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Abstract

We present a model for sudden changes of fluid expulsion rates and overpressures in rifted sedimentary basins. The numerical model couples the stretching mechanism for rifted basin formation with fluid conservation and flow equations for compacting sediments.

Forces operating at plate boundaries exert stresses in the lithosphere, affecting the shape of basins and sedimentation rates. We demonstrate that these stresses affect the hydrodynamics of sedimentary basins, with possible implications for the diagenesis of sediments, faulting, and localization of economic resources. Increases in the level of compressive intraplate stresses induce flank uplift and increased subsidence in the basin center, thereby causing a contemporary basin- wide increase in compaction driven flow in the center and deeper penetration of meteoric water at the flanks of the basin. An increase in tensile intraplate stresses causes subsidence at the flanks of the basin and differential uplift in the basin center, which leads to a contemporary basin-wide decrease in compaction driven flow and reduced penetration of meteoric water.

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