Implications of preliminary subsidence analyses for the Parnaíba cratonic basin
Verónica Rodríguez Tribaldos, Nicky White, 2018. "Implications of preliminary subsidence analyses for the Parnaíba cratonic basin", Cratonic Basin Formation: A Case Study of the Parnaíba Basin of Brazil, M. C. Daly, R. A. Fuck, J. Julià, D.I.M. MacDonald, A. B. Watts
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Cratonic sedimentary basins are underlain by thick lithosphere and subside over hundreds of millions of years. The driving mechanism for these basins remains enigmatic due to the paucity of crustal-scale constraints. To address this shortcoming, an integrative study of the Parnaíba cratonic basin of NE Brazil is underway. We summarize field observations, well-log information, seismic reflection profiles and subsidence analyses with the objective of shedding light on possible basin-forming mechanisms. Lithological descriptions and borehole logs reveal a stratigraphic succession that consists of interbedded shallow marine and continental deposits. On seismic reflection profiles, this succession is divided into packages of relatively undisturbed reflections bounded by basin-wide disconformities. These disconformities are manifest as bright, rugose reflections that probably represent buried palaeo-landscapes. Backstripped and water-loaded subsidence curves calculated from boreholes distributed throughout the basin show that tectonic subsidence decreases exponentially over c. 350 Ma. A simple model suggests that this subsidence pattern agrees with a thermal time constant of 70–100 Ma, placing a significant constraint on the likely basin-forming mechanism. This background trend is punctuated by minor increases in subsidence that follow basin-wide erosional disconformities. These departures could be indicative of transient epeirogenic uplift events caused by changing patterns of dynamic topography.
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Cratonic Basin Formation: A Case Study of the Parnaíba Basin of Brazil
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Cratonic basins are large, distinctive features of the continental crust. They are preferentially developed on thick continental lithosphere, are typically sub-circular in shape and subside over periods of hundreds of millions of years. They are also endowed with significant resources. However, in spite of their location in continental interiors and often well-known geology, the subsidence driving mechanism and tectonic setting of these basins remains controversial.
This volume presents both lithospheric and basin scale datasets acquired specifically to interrogate the tectonic process of cratonic basin formation. Focused on the Silurian to Triassic Parnaíba cratonic basin of Brazil, the papers discuss the results of a multidisciplinary basin analysis project comprising new geophysical, geological and geochemical data. This unique dataset enables the characterization of the lithospheric crust and mantle beneath the Parnaíba Basin, constrains the detailed evolution of the basin itself, and enables comparisons with cratonic basins globally. Several convergent themes emerge providing new and powerful constraints for models of the driving mechanisms of these enigmatic basins.