Exhumed crust and mantle
Highly serpentinized peridotites derived from the upper mantle beneath a non – volcanic continental margin were sampled from the southern Iberia Abyssal Plain (Ocean Drilling Program Leg 173), and the primary mantle minerals were analysed for major and trace elements to petrologically characterize the upper mantle. The Cr-number (= Cr/(Cr + Al) atomic ratio) of the peridotite spinels varies widely from 0.1 to 0.6. The Na20 content of clinopyroxene is rather constant, 0.5-0.8 wt %. The chondritenormalized rare earth element (REE) patterns have light REE (LREE) depleted convex – upward shapes. The LREE/HREE (heavy REE) ratio in clinopyroxene is constant irrespective of the degree of melt extraction of the sample as measured by the Cr-number of spinel. The trend of the peridotites’ mineral chemistry is different from both the simple melt extraction and the general mantle metasomatic trends. The geochemical character of the Iberia Abyssal Plain peridotite is intermediate between those of abyssal peridotites and peridotite xenoliths from continental regions. These geochemical features, especially for the trace elements in clinopyroxene, are rather similar to those in peridotite xenoliths from arcs. This chemical trend is probably the result of ‘open – system melting’, which involves melting simultaneously with enrichment of trace elements by the influx agent.
Figures & Tables
Non-volcanic continental margins may form up to 30% all present-day passive margins, and remnants of them are preserved in mountain belts. The papers in this volume demonstrate the benefits of integrating offshore and onshore studies, and illustrate the range of information obtained at different scales when comparing evidence from land and sea. Data sets collected across a range of spatial scales are evaluated: thin sections, cores, outcrops, seismic reflection profiles, and other geophysical data. The outcrop scale is crucial because it enables the spatial gulf to be bridged between DSDP and ODP cores and marine seismic data. There is also the problem that basins on land and beneath the sea inevitably have had different post-rift histories resulting in their contrasting present-day elevation. In mountain belts, portions of continental margins and oceanic crust are superbly exposed, but dismembered by subsequent compressional tectonics. Off present-day passive margins, extensional features have only been slightly deformed, if at all, by compressional movements, but are buried beneath significant thicknesses of post-rift sediments and so can only be sampled by ocean drilling at a small number of points.
The first paper reviews the synergies that have occurred between investigations of the eastern North Atlantic non-volcanic margins and remnants of similar Mesozoic margins preserved in the Alps, and some later papers return to this theme. However, papers describing margins from other parts of the world show that it may be premature to use models based on the Atlantic and the Alps as the paradigm for all non-volcanic margins. The following 25 papers in the book are grouped under the following headings: (1) Margin overviews; (2) Exhumed crust and mantle; (3) Tectonics and stratigraphy; (4)Numerical models of extension and magmatism.