The pains and strains of a continental breakup in the media

West_Australian_margin.jpg

West_Australian_margin.jpg
View of Australia’s western continental margin, looking eastwards from the Indian Ocean.

Congratulations to Dr Sascha Brune, Dr Simon Williams, Dr Nathan Butterworth, and Prof Dietmar Müller on their paper published in Nature earlier this week. The paper,  Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental marginshas been picked up by the media across the globe.

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The pains and strains of a continental breakup

View of Australia’s western continental margin, looking eastwards from the Indian Ocean. Every now and then in Earth’s history, a pair of continents draws close enough to form one. There comes a time, however, when they must inevitably part ways. Now scientists at Australia’s EarthByte research group, in collaboration with the German Research Centre for … Read more…

Earth and Planetary Science Letters – Climate changes control offshore crustal structure at South China Sea continental margin

Clift, P. D., Brune, S., & Quinteros, J. (2015). Climate changes control offshore crustal structure at South China Sea continental margin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 420, 66-72. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.032. Climate changes control offshore crustal structure at South China Sea continental margin Download supporting information – pdf

Linking rift propagation barriers to excess magmatism at volcanic rifted margins

Koopmann etal 2014 Model EvolutionCitation
Koopman, H., Brune, S., Franke, D. and Breuer. 2014. Linking rift propagation barriers to excess magmatism at volcanic rifted margins. Geology (Pre-Issue Publication 15. Oct), doi: 10.1130/G36085.

Summary
Break-up–related extrusive magmatism, imaged in reflection seismic data as seaward-dipping reflectors (SDRs), extends sym- metrically along the volcanic margins of the Atlantic Ocean. Recent research found distinct along-margin variations in the distribution of SDRs, and abundance of volcanic material was found to be spatially linked to transfer fault systems. These segmented the propagating rift that later developed into the ocean, and are interpreted as rift propa- gation barriers. Based on these observations, we develop a numeri- cal model, which shows that rift-parallel mantle flow and locally enhanced rates of volcanism are the result of delays in rift propaga- tion and segmented opening. … Read more…

Evolution of stress and fault patterns in oblique rift systems: 3D numerical lithospheric-scale experiments from rift to breakup

Rifting involves complex normal fault systems that are controlled by extension direction, reactivation of pre-rift structures, sedimentation, and dyke dynamics. The relative impact of these factors on the observed fault pattern, however, is difficult to deduce from field-based studies alone.

This study provides insight in crustal stress patterns and fault orientations by employing a laterally homogeneous, 3D rift setup with constant extension velocity. The presented numerical forward experiments cover the whole spectrum of oblique extension. They are conducted using an elasto-visco-plastic finite element model and involve crustal and mantle layers accounting for self-consistent necking of the lithosphere. … Read more…

Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems – Evolution of stress and fault patterns in oblique rift systems: 3-D numerical lithospheric-scale experiments from rift to breakup

Brune, S. (2014). Evolution of stress and fault patterns in oblique rift systems: 3‐D numerical lithospheric‐scale experiments from rift to breakupGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15(8), 3392-3415. doi: 10.1002/2014GC005446.

Evolution of stress and fault patterns in oblique rift systems: 3‐D numerical lithospheric‐scale experiments from rift to breakup

Download supplementary information (including animations) – pdf

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Nature Communications – Rift migration explains continental margin assymetry and crustal hyper-extension

Brune, S., Heine, C., Pérez-Gussinyé, M., & Sobolev, S. V. (2014). Rift migration explains continental margin asymmetry and crustal hyper-extension. Nature communications, 5. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5014. Rift migration explains continental margin asymmetry and crustal hyper-extension Download supplementary information – pdf

Rift migration explains continental margin asymmetry and crustal hyper-extension

Rift MigrationWhen continents break apart, continental crust and lithosphere are thinned until break-up is achieved and an oceanic basin is formed. The most remarkable and least understood structures associated with this process are up to 200 km wide areas of hyper-extended continental crust, which are partitioned between conjugate margins with pronounced asymmetry. Here we show, using high-resolution thermo-mechanical modelling, that hyper-extended crust and margin asymmetry are produced by steady state rift migration. … Read more…

EarthByte publicity for Oblique rifting of the Equatorial Atlantic paper

Summary FigureCongratulations to EarthByte’s Sascha Brune and Christian Heine (now at Shell in The Hague) who made it to the Sydney Uni front page with a media piece on “How the world missed out on a Saharan Atlantic ocean”, attracted international media attention and were chosen as a “Research Focus” in the current volume of Geology for their paper: Oblique rifting of the Equatorial Atlantic: Why there is no Saharan Atlantic Ocean. Well done! … Read more…

Geology – Oblique rifting of the Equatorial Atlantic: Why there is no Saharan Atlantic Ocean

Heine, C., & Brune, S. (2014). Oblique rifting of the Equatorial Atlantic: why there is no Saharan Atlantic Ocean. Geology, 42(3), 211-214. doi:10.1130/G35082.1 107-199. Oblique rifting of the Equatorial Atlantic: why there is no Saharan Atlantic Ocean Access supporting data (ref. 2014073)

Tectonophysics – The rift to break-up evolution of the Gulf of Aden: Insights from 3D numerical lithospheric-scale modelling

Brune, S., & Autin, J. (2013). The rift to break-up evolution of the Gulf of Aden: Insights from 3D numerical lithospheric-scale modelling. Tectonophysics, 607, 65-79. doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2013.06.029. The rift to break-up evolution of the Gulf of Aden: Insights from 3D numerical lithospheric-scale modelling