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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Post-rift influence of small-scale convection on the landscape evolution at divergent continental margins

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Author(s):
Sacek, Victor
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Journal article
Source: Earth and Planetary Science Letters; v. 459, p. 48-57, FEB 1 2017.
Web of Science Citations: 2
Abstract

After decades of geological and geophysical data acquisition along with quantitative modeling of the long-term evolution of the landscape at divergent continental margins, the search for an explanation for the formation and evolution of steep escarpments bordering the coast is still a challenging task. One difficult aspect to explain about the evolution of these escarpments is the expressive variability of denudation rate through the post-rift phase observed in many margins. Here I propose that the interaction of small-scale convection in the asthenosphere with the base of the continental lithosphere can create intermittent vertical displacements of the surface with magnitude of a few hundreds of meters at the continental margin. These topographic perturbations are sufficient to produce an expressive variability in the rate of erosion of the landscape through the post-rift phase similar to the exhumation history observed along old divergent margins. I show that the vertical motion of the surface is amplified when a mobile belt is present at the continental margin, with lithospheric mantle less viscous than the cratonic lithosphere and, consequently, more prone to be partially eroded by the convective asthenosphere. I conclude that the influence of small-scale convection is not the primary explanation for the formation of high topographic features at divergent continental margins, but can be an important component contributing to sustain a preexistent escarpment. The present results are based on numerical simulations that combine thermochemical convection in the mantle, flexure of the lithosphere and surface processes of erosion and sedimentation. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/21084-8 - Interaction between mantle dynamics and surface processes in continental margins
Grantee:Victor Sacek
Support Opportunities: Regular Research Grants