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Book Chapter

Observations from the Alpine Tethys and Iberia–Newfoundland margins pertinent to the interpretation of continental breakup

By
G. Manatschal
G. Manatschal
1
CGS-EOST, 1 rue Blessig, F-67084 Strasbourg
,
France
(e-mail: manat@illite.u-strasng.fr)
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O. Müntener
O. Müntener
2
Institute of Geological Sciences
,
University of Bern
,
Baltzerstrasse 1, CH-3012 Bern
,
Switzerland
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L. L. Lavier
L. L. Lavier
3
University of Texas Institute for Geophysics
,
Jackson School of Geosciences, Austin, TX, 78759
,
USA
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T. A. Minshull
T. A. Minshull
4
Southampton Oceanography Centre
,
European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH
,
UK
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G. Péron-Pinvidic
G. Péron-Pinvidic
1
CGS-EOST, 1 rue Blessig, F-67084 Strasbourg
,
France
(e-mail: manat@illite.u-strasng.fr)
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Published:
January 01, 2007

Abstract

Although the Iberia–Newfoundland and Alpine Tethys margins are of different age and ultimately had a different fate, they share remarkable similarities. Both pairs of margins show a change from initially distributed and decoupled extension to later localized, coupled and asymmetric extension that results in thinning of the crust and exhumation of subcontinental mantle. The change in the mode of extension together with the localization of deformation reflects an evolution of the bulk rheology of the extending lithosphere. In this paper we summarize the pertinent geological observations for the Iberia–Newfoundland and Alpine Tethys margins. We describe the stratigraphic evolution, the fault geometry, basin architecture, and magmatic and metamophic evolution of the two pairs of margins from initial rifting to final continental breakup. This description forms a basis for understanding the evolution of the bulk rheology and how the various processes interact during progressive lithospheric extension. For the Iberia–Newfoundland and Alpine Tethys margins initial rifting appears to be controlled by inherited heterogeneities and mechanical localization processes, whereas final rifting and lithospheric rupture is controlled by serpentinization, magmatic and thermal weakening. At other margins, these modes may interact in a different way depending on the prerift conditions and the evolution of the rheology during rifting.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Imaging, Mapping and Modelling Continental Lithosphere Extension and Breakup

G. D. Karner
G. D. Karner
ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, Houston, USA
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G. Manatschal
G. Manatschal
Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France
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L. M. Pinheiro
L. M. Pinheiro
Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
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Geological Society of London
Volume
282
ISBN electronic:
9781862395305
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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