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A recipe for microcontinent formation

R. Dietmar Mueller, Carmen Gaina, Walter R. Roest and David Lundbek Hansen
A recipe for microcontinent formation
Geology (Boulder) (March 2001) 29 (3): 203-206


Accreted slivers of continental margins are common in the geologic record, but the processes that lead to their formation are poorly understood. We observe an association of plume-related microcontinent isolation and subsequent long-term asymmetries in oceanic crustal accretion based on four recent examples: the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, Jan Mayen in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea, and the East Tasman Plateau and the Gilbert Seamount Complex in the Tasman Sea. These microcontinents formed by rerifting of a young continental margin (<25 m.y. old) in the vicinity of a mantle-plume stem, followed by asymmetric seafloor spreading. Two-dimensional numerical stochastic basin modeling suggests that a yield-strength minimum along the landward edge of a rifted margin, thermally enhanced by heating from a mantle plume, may cause a spreading ridge to jump onto this zone of weakness. This action isolates a passive-margin segment. The association of large igneous provinces and microcontinents should be useful for identifying similar events in the geological record.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 29
Serial Issue: 3
Title: A recipe for microcontinent formation
Affiliation: University of Sydney, School of Geosciences, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia
Pages: 203-206
Published: 200103
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 30
Accession Number: 2001-021642
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch maps
N70°00'00" - N72°00'00", W09°00'00" - W07°30'00"
N62°00'00" - N80°00'00", W25°00'00" - E15°00'00"
S51°00'00" - S30°00'00", E146°55'00" - E174°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, CAN, CanadaUniversity of Aarhus, DNK, Denmark
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200107
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