From continental extension to seafloor spreading: crustal structure of the Goban Spur rifted margin, southwest of the UK


Bullock, A.D. and Minshull, T.A. (2005) From continental extension to seafloor spreading: crustal structure of the Goban Spur rifted margin, southwest of the UK. Geophysical Journal International, 163, (2), 527-546. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2005.02726.x).

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Description/Abstract

We present a 169-km wide-angle velocity model across the Goban Spur rifted margin, southwest of the UK. A 120-km-wide intermediate region is identified between the first clear seafloor spreading magnetic anomaly (anomaly 34r) and thinned continental crust, where velocities increase from 4.5 km s1 to 6.8 km s1 in the top 4 km beneath acoustic basement. At depth it can be divided into a region where a 1.5-km-thick high-velocity layer (7.2–7.6 km s1) exists and a region where this layer is absent but velocities of 7 km s1 are present. Wide-angle PmP arrivals are observed across the whole of the intermediate region but a normal incidence reflection Moho is not present.

Based on these velocities and combined with seismic reflection, gravity and magnetic modelling along this transect we interpret the intermediate region to consist of a 70 km wide zone of exhumed mantle with high Poisson's ratio at top basement (>0.34), an extremely low topographic expression and a high-velocity deep layer. Empirical relationships between velocity and degree of serpentinization suggest that serpentinite content decreases with depth from 100 per cent at top basement to <25 per cent from 5–7 km into basement. The observed magnetic anomaly is best fit by a thin magnetized layer (1 km) of magnetization 2–3 A m1. The intense magnetization may be due to magnetite formation during a prolonged interaction of serpentinite with sea water. Between this exhumed mantle and anomaly 34r is a 50-km-wide region raised 400 m above the adjacent exhumed mantle, consisting of a series of basement ridges. Poisson's ratio is not well defined in this region, which may be composed of anomalous oceanic crust or exhumed mantle.

Item Type: Article
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Keywords: extension, lithospheric deformation, melt, Poisson's ratio, ray tracing, refraction, seismology, rifted margin, S waves, seafloor spreading, serpentinite
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 18175
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:07
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/18175

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