The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Abrupt transition from magma-starved to magma-rich rifting in the eastern Black Sea

Shillington, Donna J., Scott, Caroline L., Minshull, Timothy A., Edwards, Rosemary A., Brown, Peter J. and White, Nicky (2009) Abrupt transition from magma-starved to magma-rich rifting in the eastern Black Sea Geology, 37, (1), pp. 7-10. (doi:10.1130/G25302A.1).

Record type: Article


The amount of magmatism that accompanies the extension and rupture of the continental lithosphere varies dramatically at rifts and margins around the world. Based on widely spaced geophysical transects, some margins are known to preserve a transition from magmatically robust to magmatically starved rifting along strike, but the nature of the transition is unknown. Wide-angle seismic data from the Black Sea provide the first direct observations of such a transition and show that it is abrupt, occurring over only ~20–30 km, and coincides with a transform fault. This abrupt transition cannot be explained solely by gradual along-margin variations in mantle properties, since these would be expected to result in a smooth transition from magma-poor to magma-rich rifting over hundreds of kilometers. We suggest that the abruptness of the transition results from the development of three-dimensional (3-D) melt migration due to along-strike variations in extension and thus the thickness of the lithosphere at the time of rifting. Localized magmatic addition attributed to melt focusing has been observed in modern mid-ocean ridges and active rift environments, but here we show that such processes can also produce abrupt along-strike changes from magma-poor to magma-rich rifting.

PDF shillington_geology_aug08_lowres.pdf - Author's Original
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (3MB)

More information

Published date: January 2009
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre,Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 65086
ISSN: 0091-7613
PURE UUID: 12cff42e-6bd8-4f51-bc1b-2ca708bb83d2
ORCID for Timothy A. Minshull: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Jan 2009
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:10

Export record



Author: Donna J. Shillington
Author: Caroline L. Scott
Author: Rosemary A. Edwards
Author: Peter J. Brown
Author: Nicky White

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.