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Seismic constraints on the three-dimensional geometry of low-angle intracrustal reflectors in the Southern Iberia Abyssal Plain

Seismic constraints on the three-dimensional geometry of low-angle intracrustal reflectors in the Southern Iberia Abyssal Plain
Seismic constraints on the three-dimensional geometry of low-angle intracrustal reflectors in the Southern Iberia Abyssal Plain
Several lines of evidence suggest that simple shear rifting of the continental crust, in the form
of low-angle detachment faulting, occurred during the final stages of continental breakup
between West Iberia and the Grand Banks. The primary evidence for such faulting is the
occurrence of low-angle, high amplitude reflectors within the basement adjacent to the ocean–
continent transition zone. Here we present a series of intersecting, depth migrated seismic
reflection profiles that image one such reflector, the H-reflector, located on the southern edge
of Galicia Bank. ‘H’ lies beneath several boreholes drilled during ODP Legs 149 and 173,
in a region where the oceanward extent of extended continental crust steps at least 150 km
westward from its location in the southern Iberia Abyssal Plain to its location off the relatively
shallow Galicia Bank. In our profiles ‘H’ appears to define a surface that extends over a region
of at least 200 km2 and that dips down ?19? to the north, towards Galicia Bank. The profiles
show that a close affinity exists between ‘H’ and the most seaward continental crust. Based on
geophysical data and ODP drilling results, we infer that the basement above ‘H’ is composed
of continental crust deformed by extensional faults into a series of wedge-shaped blocks and
thin slivers. These basement wedges have a complex 3-D geometry. ‘H’ rises to the basement
surface on a number of the seismic profiles and appears to define locally the oceanward extent
of continental fault blocks.
Controlled source seismology, Continental margins: divergent, Continental tectonics: extensional, Fractures and faults, Crustal structure
0956-540X
571-586
Dean, S.M.
cb18aac3-e5b5-4c4e-ab7f-4d6138774df0
Minshull, T.A.
bf413fb5-849e-4389-acd7-0cb0d644e6b8
Whitmarsh, R.B.
8a17394e-90a9-404a-a40c-f0099e9bfc1f
Dean, S.M.
cb18aac3-e5b5-4c4e-ab7f-4d6138774df0
Minshull, T.A.
bf413fb5-849e-4389-acd7-0cb0d644e6b8
Whitmarsh, R.B.
8a17394e-90a9-404a-a40c-f0099e9bfc1f

Dean, S.M., Minshull, T.A. and Whitmarsh, R.B. (2008) Seismic constraints on the three-dimensional geometry of low-angle intracrustal reflectors in the Southern Iberia Abyssal Plain. Geophysical Journal International, 175 (2), 571-586. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03869.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Several lines of evidence suggest that simple shear rifting of the continental crust, in the form
of low-angle detachment faulting, occurred during the final stages of continental breakup
between West Iberia and the Grand Banks. The primary evidence for such faulting is the
occurrence of low-angle, high amplitude reflectors within the basement adjacent to the ocean–
continent transition zone. Here we present a series of intersecting, depth migrated seismic
reflection profiles that image one such reflector, the H-reflector, located on the southern edge
of Galicia Bank. ‘H’ lies beneath several boreholes drilled during ODP Legs 149 and 173,
in a region where the oceanward extent of extended continental crust steps at least 150 km
westward from its location in the southern Iberia Abyssal Plain to its location off the relatively
shallow Galicia Bank. In our profiles ‘H’ appears to define a surface that extends over a region
of at least 200 km2 and that dips down ?19? to the north, towards Galicia Bank. The profiles
show that a close affinity exists between ‘H’ and the most seaward continental crust. Based on
geophysical data and ODP drilling results, we infer that the basement above ‘H’ is composed
of continental crust deformed by extensional faults into a series of wedge-shaped blocks and
thin slivers. These basement wedges have a complex 3-D geometry. ‘H’ rises to the basement
surface on a number of the seismic profiles and appears to define locally the oceanward extent
of continental fault blocks.

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Published date: November 2008
Keywords: Controlled source seismology, Continental margins: divergent, Continental tectonics: extensional, Fractures and faults, Crustal structure

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 63840
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/63840
ISSN: 0956-540X
PURE UUID: 9b15ae29-3347-4256-886b-f7c38cf02014
ORCID for T.A. Minshull: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8202-1379

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Date deposited: 07 Nov 2008
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 02:51

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Contributors

Author: S.M. Dean
Author: T.A. Minshull ORCID iD
Author: R.B. Whitmarsh

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