Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Tectonic Settings of Continental Extensional Provinces and their Impact on Sedimentation and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity

Chris K. Morley
Chris K. Morley
Department of Geology and Petroleum Geobgy, Kings College, Aberdeen University, Meston Building, Aberdeen, AB24 3UE, Scotland, U.K.
Search for other works by this author on:
January 01, 2002


Extensional basins can be classified according to plate-tectonic setting and driving mechanism into: (1) regional continental extension, (2) extension at the tips of permanently or temporarily abandoned spreading centers, (3) in the upper plate of volcanic arc-oceanic crust subduction zones, (4) soft collision zones, (5) post-orogenic wide rifts (Cordilleran type), (6) Himalayan-type extension; and (7) in response to far-field orogenic stresses. These settings display differences in mantle geometry, volcanic history, fault geometry and evolution, generation of lithospheric thermal anomalies, rift topography, post-rift history, sediment source characteristics, sediment pathways, and timing and intensity of inversion tectonics, which can impact hydrocarbon prospectivity. In convergent settings subduction rollback and slab-suction forces are very important mechanisms for generating extension, creating the conditions for non-uniform lithospheric thinning, and very characteristic thick (4-6 km), rapidly formed (10-15 Myr) thermal subsidence basins. The enhanced gravity potential of overthickened crust appears to be an important driving mechanism for extension in orogenic belts, but it is usually accompanied by other mechanisms (escape tectonics, subduction rollback, propagating spreading centers) for extension to occur.

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables


SEPM Special Publication

Sedimentation in Continental Rifts

Robin W. Renaut
Robin W. Renaut
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E2, Canada
Search for other works by this author on:
Gail M. Ashley
Gail M. Ashley
Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-8066, U.S.A.
Search for other works by this author on:
SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2002




A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

View Article Abstract & Purchase Options

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Subscribe Now