high-resolution imagery to investigate the regional stresses and structural control leading to the formation of these elliptical calderas. We find that volcanoes in the central and northern segments of the Kenyan rift are elongated nearly parallel to the direction of least horizontal compressive stress, likely as a reflection of the direction of the plate motion vector at the time of caldera collapse. The southern volcanoes however are elongated at an acute angle to the plate motion vector, most likely as a result of oblique opening of the Kenyan rift in this region.

  7. The Role of Rheological Weakening in the Formation of Narrow Rifts on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martone, Alexis; Montesi, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    The rift zones on Venus are remarkably similar to those seen on Earth, despite Venus’ current lack of plate tectonics. The Devana Chasma rift on Beta Regio accommodates extension in a narrow zone and is associated with volcanism. As a result, it has often been compared to the East African Rift (Burov and Gerya, 2014; Foster and Nimmo, 1996). It has been suggested that plate boundaries develop on Earth because an interconnected network of localized shear zones (areas of concentrated weakening) can form through the lithosphere (Regenauer-Lieb and Yuen, 2001). If Venusian rifts, such as Devana Chasma, are similar to terrestrial plate boundaries, then it is possible that shear zones should form in those locations.Montesi (2013) showed that water-bearing minerals, such as micas, which are probably not present on Venus, largely dominate weakening in the Earth’s crust. On Venus, melts are likely to play the role of the weak phase that allows for localization, due to its low viscosity relative to host rocks. Weakening due to grain size reduction is also possible if a dislocation-accommodated grain boundary sliding mechanism is active on Venus (Montesi, 2013).Rift stability for Venus-like conditions has been analyzed using the model of Buck (1991). This model links the evolution of lithospheric strength with the style of rifting (wide, narrow, or metamorphic core complex). The crust and mantle are assumed to be dry diabase and dry olivine, respectively (diabase rheological parameters are from Mackwell et. al. (1998), olivine rheological parameters are from Hirth and Kohlstedt (2003)). The crustal thickness and surface heat flux are varied based on estimated values from the literature (Nimmo and McKenzie, 1998; Buck, 2002). Without the inclusion of a weakening mechanism the large majority of model runs predict wide rifts developing. Adding a simplistic exponential decay to the lithospheric yield strength allows for more narrow rift formation to occur. Including explicit

  8. Geochemical evidence of mantle reservoir evolution during progressive rifting along the western Afar margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, Tyrone O.; Mohr, Paul; Dosso, Laure; Hall, Chris

    2013-02-01

    The Afar triple junction, where the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and African Rift System extension zones converge, is a pivotal domain for the study of continental-to-oceanic rift evolution. The western margin of Afar forms the southernmost sector of the western margin of the Red Sea rift where that margin enters the Ethiopian flood basalt province. Tectonism and volcanism at the triple junction had commenced by ˜31 Ma with crustal fissuring, diking and voluminous eruption of the Ethiopian-Yemen flood basalt pile. The dikes which fed the Oligocene-Quaternary lava sequence covering the western Afar rift margin provide an opportunity to probe the geochemical reservoirs associated with the evolution of a still active continental margin. 40Ar/39Ar geochronology reveals that the western Afar margin dikes span the entire history of rift evolution from the initial Oligocene flood basalt event to the development of focused zones of intrusion in rift marginal basins. Major element, trace element and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf) data demonstrate temporal geochemical heterogeneities resulting from variable contributions from the Afar plume, depleted asthenospheric mantle, and African lithosphere. The various dikes erupted between 31 Ma and 22 Ma all share isotopic signatures attesting to a contribution from the Afar plume, indicating this initial period in the evolution of the Afar margin was one of magma-assisted weakening of the lithosphere. From 22 Ma to 12 Ma, however, diffuse diking during continued evolution of the rift margin facilitated ascent of magmas in which depleted mantle and lithospheric sources predominated, though contributions from the Afar plume persisted. After 10 Ma, magmatic intrusion migrated eastwards towards the Afar rift floor, with an increasing fraction of the magmas derived from depleted mantle with less of a lithospheric signature. The dikes of the western Afar margin reveal that magma generation processes during the evolution of this continental rift margin

  9. Stratigraphic Modelling of Continental Rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  10. Very early rift sedimentation in the Turkana depression (EARS, Kenya): example of the Topernawi Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nutz, A.; Ragon, T.; Schuster, M.; Ghienne, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Sedimentation associated with very early phase of continental rifting remains poorly understood as related deposits lie at deepest part of basins and rarely outcrop at the surface. However, understanding of these sediments are essential first to better-constrain early extensional phase and second in term of potential resources. The Turkana depression is a rift system active since the Paleogene, which makes the connection between Kenyan and Ethiopian domes. The southern area consists of four asymmetrical and juxtaposed grabens: the Lokichar, Turkwell, Kerio and South Lake Basin, which have been intensively documented through oil exploration. The northern part is structured into a single asymmetrical graben, the North Lake basin, less-known even oil exploration started. In this contribution, a sedimentary system preserved on the rift shoulder of the North Lake Basin is presented. Referred to as the Topernawi Fm, it is interpreted as recording the earliest phase of Cenozoic rifting in the area. The Topernawi Fm delineates a relic sedimentary basin of limited extension (3 - 5 km). Boundaries of the basin are inherited from basement structures, more precisely from the reactivation during Late Oligocene to Early Miocene of a previous transfer zone producing N40-50° border faults. Basin fills is up to 80 m thick and includes first alluvial fan associated with the reactivation of these faults and then braided fluvial deposits from axial system. Above, several volcanic events recurrently emplaced pyroclastic deposits, repeatedly reworked by fluvial channels. Subsequently, N-S trend faulting cut the Topernawi system during the development of the North Lake Basin and led to its partial preservation over the present-day rift shoulder. Geological maps, structural sections across Topernawi basin and sedimentary facies are presented. An integrated model is proposed to illustrate the basin evolution. Implications for rifting in Northern Turkana depression are discussed.

  11. Magmatic constraints on rift development and the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foley, Stephen; Link, Klemens; Tiberindwa, John; Barifaijo, Erasmus

    2010-05-01

    The northern end of the western branch of the East African rift valley in western Uganda is located at the junction between a Proterozoic belt to the south and continuous Archaean crust of the Congo-Tanzania craton to the north (1). The difficulty of rift propagation through the thick Archaean lithosphere may explain the lack of a connection with the eastern rift branch around Lake Turkana. The >5,000m-high Rwenzori Mountains form a block lodged between two rift arms at this junction (2). The location and composition of Pleistocene to Recent volcanic rocks can be used to constrain models for the uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains that explain uplift by delamination of a lithosphere block beneath the rift (3). Six small volcanic fields are located in the Toro Ankole area east and southeast of Rwenzori; they contain carbonatite either as lava flows or as components in lapilli tuffs, as well as unusual K2O-rich, SiO2-poor melt compositions akin to leucitites and potassic melilitites that increase in importance towards the south. Their major and trace element and Sr-, Nd-, Hf-, and Os-isotope compositions are consistent with a source composed not just of peridotite, but also containing mica- and clinopyroxene-rich ultramafic assemblages (4). The requirement for assemblages of this type is greater than for potassic melilitites and nephelinites further south in the rift, and this agrees with their greater abundance as xenoliths in the lavas of the Toro Ankole area. The xenoliths contain no evidence for metasomatic replacement of pre-existing peridotite minerals, but rather appear to be formed by crystallization as liquidus minerals on the walls of magma channelways within the upper mantle. Some are zoned and contain vein margins, indicating more than one episode of melt infiltration. Re-melting of such assemblages partially meets the geochemical requirements of the volcanics (4) and has been shown to produce melts with similar major element compositions in experiments (5

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Cooper, A.

    1991-01-01

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

  16. Effect of subglacial volcanism on changes in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behrendt, John C.

    1993-01-01

    Rapid changes in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may affect future global sea-level changes. Alley and Whillans note that 'the water responsible for separating the glacier from its bed is produced by frictional dissipation and geothermal heat,' but assume that changes in geothermal flux would ordinarily be expected to have slower effects than glaciological parameters. I suggest that episodic subglacial volcanism and geothermal heating may have significantly greater effects on the WAIS than is generally appreciated. The WAIS flows through the active, largely asiesmic West Antarctic rift system (WS), which defines the sub-sea-level bed of the glacier. Various lines of evidence summarized in Behrendt et al. (1991) indicate high heat flow and shallow asthenosphere beneath the extended, weak lithosphere underlying the WS and the WAIS. Behrendt and Cooper suggest a possible synergistic relation between Cenozoic tectonism, episodic mountain uplift and volcanism in the West Antarctic rift system, and the waxing and waning of the Antarctic ice sheet beginning about earliest Oligocene time. A few active volcanoes and late-Cenozoic volcanic rocks are exposed throughout the WS along both flanks, and geophysical data suggest their presence beneath the WAIS. No part of the rift system can be considered inactive. I propose that subglacial volcanic eruptions and ice flow across areas of locally (episodically?) high heat flow--including volcanically active areas--should be considered possibly to have a forcing effect on the thermal regime resulting in increased melting at the base of the ice streams.

  17. Tectonic rotations within the Rio Grande rift - Evidence from paleomagnetic studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, L. L.; Golombek, M. P.

    1985-01-01

    Paleomagnetic studies on Miocene Pliocene volcanic rocks from the Espanola basin of the Rio Grande rift, New Mexico, reveal directions discordant form the expected mean direction for North America. The Paliza Canyon Formation, Tschicoma Formation, and Lobato Basalt, all sampled in the Jemez Mountains west of the Pajarito fault zone, have mean declinations east of the expected mean. The Cerros del Rio volcanics, lying east of the Pajarito fault zone, have a westerly declination. Combined with published data on the Santa Fe Group sediments east of the fault zone, and the Valles Rhyolite, west of the fault zone, distinct rotations of the two areas are evident. The western block has rotated clockwise 12 deg, while the eastern block shows 16 deg of conter-clockwise motion. Differential rotations of 25-30 deg are calculated between the two blocks; 4 deg/m.y. is the minimum differential rotation for the past 5 m.y. Geologic explanations for these rotations include the opening of the Rio Grande rift in response to clockwise rotation of the Colorado Plateau and significant left slip along the Rio Grande rift.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  19. Relatively Recent Volcanism on Oahu, Hawaii: New U-series and Paleomagnetic Age Constraints on the Hanauma Bay Eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, K. H.; Jurado-Chichay, Z.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.

    2002-12-01

    The Koko Rift Zone (KRZ), eastern Oahu, is generally regarded as among the youngest volcanic features on the island. Previous workers have suggested that the 9 or 10 vents of this rift erupted near-simultaneously. However, K-Ar data in the literature (32-39 ka vs 320 ka) provide only general guidance on the youthfulness of these eruptions. We present new age constraints on KRZ volcanism using deposits of the phreatomagmatic eruption that produced Hanauma Bay (a popular snorkeling spot) and spatially associated lava flows. Numerous continuous basaltic ash units within the walls of Hanauma crater contain lithic fragments of well-preserved coral reef, beach rock, and marine mollusks, indicating that the eruption occurred in a near shore environment. 238U-234U-230Th dating of coral clasts in the deposit demonstrates that the eruption breached reef of MIS stage 7 age (200 +/- 30 ka), thereby ruling out the K-Ar age of 320 ka. U-series nuclides in "normal" MIS 7 coral lithics are indistinguishable from those in the island encircling Waianae Reef of the same age. However, U-series