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The role of surface processes in basin inversion and breakup unconformity

Luke S. Mondy, Patrice F. Rey and Guillaume Duclaux
The role of surface processes in basin inversion and breakup unconformity
Geology (Boulder) (January 2023) 51 (2): 220-224


In the context of continental extension, transient compressional episodes (stress inversion) and phases of uplift (depth inversion) are commonly recorded with no corresponding change in plate motion. Changes in gravitational potential energy during the rifting process have been invoked as a possible source of compressional stresses, but their magnitude, timing, and relationship with depth inversions remain unclear. Using high-resolution two-dimensional numerical experiments of the full rifting process, we track the dynamic interplay between the far-field tectonic forces, loading and unloading of the surface via surface processes, and gravitational body forces. Our results show that rift basins tend to localize compressive stresses; they record transient phases of compressional stresses as high as 30 MPa and experience a profound depth inversion, 2 km in magnitude, when sediment supply ceases, providing an additional driver for the breakup unconformity, a well-documented phase of regional uplift typically associated with continental breakup.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 51
Serial Issue: 2
Title: The role of surface processes in basin inversion and breakup unconformity
Affiliation: University of Sydney, School of Geosciences, Earthbyte Group, Sydney, N.S.W, Australia
Pages: 220-224
Published: 20230103
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 36
Accession Number: 2023-004588
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect.
Secondary Affiliation: Geoazur, FRA, France
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2023, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 202304
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