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Sample records for western continental margin

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

    PubMed

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

    1966-10-14

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

  2. Recent acoustic studies of western Canadian continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-07-01

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

  3. The Continental Margins of the Western North Atlantic.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlee, John S.; And Others

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dilek, Y.

    2001-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, Fred; Hoggard, Mark; White, Nicky

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mccallum, Anna W; Poore, Gary C B

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Continent-ocean transition at the western Barents Sea/Svalbard continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Eldholm, O.; Faleide, J.I.; Myhre, A.M.

    1987-12-01

    The change in crustal type at the western Barents Sea/Svalbard margin takes place over a narrow zone related to primary rift and shear structures reflecting the stepwise opening of the Greenland Sea. Regionally, the margin is composed of two large shear zones and a central rifted-margin segment. Local transtension and transpression at the plate boundary caused the early Cenozoic tectonism in Svalbard and the western Barents Sea, and might explain the prominent marginal gravity and velocity anomalies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  15. The northern Egyptian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. East Africa continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Bosellini, A.

    1986-01-01

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

  17. Factors controlling late Cenozoic continental margin growth from the Ebro Delta to the western Mediterranean deep sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Maldonado, A.

    1990-01-01

    The Ebro continental margin sedimentation system originated with a Messinian fluvial system. This system eroded both a major subaerial canyon cutting the margin southeastward from the present Ebro Delta and an axial valley that drained northeastward down Valencia Trough. Post-Messinian submergence of this topography and the Pliocene regime of high sea levels resulted in a marine hemipelagic drape over the margin. Late Pliocene to Pleistocene glacial climatic cycles, drainagebasin deforestation, and sea-level lowstands combined to increase sediment supply, cause the margin to prograde, and create a regime of lowstand sediment-gravity flows in the deeper margin. The depositional patterns of regressive, transgressive and highstand sea-level regimes suggest that location of the sediment source near the present Ebro Delta throughout the late Cenozoic, southward current advection of sediment, and greater subsidence in the southern margin combined to cause generally asymmetric progradation of the margin to the southeast. Thicker, less stable deposits filling the Messinian subaerial canyon underwent multiple retrograde failures, eroded wide gullied canyons and formed unchanneled base-of-slope sediment aprons in the central margin area; other margin areas to the north and south developed a series of channel-levee complexes. On the basin floor, the formation of Valencia Valley over the Messinian subaerial valley and earlier faults led to draining of about 20% of the Ebro Pleistocene sediment from channel-levee complexes through the valley to prograde Valencia Fan as much as 500 km northeast of the margin. Thus, the Ebro margin has two growth directions, mainly southeastward during higher sea levels, and eastward to northeastward during lower sea levels. The northeastward draining of turbidity currents has produced unusually thin and widely dispersed turbidite systems compared to those on ponded basin floors. During the past few centuries, man's impact has exceeded natural

  18. Crustal structure and magnetic lineation along two geo-traverses from western continental margin of India to Eastern Somali Basin, NW Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaubey, A. K.; Anshu, A.; Sreejith, K.; Pandey, A.

    2012-12-01

    Shipborne gravity and magnetic data along two parallel geo-traverses spanning from western continental margin of India to off Seychelles are used to delineate crustal structure and magnetic pattern of major structural features - western continental margin of India, Laxmi Basin, Laxmi Ridge, Arabian Basin, slow spreading Carlsberg Ridge and Eastern Somali Basin. The seismically constrained gravity models along the geo-traverses suggest considerable variation in crustal thickness - about 38 km on continental shelf of western India to about 4 km of the Eastern Somali Basin. The Eastern Somali Basin is characterized by thin oceanic crustal thickness (~3 to 4 km) as compared to its conjugate Arabian Basin where thickness varies from 5 to 6 km. The magnetic anomalies along the geo-traverse reveal three distinct zones: (i) a zone of relative high frequency short wavelength younger anomalies over the axial parts of the Carlsberg Ridge, (ii) a zone of well developed Early Tertiary magnetic anomalies in both the Arabian and Eastern Somali basins, and (iii) relative magnetic quiet zone, between the above two zones, representing a hiatus in spreading. Based on the results, we present a comparative analysis of crustal configuration and magnetic pattern of major structural features of the study area and discuss its tectonic evolution.

  19. Structure and function of nematode communities across the Indian western continental margin and its oxygen minimum zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, R.; Ingole, B. S.

    2016-01-01

    We studied patterns of nematode distribution along the western Indian continental margin to determine the influence of habitat heterogeneity and low oxygen levels on the community's taxonomic and functional structure. A single transect, perpendicular to the coast at 14° N latitude was sampled from 34 to 2546 m depth for biological and environmental variables during August 2007. The oxygen minimum zone extended from 102 to 1001 m. Nematodes (described and undescribed) were identified to species and classified according to biological and functional traits. A total of 110 nematode species belonging to 24 families were found along the transect. Three depth zones were identified: the shelf (depth range: 34-102 m; highest nematode mean density: 176.6 ± 37 ind 10 cm-2), the slope (525-1524 m; 124.3 ± 16 ind 10 cm-2), and the basin (2001-2546 m; 62.9 ± 2 ind 10 cm-2). Across the entire study area, the dominant species were Terschellingia longicaudata, Desmodora sp. 1, Sphaerolaimus gracilis, and Theristus ensifer; their maximum density was at shelf stations. Nematode communities in different zones differed in species composition. Chromadorita sp. 2 (2.78 %) and Sphaerolaimus gracilis (2.21 %) were dominant on the shelf, whereas Terschellingia longicaudata (4.73 %) and Desmodora sp. 1 (4.42 %) were dominant on the slope, but in the basin, Halalaimus sp. 1(1.11 %) and Acantholaimus elegans (1.11 %) were dominant. The information in a particular functional group was not a simple reflection of the information in species abundance. Ecological information captured by adult length, adult shape, and life-history strategy was less site-specific and thus differed notably from information contained in other taxonomic groups. The functional composition of nematodes was strongly linked to the organic-carbon and dissolved-oxygen concentration. Seven species were found exclusively in the oxygen minimum zone: Pselionema sp. 1, Choanolaimus sp. 2, Halichoanolaimus sp. 1, Cobbia dentata

  20. On the Evolution of Glaciated Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Reconstructing Rodinia by Fitting Neoproterozoic Continental Margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, John H.

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Organic matter pools, C turnover and meiofaunal biodiversity in the sediments of the western Spitsbergen deep continental margin, Svalbard Archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pusceddu, A.; Carugati, L.; Gambi, C.; Mienert, J.; Petani, B.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; Canals, M.; Heussner, S.; Danovaro, R.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated organic matter (OM) quantity, nutritional quality and degradation rates, as well as abundance and biodiversity of meiofauna and nematodes along the deep continental margin off Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard Archipelago. Sediment samples were collected in July 2010 and 2011 along a bathymetric gradient between 600 m and 2000 m depth, and total mass flux measured at the same depths from July 2010 to July 2011. In both sampling periods sedimentary OM contents and C degradation rates increased significantly with water depth, whereas OM nutritional quality was generally higher at shallower depths, with the unique exception at 600 m depth in 2010. Meiofaunal abundance and biomass (largely dominated by nematodes) showed the highest values at intermediate depths (ca 1500 m) in both sampling periods. The richness of meiofaunal higher taxa and nematode species richness did not vary significantly with water depth in both sampling periods. We suggest here that patterns in OM quantity, C degradation rates, and meiofauna community composition in 2011 were likely influenced by the intensification of the warm West Spitsbergen Current (WSC). We hypothesize that the intensity of the WSC inflow to the Arctic Ocean could have an important role on benthic biodiversity and functioning of deep-sea Arctic ecosystems.

  4. The role of continental margins in the final stages of arc formation: Constraints from teleseismic tomography of the Gibraltar and Calabrian Arc (Western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argnani, Andrea; Cimini, Giovanni Battista; Frugoni, Francesco; Monna, Stephen; Montuori, Caterina

    2016-05-01

    The deep seismicity and lateral distribution of seismic velocity in the Central Western Mediterranean, point to the existence under the Alboran and Tyrrhenian Seas of two lithospheric slabs reaching the mantle transition zone. Gibraltar and Calabrian narrow arcs correspond to the slabs. Similarities in the tectonic and mantle structure of the two areas have been explained by a common subduction and roll-back mechanism, in which the two arcs are symmetrical end members. We present a new 3-D tomographic model at mantle scale for the Calabrian Arc and compare it with a recently published model for the Gibraltar Arc by Monna et al. (2013a). The two models, calculated with inversion of teleseismic phase arrivals, have a scale and parametrization that allow for a direct comparison. The inclusion in both inversions of ocean bottom seismometer broadband data improves the resolution of the areas underlying the seafloor networks. This additional information is used to resolve the deep structure and constrain the reconstruction of the Central Western Mediterranean geodynamic evolution. The Gibraltar tomography model suggests that the slab is separated from the Atlantic oceanic domain by a portion of African continental margin, whereas the Calabrian model displays a continuous oceanic slab that is connected, via a narrow passage (~ 350 km), to the Ionian basin oceanic domain. Starting from the comparison of the two models we propose the following interpretation: within the Mediterranean geodynamic regime (dominated by slab rollback) the geometry of the African continental margin, located on the lower plate, represents a critical control on the evolution of subduction. As buoyant continental lithosphere entered the subduction zones, slab pull caused tears in the subducted lithosphere. This tectonic response, which occurred in the final stages of arc evolution and was strongly controlled by the paleogeography of the subducted plates, explains the observed differences between the

  5. Transfer of the North-Western Caribbean Plate to the North American Continental Margin: Cuba from the Late Cretaceous to Late Eocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueneke, H.; Sommer, M.; Cobiella-Reguera, J.; Meschede, M.

    2005-12-01

    The Cuban orogenic belt records subduction, volcanic arc formation and accretion along the pre-Eocene north-western leading edge of the Caribbean plate. We review geologic evidence for a two-stage development with a change in subduction polarity from a south to south-west-dipping Cretaceous to a north-dipping Paleocene to Early Eocene volcanic arc. During the Late Campanian, the Cretaceous arc collided with the North American continental margin. Ophiolites and thrust sheets of the Cretaceous arc advanced onto the North American continental margin until the Late Eocene. Strike-slip faults bound domains that display an eastward younging trend in the termination of the thrusting process. After the initial Campanian collision, the Caribbean plate continued its relative northward movement. During the Maastrichtian, this resulted in the emplacement of oceanic lithosphere from the back arc on top of the southern extension of the inactive Cretaceous arc. During the Danian, a new north-dipping subduction zone was established that consumed oceanic lithosphere of the Caribbean plate until the Middle Eocene. The arrival of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province stopped the subduction and the relative northward movement of the Caribbean plate. From the Middle Eocene onward, the east-west trending Oriente transform fault system was established as the northern boundary of the Caribbean plate.

  6. High-resolution seismic-reflection interpretations of some sediment deposits, Antarctic continental margin: Focus on the western Ross Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karl, Herman A.

    1989-01-01

    High-resolution seismic-reflection data have been used to a varying degree by geoscientists to interpret the history of marine sediment accumulations around Antarctica. Reconnaissance analysis of 1-, 3.5-, and 12-kHz data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in the western Ross Sea has led to the identification of eight echo-character facies and six microtopographic facies in the sediment deposits that overlie the Ross Sea unconformity. Three depositional facies regions, each characterized by a particular assemblage of echo-character type and microtopographic facies, have been identified on the continental shelf. These suites of acoustic facies are the result of specific depositional processes that control type and accumulation of sediment in a region. Evidence of glacial processes and products is uncommon in regions 1 and 2, but is abundant in region 3. McMurdo Sound, region 1, is characterized by a monospecific set of acoustic facies. This unique assemblage probably represents turbidity current deposition in the western part of the basin. Most of the seafloor in region 2, from about latitude 77??S to 75??S, is deeper than 600 m below sealevel. The microtopographic facies and echo-character facies observed on the lower slopes and basin floor there reflect the thin deposits of pelagic sediments that have accumulated in the low-energy conditions that are typical of deep-water environments. In shallower water near the boundary with region 3, the signature of the acoustic facies is different from that in deeper water and probably indicates higher energy conditions or, perhaps, ice-related processes. Thick deposits of tills emplaced by lodgement during the most recent advance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are common from latitude 75??S to the northern boundary of the study area just south of Coulman Island (region 3). The signature of microtopographic facies in this region reflects the relief of the base of the grounded ice sheet prior to decoupling from the

  7. Geophysical evidence and inferred triggering factors of submarine landslides on the western continental margin of the Ulleung Basin, East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cukur, Deniz; Kim, Seong-Pil; Kong, Gee-Soo; Bahk, Jang-Jun; Horozal, Senay; Um, In-Kwon; Lee, Gwang-Soo; Chang, Tae-Soo; Ha, Hun-Jun; Völker, David; Kim, Jung-Ki

    2016-12-01

    Submarine landslides form very complex depositional and erosional features on the seafloor, and their dynamics and triggering processes are yet to be understood completely. Numerous studies are being undertaken both because of the scientific significance but also for their potential harm to seafloor infrastructure and coastal areas. This study investigates the styles and causes of landsliding along the western margin of the Ulleung Basin in the East Sea, based on multiple sparker, subbottom profiler, multibeam echosounder and sediment core datasets collected in 2015. The bathymetric analyses indicate that the southern slope of the Ulleung Basin has experienced at least seven submarine failures. These failures left clear arcuate-shaped scarps that initiated at water depths of 600 m. The observed headwall scarps have heights that exceed 60 m and appear to be the result of retrogressive-type failures. Seismic reflection data clearly image the basal sliding surface that is characterized by a prominent high-amplitude reflector. Chaotic-to-transparent seismic facies occur immediately downslope of the headwall scarps; these represent 20 m thick landslide deposits. Gravity cores taken from areas adjacent to the scars suggest that these slides are older than ca. 97 ka. Interpretation of the present data shows that faults appear to cut recent sediments upslope of scarps, and that the slope may still be in an active phase of failure. Seismic data also image various overpressurized gases and/or gas fluids, as evidenced by the occurrence of pockmarks and seismic chimneys in upslope or adjacent areas of the scarps. Hence, earthquakes associated with tectonic activity and development of fluid overpressure may have acted as the main conditioning factor for destabilizing the slope sediments. Geotechnical stability analyses indicate that the sampled slope sediments are exceptionally stable under present-day conditions, even under seismic loading. This finding points to additional

  8. Record of Permian-Early Triassic continental arc magmatism in the western margin of the Jiamusi Block, NE China: petrogenesis and implications for Paleo-Pacific subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hao; Ge, Wenchun; Dong, Yu; Bi, Junhui; Wang, Zhihui; Ji, Zheng; Yang, H.; Ge, W. C.; Dong, Y.; Bi, J. H.; Wang, Z. H.; Ji, Z.

    2016-09-01

    In this paper, we report zircon U-Pb ages, Hf isotopes and whole-rock geochemical data for the Permian to Early Triassic granitoids from the western margin of the Jiamusi Block (WJB), NE China. The intermediate to felsic (SiO2 = 59.67-74.04 wt%) granitoids belong to calc-alkaline series and are characterized by enrichments in light rare earth elements and large ion lithophile elements with pronounced negative Nb, Ta and Ti anomalies, revealing typical continental magmatic arc geochemical signatures. The zircon U-Pb determinations on the granodiorite, monzogranite, syenogranite and quartz diorite samples yielded ages between ca. 275-245 Ma, which, together with the published coeval intrusive rocks, indicates that Permian to Early Triassic continental arc magmatism occurred extensively in the WJB. The low and mainly negative zircon ɛ Hf(t) values between -7.6 and +1.6 and the zircon Hf model ages of 1.2-1.8 Ga, which are significantly older than their crystallization ages, suggest that they were mainly derived from reworking of ancient crustal materials with a limited input of juvenile components. The geochemical systematics and petrogenetic considerations indicate that the studied granitoids were generated from a zone of melting, assimilation, storage, and homogenization, i.e., a MASHed zone at the base of Paleo- to Mesoproterozoic continental crust, where large portions of igneous rocks and minor clay-poor sediments involved in the source region. In combination with regional geological data, we argue that the Jiamusi Block was unlikely the rifted segment of the Songliao Block and two possible geodynamical models were proposed to interpret the formation of the ca. 275-245 Ma granitoids in the WJB. In the context of Permian global plate reconstruction, we suggest that Paleo-Pacific plate subduction was initiated in the Permian to Early Triassic beneath the Jiamusi Block, and even whole eastern NE China.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Mart, Y.

    1981-06-01

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

  10. The Continental Margins Program in Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  11. The basins on the Argentine continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Urien, C.M.

    1996-08-01

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

  12. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Age and geochemical characteristics of Paleogene basalts drilled from western Taiwan: Records of initial rifting at the southeastern Eurasian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, K.; Chung, S.; Lo, Y.; Lo, C.; Yang, H.; Shinjo, R.; Lee, T.; Wu, J.; Huang, S.

    2013-12-01

    The southeastern Eurasian continental margin has been characterized by formation of rift basins associated with intraplate basaltic volcanism since early Cenozoic time. In contrast to Paleogene volcanic rocks that occur sporadically in the basins, Neogene basalts are more widespread on land as lava flows and pyroclastics in the Taiwan Strait (Penghu Islands) and northwestern Taiwan. To better understand the tectonomagmatic evolution, in particular the initial rifting record, this study reports new age, major- and trace-elemental, and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data of volcanic rocks drilled from several locations in the Taiwan Strait and western Taiwan. 40Ar/39Ar dating results show two main episodes of volcanic activities: ~56-38 Ma (Eocene) and ~11-8 Ma (late Miocene). The volcanic rocks are composed dominantly of basalts and basaltic andesites, and subordinately of dacites and rhyolites of Eocene age. The two episodes of basaltic volcanism have distinct geochemical characteristics. Comparatively, the Eocene basalts are more depleted in basaltic components such as Ca, Fe and Ti, but have higher Al content. They are also more enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and light rare earth elements (LREE), and show depletions in high field strength elements (HFSE). Sr-Nd-Pb isotope compositions of the late Miocene basalts are relatively more uniform and unradiogenic (ɛNd = +6.0 to +3.8), similar to those of Miocene basalts from NW Taiwan and Penghu Islands, and broadly coeval OIB-type basalts from the South China Sea. However, the Eocene basalts have a wider range in isotope ratios (e.g., ɛNd(T) = +5.6 to -3.2) pointing towards an enriched mantle source. The overall geochemical characteristics suggest two distinct mantle sources: (1) a more refractory mantle source metasomatized by subduction-related processes to generate the Eocene basalts and (2) a fertile but isotopically depleted mantle source for the late Miocene basalts. These two source components are proposed

  14. Age and geochemical characteristics of Paleogene basalts drilled from western Taiwan: Records of initial rifting at the southeastern Eurasian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kuo-Lung; Chung, Sun-Lin; Lo, Yi-Ming; Lo, Ching-Hua; Yang, Huai-Jen; Shinjo, Ryuichi; Lee, Tung-Yi; Wu, Jong-Chang; Huang, Shiuh-Tsann

    2012-12-01

    The southeastern Eurasian continental margin has been characterized by formation of rift basins associated with intraplate basaltic volcanism since early Cenozoic time. In contrast to Paleogene volcanic rocks that occur sporadically in the basins, Neogene basalts are more widespread on land as lava flows and pyroclastics in the Taiwan Strait (Penghu Islands) and northwestern Taiwan. To better understand the tectonomagmatic evolution, in particular the initial rifting record, this study reports new age, major- and trace-elemental, and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data of volcanic rocks drilled from several locations in the Taiwan Strait and western Taiwan. 40Ar/39Ar dating results show two main episodes of volcanic activities: ~ 56-38 Ma (Eocene) and ~ 11-8 Ma (late Miocene). The volcanic rocks are composed dominantly of basalts and basaltic andesites, and subordinately of dacites and rhyolites of Eocene age. The two episodes of basaltic volcanism have distinct geochemical characteristics. Comparatively, the Eocene basalts are more depleted in basaltic components such as Ca, Fe and Ti, but have higher Al content. They are also more enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and light rare earth elements (LREE), and show depletions in high field strength elements (HFSE). Sr-Nd-Pb isotope compositions of the late Miocene basalts are relatively more uniform and unradiogenic (ɛNd = + 6.0 to + 3.8), similar to those of Miocene basalts from NW Taiwan and Penghu Islands, and broadly coeval OIB-type basalts from the South China Sea. However, the Eocene basalts have a wider range in isotope ratios (e.g., ɛNd(T) = + 5.6 to -3.2) pointing towards an enriched mantle source. The overall geochemical characteristics suggest two distinct mantle sources: (1) a more refractory mantle source metasomatized by subduction-related processes to generate the Eocene basalts and (2) a fertile but isotopically depleted mantle source for the late Miocene basalts. These two source components are

  15. Structural and functional study of the nematode community from the Indian western continental margin with reference to habitat heterogeneity and oxygen minimum zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, R.; Ingole, B. S.

    2015-07-01

    We studied patterns of nematode distribution along the western Indian continental margin to determine the influence of habitat heterogeneity and oxygen minimum on the community's taxonomic and functional structure. A single transect, perpendicular to the coast at 14° N latitude was sampled from 34 to 2546 m depth for biological and environmental variables during August 2007. Nematodes were identified to species and classified according to biological/functional traits. A total of 110 nematode species belonging to 24 families were found along the transect. Mean nematode density was higher on the shelf (176 ind 10 cm-2, 34 m depth) than on the slope (124 ind 10 cm-2) or in the basin 62.9 ind 10 cm-2). Across the entire study area, the dominant species were Terschellingia longicaudata, (15.2 %), Desmodora sp 1, Sphaerolaimus gracilis, and Theristus ensifer; their maximum density was at shelf stations. Multidimensional scaling ordination (nMDS) of the nematode species abundance data indicated the effect of different zones (ANOSIM; Global R = 0.607; P = 0.028), but it was not the same in case of functional traits. Only seven species were found exclusively in the oxygen minimum zone: Pselionema sp 1, Choanolaimus sp 2, Halichoanolaimus sp 1, Cobbia dentata, Daptonema sp 1, Trissonchulus sp 1, and Minolaimus sp 1. Moreover, in our study, species diversity was higher on the shelf than on the slope or in the basin. The distinctive features of all three zones as based on nematofaunal abundance were also reflected in the functional traits (feeding types, body shape, tail shape, and life history strategy). Correlation with a number of environmental variables indicated that food quality (measured as the organic carbon content and chlorophyll content) and oxygen level were the major factors that influenced the nematode community (structural and functional).

  16. Geomorphology of the Iberian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maestro, Adolfo; López-Martínez, Jerónimo; Llave, Estefanía; Bohoyo, Fernando; Acosta, Juan; Hernández-Molina, F. Javier; Muñoz, Araceli; Jané, Gloria

    2013-08-01

    The submarine features and processes around the Iberian Peninsula are the result of a complex and diverse geological and oceanographical setting. This paper presents an overview of the seafloor geomorphology of the Iberian Continental Margin and the adjacent abyssal plains. The study covers an area of approximately 2.3 million km2, including a 50 to 400 km wide band adjacent to the coastline. The main morphological characteristics of the seafloor features on the Iberian continental shelf, continental slope, continental rise and the surrounding abyssal plains are described. Individual seafloor features existing on the Iberian Margin have been classified into three main groups according to their origin: tectonic and/or volcanic, depositional and erosional. Major depositional and erosional features around the Iberian Margin developed in late Pleistocene-Holocene times and have been controlled by tectonic movements and eustatic fluctuations. The distribution of the geomorphological features is discussed in relation to their genetic processes and the evolution of the margin. The prevalence of one or several specific processes in certain areas reflects the dominant morphotectonic and oceanographic controlling factors. Sedimentary processes and the resulting depositional products are dominant on the Valencia-Catalán Margin and in the northern part of the Balearic Promontory. Strong tectonic control is observed in the geomorphology of the Betic and the Gulf of Cádiz margins. The role of bottom currents is especially evident throughout the Iberian Margin. The Galicia, Portuguese and Cantabrian margins show a predominance of erosional features and tectonically-controlled linear features related to faults.

  17. Gas hydrates of outer continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Kvenvolden, K.A. )

    1990-05-01

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

  18. Continental margin tectonics - Forearc processes

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-01

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

  19. Dynamics of the continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-11-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Modeling Sedimentary Deposits on the Continental Margin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-09-30

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

  2. Seismic modelling of gas hydrate and free gas in sediments, from ocean-bottom seismometer data along the continental margin of Western Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    Over the next decades, the shallow parts of continental margins in the Arctic are likely to experience warming of bottom-water. It is, therefore, important to evaluate how methane hydrate beneath the seabed in these margins will react to future increases in bottom-water temperature and whether release of methane from hydrate will have an impact on climate. As part of the International Polar Year initiative, a multidisciplinary marine expedition was carried out in August-September 2008 along the continental margin west of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. One of its objectives was to determine the extent of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) along the continental slope and to quantify the amount of methane present as hydrate or gas beneath the seabed, using seismic techniques. Thirteen ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS) were deployed at 5 representative sites along and across the continental margin. High frequency airguns (GI guns) were fired at 5-s intervals and the data were recorded at a high sampling rate (1 kHz) in the OBS. The records show clear P-wave reflections at short offsets, as well as refracted arrivals at larger offsets, from depths up to 2 km below the seabed. The sub-seabed variation of P-wave velocity was modelled for three sites located above and below the upper limit of GHSZ, using ray-traced forward modelling. The velocity model for the deepest site (~1250 m deep) below the upper limit of the GHSZ shows a zone about 120 metres below the seabed with a greater velocity (1.8 km/s) than expected for terrigenous sediment. This high velocity zone lies above a lower velocity zone (1.55 km/s) and the acoustic contrast between the two zones forms a bottom simulator reflector (BSR) at approximately 170 m below the seabed. The BSR marks the boundary between sediments containing gas hydrate above and free gas below. The velocity model from the shallow site (~480 m deep), below the upper limit of the GHSZ, indicates the presence of a low velocity zone (1.60 km

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sahay, B.

    1984-05-01

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

  5. Modes of continental decretion in western Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, F. A.

    2010-12-01

    Between the Archean Slave Province and the Pacific Ocean, the North American continent in Canada appears to have ‘grown’ westward during Paleoproterozoic (Wopmay) and Paleozoic-Mesozoic (Cordilleran) orogenesis. However, results from geological observations combined with regional geophysical surveys lead to interpretations in which pre-orogenic basement in both the Wopmay and the Cordillera projects far beneath proposed ‘accreted’ terranes. In the Wopmay orogen (1.89-1.84 Ga), deep geophysical images indicate that Archean Slave basement projects in the subsurface up to 50 km west of the Medial zone (formerly Wopmay fault), a boundary that was previously interpreted as the transition from Slave basement to accreted terrane basement. The Slave basement appears as a west-tapering tectonic wedge into accreted(?) rocks, consistent with an interpretation by Hildebrand and Bowring (Geology, 1999) that the Archean lithosphere that was formerly west of the wedge broke off and was recycled. In the Cordillera, cross sections of the lithosphere illustrate that lower crustal and upper mantle rocks as much as 2/3 of the distance across the orogen can be stratigraphically, geologically and seismically correlated to the ancient cratonic margin. Retrodeformation of rocks that were deposited on or adjacent to the craton leads to the conclusion that, prior to the onset of terrane accretion, the North American margin and associated rocks projected even farther west (today’s coordinates) - at least as far as the modern margin. Apparently, as flakes of terranes were added to the surface in the western regions of the Cordillera, the North American lithosphere, which may have been foreshortened during contraction, was tectonically and/or thermally eroded from below. As a result, terrane accretion in the Cordillera apparently resulted in a net decretion of continental lithosphere. Together, these observations lead to the interpretation that the processes responsible for

  6. Focused fluid flow in passive continental margins.

    PubMed

    Berndt, Christian

    2005-12-15

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poli, Maria-Serena; Capodivacca, Marco

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Understanding Continental Margin Biodiversity: A New Imperative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, Lisa A.; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Understanding continental margin biodiversity: a new imperative.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Structure of the North American Atlantic Continental Margin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, Christophe

    2015-10-01

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

  12. Long-term evolution of the western South Atlantic passive continental margin in a key area of SE Brazil revealed by thermokinematic numerical modeling using the software code Pecube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stippich, Christian; Krob, Florian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.; Hackspacher, Peter C.

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the research is to quantify the long-term evolution of the western South Atlantic passive continental margin (SAPCM) in SE-Brazil. Excellent onshore outcrop conditions and extensive pre-rift to post-rift archives between São Paulo and Laguna allow a high precision quantification of exhumation, and rock uplift rates, influencing physical parameters, long-term acting forces, and process-response systems. Research will integrate published1 and partly published thermochronological data from Brazil, and test lately published new concepts on causes of long-term landscape and lithospheric evolution in southern Brazil. Six distinct lithospheric blocks (Laguna, Florianópolis, Curitiba, Ilha Comprida, Peruibe and Santos), which are separated by fracture zones1 are characterized by individual thermochronological age spectra. Furthermore, the thermal evolution derived by numerical modeling indicates variable post-rift exhumation histories of these blocks. In this context, we will provide information on the causes for the complex exhumation history of the Florianópolis, and adjacent blocks. The climate-continental margin-mantle coupled process-response system is caused by the interaction between endogenous and exogenous forces, which are related to the mantle-process driven rift - drift - passive continental margin evolution of the South Atlantic, and the climate change since the Early/Late Cretaceous climate maximum. Special emphasis will be given to the influence of long-living transform faults such as the Florianopolis Fracture Zone (FFZ) on the long-term topography evolution of the SAPCM's. A long-term landscape evolution model with process rates will be achieved by thermo-kinematic 3-D modeling (software code PECUBE2,3 and FastScape4). Testing model solutions obtained for a multidimensional parameter space against the real thermochronological and geomorphological data set, the most likely combinations of parameter rates, and values can be constrained. The

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  14. Marginal Basins of the Western Pacific: An Overview (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, S. D.

    2010-12-01

    Marginal ocean basins of the Western Pacific fall into several distinct categories based on their mechanisms of formation: 1) Back-arc basins that likely formed associated with island arc rifting and seafloor spreading, such as the Mariana Trough and the Shikoku-Parece Vela Basin. 2) Ocean basins that formed through processes related to continental rifting, such as the South China Sea and the Sea of Japan, and 3) marginal basins of ambiguous or uncertain origin such as the West Philippine Basin and the Celebes Sea, that may have originated by back-arc spreading, by entrapment of a fragment of an older ocean basin, or by rifting from the Southeast Asian continental margin. The origin of the largest of the western Pacific marginal basins, the West Philippine Basin, has been suggested to be either by back-arc rifting or through entrapment from a major ocean basin. Based on the geological/tectonic characteristics of ocean basin margins, the compositions and ages of oceanic basement, and the stratigraphic and paleomagnetic data from the marginal basins, only the Japan Sea, the South China Sea, the Andaman Sea, and perhaps the Celebes Sea are likely candidates for being formed in relation to the uplift off the Tibetan Plateau. While the age of formation of the West Philippine Basin (55-39 Ma) is roughly synchronous with Tibetan Plateau uplift, the lack of continental crustal blocks or continentally-derived sediment argues against an Asian continental margin origin for the West Philippine Basin. In addition, the evidence for active plate boundaries in the Philippines and along the western side of the West Philippine Basin at this time suggests that it was isolated from Asian deformation perhaps related to Tibetan Plateau uplift. The Celebes Sea is of similar age to the West Philippine Basin, and paleomagnetic data from basement rocks indicates that has moved less than 150 relative to Southeast Asia since it was formed. This evidence, coupled with N-MORB samples recovered

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. Glaciomarine sedimentation and bottom current activity on the north-western and northern continental margins of Svalbard during the late Quaternary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chauhan, Teena; Noormets, Riko; Rasmussen, Tine L.

    2016-04-01

    Palaeo-bottom current strength of the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC) and the influence of the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet (SBIS) on the depositional environment along the northern Svalbard margins are poorly known. Two gravity cores from the southern Yermak Plateau and the upper slope north of Nordaustlandet, covering marine isotope stage (MIS) 1 to MIS 5, are investigated. Five lithofacies, based on grain size distribution, silt/clay ratio, content and mean of sortable silt (SS), are distinguished to characterise the contourite-dominated sedimentary environments. In addition, depositional environments are described using total organic carbon (TOC), total sulphur (TS) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) contents of sediments. Facies A, containing coarse SS, suggests strong bottom current activity and good bottom water ventilation conditions as inferred from low TOC content. This facies was deposited during the glacial periods MIS 4, MIS 2 and during the late Holocene. Facies B is dominated by fine SS indicating weak bottom current and poor ventilation (cf. high TOC content of 1.2-1.6%), and correlates with the MIS 4/3 and MIS 2/1 transition periods. With an equal amount of clay and sand, fine SS and high content of TOC, facies C indicates reduced bottom current strength for intervals with sediment supply from proximal sources such as icebergs, sea ice or meltwater discharge. This facies was deposited during the last glacial maximum. Facies D represents mass-flow deposits on the northern Svalbard margin attributed to the SBIS advance at or near the shelf edge. Facies E sediments indicating moderate bottom current strength were deposited during MIS 5 and MIS 3, and during parts of MIS 2. This first late Quaternary proxy record of the WSC flow and sedimentation history from the northern Svalbard margin suggests that the oceanographic conditions and ice sheet processes have exerted first-order control on sediment properties.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Electrical resistivity structure under the western Cosmonauts Sea at the continental margin of East Antarctica inferred via a marine magnetotelluric experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuno, Tetsuo; Nogi, Yoshifumi; Seama, Nobukazu

    2015-06-01

    The western Cosmonauts Sea, off the coast of East Antarctica, was a site of rifting of the Gondwana supercontinent and subsequent early seafloor spreading. To improve our understanding of the breakup of Gondwana, we conducted a marine magnetotelluric experiment to determine the electrical resistivity structure within the uppermost several hundred kilometers beneath the western Cosmonauts Sea. Magnetotelluric response functions at two sites, obtained after considering possible influences of non-plane magnetic field sources, suggest that these responses include distortions by topographic variations and conductive anomalies around the observation sites. Three-dimensional forward modeling confirmed that these distortions due to topographic variations and a thin (∼2-km thick) conductive layer immediately under the sites (mostly sediments) are severe. Furthermore, three-dimensional forward modeling to investigate the resistivity structure at deeper depths revealed an upper resistive layer (≥300 Ω-m), with a thickness of <100 km, and an underlying conductive half-space (∼10 Ω-m). The upper resistive layer and the underlying conductive structure most likely represent dry and water/melt-rich oceanic upper mantle, respectively. The upper resistive layer may be thinner than anticipated under the old seafloor of the study area (likely >90 Ma), and may suggest a conductive anomaly in the upper mantle produced by mantle convection and/or upwelling.

  20. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-13

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

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

    PubMed

    Silver, E A

    1969-12-05

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tymms, V. J.; Isimm Team

    2003-04-01

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

  4. The dynamics of continental extension and divergent margin formation

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, D.S. )

    1990-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. On isostasy at Atlantic-type continental margins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sacek, Victor; Ussami, Naomi

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1997-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sweeney, J.F.

    1985-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Dayton, Paul K

    2009-11-01

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

  11. Vertical tectonics at an active continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houlié, N.; Stern, T. A.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-15

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

  13. Climatic controls on arid continental basin margin systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Gravity and magnetic investigations along the Peruvian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  15. Cenozoic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.B. )

    1990-05-01

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

  16. Deep Drilling Results in the Atlantic Ocean: Continental Margins and Paleoenvironment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-01-01

    Bolt, Chairman; Thomas E Graedel. Rolland L . Hardy, Pearn P. Niiler, Barry E. Parsons, George R Tilton, and William R. Winkler, members. ISBN: 0-87590...Ryan ; , l l l l l4 CONTENTS Preface " Mesozoic-Cerozoic Sedimentary Formations of the North American Basin. Western North Atlantic, L . F. Jansa, P. Enos...Continental Margins: Rifting and Subsidence Processes, L . Montadert, 0. de Charpel, D. Roberts. P. Giuennoc and J. Sibitet 154 Geodynamic, Sedimentary and

  17. A contourite depositional system along the Uruguayan continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  1. Tectonic evolution of Brazilian equatorial continental margin basins

    SciTech Connect

    Azevedo, R.P. )

    1993-02-01

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

  2. Tectonic structure and evolution of the Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, Ritske S.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huismans, R. S.; Beaumont, C.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Britt, L.W. )

    1991-02-01

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

  8. Segmentation of the Levant continental margin, eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Aguzzi, Jacopo; Company, Joan B

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thunell, Robert

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, L.J.

    1986-05-01

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

  13. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Buried Mesozoic rift basins of Moroccan Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-08-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  16. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  17. Geoacoustic characteristics at the DH-2 long-core sediments in the Korean continental margin of the East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryang, Woo Hun; Kim, Seong Pil; Hahn, Jooyoung

    2015-04-01

    A long core of 27.2 m was acquired at the DH-2 site (37°34.355'N and 129°19.516'E) in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. The core site is located near the Donghae City and the water depth is 316.6 m deep. The long-core sediment was recovered using the Portable Remotely Operated Drill (PROD), a fully contained drilling system, remotely operated at the seafloor. The recovered core sediments were analyzed for physical, sedimentological, and geoacoustic properties mostly at 10~30 cm intervals. Based on the long-core data with subbottom and air-gun profiles at the DH-2 core site, geoacoustic characteristics of the deeper sedimentary successions were firstly investigated in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. The geoacoustic measurements comprise 86 P-wave velocities and 76 attenuation values. These geoacoustic characteristics of the DH-2 long core probably contribute for reconstruction of geoacoustic models reflecting vertical and lateral variability of acoustic properties in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. Keywords: long core, geoacoustic, East Sea, continental margin, P-wave speed Acknowledgements: This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0025733) and by the Agency of Defense Development (UD140003DD).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mart, Y.; Gai, Y.B.

    1982-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-27

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-12-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauch, Dorothea; Cherniavskaia, Ekaterina; Timokhov, Leonid

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhnt, W.; Obert, D.

    1988-08-01

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

  11. Lomonosov Ridge as a Natural Component of Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kirby, Michael Xavier

    2004-08-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Long-term topographic feedbacks along glaciated continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couch, Richard; Woodcock, Stephen

    1981-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Surficial sediments on the western Canadian continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bornhold, Brian D.; Barrie, J. Vaughn

    1991-08-01

    The active continental margin off western Canada is characterized in the south by convergence between the Explorer and Juan de Fuca Plates and the America Plate, and in the north by transform fault motion between the Pacific and America Plates along the Queen Charlotte Fault. Except in some of the deepest troughs and basins shelf sediments are dominated by immature lithic arenites reflecting this tectonic setting. The Vancouver Island shelf is from 5 to 75 km wide and displays complex topography on the inner shelf and a relatively featureless mid- and outer shelf. An exception is the area off southwestern Vancouver Island where large basins bounded by morainal deposits extend more than two-thirds of the distance across the shelf. The shelf edge varies from 180 to 225 m depth and is indented by numerous canyons. Nearshore sediments consist mainly of gravels and boulders and become finer offshore such that muds are slowly accumulating in depths greater than 100 m. Off northwestern Vancouver Island calcareous sediments are abundant with carbonate values often exceeding 75%. High wave and current energies and efficient sediment trapping in coastal fiords have resulted in low rates of accumulation. Olive, glauconitic, Holocene muds and muddy sands are generally less than 0.3 m thick and accumulate only on the outer shelf over an extensive stiff, gray, glaciomarine sandy mud. Queen Charlotte Sound exhibits three broad, shallow, glacially scoured troughs, filled mainly with clayey silts and fine sands and separated by sand and gravel covered banks. Hecate Strait, between the Queen Charlotte Islands and the mainland, consists of a prominent southward-opening trough along the east side of the Strait bounded by Dogfish and Laskeek Banks on the west adjacent to Graham and Moresby Islands, respectively. The trough below 200 m is filled by silts. The banks are covered by discontinuous sands and gravels of variable calcareous content. The bank edges often display megaripples and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosher, David

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-09-13

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1985-09-13

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-02-01

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

  6. Permo-Triassic anatexis, continental rifting and the disassembly of western Pangaea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochrane, Ryan; Spikings, Richard; Gerdes, Axel; Ulianov, Alexey; Mora, Andres; Villagómez, Diego; Putlitz, Benita; Chiaradia, Massimo

    2014-03-01

    Crustal anatectites are frequently observed along ocean-continent active margins, although their origins are disputed with interpretations varying between rift-related and collisional. We report geochemical, isotopic and geochronological data that define an ~ 1500 km long belt of S-type meta-granites along the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, which formed during 275-223 Ma. These are accompanied by amphibolitized tholeiitic basaltic dykes that yield concordant zircon U-Pb dates ranging between 240 and 223 Ma. A model is presented which places these rocks within a compressive Permian arc setting that existed during the amalgamation of westernmost Pangaea. Anatexis and mafic intrusion during 240-223 Ma are interpreted to have occurred during continental rifting, which culminated in the formation of oceanic crust and initiated the break-up of western Pangaea. Compression during 275-240 Ma generated small volumes of crustal melting. Rifting during 240-225 Ma was characterized by basaltic underplating, the intrusion of tholeiitic basalts and a peak in crustal melting. Tholeiitic intrusions during 225-216 Ma isotopically resemble depleted mantle and yield no evidence for contamination by continental crust, and we assign this period to the onset of continental drift. Dissected ophiolitic sequences in northern Colombia yield zircon U-Pb dates of 216 Ma. The Permo-Triassic margin of Ecuador and Colombia exhibits close temporal, faunal and geochemical similarities with various crustal blocks that form the basement to parts of Mexico, and thus these may represent the relict conjugate margin to NW Gondwana. The magmatic record of the early disassembly of Pangaea spans ~ 20 Ma (240-216 Ma), and the duration of rifting and rift-drift transition is similar to that documented in Cretaceous-Tertiary rift settings such as the West Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins, and the Taupo-Lau-Havre System, where rifting and continental disassembly also occurred over periods lasting ~ 20 Ma.

  7. Geoacoustic models of the Donghae-to-Gangneung region in the Korean continental margin of the East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryang, Woo Hun; Kim, Seong Pil; Hahn, Jooyoung

    2016-04-01

    Geoacoustic model is to provide a model of the real seafloor with measured, extrapolated, and predicted values of geoacoustic environmental parameters. It controls acoustic propagation in underwater acoustics. In the Korean continental margin of the East Sea, this study reconstructed geoacoustic models using geoacoustic and marine geologic data of the Donghae-to-Gangneung region (37.4° to 37.8° in latitude). The models were based on the data of the high-resolution subbottom and air-gun seismic profiles with sediment cores. The Donghae region comprised measured P-wave velocities and attenuations of the cores, whereas the Gangneung region comprised regression values using measured values of the adjacent areas. Geoacoustic data of the cores were extrapolated down to a depth of the geoacoustic models. For actual modeling, the P-wave speed of the models was compensated to in situ depth below the sea floor using the Hamilton method. These geoacoustic models of this region probably contribute for geoacoustic and underwater acoustic modelling reflecting vertical and lateral variability of acoustic properties in the Korean continental margin of the western East Sea. Keywords: geoacoustic model, environmental parameter, East Sea, continental margin Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the research grants from the Agency of Defense Development (UD140003DD and UE140033DD).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusznir, N. J.; Tymms, V.

    2003-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  10. Manganese and copper fluxes from continental margin sediments

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmers, James

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-08-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-08-28

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bruns, T.R.

    1983-01-01

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

  18. The Formation of Sedimentary Strata on Continental Margins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-09-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, Evgeny; Grokholsky, Andrey; Makushkina, Anna

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Tectonic framework of the Northern California continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clarke, S.H.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

  7. Geology and physiography of the continental margin north of Alaska and implications for the origin of the Canada Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grantz, Arthur; Eittreim, Stephen L.; Whitney, O.T.

    1979-01-01

    The continental margin north of Alaska is of Atlantic type. It began to form probably in Early Jurassic time but possibly in middle Early Cretaceous time, when the oceanic Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean is thought to have opened by rifting about a pole of rotation near the Mackenzie Delta. Offsets of the rift along two fracture zones are thought to have divided the Alaskan margin into three sectors of contrasting structure and stratigraphy. In the Barter Island sector on the east and the Chukchi sector on the west the rift was closer to the present northern Alaska mainland than in the Barrow sector, which lies between them. In the Barter Island and Chukchi sectors the continental shelf is underlain by prisms of clastic sedimentary rocks that are inferred to include thick sections of Jurassic and Neocomian (lower Lower Cretaceous) strata of southern provenance. In the intervening Barrow sector the shelf is underlain by relatively thin sections of Jurassic and Neocomian strata derived from northern sources that now lie beneath the outer continental shelf. The rifted continental margin is overlain by a prograded prism of Albian (upper Lower Cretaceous) to Tertiary clastic sedimentary rocks that comprises the continental terrace of the western Beaufort and northern Chukchi Seas. On the south the prism is bounded by Barrow arch, which is a hingeline between the northward-tilted basement surface beneath the continental shelf of the western Beaufort Sea and the southward-tilted Arctic Platform of northern Alaska. The Arctic platform is overlain by shelf clastic and carbonate strata of Mississippian to Cretaceous age, and by Jurassic and Cretaceous clastic strata of the Colville foredeep. Both the Arctic platform and Colville foredeep sequences extend from northern Alaska beneath the northern Chukchi Sea. At Herald fault zone in the central Chukchi Sea they are overthrust by more strongly deformed Cretaceous to Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of Herald arch, which trends

  8. The structure of the Alpine distal margin: insights from the proximal margin shortening kinematics during collision, Western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellahsen, N.; Mouthereau, F.; Lacombe, O.; Jolivet, L.

    2011-12-01

    In mountain belts, along strike variations of inherited passive margin structure can affect the collision dynamics. Particularly, the structure the distal part can potentially drive the collision evolution and thus the proximal part inversion. In most orogens however (as in the Alps for example), the initial structure of the subducted distal margin is largely hidden by subduction- and exhumation-related deformations and metamorphism. In this contribution, the structure of the European distal margin in Western Alps is discussed in the light of the collision kinematics. More precisely, we aim at constraining the structure of the "distal" Dauphinois/Helvetic that might be the western lateral termination of the Valais ocean in Switzerland separating Europe and the Brianconnais block. The Dauphinois/Helvetic zone deformation is characterized and described using several balanced cross-sections. The timing, amount of shortening and exhumation of various External Crystalline Massifs from France to Switzerland (Oisans, Mont Blanc, Aar) are compared. In the Aar and Mont Blanc massifs, the averaged amount of shortening and exhumation during Oligo-Miocene times is around three times higher than in the Oisans massif. The P,T conditions are of higher grade in the Aar and Mont Blanc and the foreland basin (the Oligo-miocene molasse) is more developed. Finally, deformation mechanisms and geometries are significantly different, from brittle-ductile to ductile, from south to north, respectively. We tentatively propose that these differences can be due to an evolution from hyper-extended crust with mantle exhumation in the Northeast (Aar) to an "aborted rift" configuration in the Southwest (Oisans). The presence of a (light) continental crust in the Southwest may have prevented a strong tectonic burying of the proximal margin and promoted its early shortening.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  11. Organic geochemistry of continental margin and deep ocean sediments

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skogseid, Jakob

    2014-05-01

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

  13. Comparative development of the Western United States and southern Kazakhstan, Soviet Union - Two early Paleozoic carbonate passive margins

    SciTech Connect

    Cooke, H.E. ); Taylor, M.E. ); Zhemchuzhnikov, S.V.; Apollonov, M.K.; Ergaliev, G. Kh.; Sargaskaev, Z.S. ); Dubinina, S.V. )

    1991-02-01

    Early Paleozoic passive continental margins of the Western united States and southern Kazakhstan evolved at low latitudes on rifted Precambrian continental crust adjacent to the proto-Pacific Ocean. In the Western United States, early Paleozoic carbonate submarine fans and slides formed on continental slopes in central Nevada. Coeval shoal-water carbonate sediments occurred to the east, in Utah, where they interfingered with siliciclastic sediments and onlapped the craton. In contrast, early Paleozoic carbonate sediments of the Malyi Karatau, southern Kazakhstan, were deposited on isolated microcontinental blocks that developed during Late Proterozoic rifting of the continental crust. Comparison of stratigraphic sections from Nevada and Malyi Karatau indicate a similar upward-shallowing and seaward-prograding evolution. The Hot Creek Range section in Nevada consists of the Upper Cambrian Swarbrick Formation and Tybo Shale, and Upper Cambrian and lowest Ordovician Hales Limestone. These depositional facies include basin plain (about 500 m), carbonate submarine fan and slides (200 m), upperslope (150 m), and platform margin (150 m). The Kyrshabakty and Batyrbay sections in the Malyi Karatau consist of Cambrian and lowest Ordovician rocks of the Shabakty Suite. Stratigraphic sections in both the Western United States and Malyi Karatau record three coeval episodes of sea level lowstands. These lowstands, which the authors interpret to be eustatic, are recognized by times of seaward collapse of large segments of the platform margins and deeper water slopes and by solution breccias and faunal discontinuities in shoal-water platform-interior sites.

  14. Localized Deformation along an Inverted Rifted Margin: Example of the Northern Ligurian Margin, Western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    SAGE, F.; Beslier, M.; Mercier De Lepinay, B. F.; Béthoux, N.; Gaullier, V.; Larroque, C.; Corradi, N.; Schenini, L.; Dessa, J.; Bigot, A.; Migeon, S.; Ruiz-Constán, A.

    2013-12-01

    Along rifted margins, continental edges are heterogeneous systems that juxtapose lithospheres with different nature, mechanical behavior and structural inheritance. In this study, we focus on the northern Ligurian margin to examine how such complex systems might deform when they are submitted to a compressive stress field. The northern Ligurian margin, of Oligo-Miocene age, has been undergoing contraction over at least the past ~ 6 Ma. Active thrust faults and folds responsible for the regional uplift of the continental edge have previously been identified below the margin. Although seismicity extends as far as the axis of the basin, no recent or active crustal compressional structure has been identified so far in the oceanic domain. We used new 12-channel high-resolution seismic data (FABLES cruise, 2012) and other seismic reflexion lines from the last decades to image the sedimentary cover in the Ligurian oceanic basin, down to the bottom of the Messinian salt layer ~ 3 km below the seafloor. Because the Messinian event is well dated over the Mediterranean (5.96-5.32 Ma) and well identified in the seismic data, it forms a clear marker characterizing the recent deformation related to both salt and crustal tectonics. Noticeable deformation within the oceanic domain is restricted to large, SW-NE elongated salt walls located 10 to 40 km from the margin toe, over a 70-km length. The salt walls have a specific structure and arrangement that cannot result from salt tectonics only. We thus interpret them as resulting from combined deep-seated crustal and thin-skinned deformations. However, although the salt walls are well expressed in the seafloor morphology, their seismic images do not reveal any significant vertical throw across their trace, and they gradually disappear toward the SW. We thus interpret the salt walls as strike-slip structures with possibly very moderate compression. Overall, the post-Messinian deformation taken along these features is likely moderate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Structure and evolution of the northern Barents-Kara Sea continental margin from integrated analysis of potential fields, bathymetry and sparse seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minakov, A.; Faleide, J. I.; Glebovsky, V. Yu.; Mjelde, R.

    2012-01-01

    The northern Barents-Kara Sea continental margin is a poorly investigated area because of a permanent ice cover hampering seismic exploration. The available geological and geophysical data show that the magma-poor margin developed in response to early Cenozoic break-up and subsequent opening of the Arctic Eurasia Basin. In this study, a series of crustal-scale geotransects illustrating the architecture of the continental margin are constructed using sparse seismic reflection profiles and a gravity inversion method incorporating a thermal model of rifting. The continental side of the northern Barents Sea margin is underlain by Palaeozoic-Early Mesozoic deep sedimentary basins separated from the oceanic side by the marginal uplift. A bathymetry analysis complements low-resolution seismic data to predict the sedimentary depocenters beyond the shelf break. These depocenters are associated with troughs, perpendicular to the shelf edge. The depocenter in front of the St. Anna Trough may contain a sedimentary section more than 4 km thick. The gravity correction for the effect of sedimentary cover was added to the inversion. This correction used an exponential density-depth function. The inversion supports a narrow and steep continent-ocean transition (COT; ca. 100 km). The conjugate Lomonosov Ridge margin is modelled using the same technique. Palaeoreconstructions were made to predict the break-up setting. The northern Barents Sea-Lomonosov Ridge rift system can be described as an initially narrow symmetric rift. A transitional zone of extreme thinning is assumed between the oldest spreading magnetic anomaly and the stretched continental crust. The free-air gravity anomaly in the western part of the margin can be predicted by the upwelling divergent flow model implying the exhumation of the lower crust and the continental upper mantle within the COT. It is suggested that an episode of shear or oblique extension before breakup is required to explain the observed narrow

  17. Rift basins in western margin of India and their hydrocarbon prospects with special reference to Kutch basin

    SciTech Connect

    Biswas, S.K.

    1982-10-01

    The western continental margin of India can be classed as a divergent or passive margin. The western continental shelf is an extensive carbonate bank (Bombay offshore basin) passing into clastic sediments on the north and south. Three craton-margin embayed basins-Kutch, Cambay, and Narmada- in the northern part of the shelf, are filled predominantly with clastic sediments. These basins occupy grabens bounded by faults diverging seaward. The grabens were formed by three rift systems along major Precambrian tectonic trends. The rifting developed sequentially from north to south around the Saurashtra horst. Kutch basin was formed in the Early Jurassic, followed by Cambay basin in Early Cretaceous time, and the Narmada in the Late Cretaceous. It appears that these rifting events occurred at successive stages during the northward migration of the Indian plate after its break from Gondwanaland in Late Triassic or Early Jurassic. It is inferred that these rift basins opened up successively as a result of the counterclockwise drift of the Indian craton. Bombay offshore and Cambay are two major oil-producing basins in the western margin. These basins are characterized by high geothermal gradients attributed to the shallowness of the mantle in this region. Oil has not been found in KUtch basin, which is mainly an onshore Mesozoic basin. The basin basin depocenter shifted offshore at the northwestern part of the continental shelf where the shelf is wide.

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

    PubMed

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

    1982-02-05

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

  19. Benthic oxygen fluxes and denitrification rates from high-resolution porewater profiles from the Western Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartnett, Hilairy; Boehme, Susan; Thomas, Carrie; DeMaster, David; Smith, Craig

    2008-11-01

    Benthic fluxes of dissolved oxygen and nitrate were calculated from high-resolution porewater profiles collected on the continental margin of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Profiles were collected in four seasons between March 2000 and February 2001 as part of the FOODBANCS program. Oxygen consumption rates ranged from 0.92 to 3.11 mmol O 2 m -2 d -1 over the course of the year with an average annual oxygen consumption rate of 1.74 mmol O 2 m -2 d -1. The oxygen fluxes follow a trend similar to the particulate carbon export flux with smaller fluxes during the winter and larger fluxes during the spring bloom period. However, the range in oxygen fluxes is substantially smaller than the range in the particulate carbon export. Denitrification rates ranged from 0.66 to 1.46 mmol N m -2 d -1, and the average annual denitrification rate was 1.29 mmol N m -2 d -1. The O 2 consumption and denitrification rates are of similar magnitude to rates measured on other deep (˜500 m) continental margins. Denitrification rates are strongly coupled to nitrification rates, with coupled nitrification-denitrification accounting for more than 80% of the total denitrification rate in these sediments. The Antarctic continental-margin sediment denitrification rates correspond to ˜3-5 Tg N yr -1, and thus these continental-margin sediments account for roughly 1-2% of the global sediment denitrification signal.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-06-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grantz, Arthur; May, S.D.

    1982-01-01

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

  4. Erosion and tectonics at the margins of continental plateaus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. A new reconstruction of the Paleozoic continental margin of southwestern North America: Implications for the nature and timing of continental truncation and the possible role of the Mojave-Sonora megashear

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stevens, C.H.; Stone, P.; Miller, J.S.

    2005-01-01

    Data bearing on interpretations of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic paleogeography of southwestern North America are important for testing the hypothesis that the Paleozoic miogeocline in this region has been tectonically truncated, and if so, for ascertaining the time of the event and the possible role of the Mojave-Sonora megashear. Here, we present an analysis of existing and new data permitting reconstruction of the Paleozoic continental margin of southwestern North America. Significant new and recent information incorporated into this reconstruction includes (1) spatial distribution of Middle to Upper Devonian continental-margin facies belts, (2) positions of other paleogeographically significant sedimentary boundaries on the Paleozoic continental shelf, (3) distribution of Upper Permian through Upper Triassic plutonic rocks, and (4) evidence that the southern Sierra Nevada and western Mojave Desert are underlain by continental crust. After restoring the geology of western Nevada and California along known and inferred strike-slip faults, we find that the Devonian facies belts and pre-Pennsylvanian sedimentary boundaries define an arcuate, generally south-trending continental margin that appears to be truncated on the southwest. A Pennsylvanian basin, a Permian coral belt, and a belt of Upper Permian to Upper Triassic plutons stretching from Sonora, Mexico, into westernmost central Nevada, cut across the older facies belts, suggesting that truncation of the continental margin occurred in the Pennsylvanian. We postulate that the main truncating structure was a left-lateral transform fault zone that extended from the Mojave-Sonora megashear in northwestern Mexico to the Foothills Suture in California. The Caborca block of northwestern Mexico, where Devonian facies belts and pre-Pennsylvanian sedimentary boundaries like those in California have been identified, is interpreted to represent a missing fragment of the continental margin that underwent ???400 km of left

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-09-01

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

  10. Allochthonous deep-water basin deposits of the western US: Implications for Paleozoic paleogeography and plate margin tectonics

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, E.L. . Geology Dept.)

    1993-04-01

    The stratigraphy and sedimentology of the lower Paleozoic Roberts Mts. and upper Paleozoic Golconda allochthons can be used to reconstruct their general paleogeographic setting in the Paleozoic. Basalt pillow lavas and radiolarian chert, were once considered straightforward evidence that the allochthons represented imbricated ocean crust formed at sites far removed from continental influences. Better stratigraphic definition, provenance studies and geochemistry of lavas now indicate that clastic components were derived from the continental shelf or interior and basalts in the Roberts Mountains allochthon were erupted in an intraplate setting through thinned continental crust (Madrid, 1987). Both in the earliest Mississippian and in the Late Permian, the Antler Basin (Roberts Mts.) and the Havallah Basin (Golconda) received proximal detritus from island arc sources to the west, immediately prior to closure of the basins by thrust-faulting. These data suggest that both systems of basins formed as marginal basins by rifting on the continental shelf (Antler Basin) and along the continental margin (Havallah Basin) and were flanked to the west by active island arcs at least during part of their history. As such, their stratigraphy provides a great deal of insight regarding tectonism along the western plate margin of North America during the Paleozoic.

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

    PubMed

    Riggs, S R

    1984-01-13

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  13. The crustal structure of the NW Moroccan continental margin from wide-angle and reflection seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contrucci, I.; Klingelhöfer, F.; Perrot, J.; Bartolome, R.; Gutscher, M.-A.; Sahabi, M.; Malod, J.; Rehault, J.-P.

    2004-10-01

    The Atlantic margin off Morocco with its neighbouring Jurassic oceanic crust is one of the oldest on earth. It is conjugate to the Nova Scotia margin of North America. The SISMAR marine seismic survey acquired deep reflection seismic data as well as wide-angle seismic profiles in order to image the deep structure of the margin, characterize the nature of the crust in the transitional domain and define the geometry of the synrift basins. We present results from the combined interpretation of the reflection seismic, wide-angle seismic and gravity data along a 440-km-long profile perpendicular to the margin at 33-34°N, extending from nearly normal oceanic crust in the vicinity of Coral Patch seamount to the coast at El Jadida and approximately 130 km inland. The shallow structure is well imaged by the reflection seismic data and shows a thick sedimentary cover that is locally perturbed by salt tectonics and reverse faulting. The sedimentary basin thickens from 1.5 km on the normal oceanic crust to a maximum thickness of 6 km at the base of the continental slope. Multichannel seismic (MCS) data image basement structures including a few tilted fault blocks and a transition zone to a thin crust. A strong discontinuous reflection at 12 s two-way travel-time (TWT) is interpreted as the Moho discontinuity. As a result of the good data quality, the deep crustal structure (depth and velocity field) is well constrained through the wide-angle seismic modelling. The crust thins from 35 km underneath the continent to approximately 7 km at the western end of the profile. The transitional region has a width of 150 km. Crustal velocities are lowest at the continental slope, probably as a result of faulting and fracturing of the upper crust. Upper-mantle velocities could be well defined from the ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) and land station data throughout the model.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kevin

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Temporal and spatial patterns of Cenozoic and Late Mesozoic erosion and deposition along the western margin of southern Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, R.W.; Gleadow, A.J.W. ); Rust, D.J.; Summerfield, M.A. )

    1990-05-01

    Compared with subsidence history and eustatic sea level change, sediment supply has been a neglected component of studies of passive margin stratigraphy. The spatial and temporal pattern of sediment supply to continental margin, however, is a critical factor in determining the architecture of offshore sedimentary sequences. Sediment routing across passive margins is controlled primarily by their tectonic development and the consequent morphological evolution of the subaerial part of the margin. By combining offshore sediment volume and sedimentation rate data based on isopach maps and borehole records with apatite fission-track analysis and denudational modeling onland, the depositional history of the western margin of southern Africa has been related to its geomorphic response to continental rifting. The sediment volume data indicate a declining rate of sedimentation after rifting in the Early Cretaceous despite a probable enlargement of the sediment source area through time. Similarly, apatite fission-track ages and confined track length distributions indicate an Early Cretaceous episode of relatively high erosion rates which affected areas both inland and oceanward of the major topographic discontinuity along the margin represented by the Great Escarpment. Late Cenozoic rates of erosion and sediment supply have been low, although much of the sediment source area is still at a significant elevation. Although aridity may have contributed to this reduction in sediment supply, the morphological response to the tectonic evolution of the margin has also been crucial.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  4. Quaternary contourite drifts of the Western Spitsbergen margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebesco, Michele; Wåhlin, Anna; Laberg, Jan Sverre; Schauer, Ursula; Beszczynska-Möller, Agnieszka; Lucchi, Renata Giulia; Noormets, Riko; Accettella, Daniela; Zarayskaya, Yulia; Diviacco, Paolo

    2013-09-01

    The study of contourite drifts is an increasingly used tool for understanding the climate history of the oceans. In this paper we analyse two contourite drifts along the continental margin west of Spitsbergen, just south of the Fram Strait where significant water mass exchanges impact the Arctic climate. We detail the internal geometry and the morphologic characteristics of the two drifts on the base of multichannel seismic reflection data, sub-bottom profiles and bathymetry. These mounded features, that we propose to name Isfjorden and Bellsund drifts, are located on the continental slope between 1200 and 1800 m depth, whereas the upper slope is characterized by reduced- or non-deposition. The more distinct Isfjorden Drift is about 25 km wide and 45 km long, and over 200 ms TWT thick. We revise the 13 years-long time series of velocity, temperature, and salinity obtained from a mooring array across the Fram Strait. Two distinct current cores are visible in the long-term average. The shallower current core has an average northward velocity of about 20 cm/s, while the deeper bottom current core at about 1450 m depth has an average northward velocity of about 9 cm/s. We consider Norwegian Sea Deep Water episodically ventilated by relatively dense and turbid shelf water from the Barents Sea responsible for the accumulation of the contourites. The onset of the drift growth west of Spitsbergen is inferred to be about 1.3 Ma and related to the Early Pleistocene glacial expansion recorded in the area. The lack of mounded contouritic deposits on the continental slope of the Storfjorden is related to consecutive erosion by glacigenic debris flows. The Isfjorden and Bellsund drifts are inferred to contain the record of the regional palaeoceanography and glacial history and may constitute an excellent target of future scientific drilling.

  5. Quaternary Contourite Drifts of the Western Spitsbergen Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laberg, J. S.; Rebesco, M.; Wahlin, A.; Schauer, U.; Beszczynska-Möller, A.; Lucchi, R. G.; Noormets, R.; Accettella, D.; Zarayskaya, Y.; Diviacco, P.

    2014-12-01

    The study of contourite drifts is an increasingly used tool for understanding the climate history of the oceans. In this paper we analyse two contourite drifts along the continental margin west of Spitsbergen, just south of the Fram Strait where significant water mass exchanges impact the Arctic climate. We detail the internal geometry and the morphologic characteristics of the two drifts on the base of multichannel seismic reflection data, sub-bottom profiles and bathymetry. These mounded features, that we propose to name Isfjorden and Bellsund drifts, are located on the continental slope between 1200 and 1800 m depth, whereas the upper slope is characterized by reduced- or non-deposition. The more distinct Isfjorden Drift is about 25 km wide and 45 km long, and over 200 ms TWT thick. We revise the 13 years-long time series of velocity, temperature, and salinity obtained from a mooring array across the Fram Strait. Two distinct current cores are visible in the long-term average. The shallower current core has an average northward velocity of about 20 cm/s, while the deeper bottom current core at about 1450 m depth has an average northward velocity of about 9 cm/s. We consider Norwegian Sea Deep Water episodically ventilated by relatively dense and turbid shelf water from the Barents Sea responsible for the accumulation of the contourites. The onset of the drift growth west of Spitsbergen is inferred to be about 1.3 Ma and related to the Early Pleistocene glacial expansion recorded in the area. The lack of mounded contouritic deposits on the continental slope of the Storfjorden is related to consecutive erosion by glacigenic debris flows. The Isfjorden and Bellsund drifts are inferred to contain the record of the regional palaeoceanography and glacial history and may constitute an excellent target of future scientific drilling.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, X.; Chan, L. S.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Western Tethys continental-marine responses to the Carnian Humid Episode: Palaeoclimatic and palaeogeographic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Gómez, J.; Escudero-Mozo, M. J.; Martín-Chivelet, J.; Arche, A.; Lago, M.; Galé, C.

    2017-01-01

    This case-study examines correlations in the continental-marine sedimentary record for the Late Triassic Carnian Humid Episode in the western Tethys domain of present-day E Spain and islands of Majorca and Minorca. The study area was divided into five sectors from west to east. Sectors 1 to 3 comprise the continental sedimentary record of this humid episode in eastern Iberia, which is represented by the three subunits (K-2.1, K-2.2 and K-2.3) of the K-2 Fm or Manuel Fm; each subunit records a fluvial episode with marine intercalations in distal areas. Sector 4 corresponds to Majorca Island and represents volcaniclastic input into a marginal continental-marine transitional environment. Finally, sector 5 on Minorca Island comprises a karst surface developed on middle ramp deposits of the Arenal d'en Castell Fm, and separating this formation from the overlying Fontanelles Fm. Based on the ages of the units, estimated through palynomorph assemblages and ammonites, the Carnian Humid Episode was located in both the continental and marine sedimentary records. A detailed sedimentary study focused on facies analysis identified allogenic controls on both continental and marine records. Hence, in continental areas influenced by sea-level fluctuations, fluvial deposits appear integrated within standard lowstand, transgressive and highstand system tracts. This connection based on sedimentary sequences and unit ages indicates that subunits K-2.1 and K-2.2 are represented by a karst surface on the subaerially exposed shallow marine deposits, while subunit K-2.3 already reflects a return to the normal Late Triassic semi-arid to arid conditions that laterally correspond to the transgressive stage represented by the Fontanelles Fm in sector 5. Late Triassic tectonics activated previously developed N·NE-S·SW and NW-SE conjugate fault lineaments in eastern Iberia. This rifting episode controlled sedimentation in sectors 1 to 3, allowing volcanic activity at the fault lineaments

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bünz, Stefan; Mienert, Jürgen; Berndt, Christian

    2003-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Crustal and upper mantle structure beneath south-western margin of the Arabian Peninsula from teleseismic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korostelev, Félicie; Basuyau, Clémence; Leroy, Sylvie; Tiberi, Christel; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Stuart, Graham W.; Keir, Derek; Rolandone, Frédérique; Ganad, Ismail; Khanbari, Khaled; Boschi, Lapo

    2014-07-01

    image the lithospheric and upper asthenospheric structure of western continental Yemen with 24 broadband stations to evaluate the role of the Afar plume on the evolution of the continental margin and its extent eastward along the Gulf of Aden. We use teleseismic tomography to compute relative P wave velocity variations in south-western Yemen down to 300 km depth. Published receiver function analysis suggest a dramatic and localized thinning of the crust in the vicinity of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, consistent with the velocity structure that we retrieve in our model. The mantle part of the model is dominated by the presence of a low-velocity anomaly in which we infer partial melting just below thick Oligocene flood basalts and recent off-axis volcanic events (from 15 Ma to present). This low-velocity anomaly could correspond to an abnormally hot mantle and could be responsible for dynamic topography and recent magmatism in western Yemen. Our new P wave velocity model beneath western Yemen suggests the young rift flank volcanoes beneath margins and on the flanks of the Red Sea rift are caused by focused small-scale diapiric upwelling from a broad region of hot mantle beneath the area. Our work shows that relatively hot mantle, along with partial melting of the mantle, can persist beneath rifted margins after breakup has occurred.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-06

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voggenreiter, W.; Hötzl, H.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  6. Modelling of Continental Lithosphere Breakup and Rifted Margin Formation in Response to an Upwelling Divergent Flow Field Incorporating a Temperature Dependent Rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

    more plausible than a constant corner flow type solution and predicts levels of depth dependent stretching and continent ocean transitions consistent with observation. Depth dependent lithosphere stretching, which is observed at rifted continental margins, is predicted to occur before continental breakup and sea-floor spreading initiation. The model may be used to predict surface heat flow and bathymetry, and to provide estimates of melt production rates and cumulative thickness. We compare model predictions with observed margin structure for four diverse rifted margins: the Lofoten Margin (a mature volcanic margin), Goban Spur (a mature non-volcanic margin), the Woodlark Basin (a neotectonic young ocean basin) and the Faroe-Shetland Basin (a failed attempt at continental breakup). This work forms part of the NERC Margins iSIMM project. iSIMM investigators are from Liverpool and Cambridge Universities, Badley Geoscience & Schlumberger Cambridge Research supported by the NERC, the DTI, Agip UK, BP, Amerada Hess Ltd, Anadarko, Conoco¬Phillips, Shell, Statoil and WesternGeco. The iSIMM team comprises NJ Kusznir, RS White, AM Roberts, PAF Christie, A Chappell, J Eccles, R Fletcher, D Healy, N Hurst, ZC Lunnon, CJ Parkin, AW Roberts, LK Smith, V Tymms & R Spitzer.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schattner, Uri; Segev, Amit; Lyakhovsky, Vladimir

    2010-05-01

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

  9. Spreading and slope instability at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna, imaged by high-resolution 2D seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bratton, J.F.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Snavely, P.D. Jr.

    1986-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-01

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

  18. Geometry of the neoproterozoic and paleozoic rift margin of western Laurentia: Implications for mineral deposit settings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lund, K.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. and Canadian Cordilleran miogeocline evolved during several phases of Cryogenian-Devonian intracontinental rifting that formed the western mangin of Laurentia. Recent field and dating studies across central Idaho and northern Nevada result in identification of two segments of the rift margin. Resulting interpretations of rift geometry in the northern U.S. Cordillera are compatible with interpretations of northwest- striking asymmetric extensional segments subdivided by northeast-striking transform and transfer segments. The new interpretation permits integration of miogeoclinal segments along the length of the western North American Cordillera. For the U.S. Cordillera, miogeoclinal segments include the St. Mary-Moyie transform, eastern Washington- eastern Idaho upper-plate margin, Snake River transfer, Nevada-Utah lower-plate margin, and Mina transfer. The rift is orthogonal to most older basement domains, but the location of the transform-transfer zones suggests control of them by basement domain boundaries. The zigzag geometry of reentrants and promontories along the rift is paralleled by salients and recesses in younger thrust belts and by segmentation of younger extensional domains. Likewise, transform transfer zones localized subsequent transcurrent structures and igneous activity. Sediment-hosted mineral deposits trace the same zigzag geometry along the margin. Sedimentary exhalative (sedex) Zn-Pb-Ag ??Au and barite mineral deposits formed in continental-slope rocks during the Late Devonian-Mississippian and to a lesser degree, during the Cambrian-Early Ordovician. Such deposits formed during episodes of renewed extension along miogeoclinal segments. Carbonate-hosted Mississippi Valley- type (MVT) Zn-Pb deposits formed in structurally reactivated continental shelf rocks during the Late Devonian-Mississippian and Mesozoic due to reactivation of preexisting structures. The distribution and abundance of sedex and MVT deposits are controlled by the

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  20. Tectonics and sea-level changes recorded in Late Triassic Sequences at rifted margins of eastern and western Tethys (Northwest Australia, Leg 122; Western Europe)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumont, Thierry; Röhl, Ursula

    During ODP Leg 122 upper Triassic (Carnian to Rhaetian) sediments were recovered at the sediment-starved passive continental margin off Northwest Australia [Haq et al., 1990]. The early-rift series of the Wombat Plateau, a northern sub-plateau of the Exmouth Plateau, consists of upper Triassic fluviodeltaics and shallow-marine carbonates including reefal facies. These sequences are capped by an erosional "post-rift unconformity" with a 70 m.y. hiatus during the Jurassic. The Wombat Plateau bears only a thin pelagic post-rift sedimentary cover of Cretaceous to Cenozoic age. Detailed investigations of microfacies, wireline logs and high-resolution seismics allow the reconstruction of paleoenvironments and identification of the depositional sequences. The Rhaetian paleoenvironments and facies are very similar to those of the Western Tethys (Western and Eastern Alps). Some of the Australian sequences fit well with the sequences of the Haq et al. [1987] global cycle chart, and with the sequences in Western Europe. Their boundaries seem to correspond to global events (especially the Norian/Rhaetian boundary), suggesting that the most important causal factor was eustasy. However, short-lived tectonic or volcanic events have affected the Australian and European continental margins at the same time (Carnian, Triassic/Jurassic boundary). This unexpected synchronism suggests that these short tectonic events are not confined to the Australian margin and may have played a significant role in the globally synchronous deposition of third-order sequences in addition to eustasy. The erosional "post-rift unconformity" which overlies the Rhaetian series corresponds to several superimposed events related to the multi-stage rifting and opening of the oceanic domains surrounding the Northwest Australian shelf. These events began with a tectonic reorganization around the Trias sic/Jurassic boundary, which also affected the Exmouth Plateau and the Rankin Platform, and which is known from

  1. Tracking the influence of a continental margin on growth of a magmatic arc, Fiordland, New Zealand, using thermobarometry, thermochronology, and zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, J. M.; Cooper, A. F.; Palin, J. M.; Tulloch, A. J.; Kula, J.; Jongens, R.; Spell, T. L.; Pearson, N. J.

    2009-12-01

    Geothermobarometric, radiogenic isotopic and thermochronologic data are used to track the influence of an ancient continental margin (Western Province) on development of an adjacent Carboniferous-Cretaceous magmatic arc (Outboard Median Batholith) in Fiordland, New Zealand. The data show a record of complicated Mesozoic Gondwana margin growth. Paragneiss within the Outboard Median Batholith is of Carboniferous to Jurassic age and records burial to middle crustal depths in Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous during subduction-related plutonism and arc thickening. In contrast, Western Province metasedimentary rocks in the area of study immediately west of the Outboard Median Batholith are Late Cambrian-Early Ordovician in age, recrystallized at the amphibolite facies in the Late Devonian-Early Carboniferous and exhibit no evidence for Mesozoic textural or isotopic reequilibration. A phase of deformation, between 128 and 116 Ma deformed, exhumed, and cooled the Outboard Median Batholith to greenschist facies temperatures, while large parts of the Western Province underwent ≥9 kbar metamorphic conditions. Zircon grains from Mesozoic inboard plutons are isotopically more evolved (ɛHf(t) = +2.3 to +4.0) than those in the Outboard Median Batholith (ɛHf(t) = +9.4 to +11.1). The contrasting zircon Hf isotope ratios, absence of S-type plutons or Proterozoic-Early Paleozoic inherited zircon, and the apparent absence of Early Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks indicates that the Outboard Median Batholith is unlikely to be underlain by the Western Province continental lithosphere. The new data are consistent with the Outboard Median Batholith representing an allochthonous (although not necessarily exotic) arc that was juxtaposed onto the Gondwana continental margin along the intervening Grebe Mylonite Zone.

  2. Structure maps and seismic stratigraphy of the Yakataga segment of the continental margin, northern Gulf of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bruns, T.R.; Schwab, W.C.

    1983-01-01

    Multichannel seismic-reflection data show the late Cenozoic structure, seismic stratigraphy, and geologic history of the Yakataga segment of the continental margin, between Icy Bay and Kayak Island, northern Gulf of Alaska. The structure of the Yakataga segment consists of broad folds and associated thrust faults beneath the continental shelf and slope, trending generally northeast in the eastern part of the s~gment to east-west in the western part. Anticlines are generally asymmetric and doubly plunging and are commonly bounded on the seaward side by high-angle thrust faults. The degree of deformation is less intense than is observed in adjacent onshore areas. The age of deformation decreases seaward and the deformation shows an overall southeastward migration with time. Structures of similar age define three structural zones; structural growth was roughly contemporaneous in each structural zone, although the local growth pattern is complex in detail. Deformation within each structural zone was followed by subsidence and burial by rapidly deposited marine sediment. Deformation appears to have been continuous during the late Cenozoic, rather than a series of discrete events, because subsidence of a particular structural zone is accompanied by initiation of growth on a younger, more seaward zone. Varying degrees of reactivation of the older structures within recent time have resulted in renewed uplift of these structures. Average sedimentation, uplift, and subsidence rates are all extremely high, and generally range from about 1 to 2 m/1,000 yr; these rates can locally be much higher. The average strike of structures in the Yakataga segment indicates northwest-southeastward compression and is consistent with the current convergence direction between the Pacific and North America plates. Observed shortening within the segment is much less than required by the late Cenozoic convergence rate (about 6 cm/yr), and the major deformation is taken up elsewhere, primarily

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacek, Victor

    2017-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  7. Neotectonics and basin development at a continental/island arc transition in the Western Alaska Peninsula shelf

    SciTech Connect

    Newcomb, K.R.

    1985-01-01

    A transition in shelf structure occurs between the eastern Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutians. In the east, compressive structures striking parallel to the margin characterize the outer shelf off of Kodiak, Chirikov, and Semidi Islands. Further to the west, multichannel seismic (MSC) data exhibit a systematic transition in style of deformation and orientation of recently active structures in the shelf region of the Shumagin and Sanak Islands. In this area, deformation near the trench slope break is manifested by drapelike folds and normal faults striking parallel to the margin. In contrast, further west between the Shumagin and Sanak Island, MCS profiles for the shelf region reveal basement-involved extensional structures transverse to the margin that have controlled the development of the Sanak and East Sanak Basis. These fault bounded basins have hanging wall sequences with syndepositional rotational displacements over normal faults, indicating a protracted history of extensional faulting and basin subsidence. Present displacement is indicated by the effects of many of the faults upon the uppermost basin and shelf strata, which in some cases offset the sea floor. The aforementioned systematic change in shelf structure of the Alaska Peninsula is coincident with an arcward shift in bathymetric contours of the trench and slope. This transition zone, from margin-parallel compressive structures in the east, to margin-transverse extensional structures in the west, coincides with the continental to island arc transition in the North American plate that reflects the ancient Beringian margin of western Alaska.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Klitgord, Kim D.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-27

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, W.F.; Ottke, Doug

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  1. Gas hydrate distribution and hydrocarbon maturation north of the Knipovich Ridge, western Svalbard margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumke, Ines; Burwicz, Ewa B.; Berndt, Christian; Klaeschen, Dirk; Feseker, Tomas; Geissler, Wolfram H.; Sarkar, Sudipta

    2016-03-01

    A bottom-simulating reflector (BSR) occurs west of Svalbard in water depths exceeding 600 m, indicating that gas hydrate occurrence in marine sediments is more widespread in this region than anywhere else on the eastern North Atlantic margin. Regional BSR mapping shows the presence of hydrate and free gas in several areas, with the largest area located north of the Knipovich Ridge, a slow spreading ridge segment of the Mid Atlantic Ridge system. Here heat flow is high (up to 330 mW m-2), increasing toward the ridge axis. The coinciding maxima in across-margin BSR width and heat flow suggest that the Knipovich Ridge influenced methane generation in this area. This is supported by recent finds of thermogenic methane at cold seeps north of the ridge termination. To evaluate the source rock potential on the western Svalbard margin, we applied 1-D petroleum system modeling at three sites. The modeling shows that temperature and burial conditions near the ridge were sufficient to produce hydrocarbons. The bulk petroleum mass produced since the Eocene is at least 5 kt and could be as high as ~0.2 Mt. Most likely, source rocks are Miocene organic-rich sediments and a potential Eocene source rock that may exist in the area if early rifting created sufficiently deep depocenters. Thermogenic methane production could thus explain the more widespread presence of gas hydrates north of the Knipovich Ridge. The presence of microbial methane on the upper continental slope and shelf indicates that the origin of methane on the Svalbard margin varies spatially.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolarinwa, Oluwaseyi J.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-11-01

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

  18. Transcurrent reactivation of Australia's western passive margin: An example of intraplate deformation from the central Indo-Australian plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hengesh, J. V.; Whitney, B. B.

    2016-05-01

    Australia's northwestern passive margin intersects the eastern termination of the Java trench segment of the Sunda arc subduction zone and the western termination of Timor trough along the Banda arc tectonic collision zone. Differential relative motion between the Sunda arc subduction zone and the Banda arc collision zone has reactivated the former rifted margin of northwestern Australia evidenced by Pliocene to Quaternary age deformation along a 1400 km long offshore fault system. The fault system has higher rates of seismicity than the adjacent nonextended crustal terranes, has produced the largest historical earthquake in Australia (1941 ML 7.3 Meeberrie event), and is dominated by focal mechanism solutions consistent with dextral motion along northeast trending fault planes. The faults crosscut late Miocene unconformities that are eroded across middle Miocene inversion structures suggesting multiple phases of Neogene and younger fault reactivation. Onset of deformation is consistent with the timing of the collision of the Scott Plateau part of the passive continental margin with the former Banda trench between 3.0 Ma and present. The range of estimated maximum horizontal slip rates across the zone is ~1.4 to 2.6 mm yr-1, at the threshold of geodetically detectable motion, yet significant with respect to an intraplate tectonic setting. The folding and faulting along this part of the continental margin provides an example of intraplate deformation resulting from kinematic transitions along a distant plate boundary and demonstrates the presence of a youthful evolving intraplate fault system within the Indo-Australian plate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batchelor, Christine; Dowdeswell, Julian

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Evolution of the Southwest Indian continental divergent margin: Constraints from 40Ar-39Ar dating of lateritic paleolandsurfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonnet, Nicolas; Beauvais, Anicet; Chardon, Dominique; Arnaud, Nicolas

    2015-04-01

    The western continental passive margin of Peninsular India is marked by the Western Ghats escarpment, which separates a coastal lowland from an East-dipping highland plateau and is carved both into the 63-Ma old Deccan traps and their Archean basement. Previous studies suggested establishment of the escarpment by differential erosion across an elevated rift shoulder, and thermochronologic models predicted escarpment formation from higher denudation in the coastal lowland than on the plateau until ~ 50 Ma. We provided complementary time constraints on the evolution of the passive margin by 40Ar-39Ar dating of supergene K-Mn oxides (cryptomelane) sampled in lateritic formations exposed on paleosurfaces, which are preserved as relicts on both sides of the escarpment. Three main lateritic paleosurfaces were identified in the highland at altitude ranges of 1200-1000 m (S1), 1000-900 m (S2) and 850-600 m (S3), and a lower paleosurface in the lowland at 150-50 m (S4). All the 40Ar-39Ar ages obtained on either side of the escarpment document major weathering periods for each paleosurface: 53 to 45 Ma (S1-S4) synchronously with the bauxitic weathering, 40 to 32 Ma (S2), 30 to 23 Ma (S3), and 24 to 19 Ma (S4). These ages indicate that most of the incision and dissection of plateau landsurfaces S1, S2, and S3 must therefore have taken place after 45, 32 and 23 Ma respectively, while the coastal lowland surface S4 was incised after 19 Ma. Preservation of laterites as old as 47 Ma in the coastal lowland implies that the escarpment already existed in the Mid-Eocene while intense bauxitic weathering was taking place on both sides of the escarpment. The ages obtained in the lowland are also indicative of limited erosion (~ 4 m Ma-1) at the foot of the escarpment since 45 Ma, and particularly low incipient incision of the lowland (~ 5 m Ma-1) since 19 Ma. Ages obtained on the highland plateau indicate further Neogene denudation inland but at less than 15 m Ma-1 since 45 Ma, and

  1. Inland propagation of erosional escarpments and river profile evolution across the southeast Australian passive continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weissel, Jeffrey K.; Seidl, Michele A.

    Denudation at passive continental margins occurs over time as erosional escarpments propagate inland, cutting through regions of elevated topography flanking ocean basins. Understanding the actual processes and time variability in propagation rates associated with the advance of escarpments across passive margins remains a largely unsolved problem for tectonic geomorphology. Here we report results from new analyses of detailed river longitudinal profiles and surface exposure age measurements using cosmogenic radionuclides from the New England Tableland portion of the southeast Australian passive margin. In that area, many plateau-draining tributaries of the Macleay River cascade into narrow gorges across large-scale river knickpoints that represent the tips of the leading edge of the inland-advancing escarpment. Previous river profile analyses showed most knickpoints to be the same distance, about 200 km, upstream from the mouth of the river, despite order-of-magnitude variations in the areas drained at the gorge heads. The implication is that all knickpoints have migrated upstream at a speed of about 2 km/Myr averaged over the ˜100 Myr history of the margin. The new profile analyses confirm that, in general, distance upstream from the Macleay River mouth of the knickpoints is not related to area drained at the gorge head. We conclude that if sufficient fluvial transport power is available, the rate of upstream knickpoint migration is governed by slope failure mechanisms and the frequency of resulting mass wasting events on the steep rock slopes in the gorge head vicinity. In terms of the stream power model for channel incision, zt ∝ Am' Sn (where A is drainage area and S is channel gradient), the river profile analyses imply that the drainage area exponent m' = 0 (i.e., no dependence on drainage area so long as a threshold is met), and the slope exponent n >1. Average erosion rates calculated from Be and Al radionuclide concentrations in samples collected

  2. Structural development of the western margins of the Sirte basin

    SciTech Connect

    Anketell, J.M.; Kumati, S.M.

    1988-08-01

    The Sirte basin, situated in north-central Libya, is a broad, northwest-trending embayment comprising a complex of small horsts and grabens. The basin was initiated in the early Cretaceous by collapse of the Tibisti-Sirte arch and underwent further faulting, notably in Late Cretaceous to early paleocene time and during the latter part of the Eocene. Throughout the greater part of the region, faults are obscured by Neogene cover; however, west of the Dahra-Hofra horst they are exposed. The last major phase of faulting in this region is late Lutetian to early Priabonian in age with minor reactivation during Oligocene and Miocene time. A phase of intra-Lutetian movement is also recognized. Following deposition of open marine limestones and chalks in the early Lutetian, the region was tilted toward the east-northeast with emergence and development of a complex system of east-flowing drainage channels which sculpted the emerging surface. The channels are wide but shallow, ranging up to 2 km wide and 10 m deep. This phase of movement and intraformational erosion was terminated by slow subsidence and/or transgression with development of restricted marine shales. The late Eocene faults which delineate the western margin of the Dahra horst throw down to the west and display a complex en echelon pattern. They are interpreted in terms of Riedel shear mechanics related to oblique-slip reactivation of basement shears. Counterclockwise orientation of the shears indicates they formed in response to sinistral slip.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, Taras; Stöckhert, Bernhard

    2006-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storetvedt, K. M.

    1980-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Maldonado, Manuel; Navarro, Laura; Grasa, Ana; Gonzalez, Alicia; Vaquerizo, Isabel

    2011-01-01

    About 75% of extant sponge species use dissolved silicon (DSi) to build a siliceous skeleton. We show that silicon (Si) uptake by sublittoral Axinella demosponges follows an enzymatic kinetics. Interestingly, maximum uptake efficiency occurs at experimental DSi concentrations two orders of magnitude higher than those in the sponge habitats, being unachievable in coastal waters of modern oceans. Such uptake performance appears to be rooted in a former condition suitable to operate at the seemingly high DSi values characterizing the pre-Tertiary (>65 mya) habitats where this sponge lineage diversified. Persistence of ancestral uptake systems causes sponges to be outcompeted by the more efficient uptake of diatoms at the low ambient DSi levels characterizing Recent oceans. Yet, we show that sublittoral sponges consume substantial coastal DSi (0.01-0.90 mmol Si m(-2) day(-1)) at the expenses of the primary-production circuit. Neglect of that consumption hampers accurate understanding of Si cycling on continental margins.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1991-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Swift, S.A.

    1987-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Volcanic margin formation and Mesozoic rift propagators in the Cuvier Abyssal Plain off Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mihut, Dona; Müller, R. Dietmar

    1998-11-01

    The western margin of Australia is characterized by synrift and postrift magmatism which is not well understood. A joint interpretation of magnetic anomaly, satellite gravity anomaly and seismic data from the Cuvier Abyssal Plain and margin shows that the breakup between India and Australia started circa 136 Ma (M14) and was followed by two rift propagation events which transferred portions of the Indian Plate to the Australian Plate. Post breakup magmatism continued with the emplacement of the Wallaby and Zenith plateaus (˜17-18 km thick at their centers) along a transform margin. Two narrow magmatic edifices adjacent to the Wallaby Plateau (Sonne and Sonja ridges) represent an extinct ridge and a pseudofault, respectively. They formed by excess volcanism, probably by lateral migration of buoyant melt along upside-down crustal drainage channels from the melt source underneath the Wallaby Plateau. In a mantle plume scenario a small plume (˜400 km diameter) located underneath the rift could have locally uplifted the Bernier Platform and Exmouth Sub-basin in the Early Cretaceous and left a track consistent with the azimuth of the Wallaby and Zenith plateaus. In this case, ridge-plume interaction would have caused two consecutive ridge propagation events towards the plume while the ridge moved away from the hotspot. The abrupt end of the hotspot track west of the Zenith Plateau would be a consequence of the accelerating south-eastward motion of the spreading ridge relative to the mantle after 120 Ma, leaving the mantle plume underneath the Indian Plate. An alternative nonmantle-plume scenario is based on the observation that between breakup and chron M0 (˜120 Ma) the ocean crust in the southern Cuvier Abyssal Plain was formed while the spreading ridge abutted Indian continental crust. Small-scale convection may have been initiated during rifting in the Early Cretaceous and maintained until the Wallaby-Zenith ridge-transform intersection passed by the eastern edge

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  6. Physiography of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and implications about continental margin development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greene, H.D.; Maher, N.M.; Paull, C.K.

    2002-01-01

    Combined EM-300 multibeam bathymetric data and satellite photography reveal the physiography of the continental margin between 35°50′ and 37°03′N and from the shoreline west of 122°40′ and 122°37′W, which includes Monterey Bay, in a previously unprecedented detail. Patterns in these images clearly reveal the processes that are actively influencing the current geomorphology of the Monterey Bay region, including the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Our data indicates that seafloor physiography within the MBNMS results from plate margin tectonic deformation, including uplift and erosion along structural lineaments, and from fluid flow. Mass wasting is the dominant process active within the Ascension–Monterey and Sur–Partington submarine canyon systems and along the lower slopes. Meanders, slump dams, and constricted channels within the submarine canyons, especially within Monterey Canyon, slow and interrupt down-canyon sediment transport. We have identified for the first time thin sediment flows, rotational slumps, rills, depressions that may be associated with pipes, and other fluid-induced features we call ‘scallops’ off the Ascension slope, and suggest that fluid flow has sculptured the seafloor morphologies here. These unusual seafloor morphologies are similar to morphologies found in terrestrial areas modified by ground-water flow.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jabour, H. )

    1993-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  10. Origin of increased terrigenous supply to the NE South American continental margin during Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Younger Dryas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yancheng; Chiessi, Cristiano M.; Mulitza, Stefan; Zabel, Matthias; Trindade, Ricardo I. F.; Hollanda, Maria Helena B. M.; Dantas, Elton L.; Govin, Aline; Tiedemann, Ralf; Wefer, Gerold

    2015-12-01

    We investigate the redistribution of terrigenous materials in the northeastern (NE) South American continental margin during slowdown events of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The compilation of stratigraphic data from 108 marine sediment cores collected across the western tropical Atlantic shows an extreme rise in sedimentation rates off the Parnaíba River mouth (about 2°S) during Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS1, 18-15 ka). Sediment core GeoB16206-1, raised offshore the Parnaíba River mouth, documents relatively constant 143Nd/144Nd values (expressed as εNd(0)) throughout the last 30 ka. Whereas the homogeneous εNd(0) data support the input of fluvial sediments by the Parnaíba River from the same source area directly onshore, the increases in Fe/Ca, Al/Si and Rb/Sr during HS1 indicate a marked intensification of fluvial erosion in the Parnaíba River drainage basin. In contrast, the εNd(0) values from sediment core GeoB16224-1 collected off French Guiana (about 7°N) suggest Amazon-sourced materials within the last 30 ka. We attribute the extremely high volume of terrigenous sediments deposited offshore the Parnaíba River mouth during HS1 to (i) an enhanced precipitation in the catchment region and (ii) a reduced North Brazil Current, which are both associated with a weakened AMOC.

  11. Ten years of studies on Maryland's inner Continental Margin and coastal bays

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kerhin, R.T.; Conkwright, R.; Wells, D.

    1999-01-01

    During the past ten years of the Association of American State Geologists-Mineral Management Service Continental Margins Program, the Maryland Geological Survey investigated the sedimentological, paleontological, stratigraphical and geophysical character of Maryland's inner continental shelf. Based on seismic records and sedimentological analyses completed during the first four years, a late Quaternary stratigraphic model was developed. Five distinct stratigraphic units were identified and described on the Maryland inner shelf. These units represent late Pleistocene interglacial deposits, the oldest of which corresponds to pre-Illinoian (oxygen-isotope stages 7 and/or 9) transgressive shelf sands. Overlying the Q1 unit, the Q2 unit is a 6-meter thick mud sequence of oxygen-isotope stage 5 (128-75 ka) age. Units Q3 and Q4 representing fluvial and leading edge estuarine deposits (oxygen-isotope stages 4, 3 and 2) filled numerous paleochannels that were incised into units Q2 and Q1. Modern trailing-edge transgressive shelf shoals (Unit Q5) discontinuously cap the sequence. The 5th and 6th years studies reported on the economic minerals of surficial and cored sediments. Vibracores collected off the Maryland's shelf during previous studies were analyzed for mineral types and abundances, weight percent of general size fractions, and heavy mineral (HM) content. Mineralogic maturity indices were compiled to correlate the THM and economic heavy minerals (EHM) abundances with position offshore, sediment type, and the indices themselves. For the 7th year, the Maryland Geological Survey re-examined geophysical records and lithological data originally collected by the Army Corps of Engineers to locate and assess beach fill borrow areas for the Ocean City Beach Replenishment Project. Data from 163 vibracores and over 300 kilometers of high-resolution seismic profile records collected off Ocean City, Maryland, supported the stratigraphic model developed by MGS during the first

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, D.

    2014-06-01

    A two-dimensional model of a passive continental margin was adapted to the simulation of the methane cycle on Siberian continental shelf and slope, attempting to account for the impacts of glacial/interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to freezing conditions with deep permafrost formation during glacial times, and immersion in the ocean in interglacial times. The model is used to gauge the impact of the glacial cycles, and potential anthropogenic warming in the deep future, on the atmospheric methane emission flux, and the sensitivities of that flux to processes such as permafrost formation and terrestrial organic carbon (Yedoma) deposition. Hydrological forcing drives a freshening and ventilation of pore waters in areas exposed to the atmosphere, which is not quickly reversed by invasion of seawater upon submergence, since there is no analogous saltwater pump. This hydrological pump changes the salinity enough to affect the stability of permafrost and methane hydrates on the shelf. Permafrost formation inhibits bubble transport through the sediment column, by construction in the model. The impact of permafrost on the methane budget is to replace the bubble flux by offshore groundwater flow containing dissolved methane, rather than accumulating methane for catastrophic release when the permafrost seal fails during warming. By far the largest impact of the glacial/interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is attenuation by dissolution of bubbles in the ocean when sea level is high. Methane emissions are highest during the regression (soil freezing) part of the cycle, rather than during transgression (thawing). The model-predicted methane flux to the atmosphere in response to a warming climate is small, relative to the global methane production rate, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. A slight increase due to warming could be completely counteracted by sea level rise on geologic time scales

  13. Geology of the continental margin beneath Santa Monica Bay, Southern California, from seismic-reflection data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, M.A.; Normark, W.R.; Bohannon, R.G.; Sliter, R.W.; Calvert, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    We interpret seismic-reflection data, which were collected in Santa Monica Bay using a 70-in3 generator-injector air gun, to show the geologic structure of the continental shelf and slope and of the deep-water, Santa Monica and San Pedro Basins. The goal of this research is to investigate the earthquake hazard posed to urban areas by offshore faults. These data reveal that northwest of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Palos Verdes Fault neither offsets the seafloor nor cuts through an undeformed sediment apron that postdates the last sea level rise. Other evidence indicates that this fault extends northwest beneath the shelf in the deep subsurface. However, other major faults in the study area, such as the Dume and San Pedro Basin Faults, were active recently, as indicated by an arched seafloor and offset shallow sediment. Rocks under the lower continental slope are deformed to differing degrees on opposite sides of Santa Monica Canyon. Northwest of this canyon, the continental slope is underlain by a little-deformed sediment apron; the main structures that deform this apron are two lower-slope anticlines that extend toward Point Dume and are cored by faults showing reverse or thrust separation. Southeast of Santa Monica Canyon, lower-slope rocks are deformed by a complex arrangement of strike-slip, normal, and reverse faults. The San Pedro Escarpment rises abruptly along the southeast side of Santa Monica Canyon. Reverse faults and folds underpinning this escarpment steepen progressively southeastward. Locally they form flower structures and cut downward into basement rocks. These faults merge downward with the San Pedro Basin fault zone, which is nearly vertical and strike slip. The escarpment and its attendant structures diverge from this strike-slip fault zone and extend for 60 km along the margin, separating the continental shelf from the deep-water basins. The deep-water Santa Monica Basin has large extent but is filled with only a thin (less than 1.5-km

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

    DOE PAGES

    Archer, D.

    2014-06-03

    A two-dimensional model of a passive continental margin was adapted to the simulation of the methane cycle on Siberian continental shelf and slope, attempting to account for the impacts of glacial/interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to freezing conditions with deep permafrost formation during glacial times, and immersion in the ocean in interglacial times. The model is used to gauge the impact of the glacial cycles, and potential anthropogenic warming in the deep future, on the atmospheric methane emission flux, and the sensitivities of that flux to processes such as permafrost formation and terrestrial organic carbonmore » (Yedoma) deposition. Hydrological forcing drives a freshening and ventilation of pore waters in areas exposed to the atmosphere, which is not quickly reversed by invasion of seawater upon submergence, since there is no analogous saltwater pump. This hydrological pump changes the salinity enough to affect the stability of permafrost and methane hydrates on the shelf. Permafrost formation inhibits bubble transport through the sediment column, by construction in the model. The impact of permafrost on the methane budget is to replace the bubble flux by offshore groundwater flow containing dissolved methane, rather than accumulating methane for catastrophic release when the permafrost seal fails during warming. By far the largest impact of the glacial/interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is attenuation by dissolution of bubbles in the ocean when sea level is high. Methane emissions are highest during the regression (soil freezing) part of the cycle, rather than during transgression (thawing). The model-predicted methane flux to the atmosphere in response to a warming climate is small, relative to the global methane production rate, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. A slight increase due to warming could be completely counteracted by sea level rise on geologic time

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Organic matter diagenesis and hydrocarbon generation on outer Continental Margin of northwestern Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers, P.A.; Snowdon, L.R.; Heggie, D.; Bent, A.

    1989-03-01

    Organic geochemical analyses of sediments and rocks obtained from drill sites on the Exmouth and Wombat Plateaus and the Argo Abyssal Plain on the northwestern margin of Australia were done onboard the JOIDES Resolution during Ocean Drilling Program Legs 122 and 123. These analyses provide information about the sources of organic matter to these offshore locations from Triassic to Holocene times and also indicate the degree of postdepositional diagenesis and maturation the organic matter has experienced. Because this margin has interest to petroleum explorationists, these data have practical as well as fundamental significance. Triassic claystones (equivalent to the onshore Mungeroo Formation) from the Wombat Plateau contain up to several percent of land-derived organic carbon. Neocomian siltstones and claystones (equivalent to the Barrow Group and Muderong Shale) from the Exmouth Plateau hold similar organic matter but at lower concentrations. Younger sediments are generally very lean in organic matter. Gas chromatographic analysis of extractable hydrocarbons shows a large and often dominant contribution of continental components, notably n-alkanes with a strong odd/even ratio and tricyclic diterpanes. Both Rock-Eval and hydrocarbon results agree in indicating low to moderate levels of thermal maturity. Locations on the Exmouth Plateau typically contain large amounts of thermogenic gaseous hydrocarbons dominated by methane. Concentrations peak in Senonian chalk sequences. In Neocomian siltstones and claystones, methane-ethane ratios diminish as concentrations decrease. The source of these hydrocarbons is likely to be the Triassic coals and coaly material below the Dingo claystone, which was not drilled during these legs but has been characterized from industry wells on this passive margin.

  17. Modern dolomite deposition in continental, saline lakes, western Victoria, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    De Deckker, P.; Last, W.M.

    1988-01-01

    Microcrystalline dolomite forms a major constituent of Holocene sediments of numerous continental, saline playa lakes in southeastern Australia. The lake waters are highly supersaturated with respect to dolomite as well as other Mg carbonates, but undersaturated or near saturation with respect to calcite and aragonite. The dolomite shows no replacement textures and most likely formed by direct precipitation. Conditions in these lakes that appear conducive to the precipitation of dolomite are (1) high salinity, (2) high Mg/Ca ratios, and (3) high alkalinity. The moderate sulfate levels of the brines do not seem to be inhibiting carbonate precipitation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. The continental Etirol-Levaz slice (Western Alps, Italy): Tectonometamorphic evolution of an extensional allochthon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewerling, Kathrin; Obermüller, Gerrit; Kirst, Frederik; Froitzheim, Nikolaus; Nagel, Thorsten; Sandmann, Sascha

    2013-04-01

    The Etirol-Levaz slice (ELS) in the western Valtournenche of Italy is a continental fragment trapped between two oceanic units, the eclogite-facies Zermatt-Saas Zone in the footwall and the greenschist-facies Combin Zone in the hanging wall. It has been interpreted as an extensional allochthon derived from the Adriatic continental margin and stranded inside the Piemont-Ligurian oceanic domain during Jurassic rifting (Dal Piaz et al., 2001; Beltrando et al., 2010). The slice consists of Variscan high-grade gneisses, micaschists and metabasics overprinted under eclogite-facies conditions during Early Tertiary Alpine subduction. Eclogites generally consist of garnet + omphacite ± epidote ± amphibole ± phengite ± quartz. We investigate their metamorphic history using equilibrium phase diagrams, mineral compositions, and textural relations between prograde, peak, and retrograde phases. In sample FD328, garnets have compositions of Alm52-61 Grs18-41 Prp5-22 Sps0.5-2 and typical growth zoning. Some garnet grains are brittlely fractured, strongly corroded and overgrown by epidote. Amphibole occurs as a major phase in the matrix and shows a progressive evolution from glaucophane in the core to pargasitic hornblende towards the rim. Sample FD329 with a particular Ca-rich bulk composition (18.3 wt% Ca) displays two distinct garnet generations. Perfectly euhedral cores show compositions of Grs42-45 Alm47-51 Prp3-6 Sps2-7 and typical prograde growth zoning. These cores are overgrown by irregularly shaped rims characterised by an initial rise in Mn and the Fe-Mg ratio. Omphacite in this sample with jadeite-contents of 19-28 mol% apparently has been fractured and annealed by jadeite-poor (7-12 mol%) omphacite suggesting brittle behaviour at eclogite-facies conditions or two high-pressure stages with lower metamorphic conditions in between. We discuss whether the ELS experienced the same monocyclic metamorphic history as the Zermatt-Saas Zone or not. Some of our observations

  20. Circum-Pacific accretion of oceanic terranes to continental blocks: accretion of the Early Permian Dun Mountain ophiolite to the E Gondwana continental margin, South Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Alastair

    2016-04-01

    Accretionary orogens, in part, grow as a result of the accretion of oceanic terranes to pre-existing continental blocks, as in the circum-Pacific and central Asian regions. However, the accretionary processes involved remain poorly understood. Here, we consider settings in which oceanic crust formed in a supra-subduction zone setting and later accreted to continental terranes (some, themselves of accretionary origin). Good examples include some Late Cretaceous ophiolites in SE Turkey, the Jurassic Coast Range ophiolite, W USA and the Early Permian Dun Mountain ophiolite of South Island, New Zealand. In the last two cases, the ophiolites are depositionally overlain by coarse clastic sedimentary rocks (e.g. Permian Upukerora Formation of South Island, NZ) that then pass upwards into very thick continental margin fore-arc basin sequences (Great Valley sequence, California; Matai sequence, South Island, NZ). Field observations, together with petrographical and geochemical studies in South Island, NZ, summarised here, provide evidence of terrane accretion processes. In a proposed tectonic model, the Early Permian Dun Mountain ophiolite was created by supra-subduction zone spreading above a W-dipping subduction zone (comparable to the present-day Izu-Bonin arc and fore arc, W Pacific). The SSZ oceanic crust in the New Zealand example is inferred to have included an intra-oceanic magmatic arc, which is no longer exposed (other than within a melange unit in Southland), but which is documented by petrographic and geochemical evidence. An additional subduction zone is likely to have dipped westwards beneath the E Gondwana margin during the Permian. As a result, relatively buoyant Early Permian supra-subduction zone oceanic crust was able to dock with the E Gondwana continental margin, terminating intra-oceanic subduction (although the exact timing is debatable). The amalgamation ('soft collision') was accompanied by crustal extension of the newly accreted oceanic slab, and

  1. Mesozoic architecture of a tract of the European-Iberian continental margin: Insights from preserved submarine palaeotopography in the Longobucco Basin (Calabria, Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santantonio, Massimo; Fabbi, Simone; Aldega, Luca

    2016-01-01

    The sedimentary successions exposed in northeast Calabria document the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous tectonic-sedimentary evolution of a former segment of the European-Iberian continental margin. They are juxtaposed today to units representing the deformation of the African and Adriatic plates margins as a product of Apenninic crustal shortening. A complex pattern of unconformities reveals a multi-stage tectonic evolution during the Early Jurassic, which affected the facies and geometries of siliciclastic and carbonate successions deposited in syn- and post-rift environments ranging from fluvial to deep marine. Late Sinemurian/Early Pliensbachian normal faulting resulted in exposure of the Hercynian basement at the sea-floor, which was onlapped by marine basin-fill units. Shallow-water carbonate aprons and reefs developed in response to the production of new accommodation space, fringing the newborn islands which represent structural highs made of Paleozoic crystalline and metamorphic rock. Their drowning and fragmentation in the Toarcian led to the development of thin caps of Rosso Ammonitico facies. Coeval to these deposits, a thick (> 1 km) hemipelagic/siliciclastic succession was sedimented in neighboring hanging wall basins, which would ultimately merge with the structural high successions. Footwall blocks of the Early Jurassic rift, made of Paleozoic basement and basin-margin border faults with their onlapping basin-fill formations, are found today at the hanging wall of Miocene thrusts, overlying younger (Middle/Late Jurassic to Late Paleogene) folded basinal sediments. This paper makes use of selected case examples to describe the richly diverse set of features, ranging from paleontology to sedimentology, to structural geology, which are associated with the field identification of basin-margin unconformities. Our data provide key constraints for restoring the pre-orogenic architecture of a continental margin facing a branch of the Liguria-Piedmont ocean in the

  2. Germanium-silicon fractionation in a river-influenced continental margin: The Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baronas, J. Jotautas; Hammond, Douglas E.; Berelson, William M.; McManus, James; Severmann, Silke

    2016-04-01

    In this study we have sampled the water column and sediments of the Gulf of Mexico to investigate the effects of high riverine terrigenous load and sediment redox conditions on the cycling of Ge and Si. Water column Ge/Si ratios across the Gulf of Mexico continental shelf range from 1.9 to 25 μmol/mol, which is elevated compared to the global ocean value of 0.7 μmol/mol. The Ge enrichment in the Gulf of Mexico seawater is primarily due to anthropogenic contamination of the Mississippi river, which is the main Ge and Si source to the area, and to a smaller extent due to discrimination against Ge during biogenic silica (bSi) production (Ge/Si = 1.2-1.8 μmol/mol), especially by radiolarians and siliceous sponges (Ge/Si = 0.6-1.1 μmol/mol). Most sediment pore waters (Ge/Si = 0.3-4.5 μmol/mol) and sediment incubation experiments (benthic flux Ge/Si = 0.9-1.2 μmol/mol) indicate precipitation of authigenic phases that sequester Ge from pore waters (non-opal sink). This process appears to be independent of oxidation-reduction reactions and suggests that authigenic aluminosilicate formation (reverse weathering) may be the dominant Ge sink in marine sediments. Compilation of previously published data shows that in continental margins, non-opal Ge burial flux is controlled by bSi supply, while in open ocean sediments it is 10-100 times lower and most likely limited by the supply of lithogenic material. We provide a measurement-based estimate of the global non-opal Ge burial flux as 4-32 Mmol yr-1, encompassing the 2-16 Mmol yr-1 needed to keep the global marine Ge cycle at steady state.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  4. Methane Derived Authigenic Carbonates from the Upper Continental Margin of the Bay of Biscay (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre, C.; Blanc-Valleron, M. M.; Dupré, S.

    2014-12-01

    Extensive seafloor carbonate pavements are present at water depth from 140 to 180 meters on the upper continental margin of the Bay of Biscay, 50 to 60 km away from the present-day coastline. They form at the seafloor meter-high sub-circular reliefs with a diameter from 10 m to 100 m that are surrounded by light brown silto-sandy unconsolidated sediments. All these structures are associated with active methane seeps that cover an area of 80km from N to S and up to 8km from W to E. These carbonates were sampled during the two cruises GAZCOGNE 1 (july-august 2013) and GAZCOGNE 2 (september 2013). The carbonate crusts are porous sandstones, dark brown to black by impregnation with Fe-Mn oxides/hydroxides. Subseafloor concretions are homogenous light to medium grey fine-grained sandstones. The bulk carbonate content varies in the range 36-42 weight %. The carbonate mineralogy is dominated by aragonite that cements the detrital grains whereas calcite comes from the biogenic carbonates. Dolomite occurs in significant amount in a few samples. Circular cavities of 5 to 10 µm of diameter in the carbonate cement represent traces of gas bubbles; smaller holes in the aragonite crystals are due to carbonate dissolution by CO2 issued from aerobic oxidation of methane. The oxygen isotopic compositions of the bulk carbonate (+1.7 to +4.5‰) and aragonite cement (-0.2 to +1.4‰) are lower than the values in equilibrium with the present-day temperature and salinity conditions. This indicates that the carbonate precipitated in mixtures of seawater and continental water, i.e. in a context of submarine groundwater discharge. The carbon isotopic compositions of the bulk carbonate (-51.9 to -38.2‰) and aragonite cement (-49.9 to -29.3‰) demonstrate that most carbon derived from methane oxidized as bicarbonate during microbial anaerobic oxidation of methane. The GAZCOGNE study is co-funded by TOTAL and IFREMER as part of the PAMELA (Passive Margin Exploration Laboratories

  5. Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Crustal Growth at Active Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, G.; Gerya, T.; Tackley, P. J.

    2011-12-01

    Active margins are important sites of new continental crust formation by magmatic processes related to the subduction of oceanic plates. We investigate these phenomena using a three-dimensional coupled petrological-geochemical-thermomechanical numerical model, which combines a finite-difference flow solver with a non-diffusive marker-in-cell technique for advection (I3ELVIS code, Gerya and Yuen, PEPI,2007). The model includes mantle flow associated with the subducting plate, water release from the slab, fluid propagation that triggers partial melting at the slab surface, melt extraction and the resulting volcanic crustal growth at the surface. The model also accounts for variations in physical properties (mainly density and viscosity) of both fluids and rocks as a function of local conditions in temperature, pressure, deformation, nature of the rocks, and chemical exchanges. Our results show different patterns of crustal growth and surface topography, which are comparable to nature, during subduction at active continental margins. Often, two trench-parallel lines of magmatic activity, which reflect two maxima of melt production atop the slab, are formed on the surface. The melt extraction rate controls the patterns of new crust at different ages. Moving free water reflects the path of fluids, and the velocity of free water shows the trend of two parallel lines of magmatic activity. The formation of new crust in particular time intervals is distributed in finger-like shapes, corresponding to finger-like and ridge-like cold plumes developed atop the subducting slabs (Zhu et al., G-cubed,2009; PEPI,2011). Most of the new crust is basaltic, formed from peridotitic mantle. Granitic crust extracted from melted sediment and upper crust forms in a line closer to the trench, and its distribution reflects the finger-like cold plumes. Dacitic crust extracted from the melted lower crust forms in a line farther away from the trench, and its distribution is anticorrelated with

  6. Gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard: mapping, sampling, and quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahling, H.; Römer, M.; Pape, T.; Bergès, B.; dos Santos Fereirra, C.; Boelmann, J.; Geprägs, P.; Tomczyk, M.; Nowald, N.; Dimmler, W.; Schroedter, L.; Glockzin, M.; Bohrmann, G.

    2014-11-01

    We mapped, sampled, and quantified gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard during R/V Heincke cruise He-387 in late summer 2012. Hydroacoustic mapping revealed that gas emissions were not limited to a zone just above 396 m water depth. Flares from this depth have gained significant attention in the scientific community in recent years because they may be caused by bottom-water warming-induced hydrate dissolution in the course of global warming and/or by recurring seasonal hydrate formation and decay. We found that gas emissions occurred widespread between about 80 and 415 m water depth, which indicates that hydrate dissolution might only be one of several triggers for active hydrocarbon seepage in that area. Gas emissions were remarkably intensive at the main ridge of the Forlandet moraine complex in 80 to 90 m water depths, and may be related to thawing permafrost. Focused seafloor investigations were performed with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) "Cherokee". Geochemical analyses of gas bubbles sampled at about 240 m water depth as well as at the 396 m gas emission sites revealed that the vent gas is primarily composed of methane (> 99.70%) of microbial origin (average δ13C = -55.7‰ V-PDB). Estimates of the regional gas bubble flux from the seafloor to the water column in the area of possible hydrate decomposition were achieved by combining flare mapping using multibeam and single-beam echosounder data, bubble stream mapping using a ROV-mounted horizontally looking sonar, and quantification of individual bubble streams using ROV imagery and bubble counting. We estimated that about 53 × 106 mol methane were annually emitted at the two areas and allow for a large range of uncertainty due to our method (9 to 118 × 106 mol yr-1). First, these amounts show that gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard were on the same order of magnitude as bubble emissions at other geological settings; second, they may be used to calibrate

  7. Gas emissions at the continental margin west off Svalbard: mapping, sampling, and quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahling, H.; Römer, M.; Pape, T.; Bergès, B.; dos Santos Fereirra, C.; Boelmann, J.; Geprägs, P.; Tomczyk, M.; Nowald, N.; Dimmler, W.; Schroedter, L.; Glockzin, M.; Bohrmann, G.

    2014-05-01

    We mapped, sampled, and quantified gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard during R/V Heincke cruise He-387 in late summer 2012. Hydroacoustic mapping revealed that gas emissions were not limited to a zone just above 396 m below sea level (m b.s.l.). Flares from this depth gained significant attention in the scientific community in recent years because they may be caused by bottom water-warming induced hydrate dissolution in the course of global warming and/or by recurring seasonal hydrate formation and decay. We found that gas emissions occurred widespread between about 80 and 415 m b.s.l. which indicates that hydrate dissolution might only be one of several triggers for active hydrocarbon seepage in that area. Gas emissions were remarkably intensive at the main ridge of the forlandet moraine complex in 80 to 90 m water depths, and may be related to thawing permafrost. Focused seafloor investigations were performed with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) "Cherokee". Geochemical analyses of gas bubbles sampled at about 240 m b.s.l. as well as at the 396 m gas emission sites revealed that the vent gas is primarily composed of methane (> 99.70%) of microbial origin (average δ13C = -55.7‰ V-PDB). Estimates of the regional gas bubble flux from the seafloor to the water column in the area of possible hydrate decomposition were achieved by combining flare mapping using multibeam and single beam echosounder data, bubble stream mapping using a ROV-mounted horizontally-looking sonar, and quantification of individual bubble streams using ROV imagery and bubble counting. We estimated that about 53 × 106 mol methane were annually emitted at the two areas and allow a large range of uncertainty due to our method (9 to 118 × 106 mol yr-1). These amounts, first, show that gas emissions at the continental margin west of Svalbard were in the same order of magnitude as bubble emissions at other geological settings, and second, may be used to calibrate models

  8. Key controls of surface carbonate system dynamics around the northwest European continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Z.; Hydes, D. J.; Hartman, S. E.; Hartman, M. C.

    2011-12-01

    Monthly sampling coupled to continuous underway observation from a ship-of-opportunity (Pride of Bilbao) provides new insights into the relative importance of processes controlling the seasonal to inter-annual variability of the carbonate system around the northwest European continental margin. Total alkalinity (TA) and total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were determined alongside measurements of nutrients and continuous records of temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-fluorescence, and dissolved oxygen (DO). The northwest European continental margin is temperate latitude system with a strong seasonal cycle in biological productivity determined by light, nutrient supply, and stratification. Here we contrast findings in two areas: the shallow non stratified English Channel (depth ~50 m) and seasonally stratified oligotrophic waters of the central Bay of Biscay (depth >3000 m). In the Bay of Biscay, the seasonal variations of the carbonate system, nutrient, and DO were mainly controlled by the winter mixing and spring phytoplankton bloom. DIC and nutrients in the Bay increased from autumn and reached the annual maxima in later winter, they then decreased significantly during the spring bloom corresponding to the biological uptake. DIC fell during the spring bloom with a near Redfield ratio in relation to the nutrient uptake. In contrast, post bloom in summer, a continued decrease in DIC in the absence of measurable nitrate was possibly related to the nutrient supply from the turbulent mixing. pCO2 and pH showed a double peak in the annual cycles modulated by temperature which counterbalanced the influence of winter mixing and biological production. The inter-annual biogeochemical variability was closely related to the changes in winter mixed layer depth and the phytoplankton biomass. The Bay of Biscay acted as a sink for atmospheric CO2 in all seasons, with higher air-to-sea CO2 fluxes observed in cold winter and the productive spring season. In the more dynamic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  11. Mass transport deposits as witness of Holocene seismic activity on the Ligurian margin, Western Mediterranean (ASTARTE project)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samalens, Kevin; Cattaneo, Antonio; Migeon, Sébastien

    2016-04-01

    The Ligurian Margin (Western Mediterranean) is at the transition between the Southern Alpes and the Liguro-Provençal margin and it is one of the most seismic areas of France. Several historic earthquakes have been indexed; the strongest, on February 23rd, 1887, occurred offshore Menton and Imperia and also caused a tsunami wave. Its equivalent magnitude has been estimated between 6 and 6.5. In addition, a moderate recurrent seismicity shakes the margin. The aim of this study is to understand the link between seismic activity and slope destabilization, and to identify the sedimentary deposits resulting from mass transport or turbidity currents. During Malisar (Geoazur laboratory), Prisme 2 and Prisme 3 (Ifremer) cruises, bathymetry, seafloor imagery (SAR), geophysics data (CHIRP SYSIF and high resolution seismics), and sediment cores have been acquired on the continental slope, focussing on canyons and submarine landslides, and in the basin. These data record numerous mass transport deposits (slump, debrites) in the different physiographic areas of the margin. To search for evidences of past Ligurian margin seismicity during the Holocene, we focused on the northeast part of the margin, the Finale area. We identified and sampled acoustically transparent Mass Transport Deposits up to 20-m thick in the bottom of three coaleshing canyons: Noli, Pora and Centa canyons from W to E in the area offshore Finale Ligure. We also recovered an MTD in the collecting deeper canyon system. MTDs in cores appear as sediment with different degrees of deformation (tilted blocks, slump, debrites) and are topped by hemipelagites. The radiocarbon age of the top of MTDs can be considered synchronous and centered around 4900 yr BP. Mass wasting occurring over more than 50 km of the Ligurian margin could indicate that an earthquake stroke the Finale area sector at that time.

  12. Geomorphology and sedimentary features in the Central Portuguese submarine canyons, Western Iberian margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lastras, G.; Arzola, R. G.; Masson, D. G.; Wynn, R. B.; Huvenne, V. A. I.; Hühnerbach, V.; Canals, M.

    2009-02-01

    The Central Portuguese submarine canyons (Nazaré, Cascais and Setúbal-Lisbon canyons) dissect the Western Iberian margin in an east-west direction from the continental shelf, at water depths shallower than 50 m, down to the Tagus and Iberian abyssal plains, at water depths exceeding 5000 m. We present an analysis of the geomorphology of the canyons and of the sedimentary processes that can be inferred from the observed morphology of the three canyons, based on a compilation of swath bathymetry data and TOBI deep-towed side-scan sonar imagery. This first complete detailed mapping of the Central Portuguese canyons reveals substantial differences in their morphologies and downslope evolution. The canyons are divided into three sections: 1) canyon head and upper reach, 2) middle canyon, and 3) canyon mouth and distal part. The canyon heads and upper reaches are severely indented into the continental shelf, and they are characterised, in the Nazaré and Setúbal-Lisbon canyons, by sinuous V-shaped valleys entrenched within high canyon walls occupied by rock outcrops dissected by gullies. The Cascais upper canyon is complex, with multiple branches with high axial gradients and signs of mass wasting. Middle canyon sections, indented in the slope, display axial incisions with perched, stacked terraces, and are affected by debris avalanches originating from the canyon walls. At the base of slope, the distal Cascais and Setúbal-Lisbon canyons show many characteristics of channel-lobe transition zones: erosional features such as isolated to amalgamated chevron scours, and depositional bedforms such as mud to gravel waves. Pervasive scouring occurs up to 95 km beyond the canyon mouths. By contrast, the Nazaré canyon opens into a 27 km wide and 94 km long channel, whose flat-bottomed thalweg is occupied by sediment waves, irregular, comet-shaped and crescentic scours, and a second-order channel. Transverse, kilometre-scale sediment waves occupy the overbank area of the

  13. Shaping of the Southern Adriatic Continental Margin Through Widespread Mass Wasting and Bottom Currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trincardi, F.; Cattaneo, A.; Correggiari, A.; Verdicchio, G.; Tobi, T.

    2003-12-01

    New TOBI seafloor images and VHR Chirp sonar profiles reveal widespread collapsing of the South Adriatic continental slope including: multiple overlapping slide scars affecting more than 100 km of Pleistocene regressive shelf-margin deposits below the shelf edge, extensive blocky slides on the lower slope (block sizes up to 200 x 500 m), and a basin wide acoustically-transparent deposit up to 40 m thick, buried under a late-Pleistocene-Holocene mud section, in water depths greater than 1000 m. Lateral variations in internal geometry and seafloor morphology likely reflects along margin differences in sediment composition and thickness of the mass-transport deposits and variable run outs (up to 40 km). Preliminary correlation to published cores in the area indicates that the main mass transport deposit reached the basin floor during the Last Glacial Maximum, but younger failures of smaller size may have affected the slope in more recent times. The new data show that the entire slope area is swept by bottom currents generating furrowed areas up to several tens of km2 in extent, moats on the downdrift side of seafloor irregularities (slide blocks) and preferential sediment deposition on the inferred updrift side, and growth of upslope-migrating sediment waves. In particular, two fields of sediment waves can be mapped in water depths of 400-600 and 1000 m. The former may reflect the activity of the Levantine Intermediate Waters, while the latter may be linked to the downslope flow of the Northern Adriatic Dense Waters. Future work will focus on the definition of intervals of growth vs quiescence of the sediment waves, their possible relation to paleoceanographic reconfigurations, and their interplay with seafloor irregularities dictated by slope instability. A smaller-scale possibly comparable interaction of seafloor morphology generated by sediment deformation and differential deposition of muddy deposits on the shelf emphasizes the importance of bottom

  14. Shelfal sediment transport by undercurrents forces turbidity current activity during high sea level, Chile continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhardt, Anne; Hebbeln, Dierk; Regenberg, Marcus; Lückge, Andreas; Strecker, Manfred. R.

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the links between terrigenous sediment supply and marine transport and depositional processes along tectonically active margins is essential to decipher turbidite successions as potential archives of climatic and seismic forcings and to comprehend timing and quantity of marine clastic deposition. Sequence stratigraphic models predict coarse-grained terrigenous sediment delivery to deep-marine sites mainly during sea-level fall and lowstand. Marine clastic deposition during periods of transgression and highstand has been attributed to the continued geomorphic connectivity between terrestrial sediment sources and marine sinks (e.g., rivers connected to submarine canyons) often facilitated by narrow shelves, high sediment supply causing delta migration to the shelf edge, and/or abrupt increases in sediment supply due to climatic variability or catastrophic events. To decipher the controls on Holocene highstand turbidite deposition, we analyzed twelve sediment cores of spatially disparate, coeval Holocene turbidite systems along the Chile margin (29-40°S) with changing climatic and geomorphic characteristics but uniform changes of sea level. Intraslope basins in north-central Chile (29-33°S) offshore a narrow to absent shelf record a shut-off of turbidite activity during the Holocene. In contrast, core sites in south-central Chile (36-40°S) offshore a wide continental shelf have repeatedly experienced turbidite deposition during sea-level highstand conditions, even though most of the depocenters are not connected via canyons to sediment sources. The interplay of stable high sediment supply related to strong onshore precipitation in combination with a wide shelf, over which undercurrents move sediment towards the shelf edge, appears to control Holocene turbidite sedimentation and sediment export to the deep sea.

  15. Investigation of the shelf break and continental slope in the Western part of the Black Sea using acoustic methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutu, F.; Ion, G.; Jugaru Tiron, L.

    2009-04-01

    The Black Sea is a large marginal sea surrounded by a system of Alpine orogenic chains, including the Balkanides-Pontides, Caucasus, Crimea and North Dobrogea located to the south, northeast, north and northwest, respectively (Dinu et al., 2005). The north-western part of the Black Sea is the main depocentre for sediment supply from Central Europe via the Danube River, but also from Eastern Europe through the Ukrainian rivers Dniepr, Dniestr and Southern Bug (Popescu et al., 2004). The shelfbreak is located at water depths of 120-140 m southward of the Danube Canyon, and up to 170 m northward of the canyon possibly due to recent faulting which is very common in this area. The continental slope is dissected by numerous canyons, each of which is fed by several tributaries. The Danube Canyon (also known as Viteaz Canyon) is a large shelf-indenting canyon located in the north-western Black Sea and connected to the youngest channel-levee system of the Danube Fan (Popescu et al., 2004). The acoustic methods are a useful way for investigate the shelf break and the continental slope giving us information about landslides on the continental slope, the topography of the investigated area, the sedimentary zones affected by instability and to quantify the geometry of the underwater landslides. The measurements made on the continental slope from north-western part of the Black Sea gave us the possibility to make a digital terrain model. After processing the data the model offer information about the main access ways of the sediments through gravitational slide on the submarines canyons, with forming of turbidity currents, debris flows and also other transport/transformation phenomena of the sediments on the continental slope like submarine landslides and submarine collapse. References Dinu, C., Wong, H.K., Tambrea, D., Matenco, L., 2005. Stratigraphic and structural characteristics of the Romanian Black Sea shelf. Tectonophysics 410, 417-435. Popescu, I., Lericolais, G., Panin

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  17. Natural constraints on exploring Antarctica's continental margin, existing geophysical and geological data basis, and proposed drilling program

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.B.

    1987-05-01

    There have been a number of multichannel seismic reflection and seismic refraction surveys of the Antarctic continental shelf. While glacial erosion has left acoustic basement exposed on portions of the inner shelf, thick sedimentary sequences occur on the passive margin of east Antarctica. The thickness and age of these strata vary due to different breakup histories of the margin. Several sedimentary basins have been identified. Most are rift basins formed during the early stages of Antarctica's separation from other Gondwana continents and plateaus. The west Antarctic continental shelf is extensive, being approximately twice the size of the Gulf of Mexico shelf. It has been poorly surveyed to date, owing mainly to its perennial sea ice cover. Gradual subduction of the spreading center from south to north along the margin resulted in old active margin sequences being buried beneath passive margin sequences. The latter should increase in thickness from north to south along the margin although no data bear this out. Hydrocarbon potential on the northern portion of the west Antarctic margin is considered low due to a probable lack of reservoir rocks. Establishment of ice sheets on Antarctica caused destruction of land vegetation and greatly restricted siliciclastic sand-producing environments. So only sedimentary basins which contain pre-early Miocene deposits have good hydrocarbon prospectivity. The Antarctic continental shelf is the deepest in the world, averaging 500 m and in places being more than a kilometer deep. The shelf has been left rugged by glacial erosion and is therefore prone to sediment mass movement. Widespread sediment gravity flow deposits attest to this. The shelf is covered with sea ice most of the year and in a few areas throughout the year. Icebergs, drift freely in the deep waters of the shelf; drift speeds of 1 to 2.5 km/year are not uncommon.

  18. Tectonic development of passive continental margins of the southern and central Red Sea with a comparison to Wilkes Land, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohannon, R.G.; Eittreim, S.L.

    1991-01-01

    The continental margins of the southern and central Red Sea and most of Wilkes Land, Antarctica have bulk crustal configurations and detailed structures that are best explained by a prolonged history of magmatic expansion that followed a brief, but intense period of mechanical extension. Extension on the Red Sea margins was spatially confined to a rift that was 20-30 km in width. The rifting phase along the Arabian margin of the central and southern Red Sea occurred 25-32 Ma ago, primarily by detachment faulting at upper crustal levels and ductile uniform stretching at depth. Rifting was followed by an early magmatic phase during which the margin was invaded by dikes and plutons, primarily of gabbro and diorite, at 20-24 Ma, after the crust was mechanically thinned from 40 km to ??? 20 km. We infer continued spreading after that in which broad shelves were formed by a process of magmatic expansion, because the offshore crust is only 8-15 km thick, including sediment, and seismic reflection data do not depict horst and graben or half graben structures from which mechanical extension might be inferred. The Wilkes Land margin is similar to the Arabian example. The margin is about 150 km in width, the amount of upper crustal extension is too low to explain the change in sub-sediment crustal thickness from ??? 35 km on the mainland to < 10 km beneath the margin and reflectors in the deepest seismic sequence are nearly flat lying. Our model requires large volumes of melt in the early stages of continental rifting. The voluminous melt might be partly a product of nearby hot spots, such as Afar and partly the result of an initial period of partial fusion in the deep continental lithosphere under lower temperatures than ordinarily required by dry solidus conditions. ?? 1991.

  19. Upper triassic continental margin strata of the central alaska range: Implications for paleogeographic reconstruction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Till, A.B.; Harris, A.G.; Wardlaw, B.R.; Mullen, M.

    2007-01-01

    Reexamination of existing conodont collections from the central Alaska Range indicates that Upper Triassic marine slope and basin rocks range in age from at least as old as the late Carnian to the early middle Norian. The conodont assemblages typical of these rocks are generally cosmopolitan and do not define a distinct paleogeographic faunal realm. One collection, however, containsEpigondolella multidentata sensu Orchard 1991c, which appears to be restricted to western North American autochthonous rocks. Although paleogeographic relations cannot be determined with specificity, the present distribution of biofaces within the Upper Triassic sequence could not have been the result of simple accordion-style collapse of the Late Triassic margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Hackspacher, Peter C.

    2013-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Formation of modern and Paleozoic stratiform barite at cold methane seeps on continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Torres, M.E.; Bohrmann, G.; Dube, T.E.; Poole, F.G.

    2003-01-01

    Stratiform (bedded) Paleozoic barite occurs as large conformable beds within organic- and chert-rich sediments; the beds lack major sulfide minerals and are the largest and most economically significant barite deposits in the geologic record. Existing models for the origin of bedded barite fail to explain all their characteristics: the deposits display properties consistent with an exhalative origin involving fluid ascent to the seafloor, but they lack appreciable polymetallic sulfide minerals and the corresponding strontium isotopic composition to support a hydrothermal vent source. A new mechanism of barite formation, along structurally controlled sites of cold fluid seepage in continental margins, involves barite remobilization in organic-rich, highly reducing sediments, transport of barium-rich fluids, and barite precipitation at cold methane seeps. The lithologic and depositional framework of Paleozoic and cold seep barite, as well as morphological, textural, and chemical characteristics of the deposits, and associations with chemosymbiotic fauna, all support a cold seep origin for stratiform Paleozoic barite. This understanding is highly relevant to paleoceanographic and paleotectonic studies, as well as to economic geology.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  5. A mechanism to thin the continental lithosphere at magma-poor margins.

    PubMed

    Lavier, Luc L; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2006-03-16

    Where continental plates break apart, slip along multiple normal faults provides the required space for the Earth's crust to thin and subside. After initial rifting, however, the displacement on normal faults observed at the sea floor seems not to match the inferred extension. Here we show that crustal thinning can be accomplished in such extensional environments by a system of conjugate concave downward faults instead of multiple normal faults. Our model predicts that these concave faults accumulate large amounts of extension and form a very thin crust (< 10 km) by exhumation of mid-crustal and mantle material. This transitional crust is capped by sub-horizontal detachment surfaces over distances exceeding 100 km with little visible deformation. Our rift model is based on numerical experiments constrained by geological and geophysical observations from the Alpine Tethys and Iberia/Newfoundland margins. Furthermore, we suggest that the observed transition from broadly distributed and symmetric extension to localized and asymmetric rifting is directly controlled by the existence of a strong gabbroic lower crust. The presence of such lower crustal gabbros is well constrained for the Alpine Tethys system. Initial decoupling of upper crustal deformation from lower crustal and mantle deformation by progressive weakening of the middle crust is an essential requirement to reproduce the observed rift evolution. This is achieved in our models by the formation of weak ductile shear zones.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alves, Tiago M.; Elliott, Claire

    2014-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shipilov, E. V.

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Increased continental-margin slumping frequency during sea-level lowstands above gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Buelow, W.J.; Ussler, W. III; Borowski, W.S.

    1996-02-01

    We present {sup 14}C data on sediment samples from cores of the upper 7 m of the sediment column overlying a major continental-rise gas hydrate field on the southern Carolina Rise and inner Blake Ridge offshore the southeastern United States. The data show that glacial-age sediments are underrepresented in the cores. The observation is consistent with a previously predicted association between sea-level lowstands and increased frequency of sea-floor slumping on continental margins containing gas hydrates. 26 refs., 3 figs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  11. Measurement of sediment and crustal thickness corrected RDA for 2D profiles at rifted continental margins: Applications to the Iberian, Gulf of Aden and S Angolan margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, Leanne; Kusznir, Nick

    2014-05-01

    Subsidence analysis of sedimentary basins and rifted continental margins requires a correction for the anomalous uplift or subsidence arising from mantle dynamic topography. Whilst different global model predictions of mantle dynamic topography may give a broadly similar pattern at long wavelengths, they differ substantially in the predicted amplitude and at shorter wavelengths. As a consequence the accuracy of predicted mantle dynamic topography is not sufficiently good to provide corrections for subsidence analysis. Measurements of present day anomalous subsidence, which we attribute to mantle dynamic topography, have been made for three rifted continental margins; offshore Iberia, the Gulf of Aden and southern Angola. We determine residual depth anomaly (RDA), corrected for sediment loading and crustal thickness variation for 2D profiles running from unequivocal oceanic crust across the continental ocean boundary onto thinned continental crust. Residual depth anomalies (RDA), corrected for sediment loading using flexural backstripping and decompaction, have been calculated by comparing observed and age predicted oceanic bathymetries at these margins. Age predicted bathymetric anomalies have been calculated using the thermal plate model predictions from Crosby & McKenzie (2009). Non-zero sediment corrected RDAs may result from anomalous oceanic crustal thickness with respect to the global average or from anomalous uplift or subsidence. Gravity anomaly inversion incorporating a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction and sediment thickness from 2D seismic reflection data has been used to determine Moho depth, calibrated using seismic refraction, and oceanic crustal basement thickness. Crustal basement thicknesses derived from gravity inversion together with Airy isostasy have been used to correct for variations of crustal thickness from a standard oceanic thickness of 7km. The 2D profiles of RDA corrected for both sediment loading and non-standard crustal

  12. Subglacial geomorphology reveals connections between glacial dynamics and deeper hydrocarbon reservoir leakages at the Polar north Atlantic continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreassen, Karin; Deryabin, Alexey; Rafaelsen, Bjarne; Richarsen, Morten

    2014-05-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) seismic data from the Barents Sea continental shelf and margin reveal spatial links between subsurface distributions of inferred glacitectonic geomorphic landforms and seismic indications of fluid flow from deeper hydrocarbon reservoirs. Particularly 3D seismic techniques allow detailed mapping and visualization of buried glacial geomorphology and geophysical indications of fluid flow and gas accumulations. Several subsurface glacitectonic landforms show pronounced depressions up to 200 m deep and several km wide. These appear in many locations just upstream from hills of similar sizes and volumes, and are inferred to be hill-hole pairs. The hills are interpreted as thrusted and compressed slabs of sediments and bedrock which have been removed from their original location by moving glaciers during the last glacial, leaving the holes as depressions. The mapped depressions seem often to appear in sediments of different lithology and age. The appearance of mega-scale glacial lineations indicates that fast-flowing ice streams, draining the former Barents Sea and Fennoscandian ice sheets were the main agents of these glacitectonic landforms. Mapped fluid flow migration pathways from deeper reservoirs and shallow gas accumulations show evidence of active fluid migration systems over longer time periods, and their spatial relationship with the glacitectonic landforms is documented for several areas of the Barents Sea continental shelf. A conceptual model is proposed for the depressions, where brittle glacitectonic deformation takes place along a weak layer at the base of gas-hydrate cemented sediments. Fluid flow from deeper hydrocarbon reservoirs is inferred to be associated with cycles of glaciations and unloading due to glacial erosion and ice retreat, causing gas to expand, which in turn potentially breaks the traps, reactivates faults and creates new faults. Gas hydrate stability modeling indicates that the south-western Barents Sea is today

  13. Gulf of Aden: Structure and evolution of a young ocean basin and continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Cochran, J.R.

    1981-01-10

    New marine geophysical data are used to describe the structure and history of the Gulf of Aden. Magnetic anomaly data shows seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies of Sheba Ridge from the axial anomaly to anomaly 5 (10 m.y. B.P.) between the Owen fracture zone and 45 /sup 0/E and to anomaly 2' (3 m.y. B.P.) or anomaly 3 (4 m.y. B.P.) west of 45 /sup 0/E. The data does not support the two episodes of seafloor spreading recently proposed. Landward of the seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies is a magnetic quiet zone of uncorrelatable anomalies. The magnetic quiet zone boundary is also a structural boundary effectively marking the edge of Sheba Ridge, with deeper basement lacking a significant topographic gradient found on the landward side. A magnetic quiet zone is found not only where Sheba Ridge splits continental lithosphere but also on East Sheba Ridge where the ridge splits the old oceanic lithosphre of the Owen and Somali basins. There the position occupied by the continental margin within the gulf is marked by nonmagnetic ridge complexes that stretch from the continents to the Owen fracture zone. The magnetic quiet zone boundary is not an isochron in either the Gulf of Aden or the Red Sea, suggesting that significant horizontal motions can occur prior to the initiation of seafloor spreading. The offset on the Dead Sea Rift is used to estimate that from 80 to 160 km of opening, amounting to between 65% and 200% extension of the initial rift valley, occurred in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea prior to the establishment of a mid-ocean ridge. It is suggested that the development of a new ocean basin occurs in two stages. The first involves diffuse extension over an area perhaps 10 km wide in a rift valley environment without an organized spreading center. This is followed by concentration of the extension at a single axis and the beginning of true seafloor spreading.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1987-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendt, Jobst

    1985-11-01

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

  16. Sediment accumulation on the Southern California Bight continental margin during the twentieth century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alexander, C.R.; Lee, H.J.

    2009-01-01

    Sediment discharged into the portion of the Southern California Bight extending from Santa Barbara to Dana Point enters a complex system of semi-isolated coastal cells, narrow continental shelves, submarine canyons, and offshore basins. On both the Santa Monica and San Pedro margins, 210Pb accumulation rates decrease in an offshore direction (from ??0.5 g cm-2yr-1 to 0.02 g cm-2yr -1), in concert with a fining in sediment grain size (from 4.5?? to 8.5??), suggesting that offshore transport of wave-resuspended material occurs as relatively dilute nepheloid layers and that hemiplegic sedimentation dominates the supply of sediment to the outer shelf, slope, and basins. Together, these areas are effectively sequestering up to 100% of the annual fluvial input. In contrast to the Santa Monica margin, which does not display evidence of mass wasting as an important process of sediment delivery and redistribution, the San Pedro margin does provide numerous examples of failures and mass wasting, suggesting that intraslope sediment redistribution may play a more important role there. Basin deposits in both areas exhibit evidence of turbidites tentatively associated with both major floods and earthquakes, sourced from either the Redondo Canyon (San Pedro Basin) or Dume Canyon (Santa Monica Basin). On the Palos Verdes shelf, sediment-accumulation rates decrease along and across the shelf away from the White's Point outfall, which has been a major source of contaminants to the shelf deposits. Accumulation rates prior to the construction of the outfall were ??0.2 g cm-2yr-1 and increased 1.5-3.7 times during peak discharges from the outfall in 1971. The distal rate of accumulation has decreased by ??50%, from 0.63 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1971-1992 to 0.29 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1992-2003. The proximal rate of accumulation, however, has only decreased ??10%, from 0.83 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1971-1992 to 0.73 g cm -2yr-1 during the period 1992-2003. Effluent

  17. Estimated post-Messinian sediment supply and sedimentation rates on the Ebro continental margin, Spain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.

    1990-01-01

    Because of the extensive data base of seismic profiles, radiometric ages, and stratigraphic time markers such as the subaerial Messinian surface, sedimentation rates and Ebro River sediment discharge can be estimated for different periods and environments of the Ebro continental margin. New values for sediment discharge (i.e., 6.2 versus previous estimates of 2-3.5 million t/yr) for the Holocene highstand are more reliable but remain minimum estimates because a small proportion of Ebro sediment advected to the Balearic Rise and Abyssal Plain cannot be accounted for, especially during lowstands. The general highstand conditions of the Pliocene, which were similar to those of the Holocene, resulted in a low discharge of Ebro River sediment (ca. 6.5 million t/yr) and an even thickness of sediment across the margin that deposited at rates of about 24-40 cm/ky. In contrast, sediment supply increased two-three times during the Pleistocene, the margin prograded rapidly and deposition occurred at rates of 101-165 cm/ky on the outer shelf and slope, but basin floor rates remained anomalously low (21-26 cm/ky) because sediment was drained and broadly dispersed eastward in Valencia Trough. During the late Pleistocene rise of sea level, the main depocenters progressively shifted shoreward and sedimentation rates greatly decreased from 175 cm/ky on the upper slope during the early transgression to 106 cm/ky on the outer shelf and then to 63 cm/ky on the mid-shelf during the late transgression as the river sediment discharge dropped to half by Holocene time. Maximal sedimentation rates occurred in active depocenters of sediment dispersal such as the Holocene delta (370 cm/ky) or the youngest Pleistocene Oropesa channel-levee complex (705 cm/ky) where deposition rates increased by an order of magnitude or more compared to average Ebro shelf (38 cm/ky) or base-of-slope rates in the Pleistocene (21 cm/ky). The sedimentation rates verify the importance of sea-level control on the

  18. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in the Concepción Methane Seep Area, Chilean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, P.; Linke, P.; Scholz, F.; Schmidt, M.; Liebetrau, V.; Treude, T.

    2012-04-01

    Within subduction zones of active continental margins, large amounts of methane can be mobilized by dewatering processes and transported to the seafloor along migration pathways. A recently discovered seep area located off Concepción (Chile) at water depth between 600 to 1100 mbsl is characterized by active methane vent sites as well as massive carbonates boulders and plates which probably are related to methane seepage in the past. During the SO210 research expedition "Chiflux" (Sept-Oct 2010), sediment from the Concepción Methane Seep Area (CSMA) at the fore arc of the Chilean margin was sampled to study microbial activity related to methane seepage. We sampled surface sediments (0-30cm) from sulfur bacteria mats, as well as clam, pogonophoran, and tubeworm fields with push cores and a TV-guided multicorer system. Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and sulfate reduction rates were determined using ex-situ radioisotope tracer techniques. Additionally, porewater chemistry of retrieved cores as well as isotopic composition and age record of surrounding authigenic carbonates were analyzed. The shallowest sulfate-methane-transition zone (SMTZ) was identified at 4 cm sediment depth hinting to locally strong fluid fluxes. However, a lack of Cl- anomalies in porewater profiles indicates a shallow source of these fluids, which is supported by the biogenic origin of the methane (δ13C -70‰ PDB). Sulfide and alkalinity was relatively high (up to 20 mM and 40 mEq, respectively). Rates of AOM and sulfate reduction within this area reached magnitudes typical for seeps with variation between different habitat types, indicating a diverse methane supply, which is affecting the depths of the SMTZ. Rates were highest at sulfur a bacteria mats (20 mmol m-2 d-1) followed by a large field of dead clams, a pogonophoran field, a black sediment spot, and a carbonate rich clam field. Lowest rates (0.2 mmol m-2 d-1) were measured in close vicinity to these hot spots. Abundant massive

  19. Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous facies relationships in a passive margin basin, western North Atlantic

    SciTech Connect

    Prather, B.E.

    1988-02-01

    Correlation of facies from hydrocarbon-bearing continental and transitional marine sandstones to time-equivalent high-energy shelf-margin carbonates provide insight into hydrocarbon habitats of the Baltimore Canyon basin. These facies occur within a thick (> 10,000 ft) prograded wedge of shelf sediments in this passive margin basin. Wells drilled to test structural closures in shallow-water (< 600 ft) areas of Baltimore Canyon penetrate clastic facies which are time-equivalent to the downdip carbonate facies tested in deep-water wells. Numerous hydrocarbon shows, including a noncommercial gas and gas-condensate accumulation, occur with sandstone units that were deposited in prograding continental/fluvial and transitional marine environments located updip of the Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian carbonate shelf edge. The continental and transitional facies are overlain by a fine-grained deltaic complex which forms a regionally extensive top seal unit. The deltaic complex was deposited during aggradation of the Kimmeridgian through Berriasian shelf-margin carbonates penetrated by the deep-water wells. Deep-water wells (> 5000 ft) drilled off the continental shelf edge to test large structural closures along the downdip termination of the Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceous carbonate shelf edge encountered no significant hydrocarbon shows. Reservoir rocks in these wells consist of (1) oolite grainstone which was deposited within a shoal-water complex located at the Aptian shelf edge, and (2) coral-stromatoporoid grainstone and boundstone which formed an aggraded shelf-margin complex located at the Kimmeridgian through Berriasian shelf edge. Structural closures with reservoir and top seals are present in both updip and downdip trends. The absence of hydrocarbon shows in downdip carbonate reservoirs suggests a lack of source rocks available to charge objectives at the shelf margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1985-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishibashi, Jun-ichiro

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Benson, R.N. )

    1991-08-01

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

  4. Evolution of the continental margin of southern Spain and the Alboran Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dillon, William P.; Robb, James M.; Greene, H. Gary; Lucena, Juan Carlos

    1980-01-01

    Seismic reflection profiles and magnetic intensity measurements were collected across the southern continental margin of Spain and the Alboran basin between Spain and Africa. Correlation of the distinct seismic stratigraphy observed in the profiles to stratigraphic information obtained from cores at Deep Sea Drilling Project site 121 allows effective dating of tectonic events. The Alboran Sea basin occupies a zone of motion between the African and Iberian lithospheric plates that probably began to form by extension in late Miocene time (Tortonian). At the end of Miocene time (end of Messinian) profiles show that an angular unconformity was cut, and then the strata were block faulted before subsequent deposition. The erosion of the unconformity probably resulted from lowering of Mediterranean sea level by evaporation when the previous channel between the Mediterranean and Atlantic was closed. Continued extension probably caused the block faulting and, eventually the opening of the present channel to the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar and the reflooding of the Mediterranean. Minor tectonic movements at the end of Calabrian time (early Pleistocene) apparently resulted in minor faulting, extensive transgression in southeastern Spain, and major changes in the sedimentary environment of the Alboran basin. Active faulting observed at five locations on seismic profiles seems to form a NNE zone of transcurrent movement across the Alboran Sea. This inferred fault trend is coincident with some bathymetric, magnetic and seismicity trends and colinear with active faults that have been mapped on-shore in Morocco and Spain. The faults were probably caused by stresses related to plate movements, and their direction was modified by inherited fractures in the lithosphere that floors the Alboran Sea.

  5. Quantification of gas bubble emissions from submarine hydrocarbon seeps at the Makran continental margin (offshore Pakistan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    RöMer, Miriam; Sahling, Heiko; Pape, Thomas; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Spieß, Volkhard

    2012-10-01

    Evidence for twelve sites with gas bubble emissions causing hydroacoustic anomalies in 18 kHz echosounder records (`flares') was obtained at the convergent Makran continental margin. The hydroacoustic anomalies originating from hydrocarbon seeps at water depths between 575 and 2870 m disappeared after rising up to 2000 m in the water column. Dives with the remotely operated vehicle `Quest 4000 m' revealed that several individual bubble vents contributed to one hydroacoustic anomaly. Analyzed gas samples suggest that bubbles were mainly composed of methane of microbial origin. Bubble size distributions and rise velocities were determined and the volume flux was estimated by counting the emitted bubbles and using their average volume. We found that a low volume flux (Flare 1 at 575 mbsl: 90 ml/min) caused a weak hydroacoustic signal in echograms whereas high volume fluxes (Flare 2 at 1027 mbsl: 1590 ml/min; Flare 5 C at 2870 mbsl: 760 ml/min) caused strong anomalies. The total methane bubble flux in the study area was estimated by multiplying the average methane flux causing a strong hydroacoustic anomaly in the echosounder record with the total number of equivalent anomalies. An order-of-magnitude estimate further considers the temporal variability of some of the flares, assuming a constant flux over time, and allows a large range of uncertainty inherent to the method. Our results on the fate of bubbles and the order-of-magnitude estimate suggest that all of the ˜40 ± 32 × 106 mol methane emitted per year within the gas hydrate stability zone remain in the deep ocean.

  6. Explaining darker deep convective clouds over the western Pacific in comparison to tropical continental regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohn, B.; Choi, M.

    2013-12-01

    A recent study, based on analysis of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) solar channel measurements, reports that deep convective clouds (DCCs) over the western Pacific are found to be darker than DCCs over continental tropical regions such as Africa and South America. This phenomenon is quite interesting although an immediate attempt to explain the reason may be the different cloud microphysics within the deep convective clouds between land and ocean. However, in fact, attempt has not made what causes such difference. In this study, aiming at understanding why DCCs over the western Pacific show generally lower reflectivity in comparison to tropical African and South American regions, regional differences in optical properties of DCCs are examined using Cloud Profile Radar (CPR) onboard CloudSat and Cloud Aerosol Lidar Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) measurements. Analysis of four January months of 2007-2010, demonstrates that there are distinct difference in ice water path (IWP) between the western Pacific and other two continental regions. Also found is small but meaningful differences in the effective radius. Results lead to a conjecture that smaller IWP over the western Pacific is the main cause inducing smaller reflectance. Radiative transfer experiments investigating what optical parameters of DCCs are responsible for the darker clouds over the western Pacific make it clear that smaller ice water content available in the western Pacific is the main cause.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-09-01

    Volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Västervik and Valdemarsvik groups along the southern margin of the 1.90-1.85 Ga south Svecofennian crustal province in Sweden have been migmatised and intruded by granitoids and gabbros during extension (deformation phase D 1), at a depth of at least 10 km. Peak metamorphic conditions were reached around 1825 Ma. Extension switched to compression before cooling. The partially molten middle crust facilitated shortening and thickening by isoclinal and sheath folds on scales from a decimetre to 10 km (D 2). A pervasive mylonitic S 2 foliation developed. These structures were refolded into eastward plunging crustal scale upright folds with E(SE)-W(NW) trending axial planes (D 3). D 2-D 3 deformation structures are colinear and developed during top-to-the-WNW slip along S 2. Locally, zones of high ductile strain in garnet-bearing migmatite assemblages record considerable vertical displacement (from 850 to 300 MPa), possibly in nappe roots. Some major D 2 sheath folds are embraced by D 3- like, but NNW-trending megafolds (D 4), apparently resulting from shortening around the former. D 2-D 4 deformations are interpreted to be broadly coeval and related to transpressive crustal shortening against the northern Svecofennian continental back-stop. After cooling to high greenschist-facies conditions, early structures underwent renewed transpression in north-south direction, expressed in localized, retrogressive shear zones (phase D 5). Much D 5 strain was accommodated by the 10 km wide, NW-SE striking, right-lateral Loftahammar-Linköping Deformation Zone (LLDZ), operative around 1800-1780 Ma. Regional strain partitioning caused transverse shortening in 15-20 km wide border zones of the LLDZ. Later overprints (D 6) involve narrow, subparallel, NW-SE striking and steeply NE dipping low greenschist-facies mylonite zones, some of which merge into the regional, polyphase Åsbro-Norrköping Deformation Zone. D 6 was transpressive; oblique

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Hanging canyons of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada: Fault-control on submarine canyon geomorphology along active continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Peter T.; Barrie, J. Vaughn; Conway, Kim W.; Greene, H. Gary

    2014-06-01

    Faulting commonly influences the geomorphology of submarine canyons that occur on active continental margins. Here, we examine the geomorphology of canyons located on the continental margin off Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, that are truncated on the mid-slope (1200-1400 m water depth) by the Queen Charlotte Fault Zone (QCFZ). The QCFZ is an oblique strike-slip fault zone that has rates of lateral motion of around 50-60 mm/yr and a small convergent component equal to about 3 mm/yr. Slow subduction along the Cascadia Subduction Zone has accreted a prism of marine sediment against the lower slope (1500-3500 m water depth), forming the Queen Charlotte Terrace, which blocks the mouths of submarine canyons formed on the upper slope (200-1400 m water depth). Consequently, canyons along this margin are short (4-8 km in length), closely spaced (around 800 m), and terminate uniformly along the 1400 m isobath, coinciding with the primary fault trend of the QCFZ. Vertical displacement along the fault has resulted in hanging canyons occurring locally. The Haida Gwaii canyons are compared and contrasted with the Sur Canyon system, located to the south of Monterey Bay, California, on a transform margin, which is not blocked by any accretionary prism, and where canyons thus extend to 4000 m depth, across the full breadth of the slope.

  11. Petrology and age of volcanic-arc rocks from the continental margin of the Bering Sea: implications for Early Eocene relocation of plate boundaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, A.S.; Pickthorn, L.-B.G.; Vallier, T.L.; Marlow, M. S.

    1989-01-01

    Eocene volcanic flow and dike rocks from the Beringian margin have arc characteristics, implying a convergent history for this region during the early Tertiary. Chemical and mineralogical compositions are similar to those of modern Aleutian-arc lavas. They also resemble volcanic-arc compositions from western mainland Alaska, although greater chemical diversity and a stronger continental influence are observed in the Alaskan mainland rocks. Early Eocene ages of 54.4-50.2 Ma for the Beringian samples are well constrained by conventional K-Ar ages of nine plagioclase separates and by concordant 40Ar/39Ar incremental heating and total-fusion experiments. A concordant U-Pb zircon age of 53 Ma for the quartz-diorite dike is in good agreement with the K-Ar data. Plate motion studies of the North Pacific Ocean indicate more northerly directed subduction prior to the Tertiary and a continuous belt of arc-type volcanism extending from Siberia, along the Beringian margin, into mainland Alaska. Around 56 Ma (chron 25-24), subduction changed to a more westerly direction and subduction-related volcanism ceased for most of mainland Alaska. The increasingly oblique angle of convergence should have ended subduction along the Beringian margin as well. However, consistent ages of 54-50 Ma indicate a final pulse in arc-type magmatism during this period of plate adjustment. -from Authors

  12. Crustal rheological strength heterogeneities control the formation of continental plateau margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chang; Zhu, Bojing; Yang, Xiaolin

    2015-08-01

    The margins bordering the Tibetan Plateau show two end-member morphologies in topographic gradient: steep margins and low-gradient margins. To investigate the formation mechanism of convergent intracontinental plateau margins, we conduct 2D numerical experiments to simulate crustal deformation process across plateau margins. Our numerical experiments demonstrate that heterogeneities in crustal rheological strength control significantly the formation of plateau margins when subjected to crustal convergence. A very steep margin is the result of crustal convergence between plateau with weak lower crust and foreland basin with strong lower crust. By contrast, a low-gradient margin could result from crustal convergence between plateau and foreland with less strength contrast. This finding suggests that the diversity in topographic gradient along the Tibetan Plateau borders reflects heterogeneities in crustal rheological strength across the plateau margins. Steep gradient at the margins indicate large crustal rheological strength contrasts between the weak ductile lower crust of the Tibetan Plateau and its strong surrounding foreland basins, like the Sichuan Basin, the Tarim Basin and the Qaidam Basin. Beneath these steep margins the horizontal flow of the Tibetan ductile lower crust is inhibited and forced to extrude to support escarpments. Low-gradient at the margins indicate less crustal strength variations between the plateau and outer forelands, like at the northeastern and southeastern margins, where they might be outlets for the weak ductile Tibetan lower crust to flow away from the plateau.

  13. Conductivity model of the passive continental margin derived from an amphibian magnetotelluric study on the Walvis Ridge and at the Kaoko Belt in Northern Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The magnetotelluric (MT) study is a part of the interdisciplinary SAMPLE project investigating processes related to the breakup of supercontinent Gondwana and the post breakup evolution of the passive continental margins of Africa and South America. We present an electrical conductivity image from the Southern African passive continental margin, derived from an amphibian MT experiment crossing the entire Kaoko Belt in Northern Namibia and the Walvis Ridge in the Atlantic Ocean. The MT data at 167 onshore sites are generally of a high quality but large diagonal components of impedance tensor, phases over 90° at some sites and a strong variability of transfer functions within short distances indicate three-dimensional structures in the crust and upper mantle. Such 3D effects are observed particularly in the Western Kaoko Zone in the vicinity of the prominent Neoproterozoic shear zones. Thus, we apply a two-part inversion strategy: In areas and frequency ranges where the 3D effects are not dominant, we apply 2D inversion of data sub-sets in order to identify the prominent conductivity features and assess their resolution and robustness; however, the entire data set can only be explained by 3D inversion. The 2D models of the crust beneath the profile from the Walvis Ridge onto the Congo Craton reveal a spatial correlation of resistive zones with the cratonic Northern Platform. Zones of high electrical conductivity seem to correlate with surface expressions of prominent faults such as the Purros Mylonite Zone and the Three Palm Mylonite Zone of the Kaoko Belt. Outcropping Etendeka flood basalts in the Western Kaoko Zones correlate with zones of high resistivity. The offshore part of the models shows a thin conductive layer corresponding to sea floor sediments. Interestingly, the Walvis Ridge exhibits a more resistive and deeper reaching seafloor compared to what typically is expected from oceanic crust. These results are complemented by 3D inversion, which generally

  14. Variations in Organic Matter Burial and Composition in Sediments from the Indian Ocean Continental Margin Off SW Indonesia (Sumatra - Java - Flores) Since the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jennerjahn, T. C.; Gesierich, K.; Schefuß, E.; Mohtadi, M.

    2014-12-01

    Global climate change is a mosaic of regional changes to a large extent determined by region-specific feedbacks between climate and ecosystems. At present the ocean is forming a major sink in the global carbon cycle. Organic matter (OM) storage in sediments displays large regional variations and varied over time during the Quaternary. Upwelling regions are sites of high primary productivity and major depocenters of organic carbon (OC), the least understood of which is the Indian Ocean upwelling off Indonesia. In order to reconstruct the burial and composition of OM during the Late Quaternary, we analyzed five sediment cores from the Indian Ocean continental margin off the Indonesian islands Sumatra to Flores spanning the last 20,000 years (20 kyr). Sediments were analyzed for bulk composition, stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes of OM, amino acids and hexosamines and terrestrial plant wax n-alkanes and their stable carbon isotope composition. Sedimentation rates hardly varied over time in the western part of the transect. They were slightly lower in the East during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and deglaciation, but increased strongly during the Holocene. The amount and composition of OM was similar along the transect with maximum values during the deglaciation and the late Holocene. High biogenic opal covarying with OM content indicates upwelling-induced primary productivity dominated by diatoms to be a major control of OM burial in sediments in the East during the past 20 kyr. The content of labile OM was low throughout the transect during the LGM and increased during the late Holocene. The increase was stronger and the OM less degraded in the East than in the West indicating that continental margin sediments off Java and Flores were the major depocenter of OC burial along the Indian Ocean margin off SW Indonesia. Temporal variations probably resulted from changes in upwelling intensity and terrestrial inputs driven by variations in monsoon strength.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramprasad, T.

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClellan, Elizabeth; Gazel, Esteban

    2014-10-01

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

  18. Sequence stratigraphy and systems tract analysis of the Neogene-Quaternary continental margin off the Zambezi delta, Mozambique

    SciTech Connect

    Kolla, V. ); Macurda, D.B. Jr. ); Nelson, H.R. Jr. )

    1991-03-01

    During the Neogene and Quaternary, the Zambezi River built a broad delta-platform from 75 to over 100 km into the Indian Ocean. A regional seismic grid shows numerous discontinuities in the delta platform, slope, and deeper basinal areas. Based on downward shifts of reflection terminations and onlaps at or below shelf edge, more than 25 sequences have been identified. Within the gross Neogene package, the basal section is characterized by aggradation, followed by rapid and significant (oblique) progradation, which is then followed by numerous aggradational-progradation and progradation packages in the upper, younger sections. From recognition of aggradation-progradation patterns and from well information, it appears that the first, significant, and rapid progradation occurred since mid-Miocene. The earliest of the Neogene sequence appears thicker towards south and thinner towards north, opposite of the younger sequences. The number of sequences, their modes of stacking, and thickness distributions reflect relative sea-level changes and the points of sediment input as the Zambezi River shifted in position from south to north in time. The Zambezi passive continental margin, located in the Indian Ocean basin, is a stable platform as opposed to the unstable continental margins off the Mississippi, McKenzie, and Niger deltas and is far from the stable margins that were the basis of the Haq et al. cycle-chart (1987). Thus the Zambezi continental margin provides an independent test case for verification of eustatic cycles and for the evaluation of allogenic (eustatic) versus autogenic (subsidence and delta switching) effects on depositional systems and systems tracts.

  19. A time-transgressive Holocene onset from Globorotalia menardii records on Brazilian continental margin sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwai, F. S.; Costa, K. B.; Toledo, F. A. D. L.; Santarosa, A. C. A.; Chiessi, C. M.; Camillo, E., Jr.; Quadros, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    The planktic foraminifer Globorotalia menardii presents a cyclic behavior within Pleistocene glacial cycles on Atlantic; it disappears during glacial periods and returns to this ocean after deglaciations. Therefore, G. menardii has been used to identify limits between those cycles and the last limit is recognized as the Holocene onset. The Holocene onset has been reported before as being more than 4 kyrs later than expected at the equatorial Atlantic Ocean based on a G. menardii record (Broecker & Pena, 2014). In this study, we explore the time-transgressive Holocene onset of G. menardii in the Atlantic from 21 piston cores collected along the Brazilian continental margin, between 7 ˚N and 33 ˚S. Radiocarbon dating was conducted on Globigerinoides ruber on samples prior to and after G. menardii reappearance in the cores. Reservoir-age corrected 14C dates vary between 17 and 6.5 cal kyrs; the older ages are found at ~14 ˚S and younger ages at 6 ˚N and 33 ˚S. From these ages and latitudes, we hypothesize that G. menardii's population has spread at higher rates southward. From the scenario observed on Brazilian coast it is possible to conclude that although ocean circulation has an important role on dispersion of planktonic foraminifera, it may be superimposed by ecological constraints of the species. G. menardii absence during glacials is linked to the Agulhas Leakage activity, which is prevented from getting to the Atlantic due the northern position of the Subtropical Convergence Zone during glacials. On interglacials, warm and saline waters carrying G. menardii are transported into the Subtropical Gyre currents, achieving Brazil's coast through the South Equatorial Current and spreading south and northward through Brazil Current and North Brazil Current, respectively. Nonetheless, from velocity and volume registered for this currents, we would expect a higher G. menardii dispersion rate northward. A faster southward dispersal during the deglaciation suggests

  20. Pathways of carbon oxidation in continental margin sediments off central Chile.

    PubMed

    Thamdrup, B; Canfield, D E

    1996-12-01

    Rates and oxidative pathways of organic carbon mineralization were determined in sediments at six stations on the shelf and slope off Concepcion Bay at 36.5 degrees S. The depth distribution of C oxidation rates was determined to 10 cm from accumulation of dissolved inorganic C in 1-5-d incubations. Pathways of C oxidation were inferred from the depth distributions of the potential oxidants (O2, NO3-, and oxides of Mn and Fe) and from directly determined rates of SO4(2-) reduction. The study area is characterized by intense seasonal upwelling, and during sampling in late summer the bottom water over the shelf was rich in NO3- and depleted of O2. Sediments at the four shelf stations were covered by mats of filamentous bacteria of the genera Thioploca and Beggiatoa. Carbon oxidation rates at these sites were extremely high near the sediment surface (>3 micromol cm-3 d-1) and decreased exponentially with depth. The process was entirely coupled to SO4(2-) reduction. At the two slope stations where bottom-water O2 was > 100 microM, C oxidation rates were 10-fold lower and varied less with depth; C oxidation coupled to the reduction of O2, NO3-, and Mn oxides combined to yield an estimated 15% of the total C oxidation between 0 and 10 cm. Carbon oxidation through Fe reduction contributed a further 12-29% of the depth-integrated rate, while the remainder of C oxidation was through SO4(2-) reduction. The depth distribution of Fe reduction agreed well with the distribution of poorly crystalline Fe oxides, and as this pool decreased with depth, the importance of SO4(2-) reduction increased. The results point to a general importance of Fe reduction in C oxidation in continental margin sediments. At the shelf stations, Fe reduction was mainly coupled to oxidation of reduced S. These sediments were generally H2S-free despite high SO4(2-) reduction rates, and precipitation of Fe sulfides dominated H2S scavenging during the incubations. A large NO3- pool was associated with the

  1. Relict sand waves in the continental shelf of the Gulf of Valencia (Western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albarracín, Silvia; Alcántara-Carrió, Javier; Montoya-Montes, Isabel; Fontán-Bouzas, Ángela; Somoza, Luis; Amos, Carl L.; Salgado, Jorge Rey

    2014-10-01

    The presence of fossil or relict bedforms is common in the Quaternary fill of modern continental shelf due to sea level oscillations, tectonic subsidence and migration of associated sedimentary facies. The continental margin of the Gulf of Valencia has been strongly influenced by glacio-eustasy and neotectonics. High-resolution multibeam bathymetry data, seismic reflection profiles and box core samples were collected across the continental shelf of the Gulf of Valencia during the DERIVA cruises carried out in 2010 and 2011. The integrated analysis of this data set and high-resolution mapping of the relict bedforms on the Valencian continental shelf, ranging between 50 and 90 m allowed the study of previously identified system of sand waves located in front of the present-day Albufera de Valencia lagoon. The system is composed of 27 ridges with a NNE-SSW orientation, i.e. oblique to the present shoreline, in which the lateral horns point backwards. These sand waves can reach 10 m in height and 3 km in length resulting in a maximum slope of 6°. According to seismic stratigraphic and relative sea level curve reconstructions, these sand waves were formed during the Younger Dryas (~ 12-10 ky BP). Consequently, they have been classified as Holocene sand waves associated with coastal sedimentary evolution.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Pleistocene deformations in the contexte of the Rharb foredeep basin (north western Atlantic Moroccan margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maad, N.; Le Roy, P.; Sahabi, M.; Gutscher, M. A.; Dakki, M.; Hssain, M.; van Vliet-Lanoë, B.; Brahim, L. Ait; M'hammdi, N.; Trenteseaux, A.

    2009-04-01

    This study relates to the Cenozoic post rift deformations of Rharb foredeep basin in response to the Europe-Africa convergence. Here we are going to retail the tectonic structures of the Rharb basin, in particular the active front of the Prerifaine nappe in the area of Lalla Zahra. The method is based on the interpretations of the high resolution seismic reflection data acquired during the Protit2 (2003) and the Nomads cruises (2007). The surveys were conducted by the University of Brest in France and the Faculté des Sciences d'El Jadida in Morocco. They allowed to record more than 2000 km of seismic lines through the Rharb continental shelf. The integration of new data with industrial seismic lines provided by ONHYM and field observations collected along the coastline allows us to identify the formation and the recent evolution of the western termination of the Southern Rif Corridor. This coastal basin corresponds to the foredeep basin linked to the Rif Cordillera and extends southwards through the northern Moroccan Meseta that defines the foreland region of the Western Rif (Flinch,93). The integrated study clarifies the post-nappe evolution of the offshore Rharb basin during Neogene and quaternary times. A succession of deformations affect the Rharb basin with separating episodes of relaxation and quiescence. Their ages are based on chronostratigraphical attribution of mean unconformities. A Lower Pliocene episode is characterized by reactivation of faults affecting the Nappe. The uplift of the basin and the individualization of the Lallah Zarah ridge increases and controls the terrigenous fluxes. A Middle Pleistocene still active episode and corresponds to a new uplift of the two margins of the basin. Faulting remains more active in the North along the Lallah Zarah ridge and offshore Larache where large active listric faults are observed. The progressive segmentation of the basin determinates the sedimentary filling with cyclic sequences extending progressively

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  5. Will the French Riviera disappear? Ancient and present day submarine landslides along the north-western Ligurian Margin (NW Mediterranean) under the microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassoun, V.; Migeon, S.; Larroque, C.; Cattaneo, A.; Mercier De Lepinay, B. F.

    2011-12-01

    The integration between seismic-reflection and bathymetric data highlighted more than one thousand and three hundred ancient and recent scars and Mass Transport Deposits (MTDs) related to submarine failures along the whole northern margin of the Ligurian Basin. Several types of failures are pointed out along the margin according to their morphology, distribution and origin: (1) Numerous superficial landslides affected largely the inner walls of canyons and the upper continental slope at the vicinity of the main mountain-supplied rivers where the sedimentation rates are the strongest and thus contribute to the progressive stressing of the slope. This type of scars is mainly observed in the western margin where the thickness of plio-quaternary sediment is the lowest. (2) Large-scale scars and successive MTDs affecting the upper part of interfluves in the Gulf of Genova (Finale Slide and Portofino Slide) could have been triggered by earthquakes as well as by indirect effects of the last sea level drop. (3) At the north-eastern margin, offshore of Imperia, there is a large promontory bounded by a network of N60°E faults on its southern side and characterized by the presence of many landslides of variable sizes associated to unconformities could correspond to the different phases of recent, and perhaps present-day, uplift of the Imperia Promontory. (4) Deep scars along the base of the continental slope and possibly related to the seismic activity of a neighbouring fault, as the Cirque Marcel located near the Marcel Fault which appears on the seafloor as a 10-km long scarp trending N60°E. (5) In the western basin, near of the foot of the continental slope, the bathymetry is mark by a convexity which corresponds on the seismic data to the superposition of several thick MTDs. (6) In the deep basin and the eastern part of the Ligurian Basin, the thick plio-quaternary deposits are constitute by an alternation between continuous reflectors corresponding to hemipelagic

  6. Metallogeny of the northeastern Pacific Rim: an example of the distribution of ore deposits along a growing continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldfarb, R.J.; Hart, C.J.; Mortensen, J.K.; Weber, Graeme

    1999-01-01

    The distribution of mineral deposits within northwestern North America (Alaska, Yukon, and northern British Columbia) allows for an in-depth examination of the metallogenic patterns of a growing continental margin. A more complete understanding of the tectonic evolution of this part of the Pacific Rim, achieved over the last 15 to 20 years, now allows for the placement of ore systems into a well-defined plate tectonic framework. Ore deposits older than about 185 Ma represent hydrothermal systems that were active in the platform/shelf environment of ancestral North America's miogeocline or hydrothermal systems developed in oceanic arcs and continental fragments more distal to the craton. These include important SEDEX, VMS, and pre-accretionary porphyry deposits. In contrast, most mineral deposits younger than about 185 Ma were formed within the growing Cordilleran orogen, as terranes were accreted to the continental margin during interactions between the North America and Pacific/Farallon/Kula plates. Such syn- to post-accretionary mineralised systems include many large lode gold and porphyry/skarn systems.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  8. 75 FR 17156 - Gulf of Mexico, Outer Continental Shelf, Western Planning Area, Oil and Gas Lease Sale 215 (2010...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-05

    ... Minerals Management Service Gulf of Mexico, Outer Continental Shelf, Western Planning Area, Oil and Gas Lease Sale 215 (2010) Environmental Assessment AGENCY: Minerals Management Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of an environmental assessment. SUMMARY: The Minerals Management Service (MMS)...

  9. Revisiting the magnetic anomalies along the West Australian margin identifies a new continental fragment that accreted to Sumatra during the Early Eocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibbons, A.; Whittaker, J. M.; Müller, P.

    2010-12-01

    Plate models reconstructing the formation of the West Australian margin differ in their treatment of the section of the Australian margin extending from the Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone to the tip of the Exmouth Plateau. Some reconstructions model Greater India as the conjugate, while others do not model any conjugate plate at all. The formation of the passive margin on the Australian plate implies that there must have been a conjugate continental plate that rifted away. Our revised reconstruction that includes all the abyssal plains along the West Australian margin reveals that, apart from Greater India and Argoland, a third continental block (Gascoyneland) must also have rifted from Australia since the Jurassic. From 132 Ma, while initially moving about the same Euler pole as Greater India, it formed the stretched continental crust of the Exmouth Plateau and then the oceanic crust of the Gascoyne and Cuvier abyssal plains. At 115 Ma Gascoyneland began moving in a northerly direction while Greater India continued westward only later moving northward from approximately 95 Ma when it was located entirely west of Gascoyneland. Gascoyneland did not pass west of the Investigator Ridge, a north-south-oriented linear feature at 98°E marking the western limits of the curved fracture zones of the Wharton Basin. Gascoyneland’s change in direction of plate motion would have formed these curved fracture zones and, assuming the N-S orientation of the Investigator Ridge continued into now subducted oceanic crust, would have reached West Sumatra at around 60 Ma. Plate tectonic models indicate that Sumatra was derived from accreted continental fragments originating from Gondwana (Metcalfe, 1996), although the continuity of Triassic sediments in West Sumatra, Sibumasu and East Malaya contradict this (Barber and Crow, 2003). The Woyla Group, consisting of the Sikuleh, Natal and Bengkulu terranes located along the west coast of Sumatra, has been identified as an oceanic arc

  10. The Dauki Fault in NE India: A crustal scale thrust-fold reactivating the continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, E. K.; Seeber, L.; Akhter, S. H.; Steckler, M. S.; Biswas, A.; Mukhopadhyay, B. P.

    2011-12-01

    plateau have been folded and uplifted up to 1.8 km and are only beginning to be dissected by deep canyons along its southern margin despite the high relief and rainfall. This immature morphology coupled with ongoing subsidence in the foredeep basin suggests active and rapid uplift, postdating the Miocene exhumation event inferred from available Miocene cooling ages. Samples of sediment collected from the deeply incised valleys are being dated using cosmogenic nuclides in order to quantify erosion rates in the south-central region of the Shillong Plateau. Tilting associated with the forelimb is manifested in asymmetric erosion along strike-parallel river valleys on the plateau and gravitational collapse of the saprolitic cover down the forelimb. Future work will investigate the structure associated with the eastern and western segments of the Dauki fault to determine the continuity along strike and the interaction between the Dauki Fault and the Burma fold belt.

  11. Influence of the Afar plume on the deep structure of Aden and Red Sea margins - Insight from teleseismic tomography in western Yemen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korostelev, Félicie; Basuyau, Clémence; Leroy, Sylvie; Ahmed, Abdulhakim; Keir, Derek; Stuart, Graham; Rolandone, Frédérique; Ganad, Ismail Al; Khanbari, Khaled

    2013-04-01

    Continental rupture processes under mantle plume influence are still poorly known although extensively studied. The Afar plume has been largely investigated in Ethiopia to study early stages of continental break-up. Here we imaged the lithospheric structure of western continental Yemen to evaluate the role of the Afar plume on the evolution of the continental margin and its extent towards the East. A part of the YOCMAL project (YOung Conjugate MArgins Laboratory) permitted the deployment of twenty-three broadband stations in Yemen (from 2009 to 2010). Using a classical teleseismic tomography (Aki et al., 1974) on these stations together with a permanent GFZ station, we image the relative velocity variations of P-waves in the crust and lithosphere down to 300 km depth, with a maximum lateral resolution of about ~20 km. The model thus obtained shows (1) a dramatic and localized thinning of the crust in the vicinity of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden (2) the presence of magmatic underplating related to seaward dipping reflectors under those two volcanic margins (3) two granitic syn-rift intrusions on the border of the great escarpment (4) a low velocity anomaly in which with evidence of partial melting, just below thick Oligocene trapps series and other volcanic events (from 15 Ma to present). This low velocity anomaly could correspond to an abnormally hot mantle and could be responsible for dynamic topography and recent magmatism in western Yemen. (5) Finally, we infer the presence of hot material under the Southwestern corner of Yemen that could be related to Miocene volcanism in Jabal an Nar.

  12. Stratigraphic and isotopic link between the northern Stikine terrane and an ancient continental margin assemblage, Canadian Cordillera

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, J.L.; Gehrels, G.E.; Patchett, P.J. ); Mihalynuk, M.G. )

    1991-12-01

    Geologic and isotopic data strongly imply a Late Triassic depositional link between a juvenile volcanic arc (northern Stikine terrane) and an outboard ancient continental margin assemblage (Nisling terrane) in the Canadian Cordillera. Two sandstone samples and a schist clast from a conglomerate layer at the base of the Upper Triassic Stuhini Group (northern Stikine terrane) have Nd-depleted mantle model ages of 1400-1430 and 1600 Ma, respectively; other Stuhini Group rocks have model ages of 390,660 and 690 Ma. Three samples of Nisling terrane schist and gneiss yield Nd model ages of 910, 1770, and 2450 Ma and highly radiogenic {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios. These isotopic data corroborate stratigraphic evidence that detritus at the base of northern Stikine was shed from the Nisling terrane and strengthen interpretations that these terranes became linked by Late Triassic time. Thus, Upper Triassic strata of the northern Stikine terrane may have accumulated on top of or adjacent to an exotic continental fragment, a rifted fragment of the North American margin, or the in situ North American margin.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

    The Neoproterozoic Ar Rayn terrane is exposed along the eastern margin of the Arabian shield. The terrane is bounded on the west by the Ad Dawadimi terrane across the Al Amar fault zone (AAF), and is nonconformably overlain on the east by Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks. The terrane is composed of a magmatic arc complex and syn- to post-orogenic intrusions. The layered rocks of the arc, the Al Amar group (>689 Ma to ???625 Ma), consist of tholeiitic to calc-alkaline basaltic to rhyolitic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks with subordinate tuffaceous sedimentary rocks and carbonates, and are divided into an eastern and western sequence. Plutonic rocks of the terrane form three distinct lithogeochemical groups: (1) low-Al trondhjemite-tonalite-granodiorite (TTG) of arc affinity (632-616 Ma) in the western part of the terrane, (2) high-Al TTG/adakite of arc affinity (689-617 Ma) in the central and eastern part of the terrane, and (3) syn- to post-orogenic alkali granite (607-583 Ma). West-dipping subduction along a trench east of the terrane is inferred from high-Al TTG/adakite emplaced east of low-Al TTG. The Ar Rayn terrane contains significant resources in epithermal Au-Ag-Zn-Cu-barite, enigmatic stratiform volcanic-hosted Khnaiguiyah-type Zn-Cu-Fe-Mn, and orogenic Au vein deposits, and the potential for significant resources in Fe-oxide Cu-Au (IOCG), and porphyry Cu deposits. Khnaiguiyah-type deposits formed before or during early deformation of the Al Amar group eastern sequence. Epithermal and porphyry deposits formed proximal to volcanic centers in Al Amar group western sequence. IOCG deposits are largely structurally controlled and hosted by group-1 intrusions and Al Amar group volcanic rocks in the western part of the terrane. Orogenic gold veins are largely associated with north-striking faults, particularly in and near the AAF, and are presumably related to amalgamation of the Ar Rayn and Ad Dawadimi terranes. Geologic, structural, and metallogenic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  15. How the structure of a continental margin affects the development of a fold and thrust belt. 1: A case study in south-central Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Dennis; Alvarez-Marron, Joaquina; Biete, Cristina; Camanni, Giovanni; Kuo-Chen, Hao; Ho, Chun-Wei

    2016-04-01

    depth, but becoming especially prominent at 12 km and 16 km depth, there is an embayment of relatively high Vp that can be interpreted as the onshore projection of a basement high that occurs between the Mesozoic basement shelf break and the Taihsi Basin. Southward, there is a notable northeast-southwest-oriented increase in seismicity across the on land projection of the Mesozoic basement shelf break, with seismicity predominantly located beneath the Alishan Ranges, the highest topography in this part of the mountain belt. The topography also shows a pronounced re-entrant that coincides with the orientation and onshore projection of the Mesozoic basement shelf break that extends northeastward across the Western Foothills and into the Hsuehshan Range. The shallow structure of south-central Taiwan contains a number of features, such as changes in structural grain, or basement involvement in the deformation, that can be attributed to the presence of pre-existing structures in the Eurasian continental margin as it enters into the deformation of the Taiwan fold and thrust belt.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  17. Ancient impact structures on modern continental shelves: The Chesapeake Bay, Montagnais, and Toms Canyon craters, Atlantic margin of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C. Wylie; Plescia, J.B.; Molzer, P.C.

    2002-01-01

    Three ancient impact craters (Chesapeake Bay - 35.7 Ma; Toms Canyon - 35.7 Ma; Montagnais - 51 Ma) and one multiring impact basin (Chicxulub - 65 Ma) are currently known to be buried beneath modern continental shelves. All occur on the passive Atlantic margin of North America in regions extensively explored by seismic reflection surveys in the search for oil and gas reserves. We limit our discussion herein to the three youngest structures. These craters were created by submarine impacts, which produced many structural and morphological features similar in construction, composition, and variability to those documented in well-preserved subaerial and planetary impact craters. The subcircular Chesapeake Bay (diameter 85 km) and ovate Montagnais (diameter 45-50 km) structures display outer-rim scarps, annular troughs, peak rings, inner basins, and central peaks similar to those incorporated in the widely cited conceptual model of complex impact craters. These craters differ in several respects from the model, however. For example, the Montagnais crater lacks a raised lip on the outer rim, the Chesapeake Bay crater displays only small remnants of a raised lip, and both craters contain an unusually thick body of impact breccia. The subtriangular Toms Canyon crater (diameter 20-22 km), on the other hand, contains none of the internal features of a complex crater, nor is it typical of a simple crater. It displays a prominent raised lip on the outer rim, but the lip is present only on the western side of the crater. In addition, each of these craters contains some distinct features, which are not present in one or both of the others. For example, the central peak at Montagnais rises well above the elevation of the outer rim, whereas at Chesapeake Bay, the outer rim is higher than the central peak. The floor of the Toms Canyon crater is marked by parallel deep troughs and linear ridges formed of sedimentary rocks, whereas at Chesapeake Bay, the crater floor contains

  18. Dyke belt in North Western margin of Siberian platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryabov, Victor

    2015-04-01

    The Early Triassic dyke swarm belt is strengthening at about 500 km (50-60 km width) along the northern margin of Siberian platform. Its locations is limited from the north by rift structure of the Yenisei-Khatanga trough, and from the south by Kystyktah-Ayan-Ambardah uprise. From west to east dyke belt is crossing Norilsk, Kamensky and Maimecha-Kotuiskaya province. In this direction the composition of dykes changing from basic rthrough alkali-basic to alkali-ultramafic varieties. The sickness of dykes varies from 0,5-10m up to 90 m and length - from 5-15 m to 140 km. The orientation of the bulk of dykes coincides with the direction of the major structural and tectonic lineaments of the region. Dykes are often refer to the fault planes. The composition of dykes may vary along the stretches. The density of hundreds of basaltic dykes and small intrusions in the dyke swarms is not permanent and sometimes essentially uneven. They form a compact dyke swarms of dykes, stocks and sub layering bodies veins. In dyke package on Huor-Uyallah river here are 20 subparallel dykes of different chemical composition at a distance of 2 km Lack of the evidence of the dykes crossing allows to assume their formation during the same magmatic cycle. Dykes cross cut through the entire incision of basaltic plateau. They did not created the flow effusions and refer to the final stage trap magmatism. Ar/Ar age of the youngest dykes in the province Kamenska 238-247 Ma. the age of lamproite dyke in Norilsk province is 235 Ma. Dykes are represented by dolerites trachydolerites, syenites, minettes, lamprophyres (camptonite, spessartite, vosgesite), avgitites, melanephelinite, alnoites, limburgites alkaline picrites, meimechites. Their content vary widely: SiO2 - 35,7-62,6; TiO2- 0,4-7,5; Al2O3- 4,4-17,5; Fe2O3- 4,6-20,6; MnO- 0,08-0,44; MgO- 0,8-31,5; CaO- 0,7-15,4; Na2O- 0,01-6,5; K2O 0,8-5,3 wt.%; P2O5 0,1-1,2 wt.%. The h Bolsheavamskaya volcanic basin in Kamensky province is most abundant in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Post-early cretaceous landform evolution along the western margin of the banca~nnia trough, western nsw

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gibson, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    Previously undated post-Devonian sediments outcropping north of Fowlers Gap station near the western margin of the Bancannia Trough are shown by plant macro- and microfossil determinations to be of Early Cretaceous (most likely Neocomian and/or Aptian) age, and thus part of the Eromanga Basin. They are assigned to the previously defined Telephone Creek Formation. Study of the structural configuration of this unit and the unconformably underlying Devonian rocks suggests that the gross landscape architecture of the area results from post-Early Cretaceous monoclinal folding along blind faults at the western margin of the trough, combined with the effects of differential erosion. This study shows that, while landscape evolution in the area has been dynamic, the major changes that have occurred are on a geological rather than human timescale.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Genesis of giant promontories during two-stage continental breakup and implications for post-Rodinia circum-Arctic margins (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, D. C.

    2013-12-01

    Giant promontories are a seldom-noted feature of the present-day population of passive margins. A number of them formed during the breakup of Pangea: the South Tasman Rise and Naturaliste Plateau off Australia, the Grand Banks and Florida off North America, the Falkland Plateau off South America, and the Horn of Africa. Giant promontories protrude hundreds of kms seaward from a corner of the continent and are not to be confused with the low-amplitude irregularies that occur at intervals along most passive margins. Giant promontories that might have formed during the breakup of the earlier supercontinents, Rodinia and Nuna, have not been recognized. Properties of the modern examples suggest some identifying criteria. They are cored by continental crust that was created or last reworked during the previous collisional cycle. Judging from the examples listed, the early histories of the two flanks of a promontory will differ because separate continents or microcontinents drift away in different directions at different times. For example, the eastern flank of the >500-km-long South Tasman Rise formed when the Lord Howe Rise separated from Australia at ca. 85 Ma, whereas the western flank formed when Antarctica moved past at ca. 65-33 Ma. (Age spans of various passive margins quoted herein are from Bradley, 2008, Earth Sci. Rev. 91:1-26.) During ocean closure (typically, arc-passive margin collision), a promontory may be exposed to earlier and more intense tectonism than elsewhere along the margin. Unique events are also possible. For example, the tip of Florida experienced a glancing collision with Cuba during the Paleogene, an event that was not felt elsewhere along the Gulf or Atlantic margins of the southeastern U.S. Giant promontories are unlikely to have deep lithospheric keels and may be prone to being dislodged and rotated during collision. Thus, what starts as a promontory may end up as a microcontinent in an orogen. The case for giant promontories in the circum

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

    SciTech Connect

    Harben, P.; Rodgers, A.

    1999-07-26

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    Identifying the spatial distribution of seabed fluid expulsion features is crucial for understanding the substrate plumbing system of any continental margin. A 1100 km stretch of the U.S. Atlantic margin contains more than 5000 pockmarks at water depths of 120 m (shelf edge) to 700 m (upper slope), mostly updip of the contemporary gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). Advanced attribute analyses of high-resolution multichannel seismic reflection data reveal gas-charged sediment and probable fluid chimneys beneath pockmark fields. A series of enhanced reflectors, inferred to represent hydrate-bearing sediments, occur within the GHSZ. Differential sediment loading at the shelf edge and warming-induced gas hydrate dissociation along the upper slope are the proposed mechanisms that led to transient changes in substrate pore fluid overpressure, vertical fluid/gas migration, and pockmark formation.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

  6. Continuous Mantle Exhumation at the Outer Continental Margin of the Santos, Campos and Espírito Santo Basins, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalan, P. V.; Severino, M. G.; Rigoti, C. A.; Magnavita, L. P.; Oliveira, J. B.; Viana, A. R.

    2011-12-01

    The interpretation of 12,000 km of very deep (PSTM to 16 sec., PSDM to 25 km) 2D seismic sections, coupled with gravimetric and magnetometric modeling line-by-line, and the integration of the results with the regional data bank of Petrobras, all together viewed in terms of the recent tectonic models developed for the rupturing and separation of mega-plates, led to a regional (500,000 km2), first-time ever, 3D-view of the deep structure underlying the prolific sedimentary basins of Santos, Campos and Espírito Santo in southeastern Brazil. The three basins are situated onto a continental margin that narrows gradually, from south to north, from a very wide (Santos), through an intermediate (Campos), and then to a narrow (Espírito Santo) passive margin. The seismic sections shows very well the dual rheological behavior of the continental crust, consisting of a deeper and plastic lower crust (with numerous short and strong reflections that display sub-horizontal ductile flow) and a shallower and brittle upper crust (represented by a mostly transparent and faulted seismic facies topped by the sedimentary sections of the rift and thermal subsidence phases). The crustal structure of the Santos Basin shows a zonation from west to east of alternating bands of NE-SW-trending thin (plastic basement terrains) and thick (resistant basement terrains) stretched continental crust. In vertical section this zonation is displayed as a series of necking zones, leading to a highly irregular, low to moderate crustal taper. Such zonation is less developed in the Campos Basin, where the crustal taper is moderate and regular, and practically non-existent in the Espírito Santo Basin, where the crustal taper is high. The most outstanding crustal feature shared in common by the three basins is the exhumation of mantle between the tip of the hyper-extended continental crust and the tabular-shaped oceanic crust. Although the crustal taper varies significantly from basin to basin their

  7. Glaciogenic bedforms on the Chukchi Borderland, Morris Jesup Rise and Yermak Plateau: three prolongations of the Arctic Ocean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobsson, M.; Mayer, L.; Scientific Party, H.; Scientific Party, L.

    2008-12-01

    The US Coast Gard Cutter Healy and Swedish icebreaker Oden have collected multibeam bathymetry and subbottom profiles from the Chukchi Borderland, extending out from the continental shelf of northern Alaska, the Morris Jesup Rise north of Greenland and the Yermak Plateau protruding out from the northwestern Svalbard continental margin. The collected data show glaciogenic bedforms in the form of mega scale glacial lineations, flutings, iceberg scours, morainic ridges and conspicuous erosional channels cutting into a glacially striated seabed. These Arctic Ocean glaciogenic seafloor features show similarities to features mapped on the Antarctic continental margin, both regarding their morphology and dimensions. In this presentation, results from geophysical mapping in the Arctic Ocean with icebreaker Oden during the LOMROG 07 expedition and with USCGC Healy during the HOTRAX 05 and HLY0703 expeditions are presented and compared with published results from the Antarctic continental margin. On the Yermak Plateau, multibeam data from the LOMROG 07 expedition show subdued glacial striations, flutes, which are extending in a northwesterly direction towards the central Arctic Ocean. The mapped portion of the Yermak Plateau where the flutes exist is between 500-600 m deep. Chirp sonar profiles collected along with the multibeam bathymetry reveal that these flutes comprise the top of a glacially eroded surface which extends down to a water depth of approximately 830 m below present sea level, although the glacially eroded surface is draped by sediments from a depth of approximately 600 m. This suggests that the Yermak Plateau has been overridden by an ice sheet. Results from the nearby shallow continental margin suggest that the Svalbard ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), however, never reached the deeper Yermak Plateau and, thus, the flutes must originate from older glaciations. On the Morris Jessup Rise deep iceberg scours are mapped down to a water depth of

  8. Circulation over the continental shelf of the western and southwestern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubranna, Jean; PéRez-Brunius, Paula; López, Manuel; Candela, Julio

    2011-08-01

    The circulation over the continental shelf break of the western and southwestern Gulf of Mexico is inferred from the analysis of drifter trajectories and 12-19 months of continuous current measurements at seven different locations. The interpretation of the data is backed up by satellite altimetry, coastal sea level from tide gauges and wind model outputs. In accordance with previous numerical results, subinertial surface currents are driven by the wind along the shelves of the states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz. Northern wind regimes would force southward currents, whereas southern wind regimes would force northward currents at the surface but southward near the bottom, through a process involving Ekman drift and geostrophic balance. Our results show, however, that alongshore current variations are not correlated with the wind over the Western Campeche Bank. In addition, we identify other sources of current forcing. The transient eddies that collapse along the continental shelf can force strong alongshore currents and overwhelm the influence of established wind regimes. Their erratic occurrence is likely to be a major factor of interannual variability of the alongshore currents. Also, we point out the existence of coastally trapped waves generated by the wind in the northern shelf of Tamaulipas and propagating down to the Western Campeche Bank. The period of these waves ranges between 6 and 10 days, with phase speeds in the 4 m/s range.

  9. Seafloor Mapping of the Southeast Iberian Continental Slope and Western Algero-Balearic Abyssal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lastras, G.; Canals, M.; León, C.; Elvira, E.; Pascual, L.; Muñoz, A.; de Cárdenas, E.; Acosta, J.

    2014-12-01

    We present the multibeam bathymetry and derived maps of the southeast Iberian margin from Cabo de Palos to Cabo de Gata, 37º35'N to 35º45'N and 2º10'W to 0º20'E, from the coastline down to the Algero-Balearic abyssal plain at depths exceeding 2,600 m. Data were obtained during different surveys in 2004, 2006 and 2007 on board R/V Vizconde de Eza with a Simrad EM300 multibeam echo-sounder, as part of the CAPESME Project, a collaboration between the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and General Secretariat of Fisheries (SGP), aiming at creating maps of the fishing grounds of the Mediterranean continental margins of Spain. The edition of the maps has been carried out within the Complementary Action VALORPLAT (Scientific valorisation of multibeam bathymetry data from the Spanish continental shelf and slope), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity. Multibeam bathymetry data from the continental shelf obtained within the ESPACE project, also in a cooperative frame between IEO and SGP, completes the whole picture from the coastline to the deep abyssal plain. The map series is constituted by a general map at 1:400,000 scale and 14 detailed maps at 1:75,000 scale, which include inset maps on slope gradients and seafloor nature (rock or sediment type), the later obtained with rock dredges and Shipeck sediment dredges. Both the detailed maps and the general map are available in paper print, and the whole collection is also distributed in an edited USB. The geological features displayed in the different maps include the continental shelf, with abundant geomorphic features indicative of past sea-level changes, the continental slope carved by a large number of submarine canyons and gullies, including Palos, Tiñoso, Cartagena Este, Cartagena Oeste, Águilas, Almanzora, Alias, Garrucha and Gata submarine canyons, the Mazarrón, Palomares and Al-Mansour escarpments of probable tectonic origin, the Abubácer, Maimonides and Yusuf ridges, the

  10. The role of Variscan to pre-Jurassic active extension in controlling the architecture of the rifted passive margin of Adria: the example of the Canavese Zone (Western Southern Alps, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Succo, Andrea; De Caroli, Sara; Centelli, Arianna; Barbero, Edoardo; Balestro, Gianni; Festa, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    The Canavese Zone, in the Italian Western Southern Alps, represents the remnant of the Jurassic syn-rift stretching, thinning and dismemberment of the distal passive margin of Adria during the opening of the Penninic Ocean (i.e., Northern Alpine Tethys). Our findings, based on detailed geological mapping, structural analysis and stratigraphic and petrographic observations, document however that the inferred hyper-extensional dismemberment of this distal part of the passive margin of Adria, up to seafloor spreading, was favored by the inherited Variscan geometry and crustal architecture of the rifted margin, and by the subsequent Alpine-related strike-slip deformation. The new field data document, in fact, that the limited vertical displacement of syn-extensional (syn-rift) Jurassic faults was ineffective in producing and justifying the crustal thinning observed in the Canavese Zone. The deformation and thinning of the continental basement of Adria are constrained to the late Variscan time by the unconformable overlying of Late Permian deposits. Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene and Late Cenozoic strike-slip faulting (i.e., Alpine and Insubric tectonic stages) reactivated previously formed faults, leading to the formation of a complex tectonic jigsaw which only partially coincides with the direct product of the Jurassic syn-rift dismemberment of the distal part of the passive margin of Adria. Our new findings document that this dismemberment of the rifted continental margin of Adria did not simply result from the syn-rift Jurassic extension, but was strongly favored by the inheritance of older (Variscan and post-Variscan) tectonic stages, which controlled earlier lithospheric weakness. The formation of rifted continental margins by extension of continental lithosphere leading to seafloor spreading is a complex and still poorly understood component of the plate tectonic cycle. Geological mapping of rifted continental margins may thus provide significant information to

  11. Constraints of mapped and unfolded slabs on Oligocene to present-day Western Mediterranean plate reconstructions: potential role of north Iberia continental delamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yi-Te; Wu, Jonny; Wu, Yi-Min; Suppe, John; Sibuet, Jean-Claude; Chevrot, Sebastien

    2015-04-01

    Seismic tomographic images of subducted lithospheric remnants under the western Mediterranean have provided new constraints for Oligocene to present-day plate reconstructions. In this study, we mapped slabs under the western Mediterranean and Iberia from regional seismic tomography (Chevrot et al., 2014; Bezada et al., 2013) and from MITP08 global tomography (Li et al., 2008). A newly developed method was used to unfold (ie. structurally restore) the mapped slabs to a model spherical Earth surface, minimizing area and shape distortion. Slab constraints were input into plate tectonic reconstructions using Gplates software. Our mapping confirms the existence of western Mediterranean slabs including the Betic-Alboran, Algerian, and Calabrian slabs that were previously identified by Spakman and Wortel (2004). When unfolded these mapped slabs fit together in an Oligocene plate reconstruction, within tomographic resolution limits. Slab stretching was not required. Slab segmentation supports the existence of a North Balearic transform. Here we emphasize the potential importance for western Mediterranean tectonics of antoher slab under Iberia that we call the 'mid-Iberia slab'. This slab was first identified by Sibuet et al. (2004) and interpreted to be a Neotethyan suture. We have mapped this slab in detail from recent regional tomography (Chevrot et al., 2014). Our mapped slab is sub-vertical and strikes E-W under the southern margins of the Duero and Ebro basins. We newly interpret this slab to be delaminated northern Iberian continental lithosphere. We propose that continental delamination occurred during the Oligocene and produced uplifted Iberian Meseta topography, internally-drained basins, and high mean elevations that still persist today. We show how Oligocene northern Iberian continental delamination could have initiated subduction and rollback of the western Mediterranean

  12. LARISSA: Benthic Foraminiferal Analysis from Barilari Bay, western Antarctic Peninsula margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matulaitis, I.; Ishman, S. E.; Leventer, A.; Brachfeld, S. A.; Jeong, S.; Domack, E. W.

    2011-12-01

    The LARISSA (LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica) Project is an interdisciplinary project funded by the US National Science Foundation bringing together marine and Quaternary geology, cryosphere, ocean and marine ecology. The goal of LARISSA is to use the Larsen Ice Shelf System to study climate change effects on ice shelf systems and the oceanic and ecological responses to ice shelf collapse. This study focuses on jumbo piston core (JPC) 127 collected during cruise NBP 10-01. The 8.5 meter core was recovered from Barilari Bay (65.917°S 64.700°W) on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The core site at the outer edge of the bay is of particular interest due to its location between the inner fjord high deposition rate sites and the more distal middle shelf sites, its exposure to open ocean circulation within the bay, and its proximity to the ice core site drilled on the Bruce Plateau during the LARISSA project. The abundance of calcareous taxa throughout the core makes it a target for isotopic studies. The recovered section was sampled for a variety of proxy measurements with samples collected for benthic foraminiferal analysis at 10 cm intervals. Correlation of the magnetic susceptibility data, as well as a peak in the diatom Eucampia antarctica from JPC 127 and other core records from the western Antarctic Peninsula indicate recovery of at least mid-Holocene through recent. Foraminiferal analyses resulted in the identification of 92 species of foraminifera. Three of the abundant species are indicators of specific water masses. Bulimina aculeata is indicative of the warmer, less saline Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW). Marked high abundance of Bulimina aculeata in the uppermost 600 cm indicates incursions of CDW onto the continental shelf and into Barilari Bay. This period of increased Bulimina aculeata abundance is also seen in other cores taken around the peninsula such as kasten core (KC) 11 in the Hugo Island Trough and in the Palmer Deep. Fursenkoina is

  13. Nutrient distributions, transports, and budgets on the inner margin of a river-dominated continental shelf

    EPA Science Inventory

    Physical and biogeochemical processes determining the distribution and fate of nutrients delivered by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers to the inner (<50 m depth) Louisiana continental shelf (LCS) were examined using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the LCS and obse...

  14. Trace metals and organochlorines in sediments near a major ocean outfall on a high energy continental margin (Sydney, Australia).

    PubMed

    Matthai, C; Birch, G F

    2000-12-01

    Sewage effluent from a large ocean outfall south of Sydney, southeastern Australia, is efficiently dispersed on this high energy continental margin. An enrichment of Ag, Cu, Pb and Zn is only detectable in the fine fraction (<62.5 microm) of sediment. Ag, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in the bulk sample correlate strongly with the mud content of surficial sediment, making an identification of the anthropogenic trace metal source difficult using total sediment analyses. The concentrations of HCB and DDE in the total sediment are also slightly elevated near the outfall. In the vicinity of the outfall, the estimated sewage component in the fine fraction of sediment, using Ag, Cu and Zn in a conservative, two-endmember physical mixing model, is <5% and is <0.25% of the total sediment. A greater anthropogenic Pb component in the fine fraction (mean: 24.8%) of surficial sediment compared to Ag, Cu and Zn may suggest a source other than sewage to Sydney continental margin sediments.

  15. Long-term subsidence, cooling, and exhumation history along the South Atlantic passive continental margin in NW-Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menges, Daniel; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Salomon, Eric; Hackspacher, Peter Christian; Schneider, Gabi

    2016-04-01

    In northwest Namibia the Kaoko Belt is one of the most important Precambrian crustal segments that have stored the subsidence, cooling, and exhumation history of Namibia since the Neoproterozoic. ZFT-ages are processed to give new insights on this early evolution. Paleozoic to Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the Karoo Supergroup and the Lower Cretaceous volcanic rocks of the Etendeka sequence overlay the Proterozoic metamorphic and intrusive rocks (1). New apatite fission-track (AFT) ages range from 390.9 (17.9) Ma to 80.8 (6.0) Ma. Along the coast apatites of Proterozoic rock samples reveal the youngest ages. Further inland the ages increase significantly. In addition, rapid change of AFT-ages occurs on both sides of major thrust and shear zones. Using the oldest thermochronological data the revealed t-T paths indicate a long era of exhumation, starting at the end of the Pan-African Orogeny in the Neoproterozoic and continuing into the Permo-Carboniferous. The subsequent sedimentation of the Karoo Supergroup initiates a new era of subsidence until the end of Triassic (2). The subsequent period of denudation ends abruptly with the rapid deposition of the Etendeka basalts in the Early Cretaceous (3). The maximum thickness of the Etendeka volcanic suite has been estimated, using the apatite fission-track data, to about 3.2 (1.2) km. With the ongoing opening of the South Atlantic and the formation of the continental margin the Kaoko Belt went through a rapid cooling event starting ~ 130 Ma and ending ~ 80 Ma, at a mean rate of 0.034 km/Ma for the western, and 0.018 km/Ma for the northern and eastern Kaoko Belt. This cooling event was accompanied by a reactivation of major fault zones, like the Purros Mylonite Zone (4). Thereafter, stable conditions were established, with denudation rates generally lower than 0.010 km/Ma, until the Neogene, where a second cooling event led to increased exhumation rates around 0.042 km/Ma. The total amount of denudation in the last 130 Ma

  16. Geological history and petroleum resources of the continental margins in the central sector of Tethys

    SciTech Connect

    Geodekyan, A.A.; Zabanbark, A.; Konyukov, A.I.

    1993-01-01

    The history of the closure of Tethys explains the distribution and nature of occurrence of petroleum. The enormous resources known in basins of the former passive Gondwanan margin, including those of the Persian Gulf, are mostly in carbonate reservoirs. In contrast, the resources in basins of the former active Eurasian margin, from Spain to Iran, are very much smaller. 4 refs., 3 figs., 6 tabs.

  17. Survival Of Magnetic Paleoclimatic Signals From Shallow To Deep Water Marine Redoxomorphic Sediments Across The Northwest Iberian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohamed Falcon, K. J.; Rey, D.; Rubio, B.

    2013-05-01

    The magnetic properties of marine sediments on the North Atlantic Iberian continental Margin are strongly dependent on the organic matter input to the sediments and the onset of reductive diagenesis. An onshore-offshore gradient in the intensity of early diagenesis was recently described for the Ría de Vigo, matched by similar patterns in the adjacent rias of Pontevedra and Muros. In the ria environments of NW Iberia, early diagenetic dissolution of magnetic minerals can lead to magnetite half-lives of a few decades, and virtually obliterates any paleoenvironmental signal carried by magnetic minerals, rendering magnetic properties especially useful for the study of early diagenesis dynamics. Early diagenesis has also been identified in sediments of the adjacent continental shelf and deeper environments of the Galician Bank and Iberian Abyssal Plain. However, in these settings, slower dissolution of magnetic minerals allows the preservation of paleoclimatic signatures on different temporal scales. For instance, magnetic properties of continental shelf sediments reveal periods of enhanced rainfall and continental sediment input to the shelf, coincident with the Roman Warm Period and Medieval Climatic Optimum. On the contrary, cold periods are associated with less detrital input. Furthermore, levels of intensified diagenesis are also recorded during cold periods, which have been interpreted as periods of intensified coastal upwelling probably related to long-term North Atlantic Oscillation positive state. At the Galician Bank and Iberian Abyssal Plain sediments early diagenesis is also pervasive, although a paleoceanographic record of changes in the concentration of magnetic minerals transported by water masses flowing from the Portuguese Margin can still be identified. In addition to the progressive dissolution of magnetic minerals with depth, bulk magnetic properties in these deep marine settings show strong dependence on the pelagic carbonate sedimentation and low

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, L.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2011-12-01

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

  19. Origin of Volcanic Seamounts Offshore California Related to Interaction of Abandoned Spreading Centers with the Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, A. S.; Clague, D. A.; Paduan, J. B.; Cousens, B. L.; Huard, J.

    2007-12-01

    The numerous NE-SW trending volcanic seamounts at the continental margin offshore central to Southern California owe their existence to the complex tectonics that resulted when small spreading ridge segments intersected and partly subducted beneath the continental margin during the Miocene plate reorganization. A limited number of dredged samples had indicated multiple episodes of coeval, alkalic volcanism at geographically widely separated sites (Davis et al., 2002, GSA Bull. 114, 316-333). 450 new samples were collected from 8 seamounts from 37. 5°N to 32.3°N with MBARI's ROV Tiburon. Ar-Ar ages for 50 of these samples extend the ages of volcanism from 18 Ma to 2.8 Ma. The dominant whole rock compositions are differentiated alkalic basalt, hawaiite, and mugearite, but include minor benmoreite, trachyte, and rare tholeiitic basalt. This entire range of compositions is also present in glassy margins or in volcaniclastic breccias, except for the trachyte, which had no glassy margins. Trace element abundances and ratios (e.g. REE, Zr, Nb, Ta, Th, Ba, etc.) are typical for ocean island basalt, whether the seamount is located on the Pacific plate (e.g. Pioneer, Gumdrop, Guide, Davidson, San Juan, San Marcos) or on the continental slope (Rodriguez) or within the Southern Continental Borderland (Northeast Bank). Nine samples, predominantly from Rodriguez Seamount, show a calc-alkaline trend with lower Nb, Ta, and higher Th. These samples may be erratics (Paduan et al., 2007, Marine Geology, in press). Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions plot within the Pacific N-MORB field for the northern seamounts (Pioneer, Gumdrop, Guide) but suggest progressively more radiogenic sources southward. There is considerable scatter at each site, especially with regard to 87Sr/86Sr, despite severe acid-leaching of the samples. Isotopic and trace element compositions indicate sources that are heterogeneous at a small scale. Chondrite-normalized Ce/Yb suggest smaller degree of melting and

  20. Evidence for the Late Cenozoic Antarctic Ice Sheet evolution and bottom current dynamics in the central-western Ross Sea outer margin, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sookwan; De Santis, Laura; Kuk Hong, Jong; Cottlerle, Diego; Petronio, Lorenzo; Colizza, Ester; Bergamasco, Andrea; Kim, Young-Gyun; Kang, Seung-Goo; Kim, Hyoungjun; Kim, Suhwan; Wardell, Nigel; Geletti, Riccardo; McKay, Robert; Jin, Young Keun; Kang, Sung-Ho

    2016-04-01

    Sedimentary records in polar continental margins provide clues for understanding paleo-depositional environments, related to ice sheet evolution and bottom-water current dynamics, during times of past climate and global sea level changes. Previous seismostratigraphic studies of the Ross Sea embayment, Antarctica, illustrated its general stratigraphic framework and the distribution of glacial sedimentary features over the continental shelf, since the onset of Antarctic ice-sheets at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (~34.0 Ma). In contrast, there are a fewer studies for the outer continental margin, where continuous sedimentary deposits generally preserve the record of past climate cycles with minimum hiatus, comparing to the inner- and mid-continental shelf, where grounding ice streams eroded most of the sediments. Here we present a seismostratigraphic analysis of 2-D multichannel seismic reflection profiles, from the Central Basin located in the central-western Ross Sea outer margin. A glacial prograding wedge developed at the mouth of the Joides Basin since early-middle Miocene times (RSU4: ~14.0 Ma). And the Central Basin was filled with stacked debris-flow deposits and turbidites. The sediment depocenter shifted from the Central Basin toward the slope in the Pliocene (after RSU2: ~3.3 Ma). Pliocene foreset beds are steep and pinch out at the base of the continental slope. Bottom current controlled sediment drifts well developed since the middle Miocene, along the western slope of the central Basin and on the basement highs These areas are far from the mouth of the Joides trough, where most of the glacial sediment is deposited, and they are also more elevated than the basinal areas, where gravity flow maximum thickness accumulated. Along the western slope of the central Basin and over the basement highs, the signature in the sediments of the action of bottom current reworking and shaping the sea floor can be then clearly recognized. We present the sediment drifts

  1. Distributions of Pu, Am and Cs in margin sediments from the western Mediterranean (Spanish coast).

    PubMed

    Gascó, C; Antón, M P; Pozuelo, M; Meral, J; González, A M; Papucci, C; Delfanti, R

    2002-01-01

    Continental margins are important areas to be considered when studying the distributions and depositions of pollutants, both conventional and radioactive. Coastal sediments accumulate most of those contaminants which can be introduced following atmospheric and/or fluvial pathways. Moreover, their residence times within the water column are usually shortened due to their affinity to associate with the downward falling particulate matter, more abundant at shallower depths. In this paper the distribution profiles and inventories of plutonium, americium and cesium are detailed, providing useful information about recent sedimentation phenomena such as sediment mixing, slumping processes and bioturbation. Unsupported 210Pb data are used as reliable indicators of enhanced/reduced deposition events. Also, the calculated inventories have enabled the estimation of the radiological contribution of the Spanish Mediterranean margin to the total radioactivity deposited onto the Mediterranean sea floor.

  2. Crustal structure variations along the NW-African continental margin: A comparison of new and existing models from wide-angle and reflection seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klingelhoefer, Frauke; Biari, Youssef; Sahabi, Mohamed; Aslanian, Daniel; Schnabel, Michael; Matias, Luis; Benabdellouahed, Massinissa; Funck, Thomas; Gutscher, Marc-André; Reichert, Christian; Austin, James A.

    2016-04-01

    Deep seismic data represent a key to understand the geometry and mechanism of continental rifting. The passive continental margin of NW-Africa is one of the oldest on earth, formed during the Upper Triassic-Lower Liassic rifting of the central Atlantic Ocean over 200 Ma. We present new and existing wide-angle and reflection seismic data from four study regions along the margin located in the south offshore DAKHLA, on the central continental margin offshore Safi, in the northern Moroccan salt basin, and in the Gulf of Cadiz. The thickness of unthinned continental crust decreases from 36 km in the North to about 27 km in the South. Crustal thinning takes place over a region of 150 km in the north and only 70 km in the south. The North Moroccan Basin is underlain by highly thinned continental crust of only 6-8 km thickness. The ocean-continent transition zone shows a variable width between 40 and 70 km and is characterized by seismic velocities in between those of typical oceanic and thinned continental crust. The neighbouring oceanic crust is characterized by a thickness of 7-8 km along the complete margin. Relatively high velocities of up to 7.5 km/s have been imaged between magnetic anomalies S1 and M25, and are probably related to changes in the spreading velocities at the time of the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian plate reorganization. Volcanic activity seems to be mostly confined to the region next to the Canary Islands, and is thus not related to the initial opening of the ocean, which was associated to only weak volcanism. Comparison with the conjugate margin off Nova Scotia shows comparable continental crustal structures, but 2-3 km thinner oceanic crust on the American side than on the African margin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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