Lower-crust ductility patterns associated with transform margins
Published:January 01, 2016
A. Henk, M. Nemčok, 2016. "Lower-crust ductility patterns associated with transform margins", Transform Margins: Development, Controls and Petroleum Systems, M. Nemčok, S. Rybár, S. T. Sinha, S. A. Hermeston, L. Ledvényiová
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A three-dimensional (3D) thermal–kinematic modelling approach based on finite-element techniques is used to study lower-crustal viscosity at transform margins during the continent–ocean transform development stage and after the ridge has passed by. Nine modelling scenarios combining different equilibrium surface heat flows and lower-crustal rheologies are studied. Modelling results indicate that substantial parts of the lower crust at transform margins have the potential to flow at geologically appreciable strain rates, which can lead to uplift/subsidence, as well as lateral variations, in upper- and lower-crustal thicknesses and Moho depth. These low-viscosity zones (i.e. parts of the lower crust with effective viscosities of less than 1018 Pa s) make up distinct ductility distributions that vary in space and time during margin evolution. Three basic ductility patterns and related thermal processes can be identified: reduced lower-crustal viscosities originating at the continental rift and the continent–ocean boundary (COB), respectively; reduced lower-crustal viscosities along the transform caused by the migrating ridge; and the background distribution of lower-crustal ductility resulting from the equilibrium temperature field. Superposition of all three ductility patterns and the complex interaction of the underlying perturbations of the temperature field result in distinct differences in the potential of lower-crustal flow both in space (parallel and perpendicular to the transform) and with time. Thus, modelling results provide templates for understanding lower-crustal flow at transform margins in general and await further studies comparing model predictions with actual field observations.
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Transform Margins: Development, Controls and Petroleum Systems
This volume covers the linkage between new transform margin research and increasing transform margin exploration. It offers a critical set of predictive tools via an understanding of the mechanisms involved in the development of play concept elements at transform margins. It ties petroleum systems knowledge to the input coming from research focused on dynamic development, kinematic development, structural architecture and thermal regimes, together with their controlling factors. The volume does this by drawing from geophysical data (bathymetry, seismic, gravity and magnetic studies), structural geology, sedimentology, geochemistry, plate reconstruction and thermo-mechanical numerical modelling. It combines case studies (covering the Andaman Sea, Arctic, Coromandal, Guyana, Romanche, St. Paul and Suriname transform margins, the French Guyana hyper-oblique margin, the transtensional margin between the Caribbean and North American plates, and the Davie transform margin and its neighbour transform margins) with theoretical studies.