Palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic results from serpentinized peridotites beneath the Iberia Abyssal Plain
Xixi Zhao, 2001. "Palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic results from serpentinized peridotites beneath the Iberia Abyssal Plain", Non-Volcanic Rifting of Continental Margins: A Comparison of Evidence from Land and Sea, R. C. L. Wilson, R. B. Whitmarsh, B. Taylor, N. Froitzheim
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A palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic study has been performed on serpentinized peridotite rocks recovered at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 149 and 173 sites, off the west coast of Portugal (Sites 897, 899 and 1070). Stable components of magnetization are revealed after detailed thermal and alternating field demagnetization. Results from a series of rock magnetic measurements with advanced instrumentation all corroborate the demagnetization behaviour and show that (titano)magnetites and maghemite are present in the peridotites. At Leg 149 and 173 sites, the inclinations of characteristic magnetization in the ‘fresher’ lower part of the serpentinized peridotite section show a predominantly reversed polarity in a depth zone of c. 25 m, which is compatible with a reversed event (probably correlated with marine Anomaly MO at c. 121 Ma) before the Cretaceous Long Normal Superchron (83–120Ma) and is incompatible with a Holocene field direction. In contrast, the inclinations of samples from the more ‘altered’ upper part are predominantly normal. In view of the polarity of magnetization identified from the overlying Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments and the newest interpretation of the drilling results for the Iberia margin, our results suggest that the Iberian peridotites were emplaced during Aptian-Barremian time and recorded the middle Cretaceous geomagnetic field during Anomaly M0 time (c. 121 Ma). Our data are consistent with new radiometric dates for the Iberian peridotites at Leg 173 drill sites.
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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.