Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Corti G., Van Wijk J., Bonini M., Sokoutis D., Cloetingh S., Innocenti F., Manetti P. Transition from continental break-up to punctiform seafloor spreading: How fast, symmetric and magmatic. In: Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 30 (12) pp. 1 - 4. American Geophysical Union, 2003.
We present a comparison between numerical and analogue models focusing on the role of inherited lithospheric structures in influencing the process of continental break-up. Our results highlight that the presence of pre-existing anisotropies localizes strain and favors continental break-up and formation of a new ocean. For a fixed strain rate, the pre-rift lithosphere configuration influences rift duration, melt production and width and symmetry of the continental margin pair. Model results show a mainly two-phase tectonic history from continental extension to oceanization. In the first phase extension affects contemporaneously the whole rift structure, while in the second phase asthenosphere upwelling occurs into punctiform regularly-spaced spots sequentially propagating in an extension-orthogonal direction.
URL: http://www.agu.org/
Subject lithosphere
continental break-up
sea floor spreading
numerical modeling
analogue modeling

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